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What to do when your Seiko is running exceptionally fast. Exceptionally fast is + seconds per hour. Since there are weekly posts about this issue I thought I'd try to make finding the solution easier.

Originally posted by Fugit

I am not a watchmaker, so follow this advice purely at your own risk. But, it worked for me.

I received my first new Seiko, a Black Monster, back in October. Out of the box, it was gaining 10 seconds a MINUTE. I was disgusted, but I hate sending stuff back, so I did some research. It appears that the hairspring of the 7S26B can get hung up on the regulator pins if it takes a sharp impact. Mine was definitely not magnetized - it had no effect whatsoever on the needle of a good Suunto compass.

Based on posts on this forum, and others, it appears that the fast-out-of-the-box problem is common. However, the 7S26B seems to be very reliable in actual use. My theory is that the dynamics of the balance wheel are such that the hairspring is vulnerable when the mainspring is unwound and everything is "loose", but better controlled once the mainspring is driving everything.

Back to the solution. I tapped the watch, on a cloth-covered wooden table, alternately on the caseback and on the edge opposite the crown. Based on pictures of the movement, this seemed the logical direction to get the hairspring back in place. I have no way of calibrating the force used, but I would call it fairly hard "taps", but short of "banging" (all with wrist and finger motion, not moving my elbow). A level of force that I wouldn't expect to damage anything, and that certainly wouldn't mar the case in any visible way (in case I ended up sending it back after all).
The result: on about the 6th tap, the second hand visibly slowed, and the watch began to keep time. I have worn it daily since, with about +4sec/day accuracy on average and no problems at all. Your mileage may vary.
As far as the demagnetizing suggestion, that might actually work, in an indirect way. Demagnetizers, at least that I am familiar with, also make ferrous metals vibrate. This might shake the hairspring back in place, even if the watch was not magnetized to begin with. I would add that it would be fairly difficult to magnetize a watch in typical shipping packaging, with the box enforcing several inches of effective air gap around the watch itself. Also, the 007 is an ISO diver, with a fair degree of antimagnetic protection (not quite up to Milgauss or Gaussman level, but still more than an unprotected watch).
 

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Hey John:

Thanks for compiling this for us. It's good info for this FAQ.

Can we get this stickied...since it's such a prevalent question?
 

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Maybe this post should be made sticky......
 

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Should definitely somehow be added to a sticky of some sort....can you imagine now all the guys/gals taking their watches to a cloth covered table and start tapping short of banging them! If my OM wasn't the most accurate automatic I've ever owned I would try this :)
 

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Funny I run across this post almost a year after this happened to me. I've got a SCVS013 that ran awfully fast (per minute!).

In the moment of discovery & frustration, I banged the watch against a table. Worked perfectly...running well within spec ever since.

Didn't know what happened, but after reading fugit's post, glad to know that I performed expert service.
 

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Wow, just banged my Seiko 5 against a table and now it is running normal again after idiotic 10s fast per minute!
 

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Wow, just banged my Seiko 5 against a table and now it is running normal again after idiotic 10s fast per minute!
Glad to hear all is okay. Just be careful how much bang is in your "bang." We don't want anything shaken loose in there. ;-)
 

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How hard is hard? Mine runs about 2 min fast a day. I've tried to "bang" my sammurai on a mouse cushion on top of the table. Just waited till it wound down and just did it. I did it fairly hard, and it shook a bit (like the autowinder (?) was spinning around inside). I tried it yesterday but it was still had juice and didn't make a difference. Might try demagging later this week.
 

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What if your seiko runs exceptionally slow? mine is running around -15 sec a day and I would like to make it faster. Any posts on this?
 

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What if your seiko runs exceptionally slow? mine is running around -15 sec a day and I would like to make it faster. Any posts on this?
That is not exceptionally slow. Its somewhat on the outer edge of normal. Exceptionally fast/slow is seconds per minute or multiple minutes per day off.
Yours is within seiko specs for 7s26. If you are not happy with that, you can have it regulated to something less than half of that per day, usually. It is unlikely to land within say 3s per day, as it is a mechanical watch. I'm usually happy with +\- 6s or so.
 

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Yes, 15 seconds per day is not remarkably slow for a mechanical watch. If you want to tighten up the error rate then remove the back and carefully move the adjuster to effectively shorten the hairspring length. Or ask your watch maker to do it.
 

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yea, i figured it was within specs but i guess i've just had better luck with my other watches. Since my invicta 8930 was +5 out of the box until I stupidly dropped it and my blue mako is +5 sec also. However, I've noticed that when I take my monster off when I sleep I actually gain quite a few seconds, so over the past 2 days I have only lost about 17 sec overall. I might go to a watchmaker to get it regulated if I feel like having it more accurate though lol.
 

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Knocking, banging or slapping a watch around is never a very good idea. More damage can be done than simply dislodging the hung up hair spring. Sure the main pivots are shock protected but banging the watch around could damage the tips of the palette stones or even knock them out of alignment or the roller jewel on the balance staff could be knocked off.It is also possible that the hands could be jarred out of alignment then you will have something else to worry about.

It's just not a good practice :-(
 

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yea, i figured it was within specs but i guess i've just had better luck with my other watches. Since my invicta 8930 was +5 out of the box until I stupidly dropped it and my blue mako is +5 sec also. However, I've noticed that when I take my monster off when I sleep I actually gain quite a few seconds, so over the past 2 days I have only lost about 17 sec overall. I might go to a watchmaker to get it regulated if I feel like having it more accurate though lol.
I've never had a mechanical that I couldn't regulate to +/- 8s/day or better, including my 7s26 Seikos. It can be very time consuming, esp without timing equipment but, IMO, it's worthwhile.
 

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How do you know after you tap it on a table with a towel that it has corrected itself, I tapped on a cloth and tapped the back case with my finger, felt a slight fibration and now it is keep time perfect
 

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How hard is hard? Mine runs about 2 min fast a day. I've tried to "bang" my sammurai on a mouse cushion on top of the table. Just waited till it wound down and just did it. I did it fairly hard, and it shook a bit (like the autowinder (?) was spinning around inside). I tried it yesterday but it was still had juice and didn't make a difference. Might try demagging later this week.
Tap the back case, Position the watch at 45 degree angle. point of ref your stomach 45 degrees to towards the floor, then sturdy, straight taps to the middle of the back case, I would do 7 or 8 then compare to a second hand to see if seconds have been correct. I tried the cloth and table trick with my O monster, nothing. Tapped on the side nothing, shook it nothing, tapped it into my hands felt something spinning inside nothing. Finally while tapping I was trying to get a good look at the casing tapped sturdy a little bit hard 8 times at 45 degree angle now it keeps time to the T
 
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