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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
This is Jaya from Arizona. I have a 5 year old Hamilton Khaki automatic, Safire crystal, transparent back, runs well, no problem, but lately I have noticed this to happen. (This is an everyday watch, gets scratched all around!) When I shake my hand (left) while wearing the watch, like shaking a bottle of ketchup, the dial moves out of position. I have noticed this to happen slowly, in tiny increments. After several shaking movement, '12' will be at '9' position. Having a tiny watch repair kit, I opened the case, removed the crown ring, assuming that the screws that hold the post is not secure. To my surprise, there wasn't anything that secured the dial to the movement. It was free to move around, in circles. I have attached a picture after couple of shakes, after securing the back case really tight. How do I secure the dial to stay in its place? Will someone help me. I have some diy watch skills. I have replaced a quartz movement in a Timex watch, after removing the hands and dial. The Timex runs well after this swap.
I was almost thinking about placing a tiny, tiny droplet of crazy glue at a couple of places to keep the dial in place. I know it isn't the best way, but that is the best I can think of. Thanks for your help.
Jaya
Watch Analog watch Finger Gesture Clock
 

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Craftsman
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Jaya - Welcome. Do not use super glue to secure the dial. If the dial uses dial feet or posts to secure the dial the main plate the dial feel may be broken off. Some movements us a plastic retaining ring to hold the dial in place. The hands need to come off and the dial removed to look at what is going on underneath. Send it off to Hamilton for repair or seek assistance from a local watchmaker.
 

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That's odd, for sure. I think the Hamilton uses an ETA or Sellita movement, where the dial is normally secured in place with a couple of dial fasteners at the edge of the movement which grip the two dial feel protruding from the underside of the dial. I imagine that the dial feet have broken off the back of the dial.

You could replace the dial, or you can use "dial dots" to secure the dial to the movement. They're basically tiny bits of double-sided adhesive. I would probably not use any sort of glue, as it will make it difficult to service the movement in the future, and could potentially damage the finish of the dial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Vette Enthusiast and rainy daze thanks for both replies. Dial dots is an excellent idea! When I opened the case, I didnt remove the hands as I had to order the removal tool. I will order both tomorrow. I bought the watch brand new, wasnt excited to see this happen. The store said it was ETA 28xx movement, I dont remember exactly.
 

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The problem with dial dots is that it raises the dial by the thickness of the dots, which can cause the hour hand to rub, or minute hand if the markers are tall enough. They also can shift over time (the adhesive is sticky, but not permanently so), even assuming you get the dial placed on center initially. They can also interfere with the calendar system if you use too big of ones. Now for advice you didn’t ask for: You’ve reached the point where a watch you’ve loved for 5 years needs qualified service to give several more years of service. Will you pay the extra expense of having the repair done properly by the manufacturer (or their approved service agent) with access to spare parts such as a new dial, or cast it aside as refuse, or somewhere in between, where a bodge repair is performed because of economy and speed? The “just get it going” approach works for some people some of the time, but I think it is more likely that you are still looking at binning the watch when that repair doesn’t hold. I’d rather know it was repaired correctly and can live on as intended, call me sentimental!
 

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You're right to point out the potential drawbacks of dial dots. Truly, it's only somewhat better than attempting to glue the dial into place. I concede that replacing the dial, and figuring out why it came loose in the first place, is the proper way to deal with the issue.
 

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Your other option would be to buy a dial somewhere like ebay and simply replace the dial. My guess is that this is what Hamilton would do anyway if you sent it to them. As others have said, it'd involve removing the hands, removing the dial, replacing the dial, and re-setting the hands. If you're game for that, it's a matter of waiting for a dial to come up on ebay. If not, then I think rileynp is right - send it to Hamilton, have them service the movement while they're at it, and you'll have your watch going strong for another decade. Or, better yet, find an independent local watchmaker and ask them what they can do. Some can solder the dial feet back on; or they may be able to get a new dial directly from Hamilton. Not being from Arizona, I can't recommend someone locally, but perhaps other members know...
 

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well fixing it the right way is the only way to go
you might know that dial feet can actually be replaced too
they make a machine to make new ones
but it is not easy or cheap to do
i would try and find a new dial and make life easy on yourself
depending on your skill set and tools
there are many people on here who can help u with proper repairs too
God Bless,John
 

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I purposely left out the “dial foot solder” approach because it is risky to the finish of the dial and not as strong as the hard solder/brazing that was done when the dial was made. If he’s already given it a big enough knock to break both feet, mightn’t it be a bad idea to use a less strong repair in this case? I understand dial foot resoldering has its place (just did one a few days ago), but it should be reserved for dials that are no longer available, as a last resort.

I find it curious that some would suggest this should be covered under warranty. Dial feet don’t just separate from the dial, they are sheared off when the watch gets a hard impact. I don’t hold the car manufacturer liable when I crumple my bumper into a tree :)
 

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First off, since you are new to the watch repair and problem diagnosis game, let that be all you need to know and send it to Hamilton for a repair estimate. I have visited their Secaucus NJ shop if that is where it would go and they are very very very professional.

If the dial is in stock and Hamilton does the job my guestimate is they'd charge $100-ish to do the dial change. Obviously that is just the dial swap and assumes the feet are broken off.

I fear that there is more to this. Like the movement ring is installed wrong or missing, so when you adjust the hands or manually wind that action put great strain on the feet and they sheared off.

We really can't diagnose over the internet. Send it to Hamilton. My advice, it is free, and comes with a double your money back guarantee :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Lots of suggestions, thanks. I had dropped the watch twice over 5 years that I had owned, once on dirt and once on wooden floor. There is a chance that it would have sheared the feet. The problem arose months after I had dropped the second time, could be more than a year. Anyway I should get the hand removing tool and the installing tool this weekend. I plan on removing the dial and checking it out. One thing for sure - I wont send it to have it professionally repaired. I am going to go with the dial dots. I will keep this watch forever, or until it needs major repair. As long as it runs, I will use it, love the watch, dial and size. This will never be sold, might give it to someone, who knows. Thanks again.
 

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Lots of suggestions, thanks. I had dropped the watch twice over 5 years that I had owned, once on dirt and once on wooden floor. There is a chance that it would have sheared the feet. The problem arose months after I had dropped the second time, could be more than a year. Anyway I should get the hand removing tool and the installing tool this weekend. I plan on removing the dial and checking it out. One thing for sure - I wont send it to have it professionally repaired. I am going to go with the dial dots. I will keep this watch forever, or until it needs major repair. As long as it runs, I will use it, love the watch, dial and size. This will never be sold, might give it to someone, who knows. Thanks again.
Sounds like you've done a few watch repairs so with that dial dots are not bad, just be sure of 2 things: Attach where they do not interfere with the calendar (I like to cut the dots into half moons) and remember the dial can easily rotate when installing into the case, that can be frustrating but trial and error gets it right.

Good luck.

I continue to wonder if you will indeed find the feet sheared off or something else going on, and I am not so certain a few hard drops would do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
When I opened the case, removed the hands and the dial, I was able to see both the feet still secured to the movement. With the knowledge about watches I have, I couldn't figure out how to loosen and remove those two feet. I have had a few watches and that was the first time I had that happen. I don't think I will be able to braze those feet to the dial, even if I had experience to do that. I know I am not good at making any perfectly perpendicular joints, be it carpentry or soldering. I will try the dial dots, see how it fares before I consider any other option. Thanks a lot folks, the community has been really helpful. Adios!
 
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