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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:

I'm a long-time lurker but haven't posted much of anything. I just bought a Watchco sm300 (cal. 562) directly from them and sadly the movement is having some issues. The folks at Watchco told me that I can return it and they will just make me pay the shipping back to Australia, but before I do that I want to see if anyone here might know of a simple solution to this problem.

So, when I opened the package, I immediately wound the watch up, set the date and put it on. Everything was fine while I was walking around town and running errands, but then, after I got home and watched a movie, I noticed that it had lost about an hour. I chalked it up to the watch possibly "settling in" (though this seems a bit extreme), so I wound it back up and put it on. Everything was fine until I sat back down and remained still for a while.

I've come to realize that the watch will keep time just fine if I'm in constant movement, but if I lay the watch down still, within 5-20 minutes the second hand will lock up exactly at the 45 second mark, and begin working if I give it a strong tap. I've read about old Omega movements that are "sticky" and will jump a few seconds ahead after becoming unstuck due to a faulty friction spring (see here: Omega Constellation Collectors: Jerky Second Sweeps on Omega Constellations), but mine does not do this, it completely stops and will not move again until I whack it. Any ideas what this could be? Suggestions? I'd rather not send it all the way back to Australia, so I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that it is simply some debris stuck in the gears that will bust loose after a couple of days. I have 7 days to return it to Watchco, so I have a little breathing room here. Any ideas are very welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should also mention that it keeps good time when it's not stuck at the 45 second mark, as far as I can tell.
 

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The 562 can easily be serviced by a competent local watchmaker. If it were my watch, I would find a good local watchmaker and have them look it over. The 5xx movements are robust and it's doubtful it needs anything major. And if it does, parts are still plentiful. It's my feeling that too many things can happen in shipment to and from Australia. If WatchCo were around the corner, it would be a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's good to know, autofiend, I appreciate it. Watchco suggested that I go to a watchmaker here, who in turn suggested that I return the watch to Australia. While Watchco has been good about this, I was a little surprised to see the watch in a standard padded bag instead of a box that could provide a little more protection for such a long and perilous trip. They told me that they test all of their watches before shipment to guarantee that they run, and say that something must've happened during transit. The second hand has plenty of clearance, and the fact that it keeps decent time yet only seems to stop at the exact same point makes me think that there is either debris or a dinged gear. I mean, if it's a completely full charge, it'll go about 20 minutes before it sticks, and then it'll stick on every single rotation until I fully charge it up again.

But yeah, I really don't want to send it back. Getting stuck at customs or being dinged up again on the trip to or fro worries me. On the bright side, it is indeed a very cool piece. Shame the hands are painted with C3 while the dial is C1, though. The color difference makes it look like a replica. Maybe I'll send it off to have them relumed.

Feels nice to make my first real post here. Just for the record, I own a GMT Co-axial Bond and a JLC Reverso Grande Taille, and the Bond keeps better and more reliable time than my other two pieces. I tried to become a snob for a minute and tinker with really "high-end" "in-house" pieces, but I have to say Omega makes my favorite watches for all-around use.
 

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Just a comment on "debris busting loose" - if this is the problem, then remember that debris will continue to roam around the movement, and will likely cause issues down the road. As noted it's not a difficult movement to service (I've serviced plenty of this series) so a trip to a local watchmaker is likely your best bet if you don't want to send it back to Oz.

On the hands, I have relumed sets for my clients who also did not like the slight tint when compared to the dial. Personally having the lume not match drives me nuts, and they do look much better when the hands have been done. Here's an example of one I did earlier this year:



Lume macthes in the dark as well now:



Cheers, Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, that does look a lot better. I'll ask my local shop if they can do it, but I read about some other people who offer this service if my shop can't do it. How much should a luming of the hands with C1 cost?
 

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I have been thinking of reluming the hands on my SM300 Vintage a long time and i have just ordered a "White Luminous Paint Kit, Bergeon 5680-B-07", i hope it's the right one if not please steer me in the right direction.

