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clockboy

Lubrication Of Automatic Mainspring (Eta 2671)

Question

I am in the process of servicing a ETA 2671 that has been sitting in a drawer for over twenty years. The oscillating bearing was faulty and so I changed.

However the mainspring is what I call sett and therefore needs changing. My question is what lubricant should I use for the inside of the barrel.

Edited by clockboy

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Would 8200 work the same? Thank you in advance for the clarification (that's the one in my **BLEEP**nal at this point -- similar question, different watch !! )

Edited by bobm12

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Barrels will take any amount of abuse and still work.. I seen watches with what looks like wd-40 in the barrels and they still work fine.

 

The idea of using the correct grease is it manages winding of the watch and sets the point at which the mainspring 'slips' to avoid overwinding.

 

Normal oil is too slippery and will allow the mainspring to 'slip' too early.. resulting in to the spring not being watch fully and power reserve suffers.

 

No oil will result in the mainspring not releasing.. resulting in unnecessary stress on the automatic winding mechanism.

 

hope this gives you a better understanding of mainspring oiling.

 

Anil

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Hi anilv,

 

Thank you for the explanation.

 

Which arises the following questions:

 

If I'm full servicing a watch, let's say, one of those vintage Seiko 5, would it be OK not to open/service the barrel (and spring) in order not to disturb the original lube?

 

or maybe because this watch/lube is too old (or another reason I can't think of), would it be better to just go ahead and do the whole barrel thing?

 

(I'm trying to find best practices/recommendations for a like now restoration here)

 

I understand Seiko uses a special synthetic lube in those barrels (S-4). It looks like some black stuff/dirt which is the color of molybdenum disulfide, the stuff they put in it). The reason for the question is two fold:

 

one because this grease doesn't go nicely. When pre-cleaning everything turns black and dirty (cotton swabs, rodico, etc) then it goes in the cleaning machine and the fluids get dirty too! (the cost per part during the cleaning process is high)

 

two, the way both halves of the drum seal makes it prone to ever slightly bend the parts when taking it apart or forfeit the original tightness from the factory once the halves are disassembled. (wobbly or out of shape/seal is "broken")

 

I'd love to hear thoughts about this issue. Also if I should, once the drum is disassembled (as I've done with previous watches) should I coat the spring with Moebius 8200 regardless of having Moebius 8217 covering the drum walls ( or in the case of Seiko, S-4)?

 

Robert

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My advise for what its worth is always always open the barrel to have at least a look.  I learned the hard way once, serviced a watch that was running but poorly. So I did not touch the barrel after the service it still would not run for more that 5 hrs. When I did take the barrel apart the spring was broken. Don,t ask me how it was winding up and running as it is a mystery but since then I always inspect the spring to check for damage and to see if the spring is sett. Also the barrel wall on a automatic if damaged can cause issues.

Edited by clockboy

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My advise for what its worth is always always open the barrel to have at least a look. I learned the hard way once, serviced a watch that was running but poorly. So I did not touch the barrel after the service it still would not run for more that 5 hrs. When I did take the barrel apart the spring was broken. Don,t ask me how it was winding up and running as it is a mystery but since then I always inspect the spring to check for damage and to see if the spring is sett. Also the barrel wall on a automatic if damaged can cause issues.

My first teacher during my apprenticeship never removed the mainspring when servicing (unless it was broken). Over the following years I found this to be bad practice and I always open the barrel and remove the mainspring prior to service. I have found many broken or almost broken mainspring hooks as a result and I suspect this has reduced the amount of return jobs significantly. :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Dear Bob,

 

The manufacturer's recommendation is to replace the barrel complete. Having said that, buying a 20dollar part (+shipping in my case) for a 20 dollar watch is not economically sound unless you're going for a rebuild of a watch which has high value (chrono, vintage diver). Some Swiss high-beat movements used sealed mainsprings, in these cases since the value of the watch may be higher and to achieve the accuracy it was designed for it is worth spending the money on a new barrel/spring.

 

 

In most of the cases with the Seiko barrels/springs, I have found that that the lubricant has deteriorated to the extent that it serves no purpose and may even hinder the correct function of the watch.

 

I agree with you that the barrel cover is flimsy. It gets its strength through the rigidity offered by the large lip around its circumference, rather than other watches where the cover itself is quite thick. To avoid distorting the cover, pry it up just a little bit and work your way around. Don't try to get it off in one go.

