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Lorus/Seiko "Tri Lum" V851 Solar Watch - Need help how to remove the Bezel to access Capacitor


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I have a 1980's Lorus/Seiko V851 Solar Watch I bought new in 1984 and the internal Capacitor has not lasted "80 years" as promised by Lorus/Seiko.  It lasted more like 9 years. Does anyone know how do you open up a Lorus/Seiko V851 series Solar Powered wristwatch to replace the rechargeable Capacitor, since there is no back cover to remove (it's a one piece watch body)??  Does the bezel screw off, or "snap" off like a back would?  I would rather not "experiment" on the watch since it is in physically literally Mint condition. I have all the professional tools, both vintage and new that any watch-smith would have, but knowing for certain how this V851 opens is paramount before starting. Not interested in "guesses" on how it opens. I have read that the Capacitor movement (Japanese) in this Lorus is identical to the Seiko Solar of the same period, however the cases are different.

Next - the Seiko battery list I have indicates the Seiko capacitor used for the V851 is a 2023 24T, which I can find no reference to on the internet, or whether the Maxell 3023 24t (aka Panasonic MT920) is the substitute. Does anyone have information on this?
(see page 13 - https://www.seikoserviceusa.com/img/pdf/battery-no-cross-reference-chart.pdf)

I gratefully appreciate all the help you can provide.

The below photos are not my exact V851 Lorus, just ones I found on the Net that are better quality that I could do. Otherwise, they are identical.

1946435559_LorusTri-LumWatchV851-6180B3frontsmall.jpg.aba06145b12e5e82b4d74c5493801227.jpg

503041133_LorusTri-LumWatchV851-6180B3backsmall.jpg.a071de15dcacf779abc0adb5beff5970.jpg

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Hi from what I gather they were not made to be opened up  They were supposed to have a battery life which out lived the watch.  As its a one piece case when assembled it must have all gone in through the front. Whether the bezel was designed to be removed is another matter. The normal method of removing the bezel is bu using a case knife of a purpose built tool. The tool exerts pressure from all sides popping the bezel. The video shows how. Doing so is at your own risk. I cannot find any data on this watch at all.

 

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Had a good look round found the instruction book, attached just in case you dont have it. All references are that it is not changable, just check the bezel does not screw off before doing anthing else.

V851-E.pdf

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1 hour ago, watchweasol said:

 just check the bezel does not screw off before doing anthing else. 

Seiko never made screwed in bezels. The OP didn't say, but by the upside down numbers it appears to be a  rotating bezel which normally is easy to remove even without the tool pictured below. Just look for a indent anywhere on the bottom if the bezel, if there is none rotatate the bezel slightly until the pressure from the spring lifts it up a bit, then use a Japanese type knife to pry and then go around. 

At that point the crystal should expose enough of the side to grab it with a pliers type tool, not a claw type. Then hopefully the crown can be turned so the two piece stem align to pull the movement from the top. 

Precise indications about how a Seiko case is built and how is to be handled are in the Seiko casing guide under, R3 type has stamped on the case back. I have not checked if the version easily available with an internet search do cover this type. 

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12 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi from what I gather they were not made to be opened up  They were supposed to have a battery life which out lived the watch.  As its a one piece case when assembled it must have all gone in through the front. Whether the bezel was designed to be removed is another matter. The normal method of removing the bezel is bu using a case knife of a purpose built tool. The tool exerts pressure from all sides popping the bezel. The video shows how. Doing so is at your own risk. I cannot find any data on this watch at all.

 

@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.

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10 hours ago, jdm said:

Seiko never made screwed in bezels. The OP didn't say, but by the upside down numbers it appears to be a  rotating bezel which normally is easy to remove even without the tool pictured below. Just look for a indent anywhere on the bottom if the bezel, if there is none rotatate the bezel slightly until the pressure from the spring lifts it up a bit, then use a Japanese type knife to pry and then go around. 

