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Marc

Sekonda 19 Jewel (Raketa 2609.ha)

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Just before Christmas I sold (through the good offices of eBay) an absolutely immaculate example of a 19 jewel Sekonda hand winder. I was a little sad to see it go as I don't think I am likely to see another in as good order for some time, and having just serviced it it was running like a champ but I couldn't justify holding on to it.

 

Well, shortly after it had arrived with its new owner I received a message through eBay from the buyer. Huw had contacted me to say how pleased he was with his new acquisition, and did I service watches? as he had another example of one of these that was a little stiff in the winder and gained about a minute per day, and he felt that it maybe could benefit from a bit of a spruce up.

 

I have done quite a few of these so am reasonably comfortable with them so I quoted a price and accepted the commission. A couple of weeks ago Huw's watch arrived so I thought I'd do this as a walk through.

 

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Looking well used but not abused, Huw had explained that he bought this not too long ago as a stop gap whilst his other watch (a Sekonda quartz chrono) was out of action with battery issues. First impressions are of a watch that has seen a lot of wrist time in its (probably) 40 years.

 

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The Timegrapher trace confirms the rate at roughly +60s/day, and confirms that a service is long over due.

 

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With the crystal out of the way the condition of the dial is actually rather good. The shadow to the right of the 7 is a lens fault on my camera, not the dial.

 

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With the back removed there is plenty of dirt speckled around the whole movement and everything is bone dry. The good news though is that it doesn't look like anyone has messed anything up inside. You can see the spring clip retainer on the escape wheel end stone (a bit like Seiko Diafix but not quite as clever). You can also see corrosion to the back of the bezel, this watch spent a lot of time on some ones wrist.

 

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With the movement out of the case the reason for the stiff winder and all of the dusty crud in the movement is brutally apparent. The outer end of the stem has started to rust causing it to bind in the case, and the resulting rust powder is thick on the inside of the case. 

These cases are a bit prone to this kind of problem as there is absolutely no attempt to seal them even against dust, let alone water, so even sweat on a hot day can seed the beginnings of a corrosion problem.

 

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With the dial off the press fit retaining plate for the motion works is exposed along with the keyless works. There's that little end stone retaining clip again, and the Raketa version of Incabloc on the balance. The rust doesn't seem to have got this far.

 

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With the set bridge out of the way though there is a hint of rust in the keyless works.

 

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Ouch!!!  Just in time me thinks!!

 

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Balance and cock removed and the hairspring looks to be in good shape apart from the terminal curve which is off concentric. That will need to be sorted or the regulator will distort the hair spring as it is moved. Here also is the shim that Raketa are fond of using under the balance cock to adjust the balance end shake.

 

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A bit further in and plenty of gunge under the ratchet and crown wheels. Train bridge removed to reveal the train layout and a sub-bridge for the 2nd wheel.

 

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The main plate stripped with the screws put back in their respective holes. I do this so that screws don't go missing in the cleaning machine and I always know which screw goes where.

 

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The stripped main plate dial side.

 

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And then with the balance reinstalled (minus jewels) ready for the Elma.

 

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After a thorough clean everything is ready for inspection and reassembly.....

 

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....starting with the balance jewels. This is when I check and adjust the hair spring for flatness and concentricity, eyeball the beat, check the end and side shake on the balance, and that everything swings freely. If you leave it until later there is too much other stuff in the way. Once I'm happy with it the balance/cock assembly comes back off until later. There is still a little work to do in this pic as the coils are still not quite concentric.

 

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The main spring re-lubricated and back in the barrel. This maybe could have been replaced but it wasn't too bad so went back in to help keep the cost down.

 

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Barrel, barrel bridge, 2nd wheel sub-bridge, and train back in place.

 

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Pallet fork and bridge installed. You can see the exit pallet poised ready to receive a drop of 941 on its impulse face. Walking the pallet too and fro then distributes the oil to the escape wheel teeth.

 

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Drop in the balance and away she goes.

 

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The cleaned up and de-rusted keyless works go back in....

 

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...and then the motion works and cover plate.

 

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Dial and hands back on, and ready to re-case.

 

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Again, to help keep the cost down I didn't replace the crystal with a new one, however, the original was just a little too deeply scored to easily polish out and there was what looked like a very small fracture. So a quick scout through my spares box and I found a second hand replacement which has cleaned up nicely.

 

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And the proof of the pudding ... as they say!!

At 230 degrees the amplitude isn't anything to write home about but it is a significant improvement on the starting point. A new mainspring would almost certainly help this up into the high 200's (on the watch Huw bought from me I seem to remember it was 300+), but 230 is certainly usable. It is otherwise a nice clean trace with minimal beat error. It has been running for a week now in which it has gained just under a minute, so after a final tweak to the regulator it will be ready to return to Huw.

 

I like these movements a lot. They are well designed and well executed, and capable of excellent results if looked after. They also seem to turn up quite frequently at the boot fairs. Unfortunately though, the lack of any attempt to keep moisture out of the case does mean that they quite often suffer from corrosion issues, and the relatively low cost (both when they were new, and when they turn up second hand) means that they are often used as a beginner watch smiths practice or learning watch, with the resultant butchery that many of us have dealt out as part of our learning curve. It's a shame in many respects, but then we all have to learn somehow. When you do find one that has survived unmolested though they are very well worth looking after.