 

One reason that i usually open the barrels on these Seikos is that they use one bridge for both train and barrel. If you suspect that the mainspring is giving problems then you have to remove everything from the balance onwards. Unlike in most Swiss watches where the barrel can be removed without disturbing the other stuff.

 

To avoid getting all that black stuff all over your desk, open the barrel and rinse it in some other fluid.. thinner or even WD-40 to get the worst of it off. I usually soak it for a few minutes in thinner.. (beware of flames, no smoking etc...)

 

 

Anil

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Thank you Anil, that's good advice! I'll definitely use some of the fluids you suggest for a good pre clean since they are cheaper and readily available. And, no, I quit smoking a long time ago so there is no problem there, thanks you.

 

By the way,  would gas/gasoline/petrol (different names for the same thing) be suitable too? Do those regular solvents can be used on other watch parts for pre cleaning?...also in the ultrasonic machine (always for pre cleaning)?

 

Sorry for the many questions but that's the price I pay for learning at a risk of being too much!

 

Robert

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Dear Bob,

 

I wouldn't use anything flammable in the ultrasonic as it generates some heat.

 

Apart from that use the same caution as you would handling thinner.. don't breath the fumes, dispose properly.

 

On using them for other parts, if they're steel then its ok. But if the parts have shellac then these fluids will melt the shellac.

 

Specifically the pallet fork and balance wheel, the pallet jewels are held in by shellac and if you use thinners/petrol the shellac will soften and the jewels may get loose, and you have to reset them. Likewise the roller jewel (that wot drives the pallet fork) on the balance is usually held in place with shellac as well.

 

Naphta (lighter fluid) is quite cheap and does not affect shellac, if the watch is unusually dirty I would soak the whole movement in it, agitating it slowly.

 

 

Dials and datewheels are not cleanable with fluids..

 

Anil

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Thank you Anil, I will probably use lighter fluid for most everything. I happen to have a couple of bottles around. I will not use the ultrasonic though, I was thinking more on the line of cotton swabs on the big parts and the agitation as you described for smaller ones.

 

The balance wheel and pallet fork I usually clean normally and by themselves. I rather spend a little more cleaner on those than risk damaging them, the expense is minimal.

 

I'm glad you told me about the date wheels! Just in time my friend!

 

Robert

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That's what has me questioning it as well. Here is the description from startimesupply.com

Moebius Classical Grease, 20ml, Glissalube B, for the walls of alloy, aluminum, nickel plated, barrels (weak braking) 

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On 11/16/2016 at 5:03 PM, Dawagner said:

That's what has me questioning it as well. Here is the description from startimesupply.com

Braking is referred to the action of a grease that prevents the mainspring bridle slipping on the barrel wall during normal working, but still allows slipping when the spring is fully wound and either automatic or the manual wind continues.

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Braking is referred to the action of a grease that prevents the mainspring bridle slipping on the barrel wall during normal working, but still allows slipping when the spring is fully wound and either automatic or the manual wind continues.


Yes I get that but what about the "weak" part. The main question I had was is 8212 a ok substitute for 8217.

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Yes I get that but what about the "weak" part. The main question I had was is 8212 a ok substitute for 8217.


Weak as opposted to strong, these are quantifier of said braking action.
Moebius make a great number of products which are, in the end, similar. I would not lose sleep substituting one for another.

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On 7/19/2014 at 8:15 AM, Mark said:

Moebius 8217 is braking grease for the barrel walls :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hello Mark, I procrastinated in buying braking grease and now I'm ready to reassemble a Seiko 6139 automatic. I will order 8217 but in the meantime (for this build) can I use one of the following which I have on hand.

Moebius 9010, D-5, 8000, 9501?

Thank you, Will

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4 hours ago, Wdc said:

Hello Mark, I procrastinated in buying braking grease and now I'm ready to reassemble a Seiko 6139 automatic. I will order 8217 but in the meantime (for this build) can I use one of the following which I have on hand.

Moebius 9010, D-5, 8000, 9501?

Thank you, Will

Sorry to say - neither of those lubricants have the correct properties to act as a braking grease.

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On 7/22/2014 at 7:41 PM, anilv said:

 

 

The manufacturer's recommendation is to replace the barrel complete.

This seems to be a problem with some Seiko models and the barrel complete is no longer available.  While it is a PITA to open a Seiko barrel to withdraw the mainspring, it can and probably should be done.


RMD

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