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66-8980 clean up - help needed please

1485 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  anilv
I'm trying to replace the crystal in my seahorse (and give the case a good clean/polish).

Having double checked the crystal won't just pop out with a crystal lift, I have tried to remove the bezel but it appears to be stuck fast! Probably because it dates from 1967 and at some point looks like there has been some water damage that has ruined the dial (however, the workings appear to be lovely and clean). There is a very thin brown ring of oxidisation (rust) that is around the inside of the case where it meets the crystal and also at the point where the stem is attached to the crown (which has SW imprinted into it - so ideally I'm looking to save it).

I'm presuming it's the oxidisation that's causing the sticking (and probably the fact it's 43 years old) so would a spray of WD40 help (or would there be any adverse effects of using it)?

Is there another product I should use to clean up the rust from around the end of the stem to prevent it getting any worse?

Or should I use an alternative case that'll need a bit more work to it to get it nice and clean - I have a couple of other 8980's that I bought in 'blurry ebay picture lottery' in the hope of getting a replacement dial?

Thanks for your help.
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Thanks, I'll try to take some pictures tonight.
Okay, gave this another go last night and after soaking the case in WD40 for a while, I placed a nylon from my crystal press inside the case and after a couple of good taps with a jeweller's hammer, everything came apart no problem.

I've attached some photos of the rust I mentioned, along with some other pics. I've purchased some rust remover, do you think it's worth using it before placing the crown/stem/case, etc in the ultrasonic cleaner, or do you think the oxidisation is too far gone?


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ADB said:
I admire your courage!
Yes, that stem seems quite rusted, so I would think that a rust remover for the case and bezel would be a good thing.
Are you going to get the movement itself serviced?
Courage = foolishness you mean ;)

To be honest, having seen the state of it, it's going to be more a 'tinkering' watch. I'm hoping the rust can be removed from the stem so it's perfectly usable in another seahorse (as it has SW on the end of the crown), and if the case can be cleaned up, it'll be a good test subject to try out my case polishing skills.

I also enjoyed taking the photos and when I have time will photograph a step-by-step strip down so I'll be able work out how it goes back together :)
I cleaned up the rust last night then gave the case, bezel and stem/crown a blast in the ultrasonic cleaner. I wouldn't say the rust has completely gone from the stem but it certainly looks better. Would it be wise to give it another blast with the rust remover and US again?

Question - once stuff starts to rust, is that it - game over, or will it be fine?

I'm looking forward to getting the time to take this watch apart! :)
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