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Kickback check. Is this failing it?


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I had two interesting cases when I went through first projects.
In case one, I had used too much oil on the pallet fork exit stone (that’s before I went for 9415 grease) and over time the excess oil ran up the arms of the escape wheel, hurting performance over time.

In the 2nd case, I must’ve used too much oil on the top balance jewel. Amplitude was way down and when I checked the HS wasn’t breathing properly with some stuck coils. At first thought I was thinking it was magnetised but when I checked closer I could see oil on the HS and there was no oil in the cap jewel. Cleaned the HS, redid the cap jewel and it ran perfect again. 

Point is that you’re going to make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated.

2 hours ago, Birbdad said:

If those two things you mentioned are your test this is passing that with flying colors and I'm gonna move on with the assembly and lubrication. 

Then you’re good!

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11 minutes ago, gbyleveldt said:

I had two interesting cases when I went through first projects.
In case one, I had used too much oil on the pallet fork exit stone (that’s before I went for 9415 grease) and over time the excess oil ran up the arms of the escape wheel, hurting performance over time.

In the 2nd case, I must’ve used too much oil on the top balance jewel. Amplitude was way down and when I checked the HS wasn’t breathing properly with some stuck coils. At first thought I was thinking it was magnetised but when I checked closer I could see oil on the HS and there was no oil in the cap jewel. Cleaned the HS, redid the cap jewel and it ran perfect again. 

Point is that you’re going to make mistakes. Don’t get frustrated.

Then you’re good!

I use 9415 for the exit stone too but i was super surprised to see the spec sheet tells you to use 9010 and on both pallet stones. that seems like it would spread everywhere unless you used epilame. 

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4 hours ago, Birbdad said:

I'm gonna move on with the assembly and lubrication.

Good decision. My assessment of your first video had more to do with the abrupt deceleration than with the lack of backlash. As Gary and others have said, you don't always see that. The train appears free now.

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6 hours ago, gbyleveldt said:

Haha, you flatter me. And there’s waaaay more qualified Seiko guys than me.

Haha when mentioned. And as if by magic the genie-us appears. And i beg to differ, certainly not as charming and witty with devilish good looks. Did i ever mention that i really liked your self designed movement cleaner ? 😅

6 hours ago, gbyleveldt said:

Haha, you flatter me. And there’s waaaay more qualified Seiko guys than me.

@Birbdad Can I tell you a little secret? That backlash thing doesn’t always work like you’d hope. Typical Seiko’s are made by the millions with pretty large tolerances. On some you win the tolerance stacking lottery, on some you don’t. It is what it is. You can obsess over getting this right on a $40 movement or you can put many of them together and get a feel for them. After you’ve done maybe 10 of them you know if it’s gonna be a runner or not. Install the main barrel and centre wheel by themselves, mount the train bridge. Use a puffer on the barrel teeth. If it moves freely, you’re good. Take those out, install the train without the barrel, mount the train bridge again, do the puffer test on the escape wheel. If all good you proceed to fit everything and move on. Again, once you’ve done a few you’ll get a feel for it, it’s not easy to teach this and as a beginner, I wouldn’t obsess over it at first. It’s not like it’s a COSC certified movement.

Lastly, and I’m going against the grain of accepted wisdom here, but on a modern cheap Seiko movement, don’t bother with taking the barrel apart unless you have the equipment to put it back together. 99% of them are good. Without experience, you don’t know what you don’t know.

I’m busy clearing out some of my watch collection of pieces I’ve done long ago but never wear. I cringe now when I put them on the TG and see they haven’t held up well over time. Why? Because I didn’t know then what I know now. So I’ve had to redo the service on these before passing the pieces on. It happens and you can’t hope to achieve perfection on your first try. Get those pieces working well and learn from the experience. The day you stop learning something new every time you work on something is the day you either give up the hobby or start earning a living from it as otherwise it’s no longer stimulating. Ok, I’m probably being a little harsh but you get my point.

I understand the strive for getting things perfect right from the get go. But that road leads to frustration. Because in the beginning it won’t be perfect. Accept that and learn from it and most of all, enjoy the journey and the small wins when something works better than it did before. But don’t beat yourself up. You can always circle back to things down the road as you gain experience.

