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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Scope:

  • developing a durable renovation process or replacement for the (plastic) corrector wheel of Seiko calibre 56 part no 981560
  • The project thus relies on (defective) corrector rockers being available
Out of scope:

  • developing a new, complete corrector rocker (this would be an entirely different and much more ambitious project).
  • Work on any other QS rocker components aside from the corrector wheel
Goals/requirements/properties of the solution to be developed:

  • durable solution in terms of function and material properties
    • no emission of particulate matter or solvent fumes
    • is not adversely affected by normal cleaning methods and solvents
  • should be technically as good of or better quality than the original part: performs the quickset function just as an original rocker, will not do harm to other parts of the movement when in use.
  • should be aesthetically as good of or better quality than the original part: matches or exceeds the overall quality of machining and finish that the caliber possesses- will not look glaringly out of place once installed.
  • solution should be able to be installed with no more than normal watchmaker skill and tools
  • solution should be completely reversible, it should in no way permanently alter any original part or function of the watch
    • no alterations to components ASIDE of the rocker
    • no alterations to the rocker (perhaps excepting the non-functioning plastic corrector wheel)
 

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Scope:
developing a durable renovation process or replacement for the (plastic) rocker wheel of Seiko calibre 56 part no 981560
The project thus relies on (defective) corrector rockers being available
Yes, agree
Out of scope:
developing a new, complete corrector rocker (this would be an entirely different and much more ambitious project).
Work on any other QS rocker components aside from the driving wheel
Yes, agree
Goals/requirements/properties of the solution to be developed:
durable solution in terms of function and material properties Yes, it should be technically and aesthetically as good of or better quality than the original part
can be manufactured in small batches (< 100 pcs) Realistically, if we enlist the services of a custom micro-parts manufacturer, we should be prepared for larger batch requirements, maybe even of at least 1000 pieces

A few others I'd offer for consideration:

-The solution should be able to be installed with no more than normal watchmaker skill and tools.

-The solution should be completely reversible, it should in no way permanently alter any original part or function of the watch (perhaps excepting the non-functioning plastic corrector wheel)

-If we are going to go public with this solution for the good of the collector community, we will need a distribution network, tech support (to assist with instructions/troubleshooting of installation/renovation procedure), and PR front of some sort to advertise the product, if it turns out to be a physical product needing to be sold to recoup investment costs. While not directly pertaining to the technical side of the solution, it is something to keep in mind before we extend ourselves too far monetarily or otherwise. We could consider teaming up with an already active parts distributor (such as Jake or Harold), or watchmaker's material houses, though I think the former would be a quicker way to spread the word and get the product/solution out to where it needs to be.
Perhaps I'm putting the cart ahead of the horse, as there could be other types of solutions that do not require re-manufacturing and installing a corrector wheel. In review it seems that most of my suggestions above are tailored to this path, which is not a foregone conclusion yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Many thanks for the added requirements and properties, Noah!

I have added all of your comments to the list above - we will prioritize the items towards the end I guess and maybe eliminate some of them, but for the time being I would suggest we just add everything that comes to mind and see where it takes us.

Ok, the commercialization plans are something that I probably either considered too little - or I had slightly different ways in mind. Here are my PERSONAL thoughts on this:

- part should be made available to outside of the project team
- I MYSELF will not be able to handle the manufacturing, renovation and distribution procedure
- for distribution, my thought was simple: eBay. The biggest part of the collector community use this channel IMO, so I did not pay further attention to alternative routes/advertising etc.
- none of us (that was my assumption) will be able/willing to invest a 4-digit sum for upfront payment for the manufacturing, I guess

May I suggest something here?
How about we set a target for the unit price (e. g. below 30 USD by all means for the complete, assembled corrector rocker to make it economically viable and allow the repair of ALL calibre 56 watches from LMs to GSs) and then see if/how we can reach that price - and which quantities need to be manufactured depending on the solution?

