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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gents,

a couple of days back Rich pointed out that we may have a different understanding of the "urgency" of the calibre 56 QS issue. Thus I would like to briefly come back to this topic in chapter 031 and ask each of you to again state your opinion regarding the occurence of the problem.

Knowing that the results will probably not be a 100% representative from a statistical point of view IMO we still should obtain a better common understanding of what we are dealing with :)


In the problem statement, I said that approx. 50% of all calibre 56 watches with calendar had a defective QS mechanism - and I need to add, that was something of an educated guess.

I recall two noteable threads, one on this forum (quite a number of us participated in the discussion back then ;-)) and one on Seikoholics, giving the impression that almost ALL calibre 56 watches have a defective QS:

http://www.thewatchsite.com/21-japanese-watch-discussion-forum/31561-5606-movement-doesn-t-last.html
http://seikoholics.yuku.com/topic/12#.VHJU4We0MoY

I thus checked my "collection" spreadsheet, where I document all my watches including what I did regarding repair, etc.

I have had 28 calibre 56s in total including some that have been sold again, not counting 5619s, 17 of which had defective QSs (=61 %).


Let's hear your experiences/thoughts, please :)

Best
Hermann
 

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I have 6 calibre 5606 Seiko's in my collection, only one of them with defective QS.
Additional I have 7 5606-movements for parts only, bought from Ramon and others, 6 of them with defective or missing QS (not a surprise).

I've repaired one 5606 for a friend, QS was been ok.
Best regards, Peter
 

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I've not taken good long-term notes, but here is recent recollection:
Of the last 3 56 (5619, 5606, and 5626) I've serviced or am in the process of servicing for my own collection, all three have/had inoperable quickset corrector wheels. I've avoided collecting them historically because of this reason, going back quite a few years. I've had some that were OK, but those have seemed the exception to the rule, especially when considering "parts watches" that I've come across.
How many 56's were made? How many have survived intact over the years? I don't know where we'd find the answers to these questions, so it may be that any solution we come up with cannot be contingent upon a large number of buyers for its success.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your comments, Peter and Noah!

So quite a diverse range here, with everything from scarcely to always occuring :)

I would agree that the market prospect per se might be somewhat hard to determine.
From my caseback data I can gather that a 7-digit number of calibre 56s must have been manufactured - so in very simplified terms (and assuming that 10% of these are still in good condition) we should end up with a 5-6 digit figure of watches requiring repair...

The availablility of NOS correctors on eBay or the like is low - plus (as I recently experiences myself) the parts are almost always broken, too.

Thus given a decent pricing I would assume that there SHOULD be enough potential buyers for or solution to be developed...

Please let me know what you think!

Best
Hermann
 

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I have been taking a quick look through my collection and I estimate at least 40% of mine have problems with the QS.

With the units still in use the vast majority of these will have the plastic component and it is just a matter of time until they fail. This could be due to the material changing in size or just becoming brittle.

The already mentioned NOS items commanding high prices on Yahoo JP or eBay would indicate that there is a demand for these.

Without knowing how the manufacturing and design is implemented then it is difficult to determine the cost and therefore the real market potential.

If they can me manufactured for a reasonable price I think that there should be a clear market and with any luck it will be possible to manufacture these for a very low cost per unit and then sell at a quite high margin meaning that the costs should be recouped quickly.

I am sure no one expects to be getting rich from from this but with any luck this should not be done at a loss.

I am sure that this is a thread that we will come back and visit again as future milestones are reached and more information is determined.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Anthony!

Very interesting, it seems like we might end up with the "ballpark estimate" that I came up with from the beginning in total after all?

You also mention something important, IMO: reasonable price for the part.
What would you guys consider to be an acceptable unit price?

For me it should definitely be below 30 USD, or the repair of 56 LMs will not make sense from an economic point of view.

What do you guys think?

Best
Hermann
 

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You also mention something important, IMO: reasonable price for the part.
What would you guys consider to be an acceptable unit price?

For me it should definitely be below 30 USD, or the repair of 56 LMs will not make sense from an economic point of view.
I think the $20 mark would be even better to case a wider net regarding target audience- most people aren't used to paying that much for Seiko parts, even if they are custom-made (keep in mind they won't be plug-and-play either, likely requiring installation by a watchmaker, who if they are smart will also insist on a service with such an invasive procedure. This adds to the cost of the part, in a way). In my mind, $20 is a no-brainer if deciding whether or not to buy a well-made replacement, but $30 starts to push the envelope, I can see pushback higher than that. Maybe 2 for $30 (so that we could have a larger quantity made and recoup at a higher rate per transaction), depending on how costs look after we have a path in mind. A lot of costs are up front when having custom parts made, the quantity doesn't affect it much after a certain threshold is achieved, as I understand it.

Oh, and I agree with you, Anthony- we will have a better idea of costs once we determine what route we will take- manufacturing or repair, and what specific type of either. I guess we're trying to decide now, what's the magic cut-off number, where we would reject a quote if it is over $xx per part. I think Hermann's US$30 sounds like a reasonable ceiling, given the value of the watches in question, and the willingness of owners to spend money on them.
 

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The price estimates seem to be fair. A top target of $30 and if possible a lower cost towards $20 would be ideal.

People will pay a few dollars without too much thought but it does hit a psychological point and people then start to question the value of the whole process. As these watches are usually not very high value the repair part must make economic sense.

I also have not noticed a significant price differential for watches being sold with faulty correctors vs functioning ones. It seems to normally be more down to the general watch condition and appearance. Consequently the price for the replacement part needs to be quite low as the perceived value is not that high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the additional comments, guys!

So let me try to summarize:
- an overall QS failure occurence of approx. 50% appears to be valid within certain limits
- the max ceiling of unit cost would be 30 USD
- a price of 20 USD per unit should be anticipated

Everyone ok with this?

@ Anthony: interesting remark - I have noticed some differences here between YJ and eBay. I would agree that on YJ prices do not differ much between pieces with functional vs. non-functional QS, maybe 20-30 %. On eBay however, I would think that the gap is significantly bigger, somewhere in the 50% range, or so I have seen.

Best
Hermann
 
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