October 1979. Pink Floyd put the final touches on the The Wall. Liverpool at the height of their pomp, embark on the ‘79/’80 season as League champions (again); Steven Gerrard’s Mum is 8 weeks pregnant. And this sweet little watch rolled off the production line in the Seiko Daini factory in Kameido, Tokyo.
Photocredit: Yahoo Japan
This very tidy example of the Seiko 2625-001B, a small 150m quartz powered 150 m diver’s watch, caught my eye with the 12th birthday of my youngest son in mind. In the description on the Yahoo Japan auction, the seller highlights ‘crown operation failure’ and ‘immobility reason unknown’. Given the otherwise excellent cosmetic condition, I was confident that whatever fault lay within, I’d sort it out in a jiffy.
The condition of the watch in the flesh did not disappoint, with the overall impression lifted by the fact that it came on its original blue rubber strap, in its original presentation box and with instructions and guarantee present and correct.
However, as promised the crown served to accomplish nothing much at all other than the ability to quick-set the date. The battery was flat and starting to leak but with a fresh battery fitted, the watch started ticking. It became clear though that the fault was not limited to the hand setting because, although the minute and seconds hands advanced as the watch ran, the hour hand remained stubbornly pointing at the 10 hour marker.
The first step then is to remove the case back and survey the movement
which in this watch is the A version of the 2 jewel 2625 quartz movement. You will notice that the battery is held in place by the case back and so removing the back automatically stops the watch. The next step is to locate the stem release lever which makes its presence known only once you’ve pulled the crown out to the time setting position:
With the stem removed, the movement drops out onto the movement cushion without further ado to reveal the really very lovely dial and handset. The dial in particular a wonderful shade of blue, finished in a very matt, powder finish, there to highlight the raised hour markers, generously filled with lume (now long since exhausted).
You will notice that I had let the watch run until the minute and seconds hands overlapped the hour hand to aid removal of the hands (remember, the crown is inoperative).
To remove the dial, we first have to remove the case ring from the movement and locate the screws that secure the dial feet. The screws operate in much the same way as those on the Fontmelon movement fitted to the 1945 Tudor Oyster described here. Turning each screw so that its flat side faces the dial foot releases its grip on the foot, and the dial can then be gently levered off.
Before we can see what’s what in the time-setting department, we need to remove the calendar plate
which, having done so, initially reveals everything to be present, if not necessarily correct.
In fact, it all looks rather spick and span but operation of the crown fails to cause any of the wheels beyond the setting wheel to rotate. The reason for this soon becomes apparent: the minute wheel is plainly not sitting quite where it should. In fact a tentative prod shifts it north and it threatens to fall through the adjacent hole in the mainplate. Removing the minute wheel reveals just how catastrophic the failure is:
The shaft on which the minute wheel sits has sheared off at its base,
a seemingly tiny failure but one which has basically written off the movement – or at least its main plate. A proper watchmaker might have drilled out the shaft remnant, made a fresh shaft on a lathe and pressed it back but for me, there is no solution to this other than to find a replacement mainplate or a complete movement from which to rebuild a working movement.
Those of you familiar with the content of this blog may remember a post a while back describing a pair of ladies diver’s watches, a 2205 and a 2625 (see post here). The latter saw service on the wrist of my eldest son until he killed it and it has sat since, in a drawer, waiting for opportunity to knock.
In this case, it’s role is a sacrificial one. It was originally withdrawn from service because it started running very slow, before expiring and I have suspected that the cause might have been a failed coil or circuit. My plan then is to take its movement, transplant the circuit and coil from the 001B, clean and oil the going train bridge and hope for the best. So this is what I did, removing the circuit and coil from the donor movement, then the train wheel bridge, cleaning the latter, refitting, and finally fitting the circuit and coil from the 001B movement.
A quick check reveals it runs and so we are set to refit the blue dial and handset.
Meanwhile, the case deserves a clean before refitting the movement. The bezel click mechanism is the same as that in the contemporary 6309, the click provided by a sprung–loaded ball bearing acting on one of 60 machined grooves to the rear of the turning ring.
Although I had a fresh crystal to hand, I opted to keep faith with the original which, while sporting a few light scratches, is in decent condition and perhaps a better choice given the likely challenges the watch faces in the short term. So with the case cleaned, we are all set to offer up the movement.
The final touch is to replace the crown with a new one in the interests of fully restoring its original water resistance.
With that done, reunite the case and movement
pop on a fresh strap (the original a little stiff and distorted)
and finish with one on the wrist of the birthday boy.
For a watch so small, it assumes a similar presence as that of an Hublot on the wrist of the England football manager, but he’ll grow into it.