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  1. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    Ok, not quite dumpster finds but they were "cheap" for a reason.

    The Aquaracer is full of DNA and has lived a hard life. It got chucked in a drawer after the original owner got told by the local TAG AD that he will need a complete new bracelet for $500 and he had to commit to a full service for $800 as it was in "desperate need based on the condition". It had to be sent to Switzerland because they don't service chrono's at the local AD. As you can see it's only one of the removable links that broke and I managed to find two spare ones. Some of the pin and tubes in the non removable links are also on their last legs, so I'll probably end up having to strip all the links and service the whole bracelet in the end. Which is gonna suck as they're incredibly difficult to take apart. I'll obviously service the movement as it runs and stops.

    The Link is actually pretty cool as it's Chronometer Certified using an ETA2892A2. This wasn't a very common choice for the "cheap" Link range (I say "cheap" many times but it should be taken in context of what good examples sell for used. None of these were Seiko cheap). It's missing the bracelet (which will stay missing I'm afraid) and the crown threads are stripped. It also looks a little rough but at least it runs, so I'll be polishing it up a bit and service the movement.

    Lastly is the Carrera I showed elsewhere. As later pics will show it appears to have a scratched up crystal and there's internal debris under it. The bezel insert also has two dings. It sorta runs but stops after a little while. I grabbed this one as it came with all the extra bracelet links, papers, box, etc. I've already ordered the original crystal, bezel insert and gaskets as in the pic.

    [​IMG]

    For now I'll be tackling the Carrera as that's the one I like the most.
     
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  2. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    So, that Carrera.
    [​IMG]

    TLDR; those marks aren't because of a scratched crystal...

    Let's get it on the timegrapher and oh dear...
    [​IMG]
    Running pretty fast, amplitude is way down (these should be hitting 300deg all day long) and the beat error is atrocious. I've had similar movements read almost to spec even after 15 years of no servicing. So someone's been into this thing.

    In this shot it doesn't look like there's any scratches on the crystal. That's when the light eventually turned on in my head that this one has some "secrets". You'll also notice that the end links don't sit quite right either.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Oh dear, look at how bent the spring bars and end link are.
    [​IMG]
    I'm sorry to say I used some words that would make a sailor with Tourettes blush while trying to get those out.
    [​IMG]
    And one of the bent end links. Why would someone do that?
    [​IMG]
     
    Edited Nov 13, 2022
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  3. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    Ok, let's get the movement out of the case. I notice the case clamps aren't tight...
    [​IMG]
    Notice how rough the outer diameter of the dial is? That's is covered by the chapter ring and because the movement was loose inside the case, that area was rubbing against the chapter ring. Guess where the debris under the crystal came from...

    Huh. That rotor has slight marks where it probably rubbed against the movement and signs of excess oil. That will be a theme going forward.
    [​IMG]
    That rotor bearing will be replaced. I suppose I don't need to tell anyone on this forum that a Caliber 16 is a Valjoux 7750. Point is, because of that parts are cheap and commonly available from the usual material houses. So there's no excuse to change that bearing when servicing one of these. Oh, and for those that say you don't need to service a watch, well I have news for you - you should. This is not a Seiko (and I love Seikos so not dissing those) with wide tolerances. ETA's have pretty tight tolerances so they need frequent service. And no, your local strip mall jeweler is probably not set up to service these, especially a chrono.

    [​IMG]
    A bit hard to see on the pic, but the area under the paper on the train bridge is covered in oil
     
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  4. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    Well, let's dig into it then...