As for the stopping movement it could be debris, a damaged part, cracked/worn/misaligned jewel, to weak mainspring etc etc the only remedy is giving it a service.
 

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The guys (and gals) at Watchco are usually super helpful but unfortunately you are situated quite some way from them. Have you asked them if they would consider you getting the watch looked at where you are, getting a written quote for works required, forwarding it to them and seeing if they'll come to the party with some of the repair costs? Worth a try and might save you having to send it back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, they told me they would either take the watch back and do the repairs there or help with costs if I decided to do it here, which is more than reasonable on their part. The local watchmaker originally suggested that I take it back, but I went back there and dropped it off this morning and am currently awaiting his opinion on the problem. I will report the issue just in case someone like me is searching around on the internet with the same problem, even though I know there can be a multitude of causes. The next goal will be to get the hands lumed with C1, for sure.
 

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Daniel, I know exactly the problem that you are speaking about. My recent experience with my Seamaster SM300 rebuild; the cal. 565 movement had the exact same issue. The first signs of a problem were a great loss of time (usually between 1 - 2 hours) which happened intermittently. Then, the second hand began stopping between the 30 - 45 minute mark; intermittently at first and then would just stop all the time unless tapped.

I took it into my local watchmaker who suggested a total rebuild of the movement. There was a slight issue of the seconds hand stopping momentarily and jumping when I got it back. Took it back to the watchmaker for a look see and it has been running fine ever since.

I would suggest sending it back to Watchco as it could cost you a lot of $ to have it fixed locally.

Anyways, here is my formerly sick SM300 that now has a clean bill of health saying "hello".

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your response, Derek. I took it to the shop and am still waiting for the watchmaker to get back to me with a diagnosis of the problem. I'm really hoping it's something simple and I don't want to pay for the watchmaker to look at it AND to send it back to Australia, but it's looking grim. Will update with info as I get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just in case anyone was wondering, my watchmaker seems to have identified the problem: a small piece of rodico (cleaning putty) stuck in one of the pinions. He cleaned it out and everything seems to be running ok, he's going to hold it for a couple of days on the winder just to make sure. Also, if anyone happens to Google WatchCo sm300 movements, he told me that it was in top-notch condition, along with the rest of the watch. It was just a piece of putty the size of a pinhead that was causing the problem, which he said is a common accident that happens all of the time. The repair was far less than the cost of sending it back to Australia, also, which saves me time as well. Thumbs up from me. Now the next step is to C1 the hands with IWW and have my Reverso regulated. Thanks to everyone who chimed in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, they agreed to cover the cost up to a reasonable amount (the cost of shipping, which is what it would cost them if I just sent it back to Australia for another movement, which they also agreed to provide). I still haven't received the final bill from the watchmaker yet, but everything seems like it should work out. I'm hoping the problem was really that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, the shop called today and told me the watchmaker was sick and wouldn't be back until Friday o| I picked it up anyway and told them I'd bring it back on Friday when he returns, just so I'd have a little time with it to make sure he corrected the original problem of the second hand sticking at :45. Thankfully, the watch is running on time, but the second hand is jumpy (which, to be fair, the watchmaker said he was going to fix as soon as he got back, since it was something he caused and was a five minute fix). Very happy to have it back in my possession for a couple of days before the watchmaker and then Jack at IWW lumes the second hands with white. Here are a couple of crappy cell phone shots of the semi-healthy sm300 on a tropic. I must say it is the perfect vintage sports watch, with its combination of history and timeless design. Plus it makes the perfect counterbalance to my Reverso, which makes me want to wear dress clothes in the summer just so I can put it on. The lime green hands are driving me nuts, though. Not fitting at all. Real pictures will come with the final product.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
 

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Hi

Sorry if this is a dumb question but can anyone enlighten me about the difference in the lume between hands and face which has been mentioned? Why do Watcho do this? Is is to approximate how the watches looked when new and, if so, why did Omega do it?

All the best.

Michael
 
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