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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for yet another discussion about amplitude. I see there have been many, but I can't find one recently.

I serviced a 6117 Navigator Timer the other day and it went fine. All of the parts looked good and not showing signs of excessive wear except perhaps for the barrel. The watch is timing well within 1-4 seconds and no beat error. However, my amplitude and thus my attitude are not where they should be I think.

I am getting as low as 180º and as high as 205º depending on orientation. I would expect it to be above 200 in all orientations, right? I know vintage Seikos are notorious for running at low amplitude but what is too low?

I replaced the mainspring but I didn't have a new barrel and arbor so the old ones are in there. I saw a fair amount of grooves in the barrel but it is hard to say if there are too many or if those would affect the amplitude. I went ahead and ordered a NOS barrel and arbor that should arrive in a few days. When I go to replace the barrel, I will check other things like:

1. Check barrel arbor hole fit again. There was some wobble, but it didn't seem like too much. How much is too much? I have not staked holes before so that will be a new experience for me if it is needed. If too much play, will this manifest as low amplitude?
2. Clean and re-lube balance jewels (I also ordered an automatic oiler so I can get this right) and check end shake. Look at staff pivots again on microscope to make sure they are not flattened or worn.

I'm sure the train could have a problem somewhere that might create drag and drain some energy but the wheels really looked great to me and I had no problem getting the train together and the bridge to line up. I looked at the jeweled holes under a microscope and they seemed clean and fine. Is there something else I should consider?

Thanks in advance to the braintrust.
 

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Craftsman
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What mainspring did you use? Some of the replacements, such as an eta mainspring, have lower amplitude then the original Seiko mainsprings. I would also have a second look at the balance jewels and pivots. Many low amplitude readings can be related to the balance, pallet fork, or escape wheel. Be sure to check end shakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What mainspring did you use? Some of the replacements, such as an eta mainspring, have lower amplitude then the original Seiko mainsprings. I would also have a second look at the balance jewels and pivots. Many low amplitude readings can be related to the balance, pallet fork, or escape wheel. Be sure to check end shakes.
It was a NOS Seiko 401615.

Thanks for the advice. The mainspring I used was a NOS Seiko 401615. As for the balance jewels, for sure I will re-do them. I will also take another look at end shakes.
 

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Craftsman
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If the inside of the barrel is badly grooved, that will affect amplitude. The new barrel and arbor should help. Just so many possibilities here.
1. Are you seeing any evidence of brassing on the top of the barrel bridge on the main plate where the barrel is tipping into the plates? Do you see any evidence the current barrel is worn around the outer edge of the upper barrel cover? All evidence the arbor ports are excessively worn an the barrel is actually rubbing the bridges and this will drag a ton of amplitude off the train. I prefer jeweling the ports versus trying to close up the holes.
2. What type of lubricants are you suing on the train pivots, 9010, 9103, 9104? Unlike the Swiss, Seiko movements of this vintage do not react well to heavier lubricants like HP1300 on the train pivots. I pretty much stick with 9010 on all the pivots but other may disagree with me. Just my opinion.
3. What is the condition of the escape wheel and pallet fork? Is your time grapher line straight and true or are there drop outs in the line or a long sign curve to the timing line? This may indicate issues in the escapement. Do not lubricate the pallet pivots. Pallet goes in dry but do apply some 9415 to the ends of the pallet stones. Some only apply lubricant to the entry stone, I apply lubricate to both.
4. Check end shake on every component in the train including the pallet fork. How much up and own movement is there on the train gears. Too much or too little can affect amplitude. Are there any chips or damage to the jewel pivots? This can also affect amplitude.
5. Does the center wheel in the main plate with the upper bridge attached and screwed down spin freely when you blow air across it? If the end shake here is not set properly and the wheel does not move freely when air is blown across it, that might be an issue affecting performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If the inside of the barrel is badly grooved, that will affect amplitude. The new barrel and arbor should help. Just so many possibilities here.
1. Are you seeing any evidence of brassing on the top of the barrel bridge on the main plate where the barrel is tipping into the plates? Do you see any evidence the current barrel is worn around the outer edge of the upper barrel cover? All evidence the arbor ports are excessively worn an the barrel is actually rubbing the bridges and this will drag a ton of amplitude off the train. I prefer jeweling the ports versus trying to close up the holes.
2. What type of lubricants are you suing on the train pivots, 9010, 9103, 9104? Unlike the Swiss, Seiko movements of this vintage do not react well to heavier lubricants like HP1300 on the train pivots. I pretty much stick with 9010 on all the pivots but other may disagree with me. Just my opinion.
3. What is the condition of the escape wheel and pallet fork? Is your time grapher line straight and true or are there drop outs in the line or a long sign curve to the timing line? This may indicate issues in the escapement. Do not lubricate the pallet pivots. Pallet goes in dry but do apply some 9415 to the ends of the pallet stones. Some only apply lubricant to the entry stone, I apply lubricate to both.
4. Check end shake on every component in the train including the pallet fork. How much up and own movement is there on the train gears. Too much or too little can affect amplitude. Are there any chips or damage to the jewel pivots? This can also affect amplitude.
5. Does the center wheel in the main plate with the upper bridge attached and screwed down spin freely when you blow air across it? If the end shake here is not set properly and the wheel does not move freely when air is blown across it, that might be an issue affecting performance.
Thank you so much for your answer.
1. No brassing on the underside of the bridge or mainplate.
2. I used 9010 on the train pivots. HP1300 on low speed pivots and arbor.
3. Time grapher was straight with no drop outs. I was able to get 0.0-0.1 ms beat error and within a few seconds per day very easily. Just low amplitude. I did lubricate the pallet pivots. Entry stone only was lubricated with 941. I went back and checked the 6106 guide and both stones should be lubricated so I will do that. The guide clearly omits the pallet pivots in the list of pivots to lubricate so I will remember not to do that.
4. I will re-check the train and pallets for end shake. I will say that all wheels move very freely. I did not see any damage to any jewels under the microscope, but I will check again.
5. I don't remember specifically blowing the center wheel. I will do that next time.
Thanks again for your detailed answer and advice. It is very much appreciated!
 

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Craftsman
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Thank you so much for your answer.
1. No brassing on the underside of the bridge or mainplate.
2. I used 9010 on the train pivots. HP1300 on low speed pivots and arbor.
3. Time grapher was straight with no drop outs. I was able to get 0.0-0.1 ms beat error and within a few seconds per day very easily. Just low amplitude. I did lubricate the pallet pivots. Entry stone only was lubricated with 941. I went back and checked the 6106 guide and both stones should be lubricated so I will do that. The guide clearly omits the pallet pivots in the list of pivots to lubricate so I will remember not to do that.
4. I will re-check the train and pallets for end shake. I will say that all wheels move very freely. I did not see any damage to any jewels under the microscope, but I will check again.
5. I don't remember specifically blowing the center wheel. I will do that next time.
Thanks again for your detailed answer and advice. It is very much appreciated!
Looks like you are doing all the right things mostly. If you lubricated the pallet pivots, you need to clean that up and reinstall. That alone will eat up a lot of amplitude. Agree with using HP1300 on the arbor pivots. Good luck with it.
 

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I pretty much stick with 9010 on all the pivots but other may disagree with me. Just my opinion.
This is my understanding as well so thanks for that 👍 I've also accidentally oiled the pallet fork pivot form the calendar side and only noticed it because of how reluctant it was to start running. I don't recall if it effected the amplitude though. Interested to see if you can sort it out with the new barrel.
https://www.esslinger.com/moebius-9010-synt-a-lube-watch-oil-2ml/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:
I ordered a new barrel and arbor but I must have ordered the wrong one so I couldn’t use it. But I had it all out on my bench so I thought I’d just clean and re-lube while keeping the old barrel to see if there was any improvement.

Here’s what was done:
1. Complete disassembly
2. Washed main plate and bridges/cocks in One Dip
3. Inspected jewels (all fine)
4. Reassembled and took care not to lube pallet pivots, 941 lube on both pallet jewels
5. Removed balance jewels and relubed this time with 9010 using Bergeon 1A oiler

Amplitude is now at 220 degrees, a big improvement. I am guessing the oiling job from before was the culprit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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All it took was a bit of sticktoitness! Now I'm considering picking up an auto oiler :unsure: anyhow, glad you sorted it out, oh and I hope you're using One Dip in a well ventilated space. I'd also use an organic respirator. Trichloroethane is quite volatile and bad for you're heath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I put the whole mess back together and I'm pleased with the results. Amplitude is around 240 degrees. Timekeeping is within less than 10 seconds and varies by about 10-12 seconds across all positions. Beat error is between zero and 0.4 ms. I am really lucky that the movement is in such great condition because I didn't need to do anything special other than clean and properly lubricate the watch.

I picked up this watch at a thrift store and it was not in great shape. It was running, but not well and not long. Someone had replaced the dial and rotating ring and I suspect hands with aftermarket, but they look nice enough.

See that triangle at the 0-hour marker? I found it floating around inside the watch when I got it. I was able to epoxy it back on. I hope it stays there.

It came with an authentic bracelet but I honestly feel that the watch, with its aftermarket dial, is not worthy of an OEM bracelet, which are rare and hard to find so I will save it for my World Time watch that also needs to be restored and it is authentic. So this one is wearing an Uncle Seiko bracelet. Nothing against the US bracelet either; it's really great, but I like my vintage watches to be fully authentic and this one, sadly, is not. But it is nice to look at and the internals are going strong. I really like the World Time and Navigator Timer watches.

From May 1971, ref: 6117-6410
Watch Analog watch White Light Clock
 
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