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On several occasions in the past year or so, I have come close to buying one of the old Seiko 7548 quartz divers watches to go with my existing stable of automatic 6105's and 6309's. However, the 7548's generally cost a fair bit more than run of the mill slim case 6309's of the same era, and I never found one meeting the right balance of condition and price. Then about a month or so ago, I saw a 7548-700B on Ebay, looking rather forlorn and which was described as 'needing service, battery'. I took this to mean anything from 'it needs a new movement' to 'it needs a service' to 'it needs a battery' but it otherwise looked in decent nick and so worth a punt. £37 sealed the deal plus another £13 postage and about 10 days later I received it. Here are two of the seller's photos:





The watch appeared generally in very sound condition, sporting plenty of scratches and a couple of dinks on the case and bezel, a clearly trashed insert, lots of crud but a beautiful dial with lovely honeyed markers and hands that while not in perfect condition, were perfectly serviceable. The first thing I did on receiving the watch was to replace the battery and much to my relief is sprang into life.

So, with an apparently healthy movement, all that was needed was a clean, case refinish, new insert and crystal and gaskets all round. While I had been waiting for the watch to arrive, I had found a decent, but not mint SKX009 insert, and had also bought a new 6309 crown from Cousins. The crystal I ordered after receiving the watch and in the end I opted for a flat, AR coated sapphire from Harold, to keep it looking as original as possible.

Let's begin then. Out with my Dad's old Shell Marine penknife and off with the bezel:



Plenty of muck in there. The innerds of the bezel look pretty grim:



The insert is removed by inserting a scalpel blade between it and the bezel from the underneath and gradually working around the bezel until it works free:



The insert is now free from the bezel and can be added to the huge pile of old Seiko parts accumulating in my parts drawer:



The final part of this process is to remove the gasket which usually, on a watch of this age looks like this:



and here's some of the dirt liberated from the bezel:



Let's return to the case, which appears pretty filthy too:



and in this shot we can see both the cut-out on the crystal retaining ring to aid removal as well as the somewhat battered state of the lugs:



A better view of the retaining ring cutout:



A knife blade into the cutout and gently lever the retaining ring off the case



Next, out comes the movement, movement ring, crown and stem:



Before moving on to the case, I decide to replace the crown, which, while in reasonable condition, is a bit knocked about. First job is to separate the male and female parts of the stem, taking care not to lose the washer at the end of the spring:



In order to replace the crown, we now have to separate the male part of the stem from the crown itself. This requires a needle vice to secure the stem, whilst turning the crown anti-clockwise:



Here's the new crown on the left and the old on the right:



and the whole lot reassembled:



That washer is important because otherwise the stem will not sit straight on its own accord.

The next job is to remove the crystal, crystal gasket, gasket retaining ring and chapter ring:



and we are finally ready to tackle the case. The first part of the exercise involves the use of pegwood sticks to remove most of the grime. Here we see the case, partly cleaned, with a goodish view of a significant ding on the lower right lug:



Having got rid of most of the dirt with the sticks, we now brake out the tooth brush and Colgate:



Here's that troublesome lug, in the process of being reworked:



How do we do this. Well, this might seem a bit brutal, and it does take a bit of courage the first time, but this is my method of choice:



I'll spare you the rest of that process, which is rather time-consuming and tedious, yet somehow therapeutic. Here's the case post trauma, with a satin finish to the top, and a polished finish to the sides and back:



Right, now we are ready to reassemble. Or we would be if we had that crystal. After a 5 day wait for the rather excellent Hong Kong postal service to do its stuff, the crystal arrives and we are ready to continue. Here's the refinished case, the chapter ring, gasket ring and crystal gasket:



In they go:



On with the rather lovely new sapphire crystal (with a frosted bevel - nice):

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So far, all that is required is finger pressure, but the crystal retaining ring needs a crystal press to get it back on:



In goes the movement, crown and stem with some lubrication for the new crown gasket, a fresh case back gasket and on with the case back:



The bezel snaps on with firm finger pressure, following the fitment of a fresh, greased gasket:



The only things that remain are the new pepsi insert, a set of 22mm fat spring bars and a new rubber strap:







I like this one a lot!

Martin
 

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Nicely done! A beautiful finished product, indeed. I'm grateful that you had the patience to take all those 'in process' photographs. Thanks for sharing.

What type & grit sandpaper did you use for putting the satin finish on your lug tops?
 

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Brilliant post, made my day - THIS is what I live and breath for! Straight to the archives for this beauty...
 

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Man is this a great post or what. Certainly keeps me on the right track to attend to my watches .
Here's mine which I now have the urge to smarten it up.


.


Thanks again for the post.

Regards Tony
 

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Fantastic post , thanks for showing all the steps involved , you've done a great job .

I'm also wanting to restore a couple of 7548's , your post will be of great help to me .

I like these quartz divers so much I've not worn any of my auto's since the first 7548 arrived a month ago .

best regards Scott.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
STUMPBASS said:
Nicely done! A beautiful finished product, indeed. I'm grateful that you had the patience to take all those 'in process' photographs. Thanks for sharing.

What type & grit sandpaper did you use for putting the satin finish on your lug tops?
Thanks. I use a mixture of P400 grit paper together with P180 and P240 grit sponge backed paper for the brushed/satin finish. But the trick really is just to experiment. As long as you don't use anything too course, you can always quite easily correct mistakes by going over it again.

Martin
 

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Great work, very impressive with great pics and discussion.


Regards,

Andries Westerbaan
7548 owner

 

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MartinCRC said:
So, with an apparently healthy movement, all that was needed was a clean, case refinish, new insert and crystal and gaskets all round. While I had been waiting for the watch to arrive, I had found a decent, but not mint SKX009 insert, and had also bought a new 6309 crown from Cousins. The crystal I ordered after receiving the watch and in the end I opted for a flat, AR coated sapphire from Harold, to keep it looking as original as possible.



[/quote]


That's a great job Martin!


Can I ask about the replacement crown? Did you buy it as a whole piece with stems, spring and washer etc, or just the crown 'head'?


Don't suppose I could ask for the 6309 crown part number...?


Cheers,
Howie
 

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I'd be interested to know the Cousins part number, too. I'm sure i searched the Cousins database when I needed a 6309 stem, and couldn't find anything.
 
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