Anyway, at the risk of rambling and repeating myself, just put the damn thing together and see what happens. Repeat this a few times and learn from it. Don’t get frustrated and have a good time, take the small wins. “Perfection” will come with time. Spoiler: no one is perfect…

There you go Col very wise words from a guy that knows his onions. 

6 hours ago, Birbdad said:

What i dont' want to do is get the damn thing together and it doesn't even keep good enough time to bother wearing, then i gotta disassemble, reclean and go down some big rabbit hole to find the one of seemingly 100 things that is responsible. I like to do things right the first time and I just learn better that way. 

That is an essence of watchmaking Col, to keep trying till you find the problem/problems and fix it. You will learn far more that way than just putting it back together and it working the first time assembly. As Gert was saying enjoy the journey. This is just your frustration talking, i was similar when i started and i will bet that a lot of us here were exactly the same. Eagar to get a watch back together and running,that will change the more you do. There is no time scale very few of us here are earning a living from it. I now love the problem solving, the buzz that comes when seeing decent tg readings for me is way higher than the balance wheel setting into motion. 

6 hours ago, Birbdad said:

be pretty disappointed if i get the thing put together and run it for a bit then put it on the timegrapher and it's just not performing.

Dont be  mate, you wont find every fault all the time visually. The tg will help you diagnose problems that you just cant see.

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
Added some crawling comments 😄
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Oh there's no frustration at the moment. I was very frustrated when i hit a couple of road blocks before with bad luck with hairsprings and my auto oiler not behaving as expected but I seem to have surpassed them. I'm just enjoying myself and taking my time now and glad to be hopefully in the home stretch. Gonna finish the movement assembly on saturday and can't wait! 
I got another one already cleaned and ready to assemble and I bet you once this one is done and running that one will only take an afternoon. THen i'm on to my first non runner project watches.

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2 hours ago, Birbdad said:

Oh there's no frustration at the moment. I was very frustrated when i hit a couple of road blocks before with bad luck with hairsprings and my auto oiler not behaving as expected but I seem to have surpassed them. I'm just enjoying myself and taking my time now and glad to be hopefully in the home stretch. Gonna finish the movement assembly on saturday and can't wait! 
I got another one already cleaned and ready to assemble and I bet you once this one is done and running that one will only take an afternoon. THen i'm on to my first non runner project watches.

Brilliant Col. I'm pleased to see you are liking watch repair, it lands on both sides of the coin. Frustrating at times but very rewarding when you score a win. And absolutely mate the experience gained here will enhance your skill and speed. Concentrate more on the skill the speed will come naturally. Another activity now springs to mind 😄.

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15 hours ago, Birbdad said:

Cool thanks. It's less than i'm trying to get things perfect and more that i have zero frame of reference for any of this, there's a checklist for beginners, seemed like a good idea to pay attention to it. What i dont' want to do is get the damn thing together and it doesn't even keep good enough time to bother wearing, then i gotta disassemble, reclean and go down some big rabbit hole to find the one of seemingly 100 things that is responsible. I like to do things right the first time and I just learn better that way. Doesn't have to be perfect but to do things the way they're supposed to be done.  It might take me a couple months of my rare spare time to get it right the first time, but i do it once the second time will only take an afternoon. That's just how i am.

If those two things you mentioned are your test this is passing that with flying colors and I'm gonna move on with the assembly and lubrication. 

I'll be pretty disappointed if i get the thing put together and run it for a bit then put it on the timegrapher and it's just not performing.

Failure is your best teacher!

Edison never made a light bulb first time he tried. He made thousands! And when he moved on to the next attempt he saw it as a lesson learned, rather than in any negative sense.

