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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello forum followers!

After poking around here the past few weeks, I decided to join up. I did try to find the best place to post this, and I think I got it right. If I didn't, please tell me!

I have some questions about a seiko H023-00E0 (black sportura) that I have bought, second-hand, which will soon be on the way to me. I was really lucky to find this watch in great condition, for what I would say a pretty good price.

My question is about the watch battery. It takes a seiko battery SR1130W, which if I if my homework correctly means it is a low drain battery.

The watch I have bought, is not running, the battery died. I asked the seller if he could gauge about how long ago the battery died. He reckoned 2-3 years ago. I know there could be leakage, but I decided to take the risk and buy the watch anyway. In addition, the seller said it was the original battery, that was still in the watch, from when it was new, and that it was purchased 7 years ago.

While I wait for the watch to arrive, I thought I would do some investigating. I am wondering what the chance the battery has leaked might be. Yes, I know, no one can know this outright, and I will indeed see once the watch has been delivered, but still, I am curious, now!

I am guessing a watch new 7 years ago, would have a non-Hg battery (at least it was around this time Hg was dropped). If I understand, an non-Hg battery is less likely to leak, as is a low-drain type. I also read that at that time seiko used a better seal, and claim an increased leakage resistance. Anyone know if that rings true?

Does anyone have any direct information about the quality of seiko batteries from 7 years ago? This watch has a drain indicator, so I wondered, is there anything in the circuit that would disconnect the battery internally, such that the battery would never become completely drained? Is that type of thing available in this watch? In any watch?

I have read some horror stories about battery leakage (so I am fully aware I have possibly wasted my money), but often this is coming from a place that has vested interests in having batteries constantly changed, at sometimes considerable cost.

Again, I know batteries can leak, but I wonder if anyone would hazard a guess, based on any specific reasons, why I could expect that the battery would not leak??? Or would it just be a given that a battery sitting for 7 years will have surely leaked?

Experience with other battery driven circuits would tell me not to worry. What do you think???
 

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It's a roulette game regarding old dead batteries actually. Two 7t59 watched I own were destroyed by leaking swiss Renata batteries. Maybe half a year after they ran out! And I've removed decades old mercury cells that weren't leaking at all. Cheap alkaline batteries usually start to leak, although I found alkaline union carbide batteries from the seventies in watches, still intact. It's the luck of the draw :)

Verstuurd vanaf mijn m8 met Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi there Dutchsiberia,

Thanks for your answer. I agree it is a game of chance, just wanted to hear from those with perhaps more experience. I am hoping a seiko battery would be well built, and that at some point it would stop looking to the battery, below some lower voltage level. Even so, I suppose some charge would leak and the battery would eventually discharge.

I've had watches sitting for a year at least before changing and not had problems (Energizer).

I guess I will just have to wait and see what I get. Fingers crossed!

Thanks
 

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The batteries that are originally installed by Seiko when new tend to fair much better that many of the other brands. I have had very good luck with Energizer branded batteries myself. I have three H023 world timer watches. One I bought new about three years ago and it still has the original battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi there,

Thanks for the replies. In this instance, when I opened the case, it was not a Seiko battery, but an Energizer battery. Perhaps the seller forgot, or, the store it was bought from had replaced it prior to selling? Anyway, no leakage whatsoever. I am quite happy with the chance taken, and with a new band, this watch is a real gem in my opinion, looks like new!

I also have now two H024 sporturas (snj019), also very lovely. The second one did in fact have battery leakage, but it crusted up just on the actual battery, and when I took it out, absolutely no damage at all to the movement. Lucky again. These are rare watches, but bargains can be found so if you are hot to find one of these types, they are out there, and can also be very affordable!

Cheers!!
 

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I have a somewhat related question. I recently acquired a couple of H023-SNJ018 watches, one I would say is in very good decent shape and the other is excellent. The "decent" one is my daily watch and runs great. The "excellent" one also seems to run fine but recently the "low battery" warning appeared which, according to the manual, means you have a few days left until it runs down. I brought the watch into my local watch guy who works with a lot of Seiko's and he checked the battery and claims it does NOT need replacing (shows good capacity at 80% or more) and suggested I just keep wearing it. Well it has been several months and I still have the "low battery" warning. Is this a false warning or is there some quirk with the battery?

Thanks,

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Doug,

Well, I would test it by replacing the battery with a new one. I know in cars that you can measure > 12V with the battery (which indicates proper function), but still have problems because of low current (not enough amps). So even though the voltage is correct, it won't start your car.

So my first guess would be to suspect the battery (maybe voltage is good, but not enough amps to push your voltage through the circuit). And I am not really sure what you mean by "capacity"; volts, amps?

Anyway, these are old items and I guess they can't last forever, so it could also be down to some capacitor failing slowly...who knows.

Since it won't kill the wallet, maybe just go for a new battery. I am using duracell in mine and have had no problems.

Also, I can recommend a trick. Take the straps off, and take a big wack of "blue tack" (you know, the stuff people use to hang posters on the wall etc), and shape it into a ball (like the size of a ping-pong ball). Put the face of the watch in the palm of one hand, and press the blue-tack ball on the back like hell whilst turning, and you can unscrew the back, and change the battery yourself. Of course this depends I suppose on how tightly it was screwed on last time, but it has worked for me (even if it takes a few minutes).
 

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Yeah I tried insisting to the watch guy that he should just replace the battery and he was so reluctant to do so that I figured I would just see what happened.

The "low battery" sign only shows up when the watch is on "time mode" and is not there if I set the mode to "world time" (if you have one of these you know what I mean). Interestingly, I just saw another one of these watches come up on Ebay and the guy has photos of the watch with the different modes. Just like mine, when his is on "time mode" there is a low battery but this does not show up on any of the photos with the other modes. So I emailed the guy to ask about the battery but he really knew nothing about the watch.

I suspect it could be a poor quality battery that does not quite meet the specs of the original and it could be that the mechanism in these watches is very sensitive to battery quality. On a similar note I had bought an H021-8001 last year where they guy said he recently installed a new battery. When I got the watch I noticed the little "beep" did not occur when hitting certain buttons and after a few months the watch gave me the "low battery" warning and the watch repair guy I always go to opened it up and said it was a lousy quality battery. This could be the same issue with this watch.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi again,

Strange, in my experience, it usually goes the other way; trying to charge for replacing a battery that doesn't necessarily need to be replaced!

Anyway, do you have the pdf manual? You can see on page 26, a "reset" procedure. Have you tried it? Essentially, you depress all 4 buttons at the same time for 2-3 seconds, then you see the display change (will show Gree, 1, Mon 12:00). Of course, then you must entirely set the watch up again from scratch, but maybe this would make the low batt display turn off?

I have the pdf which I can send here (I think), if you want it.
 

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Hi--Yes I have a pdf of the manual and yes I tried the reset procedure a few times. Since daylight saving is ending tonight it will give me another excuse to try playing around with the watch again. Frankly, I suspect it is the battery that is maybe not quite up to spec. I have been going to the same local watch guy for quite a few years--a small store that sells Seiko, Citizen and others. He replaces the batteries on all our watches (used to be $5 but after many years he increased to $6) and the guy is exceptionally reasonable and honest, which is why he was so reluctant to change the battery.

Doug
 
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