The Watch Site banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I've posted elsewhere, I have a couple Seiko automatic watches from the 1960s with poor power reserve. They keep time quite precisely (less than 30sec variation per day); it's just the power reserve that's the issue, even after wearing the watch all day and being relatively active. In one case, the power reserve is only about 6 hours; in another case, about 15 hours.

Will continuing to wear them damage the movement? I'm just wondering how urgent it is to get them overhauled before wearing them further.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Just to be sure I understand, wearing it, despite the dry oil, won't cause damage?

This prompts another question. How long can a mechanical watch stay idle and unused - that is, how often should I wind or wear a watch for the best health of the movement (eg, to distribute the oil, etc.).

Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,209 Posts
Lubrication protects moving parts from wear. Lack of lubrication (or contaminated lubrication) will speed up wear to these components. Not a big deal if parts are cheap and easy to source, but the equation changes when talking about vintage watches. And whether or not you value the longevity of a given watch. If you don’t, feel free to run it into the ground, but know that when this happens I’ll inexplicably perk my ears up and shed an unbidden tear.

Oils and greases in a watch movement are not like those in car. Capillary action keeps them where they need to be whether or not there is tension on the mainspring, especially if helped by modern service methods and products such as epilaming and synthetic lubricants.

My personal feeling is that it isn’t a strict requirement to run one’s mechanical watches once a month, despite this being repeated through the the watch world. Especially because I’ve never seen an in-depth discussion of where exactly this lubrication needs to be excercised lest it lose some required property. I could see an argument centered around the escapement, but modern service methods seem to mitigate any propensity for migration, and if applied smartly the lubrication will only have a small track it wants to stay within, even at no wind.

Anecdotally, I’ve had the pleasure to service watches which have been stored for more than a decade since new, with no service in between and very minimal run time. While the lubrication was certainly drying, it was still present in places, and had aged gracefully. I don’t think running it once a month would have improved any aspect in those situations, and might have made things worse on the whole.

I am talking in generalities since I don’t know what calibers you are concerned about nor their present internal conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is super helpful, thanks! The two specific watches with which I have concerns, due to low power reserve, are a Seikomatic Weekdater (so, 1960s vintage) and a Presmatic (so, ca. 1970).

This leads to another question. If a watch is running well (keeping time, good power reserve), is there a recommended service interval, or just wait til it shows signs of trouble?

And another question - for manual-wind watches, what warning signs would I look for?

Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,527 Posts
This is super helpful, thanks! The two specific watches with which I have concerns, due to low power reserve, are a Seikomatic Weekdater (so, 1960s vintage) and a Presmatic (so, ca. 1970).

This leads to another question. If a watch is running well (keeping time, good power reserve), is there a recommended service interval, or just wait til it shows signs of trouble?

And another question - for manual-wind watches, what warning signs would I look for?

Thanks!
If it's running well and not a super rare movement just keep wearing it until it stops or loses a lot of time as that indicates overhaul time.
Ditto manual wind watches.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,209 Posts
Companies’ recommendations vary on that, so it is good advice above- once behavior of the watch is noticeably different, consider servicing. This might be more lax with vintage watches that aren’t worn daily, but if it is a daily wear watch I’ve seen companies recommend anywhere from every 3-7 years.
The signs a watchmaker wood look for (dirty or dry lubrication points, decreased power reserve, diminished winding efficiency of the automatic winding system), the casual watch owner cannot discern. So instead pay attention to timekeeping changes, decreased power reserve, or any odd sounds (like the weight hitting the caseback or bridges if an automatic caliber). For fun, here are some pictures of points a watchmaker can check, which exhibit need for service:
477628


477629

477630

Here are two of those spots after cleaning and lubricating (the reversers were worn and had to be replaced):
477631

477632



We’ve said nothing about water resistance- that is a whole different aspect to consider, and will depend on the engineering of the case and individual use.

Automotive lighting Light Circle Auto part Automotive design Crankset Automotive tire Gear Bicycle part Alloy wheel Liquid Light Amber Automotive lighting Yellow Automotive lighting Headlamp Automotive fog light Gas Circle Fluid Liquid Amber Ball Circle
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
33,745 Posts
Same with cars I suppose, just run it until it breaks down or the engine seizes ? sounds like this could save me having to pay for a service every year, good advice, thanks :)



If it's running well and not a super rare movement just keep wearing it until it stops or loses a lot of time as that indicates overhaul time.
Ditto manual wind watches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Just wanted to say thats a lovely image of the pallet fork jewel and escape wheel. I've tried to capture these under a scope to check after oiling but has never looked like this.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
33,745 Posts
What do they say ? "it takes one to know one ?" :)

Having read some of your posts and seen some of your fixes/methods over the years I wouldn't let the likes of you change the batteries in my favorite torch, you give real watch makers a bad name.

You don't have to try to be an idiot - it just comes naturally ;-(
 

·
Special Member & Premium Member
Joined
·
1,305 Posts
What do they say ? "it takes one to know one ?" :)

Having read some of your posts and seen some of your fixes/methods over the years I wouldn't let the likes of you change the batteries in my favorite torch, you give real watch makers a bad name.
#53 · 17 d ago

Here is another idea, why don't we all just enjoy the hobby and take heed of my grandma's advice when she said "if you haven't anything nice to say then just say nothing" ? :)
Your grandmother's advice
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
5,457 Posts
Just my 2 cents but logically, yes, it may cause damage. A poor amplitude on a vintage watch that has not been serviced is indicative of dried oils or even parts that are already wearing. Within the dried old oil is micro particles of the parts which grind like a fine grit sand. The more the parts move, the more it accelerates wearing down of the parts. Sure it may be fine for a while longer but if you wait until it wears to the point of not keeping good time or not working, then parts may need to be replaced instead of cleaned and oiled again. Best bet is to have the watch serviced before parts get to the point of having to be replaced. NOS parts that old are hard to come by, most use good donor parts which is a crap shoot. You may buy a watch for parts and find the 1 part you wanted is also worn on the donor. Been there done that a few times.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,527 Posts
What do they say ? "it takes one to know one ?" :)

Having read some of your posts and seen some of your fixes/methods over the years I wouldn't let the likes of you change the batteries in my favorite torch, you give real watch makers a bad name.

You have NO examples of bad workmanship from me, none that any other practical watchmakers think are wrong ;-(

All you have is your pedantry and grumpy old man attitude.

There is NO interaction on the topic with you.

You are an example of the worst of what the UK is becoming where FREE SPEECH is cancelled for no good reason.

Instead you have used your power as a mod along with much writing / no workmanship to be seen reily to BAN me.

You truly are an IDIOT ;-(
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
33,745 Posts
Good man :)

You have NO examples of bad workmanship from me, none that any other practical watchmakers think are wrong ;-(

All you have is your pedantry and grumpy old man attitude.

There is NO interaction on the topic with you.

You are an example of the worst of what the UK is becoming where FREE SPEECH is cancelled for no good reason.

Instead you have used your power as a mod along with much writing / no workmanship to be seen reily to BAN me.

You truly are an IDIOT ;-(
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top