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Discussion Starter #1
In another thread Chris requested some pictures of an ecozilla strip down so rather than hijack that thread I thought I'd post them here. The chap who owned this particular watch wanted it sandblasting, the minute hand painting white and a relume in blue.

To do the sandblasting the case had to be completely stripped



These were the parts that needed sandblasting



The hand had to be stripped of the old orange paint



Then a coat of white enamel was applied



Which matched beautifully



The dial and hands were sent off to James for the relume and the case parts were sent back to the owner who has a sandblasting cabinet



Once all the parts were back the case was rebuilt. With these ecozillas you have to get the chapter ring spot on when refitting the crystal, there's no locating lug anywhere to ease the job, it's all done by eye.





With the relumed dial, hands and movement refitted



A poor lume shot



Pressure testing







This one only had a 6bar test, the one I tested yesterday was done while the owner waited so I didn't bother with any pictures.

And a few photo's on the only 24mm strap I had. :)









I actually quite liked the look of this one. :)
 

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Duncan, I'm blush! A thread specially to my request...WOW! That's why I love this place!

Thank you very much, Duncan! Your photo essays are the best in here, these days!

I have questions (as usual, LOL!):

1) Looking at the caseback of this specimen, I see it is not one of those mark II case generations with the "RFN" inscription right below the helmet, which would indicate that this case would have a detachable (screwed on) outer ring that kept the bezel on. On these mark II versions, this outer ring could be unscrewed by the owner for ease of cleansing of the bezel area (much alike the autozilla).

So how did you dismantle this outer ring, on this exemplar?

2) I see a tiny O-ring (that I assume goes inside the bezel) and a C clip different from teh 2 part clips that we are used to see in modern day diver's for the bezel unidirectional clicking...how is this assembled in order to provide the unidirectional 60 clicks for the zilla?

3) Upon disassembling and assembling the crystal, did you keep the original nylon o-ring for sealing or have you replaced it?

4) How were the seals all around? In order to pass the pressure testing with flying colors, did you maintained all the original seals, or did you have to replace some of them?

5) One of the greatest features in this watch is the threaded locking ring for the crystal, exactly the same type of the tunas and PloProf. While the zilla does not have a typical He valve and no crystal L-gasket to flush out the He, how come is it still rated as a He saturation mixed gas diving watch? I assume it is due to the threaded crystal retainer, but the case construction did not address an escape valve for inner pressure, so how come the watch doesn't explode from the built in pressure?

I love the ecozilla! It is a very underrated dive watch, IMO. And when you compare its price bracket with tuna's, it becomes even more one of the best deals to be had.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The outer ring on this model is just a press fit Chris, I say "just" but it took a lot of head scratching to work out how it was fitted as I thought they all unscrewed. It was also on there immensely tightly and getting it off without doing any damage was time consuming and "interesting". :)

The smallest o-ring in the first picture fit's on top of the chapter ring and is slightly compressed by the crystal to stop said chapter ring moving. The c clip fits in a groove between the bezel and the case much like any other retaining wire. The click spring provides the unidirectional element.

The nylon crystal gasket was reused, I find if this type of gasket comes out undamaged it's good to go back in. This was the case with the rest of the seals, if they're in good condition when removed they're generally good to go back in. If they're dry, split or hardened it's time to replace. This ecozilla was fine with regards to o-rings and seals.

AS for the HE properties of the ecozilla I presume it's down to a screw down crystal retaining ring and a screw down crown, even if the case did get HE saturated it couldn't blow the crystal out. I was surprised at the thickness of the crystal and caseback, they're very chunky!
 

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The outer ring on this model is just a press fit Chris, I say "just" but it took a lot of head scratching to work out how it was fitted as I thought they all unscrewed. It was also on there immensely tightly and getting it off without doing any damage was time consuming and "interesting". :)

The smallest o-ring in the first picture fit's on top of the chapter ring and is slightly compressed by the crystal to stop said chapter ring moving. The c clip fits in a groove between the bezel and the case much like any other retaining wire. The click spring provides the unidirectional element.

The nylon crystal gasket was reused, I find if this type of gasket comes out undamaged it's good to go back in. This was the case with the rest of the seals, if they're in good condition when removed they're generally good to go back in. If they're dry, split or hardened it's time to replace. This ecozilla was fine with regards to o-rings and seals.