Perfection is a noble pursuit and it is a good thing to reach for, but when you fail, which we all do, then at least progression can be claimed. This is from my experience and experience has shown me there are many things in a watch movement that have to be right to get it to work to it's optimum, but only one major thing that will grind it to a halt, or run poorly. As @gbyleveldthas already said, the more movements you do the better the feel you'll have for those movements and their idiosyncrasies, especially Seiko's! and the more you will learn. Also, one person giving advice, or telling you how a certain process in watchmaking should be done, doesn't make it 'the truth'. You'll see a lot of that on YouTube. There are many ways to skin a cat a lot of the time and some that are just weird. I had a student recently that was told by a previous 'watchmaker' (and I use that term in the loosest sense) to 'tickle' the coils of a quartz watch if it wasn't working. Seriously! Yeah, he believed it and was running a screwdriver blade across the micro wire coil which could break at any moment doing it. This was one case that was just weird. I like your enthusiasm to get it right though. It's good to be a sponge, especially regarding this kind of work.

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On 11/2/2022 at 12:55 PM, Jon said:

Failure is your best teacher!

Edison never made a light bulb first time he tried. He made thousands! And when he moved on to the next attempt he saw it as a lesson learned, rather than in any negative sense.

Perfection is a noble pursuit and it is a good thing to reach for, but when you fail, which we all do, then at least progression can be claimed. This is from my experience and experience has shown me there are many things in a watch movement that have to be right to get it to work to it's optimum, but only one major thing that will grind it to a halt, or run poorly. As @gbyleveldthas already said, the more movements you do the better the feel you'll have for those movements and their idiosyncrasies, especially Seiko's! and the more you will learn. Also, one person giving advice, or telling you how a certain process in watchmaking should be done, doesn't make it 'the truth'. You'll see a lot of that on YouTube. There are many ways to skin a cat a lot of the time and some that are just weird. I had a student recently that was told by a previous 'watchmaker' (and I use that term in the loosest sense) to 'tickle' the coils of a quartz watch if it wasn't working. Seriously! Yeah, he believed it and was running a screwdriver blade across the micro wire coil which could break at any moment doing it. This was one case that was just weird. I like your enthusiasm to get it right though. It's good to be a sponge, especially regarding this kind of work.

Well that's good to hear because I have definitely failed, so that's annoying but not unexpected. Got the pallet stone perfectly oiled, everything seemed to be fine, put the balance in, it's totally bogged down. Something is wrong. Got any idea where i should start? I'm assuming it's the gear train but I can't for the life of me think of what  would be putting up this much resistance, i've already disassembled, and checked the teeth and pivots, they seem fine I'm stumped. @gbyleveldt

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We have established that the train from the barrel to the escape wheel is running freely. With the pallet fork fitted, put tension into the mainspring, until the escape wheel locks. Now, very gently (use an oiler or a fine brush) push the fork left and right. Does it flick over enthusiastically? If so, power is getting thorugh to the balance. If not, check the pallet fork alone, It should tmove between the bankings with no drag. Check the endshake.

If the pallet fork flicks from side to side OK, check the balance alone. Blowing on it with your blower should set it oscillating for a good half a minute or longer.

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18 hours ago, Klassiker said:

We have established that the train from the barrel to the escape wheel is running freely. With the pallet fork fitted, put tension into the mainspring, until the escape wheel locks. Now, very gently (use an oiler or a fine brush) push the fork left and right. Does it flick over enthusiastically? If so, power is getting thorugh to the balance. If not, check the pallet fork alone, It should tmove between the bankings with no drag. Check the endshake.

If the pallet fork flicks from side to side OK, check the balance alone. Blowing on it with your blower should set it oscillating for a good half a minute or longer.

The pallet fork jumps over fine. When I get back to it I'll take out the pallet fork and check the balance.  I also realized I might not have put much wind in it....if you're turning the barrel screw with a screwdriver how many turns is it to get it to full wind? 

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3 hours ago, JohnFrum said:

8 full turns

Oh wow, i wonder if i just didn't give it enough juice. I know it's designed to have the mainspring slip if it's overwound but figured i'ts probably bes tnot to push it, i may have only wound it a half turn...I'll be messing with it on saturday and report back. Thanks!

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On 11/4/2022 at 8:11 AM, gbyleveldt said:

What @Klassikersaid

What Gert said 

8 hours ago, Birbdad said:

The pallet fork jumps over fine. When I get back to it I'll take out the pallet fork and check the balance.  I also realized I might not have put much wind in it....if you're turning the barrel screw with a screwdriver how many turns is it to get it to full wind? 

Quite a few. My Raketa is taking approx total of about 30 half turns. Its power reserve is stated at 45 hours . 

5 hours ago, Birbdad said:

Oh wow, i wonder if i just didn't give it enough juice. I know it's designed to have the mainspring slip if it's overwound but figured i'ts probably bes tnot to push it, i may have only wound it a half turn...I'll be messing with it on saturday and report back. Thanks!

You would be ok to wind it until you feel the resistance slip. You would have to give it some to break the mainspring on a manual wind watch. More likely to snap the stem.

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Ok here's some videos and photos. I'm a bit baffled by all this and wondering if you guys got some insight. I have the bottom balance shock setting in place and properly oiled for all of these but not the top.
 
The balance appears to be free and working as expected If i remove the pallet fork. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ol33csueptpshvs/balance_only.mp4?dl=0

If I put the pallet fork in i'm seeing the escape wheel is now slipping inbetween actuating it from side to side manually.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vx70wmvfjd27atz/escape_slipping.mp4?dl=0

When I try to start the thing it will start and sometimes go for 30 seconds to a minute before running out of steam despite plenty of wind on thhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/43wz7lujvxd5spu/balance_and_pallet fork.mp4?dl=0e mainspring. 


I closely inspected the pallet fork and i can't see anything wrong with it so I don't know what could cause that slippage. This is a NEW pallet fork and unused in any previous movement. here's photos.
1389991915_palletfork.thumb.jpg.6ae201ae8a6a9914a3931d1ab67b8561.jpg

So any ideas what might be the fault here?

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2 minutes ago, Klassiker said:

Wrong pallet fork?

Wrong escape wheel?

Side-shake pallet fork?

Side-shake escape wheel?

The escape wheel is the one from the movement, pallet fork should be correct, ordered it using the part number from the mast list i got here. I could certainly try it with another pallet fork i got on hand and see if there's anything different.

I keep seeing people telling me to check end/side shake. There doesn't seem to really be much side shake, the jewels and pivots look fine to me. There is a tiny bit of end shake but hell if i have any frame of reference for how much is good. or bad. 

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If the parts are turning freely, and the side-shake is barely visible under your 10x loupe when you move the part from side to side, then it's OK. Clearly visible = not OK. Something in-between, maybe OK, maybe not. Sorry, that doesn't nail it down very well. Without accurate measuring equipment it's difficult to define. Maybe one of our experts can describe it better or suggest a fool-proof test.

Is the escape wheel round and flat? Are all the teeth OK?

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32 minutes ago, Klassiker said:

If the parts are turning freely, and the side-shake is barely visible under your 10x loupe when you move the part from side to side, then it's OK. Clearly visible = not OK. Something in-between, maybe OK, maybe not. Sorry, that doesn't nail it down very well. Without accurate measuring equipment it's difficult to define. Maybe one of our experts can describe it better or suggest a fool-proof test.

Is the escape wheel round and flat? Are all the teeth OK?

Ok if i can ball park it like that i'll give a second look and check end shake. I do recall not being able to detect much end shake on the escape wheel before but wasn't sure what would be the correct amount. I didn't see any issues with the escape wheel when i examined it during the cleaning but after i check side/end shake and try a different pallet fork i'll start pulling wheels out and double checking them. Appreciate the help! 

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53 minutes ago, Birbdad said:

The escape wheel is the one from the movement, pallet fork should be correct, ordered it using the part number from the mast list i got here. I could certainly try it with another pallet fork i got on hand and see if there's anything different.

I keep seeing people telling me to check end/side shake. There doesn't seem to really be much side shake, the jewels and pivots look fine to me. There is a tiny bit of end shake but hell if i have any frame of reference for how much is good. or bad. 

Similarly as K says correct sideshake and also endshake is just something you get a feeling for. Are you are to watch it running until you see the movement slip, you may pinpoint it. You know the issue you just have to find the cause of it. See if you can spot a regular pattern of it occurring. When it slips does it re-engage or do you need to intervene?  It may also not be a consistent regular pattern. So not every 30 seconds for example but every other or every every other 30 seconds if that make sense. If so then it is probably something coming around in rotation.  A perfect example would be a worn escape wheel tooth acting up infrequently. The pallet jewels also may only be on a short lock of the escape tooth. It should be quite easy to solve Col.

