Good day all,
I'm a recent 30 year retiree and elected to start cleaning some of my older watches that ended up in a box wrapped in a towel. One in particular, a gift from my grandfather, began working with a new battery but the crystal appears foggy.
I would appreciate specific instructions for removing the stem/ crown and cleaning the crystal from an 1980 Seiko with the 6030A movement.
Thank you in advance.
I hope I have posted in the right section. It is a tool I guess. I would like to share with you if you don't already know a way to bring back the shine on old pocket watch movements. In the photos I grabbed an old barrel from the parts bin and dipped it in Shinebrite for about 10 Min. Then I placed it on bolsa wood and give it a scub with a medium hardness small paint brush for a few more minutes. Rinse it under the tap and yeah the shine is back. I do this with stained plated movements as well. Gets rid of tarnish better than other methods I know.
I’m following Marks course level 2 at the moment.
I’m not clear at all about the cleaning by hand process, I will put my doubt underneath:
I’ve got myself Zippo lighter fluid, and also Bergeron One-dip solution. It is not clear to me when to use one or the other, or if they are alternative to each other. Phases: Soak, rinse, clean by hand, rinse again...what’s the exact order to follow in cleaning by hand? In the course is said to do a rinse with fresh fluid starting with the balance assembly. Does this imply that the balance assembly is cleaned only one? Or do I do 2 rounds changing fluid, both rounds started with the balance assembly? Thanks again for clarifications and any additional tips, or the method you use to clean by hand (I will think about a cleaning machine in the future but I’ve spent already a lot of money to start with!)
This is one of my first watches. I own it for more than 40 years and I stored it for years after it fell and the crystal snapped. Seven years ago I decided to restore it . I went for two or three watchmakers for an estimate but In the end I decided to do it on my own. Had to Redial/Relume, find a new crystal, gaskets, hands, bezel spring and movement overhaul. Took me a while and finally finished it a few weeks ago. I’m very pleased to wear it again (though I’m not planning to dive with it)
The original watch looked like this:
There was a lot on my list:
There were scratches on the dial and the black lost its depth, The lume was in bad shape (though the lettering was better.)
The hands were missing, and I had to find something that resembles the original hands (“Hens teeth”)
The Mineral Crystal broke long ago and I had to find crystal and gasket(s)
The rotating bezel had to be polished and repainted.
The bezel click spring was missing.
The crown gasket over the years became black goo and had to be replaced.
The crown tube gasket was missing (I didn't know it at this point)
The movement was in fair shape, but has to be serviced.
As I wrote I decided to do it all by my own after I received several estimates from watchmakers (I guess this was my intention from the beginning but I didn't have the know how nor the confidence.) Took this as a project and had to dig for information. Since there are few versions of this watch I had to find the right info. Some restored a similar but not the same version and I had to dig for the right info.
I sent the dial to Robert Miller at international dial company. He told me he has the original dies for the “professional” sub (The orange sub) for this watch he had to change it to sharkhunter.
(this was seven years ago, now I see the company changed its location and website)
You can compare the before and after.
As the original hands were lost, and there are no originals to be found.I Found very similar ones at Yobokies. This sub uses Eta 2472 movement (aka doxa 118), which uses the same hand size as seiko. Yobokies (and dagaz) sells seiko mods, one of them is the soxa mod or axos mod which mods the seiko to look like the doxa sub. The ”soxa” hands looks very similar to the sub’s hands. Since they were meant for slightly bigger dial, I had to shorten the seconds hand. I was also happy to see that the lume color on the dial and hand were the same.
The crystal and the crystal gaskets.
Since the crystal broke years ago I had to find one that fits. I was a little bit confused from what I saw on the net until I realized there are few versions of the sub. In the synchron sub for example (A later version of this watch- from the time synchron company purchased doxa) the crystal is a thick flat mineral glass. It is inserted from the front and held by a thick visible orange gasket. In this version the the crystal is a stepped glass, 3.6mm thick approx, it is inserted from the back of the watch and held by a screw in retainer ring, with no visible gasket.
Because it is not manufactured anymore, some watchmakers produces a close clone by bonding two flat crystals in different thickness and size. This guy on the bay produces this crystal by copying an original one(as he said). He posted it as a “DOXA SUB 300T Sharkhunter” crystal unaware of the various possible versions for this title. At the time I wasn't sure it will fit mine, so I made one using the watchmakes method by bonding two crystals to one using ultraviolet curing bond.
At the same time I was looking for a fit gasket when I stumbled on a post in this forum . Now You can’t see the original post’s images, but in this image (from the post) I found that the Crystal was held by two (probably the same) gaskets (the gaskets on the center of the image).
Ordered some gaskets in various possible sizes and choose what fitted best. The gaskets fits the inside of the watch and around the wider bottom side of the crystal. It is all held by a screw-in retainer ring. (bottom left ring in the image above). Can’t tell if this was the original design, and I didn’t make any pressure test (yet)
This is the crystal and gaskets I used:
The rotating bezel
At the time I didn't notice the bezel has polished and brushed parts, so I polished it all, and colored the marks and numbers using nail polish lacquer. On the luminous dot I used epoxy glue mixed with luminous powder. It was one of the first things I did on the watch and left it as is.
The bezel spring
Had to create a new bezel spring following this post. I used dentist's 0.8mm stainless steel wire but I wasn't sure what of the exact wire girth, so I ordered from AliExpress various wire sizes.
