Jump to content

Eta2824 Service - The Radioactive Watch!

Recommended Posts

ETA2824 Service - The Radioactive Watch!


Yes this watch is Radioactive ... so to speak :P

It contains H3 Tritium Tubes to illuminate the dial at night.




This watch belongs to my brother, and he has owned it for many years.  I have to say that Marathon Watches are great "bang for buck", as this watch has served him well over those years, and he rarely takes it off his wrist.

Unfortunately, on one of the rare occasions that he did (to wash his hands after work) he dropped it on the ground, and it stopped dead ... right at his quitting time 3:30pm.  He was very angry with himself, and asked if I could found out what damage had been done by the drop, and repair it ... of course I was happy to help my bro :)




While he was with me, I pulled the Caseback off and could instantly see the problem.  The Hairspring was jammed up and the Balance was seized.  I told him there also could be broken pivots, and I'd have to dig further to assess the total damage; but not to panic, as all parts for this movement are readily available (at the moment) ... so he left the watch with me.






So I removed the movement from the case, pulled the Hands, and the Dial off to inspect the Calendar Works ... everything looked good.




Next I removed the Oscillating Weight, and checked that the bearing hadn't been damaged by the impact ... it was fine too.




Next I pulled the Automatic Work off the movement, so I could gain access to the main body of the watch.




Here's a reference photo of the Automatic Work for ya




Next I undid the screw of the Balance Cock and began to gently lift it ... and hey presto, and Hairspring dropped back into place, and the movement started tickin away ... these are a solid movement indeed!




I carefully watched the movement ticking away, noting to see that the Pallet was working properly, and that the Train Gears ran smoothly ... all seemed fine, and the problem with this movement was resolved.  I could have just stopped there, but this movement hadn't seen a service in over 8 years, and was already out of the case and 1/4 stripped, so I deiced to burn the midnight oil and do a complete service on the watch.


And yes, that is a real radiation dosimeter, as I wanted to be sure nothing from those glass vials had leaked into the movement I was handling ... I'm glad to say it was clean B)




Continuing with the strip down. All mainspring tension was removed from the unit.  Notice with this movement too, that the click is on the Crown Wheel; instead of the Ratchet Wheel.




Balance and Pallet was removed




Crown Wheel, Ratchet Wheel and Barrel Bridge was removed. 

This is a reference photo of the Click Spring sitting on the Barrel Bridge.




Under the Barrel Bridge there is a small Balance Hack to be removed as well.




Next I flipped the movement and removed the Calendar Work.




Then the Keyless Work






Back the to other side and Train Gear was removed.  Here is a reference of the Gear Train.




Lastly the Automatic Work was stripped.




Back from a bath, and all parts clean and ready for inspection and assembly.

All pivots where intact and unburred, no damaged teeth or pallet stones, and no wrapped gears ... GOOD NEWS!!  Ready to be put back together! :woohoo-jumping-smiley-emoticon:




Nice clean and shiny Gear Train, Train Bridge and Barrel back in place and oiled




Back on with the Barrel Bridge, Ratchet Wheel, Crown Wheel and Click




Keyless Work clean, oiled and working smooooooth




Automatic Work back together as well




The rest of the re-assembly wasn't photographed ... sorry guys, it was VERY late, or should I say EARLY, in the wee hours of the morning, and I just got carried away with the build :huh: But it all went smoothly and as per the reference photos early.


After the Dial was attached, the hands where next.  Let me tell ya, these are NOT easy to fit correctly!  With those glass tubes of H3, there is NO room for error fitting them.  You literally have a couple of thousands of an inch to play with ... here's the photos to scare ya :o. 

This type of watch will really test your hand setting abilities.




Here's she is all back in the case with the Automatic Work and Oscillating Weight fitted, purring like a kitten!




Job Complete!!

And as you can see, it now is showing my quittin time of 4:11am  OUCH!! :hot:



Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed working on this movement.  It was really nice to finally work on a watch that hasn't been molested, with nice clean screwheads, and no rust to deal with.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Lawson,  Rolex have had this problem of the hairspring becoming caught up in the regulator,  this picture shows their solution,  the picture is from Legarm's write-up of the Rolex Cal 1560.  I would imagine the guard caused as many problems as it solved,  the Rolex movements I have seen are free sprung which solves the hairspring snagging problem.


A nice write up and a good result,  the clearance of the hands is to say the least challenging.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lawson! Hey that was a great walk-through and diagnostic!  I happen to work in a radioimaging lab and have access to paddle detectors of quite good sensitivity. I have discovered that even when there are no tubes of tritium (as in this example) some old watches will cause the detectors to  go off--this is the distinctive "crackling" sound many of you have seen in the movies.  I had an Eterna-matic with NO LUME (it had Dauphine hands and a regular dial) and that thing would make the detectors go very high indeed. I also had an Omega Seamaster from the 50's with the lume almost completely crumbled off and it too would make the dosimeter detectors go very high. We work with mostly fluorine 18, but also with Carbon 11, and both of these are beta-decay that have high energy positron emission. I decided to sell both because I didn't want to have to deal wearing them in the lab and my colleagues thinking I had contaminated myself!


I haven't done anymore watches because Its the ending of the semester, but I'll be having some free time soon. By the way, those are very nice Zeiss binoculars ya got there! Great job.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very finely detailed service and excellent photos. Thanks.

