Having family commitments as well as a very busy workshop sometimes it leaves me with less time than id like to add new and interesting posts to this blog, however it's been a while so here's some fresh new posts coming up to entertain you all :)
The Seiko Alpinist is a truly great little watch and certainly a popular piece whether your a collector or not, with great looks and a reliable proven mechanical history ( 7S26 onwards etc ) its certainly a winner. Almost sad now that they are no longer made or sold but if you look online your sure to find one or two crop up, even when they do you will part with a small sum for what is a great tool watch.
Without doubt a great looking watch, nothing overly complicated just simple and practical with a few useful features thrown in. The look of the watch is somewhat of a mix between new and old, the skeleton hands add to that vintage style look and the casing shape is not too dissimilar to older styles either. With a 6R15 calibre, Seiko have built on their 7SXX/4RXX success and improved on it, manual winding, hacking seconds, rapid date, and well known reliability and timekeeping, so what more could you need :)
So how does that rotating bezel work ??
Plastic is often looked upon now as an inferior material and although full metal gear and bezel would be nice they would add to the cost. Further to cost, metal would require some sort of lubrication to keep it turning smooth and reduce wear, fortunately some plastics have self lubricating properties so this is likely the reasoning behind plastic for the gear and bezel ( aside from cost of course ). So let's get the movement out and see the finish on that dial....
The movement used in this watch is a great choice, whilst similar in appearance to the famous 7S26 the 6R15 does have a few extra parts and functions so requires a little more effort to service than its younger generation. Overall the movement is a well engineered marvel, take the success of the earlier design and add real usable features such as hacking and manual winding, a few extras parts and a few simple changes and voila ! For those who want to see the full strip down view the photo gallery below >
When the watch arrived it was running 30/60 seconds slow a day but after service it was running a absolute treat, the casing was given a light clean and the whole watch put back together ready for working life again. Having owned many many Seiko's i surprise myself for never having owned one of these, perhaps one day i will but for now returning this one to its happy owner will suffice :)
On occasion i do get a brain fart and forget to take photos after a service is finished, so this time no after shots, big apologies , will do better next time :)
In today's blog we take a look at a lovely vintage Seiko world timer from one of my returning customers. This model was actually in pretty good shape all things considered but there was a little work to do to bring it back to its best :) Lets crack on......
Stripping down the movement is fairly straight forward and so i won't bore you with over details and just cover the important bits :)
Every once in a while you may find the oscillating weight can come apart, not just on Seiko's but other automatics as well. Most occasions its best to replace them outright, but sometimes with a little tlc you can repair them back into working order.....
With the casing being cleaned i set to work on rebuilding the movement, checking each component for damage and where needed replace parts. During assembly each small system is checked before adding the next stage, by double checking at each stage you can identify problems early on rather than having to strip it down again later.
With the movement complete and running nicely the case work was then the next stage, taking care not to ruin original lines a light cosmetic clean up was the order of business. As the casing was cleaning after polish we re-dial the movement and fix the hands in place, this stage we also check the hands are moving correctly.
Vintage Seikos are always a pleasure to bring back to life, this model has a most wonderful silver cloth dial mixed with contrasting black & blue print of the 24 hours zone and the orange ring denoting the cities. Overall i was very pleased with this watch, both timing and finish were really good and i was happy to send this one home :)
If you enjoy this blog then feel free to leave a comment, also check out my youtube channel as i am planning some video restoration diaries :)
Up next..... Seiko Pogue Double Trouble & IWC UTC Automatic !
Just in this past week or so was this slightly neglected Seiko Slimdate featuring a stunning 30 jewel automatic movement. Seiko collectors eyes light up when it comes to the fancy and famous pieces (Pogue, 62MAS, SKX etc ) but there are plenty of great quality pieces that are very under appreciated and certainly worth collecting.
This gem is not a customer watch but one i found at auction and it seemed in fairly good condition for a gold plated Seiko as most tend to be badly worn. The styling is simple but smart and originally this line of watch would have been intended for the businessman of the era but could easily have been worn for evening occasions as well. The watch is fitted with a high quality 30 jewel automatic movement in the form of the calibre 840 ( Suwa Large 1963-1969 ), although there were higher jewel counts available i think 30 jewels is plenty enough.
Below is a series of photos during the strip down, we can see an advanced auto winding mechanism when compared to the single stage gearing of the more modern 7S26 style movement calibres. Also visible is the indirectly driven seconds pinion as you would find on high quality Swiss watches of the same period ( or even today for that matter ). Note also a small winding gear for the watchmakers benefit in order to manually wind the movement prior to testing :)
As is fairly typical after years of use the crown has seen better days, so this would need to be changed for something new. Finding originals can be hard work but thankfully there are a good amount of generic crowns that can work and are of equal quality.
After some TLC and a good service the watch was finally ready and boy did it shine ! Im not a fan of gold watches but sometimes you can just admire something for what it is and this Slimdate is one of those things. Feel free to view the gallery photos >>
I could not source an original glass for this model but luckily i did find a nice flat glass with an attractive bevelled edge to give it that extra wow factor, sadly this is harder to show in photo form than real life :)
More blogs to follow so check back soon !
Watches can often be more than just an instrument for telling time, for some it is a link to their past, whether the watch is a birthday gift or handed down from father to son a watches value can mean so much more than just its physical value. This watch was sent in for a full work up as the watch previously belonged to the customers father and he wanted it to be brought back to life so it can be enjoyed. So with due care and some tlc lets see what became of this little gem.....
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair