(Originally blogged March 19th 2019)
Here we have a lovely Seiko 7019-5000 from the 70s. These are sometimes known as the baby Monaco due to its shape and the dial markers not looking to dissimilar to the Seiko Monaco chronographs that are considerably more expensive and desirable.
This watch was sent to me to be serviced by a member of my Facebook group, he had bought it and it ran but had a fault with the day ring. Ironically when he was packing it to post it then stopped working completely! I am well versed in the 7019 movement, it is well designed alike to many other 7### movements only a few more jewels. I have to say I have a love hate relationship with the movement as sometimes they just don’t want to run right… Would this be another one of those…
I didn’t think I would be blogging about this watch so did not take a “before” photo. But first appearances the watch looked well looked after. I started the disassembly. They are an interesting case design as you cannot access through a conventional screw case back, you have to remove the top part of the case off by two prongs located by the lugs. Push in with a tool to release the spring and then the top lefts right off. Your then faced with the acrylic crystal to lift off gently so as not to stretch the gasket, gaskets for these I just can’t find.. to gain access to the movement you must look at the 2 o’clock position, there is a little slot in which you insert your tweezers to push down a lever attached to the setting lever, with it pushed in you can then pull out the crown and stem. You can then remove the movement.
I went ahead and stripped down the movement for cleaning. Here are some photos of that process.
Whilst the parts are being cleaned I turned my attention to the case. The customer would like it refinished and this is something I like to do. As with most Seiko’s of this era it was a brushed / ground finish on the top face and high polished on the sides.
On examination of this case I then realised that someone else had tried to refinish and not very well at all! The top finish was awful and the edges were rounded and in some parts much worse than others. Clearly a rotary tool or such was used by someone heavy handed. This was now going to take allot longer than anticipated to even see if I could rectify to a more satisfactory and professional finish. (see photos below of case)
You can quite clearly see the rounded parts that I have circled in red. To remove this would require allot of work by hand. I use a flat steel plate and some P320 wet & dry paper wrapped around it. Then with the plate on my bench I lie the case top face down on the paper and with some pressure I move it back and forth only going one way. This will then give you a ground looking finish which means nice straight lines on the surface. I then as I am dragging the top across then lift and follow the contours over the lugs to get consistent lines. Normally if this is just surface scratches this procedure takes no more than 15-20 minutes to get a satisfactory finish. To get under the error someone else has put in would require allot more material to be removed, by hand this is labour intensive. I persevere and it pays off.
You can see the finish I achieved on the photo above. This was as good as I dared to go with it but its certainly a considerable difference.
Now for the polishing of the sides. Pretty straightforward, mask off the areas I want to protect and then first of all hand sand with fine wet & dry , P800- P1200 to remove some of the deeper scratches. Then its onto the polishing machine.
I use Menzerna polishing compound, 4 grades and 4 separate types of wheels starting with a sisal wheel and a cutting compound and then coming down to a fine compound for final gloss with a soft cotton wheel. The finish is accomplished quickly if you do all the preparation first.
So at this point I am thinking its just case of reassembling and we are done. Well I was right but then the problems arose. Firstly the day wheel was out of alignment. Easy fix is to turn the disc over and nudge the star wheel a bit. I did this and all was okay until I used quickset, this would then move the disc on the star and it would be out of alignment again. Basically the star disc was too lose. I had to find a replacement disc from my spares.
Then the movement on the timegraph would show awful wavy patterns. After a few days of tests and cleaning again I had to swap the balance from another donor (thankfully I had one) till this watch would run smoothly and in time.
There was a separate issue with the hands, the last person to mess with this had bent the minute and and the second hand. when fitted correctly they fouled because of this! that took allot of tweaking to get right. I would think it was working only to come back hours later to find it had fouled again. I swear the hands kept on springing back to their bent shape!
Despite this one fighting me all the way the final look was fantastic and worthy of the save.
Here the watch is on the customers wrist. Matched with a rather nice blue leather rally strap.