Restoration Log-Seiko 5m23-6A10 Kinetic Tuna - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Restoration Log-Seiko 5m23-6A10 Kinetic Tuna

Greetings SCWF,
Reading about all the Seiko diver restoration threads here made me want to complete one of my own. So on my usual online trawls, I came across this:




After the initial "What in the world...?" remarks, I figured it had to be a shrouded diver with the wrong caseback. A little more detective work and I found it to be a 5M23-6A10; also called a Kinetic 'baby' Tuna. I was sold! There were more questions than answers though; what about the caseback and crown? Will parts be available? What are the chances of another turning up from some far corner of the world? I ended up buying it amidst all this though, because it's what we restorers do, isn't it?


After three weeks, the watch was delivered to Sri Lanka amidst the Cricket world cup. Initial pictures-







While it was on its way to me, I made inquiries about the missing parts. The outlook was dim; parts were extremely scarce and most recommended sellers and collectors said they didn't have the crown and caseback. Thankfully a seller in the US had a crown in stock and that was bought. Further inquiries here on SCWF revealed that since the Kinetic Tuna uses the same caseback gasket as the venerable SKX and its predecessors, an aftermarket sterile one would work. I have my eyes on a CrystalTimes sterile back that I'll get later.
Once everything was here, I did what I do best; I tore it down!

DNA and Lord-knows-what. At least no one else had attempted to tear it down!



Bezel click mechanism; looks like something out a shipwreck!



The crystal has surface scratches and a hazy look to it. Jborel has a generic replacement but how effective is polishing hardlex?










The dial and chapter ring are unmarked but dirty. I'll tackle these later.





Hands aren't damaged but the lume has deteriorated. What should I do?



New Crown


Teardown of the partial movement. It looks like it was water damaged but the dial side is unaffected.





Nice day/date wheels. Together with the grey spacer, I can convert any 5M23 movement to a crown-at-3 model.
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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After a vigourous cleaning with water and toothpaste, I was left with this-








A nice, smooth case and back with no corrosion and pitting. This will turn out well!


The lone surviving shroud screw and the button for the Kinetic thing-y.





This is where I'm at. I'm constantly on the lookout for a 5M23 donor but there are more 5M43s and 63s than 23s! Should I go with an upgrade or stay true to the original and wait for a 5M23? I will also have to find a 3D printer to have a shroud made as the original is unobtainium. The screws appear to be the same as those on the H558 so I will buy two more and have them plated locally.
Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-24-2019, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That cleaned up nice. Keep looking, the 5M23 does show up here and there.
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd go for a 5M63, as they are that much more efficient with energy generation.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great score as you know I’ve had one of these- I did the same with the screws and I’m sure your correct Arnies are the same
I will reach out to the guy who did my shroud in case he has some info still
My post here may help
https://www.thewatchsite.com/34-watc...crew-spec.html
3D8D4CDA-8D7D-4F28-808A-E8DA4A92B247 by biglewie, on Flickr
https://www.thewatchsite.com/34-watc...crew-spec.html

Last edited by lewie; 06-24-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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2230B56A-7681-44E9-9A4B-A889FB34B4CA by biglewie, on Flickr
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cool looking project. I have had some success polishing original hardex crystals using diamond lapping paste. Donj53 turned me on to this. You can buy kits with various gitis. I have used a dremel with one of those hard felt impregnated polishing tips to polish my crystals with some success. Put a bit of the paste on the crystal and polish away. I believe I started with 0.5 and the use two finer grades for final polishing. It will take a lot of time and patience. Depending on the scratches figure something on the order of 3 total hours of polishing. Take it in 30 min chunks and it is more managable.
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Last edited by Vette Enthusiast; 06-25-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the kind words, gents! Lewie, thanks for the tip on the screws, yours look good! Any info in the shroud would be much appreciated!
John, thanks for the tip on the Hardlex polishing, I'm tempted to use the original as a test bed to try out crystal polishing. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for a 5M23 and buy the capacitor too.
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