At that point the crystal should expose enough of the side to grab it with a pliers type tool, not a claw type. Then hopefully the crown can be turned so the two piece stem align to pull the movement from the top. 

Precise indications about how a Seiko case is built and how is to be handled are in the Seiko casing guide under, R3 type has stamped on the case back. I have not checked if the version easily available with an internet search do cover this type. 

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.

 

 

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6 hours ago, jazzdj said:

there are no "indent" or any indication that you could use a Snap Back knife to open the bezel.

These are only on rotating  bezels. I don't think your is set very tight. 

6 hours ago, jazzdj said:

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.

Two piece stems are removed either by gently moving the movement as mentioned above, or if that does not work, pulling the steem out. 

6 hours ago, jazzdj said:

Supposedly the replacement Cap is a 3023 24T now. 

If the watch works even for a short time now, a new rechargeabls battery should fix it.

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"I bought new in 1984" "It lasted more like 9 years."

would suggest the battery died in 1993?

These are not capacitors, they are rechargable lithium batteries.

The main problem with these batteries is that if they are discharged and left in that state, they will no longer take a charge. If you leave it in a drawer for a year or so, it's done.

I can imagine the vintage lithium-titanate ones from 40 years ago were worse in this regard, and faster to die if uncharged? The manual for this movement says it can only go for 50 days without a charge, compare to current eco-drive claims of operating for 6 months with no charge.

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16 minutes ago, KOwatch said:

"I bought new in 1984" "It lasted more like 9 years."

would suggest the battery died in 1993?

These are not capacitors, they are rechargeable lithium batteries.

 

Actually, no they were not a battery. While the specs for the original 2023 24T Capacitor seems to have disappeared from the internet, the replacement 3023 24T (aka MT920) are plentiful and everyone listing these specify that they are Capacitors, not "batteries".  Yes they use Lithium as its mineral chemical composition, but they function as a capacitors and capacitors can be left for long periods in a discharged state .... just ask any electrical engineer.

From the H&W Perrin Company website: :
3023-24T
by SEIKO
$11.85
SKU CT-3023-24T

Genuine Seiko Capacitor 3023-24T Seiko part number 3023-24T. This capacitor is marked MT920. To be used with Seiko 5M62, 5M63, 5M65, 5M82, Seiko 5M84, Seiko 5M85, Seiko 7L22, Seiko YT53, Seiko YT57B, Seiko YT62. Seiko YT63."

https://perrinwatchparts.com/products/seiko-capacitor-3023-24t

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On 4/21/2021 at 6:32 PM, jazzdj said:

Actually, no they were not a battery. 

KOwatch is correct. Capacitor is the [wrong) name that was used at time of their introduction for the power cell in Kinetic an Solar watches, that is, the original MT920. Then the chemistry was changed to something better, the product discontinued, and with the new one the description become (Lithium) rechargeable battery.

What happens is that some suppliers still call it the old way. 

Below the link from the Seiko subsidiary company that manufactures it, this version has soldered tabs, whilsw others do not. 

https://sii.co.jp/en/me/datasheets/ms-rechargeable/ts920/

You will find that in electronics a capacitor holds energy for a relatively short time, with an "holding time" directly related to capacity

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor

while a battery does for a longer time, with no relation to its size. 

Now back to your problem and doubts. You do not need to buy the a rechargeable battery without knowing first if the module works. Just fit an SR920 battery to test. Some Kinetic owners do that routinely as they gave up on the self charging system. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@JDM

Yes, it doesn't help when nearly everyone that's an authorized Seiko dealer still list all the versions of the 3024-xx (MT920 family) as Capacitors.  457829335_Screenshot_2021-04-22Seiko302324TeBay.png.55675b8c7caf797dc70419ee9d520b05.png

I know the movement works and for the single day the existing original 2023-24T Capacitor does hold enough charge (after 24 hours under a 1100 lum high intensity light), the watch keeps marvelously accurate time, not even dropping a second against my Atomic Clock. Then the second hand starts the 2-second skip indicating low charge and within minutes it stops.

