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Poljot 31659 Chronograph service.


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I bought from an ex. Poljot salesman, this undisturbed Shturmanskie "classic" with a Poljot 31659 movement. The Poljot 31659 movement is almost identical to the Poljot 3133 movement, but it has an additional balance-hack. The watch has never been used, never been worn, just sitting in a drawer waiting to see, after all those years, daylight again. Before it gets wrist-time, a service was overdue.

The "pop-off" the back-lid was anything but "pop-off". The provided slot was of not much use and I ended up driving carefully a scalpel-knife in between the lid and the housing seam; slowly creating a gap big enough to insert a blunt knife. Even then, it took a huge force to get the lid to "pop-off". Needless to say, the nice, nearly virgin lid has now its first unavoidable marks. The light surface scratches on the lid are very minor, but appear more severe on the picture due to the light reflection. The Plexiglass crystal is scratch free, but has some minor aging-cracks.

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The inside reveals an undisturbed 31659 movement, with 2-88 stamped in the chronograph bridge. February 1988, that's to date exactly 29 years.

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I took the movement out, removed the hands and dial. This time the small seconds- and minute recording-hands came off unharmed. However I wasn't that lucky with the big chronograph seconds recording hand. It was so tight, that even with great care, in the end the hand stripped off its pipe-bushing :( With the hands and dial out of the way, I managed to get the pipe bushing of the pinion without any further damage.

As you can see on the picture, The outer ring has one screw missing, so has the calendar center plate ....... I guess the factory worker in 1988 didn't feel like it that day!? Can we still find out ? :biggrin:

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Stripped the calendar works;

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Stripped the keyless works, flipped movement over and removed balance assembly and pallet fork. One can just see the hack appearing from underneath the barrel bridge; see arrow;

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Time to disassemble the chronograph components. Even though for a 31659 one has to deviate from the guide slightly during assembly, I can highly recommend this service guide made by WUS member SLLS on June 2015. Click on the link below to download.  Thank you very much SLLS for you excellent and clear servicing guide :thumbsu:

Service Guide Poljot movement 3133.pdf

Remember to re-insert all the screws in their respective holes after removing the component. A bit more work, but it makes life during re-assembling so much easier !!

See service guide for part-numbers, additional pictures and guidance.

First the Hammer (8220) followed by the hammer-cam-jumper (8356). Before removing the operating lever (8140), I lifted the spring on top of the rivet. This prevents the lever from popping out after the LH-screw is undone, but also makes the installment much easier. Obviously, the spring has to be put back after re-installation.

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Removal of the operating and fly-back lever-spring (8335), fly-back lever (8180), blocking lever (8200), Blocking lever spring (8335) and sliding gear (8100). Left is the chronograph plate (8281) with all screws inserted in their respective holes.

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Next the chronograph plate (8281), the Chronograph bridge (8500), the seconds recording wheel (8000), the friction-spring (8290) and the minute recording wheel (8020). According to the guide, the very delicate minute recording jumper (8270) is removed, but I left it in place. If you also leave it, be very aware during subsequent handling of the barrel-bridge !! Next is the coupling clutch spring (8320) and the coupling clutch (8080). This has stripped most of the chronograph components, apart from the chronograph drive wheel (or wheel over 4th wheel if you like);

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Next is the ratchet wheel (415) and the barrel-bridge (105). Now the hack-lever can be seen. The little spring at the end is very delicate .....

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Next is the 3th wheel (210) which has to be carefully manipulated from underneath the center-wheel. This reveals a plate (no number) for the 3th wheel which has to be removed. Instead of pulling the chronograph drive wheel (wheel over 4th wheel), to reduce risk I removed the whole assembly; the train wheel bridge (110), 4th wheel (225) and driving wheel (8060). Be aware of the long pivot on the 4th wheel ! As soon as the train wheel bridge is undone, the escape wheel (705) comes free.

Spring barrel, cannon-pinion and center wheel as last. Left is the bare main-plate.