AS for the HE properties of the ecozilla I presume it's down to a screw down crystal retaining ring and a screw down crown, even if the case did get HE saturated it couldn't blow the crystal out. I was surprised at the thickness of the crystal and caseback, they're very chunky!
Duncan, thank you so much for your patience and kindness in addressing my questions and also for the pictorial, once again!

One last question: what method did you use to pry off the outer retaining ring that holds the bezel in place?
I was guessing that yes, if this case wasn't the "RFN" type explained above, then this outer ring was a press-fit type. But how in the hell one can pry it off the main case without causing damage? This is a question I have always inquired to myself, all these years owning the zilla.

Citizen should have kept the "RFN" redesign of the screw type outer ring. It's much easier for both watchmakers and owners to remove it from the main case.
 

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Duncan, thank you so much for your patience and kindness in addressing my questions and also for the pictorial, once again!

One last question: what method did you use to pry off the outer retaining ring that holds the bezel in place?
I was guessing that yes, if this case wasn't the "RFN" type explained above, then this outer ring was a press-fit type. But how in the hell one can pry it off the main case without causing damage? This is a question I have always inquired to myself, all these years owning the zilla.

Citizen should have kept the "RFN" redesign of the screw type outer ring. It's much easier for both watchmakers and owners to remove it from the main case.

And to add to Chris' question; how is the bezel then removed? I have the RFN case but have not been able to remove the bezel itself after the ring is off (my bezel is "loose" so I wanted to check underneath).
Thanks for this amazing pictorial by the way :)
 

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Me too wondering. The outer ring has knurling which (to me) usually denotes screw on.
Quite surprise its a press fit.

The bezel I guess needs some brute force plying ?

The black plastic ring with a notch in the 1st pic (lowest right). I guess its the movement ring ?
 

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Me too wondering. The outer ring has knurling which (to me) usually denotes screw on.
Quite surprise its a press fit.

The bezel I guess needs some brute force plying ?

The black plastic ring with a notch in the 1st pic (lowest right). I guess its the movement ring ?

Careful! Only SOME are press fit. I believe that cases with an RFN in a square stamp on the back (usually under the scuba dude) are threaded. These are a REVERSE THREAD though so clockwise to LOOSEN.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The way I did it was to use a screw in bezel knife and lots of protective tape. I took the blade out and ground it sharp to get it started cleanly and just took my time checking all the while that it wasn't causing any damage. Eventually it started to move which meant I could get a hand held case knife in and gently pry it all the way around.

xzqt, yes the black ring with the notch is the movement ring.
 

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BTW, Duncan's pictorial helps to prove something I have always believed: the Ecozilla is just as good as a 1000m quartz tuna, only costing 6 times less.

I mean, take a look at the bloody construction, ferkrissakes! You have everything there: threaded locking crystal ring, 5,5mm thick mineral crystal, outer shell for bezel protection, nylon gasket for the crystal (which seems to be more durable than an L-shaped rubber gasket that is prone to get jammed upon crystal assembly), the case tube of the ecozilla has a double O-ring seal internally, and another O-ring seal into the crown itself (thus making it a triple sealed crown system - Duncan, correct me if I am wrong, please), and as advantages over the tunas I see a regular screw down caseback (which eases access to the innards) and to top all that an eco-drive movement that is pretty much as precise as a 7c46, but needs almost none maintenance via regular battery replacements like its Seiko cousin.

And when you think about this comparison and brings both prices to the table, the ecozilla seems like a no brainer to me. How come this watch is not more celebrated still baffles me! Maybe if it was labeled as "JDM" and thus more difficult to be purchased, the Zilla would receive as much praise as the tunas.

I predict this watch will be the greatest Citizen classic in a few decades, specially when it is finally discontinued.

Way to go, Citizen! Job well done for making a bulldozer of a dive watch :)
 

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As for the mod job done to this Zilla, itself, the only part I didn't like was the inner chapter ring located in the bezel itself. The blasting didn't result in a crisp and finished look there. I think it would need a repainting, or a more thorough treatment to refinish that specific area better.

Take a look at this Zilla military mod made by Angelo, The Relumer (from Spain)...this has to be the best mod I have ever seen to the Zilla:

 

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The way I did it was to use a screw in bezel knife and lots of protective tape. I took the blade out and ground it sharp to get it started cleanly and just took my time checking all the while that it wasn't causing any damage. Eventually it started to move which meant I could get a hand held case knife in and gently pry it all the way around.

xzqt, yes the black ring with the notch is the movement ring.
Thanks for the info.
 
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