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1975 Seiko Automatic with emerald green dial was practically soaked in oil


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I bought a 1975 Seiko automatic with a really nice emerald green and gold dial, and the entire watch was so sticky with old oil that I almost wonder if whoever serviced it last just dunked it in oil to try to get it working. I thought at first that the hairspring was kinked, but removing the balance and a close inspection under the microscope revealed that it was just caked with old sticky oil, and most of the coils were sticking to each other.

I tried cleaning it in lighter fluid three times before I ultimately gave up and ordered some L&R 556 fluid and an ultrasonic cleaner. With the movement given an actual proper cleaning, the balance swung free and clear and I had high hopes that I would get a usable watch in the end. On the plus side, I have an ultrasonic cleaner now, and it made cleaning up the watch case much easier.

The crystal was completely destroyed so I had to source a new one along with a new band, but the dial only had a few spots where oil seemed to have seeped through from behind. I didn't want to touch it much, but was able to gently dab up most of it with some rodico. Unfortunately there was one spot where a small drop of oil had gotten under the clear coat and destroyed the paint underneath. As soon as I touched that part it all came away leaving a spot of bare metal. The rest of the watch looks good enough though that I can ignore this small blemish, and with everything cleaned up and a bit of regulating it's running really nicely.

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Here are a couple of shots I took for reference before the cleaning (didn't take any of the sticky balance, sorry)

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    • Even after thorough cleaning unfortunately the issue persists. I have made sure that all wheels are perfectly clean, no teeth are chipped, no gunk is left built up on them etc. yet the issue is not gone. When reassembling the movement I of course checked if the wheel train moves freely as that was the suspected cause of the issue before. And the intersting thing is - it does - but only in the "wrong" direction. Driving the wheeltrain by turning the mainspring barrel in the opposite direction as it would turn in normal operation, all wheels spin freely, and continue spinning for a few moments even after I stop providing power by hand. They behave the way I'm used to and have seen with other wheels before. However: When I apply torque in the opposite direction, the power delivery througout the train is not smooth or continuous. While it does turn, there are stages of increased resistance in the train. In addition to this, you can hear a slight "rubbing" sound whenever the trian passes by this point of increased resistance. The sound, to me, is more indicative of a surface rubbing on another surface, rather than the teeth of two wheels getting stuck within each other. Installing the click and putting a wind in the mainspring confirms this same issue, it does unwind and all wheels are powered, yet when the power reserve approaches depletion, it doesn't have enough power to push the wheeltrain past this point of friction. The slightest bump on any of the wheels will free the train, make it spin for however many rotations and then get stuck in the same way. You can do this several times before the power is actually completely depleted. This has really left me dumbfounded. I have inspected all of the wheels, pivots, teeth etc. on the entire wheel train and can't find any traces of dirt, any bent teeth or any warped or out of plane wheels. Besides: If one of the wheels was bent and rubbing up against some other part of the movement during a rotation, shouldn't it be doing this regardless of the direction of the rotation? This is supremely confusing to me and I can't figure out for the life of me why there is increased friction in only ONE direction and not the other. Installing the balance yielded the same result as before the disassembly: the watch runs great for about 50 seconds and then get's stuck when the wheel train get's bogged down. I mentioned earlier that there is a periodic scraping noise that can be heard when the gear train turns fast, this noise is not present when turning the train the opposiste direction. Does anyone have any ideas about which parts of the movement I can check for rubbing? I found no signs of wear or scraping on any of the bridges etc. so what would cause this periodic friction in one direction but not the other? I am very much a novice and have never dealt with such an issue before so I would love to hear what you people think about this. Thanks.
    • For me the second site has been hacked. 
    • https://www.mikrolisk.de/show.php?site=280&suchwort=Tschuy-Vogt&searchWhere=all#sucheMarker Wierd the first link didn't work.  They used other manufacturers movements, like most watch companies.  The watch you are asking about has this movement  https://calibercorner.com/ronda-caliber-3540-d/
    • Is there a way to interpret that?  I assume that is information on the watch?  Thanks!
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