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1 hour ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Similarly as K says correct sideshake and also endshake is just something you get a feeling for. Are you are to watch it running until you see the movement slip, you may pinpoint it. You know the issue you just have to find the cause of it. See if you can spot a regular pattern of it occurring. When it slips does it re-engage or do you need to intervene?  It may also not be a consistent regular pattern. So not every 30 seconds for example but every other or every every other 30 seconds if that make sense. If so then it is probably something coming around in rotation.  A perfect example would be a worn escape wheel tooth acting up infrequently. The pallet jewels also may only be on a short lock of the escape tooth. It should be quite easy to solve Col.

Best i can tell it only seems to happen when i actuate the pallet fork manually and not when the thing is running. 

part of me wonders if i'm being too delicate actuating it, it just feels like if you breathe on it wrong practically that pallet fork is gonna bend or deform haha. Is there a neutral position where it's normal for an escape wheel to contact neither jewel on the pallet fork? Is that normal? i though the whole point of the escapement was that one side of the pallet fork or the other always catches a tooth.

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1 hour ago, Birbdad said:

Best i can tell it only seems to happen when i actuate the pallet fork manually and not when the thing is running. 

part of me wonders if i'm being too delicate actuating it, it just feels like if you breathe on it wrong practically that pallet fork is gonna bend or deform haha. Is there a neutral position where it's normal for an escape wheel to contact neither jewel on the pallet fork? Is that normal? i though the whole point of the escapement was that one side of the pallet fork or the other always catches a tooth.

Ok Col. Maybe i was misunderstanding a little bit. So with each movement of the palllet fork from one side to the other the escape wheel should advance round , when that happens a tooth should unlock from one pallet and another come into lock on the other pallet. That is in effect your tic and tock.

1 minute ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Ok Col. Maybe i was misunderstanding a little bit. So with each movement of the palllet fork from one side to the other the escape wheel should advance round , when that happens a tooth should unlock from one pallet and another come into lock on the other pallet. That is in effect your tic and tock.

No there isn't a neutral position

5 minutes ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Ok Col. Maybe i was misunderstanding a little bit. So with each movement of the palllet fork from one side to the other the escape wheel should advance round , when that happens a tooth should unlock from one pallet and another come into lock on the other pallet. That is in effect your tic and tock.

No there isn't a neutral position

If both the pallet and escape wheel are correct for the caliber, then there is a problem with one or the other. Try swapping them out first. The pallet isn't doing much just side to side so is less likely to wear than the escape wheel unless someone has been heavy handed and the pivots are damaged. Dont suppose you have an artists paintbrush kicking around do you 🙂, use that to move the pallet from side to side. But the jewels may be short if its a new one, you're not going to correct this without a scope i feel. It could well be the escape wheel on a worn pivot.

1 hour ago, Birbdad said:

and not when the thing is running

Col stop calling it the # Thing # that was a Kurt Russel movie about a body snatching alien The movement  has feelings you know. 😅

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9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Ok Col. Maybe i was misunderstanding a little bit. So with each movement of the palllet fork from one side to the other the escape wheel should advance round , when that happens a tooth should unlock from one pallet and another come into lock on the other pallet. That is in effect your tic and tock.

9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Yeah watch https://www.dropbox.com/s/vx70wmvfjd27atz/escape_slipping.mp4?dl=0 It slips when i actuate the fork  manually but not when the pallet fork + balance is in the movement for some reason. That's good, that narrows it down then. I have several spares of each.

When inspected both during the cleaning i couldn't identify a problem with either but i'll take em out and take another look. 

 

 

9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Col stop calling it the # Thing # that was a Kurt Russel movie about a body snatching alien The movement  has feelings you know. 😅

If it wants to be called a movement it needs to start acting like one 😠

 

9 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

Dont suppose you have an artists paintbrush kicking around do you 🙂, use that to move the pallet from side to side. But the jewels may be short if its a new one, you're not going to correct this without a scope i feel.