 

My thanks to Huw firstly for buying my watch, secondly for asking me to help this one to keep going for a few more years, and finally for allowing me to post his watch on here.

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Great result & walkthrough Marc.

I have serviced/repaired quite a few Sekonda,s but not this particular caliber. However much the same as Seiko,s I have never achieved a real high amplitude but they seem to run just fine. 

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Marc...I LOVED this whole thread.  I am fascinated looking at methodical "strip downs" of watch movements to their basic parts.  I wish I had your skill to be able to do this sort of thing without making a total mess of a good watch.  Me...my eyesight and shaky hands would destroy an intricate part removal in seconds.  

 

I have contemplated servicing my old Sindaco / Jaguar jump hour "mechanical digital" watch from 1972 (BFG 17 jewel "Roskopf" movement).  I'd like to get the winder to be less stiff (as in your Sekonda) and to clean and regulate the watch plus I'd like to get the case re-chromed (I know a place that will do that sort of small job near where I live) but I know that if I put my hands on the guts of the watch I'll end up breaking it.  I can do the cosmetic stuff but not the nitty-gritty work needed.

 

I contacted a local jeweller for an estimate for doing the work and it started to add up to more than $700 and with no guarantee that the watch would survive the rebuild!  GULP!

 

So, for now the watch remains a simple keepsake and something which lives in my watch cabinet.  

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Hi Marc

A fantastic walk through on a watch brand and Movement which is often described as inferior to its Swiss cousin..

I service these watches quite frequently along with cal 2209 sekonda, did you find the shock Spring a little tricky to install

Regards

Darren

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi Daz,

 

I actually quite like these movements and would consider them to be every bit the equal of a lot of the regular Swiss offerings, at least from a design point of view.

Quality control, manufacturing tolerances, and consistency aren't so good though which can lead to significant variations in performance. This one struggled a bit to return the performance that I did get out of it, but the previous one that I did (now belongs to the same guy as this one) gave me 300+ degrees of amplitude, zero to 0.1ms beat error over 6 positions, and just 6 sec per day variation in positions. If you get a good one, it can be really good, and the good ones aren't that scarce either, I have another in front of me now that is almost as good..

 

I do think that often the casing  up lets them down, particularly with this variant, as there is absolutely no attempt what so ever to keep moisture or dust out. I do have in my own collection a 2609.HA Sekonda that is in a proper screw back case which uses a pendant tube and a waterproof crown which is a much more durable set up.

 

I actually had no problem with the shock springs at all. I use a jewel picker upper to position the spring, and #5 Dumonts to locate the legs. The end cap clips are more challenging but with patience, peg wood, and an old pair of AGT #4's they were no trouble.

 

I have a whole bunch of Russian movements to work my way through which should be fun. I will post up walk throughs on here as I do them.

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I agree Marc

The casing does let them down a bit, ref your sekonda with the screw back case. I am intrigued as I have never seen one and have owned and serviced several hundred. I can only assume that it may have been a later production model made towards the end of sekonda's association with Raketa, a fantastic watch indeed. As I mentioned I am a big fan of the 2209 Luch which is the movement used in the sekonda 23 Jewel I look forward to maybe viewing a future walk through on this movement and any other Russian movements...

Best wishes

Darren

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi Matabog,

 

De-rusting of the steel parts was done firstly with a glass fibre scratch brush, then a couple of hours in cola. The Cola contains phosphoric acid which converts iron oxide into the more chemically stable iron phosphate. A quick blast in the ultrasonic dislodges any loose stuff that remains and then into the Elma with everything else.

 

Another "kitchen" rust treatment is tea as the tannic acid in it does a similar job to the phosphoric acid in the coke, I have used tea extensively in de-rusting and restoring cut throat razors. I have also heard of people using raw molasses (as used in animal feed) to clean rust from vintage agricultural machinery but I have never tried this myself. I may have to get a tin of black treacle from the supermarket and give it a go; if it doesn't work too well I can always eat it.

 

A project that I have had sitting at the back of my mind for some time is to try and convert an air brush rig into a precision micro sand blaster. I reckon that with an appropriately fine, but not too sharp blasting media (something like chromium oxide, a finely ground green pigment that can be used as a honing medium) it could make a truly amazing rust remover for small steel components. That one will have to wait for another day though.

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Thanks for all the great comments everyone. 

 

My horological pursuits are currently on hold as me and Mrs H are in the process of redecorating and rearranging our upstairs, which should result in improved facilities for my watchmaking.

Once we've got things a bit sorted out I can get back to the important stuff and will post he results for all to critique and, hopefully enjoy.

 

For all the fun, relaxation, and meditation I get out of doing these renovations, sharing the process and the results with like minded people on here is the icing on the cake.

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For all the fun, relaxation, and meditation I get out of doing these renovations, sharing the process and the results with like minded people on here is the icing on the cake.

This is what makes this forum great, people who are willing to make the time and effort to produce these excellent threads.

Keep up the good work Marc!

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I think the 2609 HA is an improvement over the 2609 that it replaced.Thanks to the mobile hairspring stud they can be brought into beat pretty easily.I think they are easily the equal of entry level jeweled Swiss movements. Raketa did shortchange the movement with poor cases. Dirt and water entry seem to be a pretty common problem.However, it is not impossible to put them in a vostok case which are decently sealed. I have been considering using an amphibia case for one of these movements . I think it would make an interesting watch.

Edited by yankeedog
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