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VWatchie

Despite Kluber P125 this Orient/Seiko mainspring slips way too soon

Question

I’m still struggling to get a decent power reserve on my Orient cal. 46E40. As far as I can tell and as a reference, the barrel and spring seem to be identical to the Seiko cal. 7S-series, for example my Seiko cal. 7S36B.

As a replacement I use a brand new Generale Ressorts # GR2378X mainspring (0.95 x .12 x 400 x 10.5 Automatic). In my first attempt I used Moebius 8217 but only got about 24 hours of power reserve. I then read what I could find about it here on WRT and got inspired by this post by @nickelsilver. So, I got myself some emery paper, rubbed the wall so that the brass shone through and applied a thin layer of Moebius Glissalube A 8213 to the barrel wall. To keep the barrel steady while lubricating I shoved a smoothing broach in the hole of the barrel. However, when I was to remove the broach from the barrel it had gotten stuck in the barrel hole, and not realizing the broach is super finely threaded, and left threaded at that, I ruined the barrel trying to get it out of the hole :pulling-hair-out:

So, I had to source a new barrel, and let me assure you, Orient and their retailers won’t be helpful. Eventually, I found a seller on eBay in Spain who knew the barrel between my Orient cal. 46E40 and Orient cal. 46943 are identical and I bought a scrap movement from him and extracted the barrel.

After two weeks of waiting for the new (used) barrel, I decided not to rub the wall of the barrel but instead buy some uber-expensive Kluber P125 and apply it to the best of my ability in accordance with this post by @JohnR725. However, this only lessened the power reserve to about 17 hours. So, I took the barrel apart and took the below pictures of what I saw. Don’t know what the pictures add but nevertheless...

01.thumb.jpg.6d5bf004c94a3cbf3f0da4e96c82905b.jpg

02.thumb.jpg.1c615149b7c059a321cb3f419874f161.jpg

03.thumb.jpg.d284f58f41bebcf203fb66ce04fbf00a.jpg

04.thumb.jpg.2db89aa7149c663f86ca8c9a297b8869.jpg

05.thumb.jpg.f0093f3aad66113fceffa0476a1386ad.jpg

06.thumb.jpg.ecef10ab7b2e1b1bba17c98c4d85863f.jpg

I’m beginning to feel extremely frustrated about this and don’t know what to try next. Perhaps rub the barrel wall to expose some of the brass and apply Glissalube A? Perhaps no braking grease at all? Perhaps the replacement General Ressorts spring in some way just isn’t compatible with Japanese barrels? I’m really lost here and don’t know where to go next. So, some help and inspiration would be greatly appreciated.
 

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3 hours ago, rodabod said:

But ultimately, all that matters is how many “active” turns you get on the barrel. If there’s evidence that the bridle shape doesn’t make much difference then I’d be interested to hear more about it. 

Sure. He can try it and tell it's how much it helps. 

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On 7/7/2020 at 1:28 PM, bklake said:

Maybe it needs a few cycles to distribute the grease and let it even out?  You tried everything else.

I gave it a lot of cycles using a screwdriver so I'm afraid that's not the solution. Nevertheless, thanks for the suggestion!

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On 7/7/2020 at 3:23 AM, meanoldmanning said:

OP, did you keep the original mainspring?

I'm afraid not, so consequently I can't measure it. It would have been interesting. Anyway, I'll be ordering a Bergeon 9.8 mm right handed mainspring winder (closest available to the 10.5 mm barrel diameter) and push the GR spring into a spacer before pushing it into the barrel via the spacer as it is left handed. At that time I can measure it and compare it to a Seiko 7S36B mainspring which I believe is very similar, if not identical, to the Orient spring. If you can find your post it would be highly interesting.

Edited by VWatchie

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On 7/7/2020 at 4:23 AM, anilv said:

These Seikos (and Orients) don't need much power so this would equate with low mainspring power. 24hours sounds OK. I would wind it full and wear it for a day and see how much amplitude it has at the end of the day. Then leave it overnight and check it again in the morning.

If the autowind is efficient the reading at the end of the day (close to full wind) and in the morning (50% wind?) should not vary much.

