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To service or not to service that is the question


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A couple of months ago I picked up a used Sinn 556 for my personal use on eBay. According to the warranty card the watch was originally sold by Sinn Spezialuhren February 22, 2019. So, three years and three months ago. It has some minor scuffs on the case and a few very fine hairlines on the crystal. As for the movement, an ETA 2824-2 (Novodiac shock absorber), it runs better than any watch I’ve ever put on my timing machine, except for a seven-year-old but newly and professionally serviced Omega Seamaster belonging to a friend of mine, which was doing equally well.

Looking at the jewels through the see-through case back using my stereo microscope, the oiling of the jewels looks like absolute perfection, and I can’t detect any kind of dirt or imperfections whatsoever. As a side note I just want to mention that the movement is decorated and the printing on the gilded and decorated rotor looks like it could have been done by A. Lange & Söhne, even at 40X magnification. It’s by far the prettiest movement I’ve seen in reality.

Anyway, the question is, should I service it or not? Despite the movement looking and running perfectly it has likely seen a lot of use during these soon 3.5 years, but I do plan to use it as my daily beater as it is extremely legible and comfortable to wear. I’m itching to service it, but perhaps it really would be unnecessary, and time better spent on something else?

I'd really appreciate your opinions!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Don’t do it! I wouldn’t service that especially since the performance looks so good, that’s just asking for trouble. Maybe in a couple of years time…

Edited by ifibrin
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 This is a $1000 +    watch, certainly superior quality to its Asian Cousins, I think these impressive numbers tell more about the grade of its movement and not how long the lubricants will last. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, VWatchie said:

Sinn556.thumb.jpg.07c88c4086147c4d663e74f9cb4da21f.jpg

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IMG_8884.thumb.JPG.acc4eded171f433cfc93cad29da831cc.JPG

A couple of months ago I picked up a used Sinn 556 for my personal use on eBay. According to the warranty card the watch was originally sold by Sinn Spezialuhren February 22, 2019. So, three years and three months ago. It has some minor scuffs on the case and a few very fine hairlines on the crystal. As for the movement, an ETA 2824-2 (Novodiac shock absorber), it runs better than any watch I’ve ever put on my timing machine, except for a seven-year-old but newly and professionally serviced Omega Seamaster belonging to a friend of mine, which was doing equally well.

Looking at the jewels through the see-through case back using my stereo microscope, the oiling of the jewels looks like absolute perfection, and I can’t detect any kind of dirt or imperfections whatsoever. As a side note I just want to mention that the movement is decorated and the printing on the gilded and decorated rotor looks like it could have been done by A. Lange & Söhne, even at 40X magnification. It’s by far the prettiest movement I’ve seen in reality.

Anyway, the question is, should I service it or not? Despite the movement looking and running perfectly it has likely seen a lot of use during these soon 3.5 years, but I do plan to use it as my daily beater as it is extremely legible and comfortable to wear. I’m itching to service it, but perhaps it really would be unnecessary, and time better spent on something else?

I'd really appreciate your opinions!

 

 

Hiya mate. I understand your dilemma completely, this is your love of quality and gorgeous watches drawing you in. I've noticed your posts and spoke to you often over this past couple of months and know how you feel about beautiful timepieces. Also your curiosity is wanting you to get hands on to further explore inside. Are you feeling a little nervous that you may effect its performance ? Haha mate if all this is true then you are just like me. Personally i would leave it be for the time being, its obviously in no desperate need for a service. I would want to give it some wrist time and I'm  sure it wants to be worn first ( before you abuse it,   only joking 😉).

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

I wonder if we are looking at a high grade movement? 

 

 

Just under the balance wheel is the following inscription: 2824-2  173  ETA  V8  ZV09, and it's engraved in gold color (I never saw that before!) It sure looks fancy in every way, but a quick googling doesn't come up with anything useful.

