This lovely little Avia came to me after the owner took it to a watchmaker for repair and was told " parts aren't available for it anymore ". It can be quite disheartening to hear that a once treasured possession can no longer be fixed, but luckily in this case it turns out not to be true.
After an initial inspection the movement appeared to be in good condition with no visible signs of damage, unfortunately the front mineral glass was not so lucky and this would have to be replaced. A good service should see the movement back in action and whilst the movement is being cleaned i set to work restoring the case.
FHF 905 Calibre Strip Down
Whilst a little dirty and lacking lubrication the movement showed signs of life once freed from the casing.
The glass had shattered and spread shards and fine dust particles everywhere, so a good and careful clean was the order of the day >
Casing/ Re Buff & Polish
With the movement being cleaned i set to work cleaning the casing prior to buffing and polishing. There were a few marks and dents present but nothing that would nothing that wouldn't buff out. The casing front had both a polished surface as well as two brushed finish sections, these would require buffing and then re finishing by hand.
Its always important to clean any casings prior to buffing & polishing work otherwise you can transfer dirt and other debris to the buffing & polishing wheels which in turn can scratch and damage the case.
With the movement cleaned it was assembled and lubricated and regulated back to good order. The timing was actually superb and well within specs expected of higher grade watches ( -4+7 Sec/Day - 250+Amp - 0.0ms Beat error ). The casing polished up quite nicely and a new German made acrylic glass was fitted to finish the watch. Quite enjoyable to work on this piece and now it can be enjoyed once more by the owner >>
It's not too often i work with vintage ladies movements but once in a while it's good to remember just how small these Swiss movements can get. Always up for a challenge this watch had been given a death sentence by the jewellers as being " unrepairable, can't get parts " , now that's not the attitude to have now is it :)
Working with such minute parts there are some limitations to what can be repaired and what can't but i always try to repair first before replacing, follow along below for the process start to finish >>>
Strip Down & Balance
With the watch uncased i place the movement on a £1 coin to give you all some perspective of just how small these marvels are >
With pressure applied to the centre wheel the movement runs, not well but motion is present. As can be seen the balance cap jewel has been glued back into position which is far from ideal and likely the primary cause for the movement not to be running. The regulator pin is also bent and crushing the hairspring in position, not good, time to strip the balance and get a closer look. >>>
Remaining movement stripped for cleaning >>>
Reassembly & Testing
As any watchmaker can testify nothing is plain sailing with watch repair, sure enough despite my efforts to repair the balance the part was no good so the entire cock was replaced. Testing showed a few glitches but after some cleaning in essence and a tinker here & there she was running smoothly again.
With the movement sorted the casing, hands, and glass can be cleaned up ready to have the now running movement re fitted. The dial sadly is a little weathered but little can be done in this case so its left as is. Below photo before any work >
The acrylic glass is tiny but should polish up without issue >>
Casing after initial polishing >>>
The finished watch.....
With all work complete the watch is assembled and ready to return to her owner. The timing was further improved and should be wearable on a daily basis or may be just special occasions either way shes a working nicely once more :D
Seiko's are one of the few brands that capture such a wide audience of collectors, from the high end Grand Seiko's to the budget conscious Sports 5, there is something for everybody whatever the budget. With vintage Seiko's pieces growing in popularity there is fierce competition for the scraps left at the Seiko table, and whilst everyone is fighting over the more infamous Pogues & Chrono's i keep a close eye for those more subtle Seiko's that fly under the radar.
If there is one thing Seiko do well its classical design, and none more so than the simple but elegant layout of this next watch, the 7625E-8050 or "The Classic" as i call it. A classical and beautiful watch does not have to cost the earth and fortunately this gem was a bargain, but its clear she was going to need a full spa treatment to get her looking her best. So without further a do lets get to the business end of things >>
As can be seen the glass is badly scratched and will have to be replaced, the casing has age related scratches and damage that should buff up just fine. Fortunately the movement although not working looks to be in good condition and a full service should set things right again.
Uncasing & Strip Down
With the movement removed the casing looks to be in need of a good clean before any buffing & polishing can be done, but it looks good and should come up nicely. Onto the movement strip down >
Seiko 7625E Automatic - 17 Jewel Non hacking
The movement arrived in not working order and its clear from the strip down that the lack of lubrication and build up of debris and dried oils are preventing a good clean signal. Time to strip the movement down and get her cleaned up >
With the movement stripped down the more stubborn dried oils were gently lifted with the use of a glass fibre brush before being put into my Brenray cleaner.
Assembly & Regulation
With parts cleaned its time to get the movement assembled paying extra attention to lubrication of the balance jewels. The balance is soaked in Renata Essence as a final stage prior to lubrication as this is the best cleaner for removing all unwanted oils/grease/debris, any still dirty jewels are cleaned with pegwood and rodico. >>
Timing & Accuracy
With the movement assembled the watch swung into action and before any regulation a quick check on the timegrapher shows a healthy watch once more. The reading is taken after only 3 winds of the mainspring ( or 1/20th the full power ) showing just how effective a good clean and lubrication can be :)
Now i really can't complain at that now can i ! After a full wind and a few small adjustments the watch settled around +6 to - 7 ( Amp 220-260/Beat error 0.1ms ).
Dial, Hands & Recasing
As with any watch there is little point in putting effort into the movement and leaving the eye candy all banged up. The new glass arrived in quick time ready to be fitted to the newly refinished casing
Choosing the right strap can be tricky but at the end of the day personal choice is what really matters so i decided to go with something new. Fitted is a nice new Shark Skin grain Leather with polished deployment clasp which really compliments the polishing finish of the casing. As always i will let the photos speak for them selves....enjoy :)
With classic looks and superb timing what more can you really need ?
Automatic mechanical wristwatches have been around quite a while and no matter how many i see they all seem to blend into one another, but every now and again you come across something a little more special. When you think of a mechanical watch with a day & date compication you'd usually think of a Seiko or maybe even a ETA based watch but we often forget how stunning the vintage day/date watches were and this Avia Daytyme is truly a blast from the past :)
Movement - Felsa 4009 - 30 Jewel Automatic
11.5"' ( 26mm ) - 17/21/25 Jewel Standard Movements - 18,000A/h - Sweeping Seconds
Production - 1960-1970's
Similar movements by Felsa / Calibres 4019/4008/4018
The particular movement of this Avia has an additional 5 jewels added to take the total to 30 Jewels, the additional jewels are added in form of screw down cap jewels for the drive train pivots both upper & lower.
Condition - Arrived barely working but with day & date functional, overall good condition but dried up lubrication and debris was clearly hindering the movements function, a good service should see the watch right again. Time to strip down and prep for cleaning >
As can be seen form some of the strip down process the movement is in good condition with only debris and dry lube stains that stand in the way. Sadly my camera battery died before i could take anymore photos of the strip down.
Watch Assembled For Testing
With the movement serviced the watch purred into action and timekeeping was surprisingly good for the age. As can be seen below, the timegrapher is showing pretty healthy results considering the movement has't been regulated yet :)
With the movement serviced, casing polished, new armoured glass, new crown, the watch was ready to be fully assembled with a new strap and made ready to wear. As you can see the watch is truly back on form and ready for a new owner :)
Truly a gem of a watch and one to be proud of in any collection ! Gold watches are unfortunately not suited to me ( or at least ive yet to find one ) so this one will be up for grabs in my ebay shop at some point.
For now its back to bench for another challenge :)
Coming next time....
Next up..... Seiko 7625 Automatic - Classic Seiko Design
Hertfordshire based watch restorer. Follow my blog for new watches under restoration/repair