Anilv

The amplitude of this movement Orient cal. 46E40 is exceptionally good as can be seen in this post, and it was basically working perfectly as long as I was wearing it on a daily basis. If I could magically somehow go back to my 24 hours of power reserve I guess I would call it a day <_<

Edited by VWatchie

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I'm afraid not, so consequently I can't measure it. It would have been interesting. Anyway, I'll be ordering a Bergeon 9.8 mm right handed mainspring winder (closest available to the 10.5 mm barrel diameter) and push the GR spring into a spacer before pushing it into the barrel via the spacer as it is left handed. At that time I can measure it and compare it to a Seiko 7S36B mainspring which I believe is very similar, if not identical, to the Orient spring. If you can find your post it would be highly interesting.

I found the thread over on wrist sushi where I showed the difference in bridle thickness between an OE Seiko mainspring for a 6309 and a GR equivalent and the one on the Seiko spring was just under (by .01mm) twice as thick as the one on the GR mainspring.


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36 minutes ago, meanoldmanning said:

the one on the Seiko spring was just under (by .01mm) twice as thick as the one on the GR mainspring.

Interesting. I'll measure my Seiko spring and my GR spring (once I've taken it out of the barrel) and see if I get the same result. The big question then is how a twice as thick bridle affects the slippage!?

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

 The big question then is how a twice as thick bridle affects the slippage!?

Due to it's strength it exerts more force, friction, and  general goodness. Even if the spring was to not slip, a robust winding mechanism wouldn't break. This type in now manufactured by Nomos IIRC.

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16 minutes ago, jdm said:

This type in now manufactured by Nomos

And by Seiko/Orient, it would seem. So, do you mean to say that Nomos' mainsprings are easier to acquire than the Seiko mainsprings? Did a quick Google search but nothings really useful came up. If you have more info please share!

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5 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

So, do you mean to say that Nomos' mainsprings are easier to acquire than the Seiko mainsprings?

No, what I wrote is  that Nomos makes an automatic watch where the mainspring is designed not to slip. https://www.watchtime.com/featured/nomos-caliber-duw-neomatik-6101/
And I believe that like any other highly priced maker will not sell any part outside their official service points.

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I recently got some Seiko S-2 mainspring grease.  In the box was an instruction sheet.  Basically says to use a brush to apply a very thin coat on the barrel wall, bottom and lid.  Using a brush is different than the procedure I commonly see. 

The S-2 grease sure looks a lot like the Kluber grease.  I'm not a trained watchmaker and I don't know if a Seiko procedure doesn't translate well from Japanese.  S-2 is specified for the 6309 and the Orient is closer to a 7 series Seiko.  Maybe try this?

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16 minutes ago, bklake said:

Basically says to use a brush to apply a very thin coat on the barrel wall, bottom and lid.  Using a brush is different than the procedure I commonly see. 

Thanks for the suggestion! My guess though (but I could of course be wrong), is that it doesn't really matter how the grease is applied as over time the spring will distribute the grease evenly around the barrel wall as it slips.

It's interesting though that they are suggesting to greasing the lid, which is something I haven't even given a thought before reading your post. The height of the lid is about 1/3 of the total height of the barrel and as far as I can see the height of the spring fits very snugly in the lower section of the barrel. However, I guess it could be that the spring moves vertically into the lid when it's operating and if there's no grease on the wall of the lid that for sure (I guess) would impair the slipping of the spring

So yes, whatever grease I'll put on the next time I'll make sure to include the inner wall of the lid. Thanks for your input!

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3 hours ago, VWatchie said:

It's interesting though that they are suggesting to greasing the lid, which is something I haven't even given a thought before reading your post. The height of the lid is about 1/3 of the total height of the barrel and as far as I can see the height of the spring fits very snugly in the lower section of the barrel. However, I guess it could be that the spring moves vertically into the lid when it's operating and if there's no grease on the wall of the lid that for sure (I guess) would impair the slipping of the spring

Lubricating the floor of the barrel and ceiling on the lid belongs to the school of thinking which wants to protect these surfaces from the edges of the spring touching them so slightly in case it doesn't stay horizontal as it should. It is not done by all watchmakers and I do not see how it would affect the slipping (or lack thereof)  of an automatic mainspring.

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Touching a lubrication thread is like touching a wire to see if it is hot.  Not smart but sometimes curiosity gets you. I have yet to see a lube thread that didn't get people fired up.

I just relayed what the documentation from Seiko says. I noticed that the brushing part was different than any method I have seen before. 

I'm going to run and hide now because a fuse has been lit...

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This is what a factory fresh service part from Seiko looks like. I’ve bought several of these ‘new in package’ from Stefan in the UK. It’s from a barrel/arbor set for a Seiko 6 series part #205-613. That great big smear of grease is in every one I’ve purchased.