I am still having difficulty finding out which "New" LiON 3023-xx to use.  I've been told the difference between the two versions I have been told to use - 3023-34T and 3023-24T is the placement of the tabs on the back. I have not opened the Bezel yet, waiting for a new tool to arrive. I would still like to ultimately install a rechargeable battery, which ever it is.

I like your idea of using a non-rechargeable SR920 to "experiment".  How long do these batteries last in the Kenetic Charging versions of the Seiko's in leu of the correct rechargeable batteries? 3, 6, 9 months?  Would the SR920SW (aka 371) be the same as the SR920 you suggested? I have these in my stock.

Thanks very much.

Edited by jazzdj
typo
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2 hours ago, jazzdj said:

How long do these batteries last in the Kenetic Charging versions of the Seiko's in leu of the correct rechargeable batteries? 3, 6, 9 months?

I would hope even more that.

Quote

 Would the SR920SW (aka 371) be the same as the SR920 you suggested? .

SR says it's a Silver Oxide battery, 1.55V. 920 is the size in mm. SW is the regular type, W the higher capacity, indicated for chronos. In practice the two are interchangeable, and Energizer makes one type only labeled 370/371.

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On 4/22/2021 at 12:26 PM, jdm said:

I would hope even more that.

@JDM, or anyone?

Need some help on Stem Removal.

I've gotten the Bezel off using the 4-jaw removal tool, and as you can see in the photo attached, there is no typical Seiko "release lever" to allow the stem to be removed so the one-piece movement can be taken out of the watch body to get access to the rechargeable battery on the back side of the movement.

I've opened a lot of Seiko and Lorus made movements, nothing ever like this. The movement looks like a plastic body with the face an opaque plastic. If you zoom the image I think you can see what looks like a thread on the Stem, but it doesn't appear to "unscrew", just spins the hands.

Hope someone has idea's on this.

2136180343_LorusV851SolarBezeloff.thumb.jpg.41ced04fe08c94a04b8101fd77f65718.jpg

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3 hours ago, jazzdj said:

there is no typical Seiko "release lever" to allow the stem to be removed 

The stem release point is on the other side and cannot be accessed in a monocoque case. So, as answered before

Hopefully the crown can be turned so the two piece stem aligns to pull the movement from the top. 

If that doesn't work you can only only the stem out, if it is a two piece it will separate anyway. Even it's a single piece stem it may have a chamfered groove to be pulled without damage to the keyless works. 

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Hi If all else fails see if you can grip the stem on the inside of the case and unscrew the crown, might have to mod some pliers to get in though.  Then tilt and draw the movement out that way.

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1 hour ago, watchweasol said:

Hi If all else fails see if you can grip the stem on the inside of the case and unscrew the crown, might have to mod some pliers to get in though.  Then tilt and draw the movement out that way.

That may work when a portion lf of the stem is accessible. But is this case, with only the dial side being accessible, i doubt one can grab the stem.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, watchweasol said:

Hi If all else fails see if you can grip the stem on the inside of the case and unscrew the crown, might have to mod some pliers to get in though.  Then tilt and draw the movement out that way.

When the stem is extended to change hr/min hands, the whole module does slide over a bit, enough that I may be able to get a very skinny needle nose pliers I have to grab the stem and unscrew the crown. We'll see, I'm at a dead-end anyways. I assume the crown is screws on anti-clockwise looking from the crown end towards the stem and watch??

Thanks very much for this suggestion! Will report back either way.

Edited by jazzdj
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1 hour ago, jazzdj said:

I assume the crown is screws on anti-clockwise looking from the crown end towards the stem and watch??

Stems and crowns are always right hand threaded. It's not possible to even see the stem from the outside because the pendant tube is there to protect and seal in all crown positions.

If you search "split stem" you will see how is that allows to remove the crown without access to the back of the movement. 

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