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Mainspring lubrication, manual and automatic


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4 minutes ago, JohnR725 said:

The dimensions of the new spring versus the old are they the same for the Springs look the same?

 

Past midnight here in Sweden and I’m off to bed but I’ll research this carefully tomorrow and will report back. Thanks John!

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I think you’re referring to a comment I made in your post about Seiko mainsprings. I did not say he was the master, I said something along the lines of I think he has a bit of experience with the Seiko 7S series of movts.

 

I’ll add my experience with the 700x series which is the basis for the 7S series and beyond:

 

- The GR springs are close but not exactly equivalent to the springs I’ve extracted from 7002 barrels - they were slightly thinner and not quite as wide. I found, and your experience may be different, that the original used MS worked better than a new GR equivalent.

 

- I’ve had terrible difficulty cleaning and re-greasing the barrel and mainsprings for these movts. I’ve used 8217 and found using the same quantity I might use in a 6309 allowed the spring to slip too soon and too dramatically. If I cut the quantity in half it worked better but still not great. I have not tried using a lot more nor have I used Kluber.

 

- I eventually stopped screwing around with splitting these barrels open since Seiko never intended for them to be and started using factory new replacements which come complete and ready to install.

 

- BUT, and it’s a big but, while I can get expected reserve out of the factory new replacements when wound at the ratchet screw I and some members on one of the Japanese watch forums have experienced issues with building reserve when worn. Not certain if it the reduction wheel being worn down or the hooks on the pawl levers not quite being sharp enough to wind the watch efficiently. Or maybe sitting at my desk during the day isn’t enough activity for these movts.

 

 

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I think we need to go back to the beginning and look at the exact procedure of everything involved with this mainspring plus any additional lubrication you're putting in the mainspring barrel? Something is not right when the laws of the universe seem to be going backwards for us

1 hour ago, meanoldmanning said:

I’ve used 8217 and found using the same quantity I might use in a 6309 allowed the spring to slip too soon and too dramatically. If I cut the quantity in half it worked better but still not great. I have not tried using a lot more nor have I used Kluber.

My experience with the other breaking greases were more was worse. This is what makes the Kluber Different it's really really sticky and more is more sticky. Except for this watch where it's not? But that I also question sanding the inside of the barrel your changing the characteristics. Email auto watches the inside of the barrel has cuts to reduce the contact area to make it easier for the mainspring to slip this is why this is such a weird example here lots of surface area should have lots of stickiness and we don't

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3 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

I think we need to go back to the beginning and look at the exact procedure of everything involved with this mainspring plus any additional lubrication you're putting in the mainspring barrel? Something is not right when the laws of the universe seem to be going backwards for us

My experience with the other breaking greases were more was worse. This is what makes the Kluber Different it's really really sticky and more is more sticky. Except for this watch where it's not? But that I also question sanding the inside of the barrel your changing the characteristics. Email auto watches the inside of the barrel has cuts to reduce the contact area to make it easier for the mainspring to slip this is why this is such a weird example here lots of surface area should have lots of stickiness and we don't

I'm not sure that's the intended purpose for barrel notches. I rather think it's to gain more positive control for the slipping rather than relying on friction and specific lubrication quantities/qualities, like demonstrated in this diagram:

 eKFPFQ6704WeNGzn2jtHJlAU1JzSjkYStOXM5f1M

Putting some watches next to my ear as I wind it I can hear this. For example on my 7750 it is always exactly 8 clicks of the ratchet wheel between each time the sound of the end of bridle slipping into the next notch is heard. You can't expect this kind of consistency relying solely on friction with a smooth barrel wall.

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10 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

There is something definitely really wrong here. I know from experience when I listen to bad advice for a Seiko and applied the Kluber P125 Around the entire rim. When I was manually winding it up with the screw of the ratchet wheel and I reached the end I almost thought I was going to break the screw head off. Yes it slipped but it was so dramatically not slip paying which is why thought I'd going to break the head off. The you seem to be getting the exact opposite of what should be occurring there is definitely something not right here at all.

The dimensions of the new spring versus the old are they the same for the Springs look the same?

 

The measurements of the original Orient/Seiko mainspring are as follows:
0.95 x .115 x 370 x 10.55 Automatic (Height x Thickness x Length x Barrel Diameter)

The closest replacement I've been able to find and the one I've been using is a Generale Ressorts spring:
0.95 x .12 x 400 x 10.5 Automatic

The only lubrication I've done is the Kluber P125 around the barrel wall, and I do not lubricate the spring as it comes pre-lubricated.
As far as I can remember the bridle of the GR spring and the original spring look the same or very similar. Unfortunately, I cannot verify this as I no longer have the original spring (per usual I mangled it in my K&D winder).

49 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

I presume OP is sure slippage isn't at arbour

And yes, just to make sure, I have no reason to believe the arbor hook slips out of the eye of the inner coil. If it did, the spring would unwind in an instant and it doesn't. When I wind the ratchet wheel screw using a screw driver (this watch isn’t hand wind able) it feels very smooth and the only plausible explanation, as I see it, is that the spring is constantly sliding as I wind. No mater how many revolutions I make on the ratchet wheel, unwinding always results in 4 revolutions of the ratchet wheel before the power reserve is depleted.
 

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I wonder if you'd see signs of slipage on the barrel wall when you open it or on the grease there?  

Another possibility is if you have received a new faulty, weak MS,  especially that it feels smooth as you wind, If the old one is undamaged and you find it stronger than the new one, you have found the fault.  Weak MS exerts weak force against the wall, therefore weaker force of friction developes there, hence weak power reserve.

I missed the initial section of your thread. When it stops, I give the barrel a nudge to see if it runs a lengthy second stage.

