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Oddities with a brand new NH35 powered watch -- Looking for suggestions to fix


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Recently I picked up a Deep Blue Diver 1000 gen 2 watch (NH35 movement), and have noticed some really strange oddities with it -- It will work normally if left off wrist within about +10spd, but if on wrist, it will work normally for hours, then randomly I'll look down, and it is around 5-8 minutes slow from what it should be.  Example of yesterday I checked it around 5:01pm, typed a few emails, and then at 5:30pm it showed 5:22pm.  Watch was no low on power, as after this happened I put it back in the watchbox and it was still running 15 hrs later.

Anyhow, as I can't return the watch without significant shipping costs and restock fees, I want to see if I can potentially figure out what might be wrong with it.  Could it be something with the hands not being properly installed somehow, or is this guaranteed to be an issue with the movement?  I'm also thinking of doing a movement swap if I have to, given I think I can get another NH35 for around $70 or so.

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Tough to say from here. Could be something is stopping, could be slipping, could be slowing. If it's a new watch, I'd contact the seller first. Failing that being viable, depending on where you are, NH35s should be much cheaper than $70... Like, half.

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Hmm I've tried to catch it in the act, but never seen it when it actually loses time...but to drop 5 mins or so in a 25 min window either it must be slowly to a crawl or stopping entirely.

I'm in Canada and the seller is in the US, so would need to pay international shipping to them, plus they charge the return shipping back to me as well.  If I could be 100% certain they could ID and fix it I might send it back, but it is so intermittent I'm not sure how they would test/figure out what is wrong (unless they wear it for a day and keep checking it).  On a timegrapher it would probably show as fine, given I can leave it in any orientation in a box and it is ok.

Out of interest though where do people here recommend sourcing a NH35A from?  Excluding places like AliExpress or random eBay sellers, namokimods seemed to be the cheapest place I could find.  Esslinger wanted a lot more.

Edited by Conundrum1911
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20 minutes ago, Conundrum1911 said:

I'm in Canada and the seller is in the US, so would need to pay international shipping to them, plus they charge the return shipping back to me as well.

Returning for a full refund is your best choice. Since you've doing that because it's defective, you may not even have to pay return shipping. Check with PayPal, if that's what you have used, about the protection terms that apply.

20 minutes ago, Conundrum1911 said:

Out of interest though where do people here recommend sourcing a NH35A from?  Excluding places like AliExpress or random eBay

If you are willing to wait a bit more for shipping from HK or China, these are the cheapest offers. Otherwise if you get from someone that ships from the Canada you will just pay a bit more, and receive the same identical product.

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1 minute ago, jdm said:

Returning for a full refund is your best choice. Since you've doing that because it's defective, you may not even have to pay return shipping. Check with PayPal, if that's what you have used, about the protection terms that apply.

Unfortunately they state on their website, customer pays the return, plus in the case of a return it is a 25% restock fee.  Watch was only $170 so not really worth it with all the costs adding up and ending up with nothing. 

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Get your money back.

If the seller won't take back the watch and give you a refund,  then dispute the sale with your credit card company or PayPal, as the watch is defective.

The problem could be anything from loose hands to a defective movement,  no way of knowing without taking apart the watch, and it's not worth buying a new movement until you know what is wrong with the watch.

 

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I'm with dadistic. It's an American company, the expectation should definitely be that they aren't hawking defective goods. As inexpensive as the watch is, they might not even want it back... If they do, my expectation as an American would be that they cover it. COB. Just because their website says so, doesn't mean whoever picks up the phone will say the same. Pretty sure the website doesn't say "defective" anywhere in their return policy. It's at least worth a phone call.

If you're concerned about international rates, I had a bunch of dealings in Canada recently, and I used the Google Voice app. It's free.

I believe I found the best price to my door last time I bought a Seiko movement from a random seller on eBay. It wasn't an NH35, but same family. That specificity might have cost me a few bucks more than the cheapest seller out there. From memory, it was on the order of $35 shipped.

Edited by spectre6000
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Deep Blue is known to be a reputable company.  I have a Military Diver 300 and have never had a problem with it other than it is too big for my scrawny but powerful wrist.  Of the 20 or so NH3x and 4R3x watches I have one or two have been odd.  They will keep time +- 5sec/day for weeks then be 2 or 3 minutes off per day, then back to normal.  Could be rough treatment or could be from sitting on my butt not moving around.  I do both. 

I recently built a watch with an NH36 movement.  When I put the cheap aliexpress hands on, there was almost no resistance.  Last week I noticed the time was way off.  Then I noticed that the minute hand was at 30 and the hour hand was dead on the hour mark, not half way between.  With the hour set to midnight the minute hand had spun around to about 26.  Back to the work bench for this one.  That's a long way of saying check for loose hands by setting to midnight and see if both hands align.  The date should start to move around 2330 and click over at or near midnight.

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12 hours ago, Conundrum1911 said:

Unfortunately they state on their website, customer pays the return, plus in the case of a return it is a 25% restock fee.  

