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mgm80

Tag Aquaracer crown difficult to screw down

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I have a Tag Heuer Aquaracer that recently came back from being serviced and repaired. The original problem was that the screw down crown became very difficult to screw down and eventually became impossible to do so. I did some research and it seems likely that I may have tightened the crown too much and stripped the threading. Ok, my bad. I sent the watch in through an AD and I had to pay almost $400 to have it serviced and repaired. 

They returned the watch and I have had it for about two weeks now. It worked fine at first but about two days ago the crown has become very difficult to screw down, just like it was previously before it became impossible to screw it in. I am quite flustered as I have been very careful about not screwing it in too much this time around. I have owned cheap invicta watches in the past and had no problems whatsoever with the crowns, yet a $1500 tag heuer watch is causing me these problems. 

From what I understand, the problem is that the threading is on the inside of the stem and it is therefore easy to cross thread the watch when screwing the crown in. Is it possible to go to a repairman (not the AD) and have him replace the stem with a non tag one? If so, how much would it be likely to cost. I would like to get this problem out of the way for the foreseeable future so I do not have to pay 1/3rd of the watch's value to have it repaired after two weeks. 

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First of all, it's virtually impossible to damage a screw down crown by excessive hand tightening.

I suggest that you send the watch back to the AD and also contact TAG about the problem, to make sure you will not be paying again.

It is not possibly to modify the stem or whatever else to make it better. Once finally repaired, if you're not happy with the idea it might break again, sell it.

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35 minutes ago, mgm80 said:

So if excessive tightening is not the problem, what is causing it?

Possibly poor materials or imperfect machining, combined with parts not being perfectly aligned when screwing down.
To judge the actual nature of the damage a visual or photographic inspection would be needed. It's also perfectly possible that who has serviced the watch just corrected and cleaned the threading without replacing any part.

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Hi MGM80..

The threading is on the inside of the crown tube and the male part of the thread is on the crown, not the stem. Swapping the stem will not make any difference.

Most other watches like rolex and Seikos have it the other way round where the male thread is on the crown tube and the female part is in the crown.

HTH
Anilv

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So is there any way to use non tag parts to lessen the likelihood of my problem happening again? If not, what have I likely been doing wrong to cause the problem to resurface so quickly?

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11 minutes ago, mgm80 said:

So is there any way to use non tag parts to lessen the likelihood of my problem happening again? If not, what have I likely been doing wrong to cause the problem to resurface so quickly?

No, as mentioned above already, there is no way to use non original parts.

Don't blame the fault to yourself because these things are supposed to be reasonably rugged, unless of course you have been loosening the crown every day or so.

The best way to not have it happen again keep the watch running on the wrist or on a winder to avoid touching the crown at all.

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1 hour ago, mgm80 said:

Is it likely that Tag would charge me for the repair seeing as I have only had it back for less than two weeks? Also, if it helps at all I have attached an image of the replaced parts that were sent back with the watch. https://imgur.com/a/H3mhggl

Two springbars and a crown. The fault could the with the pendant tube instead. I can't tell what TAG will do but if it was my watch I would let it go and move on.

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11 hours ago, jdm said:

No, as mentioned above already, there is no way to use non original parts.

You could of course replace the pendant tube with a generic one with the threads on the outside, and the crown with a generic crown that has the threads on the inside.

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/external-thread-tubes

for press fit tubes;

https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/double-threaded-tubes

for screw in tubes;

https://www.cousinsuk.com/category/screwdown-watch-crowns

for crowns.

However, this would require a certain watchmaking and machining capability (but well within the grasp of a decent independent watchmaker), would de-value the watch by a significant margin, and may not solve the problem.

If it were mine and I couldn't see the cause of the problem myself I would be inclined to find an independent watchmaker who I could talk to in person (that rules out anything Swatch sponsored) and who could look at the watch on the premises so that I could get a qualified second opinion as to the cause of the problem. Your AD has already had a go and failed to resolve the issue (even if they did manage to ease the symptons for a while) so a second opinion would be justified. And it may well be the case that the problem lies with (inadvertent) mis-use rather than the watch itself. However, the whole design philosophy behind this type of watch is to produce something that is rugged and hard wearing, so you would have to be giving it a fair bit of grief to damage the threads.

As JDM pointed out;

12 hours ago, jdm said:

Possibly poor materials or imperfect machining, combined with parts not being perfectly aligned when screwing down.
To judge the actual nature of the damage a visual or photographic inspection would be needed. It's also perfectly possible that who has serviced the watch just corrected and cleaned the threading without replacing any part.

In which case the original AD repair should be called into question if such issues haven't been properly addressed.

Is the repair work covered by a warranty of any kind?

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4 hours ago, Marc said:

Is the repair work covered by a warranty of any kind?

It was initially but it only lasted 1/2 years and I am well past that point. I would hope though if the problem resurfaces so quickly that Tag would likely not charge me again?

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5 hours ago, mgm80 said:

It was initially but it only lasted 1/2 years and I am well past that point.

You said above that it happened less than two weeks after repair and service.

In any case you should send the watch back again. If they want to charge you can still get the watch back as it is. We can't know what they will do. 

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Usually when an authorized repair is done, it carries a one year warranty. Look into that first. 

Secondly, I wonder if the stem is a touch too long, requiring too much force to get the first thread to catch... I’ve seen that before... in an Omega believe it or not. (Great White GMT). 

Contact the dealer who did the repair. It might be worth the wait for it to go back to Switzerland for a factory repair. 

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Hi all, 

I recently had a tag aquaracer repaired after the crown would no longer screw down, probably because I stripped the threads. Was this likely due to me screwing the crown in too much? 

Also, do threads get stripped slowly over time or is it one bad movement of the crown that can cause such damage? 

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Common problem with these Tags. The internal threads on the inside of the crown tube means the threads are finer and more prone to cross-threading. These oddball crowns with the threads on the inside are hard to find outside TAG agents.

Anilv

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I have a Tag as well that the crown will not screw down.  Link watch 15 years old. 

How does one remove the crown? Then put on a new one?  I see crowns cost less than $10. How much time to change? thanks

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