The point you raised is excellent - I personally however would think we could postphone that decision and do an evaluation based on the individual solutions sometime later without losing anything for not deciding right now.

How do you all feel about this?

How about the < 30 USD target instead of exacting the feasible batch size?
What are your thoughts about the commercialization of the outcome?

Best
Hermann
 

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Scope:

  • developing a durable renovation process or replacement for the (plastic) corrector wheel of Seiko calibre 56 part no 981560
  • The project thus relies on (defective) corrector rockers being available
Yes, I agree.

Out of scope:

  • developing a new, complete corrector rocker (this would be an entirely different and much more ambitious project).
  • Work on any other QS rocker components aside from the corrector wheel
Yes, I agree.

Goals/requirements/properties of the solution to be developed:

  • durable solution in terms of function and material properties
  • should be technically as good of or better quality than the original part
  • should be aesthetically as good of or better quality than the original part
  • solution should be able to be installed with no more than normal watchmaker skill and tools
Yes, I agree.


  • solution should be completely reversible, it should in no way permanently alter any original part or function of the watch (perhaps excepting the non-functioning plastic corrector wheel)
Reversible with a orign, not broken part - yes
no unreversible modification on the calendar/base plate (like new borings etc)




  • can be manufactured in small batches (< 100 pcs)
Perhaps ... the produced quantity will be depend on the further parts distributor. I think we should discuss this point later when the components/production methods etc. are defined and clear.

Indeed, the distribution of the new part is important for the further target group who is to defined too (collectors, watchmakers, suppliers).

Sorry - but ebay is only one of the possible channels of distribution.
And for the distribution we need a product, needs to know production costs, the production company and we have to elaborate who is the constituent and the responsible ...
Perhaps a new milestone after the technical part?
Best regards, Peter
 

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I agree with all points raised regarding the scope of the project. Developing a new corrector wheel should be our sole aim as that is the only problem with the current mechanism - I see no viable way of repairing broken corrector wheels that doesn't involve glue, and we don't want to go there. :undecided:

Before we go down the commercial/distribution route, has any research been done into the potential market?

In the summary Hermann states that approximately 50% of the corrector wheels are broken, is that figure based on any research? I'm sure most discussions of any 56xx calibre on this forum (and others) mention the QS as a weakness, but is that just heightened awareness rather than fact?

It would be a waste of all our time to develop a solution, find a manufacturer and have a thousand made, only to find that there aren't as many broken as first thought.

I haven't owned enough 56xx's to form any kind of conclusion (only two: one broken, one not), and I've serviced around fifteen for customers in the last couple of years, only one of which needed a rocker - though it could be argued that if the rockers were broken people would be less likely to have them serviced in the first place.

I suspect I'm pretty low on the 56xx experience totem pole here, so I'd be interested to hear your experiences with them.


Rich.
 

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I agree with the goals outlined above.

I also agree that a quantity of 100 might be a little low for many production techniques so this is something that we will need to investigate further once we have determined the final design.

From my experience I have about 40% of units with broken correctors and I have purchased a couple of units for a few dollars just because the corrector was working, for the intention of using them for parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, guys!

As agreed per email earlier, let's please finish up this part focussing on the technical requirements of the solution!

The next step will then be a refinement of the problem statement and the scope (i. e., market analysis and commercialization options).

So:
Peter raised an interesting point about the reversability of the solution. Maybe I misunderstood something, but I see two interpretations:

- the solution must be reversible to movement parts APART from the rocker components
- the solution must be completely reversible, including the rocker itself

Please let me know which option is preferred.

A couple of further ideas from my side:

  • does provide the safety mechanism of the original, unaged setting wheel
  • regarding durability/material: no emission of particulate matter or solvent fumes


Please review the summary, comment on/add additional requirements so that we can wrap chapter 030 up and move on to market analysis/commercialization!


