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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:10 am 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:56 am
Posts: 164
There were tonnes of different designs (just google Vostok komandirskie to see the variety!). Mine has a blue face with a submarine, an anchor and a red star. Mine was erratic as there was lubricant on the hair spring I think, but it died before I got around to getting it serviced. Got a brand new movement in it now.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:27 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:20 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Chained to the mash tun.
Oh God!!! You lot have got me looking at Seiko watches on ebay :)

This does not bode well....


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:04 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:21 pm
Posts: 824
Location: County Antrim
Here's some pictures of my most comprehensive restoration to date, a Seiko H558-5000, also known as the Arnie due to Mr Schwarzenegger sporting one on his wrist in most of his movies in the mid to late 80's. This little project started over six months ago when I spotted a battered and poorly listed Arnie on ebay. Its not a watch that I can say I was previously interested in as I had always assumed them to be on the large side and way too big for my 7" inch wrists, but I fancied a project and this one looked like it might go cheap...

This is what I was bidding on (sellers pics) -

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Note the 18mm bracelet fitted to 22mm lugs. The ad description went along the lines of "Seiko watch. Not working. Was going to fit new battery but was told it was broke." And that was it. Perfect project fodder then and I sniped it for a grand total of £76. I knew a new shroud, insert and sapphire were all readily available and a quick bit of googling unearthed plenty of options for donor movements should the need arise. I estimated I could fix this up for under £200 and with nice Arnies usually going for £300+ I was felling pretty good about it. A few days later and it arrived -

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It looked like it had spent the last 20-odd years living in a welders toolbox. Plenty of deep scratches on the lugs and case back and the crown appears to have been tightened with pliers. It wasn't looking too good under the glass either with lume rot on the hands although the dial wasn't so bad. So then to open it up and see just exactly what I've bought -

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Look closely at the remains of the gasket. That's a generous layer of superglue you see holding it in place. By this stage my enthusiasm is starting to wane but I still have hopes for the movement. As I loosen the crown, it, and what's left of the stem come right out. I pull out the movement out and I am greeted by this -

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Yep, that's more superglue :shock: . I guess the stem had broken and the previous owner thought that superglue was the answer to all life's problems... So that's a new stem and movement added to the shopping list, now for some good news, yes? Well not quite yet. The stem tube had taken a knock but it was nothing terminal and the threads were good but remember the 18mm bracelet vs the 22mm lugs? Well when the previous owner was fitting it He/She did so using a 20mm spring bar on the lower lugs. Rather than sourcing a correct 22mm spring bar I guess squeezing the lugs in a vice to accommodate the wrong spring bar seemed like a better idea at the time :facepalm: . I was able to bend the lugs back out to 22mm using a large pair of pliers and opening them between the lugs and even though there were still vice marks on the outside of the lugs the case was still salvageable -

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So that's all of the nasty surprises out of the way, time to get spending. New insert and sapphire crystal were ordered from Yobokies along with a new plastic shroud from ebay. The old movement was filled with superglue so I purchased this donor from ebay -

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New gaskets were sourced from Cousins but I hit a wall when trying to source a new crown and stem. I fired off a few emails to the usual suspects but most didn't even reply. I saved the relevant searches on ebay in the hope I would find one quickly and in the meantime assembled the watch minus the stem -

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To my surprise it was very wearable. I'd always expected these to be massive but they are actually very similar in dimensions to a SKX007 or 6309 and a couple of mm thinner. The hands were in a pretty bad state though and there was a bit of lume rot on the dial so a re-lume was on the cards. I was looking forward to getting this up and running and was optimistic that it would happen sooner rather than later. I tried polishing the hands but the plating quickly wore off so I left it at that with plans to sort the dial and hands once a stem had been sourced. That was in August and I figured it was only a matter of time before a stem showed up, but as the months passed I started to think that this was never going to run. Maybe I should just ebay it and hope to get back what it was owing me... Fast forward to last week and I'm browsing the trading forum on SCWF and I spot an ad by Stefan / Seikochrono for a NOS H558 stem . I frantically pm'd him and my search was finally over. I spent the rest of the evening grinning like a cat. So that was the stem sorted and the watch would be running soon so I turned my attention to the hands and dial. As I'd previously polished the hands down to the brass I thought about just painting them white and some new lume but I'd read about silver plating solution on another forum and decided to give it a go. I also had two sets of original 6309 hands in a similarly bad state so they would get plated as well.

Heres the Arnie hands prior to sanding and polishing -

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And the 6309 hands rubbed down with 1200 grit paper and then polished and ready for plating -

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The plating process is very simple. Just pour some solution onto a fine cloth and rub it in for 10 - 15 seconds -

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And with new lume applied -

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I also relumed the dial -

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And heres a pic of that elusive stem with the old broken one behind it -

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As you'll have probably noticed, the case had numerous scratches and dings so I went to work with the dremmell and polishing cloths. Once the case was refinished I put it back together and gave it a 60m pressure test which it passed -

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And a few pics of how it looks now -

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I'm still not finished with it yet. The crown could do with replacing and the alarm is not working as I need fit a new piezo sounder to the inside of the case back but these are only minor niggles. I'm just happy that after over six months I've finally got it running again and on my wrist :D .


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:00 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:56 am
Posts: 164
Holy crap, how did the old one look that bad!? I've been wearing the same watch all day every day for a couple of years now, whilst mountain biking, doing garden work, etc, and it's not half as bad as that one. Although, I did take it to the watchmaker when it broke, so...


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:14 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:34 am
Posts: 1042
Location: Hook, Hants
Nice save :) I've restored about 10 watches in the last year but wouldn't even attempt something that battered!

I'm also on the look out for one of these (already got the rare Citizen equivalent) but as you say they're going for ever more money, often £300+ in decent shape. Mad considering that's double what they cost new!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:20 pm 
rBoTM Winner
rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:28 pm
Posts: 3104
Location: Mansfield Woodhouse, Nott's.
You could sell these watch's down South in the UK! I hear there is much water down there!!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:21 pm
Posts: 824
Location: County Antrim
Joe of Loath wrote:
Holy crap, how did the old one look that bad!? I've been wearing the same watch all day every day for a couple of years now, whilst mountain biking, doing garden work, etc, and it's not half as bad as that one. Although, I did take it to the watchmaker when it broke, so...


I think the previous owner may have been what we refer to as a 'bumbling hamfisted idiot', considering his attempts to fix this one with superglue and a vice :lol:

lrh wrote:
Nice save :) I've restored about 10 watches in the last year but wouldn't even attempt something that battered!

I'm also on the look out for one of these (already got the rare Citizen equivalent) but as you say they're going for ever more money, often £300+ in decent shape. Mad considering that's double what they cost new!


I'll probably have this on ebay when I find a new crown for it but at the minute it owes me almost £240 plus the time searching for parts and fixing it etc. Had I known what I was letting myself in for I wouldn't have gone near it but I thought it was going to be a straight forward fix and easy profit :oops: . Now that its almost finished I'm glad I did take it on and I'm pretty pleased to have brought it back from the dead. Hopefully it'll be good for another 30 years now 8) .


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:38 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 42
Great thread, I'm genuinely impressed! Some wonderful results you've got there!

I'll dig out my old Seiko, I forget the model buts it's an early 90's chrono with alarm and moon phase window, bought new by me in Hong Kong, be nice to have given your refurb treatment!

Red


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