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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really considering a Spring Drive movement and am interested in real world service intervals... more specifically, anyone push the limit and what was the result?

With Rolex the recommended interval is 3-5 years but plenty of people go 7, 10, 10+ years before their watch starts to slow... send it in for service and it returns none-the-worse-for-wear and no incremental repair requirements/costs.

I believe the spring drive service is recommended at 3 years... but has it been pushed to 5, 7, or 10 years? What was the result?
 

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I don't understand how a SD movement can break. The winding is the familiar magic lever which never effs up and everything that turns only spins in one direction, and there's nothing that can be knocked out of adjustment because nothing is fine-tuned (mechanically) inside the movement. I think the SD will turn out in the long run to be a really enduring design. Even the elements that "mesh" to regulate the watch do so without actually touching each other. The only other mechanical contact points is the gear train to drive the hands, not much to go wrong there...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Good to know durability between services should be every bit as good as an automatic. Somehow I thought I read it was very important to get spring drives serviced at the right frequency. If anyone has real world experience to point to it would be most appreciated.
 

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I don't understand how a SD movement can break. The winding is the familiar magic lever which never effs up and everything that turns only spins in one direction, and there's nothing that can be knocked out of adjustment because nothing is fine-tuned (mechanically) inside the movement. I think the SD will turn out in the long run to be a really enduring design. Even the elements that "mesh" to regulate the watch do so without actually touching each other. The only other mechanical contact points is the gear train to drive the hands, not much to go wrong there...
See what Seiko have to say about the subject, (from Spring Drive Operating Instructions by Seiko)

The movement of this watch has a structure that consistent pressure is applied on its power-transmitting wheels. To ensure these parts work together properly, periodic inspection including cleaning of parts and movement, oiling, adjustment of accuracy, functional check and replacement of worn parts is needed. Inspection and adjustment by disassembly and cleaning (overhaul) within 3 to 4 years from the date of purchase is highly recommended for long-time use of your watch. According to use conditions, the oil retaining condition of your watch mechanical parts may deteriorate, abrasion of the parts may occur due to contamination of oil, which may ultimately lead the watch to stop.
 
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Thanks. Good to know durability between services should be every bit as good as an automatic. Somehow I thought I read it was very important to get spring drives serviced at the right frequency. If anyone has real world experience to point to it would be most appreciated.
My SBDB001 is 10 years old this month and has never been serviced:



It still runs just as well as it did the first day I took it out of the box - about +4 sec/month ;-)

One of my Rolex GMT Masters was 20 years old before it went in for its first service:



I had to send it in because I was stupid enough to wash it without screwing in the crown first :-(

But since I sent that one in, so it wouldn't feel left out, I sent in my other 30 year old (at the time) GMT Master for a complete service:



For 30 years it ran about +1.5 sec/day and after service it still ran about +1.5 sec/day. Seven years later it is still running about +1.5 sec/day.

As you have probably guessed by now, I don't believe in spending hundreds of dollars to "fix" a watch that's not broken ;-)

If my SpringDrive ever starts to run erratically, or sustains some damage requiring repair, that's when it will go for service.

HTH
 

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I don't understand how a SD movement can break. The winding is the familiar magic lever which never effs up and everything that turns only spins in one direction, and there's nothing that can be knocked out of adjustment because nothing is fine-tuned (mechanically) inside the movement. I think the SD will turn out in the long run to be a really enduring design. Even the elements that "mesh" to regulate the watch do so without actually touching each other. The only other mechanical contact points is the gear train to drive the hands, not much to go wrong there...
Im pretty sure its still fine tuned for accuracy. Seiko said so in an email but.... Like its still mostly mechanical, even with a quartz crystal, you dont get that much accuracy without fine tuning. Its still held to Grand Seiko standard.
 

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Gaijin, I should never buy your mm600 for even very low price from you. I was considering preowned mm600 recently, it was just after service after 7 years from new, but I decline that purchase. I believe it should be serviced as seiko advised, maybe 5 years if not worn daily.

I think a spring drive is like turbo engine and needs be oiled regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gaijin, I should never buy your mm600 for even very low price from you. I was considering preowned mm600 recently, it was just after service after 7 years from new, but I decline that purchase. I believe it should be serviced as seiko advised, maybe 5 years if not worn daily.

I think a spring drive is like turbo engine and needs be oiled regularly.
There was an interesting post a while back by a person involved in the airline maintenance industry. He advised the only things maintained on a jet are those things that can make it fall out of the air. All other components get replaced as they break. Why? Because that is the most cost effective policy. If you've seen a watch service and know every part is dismantled you know the few parts that show wear can be replaced at relatively minimal cost (vs. a $1K service and 3 months absence every 3 years for a Grand Seiko Chronograph, for instance).

Other than breaking/dropping watches, most watches I've read about failing are typically many decades old and it is usually due to loss of WR... rust/corrosion vs. wear. And only rusted/corroded watches are REALY expensive to fix because case/dial/hand work/replacement is required. Even a really messed up movement, if it were to get there, usually can be reconstructed for a few thousand dollars on a fine watch.

My main goal of this post is to confirm whether performance of a spring drive degrades/fails approaching the 5 year mark or is the design more like an automatic where likely it will just begin to slow after many, many years. We have one poster supplying facts of personal experience, a manufacturer supplying fail-safe guidance that happens to generate them substantial income and several others that speculate what could be based on life experience. Now for me to decide what I think is most credible. I appreciate the input.
 
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Hmm, maybe I should think about it again... so 7 years looks good... but not longer IMHO.

WHAT IF some major (and expansive) parts will be damaged just because no service? I just think SD is not so old and well known technology to risk it. So 5-7 years is my max.
 

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I'm possibly going to own a Spring Drive at some point [Landmaster ?] & although I've been concerned about servicing costs in the past it has dawned on me that I've got more than enough very cool watches to substitute for any that start behaving erratically & require a long journey/wait for a service.

I too am firmly in the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" camp.
 

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If my SpringDrive ever starts to run erratically, or sustains some damage requiring repair, that's when it will go for service.

HTH
Is this theory applicable to your car?
 
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My SBDB001 is 10 years old this month and has never been serviced:



It still runs just as well as it did the first day I took it out of the box - about +4 sec/month ;-)

One of my Rolex GMT Masters was 20 years old before it went in for its first service:



I had to send it in because I was stupid enough to wash it without screwing in the crown first :-(

But since I sent that one in, so it wouldn't feel left out, I sent in my other 30 year old (at the time) GMT Master for a complete service:



For 30 years it ran about +1.5 sec/day and after service it still ran about +1.5 sec/day. Seven years later it is still running about +1.5 sec/day.

As you have probably guessed by now, I don't believe in spending hundreds of dollars to "fix" a watch that's not broken ;-)

If my SpringDrive ever starts to run erratically, or sustains some damage requiring repair, that's when it will go for service.

HTH
Having watches sent in for service they dont need and overpaying for it is part of being a marketing victim. "Look I have a $4000 automatic and I have to spend $500 to have it serviced......of course I have it done twice a year and tell everyone I know about it."......
 

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Dont be obtuse! An ICE is incomparable to a watch movement - the only thing remotely in common to both is oil being used to reduce friction.
From my experience is the way people thinks and act.
Treating one device poorly, affect most of the time, their attitude toward other devices.
 
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