    Dial, date disk and jumpers removed. Nothing too scary yet.
    [​IMG]

    Dial plate off
    [​IMG]

    Calendar and winding works removed. Now were seeing signs of way too much oil used by someone. In fact, that looks like thin oil, not the thick oil or grease that should be used on this side.
    [​IMG]

    Flipping it over with the rotor removed
    [​IMG]

    Automatic works bridge removed. As a rule, you replace the reverser wheel during service is there's a lot of wear on these (It's the smaller wheel with the 6 holes)
    [​IMG]

    Mid bridge ready to come off
    [​IMG]

    Hmmm, there's lots of dirt on the ratchet wheel. That's certainly not normal. It's not like there was any water ingress and I cannot think of any lubricant that'll leave that kind of dirt. Weird.
    [​IMG]

    Cam, chrono parts and ratchet removed
    [​IMG]

    Train bridge removed
    [​IMG]

    Aaaand done
    [​IMG]

    All the various parts, ready for the cleaning machine. I had to do a lot of pre-cleaning before hand to remove the excessive lubricant all over the place
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    Whew!! I didn't really take pics for assembly (I generally take these pics for my own reference to add in assembly)

    I've also replaced the mainspring (which you really should when initial timegrapher tests are poor) as a general precaution
    [​IMG]
    There's a reason people say "it's ticking like a swiss watch". I let the movement run for a couple of days after a service for things to settle in. As you can see the Rate, amplitude and beat error is pretty much perfect. Notice the flat line and the bunch of zeroes showing that it isn't gaining or losing rate over time.

    I've done some light polishing to the case but ended up putting the old crystal and bezel insert back as they cleaned up pretty well. I'll keep the spares here for incase I have an oopsie and need a new crystal.

    [​IMG]
    Yeah, my photography leaves a lot to be desired. I was lucky to find a full 2007 TAG catalogue and these are a wealth of info when trying to understand all the variants and bracelet codes. My Carrera is a CV2010-2 revision that was purchased in 2010 at a jeweler in Queensland, according to the warranty card
     
  6. VirgileF

    VirgileF Nov 13, 2022

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    Thank you for these pictures and info ;)
     
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  7. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 13, 2022

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    Pleasure my man. Hopefully lots more coming soon
     
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  8. abrod520

    abrod520 Nov 13, 2022

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    Very fun thread, looking forward to more like it! :thumbsup:
     
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  9. Mspeedster

    Mspeedster Nov 13, 2022

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    Great write up and pics, thanks for sharing! :thumbsup:
     
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  10. dtf

    dtf Nov 13, 2022

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    Very interesting
     
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  11. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Nov 14, 2022

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    Great post, very interesitng!
     
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  12. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Nov 14, 2022

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    Thanks for sharing, this is great. How long do you estimate that movement has gone without a service?

    If I understand you correctly Seiko movements are better cause they can run longer without service so cheaper to maintain the long run.

    What is your opinion on service vs replace? For a sellita sw200, Seiko nh35 and similar it makes more financially sense to just put a new movement in the watch, or what is your opinion?
     
  13. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 14, 2022

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    Wow, some really good questions there. I'll give my opinion below, but as opinions go everyone has their own :)

    I have no idea when it was last serviced, all I know it that at least one service was attempted before. They don't leave the ETA factory with bridges covered in oil like that. The fact that there were many loose screws further confirms my suspicion.

    Better is relative, depending on what your performance vs reliability expectations are. "Modern" Seiko movements can go their whole life without a service and still perform close to their spec towards the end. That being said, they don't perform like a typical quality ETA movement simply because Seiko movements have looser tolerances, so less chance of the smallest bit of wear interfering with the performance of the movement. Then again, a typical Seiko movement has a rate spec of -20 to +30 seconds per day where a typical ETA would be -10 to +10 (don't quote me, I'm going off memory). Any movement will drift between those numbers over time based on temperature, with tighter tolerances making that drift less, with the trade-off being more frequent services when tolerances are tighter. Of course, this can be made less of an issue when you use more jeweled bearing surfaces but this pushes up the price of the movement.

    If you earn a living from watchmaking, you replace a Seiko movement, you don't service it. That doesn't mean it can't be serviced; I service many of them but it's more a labour of love. Then again I don't earn a living as a watchmaker - I'm just a real passionate hobbyist with a fair amount of experience. A Sellita would be handled on case by case basis. If it's a simple unadorned movement then it may just be cheaper to replace it but when it has Perlage'd surfaces a replacement would be a lot more expensive, so you might want to cough up for a service rather. I guess the same could be said for an ETA 7750 as well.
     