It sure looks and performs "high grade" but what contradicts this it is that the shock protection uses Etachocs rather than Incabloc. Then again, I've seen Incabloc on 2824-2s that were definitely not high grade. These days Sinn uses a Sellita SW200-1 in this watch (Sinn 556 A) and I wouldn't be surprised if Sinn puts a lot of work into these movements to make them perform their best. After all, for approx. $1100 on a leather strap including shipping, customer's expectations will be pretty high.

So, just wear it and enjoy it then, huh? So, when do I know it's up for an overhaul? I heard modern synthetic oils won't really degrade and thereby affect performance but rather stop having their lubricating effect and instead make pivots begin to wear out. Perhaps I'm misinformed so if anyone can elaborate on this it would highly interesting.

19 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Also your curiosity is wanting you to get hands on to further explore inside. Are you feeling a little nervous that you may effect its performance ?

Yep! 😆

19 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Haha mate if all this is true then you are just like me. Personally i would leave it be for the time being, its obviously in no desperate need for a service.

It seems to be the consensus in the thread so far. The big question really is, with modern oils, how can we tell a watch is up for a service?

Edited by VWatchie
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Same that is in the Yema superman that I've been looking at buying. Its to go with my right arm tattoo lol.

That Yema superman sure looks rather Sinn-ish/tool-ish. Very pretty, and basically priced like my Sinn.

Edited by VWatchie
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14 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

I heard modern synthetic oils won't really degrade and thereby affect performance but rather stop having their lubricating effect and instead make pivots begin to wear out. Perhaps I'm misinformed so if anyone can elaborate on this it would highly interesting.

Ive been having exactly the same thoughts VW when i found out that synthetic oils evaporate as opposed to congeal like mineral oils. So effectively letting the pivots run dry instead of causing them to slow down and stop through oil viscosity change. So much so i was thinking of going back to mineral oils. I think John is the man to ask about this one.

11 minutes ago, VWatchie said:

That Yema superman sure looks rather Sinn-ish/tool-ish. Very pretty, and basically priced like my Sinn.

I very nearly bought the quartz model to have a more of a beater watch for when I'm working. But the Ronda 515 inside priced at under a tenner for a replacement really put me off. I was so disappointed at Yema that contacted them and ended up having a good old rant about it 🤷‍♂️

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

I think John is the man to ask about this one.

Yep, like so many other things about movements! I sure would like to hear your thoughts on this @JohnR725!

Edited by VWatchie
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I'm going to call this "my guess" due to lack of experience, but I'm assuming that as the lubrication dries up because it's synthetic, I would expect there to be more and more positional variance as the pivots will start to be affected by gravity more over time. That's what I would be looking for, someone please correct me if this is totally wrong.

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I don't suppose there is any sign of the back plate ever been removed before. The question that kinda bugs me is why did the seller sell it? 

Wearing it for a while will hopefully approve the numbers tg shows at the moment. 

Do you still love Komandriske?    lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Will you have hard feelings towards the watch if the numbers are worse after you service it?  I'm emotional like that.  

I'd just wear it.  A million things can go wrong if you take it apart, and the upside is not much.  I get bored of watches pretty quick so I'd pass it to the next guy long before it actually needed a service.   

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Posted (edited)

My personal experience with a Rolex 3135 and a JLC 889 (both modern calibers and been serviced professionally in the 90th) is that over a time period of 10 to 20 years the light synthetic oil in the balance bearings evaporates completely and the watches start loosing time. The oiling state of the upper cap jewel can be evaluated with a microscope or loupe easily.

Edited by Kalanag
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14 hours ago, VWatchie said:

It seems to be the consensus in the thread so far. The big question really is, with modern oils, how can we tell a watch is up for a service?

If you can see the oiling in the balance jewels and it looks good, and the watch is running fine and winding correctly with the automatic, just keep wearing it until the oil looks like it has depleted somewhat, amplitude starts to drop, or the rotor starts spinning when you handwind (sign the reversers need servicing). If a watch has been properly cleaned and serviced to ETA factory spec it really should run 10 years without issue.

