Seiko 5s -- Good things happening here

Jul 30, 2020,15:36 PM

The Situation

I have had a watch laying around my house for about a month. It was a nice Seiko5 with cracked crystal, filthy dirty bracelet and won't-stay-running movement.  I have no BEFORE photo of the wreck. But it had crown at 4, day and date window with black rings.

A friend brought it over - I put it on my timing machine and it barely running. It's his only watch and he wanted to save it, but didn't want to spend too much as he's out of work right now (familiar story).

We talked about alternatives but since it was his only watch and he needed one immediately, I sold him a Seiko5 for $50 that I've had for 10 years. Crown at 3, day and date on white rings.

It was "running fine" for me, but as soon as I sold it to him, it started sulking and ALSO wouldn't stay wound overnight after wearing all day. 

We went over for his 70th birthday dinner Tuesday and he gave it back to me.

Now I have two non-running watches on my table and I loaned him my last Seiko5  (modeled below by Mrs C). Crown at 4 day and date rings are white!

The Alternatives
  • Make my friend start exercising instead of sitting inside all the time (but he's old) & talk him into keeping the Seiko5 with Arabics
  • Ignore the broken ones and use all my other watches instead 
  • Chuck the two watches out 
  • Take movements out, service and rebuild them
  • Buy new movements and replace them
The Solution

After 24 hours of contemplation, yesterday I opened his watch, took a look, and decided not to work on the movement.

I got on the phone, called a supplier and ordered 2 movements -- a 7S26C and a 7S36A.  Total cost $150 including tax and shipping. They arrived this morning.

His watch

I boiled some water for a cup of tea, poured the rest into a little bowl with the watch case. After the case was nice and hot, I pressed in a new crystal that I had laying around in my inventory. 
When the case cooled it was snug all around the crystal.

I threw the bracelet in the ultrasonic cleaner for an hour. In that time I pulled the hands, removed the dial, and swapped his black day & date rings for the white one on the new movement. If you don't do this, you might get wonky alignment on the day and date because the replacement movements all assume 3 o'clock crown. I put it back together. 

I cleaned the bracelet with an hour in the ultrasonic cleaner and some toothbrushing. Sparking clean water turned into this soup. 

Installed new spring bars, and viola! Now it's running like a champ AND looking good again.

Now. do I give it to him as a birthday present? Take mine back?

My former watch

This was easier. I pulled the movement out, removed the hands and dial, put the day ring onto the new movement (date ring matched my old one) and put the dial and hands back on. 
Popped it into the case and now its back together again. (Ok, I also cleaned the case, cleaned up the gasket, etc etc)

Now when winter comes I will have something to do - rebuild these (maybe)


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Comments: view entire thread


It may sound weird

 By: henryrover : July 30th, 2020-16:18
But bringing the two watches back to life is a touching story to me. You did a wonderful job

Thanks - I can't bear to just toss watches away

 By: cazalea : July 30th, 2020-16:57
Obviously I wouldn't be able to make a living at it, but I can rescue and revive a few. Cazalea

It’s always a joy to read your posts, @cazalea

 By: George Gently : July 30th, 2020-22:45
This one was another nice short story and somehow makes me more interested in Seiko... Have a great weekend ahead! Regards, George

Thank you

 By: cazalea : August 1st, 2020-22:03
I’m halfway through and looking forward to the rest of the weekend ...

Great story Mike...

 By: cshimokita : July 31st, 2020-14:44
First of all 70 is not old, my doctor confirmed last week. At the moment my daily wear is the Seiko 5 SNZG11K1, an export only model normally not available here in Japan. Day, date, with indicators at 3:00... great to be reminded of the day of the week ; ...  

Maybe your mainspring is worn out ...?

 By: cazalea : July 31st, 2020-15:10
⏱. ⏲. ⏰. 🕰

hahaha... not in this case... any / every automatic I choose

 By: cshimokita : July 31st, 2020-17:17
has to go on the winder during the day ; )

Just an amateur guessing, Doc

 By: cazalea : August 1st, 2020-22:04
Sorry didn’t mean to be diagnosing...


 By: Ginseng108 : August 2nd, 2020-17:48
Simply amazing work. I couldn't imagine doing this but the results speak for themselves. Very well done.