Alpha EXP II question

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Alpha EXP II question

    Had my Alpha EXPII for about 3 years. The watch worked fine but recently I've noticed that the power reserve is quite abnormal. After an entire day of wearing the watch, I would get about 2.5 hours of power reserve only. I know this because sometimes I find my watch stopped, or running slow by couple of hours. So I adjusted the watch to 12:00 after an entire day of wearing (more than 10 hours of regular wearing during work, driving...etc), then set it on the table to see when it will stop. It stops around 2:30 ~ 2:45 hours after.

    I was wondering, if this is means that the watch needs servicing? Or that anything is broken? For a watch this price...don't think it is worth the money to service it, but I would like to learn how to service it just for fun but don't think there's any guide online?

    Also, this watch uses the Shanghai B movement if I'm not mistaken? Is there anyway to change the movement to...lets say, an ETA? or Seagull?

    Would the watch wiz please help me out here.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Member Torsten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Hong Kong

    Re: Alpha EXP II question

    The Alpha would either use a Shanghai "B" GMT or DG 3804 GMT. If the later it would be easiest to buy a replacement movement for example here:

    Watch Parts and Tools: Watch Movements - China

    Seagull doesn't produce a GMT, neither does ETA. There are some modified ETA 2836 on ebay (the GMT hand replaces the day module). But you might face a challenge with the stem height there.

    Unfortunately the stem height of the Shanghai B GMT and DG 3804 are not identical and therefore not interchangeable either.

    One way to identify your movement without opening the case would be the to see whether the GMT hand is fixed (DG 3804) or whether you can change the GMT time by pulling the crown one step and changing the time zone (Shanghai B).

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member LCheapo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: Alpha EXP II question

    This watch is a good candidate to learn how to take a watch apart, clean it, and put it back together. (To be an excellent candidate it would need to be bigger and have fewer complications. But given the price and the fact that it is barely useable now make it a good candidate.)
    There have been suggestions for which tools to get and how to start in the watch making forum. I would start with using a wad of sticky tape (sticky side outside) or a small rubber ball to unscrew the back and just have a look, identify parts, try loupes and magnifying glasses, e.g. to see whether you can see any oil in any of the jewels - the watch might be completely dry -, look for dirt etc.. You can also cautiously play with the autowinding mechanism and see whether there is something obviously amiss, loose or wrong.

    Then, after acquiring (or finding) suitably sized screwdrivers, pegwood or toothpicks, rodico, #2 and maybe #5 tweezers, one of the thinner watch oils, and some lintfree paper (from watch supply or camera store) I would release the stem and take out the movement.

    Unfortunately you won't get much farther without removing the hands and dial, and that's where I see the biggest risk of screw up and at least cosmetic damage. Also, the dial side date & GMT setting mechanisms add unnecessary complications for your first foray into watch repair/destruction....
    But it's not impossible. Just work slowly, take picture (or make sketches), keep the parts and screws in order, and things might work out. But even if they don't you'll learn a lot, and have fun.

    Tool recommendations (in watchmaking forum)
    reading recommendation (TM 9-1575 US War Department technical manual)
    Last edited by LCheapo; September 8th, 2012 at 05:16.

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