3df31687473aa05f795c02d1e5eb5407.plist


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8 minutes ago, meanoldmanning said:

This is what a factory fresh service part from Seiko looks like. I’ve bought several of these ‘new in package’ from Stefan in the UK. It’s from a barrel/arbor set for a Seiko 6 series part #205-613. That great big smear of grease is in every one I’ve purchased.

Factory fresh? 6xxx ended production sometime in the 70's I think. If the product they were using has not dried up,, that is good but not a given.

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Factory fresh? 6xxx ended production sometime in the 70's I think. If the product they were using has not dried up,, that is good but not a given.

I guess others might say NOS. The point of the example is look at how much grease Seiko slathered in there. I’m assuming they meant for whoever wound up using it to leave the grease in there.

 

As you note, yes obviously by this point the grease is dried up and flakes out in chunks when I clean it out before using the parts.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, meanoldmanning said:

As you note, yes obviously by this point the grease is dried up and flakes out in chunks when I clean it out before using the parts.

With Seikos one never knows. This one says leave my alone, and its 6139 cousin that is no different.

 

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On 7/13/2020 at 2:46 PM, VWatchie said:

if there's no grease on the wall of the lid

 

On 7/13/2020 at 6:38 PM, jdm said:

Lubricating the floor of the barrel and ceiling on the lid belongs to the school of thinking which wants to protect these surfaces from the edges of the spring touching them so slightly in case it doesn't stay horizontal as it should. It is not done by all watchmakers and I do not see how it would affect the slipping (or lack thereof)  of an automatic mainspring.

And just to make sure, I only meant to grease the the barrel lid wall. Personally I have never greased the floor and/or ceiling and that's not what was suggested.

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On 7/13/2020 at 9:29 PM, meanoldmanning said:

I’ve bought several of these ‘new in package’ from Stefan in the UK.

Wow! Could you possibly please share a link to this "Stefan in the UK"? I simply don't know where to find a mainspring or barrel complete for my Seiko cal. 7S36B.

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GRvsSEIKO.thumb.jpg.de22eb2ef16da2e6bf6a1144b31a4c3e.jpg

As can be seen in this picture, the bridle profile of the GR spring and the bridle profile of the Seiko spring is quite different. The bridle on the Seiko is attached at the end of the spring whereas the bridle on the GR spring is attached before the end of the spring. And while the GR spring has just a single smooth curve, the Seiko bridle has an introductory and concluding dent which the GR spring lacks. The thickness of both springs is 0.12 mm but the thickness of the bridle on the Seiko spring is 0.19 mm, whereas the thickness of the GR spring is 0.14 mm. So, overall thickness at the bridle section is 0.05 mm fatter on the Seiko than on the GR spring.

I’m now inclined to think that it is mostly the thickness and profile of the Seiko bridle that yields its better power reserve compared to the GR spring. Of course, the grease has an effect too, but my guess is that the grease is secondary to the shape and thickness of the respective bridle.

Once I get my Bergeon winder I’ll try the Seiko spring in my Orient barrel with some Kluber P125. It should be a couple of weeks from now but as soon as the result is in I’ll report it to the thread.

Oh, and I would really appreciate a good source (or two) for picking up suitable Seiko mainsprings and/or barrel complete!

Anyway, I’m extremely interested in your thoughts and suggestions!

Edited by VWatchie

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1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

And while the GR spring has just a single smooth curve, the Seiko bridle has an introductory and concluding dent which the GR spring lacks.

That can be easily corrected, as it was suggested above.

1 hour ago, VWatchie said:

Oh, and I would really appreciate a good source (or two) for picking up suitable Seiko mainsprings and/or barrel complete!

A good repairer/watchmaker is able to adapt parts and tools, where possible, by making the necessary modifcations or improvements. Not necessarily getting the perfectly matching part .

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Wow! Could you possibly please share a link to this "Stefan in the UK"? I simply don't know where to find a mainspring or barrel complete for my Seiko cal. 7S36B.

He goes by schillachi61 on eBay. I’ve not seen any 7 series barrels complete in his listings though, but he adds new stuff pretty often so who knows.


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3 hours ago, jdm said:

That can be easily corrected

I’m afraid I’m not convinced as these springs are quite brittle. Have you tried it? Any particular technique to preserve its durability? I’d hate to ruin yet another mainspring :(

4 hours ago, jdm said:

A good repairer/watchmaker is able to adapt parts and tools, where possible, by making the necessary modifcations or improvements.

Well, that’s good to know. Very insightful. I’m sure you belong in that category.

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