Impossible but true - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 07-19-2018, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Impossible but true

I have a very nice Seiko Goldfeather watch with truly baffling behavior.
It is showing about -15 seconds per day on my Vibrograf, and careful monitoring of the second hand over a day confirms this to be true. However, the watch GAINS about 3 minutes per day. How is this possible? If the hands were losing time so much, I would service the cannon pinion, but how can it possibly gain time??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Dez
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Magnetized?
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe its actually gaining 2 minutes 45 seconds a day?
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I thought that might be the case, although I have always been able to trust my Vibrograph. I monitored the second hand carefully over a day, and it very gradually fell behind about 15 seconds over the day. It's timed properly, the hands just magically gain time.

Mystified,
Dez.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had another look at this watch on my Vibrograf, and tweaked the timing a bit. It is now managing -2 seconds per day according to the second hand and the Vibrograf, but still +3 minutes/day according to the minute and hour hands. I can’t see anything obviously defective, and there are very few things I can imagine that could give this result.

Dez
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wrong gear in it somewhere?
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, I thought about that, but the difference is too small. There are 1440 minutes in a day, so the error I am seeing is 1/480th of a day. If there is a one tooth error, that would require a gear with 480 teeth.

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Old 07-31-2018, 04:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you try checking the minute hand to see if it keeps time sometimes, or loses a minute every 8 hours?
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The big problem here is that the minute hand gains, rather than loses time. I think it is continuous, but I can’t guarantee that. I am travelling now but my next step upon returning is to completely disassemble and inspect all the gearing.

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Old 07-31-2018, 10:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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How odd, I would love to know what the answer is.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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As would I! I will be sure to post the results as soon as I figure it out.

Cheers,
Dez
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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By chance I have one in parts just now. I know bellmatics inside out but this is the first high quality watch I have had a look at. I'm not too smart so take what I say with a pinch of salt, but I think it looks a bit odd. Here is a sequence of pictures as I took it apart. I got a surprise when I took off that bridge in the last picture because there was what I think is a ratchet in there. yet its working on the thing that drives the minute hand? Doesn't make sense to me. I will have to try and figure it out once I get everything cleaned and start to rebuild it.
Actually, I just noticed the ratchet in my tray when I took that bridge off, I wasn't aware it existed until I saw it in the tray but I think the position I show it there is probably right, (except it should be on the other side of the gear so it works like a ratchet). Maybe a clever person can figure out possibilities of whats happening to yours from these pictures. Or maybe you can tell me when you take yours apart how that ratchet thing is meant to fit, or if I have just added an extra part into mine
There is a click of the mainspring in the normal place by the way.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (41.2 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (27.9 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (36.8 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 4.jpg (78.2 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 5.jpg (57.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 6.jpg (34.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 7.jpg (52.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Did you figure it out? Would love to know the reason for such an odd behavior. You did time it in different positions right?
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I haven’t taken the watch apart yet, but I’m sure your information will be very helpful when I do. I have gotten behind in my ambitious list of projects, and I need to work down the queue a bit. Next is a friend’s old Waltham pocket watch and then a nice verge ca 1800. Then the Goldfeather!

Cheers,
Dez
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Oh, yes, I did time it in all positions. It’s well in beat and consistent, which makes it all the stranger.

Cheers,
Dez
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Old 11-20-2018, 12:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I got a goldfeather for $65 delivered i think it was, last december. I took it apart back then and left it. not a great idea. In fact, halfway through the year I did reassemble the tricky part 'that works the stem mechanism, only i left the stem out. So today, i forgot how it all worked and couldn't get the stem in so I ended up dismantling it all again when I didn't need to. i took a risk on the watch as you can see in the before and after photo. it worked out pretty good I think.

Anyway, i have to make room for another watch coming in tomorrow so I finished this one today.

I had a think about what might cause your problem and I have a theory. First off, the watch has the usual hour minute and second wheels, driven off the barrel gear. you'll need to excuse my terminology, its a long time since I have looked at watch diagrams etc. The thing is, only the second hand wheel, at the end of that chain of wheels, is connected to a hand. So there is a train of wheels all driving the second hand as you'd normally see. BUT, the canon pinion sits on a different cog, which is driven directly from the barrel gear. You can see in the second photo, the hour and minute hands are locked together so my guess is that when your minute hand gained 3 minutes, so did the hour hand but you wouldn't really notice. So what I am suggesting happens with your watch is, there is either dirt, or wear which allows the minute hand to move forward or back 3 minutes from when you set it. I'd bet it would be 3 minutes fast at the same time every day, but not going faster. it might even be when you set the time, you are at one end of the backlash of the minute/hour gear train, and as it runs it falls to the other end of the backlash. If i'm making no sense, well, that's just me, sorry.

its a cool watch by the way, I think it must have been very high quality in its day. You've just got to hope you don't need to adjust the beat because as far as i can see, you'd need to shorten or lengthen the spring. I'm going to let mine run for a while and see if it needs adjusting, but its looking promising now.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg b4-n-aftr.jpg (343.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg minute_hour-drive.jpg (128.1 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg watch.jpg (71.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg trace.jpg (11.7 KB, 5 views)
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have been meaning to come back and explain my thinking better -
The first photo shows the usual gear train. i hope I called the wheels the correct number
The barrel rotation is the big red arrow and it turns the 2nd wheel or whatever you call it, which turns once per hour. so that is the minute hand, only because they tried to make this watch as narrow as possible, they just left the wheel on its own and didn't use it to turn the minute hand. The train goes on as usual until the 4th wheel which is the second hand. its right in the centre and is used to drive the second hand directly. Coming back to the 2nd wheel, which is the minute wheel, it is held by the gear train on the outer edge as it drives the 3rd wheel. Because of the whole gear train thing, that will limit gear backlash in the 2nd wheel, so normally gear backlash is not a problem.

Onto the second photo, this is the same side of the chassis, but at a deeper level with all the gears and bridges removed. You can see another gear in the center. This gear is hollow and the second hand wheel shaft (4th wheel) goes right through it to drive the second hand on the other side. There is no connection from the firth photo gear train, to this gear. This gear is driven directly from the barrel also, same as the 2nd gear is. So it turns once per hour also. Only, it has no gear train leading on from it, so it is subject to a large amount of gear backlash. One tooth on that gear represents 6 minutes on the minute hand. Enter the thing that looks like a ratchet, the blue arrow points to it. In fact, this is not a ratchet and acts as the gear backlash eliminator (green arrow turns clockwise on the dial or anti clockwise on this side) From where it is shown in the photo, that ratchet thing will pull through the gear and its spring will cause it to push the gear back, constantly eliminating gear backlash. So my theory to the OP problem is, there is something wrong with that ratchet type thing, maybe its spring is broken or there is too much dirt build up for everything to be free. Also, if you set the time by winding the hands forwards, you will be at full backlash and the minute hand will not move until that is eliminated, which might be 3 minutes. So i think its best to wind the time forward when setting, but go past the time by ~5 mins, then wind it back 5 mins to the right time. That should set the ratchet thingy to the right side, and eliminate backlash. Might even be thats all you need to do to get yours going OK.
I thought the last picture worth showing too. The ballpoint is actually centre of the frame, its not a trick photo where the pen is actually towards the camera.

Some theory huh? Probably complete rubbish.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gear-train.jpg (83.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg backlash-elimation.jpg (104.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg chassis.jpg (32.6 KB, 1 views)
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