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The main-spring seemed in a good shape;

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Time to clean all the parts and lubricate the balance cap-stone in the main-plate. I use Rodeco as a support. Once to small droplet of oil is on the cap-stone, I turn the Rodeco top-down and insert the cap-stone in the chaton. Works very well for me ;)

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As far as I can see, next to an additional recess in the main-plate, the only difference between the 31659 and the 3133 are these two components. The setting lever has an additional post and the additional hacking-lever. To the left of the hacking-lever the tiny spring which pushes against the balance wheel when engaged.

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Next up the servicing of the barrel-bridge with click (425) & click-spring (430) and crown-wheel (420). The little screws holding the crown wheel core (423) are known for shearing off, so be careful if you decide to proceed with this step ...

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Now I had to deviate from the guide. Due to the fact that the hacking lever engages onto the additional setting lever post, I installed the keyless works first;

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Flipped the main-plate over and installed the center wheel, the complete 4th wheel assembly with escape wheel and 3rd wheel plate (left arrow). Before installing the 3rd wheel, it is now to lubricate the jewel of the 3rd wheel;

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Install 3rd wheel, barrel and hacking-lever;

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Make sure the hacking lever is engaged onto the additional setting lever post;

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Install barrel bridge, make sure 3rd wheel finds its jewel and ensure all the gears are running smoothly before tightening the screws. Lubricated pivot jewels and pallet stones. Install pallet fork & bridge, check correct working and install ratchet wheel.

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Thereafter I did the calendar works and check functionality. 

Now a little lesson I've learned: I left the keyless works in the time-setting mode. Later I couldn't get the balance wheel to seat properly ?? So, if you later, during assembling of the balance assembly, wonder why you can't get the balance wheel to seat, better is the retract the hacking lever by setting the keyless works in the winding position. That does help ! :startle:

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After some scratching my head (see above), the balance wheel was back in and the movement came alive :jig:

Lubricated the balance-bridge cap-stone.

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No parts reference number mentioned for re-assembling;

Replaced the coupling clutch, the coupling clutch spring, minute recording wheel, friction spring, seconds recording wheel and chronograph bridge;

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Re-installed the chronograph plate, sliding gear, blocking lever spring, blocking lever, fly-back lever, fly-back lever spring, operating lever (remember to put the spring on top of the lever back under the rivet after replacement !), hammer and hammer cam jumper .......

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Tested and all chronograph functions are working fine. The initial amplitude is a bit low, around 270 degrees dial down (?), but I'll let it run for a while to see if that improves .....

I managed to get the chronograph seconds-recording-hand back on its pipe-bushing, but time will tell if that holds. Also closing the watch case will require a hand-press ...... not a simple "pop-on" ........ this phenomena has been reported by more people ....

Hope that this Poljot 31659 movement walk-through is of any use? ....... else it will be a nice reference for myself ;)

That was enough adrenaline again :D

Regards: Roland.

 

 

Edited by Endeavor
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Thank you all for the nice compliments ! ;)

Last night I was wondering over the low amplitude. This morning I opened up the calendar works and disconnected the hour wheel, that helped, but then again not. However I noticed a mistake that the hour wheel was on top of the planetary calendar wheel. This has to be the other way around. The calendar works did function, but it's for sure not a help in lowering the friction !

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Anyhow, here are the Watch-O-Scope pictures. As you can see there is a long-wave and the amplitude isn't the highest I've seen (obviously the chronograph is not engaged). I demagnetized all the parts before assembling. I'll let the movement run for a couple of weeks and see whether the amplitude improves. The irregular "off-line" dots are probably interference.

Dial Up;

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Dial Down;

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Crown Up;

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Crown Down;

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This concludes this walk-through, unless I find something worthy to report about this Poljot 31659 movement.

At least now it has some fresh oil and time will tell how it performs. Hopefully I can re-install all the hands safely, close the case and show the watch some daylight.

