Part 2: A King Seiko J14102 from January 1963
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
2w ago
With the introductions having been made in the preceding post, we can start this second entry with the customary mugshots showing the front and rear aspects of this, a King Seiko J14102 dating from January 1963.  The photographs below illustrate quite nicely what one should aspire to when surfing auctions of honestly-presented old watches.  Signs of use but not abuse, a reasonable abundance of patina and as little evidence as possible of titivation.  You just want to be able to make a reasonable assessment of exactly what it is that you are buying. The watch arrived with its cr ..read more
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The first King Seiko: Part 1
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
3w ago
Just as the king is the second-highest ranked card in a deck of cards, so, from its outset, has the King Seiko played second fiddle to the ace in the pack, the Grand Seiko.   It is tempting to believe that Seiko’s Daini division intended for the King Seiko to stand toe-to-toe with Suwa’s Grand Seiko, but even were that to have been the case, the undeniable reality is that the King Seiko was marketed by Seiko at the outset as offering a taste of the top-drawer quality of the Grand Seiko but at a more affordable price-point.   The September 1961 edition of Seiko News announced th ..read more
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Citizen Cosmotron X8 postscript
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
1M ago
Those of you who read the recent account of the restoration of an early Citizen Cosmotron X8 electric watch may remember that I completed that project with at least one loose end requiring attention.  The principal fly in the ointment concerned a reluctance of the movement to run with a standard 344 cell: the only way I could persuade it to run correctly was to attach a blob of solder to the negative terminal of the battery and add an insulating disk to the battery compartment to prevent contact between the negative terminal of the cell and the main plate.  I knew at the time that th ..read more
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Three into one: Seiko 5 Sportsmatic Deluxe 7619-7050 from November 1965
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
2M ago
Two and a half years ago, I won a Yahoo Japan auction for a lot of seven watches, all but one of which at least of passing interest to me.  Regular readers of this blog may recognise three of this magnificent seven as having received some attention from me, the results of which have been posted as entries here (and here and here).  Two of the three finished projects have since found new owners (the King Seiko 5626 and the Seikomatic) and the one watch from this group that held no real interest for me, the 8T63 quartz chronograph in the centre, I sold on eBay in the same (working) con ..read more
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SEIKO ウオッチ機械台セット
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
3M ago
Anyone who has experience working with a variety of different watch movement calibres will be familiar with the benefits and shortcomings of the universal watch movement holder.  For many of the modern Swiss movements, such as those made by ETA, Omega, Unitas and Rolex, dedicated movement holders are available that properly support the movement in either of its dial up or dial down orientations.  Whether the investment in such tools is worthwhile will depend on how frequently you find yourself working on a particular calibre and so for many watchmakers, tinkerers and fettlers, a conv ..read more
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Loose-end trivia:  date disk alignment and the Seiko instruments NH36
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
3M ago
In sweeping up a few loose ends from the past few months of behind-the-scenes activity, this brief entry documents a point of arguably insignificant interest but which may provide some useful enlightenment to folk employing the services of the Seiko Instruments NH36 workhorse in self-build or modified watch projects.  My recent experiences with the day/date NH36 and date-only NH35 movements have highlighted a singular hazard of adapting the former for use with date-only dials.  In one or two of my recent self-build projects, I have modified NH36’s by removing the day disk along with ..read more
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Namokimods Nautilus Self-Build
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
5M ago
This past year has been a particularly busy one in my day job, leaving less disposable time to spend footling around with watches.  However, I have been able to keep things ticking along, with one serious project generally on the go at any one time and a post documenting what I’ve been up to every two or three (or four!) months.  With less time to spend on the serious stuff, some of you may have noticed that I have been keeping myself amused by indulging my long-dormant interest in watch-modding.  Where my interest in the early days lay in the modification of (mostly) vintage wa ..read more
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The world’s first transistorised electronic balance movement:  The Citizen Cosmotron X8
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
6M ago
The heart of every mechanical watch movement is the balance, whose purpose is to dispense, piecemeal, the energy stored by the mainspring to the gear train.  It performs this task in a highly regulated fashion, each quantum of energy delivering a precisely-timed incremental motion.  It is vital to the task of marking the progress of time accurately but its role as a regulating middleman is singular.  This basic function has been served in every lever escapement mechanical watch and clock movement from the mid-1800s to the present day.  However, for a brief period between ab ..read more
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A faux milspec 6309 revisited:  Seiko 6309-8010 from 1976 and 1977
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
8M ago
One of my longest-lived watches is a grab ‘n’ go beater, a bastardised aggregation of disconnected parts that came together over 10 years ago to yield a pretty coherent watch.  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that it’s a beautiful thing, exuding the kind of delicious soft patina that engenders warm glows of satisfaction.  The various components derived from an assortment of mismatched junkers whose confused identities included affiliations with four different Seiko models: 6309-8019; 6309-7150; 7009-8590 (maybe); and 6319-8000. The standout component was the dial, a starburst ..read more
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Lift angle:  Seiko Business-A 8346A and Bell-Matic 4006A
Adventures in Amateur Watch Fettling
by Martin
9M ago
If you have ever used a timegrapher to measure the timing of a mechanical watch, you will have come across the term ‘lift angle’. In a Swiss lever escapement, the lift angle defines the arc that the balance impulse jewel sweeps between its initial contact with the notch in the pallet fork and the point that it breaks contact on the other side. The timegrapher measures the rate at which the watch is running by recording the timing of the sounds that the escapement makes as the balance wheel, pallet fork and escape wheel perform their synchronised dance.   The machine has a sensitive ..read more
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