Problem with 6R15. Erratic timekeeping. - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problem with 6R15. Erratic timekeeping.

Hi there,

After the crystal change and a good regulation I though I had things running smoothly with my newish Sumo.

I got it regulated to a steady +2/+3, but as of last weekend it is running seriously fast. My initial guess was somewhere between +30 and +60 spd.
I thought it could be magnetised, but it is not, as the test with a compass shows.

I have a basic timegrapher, so i put it there after a good manual wind. It is extremely erratic.

Keeping it in the dial up position it started at +29spd, then it slowed down to around +2spd in a minute or two, it stayed there for about another minute and then it started running slow at about -12/-15. It stayed there for a while and then it started going fast again.

I tried in crown down position and it does pretty much the same: it can go from -2 to +17 or -21 just like that.

When it changes slope sometimes it does it smoothly (in a curve) and other times abruptly (with a clear angle).

I'm completely out of my depth here. What could be going on here ?
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Old 05-14-2016, 04:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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After demagnetization (irrelevant of compass test), the hairspring has to be looked at - for breath, shape and contact with the regulator pin.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Spron 510 and 610, as used in a 6R15 mainspring and balance are virtually non-magnetic - so magnetic influence is very unlikely.
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Old 07-19-2016, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7s26b View Post
Spron 510 and 610, as used in a 6R15 mainspring and balance are virtually non-magnetic - so magnetic influence is very unlikely.
After a long wait I finally got a de-magnetizer (the classic ebay Blue Piece of Eastern Technology )...

Took the movement out to demag it, but it clearly is not that. The behaviour is exactly the same.

I looked at the hairspring/balance assembly and I don't see anything out of the ordinary. This is a new-ish watch, and it started behaving oddly out of the blue, with no shocks or traumas that I can think of.
I haven't done much to this watch and I'm always reasonably careful: Took the movement out of the case in a handful of opportunities, for a crystal change and hands replacement (that I didn't like and went back to the originals), but that was all.

One additional piece of diagnosis info I collected is the following:

I wind the movement generously and put it face-up in the timegrapher and it stabilizes to a decent and stable timekeeping, with a good amplitude of 290-300 degrees, beat error of 0.1ms. And after just a couple of minutes the amplitude starts to decrease, beat error goes up to about 0.5ms or more and the timekeeping goes bananas, and becomes unstable. The amplitude drops as low as 200 or even 190 degrees. The timekeeping can climb to 90+ spd.

This, like I said, in a matter of a few minutes.

Any ideas of what could be happening ?

Last edited by Blackdog; 07-19-2016 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 07-19-2016, 12:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
I wind the movement generously and put it face-up in the timegrapher and it stabilizes to a decent and stable timekeeping, with a good amplitude of 290-300 degrees, beat error of 0.1ms. And after just a couple of minutes the amplitude starts to decrease, beat error goes up to about 0.5ms or more and the timekeeping goes bananas, and becomes unstable. The amplitude drops as low as 200 or even 190 degrees. The timekeeping can climb to 90+ spd.

This, like I said, in a matter of a few minutes.

Any ideas of what could be happening ?
That amplitude decreases rapidly after a full winding is perfectly normal, that timekeeping is erratic it is not. Most likely something is wrong with balance/escape, but since that is a very delicate area you should give it to a competent watchmaker.
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Could this be a case of dust or oil on the hair spring? Maybe causing it to stick together sometimes. Worth a clean for sure.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Could this be a case of dust or oil on the hair spring? Maybe causing it to stick together sometimes. Worth a clean for sure.
Sure and even checking oiling on the endstones, but working on a Seiko balance without prior experience is a not a good idea. This without knowing about the OP skills, which could be perfectly fine, or course.
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdm.watches View Post
That amplitude decreases rapidly after a full winding is perfectly normal, that timekeeping is erratic it is not. Most likely something is wrong with balance/escape, but since that is a very delicate area you should give it to a competent watchmaker.
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Originally Posted by jdm.watches View Post
Sure and even checking oiling on the endstones, but working on a Seiko balance without prior experience is a not a good idea. This without knowing about the OP skills, which could be perfectly fine, or course.
Thanks for the reply. I was not aware that such a steep decrease in amplitude (below 200*) in a short time (a couple of mins) was normal. I have some ETA2824 based watches that exhibit a healthy amplitude for much longer time.

I do not have previous experience in working on balances and such delicate parts. I'm pretty handy for most things, but have not been formally trained in watchmaking. I feel confident at doing many things around a watch movement, but balance/hairspring, escapement stuff I'd rather not mess with.

I guess I'll find a good watchmaker to have a look at it. I was not expecting to have to spend more on this otherwise new-ish watch, but such is life...
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Old 07-21-2016, 06:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
I was not aware that such a steep decrease in amplitude (below 200*) in a short time (a couple of mins) was normal.
No, not that much. Say a decrease of 20 e.g from 270 to 250 is kind of normal with some Seiko. Below 200 I don't think that it can keep good time.

Quote:
I do not have previous experience in working on balances and such delicate parts. I'm pretty handy for most things, but have not been formally trained in watchmaking. I feel confident at doing many things around a watch movement, but balance/hairspring, escapement stuff I'd rather not mess with.
Good take, and good luck!
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