BTW; it's getting summer so lots of light and other activities ........ :bbq:.

 

 

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Latest update (2nd of March); Looking back at some other pictures I took, the above mentioned hour-wheel / planetary wheel positional error didn't and couldn't have happened. It was during the re-assembly for the 2nd time, that I though that I made that initial mistake. There is "no way" one can assemble the calendar works the wrong way around without noticing something isn't right or "off". I think it was more my brain wishing to find a plausible cause for the low amplitude.

To end with another positive note: the amplitude is on the rise, both dial-down and dial-up are already well above the 300 degrees :jig:

Will test the movement for a few days more before installing the dial, hands and the re-casing.

Edited by Endeavor
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Awesome job Roland.  I've got to stop reading about these Sturmanskies as I'm itching to do a Russian chronograph!  This one is absolutely stuffing and your walk through is very informative and well documented.  Great pics too.

Very pleased to read the amplitude is climbing too- that's a good indication that you got the job done right.  I've heard Soviet watches don't always give you the amplitude numbers you hope for but here that is not the case.  :Bravo:

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@RyMoeller Thank you and I'm glad you liked it ;)

The prices of the Plojot  / MakTime 3133's are rising, and fast ! The last official 3133 was produced by MakTime in 2011. There was some old stock, but that sold off quickly. There is also the older 3017, but those prices are through the roof. Be aware that there are many Frankens out there. Read this guide first before you dive into them; http://www.polmax3133.com/guide.html

Actually, the whole website is an interesting (must to) read: http://www.polmax3133.com/

The demand for the popular types such as Strela, Shturmanskie, OKEAH etc is very high, so the ?!"supply"!? is accordingly. The "Poljot 3133" is still "made" by a big German seller, but it's very unclear where those parts come from (China??), who owns the Poljot license (if anybody?), what happened to the old worn machinery and more of those interesting questions........... very opaque and surrounded by big misty-clouds ;) 

It seems to me that the current game is "grab-the-authentic-stuff-while you-still-can" ........

Oh, yes, I did an endurance test on the movement. It's still running after 44 hrs on a full wound :jig:

Edited by Endeavor
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On March 4, 2017 at 2:09 AM, Endeavor said:

@RyMoeller Thank you and I'm glad you liked it ;)

The prices of the Plojot  / MakTime 3133's are rising, and fast ! The last official 3133 was produced by MakTime in 2011. There was some old stock, but that sold off quickly. There is also the older 3017, but those prices are through the roof. Be aware that there are many Frankens out there. Read this guide first before you dive into them; http://www.polmax3133.com/guide.html

Actually, the whole website is an interesting (must to) read: http://www.polmax3133.com/

The demand for the popular types such as Strela, Shturmanskie, OKEAH etc is very high, so the ?!"supply"!? is accordingly. The "Poljot 3133" is still "made" by a big German seller, but it's very unclear where those parts come from (China??), who owns the Poljot license (if anybody?), what happened to the old worn machinery and more of those interesting questions........... very opaque and surrounded by big misty-clouds ;) 

It seems to me that the current game is "grab-the-authentic-stuff-while you-still-can" ........

Oh, yes, I did an endurance test on the movement. It's still running after 44 hrs on a full wound :jig:

Okay, well now you've done it.  I pulled the trigger on one last night after honoring the late Bill Paxton with a viewing of Aliens.  Had a bit of disposable income available and since the Poljots are still in the affordable end of the mechanical chronograph spectrum, it just seemed like the right time.

Thanks for the link to the Polmax3133 site too.  I'm sure @GeorgeClarkson had referenced that before but I must have missed it!  That was a great read for someone like me (someone who can't seem to read enough about horological engineering & history).  I've set my bookmark for future reference.

I think if it's still ticking after 54 hours then your good to go.  :thumbsu:

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@RyMoeller Okay, now I've done it !:startle:

Very curious what you bought !? Yes, I think it was indeed George who send me that link first and I'm still consulting it. Talking to other Plojot 3133 collectors, there are many more fake "tricks" we've never heard off. "Luck" becomes a part of the purchase.