Made this spring. It's not perfect but it's doing the job.
The crown gaskets
The original crown gasket became black goo long ago. Couldn't find any information regarding this screw down crown. The closest design I found was Rolex twinlock crown . From the shape of the crown and tube I assumed the possible sizes of both case and crown gaskets. I ordered some possible gaskets sizes and used the ones that fitted best. I added even one more gasket around the case tube to imitate the Rolex triplock (obviously unnecessary...)
In this watch doxa used the Doxa 118 movement - a slightly modified eta 2472 movement. The movement had to be serviced. On some point on this long period I decided to service it on my own. It was the most intimidating part of this restoration because I had to learn this from zero. Bought some old movements on the bay for cheap, bought some required tools and started to take them apart and rebuilt them again. After I gained some confidence I did it on the doxa. I made some damage but found the right replacement parts (One of my discoveries was that movement springs tend to fly and disappear while flying…).
It took me longer than I thought. For couple of years I left it in the box, but the covid19 period gave me little time to get back to it and finish the job.
more to do
Need to regulate the watch, probably after I will build a proper timegrapher mic.
Maybe pressure test: just to check how waterproof is it. I’m not planning to dive with it.
Bor bracelet: maybe yobokies. found this on alibaba but minimum order is 200…
(This was also posted on Watchuseek doxa forum few weeks ago)
Guys I just received a Master model cleaner and I am going to have to completely rewire the machine. I would like to convert it to a mastermatic be replacing the forward and reverse switch with a time relay circuit. Has anyone done this and if so any guidance would amazing. Thanks.
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Hello Not really a watch question, however I thought I would it it a try. I have a couple of Silver Beer Mugs that are tarnished and all I have to clean them with is the L & R Ultrasonic Watch Cleaning Solution (ammoniated) and a ultrasonic machine. I also have the L & R Ultrasonic Watch Cleaning Solution and an Ultrasonic machine. Does anyone know if I can use these two products on the silver beer mugs or should I get another type of cleaner> Also should I be diluting the cleaning and rinse solutions? Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided. Michael
Hi JDM - Thanks for the detailed reply. The Bezel only looks like a rotating time ring, but it's just a "faux" divers watch, only rated to 50m. I think the Seiko "Solar Power" version actually had a rotating ring and Tritium on the hands and numbers and was rated to 200m or something. But, the bezel is fixed. Also, there are no "indent" or any indication that you could use a Snap Back knife to open the bezel. If this is not indeed a screw off bezel (using a screw type base wrench), then a 4 blade bezel tool is likely the only thing that will remove it. Then I'll need to figure out how the stem is removed so I can remove the whole movement to get to the Cap which I assume is underneath. Other owners on some other watch forums have reported the same experience I had with my Lorus/ Seiko 851 model, the Capacitor fails after only 8 to 10 years and nothing like the "promised" 80 years (Life Time Warranty they refuse to obey). Quite a few owners wrote that they had the Capacitor replaced, but no details on HOW. Read my response above to "watchweasol". There's been some conflict about which capacitor to use as well since the original 2023 24T / MT920 was discontinued 30 years ago (probably the reason all these Lorus Solar watch never met the 80-year promise. Supposedly the replacement Cap is a 3023 24T now. The word in some forums is that this Maxell Cap will last 30 to 40 years. The Seiko Kenetic watches supposedly also use this same Capacitor. Have you ever worked on the Seiko Solar version of this Lorus? Thanks.
@watchweasol - I know that was the Seiko "company line" for both the Seiko and Lorus branded "Solar Power" versions, but there are an awful lot of folks that bought both and found the Capacitor died, like mine, only after 8 to 10 years and did have the Capacitor replaced with at first the original 2023 24T version and then the 3023 24T, which is apparently a much longer lived replacement. Seiko's "promise" of an 80-year life for this Capacitor was all hooey and likely the reason Seiko quickly dropped both their own branded model and the Lorus ones after just 10 years on the market. Both Seiko and Lorus (who is no longer in North America) refuse to honor the "life time" warranty. One of the reasons I now trust Casio more than Seiko for warranty promises. The movement in the Lorus is literally the exact same one that was in the 3 "Solar Power" Seiko mens models, a Seiko NA tech admitted that to me almost 30 years ago when mine stopped charging. I bought it new in 1986 or 87, and I still have the original paper manual and box and "Life Time Warranty" card (good for nuthin'). I've been a watch and clock "collector" since a teenager, prefer early American pocket watches, but who doesn't love early American MADE and Japanese and Swiss made wristwatches? So I've also collected all the tools a watch and clock tech uses, many pretty vintage too, and learned how to work to a certain degree on most any watch or clock, restoring and fixing, to my limits. I already have that (another version) Bezel removing tool, am just trying to confirm that the bezel is NOT a screw on, or absolutely IS a press-fit. Was hoping to find someone that has either worked on the Lorus version or the sort of same looking Seiko versions that also had the one-piece "tub" body. The Bezel only looks like a rotating time ring, but it's just a "faux" divers watch, only rated to 50m. I think the Seiko version actually had a rotating ring and Tritium on the hands and numbers and was rated to 200m or something. This Lorus/Seiko is an odd-ball and there is absolutely no repair info on them, so that makes me want to fix it more myself.