Just one note to add: tritium is a very low energy beta emitter. The radiation does not even pass through the outer layer of our skin. Your detector could not see it even if it was there, but as a gas most of it would have gone on any case. But keep using the rad detector on those old lumed watches.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/17/2019 at 8:13 AM, JONICURN said:

Great job!  I saw your double loupes in one photo.  I have been tempted to purchase some of my own.  How do they compare to the single traditional loupe?

Also interested in this!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Calvin03
      I just bought A Mido watch pre-owned and certified COSC of course it must be a really accurate watch right but at least +/-10second a day worst
      But this watch run fast like 1- 1.5 minutes a day...from the movement blue screws i see that the watch has never being serviced since it first owner,
      I want to ask,does this watch need service or this watch got magnetize? Cause it just run fast 1-2 minutes fast and i see many articles say that magnetize watch can run fast to hours..
    • By VWatchie
      ETA Calibre 2772 Service Walkthrough Pictures – Disassembly
      (Please sort the pictures by name in ascending order)
      ETA Calibre 2772 Service Walkthrough Pictures – Assembly
      (Please sort the pictures by name in ascending order)
      For the disassembly sequence to make sense it is important that the pictures are sorted by name in ascending order. Generally, the sequence of pictures first shows the part to be removed in its position on the movement and the following picture shows the removed part along with any screws that held it in place.
      For the assembly sequence to make sense it is important that the pictures are sorted by name in ascending order. Generally, the sequence of pictures first shows the part to be assembled along with any screws holding it in place. If needed, the following picture shows the section of the movement where that part is to be assembled along with my lubrication suggestion, and the picture after that shows the part when assembled to the movement.
      Note that this is not a maintenance servicing tutorial. To be able to service a watch movement some basic tools are required as well as some basic skills. It’s not difficult but it requires a bit of practice and perseverance. I’ve used a lot of sources on the internet to learn about servicing and repairing but watchrepairlessons have so far not only been the best source but also the most affordable source I’ve come across. I am a patron of watchrepairlessons but I’m in no way affiliated with it.
      Prior to servicing this calibre 2772, I’ve serviced an ETA calibre 2472 and two ETA calibre 2824-2s and the kinship between these movement is obvious. The 2472 is from the mid-60s, the 2772 is from the mid-70s, and the 2824-2 is from the early 80s. They all have the same type of distinguishing train. The keyless works of the 2472 and the 2772 is of the more traditional type whereas the keyless works of the 2824-2 quite a bit more sophisticated. However, the calendar works of the older 2472 is by far the more complex with its instant flip over of the date. It has been very interesting to study the similarities and differences between these three related automatic ETA movements.
    • By VWatchie
      Vostok 2409 Service Walkthrough Disassembly Pictures (Please sort by name in ascending order)
      Vostok 2409 Service Walkthrough Assembly Pictures (Please sort by name in ascending order)

      Being able to service the ETA calibre 2824-2 was a long-term goal and a dream when I started servicing and repairing watches some years ago. However, my first “calibre love” was the Vostok 2409; a reliable Soviet/Russian 17 jewels manual workhorse without any complications which has been around since 1970. It is still in production and found in Vostok’s Komandirskie series of watches, by some called the AK-47s of the watch world, together with its bigger brother the Vostok Amphibian dive watch.
      Modern-day Vostok Amphibians use the automatic Vostok 2415 (w/o date complication) and 2416 (with date complication) calibres, but the Amphibian that I’m servicing in this walkthrough, an Albatross Radio Room, popular among collectors, is from the 1980s and in those days the manual 2409, as well as its predecessor 2209, was commonly used in the Amphibians as well as the Komandirskies.
      While I was servicing this watch, I noticed that the crystal didn’t fit perfectly in the watch case. Being a serious dive watch originally designed for the Soviet navy this was, of course, unacceptable, so I replaced the crystal and video recorded the event in my “Bergeon No 5500 Crystal Press Review”.
      For me, the 2409 was a great movement to get started with as it probably is the most affordable movement on the planet, and spare parts are readily available and cost next to nothing. A lost or damaged part never spells financial disaster. Also, eBay offers an abundance of used Vostok watches in decent condition housing this movement for as little as $20 and sometimes less. A brand new Vostok 2409 (www.meranom.com) can be had for as little as $27. Be aware that, almost without exception, the eBay listings always state that these Vostok watches have been serviced, but in my experience they never are. Well, maybe dipped in a can of naphtha, left to dry and then injected with a bit of oil here and there. I’ve seen horrible examples!
      A somewhat tricky bit about the 2409 is to remove and replace the anti-shock springs. For this, I use a self-made tool made from peg wood. It’s shown in one of the assembly pictures together with a description of how I made it. A very similar tool is demonstrated in this video.
      Later, as I was working myself through Mark Lovick’s watchrepairlessons.com courses, I trained with the Unitas 6498 pocket watch movement which is the selected movement for the courses. In all honesty, from a learning point, the Unitas 6498 would have been an easier movement to get started with (especially the anti-shock springs), but the tinkering with the Vostok 2409 was a low-cost and fun way to get started and made me better prepared for the courses which answered a bunch of questions and was amazingly instructive.
      Eventually, I plan to publish a “Vostok 2414 Service Walkthrough”. The 2414 is identical to the 2409 but adds a very uncomplicated date complication.
      So, if you want a whole lot of fun for next to nothing when it comes to money, there is no other movement I would recommend before the Vostok 24XX movements, and the 2409 is a great starting point if you have a desire to begin tinkering with watches. Be warned though; tinkering may take over a substantial chunk of your life! 
  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Topics

  • Posts

  • Create New...