Whatever they state if PayPal was used for payment they must abide to its terms of buyer's protection, beside any applicable consumer regulation. A restocking fee is never applicable for a non elective return. All you have to is to ship it back, open a claim with PayPal and include the tracking number. No arguing with the seller is needed. You will receive immediate credit pending the final decision by PayPal, which normally sides with an honest buyer. As I mentioned PayPal Canada also refunds the return shipping, including to the US: https://www.paypal.com/ca/for-you/shop/refunded-returns
That's why it's always recommendable to use it for online purchases. 

I believe the above is most effective and correct way to deal with a brand new of a item that is faulty, then of course you can decide to do differently.

Edited by jdm
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11 hours ago, Conundrum1911 said:

Unfortunately they state on their website, customer pays the return, plus in the case of a return it is a 25% restock fee.  Watch was only $170 so not really worth it with all the costs adding up and ending up with nothing. 

That seems very unfair considering the watch is faulty. Surely worth a call to them to explain the situation ? How long have you had the watch ? generally a supplier will not want to receive a poor review of their product. Even the loss of one  sale can negate their profit from your purchase. A call or an email is always worth a try. As an example i complained ( no big surprise there about me lol ) in a lengthy  ( again no surprise about me lol ) but polite email to both Toshiba and Bosch regarding their change of battery design on their cordless power tools and the exorbitant cost ebay sellers were asking for discontinued nos batteries. Both companies replied with an explanation apology and an offer of free nos batteries as compensation. Toshiba replied within 2 hours and sent me 2 batteries, Bosch replied the following day and sent me 2 Batteries. Tried the same with Makita, no response what so ever 😂. Any company worth their salt and that have good business ethics will want to keep their customers happy and returning to buy more. Honestly mate try it with a polite respectful email, its not like its a high end watch they might want to quibble over. 👍

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From their page regarding warranties/returns:

Quote

Warranty Information

All Deep blue watches are covered by an international 1 year warranty. Please note certain restrictions apply. Watches that are opened by unauthorized repair centers, warranties will not be honored . Watches that are not properly sealed before diving will not be honored. Watches are NOT covered due to Misuse,Neglect, Careless handling or Accidents. Deep Blue Reserves the Right to determine Warranty option. Please see your warranty manual for more info. Watches May be Returned for full refund of the purchase price (excluding shipping charges) after receipt of watch plus 2 days. Customer Must contact us within 2 days with decision. Watch must be in Brand new condition- unused, unworn, and unsized. Customer must pay for Shipping inbound on all Return/Defective Watches whether new or worn. Deep Blue will ship your watch back via UPS Ground for a fee of $14.95, unless other arrangements have been agreed upon.

Warranties are not transferable. You Must Purchase your watch from an AUTHORIZED dealer for full warranty coverage. This policy will be strictly enforced with no exceptions. Please email *****@*****.tld to ask about a specific Reseller. Watches purchased for gifts must be registered within 1 week from purchase with names of gifted party via Email *****@*****.tld

 

RETURN POLICY:

Returns will be accepted on brand new, never worn or sized watches within 7 days of purchase. All Returns are subject to a 10% restocking fee ; Shipping fees are non-refundable.
In the event of a free/discounted shipping promo, the refund amount will be your purchase price,
less the shipping method provided( see rates above). No Free shipping on Helmets or Carry cases

Refused packages are subject to a 25% restocking fee. No exceptions.

PLEASE NOTE: If issued, there is a $20 fee (deducted from your refund, besides the restocking fee) for all pre-paid shipping labels.

Please Save your original receipt of purchase

Thank you.

 

I did just send them an email to their "repair" email address, so I guess will see what they say.  It did seem to indicate that they will only respond if you are asking about a status, and that otherwise you must fill out their repair form, and mail the watch off before getting a reply.

That all said, I really don't want to get bled dry on the shipping both ways unless they can guarantee me a new watch or a new movement...given the shipping alone would pay for a new movement I could try to install myself.

So I guess will see if they say anything.  All I know is this is the last Deep Blue watch I purchase after this experience.  Thankfully my first one from them though was 100% fine (a tritium lumed diver)...just this one has been a headache and a half.

Also to ask since someone might know here -- Is there anywhere to go/search to find any watch repair shops or watchmakers in an area?  I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and a few random Googles do not yield much.

Edited by Conundrum1911
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44 minutes ago, Conundrum1911 said:

From their page regarding warranties/returns:

 

I did just send them an email to their "repair" email address, so I guess will see what they say.  It did seem to indicate that they will only respond if you are asking about a status, and that otherwise you must fill out their repair form, and mail the watch off before getting a reply.

That all said, I really don't want to get bled dry on the shipping both ways unless they can guarantee me a new watch or a new movement...given the shipping alone would pay for a new movement I could try to install myself.

