How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?
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  1. #1
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    How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    I have a Mid 1960s Grand Seiko losing 15 seconds a day. It got sent in for major service to see what they can do. It's my first vintage, so I'm not sure what I should be expecting...

  2. #2
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Hi and welcome
    To me 15 seconds is great.
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    You just made me feel better 1000x. :) I'd love to see it if I can get it close to its COSC+ standards. I'd be so happy to see it brought back like that.

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    Member busmatt's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    15 Seconds per day is great for a vintage watch, as far as I'm aware most watches from let's say the 30's until the 60's were considered ok if they were within a few mins a day when new.

    Matt
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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Quote Originally Posted by benhuh View Post
    You just made me feel better 1000x. :) I'd love to see it if I can get it close to its COSC+ standards. I'd be so happy to see it brought back like that.
    to me +/- 15 seconds a day is good.
    I doubt the watch was ever COSC standard, so it is probably only 6 or 7 seconds worse than when it was made
    Wear and enjoy.
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; July 29th, 2014 at 12:07.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  7. #6
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Folks, we're discussing a Grand Seiko here - of course this was within COSC standards when new. In fact, Seiko's own precision standards were (and are) even tighter than COSC standards. So after the service it ought to be possible to have it run within COSC standards.

    In general, vintage watches usually run surprisingly accurate - after all, that's what they were once made for. In an age when people didn't have radio time on cell phones to check, a well running wristwatch was what was required. In fact, most of my vintages run within +/- 30 seconds per day - those that don't are either completely worn out and kept just for sentimental reasons, or in need for a service.

    And, just to put "one minute per day" in perspective: this is a deviation of 0.07%. I'm not aware of many technical systems working with smaller tolerances

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    Tomcat
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  8. #7
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Thanks!
    BTW: This is an interesting read on the 1960's Grand Seikos and their obsession with beating the Swiss on accuracy: Vintage watch experience: Seiko
    And why I ended up wanting to own that piece of history. It's amazing to think how they got -3/+5 (and sometimes better on their VFA models) back then.

    I'll see how it does after service, but even if they can't get it within those specs again, I'm happy to see it in my collection.
    Current: (In order of acquisition)

    1. Rolex Submariner Green Dial & Bezel "Hulk"
    2. Grand Seiko 1st Gen 6146-8000 Gold Cap
    3. Nomos Zurich Weltzeit
    4. Cartier Must De Cartier Vermeil 925

    Next?

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    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Again - why shouldn't this be possible? Your watch was designed to run with +3/-1 sec per day and unless its bowels are extremely worn out, there is no reason why these values can't be attained after a decent service. I'd like to point to my Franken-Omega with the famous 564 Chronometer calibre ...



    ... or the Mido Oceanstar Datometer with its purpose-designed chronometer-movement AS 1920:



    They both run at less than +1 sec/d on the wrist.

    Best,
    Tomcat
    busmatt, kazrich and Charon like this.
    After all's been said and done, there's a lot more said than done...

    Patina: little pieces of history put on old watches and forgotten there by the maker of time

    "Miracles?", he asked. "Forget about miracles. Those who walk on water just know where the stepstones are."

    "Luxury watches - you acquire the right to take care of them, but they remain the property of their manufacturers."
    (Roland Ranfft)

    Now available for your Kindle or Kindle Reader:

    Tracks in a Blizzard - A (German) Christmas Ghost Story

    Check me out on Facebook! / Visit us on Facebook! / Visit us in our living room!

  10. #9
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    Agree with all previous about your Seiko, it would be nice to see how close to perfection they can get it. The widely received wisdom, quoted on endless sites, is that a vintage watch is thought to be accurate + - 2 minutes a day. Many will disagree, and there are huge variables between models and so on, but I'm simply reiterating 'what people say.' But as an example, I have a JLC P478 that's running around 5s fast a day, not bad for a 70 year-old watch, I think.
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  11. #10
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: How much time is OK for a vintage watch to lose/gain per day?

    The problem with Seiko watches is that they were so good they often were used untill they just wore out so it's always a gamble with them. Grand Seiko were the top of the line though and I suspect most were taken care of.

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