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  14. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 28, 2022

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    Further to the watch I showed in the WRUW thread:
    [​IMG]

    I didn't take too much pics. It's the same Caliber 16 (Valjoux 7750) that I showed above already. It was actually running ok when I got it, but I'm pretty sure it never had a service from new. Amplitude was at around 270deg and it was losing 5s/d - decent enough but after 15 years a service was due and I'm glad I did it.

    [​IMG]

    Again, pools of oil. This is the way it left the factory (as mentioned earlier, I'm pretty sure it's never been serviced). So much for Swatch and their fight against independent repair, because only THEY can service a watch properly (although clearly they can't oil it properly).

    [​IMG]

    Another weird one on the escape wheel. It's a little hard to see detail in the pic properly, but it looks like condensation on there under proper optics. First time I've ever seen that and there's no other signs of condensation anywhere else. That does look suspiciously like epilame treatment that wasn't dried properly, but I'm guessing here.

    [​IMG]

    After going through the wash there was no signs of any damage on the escapement though. I do have spares to replace but it turned out not to be required.

    [​IMG]

    Dial back and running the chrono for a day to make sure it works ok before fitting the rest of the hands. To be honest, Chrono hand removal isn't the same as a normal 3 hander where you just pry the hands off with levers. That centre seconds hand is on there pretty tight and because it's so high in the stack, you risk damaging the small seconds hand and pinion. I like using these lifting spacers in order to get the leverage I need without marring anything else

    [​IMG]

    And finally, it's running like a champ. I think this is pretty much the highest amplitude I've got from any 7750 I've serviced before

    [​IMG]

    Comments and questions welcome as always!!
     
  15. Pitfitter446

    Pitfitter446 Nov 28, 2022

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    Is there any advantage to the average collector getting a machine like yours to check their watches performance? Or would that just be a cause of unnecessary worry.:whistling:
     
  16. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 28, 2022

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    Hmmm, good question. Obviously it's important to me, because I need it to validate my work or to use it as a diagnostic tool to determine what may be wrong.

    But to answer your question; it depends on if you'd rather not know how bad a certain piece is, or if you want to have piece of mind? Either way, no matter what many watch enthusiasts believe, an automatic watch needs regular servicing. The fact that someone hasn't done so for 30 years and their watch is still "fine" doesn't change the fact that that watch might be eating itself up inside - something you won't know unless your either open the watch and check or if you put it on a timegrapher. Of course, it should also be noted that great timegrapher reading doesn't mean everything will be fine, it might just be fine at that point. It's like neglecting to service your car; Everything is fine till, well, it isn't. What could've been prevented by regular servicing has now turned into a possible total loss. And if you have a vintage piece, regular servicing becomes more important because if things wear out they might not be available to replace.

    TL;DR: Yes, get a timegrapher (even the cheap 1000 series ones are good enough). Make sure you understand what it tells you and if you don't, you ask here. And service your watch! :D
     
  17. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 29, 2022

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    I just can’t help myself. I don’t mind the modding scene, but doing a pusher and crown delete might be taking things a bit too far…

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. gbyleveldt

    gbyleveldt Nov 29, 2022

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    The insides of the watch I posted in the WRUW thread. Anyone care to take a guess at what’s wrong in this picture (and I’m not referring to TAG’s use of a plastic spacer ring)

    Hint: if you looking at the balance wheel you’re getting warmer.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Nov 29, 2022

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    Yum, that silver dial is delicious, one of the finest silver dials ever from TAG
     
  20. Jim Dollares

    Jim Dollares Nov 29, 2022

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    I have no idea about the movement :rolleyes:

    Wouldn't mind to hear your explanation about the plastic movement holder though. Many comments online complain about this but usually you see no explanation except that "bohooo plastic is cheaper than metal", while as the pro plastic ring people sometimes claim the plastic ring is more shock resistant.