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Seiko 6105 Saved From A Watery Grave


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Greetings all! My first post here so I'll try to start with a good one...

I've been fixing and servicing watches full time for a few years now but this one that came in recently is probably one of my biggest saves. It belongs to a guy called Paul who's a pretty serious Seiko collector and sends me a couple of watches each month for servicing. He spotted this 6105-8000 on ebay which appeared to be in good cosmetic condition but was listed as non-running / needs a service -

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There was no picture of the movement with the seller saying the back was too tight and he didn't have a case back tool. Paul took a chance on it but when it arrived the case back was only hand tight and this is what he was greeted with - 

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Now obviously Paul wasn't happy with what he'd bought and was going to raise a case with ebay, but in the end he decided to keep it and send it to me to see if it could be saved. 

Now I mentioned that Paul is into his Seiko's but he's also a great customer. When he sends a watch that needs a new crystal for example he sources it first before he sends it to me which then saves me having a partially finished watch on the bench while I search for a crystal and then wait for it to be delivered. Most customers won't even think about this but if you fix watches or cars or whatever for a living and a customer comes in with all the parts needed it saves you so much time and hassle.

With this one he had a good stash of 6105 parts so they were sent with the watch - 

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So onto the strip down... The dial side wasn't too bad but pretty much all of the screws on the train side were rusted in place, so the movement was placed in a tub of penetrating oil and the tub was placed in the ultrasonic cleaner to agitate the oil. It spent about an hour in the cleaner like this and soaked in the oil for 24h -

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So after soaking for 24h it was time to start the strip down. The auto winding bridge came off easily enough but the train wheel bridge screws were very tight and I couldn't get enough grip on my Bergeon screwdriver, so I used an electricians terminal screwdriver and ground the tip down to size on an oil stone for a bit more torque on those stubborn screws -

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The click spring had dissolved with rust and turning the screw on the ratchet wheel only turned the mainspring so it was out with the Dremmel - 

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The strip down wasn't totally straightforward as the heads on two of the screws had corroded away. One of the screws was on the train bridge but there's still two other screws holding it in place so not a problem and the other one was the dial foot screw, again not something that is critical to how the movement performs. The main thing was that the main plate could be salvaged as this is the one movement part that isn't readily available.

With everything stripped it was back into the cleaner again and then inspection. Obviously a lot of parts would be replaced but it wasn't as bad as I'd initially anticipated. The parts above the mainspring in this next picture are all reused and below it are the scrap parts -

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From the state of the movement I suspect it had suffered a crown gasket failure, taken some water on board and was then left dial-up for the movement to soak for a few years, as evidenced by the back of the movement being a rusty mess and yet the front and dial were pretty much unscathed. The state of the train wheels would back this up with the top pivots being corroded yet the bottom ones were fine. The balance was the same and I thought I might at least be able to save the hairspring but there was some rust or rust residue on it and it was beyond mine and my cleaning machines ability to remove it. Not a problem I thought as Paul had supplied a complete nos balance but it wasn't going to be so easy - 

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I tried straightening it out and got it looking like this -

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Not bad but far from perfect but when viewed from a different angle it looked like this - 

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I've fixed a few bent hairsprings before but twisted ones are beyond my ability, so it was into my own spares stash to harvest a hairspring from a 6139. The only thing left to do now was to put it all back together - 

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The movement scrubbed up pretty well cosmetically but the amplitude was only 200 degrees dial up and there was around 30s variation over four positions. I tried a different barrel and mainspring from a 6309 that was previously putting out around 230 but it made zero difference. I then went about pressing out the fourth wheel and barrel arbour bushings from the train bridge and replacing them with the bushings from the 6309 movement, and the third wheel bushing was replaced with one from a 6139 (the 3rd wheel bushing from the 6309 was a smaller o/d so not interchangable) but still no difference. At this stage I was getting kind of tired with it - I could have bought a new mainspring and/or complete balance in an attempt to improve the amplitude but it was running again and keeping reasonable time for a 47 year old watch, plus I'd already spent around 4x the time on it than I would on a regular 6105 service, so all that was left was to relume the hands and bezel pip (the dial lume was in good condition so wasn't touched), fit the new crystal and get it cased up. I also fitted the nos crown that was supplied and was glad to see it passed a 60m pressure test - 