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40 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

I wonder if you'd see signs of slipage on the barrel wall when you open it or on the grease there?

Nope, it looks like in the picture in my previous post around the entire barrel wall.

57 minutes ago, Nucejoe said:

Another possibility is if you have received a new faulty, weak MS

As far as I can tell, the current spring is no different from all other Generale Ressorts springs I've handled. The GR spring feels quite a bit stiffer and more springy compared to the original spring which felt softer.

1 hour ago, Nucejoe said:

give the barrel a nudge to see if it runs a lengthy second stage.

It does not. The barrel rotates freely around the arbor and there are no hick-ups in the train.

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On 6/16/2020 at 7:46 AM, AlexeiJ1 said:

I know this might annoy people, but I have serviced 200+ automatic seikos and have used 8200 on the barrel walls. There have been no problems with power reserve or amplitude.

I'm truly intrigued by this as I'm having serious trouble getting any kind of decent power reserve even with the uber-expensive Kluber P125 lubricant. Have you ever tried 8200 in a Seiko barrel with a new Swiss Generale Ressorts mainspring? If so, did you get an acceptable result? At this point I'm so desperate that I'd be happy even if I would just get about 24 hours of power reserve. Your method is supported in "Chapter 10: The Mainspring" in the "Seiko 7S26 for Novice Horologist" tutorial, so you're obviously not alone!

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3 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

Your method is supported in "Chapter 10: The Mainspring" in the "Seiko 7S26 for Novice Horologist" tutorial, so you're obviously not alone!

That incomplete work should not be regarded as if it is the bible of working on Seiko.

The following statement alone is considered wrong by pretty much any experienced watchmakers

Quote

The trick is to apply lubrication in a very fine film on both sides of the mainspring, over it's entire length and to lubricate inside the barrel wall as well

And then he proceeds to hand fitting the mainspring to the barrel, problem is, that's a pretty strong one and the force required makes that you will leave probably some good amount of skin to add to the graphite loaded mess.

Looks like Seiko and others had good reasons to only supply barrels complete.

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 2:27 PM, VWatchie said:

Moebius 8200 grease for the spring

This particular grease  is recommended for lubrication of mainsprings provided they're not already prelubricated like a new spring. But  it is very definitely not considered a breaking grease unless you like having  very early slippage.

45 minutes ago, jdm said:

Looks like Seiko and others had good reasons to only supply barrels complete.

Based on the other discussion on this group somewhere of breaking grease is not working I'm going to throw out a wild theory  with absolute no physical profile.. So like so much other stuff on the Internet it's subject to a certain degree of  it just may not be right a wrong  or maybe it is correct?  Normally the purpose of breaking grease is to hold the end of the spring  until enough force develops  that the spring breaks free and the grease Part provides lubrication so you don't destroy the inside of the barrel with all that force rubbing.. But maybe if Seiko's outer spring is considerably stronger  basically very very strong  then maybe it does not actually need breaking grease.. It just needs a lubrication when it does finally slip  so maybe the breaking is part of the mainspring itself not relying on the grease? That would be another reason to supply a barrel complete if Seiko did something really clever.. They may also assume that the barrel wears out eventually and just needs replacement.. Unfortunately for us Seiko didn't count on the world liking their watches and trying to keep them forever..

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1 hour ago, jdm said:

Looks like Seiko and others had good reasons to only supply barrels complete.

Unfortunately, in my case it is an Orient cal. 46E40. I did send an e-mail to Orient begging humbly if they or a retailer could supply me a barrel complete, but I was only met with silence. I know the more common Orient cal. 46943 has an identical barrel, maybe that can be of help somehow. Hmm...

I compared the barrel to a Seiko 7S36B that I'm servicing and it looks and measures almost identically with my Orient barrel; 84 teeth and measuring as many sections as I could (barrel and arbor) the differences where in a few hundreds of a millimetre, at most about 7 hundreds of a millimetre. If I can get one of those (unused 7S36B barrel complete) maybe it would be worth a try. What do you think?

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22 hours ago, JohnR725 said:

Yes definitely as we can speculate what it's going to do but it would work out much better for all of us if we find out what it really does so go for it

OK, will order a proper Bergeon mainspring winder first as I'm really tired of buying new and silly expensive mainsprings only to destroy them in my pretty useless K&D winder. So, it may take a couple of weeks before I can report back.

EDIT:

Or, I may try to source a compatible complete Seiko barrel if I can figure out which one, if any...

Edited by VWatchie
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1 hour ago, CaptCalvin said:

It wont help much in your case seeing as how it's slipping so early. 

I don’t quite understand the logic here - are you saying that it’s slipping so early that changing the bridle profile could not correct this? There are only so many variables which define the amount of friction that the bridle produces. 

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OP, did you keep the original mainspring? Can you measure with a good calipers the thickness of the bridle compared to the one on the GR mainspring. Another thing I noted when I was trying them on the Seiko 7002 movt is the bridle on the GR mainspring was a fair bit thinner and more flexible. I posted about it on wrist sushi a year or two ago but can’t find the post right now.


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3 hours ago, rodabod said:

I don’t quite understand the logic here - are you saying that it’s slipping so early that changing the bridle profile could not correct this? There are only so many variables which define the amount of friction that the bridle produces. 

Bridle shape only really come into play at the last few winds when there isn't a whole bunch of coils pushing the bridle flat up against the barrel wall.

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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

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6 hours ago, anilv said:

24hours sounds OK.

Not OK for a piece which has to be used normally - that includes skipping a day and having it running. Factory specs are 42 hours, even if the last hours are of poor timekeeping. 

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8 hours ago, CaptCalvin said:

Bridle shape only really come into play at the last few winds when there isn't a whole bunch of coils pushing the bridle flat up against the barrel wall.

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. 

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