Yeah i fixing a pallet fork is beyond my paygrade currently but i can put it in the learning pile for future more advanced stuff. I do have a paintbrush that i use for my first stage of cleaning. I'll tinker iwth it a bit more than try swapping it out, then the escape wheel, then both see if i can nail this thing down.

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13 hours ago, Birbdad said:

Yeah watch https://www.dropbox.com/s/vx70wmvfjd27atz/escape_slipping.mp4?dl=0 It slips when i actuate the fork  manually but not when the pallet fork + balance is in the movement for some reason. That's good, that narrows it down then. I have several spares of each.

When inspected both during the cleaning i couldn't identify a problem with either but i'll take em out and take another look. 

 

 

If it wants to be called a movement it needs to start acting like one 😠

 

Yeah i fixing a pallet fork is beyond my paygrade currently but i can put it in the learning pile for future more advanced stuff. I do have a paintbrush that i use for my first stage of cleaning. I'll tinker iwth it a bit more than try swapping it out, then the escape wheel, then both see if i can nail this thing down.

There is a locking and unlocking problem of the pallet jewels Col. The entry jewel is not coming into lock as the exit jewel is unlocking. Almost looks like only one escape wheel tooth catching. So maybe just a short  jewel. When power is held have a look at the locking depth of both jewels it should be around a third of the width of the end.

https://youtu.be/ejgyCZELQ64

Edited by Neverenoughwatches
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8 hours ago, Neverenoughwatches said:

There is a locking and unlocking problem of the pallet jewels Col. The entry jewel is not coming into lock as the exit jewel is unlocking. Almost looks like only one escape wheel tooth catching. So maybe just a short  jewel. When power is held have a look at the locking depth of both jewels it should be around a third of the width of the end.

https://youtu.be/ejgyCZELQ64

Interesting...on a brand new pallet fork...So you say a 3rd of teh width of the end, it looks like the ends barely touches. I guess i'm not sure where you're getting a 1/3rd from. That greatly narrows things down tho. Lookin forward to the weekend to get to the bottom of this.

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    • For me, there’s no binary yes/no answer to this. It really is a matter of feel, experience, inspection under magnification, the age of the movement and what a replacement costs vs invested effort to “revive” it that all play a role determining the answer above. For an Omega 56x series reverser wheel you’ll spend more time trying to revive a reverser (which, by the way is also much more serviceable, but also harder and more expensive to find a replacement for) than you would an a Sellita SW200 where replacements are cheap and easy to find.
    • That's what I did after my Pearl machine stopped working. I've run about 5 watches through it so far and get results as expected. One interesting note is that their customer service says the machine comes with a 2 year warranty but that is not indicated on the website and when asked via email they are unable to provide a copy of the warranty, which I believe runs counter to US federal law 🤷‍♂️  Luckily for me the service center they use for repairs is local to me so if I ever do need to have it serviced I won't have to ship it in its HUGE box.
    • @JohnR725I live in a “3rd world” country (South Africa) and even here you can’t make a middle class living charging $120 to service a watch. I make many times that spending that same amount of time in my day job. But quote the average someone $200 to service their inherited vintage Omega (that stopped working 20 years ago) and you’re told you’re effing mad. This is why watchmaking is dead as a profession in modern times; everyone wants that cool mechanical watch, no one considers what it costs to maintain it. A wrist watch is no longer an essential tool, it’s novelty jewellery. So I do it as a hobby, a make a few videos and I fix broken things. If this hobby can make a little money to at least contribute to its vast expenses then that’s a bonus. I have many other hobbies that are just money pits, so there’s at least that. Speaking of making videos: there’s a lot of criticism being levelled at YouTube watchmakers, either because they don’t show enough detail, or that they talk too much, or that they’re hacks, or whatever other negative thing you can imagine. But these YouTube watchmakers have done more to expose watchmaking to the average Joe than what any of the professional watchmaking institutions have ever done. Professional watchmakers scoff at these “hacks” in their comment sections but fail to see how these YouTubers create interest in the average Joe and turn them into enthusiasts. Anyway, enough rambling from me…
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