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If you know your 6105's you'll notice that the hour and minute hands aren't correct and are the same as what you'd find on a 6139-6002, but it appears that Seiko fitted these hands to 6105's when they came in for service. I know that Paul is currently trying to source the correct original hands and when he does then I'm sure I'll see this watch again for them to be fitted, but I'm pretty happy to see how it's turned out regardless.

If you've got this far then thanks for reading!

David.

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Hi Paul, great first post and an impressive resurrection.

You mentioned that the heads of two screws had corroded away, and therefore could not be removed. Have you tried using alum to dissolve out the remainder of the screws?

Either way it's a great looking result

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I'm with Marc on this, what an excellent first post.  I appreciate both the time and effort that has gone into repairing the watch and compiling the post.  Hopefully you can find the time to submit more of this quality in the future, the forum needs it.

PS I really like a challenge too, but I think that movement would have been added to the horological debris in my bin, well done for saving it!

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Great first post indeed! Not only very detailed and with excellent pictures, but full of good old common sense. For the uninformed these watches now trade well north of 1K so good money and time is well spent on them.

Welcome to the forumI Hope you will become a regular here and will keep you articles as exclusive to this board :)

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Hello Paul

Impressive job  ....back to life .

One can be fooled so easy in ebay ...but this wach ?...wow , the seller knew for sure.

I enjoyed reading your step by step resurrection post , I hope you will keep posting more.

Thanks 

Moises

 

 

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Excellent work above and way beyond the call of duty for this particular watch. I have been caught up in doing things horological for friends and relatives and ended up wondering why I was doing it. Sometimes the success can help over the hours put in. However, in my opinion as an instructional piece of work, all who read it will be interested and appreciative. Thanks very much for the posting and congratulations. Excellent work.
Cheers,
Vic

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Thanks for all the kind comments. I've never done one of these type of posts before even though I always take plenty of pictures of each watch I service, but when this one arrived I thought it would be a good one to document and took a lot more pictures than usual. I've been lurking on here a while and was going to do the usual intro post but figured this might be better appreciated.

10 hours ago, Marc said:

You mentioned that the heads of two screws had corroded away, and therefore could not be removed. Have you tried using alum to dissolve out the remainder of the screws?

I'm pretty sure the screws are stainless so I doubt alum would have worked. I also didn't want to wait for weeks only to find out it hadn't worked.

One last thing, my name's David. Paul is the guy that owns the watch B)

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2 minutes ago, Dynam0humm said:

One last thing, my name's David. Paul is the guy that owns the watch B)

David, my humble apologies, I think it was me that started that off. I should read more carefully :wacko:

As for the screws I doubt that they would have rusted if they were stainless, but I am ready to be corrected.

Great post anyway, looking forward to many more.

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Again I am amazed for the professionalism and experience taking watches like these apart. For all doing this professionally or not, hats off as it is  true craftmanship..Job well done.

I would have taken it the easy way and replace the entire movement...:Bravo:

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Wow that's a very interesting and inspirational post, whether it be first or your thousandth. Thanks for taking the time to put it on here, newbies like me learn so much from posts like these, so thanks David (or can we all just call you Paul from now on, it might be easier :D)

Pip

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Outstanding! It reminded me of an Eternamatic that looked fine cosmetically, but when I opened it up, in addition to rust, there were actual pieces of leaves, algae and mud. I think it must have been in a swamp or pond. You really did a stellar job with what I would say was a non salvageable piece....your buddy Paul must rave about you!

JC

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Wow, what a fantastic story.  Even with parts in hand I'm sure most watchmakers would have turned Paul away on this one!  Your work is quite impressive- thank you for sharing!  :Bravo:

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