My 3133 died somewhere during the night, so 54 hrs was the latest I witnessed.... At least now I know for sure that excessive friction isn't a problem....

Looking forward to see & hear about your 3133 endeavor(s) ........ and hope your now famous Felix is still doing great !!?

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23 minutes ago, Endeavor said:

@RyMoeller Okay, now I've done it !:startle:

Very curious what you bought !? Yes, I think it was indeed George who send me that link first and I'm still consulting it. Talking to other Plojot 3133 collectors, there are many more fake "tricks" we've never heard off. "Luck" becomes a part of the purchase.

My 3133 died somewhere during the night, so 54 hrs was the latest I witnessed.... At least now I know for sure that excessive friction isn't a problem....

Looking forward to see & hear about your 3133 endeavor(s) ........ and hope your now famous Felix is still doing great !!?

I'll post some pics when it arrives.  Same year and movement as the one you just serviced.  Can't wait to hold it in my own hands.

I've seen those "tricks" a lot with chronographs too. It's always best to get one from the original owner when possible to avoid illegitimate builds.

Wow, fifty-four hours is a lot of life.  :)

Poor Felix, he doesn't get much wrist time thanks to these new fangled mechanicals.  At least he has a cushy spot in the jewelry box though.  ^_^

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17 minutes ago, RyMoeller said:

I'll post some pics when it arrives.  Same year and movement as the one you just serviced.  Can't wait to hold it in my own hands.

If it has the same watch case too, you better get your hammer and chisel out. Next time I don't even bother trying to "pop-off" the lid, but make a gap with a scalpel knife and a small hammer first. Chances are that you ruin the flat rubber ring, but I think that's better than scratching the lid or deform the edge. Also, today I put the dial and hands on the movement, but wait for another watch-case to arrive. That case has a back-lid with a screw ring. I'll put the movement in that case for a while until I know for sure that the movement runs fine. Then I'll transfer the movement to its original case, which has then to be pressed-closed........ and stays hopefully closed until the next service is due. Once closed ........... is closed.

At least that the story with my watch case, perhaps yours is better??

Edited by Endeavor
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  • 5 years later...

I just finished putting my watch back together, but the quick date setting technique would not work - change from 12-11-12 should advance the date. Once mine had advanced the date, turning the time back to 11 would turn the date back also. What I discovered is that the date setting wheel has to be in a particular position to work properly. The tab on the wheel needs to start pushing slightly past the centre of the wheel, as in the pic -

I just turned the small wheel one tooth on the fixed central pinion, and it worked

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Edited by mikepilk
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Posted (edited)

@mikepilk; you are correct 🙂

That's the way to set the "date setting wheel" correctly.

However, I've seen too many broken springs of the date setting wheel due to the fact that the 12-11-12 method was used. I do know that the official Poljot instructions do say that's a quick way to advance the date, but at the time when those instructions were written the world was awash with 3133 spare date setting wheels.

Times have changed.

The world isn't awash anymore with these setting wheels and I do strongly recommend not to use the 12-11-12 method any longer. The little spring gets supported, and therefor sees less stress, when advancing the date turning the hands clockwise. In the 12-11-12 method the little spring sees a lot of additional bending forces / stress (read additional fatigue) and will break prematurely. The only way to repair is to pull all the hands & the dial. I'm of the opinion that the date mechanism is one of the 3133's weak-points.

Best is to wait for the correct date (I'm sure that most of us do have more watches while waiting for the correct date) or advance forwards a few days.

Edited by Endeavor
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Finally got the watch working well. Thanks to the above thread, thanks @Endeavor

It was pretty straightforward for my first chrono.

A couple of further notes, which may be of help to anyone starting out on one of these :

The complete movement does not sit well in a "normal" movement holder - when you are pressing the chrono buttons it can ping out (they take quite a bit of force when not in the case). Next time I'll look to adapt a plastic holder. 