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15 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

If you can see the oiling in the balance jewels and it looks good, and the watch is running fine and winding correctly with the automatic, just keep wearing it until the oil looks like it has depleted somewhat, amplitude starts to drop, or the rotor starts spinning when you handwind (sign the reversers need servicing). If a watch has been properly cleaned and serviced to ETA factory spec it really should run 10 years without 

Would these be the same indications of a needed service regardless of a synthetic or a mineral based oil. I'm assuming you that you wont use a mineral based oil now but may have earlier in your career. Obviously correct servicing times are always the best answer, but any thoughts as to synthetic vs mineral are very interesting. 

15 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Ive been having exactly the same thoughts VW when i found out that synthetic oils evaporate as opposed to congeal like mineral oils. So effectively letting the pivots run dry instead of causing them to slow down and stop through oil viscosity change. So much so i was thinking of going back to mineral oils. I think John is the man to ask about this one.

I very nearly bought the quartz model to have a more of a beater watch for when I'm working. But the Ronda 515 inside priced at under a tenner for a replacement really put me off. I was so disappointed at Yema that contacted them and ended up having a good old rant about it 🤷‍♂️

What are your thoughts on the Yema quartz Vw. I really like the look of it and its an ok diver with 200 metres. But that Ronda 515 ?

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25 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Would these be the same indications of a needed service regardless of a synthetic or a mineral based oil. I'm assuming you that you wont use a mineral based oil now but may have earlier in your career. Obviously correct servicing times are always the best answer, but any thoughts as to synthetic vs mineral are very interesting. 

What are your thoughts on the Yema quartz Vw. I really like the look of it and its an ok diver with 200 metres. But that Ronda 515 ?

Synthetic oil has been around for well over 50 years, so I don't have much of an opinion on it versus mineral oil, as I doubt any professional has used mineral for almost that period. But synthetic will tend to evaporate rather than gum up; there, the danger of not servicing is the watch then runs without lubrication causing damage, where mineral oil would cause the watch to stop or run so poorly you would know it needs service.

 

No thoughts as to quartz watches- I might work on one or two a year for friends but otherwise know nothing about them (aside what I learned in school 25 years ago)!

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8 minutes ago, nickelsilver said:

Synthetic oil has been around for well over 50 years, so I don't have much of an opinion on it versus mineral oil, as I doubt any professional has used mineral for almost that period. But synthetic will tend to evaporate rather than gum up; there, the danger of not servicing is the watch then runs without lubrication causing damage, where mineral oil would cause the watch to stop or run so poorly you would know it needs service.

 

No thoughts as to quartz watches- I might work on one or two a year for friends but otherwise know nothing about them (aside what I learned in school 25 years ago)!

Thanks Nickelsilver.  I think you have basically reinforced mine and watchie's same thoughts. I'm curious to know how much difference between the two on performance and service intervals. A longish time experiment for the later. Old time watch repairers had only one choice then, yet i havent seen many 50+ year old watches with more than 2 or 3 service marks. I expect that the quartz crisis saw many mechanicals drawed or worse still landfilled. Time to buy a metal detector me thinks. 

9 minutes ago, RichardHarris123 said:

Gumming up and stopping/ slowing down does seem better than grinding to a holt with the associated damage.  No doubt many will disagree. 

I think the service interval and performance is a deciding factor for the pros tbh. As a professional in my game i always want to turn out the best possible jobs for my customers. But I'm sort of thinking i want to try mineral oils in my own watches. I already use mobius D5 anyway.

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14 hours ago, Nucejoe said:

Do you still love Komandriske?    lol

Oh yes, that love for me is for life! Of course, the Vostok 24XX movements will never be as precise as these top of the line Swiss movements but can be regulated to be just as accurate. I've managed to regulate some Vostok movements to my personal wearing style (approx. 15 hours of daily wear and approx. 9 hours of nightly rest dial up) to be as accurate as quartz. Anyway, the positional precision of the Vostoks falls pretty far behind top quality Swiss movements. But in practice that doesn't mean a whole lot when it comes to accuracy. Here's a very nice but a bit lengthy video lecture on the topic.

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