Best
Hermann
 

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So:
Peter raised an interesting point about the reversability of the solution. Maybe I misunderstood something, but I see two interpretations:

- the solution must be reversible to movement parts APART from the rocker components
- the solution must be completely reversible, including the rocker itself

Please let me know which option is preferred.
Ideally the fix would not permanently alter the rocker, so that if a better fix came along later, one would still be able to use the altered rocker in the same way as an unaltered one. This follows the watchmaking tenant as closely as possible of "alter the part to fit the watch, not the watch to fit the part", which I'd like to adhere to.

A couple of further ideas from my side:
does provide the safety mechanism of the original, unaged setting wheel agreed
regarding durability/material: no emission of particulate matter or solvent fumes agreed, could also add "and is not adversely affected by normal cleaning methods and solvents". No sense in setting a booby trap for the next watchmaker who comes along and doesn't know about some delicate handling aspect of a less than ideal solution we may arrive at. It could be argued that most watchmakers know to be very careful when cleaning plastics for instance, but it isn't always a given that they won't (and some times I do if I know how it will behave in relation to my cleaning solutions)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Noah,

I have added the requirements to the list.

I do think we need to be a bit more specific about some of the points, such as "technically and aesthetically equivalent" - what are your thoughts on this?

I also added the new requirements as "sub-points".

Best
Hermann
 

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This is what I take technically equivalent to mean: performs the quickset function just as an original rocker. Will not do harm to other parts of the movement when in use.

And aesthetically: matches or exceeds the overall quality of machining and finish that the caliber possesses- will not look glaringly out of place once installed.

While the second is more of a "want", I'd say the first (technical/functional equivalence) is a "need".
 

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... performs the quickset function just as an original rocker. Will not do harm to other parts of the movement when in use.
This is exactly what I think too.
But this "need" imply that the future construction should be base-constructed as same or nearby to the existing solution, or?
Regards, Peter
 

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But this "need" imply that the future construction should be base-constructed as same or nearby to the existing solution, or?
While I'm suspecting that this would be a relatively expedient way of going about it (design the new part exactly like the old), I think we shouldn't discount alternatives, as far-fetched or crazy-sounding as they may seem. There may be a lot of dead-ends, but it may also yield fruit we had not expected. I think we will go over all the alternative-type ideas and design theories later on, though, so I'll hold my tongue :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Noah and Peter!

I have included the details about tech & aesthetics in the summary.

So in a nutshell: the solution must possess the same functionality as the original part, but does NOT necessarily need to be an exact copy of the original - can be agree on that?

Best
Hermann
 

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So in a nutshell: the solution must possess the same functionality as the original part, but does NOT necessarily need to be an exact copy of the original - can be agree on that?
Agree with that as well.

As long as the part provides the same functionality, including protecting damage to the movement, then it will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Adrian,

so in other words - the idea would be a part that can be disassembled with a basic set of watchmaker's tools (or at least the rocker wheel removed), not requiring a staking set or similar?

Best
Hermann
 

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In my lexicon, "basic watchmakers tools" includes a staking set! So I guess I'm having a hard time getting behind the idea of radically changing the rocker assembly design. I think we discussed this in the "scope" section, deciding it wouldn't be feasible for this project to remake the whole multi-part assembly.

While ostensibly not intended to be disassembled, I've successfully taken enough of these apart that I don't see any issue with proceeding how we are leaning now, with some sort of repair or replacement of the corrector wheel alone. Looking at it another way, I'd think nothing of it if Seiko sold a replacement corrector wheel that a watchmaker would then install into the existing rocker, after disassembling it with a staking set. This type of repair would not be considered difficult or tricky by a watchmaker if the faulty plastic wheel could be swapped out of the existng rocker assembly for a new corrector wheel in plentiful supply.
By trying to create a solution that is 100% "plug-and-play" for non-professionals to be able to install, I think we might be making the project very much more difficult than I'd be willing to tackle (drawing up plans for having an entire rocker assembly remade from scratch, the costs associated with that many discrete parts being made and assembled, etc.).
 
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