So I guess will see if they say anything.  All I know is this is the last Deep Blue watch I purchase after this experience.  Thankfully my first one from them though was 100% fine (a tritium lumed diver)...just this one has been a headache and a half.

Also to ask since someone might know here -- Is there anywhere to go/search to find any watch repair shops or watchmakers in an area?  I'm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and a few random Googles do not yield much.

If you have not done any watch repair before some half decent tools alone to do just a replacement will run you past the cost of a new movement. A screw back case remover along with the risk of scratching the back, screwdrivers , handlevers , removing the stem. In Uk we have trading standards which can sometimes help with certain issues. Also as has been mentioned credit card or paypal protection. Get a refund if you can, if that becomes a long drawn out process then dont ever use them again. But dont get their back up until you have your refund,  be polite putting your issue to them, make them aware that you understand faults can occur. Even give them the impression that you will buy from them again once the issue is solved. If they are unresponsive after all your considerate efforts then just let rip with the worst review they've ever had. 🤣

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I've got a basic set of tools for resizing bracelets, opening casebacks, etc and have used donor parts of a miyota quartz movement to repair another in the past.  I am missing dial protectors, hand pullers, and hand setters though so I would need to pick those up, if I were to do it myself.

This would be the first mechanical/auto I've worked on though, and the first involving the dial and hands.

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Still no reply from them.  Will try another email address on Monday afternoon (had emailed their repair address, will try sales I guess).

I also figured out the positioning that causes it to stall.  Took a video and this is with at least a days worth left in the power reserve.  Dial up it runs for around 46hrs at about 4-10spd

https://youtu.be/FNHSjGJXLkI

Edited by Conundrum1911
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I'm sitting in my arm chair drinking my morning tea. Click the link. Look down. That's the exact position my watch is in. Problematic for sure.

If you have a timegrapher, I'd be curious about the amplitude. There are a handful of things that could cause that, but you don't want to open the case if you can get it swapped out for a non-defective one. That wouldn't really tell you exactly what was wrong, but would give you an idea for how bad it is when it's still running.

I would be pretty aggressive on this one. No reason to eat $170. If they want to be assholes about shipping, there are plenty of places with bigger and more acquisitive audiences where you could let people know how crappy these guys are selling defective watches and refusing to rectify the situation.

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Wish I had a timegrapher (will probably pick one up a some point in future), but unfortunately I don't.  It is a display caseback, so I can sort of see the balance, but not completely as it gets obstructed by the rotor in that position.  That said it does seem to stop moving as healthy right before it stalls completely, so my guess would be the amplitude is likely terrible in that position.  Strangely it does run really well though if left dial up over 24 hrs (as good as +4spd).

Will try to contact them again next week and see what happens.  At this point though if I did pay to send it back I'd want to be guaranteed a new movement, but I guess we'll see.  Failing all that though I might try a self repair/movement swap, but I am worried I'll screw up on removing and putting back the hands.  I guess I do need to learn at some point though.

Edited by Conundrum1911
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On 7/13/2022 at 10:46 PM, Conundrum1911 said:

I've got a basic set of tools for resizing bracelets, opening casebacks, etc and have used donor parts of a miyota quartz movement to repair another in the past.  I am missing dial protectors, hand pullers, and hand setters though so I would need to pick those up, if I were to do it myself.

This would be the first mechanical/auto I've worked on though, and the first involving the dial and hands.

A poly bag make a very good dial protector and everone here will attest better than anything shop bought. If you are resigning yourself to doing this as your refund is a no go. Firstly and most definitely let the vendor know how bad and detailed your review is going to be and how many places you are going to broadcast this information about their seconds quality product. 😀  . Secondly have some practice on some cheap broken watches from ebay. Even just to have a go at hand removing and replacement and stem removal. Its actually quite easy to be heavyhanded until you develop a good feel for tool handling. Setting levers can be broken with too much pressing etc. Best advice i can give you is, some practice elsewhere needed first , take your time and dont force anything. If it wont move or release then back off reset and rethink what you are doing.

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Simply swapping a movement for the same movement is pretty easy. Hand pullers and the tool to push them back on (blanking on the name, but not a press) are inexpensive and easy to use. Bag tip is a good one. If you have the tools and even a little experience at all with them, it's a... 10 minute job?

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  • 1 month later...

So to update (I always hate threads with no ending) -- I had to reach out to Deep Blue a number of times and stay on top of them for updates, but they did allow me to exchange the broken watch for a new one.  I paid the shipping to get it back to them, and they paid to send the replacement to me.

New watch keeps time, but seems to be running at +25spd dial up if I track it over 12-24hrs.  On wrist closer to 0, but I do hate watches that are all over the place when it comes to positional accuracy (my other 4R and NH3x watches are all pretty stable).  Hoping it smooths out a bit with a few weeks of run time.

But in the end, I did end up with a working watch.

I also do want to learn how to do movement swaps though, so might pick up a cheap Pagani Designs watch at some point just to open and play with.  But that's for another time.

Edited by Conundrum1911
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