With my movement, I found that unless I removed the stem in the setting position,  the clutch lever would slip out of the slot in the clutch, thereby stopping the stem from going back in. VERY annoying when finally casing and trying to get the stem back in. I had to strip the dial off to reset the clutch.

As the chrono is driven from the 4th wheel, there is very little torque. The chrono wheels must be spotless as the tiniest spec of crud will stop them. As I found out, the smallest bit of dirt on one tooth of the seconds wheel, which took some spotting even under the microscope.

I hate mainsprings with a T end - such a pain to get them to sit in the slot correctly !

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Posted (edited)

@Klassiker Sorry for the late reply. For some reason I don't get a notification via my email(?)

I never worked on a 7734 and I'm not aware of that the 7734 has the same problem. It is clear to see that the Russians made a "modification" to the date mechanism. Unless the 7734 has the little spring underneath the wheel? Perhaps somebody can enlighten us ?

Poljot 3133

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Valjoux 7734

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@mikepilk

Yes, that's a thing you need to know, never ever pull the winding stem of a 3133 in the winding position. In the time-setting position the sliding clutch slides over a brass bushing, giving the clutch more stability and reduces the risk of the clutch-lever to jump out of the sliding-clutch recess. One has to be careful when inserting the winding-stem too, to not disturb the sliding clutch / lever. Luckily I was warned about this phenomena early in the game.

With some movement you have to pull the stem in the winding position, some in the setting position and by some it doesn't matter. Trick is to know which is which .....

As for the main-spring; I usually position the "T" a few millimeter before the slot (I always hand-wind any main-spring in or out). Than I insert a few laps so that the inner-laps are starting to push out the outer lap. Pulling carefully on the spring (keeping your thumb on the laps inserted)  the "T" will position itself above the hole and you are able to push it in. If you pull the "T" past the slot, not to worry, you just add an inner-layer and pull another round 🙂

I've no idea what you get with a spring-winder, never used one.

 

Edited by Endeavor
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Posted (edited)
On 6/16/2022 at 6:29 PM, mikepilk said:

It was pretty straightforward for my first chrono.

BTW, congratulations with your first chrono 👍 👏

Now that you got the drift of how many chronographs are put together, a recommended next could be an ETA 7750 (28,800bph). They are plenty around, indeed more expensive, but it's a nice movement to work on and you will wear it with joy. Try to get a 25 jewels with an Etachron regulator, these are very nice to adjust and can run very accurately.

Just be patient and check eBay, or other sources, regularly. You may stumble over the right watch for the right price. Alternatively, like what I've done, source just the 7750 movement and later a case / dial and hands of your choice.

These are all self-builds;

A 1980's case / dial & hands (changed to sapphire crystal) with a 17-jewels ETA 7750;

IMG_1147.thumb.JPG.14f61d6f37cce4d354d59783aeac12d5.JPG 

Next a "Festina" 25-jewels 7750 (with Etachron regulator) with a modern dial & hands in a very high quality Swiss diving case;

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Next;  a NOS Omega 1164 (chronometer) with a separately sourced new original Omega Speedmaster dial & original Omega Speedmaster hands. Again in the same high-end Swiss diving case as the Swiss case shown above. Needless to say that this nearly authentic "Omega" came a whole lot cheaper than the original Omega Speedmaster date, which btw has a "normal"-grade Omega 1152 caliber. Both, the Omega 1152 and the 1164 calibers are based on the ETA 7750;

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Anyway, once you know the 7750 you can create many "middle & high-end" watches yourself. Your own imagination is the limit 🙂

This one goes another step further, but below all the bells & whistles sits a normal 7750. Since the internet is "stuffed" with 7750 walkthroughs, there may be some tips in this write-up ?

 

 

Suc6 with your endeavors !!

 

 

 

Edited by Endeavor
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