When is a Marlin not a Marlin?
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  1. #1
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    When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    When it's a W-760.

    I've had a hankering for a vintage Marlin for some while now. The trouble is that most that I've seen have either been really beaten up, or too expensive (meaning: more than I'm willing to pay). But a little bit of random looking around on ebay showed up an interesting thing... The W-760 has the same case as the the W-650 Marlin but with a 548 module (the same as the DW-3000 "Tank", and the titanium TW-7000). The functions of this module are almost exactly the same as the 248 which was used in some of the Marlins such as the W-35, W-450 and W-750. In fact, the only thing which isn't "Marlin" is the lack of the Marlin logo on the crystal. Because of this, it seems to be a little less sought-after, and prices are therefore a little more realistic.

    So, a few days ago, I was having a little lookie around on ebay and I found a nice looking W-760 for reasonable money. The case was clean, crystal looked relatively good, and the bracelet original and long enough for me. The vendor said it was fully working. It was a Buy It Now with a Best Offer option - I didn't want to lose it, and I figured that I wouldn't save that much on a Best Offer - so I paid the BIN price and waited for it to arrive. I was really looking forward to this one - it reminded me of my first Casio digital I bout in the early 80s.

    A few days later it arrived in the post. The external condition was good - really good. Not so pristine that I'd be afraid to wear the thing, but a gentle patina of wear softening the edges very slightly - and the crystal was very good - a very few minor sleeks, but no real pecks or chips in it. So far so good. But when I tried to re-set the time, I realised that the recessed re-set button had no effect when I pushed it in, and then I also noticed that the alarm buzzer wasn't working. Bummer. Should I contact the seller and complain? What to do?

    Pop the back off, of course! I used my caseback ball, which easily got the back off. Gasket present and correct, but old, hard and flattened (note to self - measure up and order a new one!). I could straight away see that the re-set button contact has got slightly displaced - a quick wiggle with a pair of needle-pointed tweezers, and that was working fine. There are two contacts on the back of the 548 module which contact the caseback - a "ground" contact which touches the steel caseback itself, and a "live" contact which touches the piezo buzzer disk. I could see that when the battery had been replaced, this had gotten trapped under the battery retaining clip - unhooking the clip released the contact and it sprang back up unharmed - but was the circuitry OK? One way to find out... Getting the battery retaining clip back in place was a bit of a fiddle, as the battery has a tendency to move out of place, but a little perseverance paid off. Tap the A/C contact - good to go. Gently screw the caseback on and...

    "Beep - Beep!"
    Cool! the alarm still works - We're golden!

    In the meantime, I had the bracelet off and examined that - a bit "gunky" but in very nice condition, and sufficient length for my wrist with a bit to spare. Good. I put it in soak in a jar with a bit of detergent. 24 hours' soak and a good going over with an old electric toothbrush got it really clean. Rinse and repeat for that final sparkle...

    Armed with the approximate dimensions of the old gasket, and doing a bit of a guess as to how much it would have compressed, I ordered a few different gaskets (£0.75 for a pack of 3) around the size I measured from CousinsUK.com and waited for those to arrive in the post. They arrived a couple of days later, along with an O-ring grease applicator (£2.44), and I had a little play around to get the best fit. 0.75mm x 29.70mm was the best fit on paper, but the 0.80mm x 30mm seemed to offer just that little extra bit of resistance to the last 1/8 of a turn of the caseback before it reached its stop, so I figured that was "the one" giving the best seal. I took the case out of the watch-case holder and polished it off with a soft cloth, and re-attached the bracelet, a quick re-adjustment on the clasp, and... perfect fit!

    What did I do then?

    Stupid question - I took photographs...

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    I've got to say what a really nice, comfortable watch this is: slim, solid, but not too heavy, very legible, and usable functions. Loud alarm. And a couple of nice features - the hourly "beep-beep" signal also has a half-hour "beep" signal at 30 minutes, and I just discovered today that the stopwatch gives a little chirp after every 10 minutes have elapsed (though only while the stopwatch is displayed - so unfortunately it doesn't remind you it's still running if you return to the time display mode). EDIT - it also has the 10-minute interval "beep" in the countdown mode - nice. It also reminds me of generally how small wristwatches were back in the 1980s: it only measures 36mm across and 40mm lug to lug. Here's a quick comparison shot with one of the smaller G-Shocks available today...

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    I tell you, I'm really happy with this watch. It's scratches that "Marlin itch" I've had for a few years - the styling, the steel case and bracelet, the super-clear LCD, and those lovely shrouded buttons that I just used to so admire back in the 80s.

    This one is definitely a keeper!
    Last edited by MandoBear; July 19th, 2015 at 17:10.

  2. #2
    Member Izzy_Does_It's Avatar
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Great find and restoration! So, so SWEEEEEEET!

  3. #3
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Great write up and wonderful pictures enjoy it.
    Casio/ Citizen/ G-Shock/ Pro Trek/ Seiko



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  5. #4
    Member EXCALIBUR1's Avatar
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    MandoBear,

    Nice catch and save. Seeing your W-760 (circa 1985) inspired me to wear my DW1000 (circa 1982) today in your honor. Enjoy your newly restored watch.

    Hint: If you're so inclined, a little Simichrome polish applied to the case and screw back might remove some of the scratches on your W-760.

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    Last edited by EXCALIBUR1; July 19th, 2015 at 06:46.
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    EXCALIBUR1

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  6. #5
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Quote Originally Posted by EXCALIBUR1 View Post
    MandoBear,

    Hint: If you're so inclined, a little Simichrome polish applied to the case and screw back might remove some of the scratches on your W-760.
    Yeah, I did consider a little careful polishing, but in my experience, it can cause more cosmetic issues than it solves, so I decided to leave well alone. Besides, it's a 30 year old watch - it deserves to have a little wabi - it's part of the story it tells.
    EXCALIBUR1 likes this.

  7. #6
    Member RedHerringHack's Avatar
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    I would call that a win.

  8. #7
    Member EXCALIBUR1's Avatar
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoBear View Post
    Yeah, I did consider a little careful polishing, but in my experience, it can cause more cosmetic issues than it solves, so I decided to leave well alone. Besides, it's a 30 year old watch - it deserves to have a little wabi - it's part of the story it tells.
    Roger that about the wabi. You can be proud of your W-760. It's a beauty.
    EXCALIBUR1

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  9. #8
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Nice find there, MandoBear.

    The W-760 is a fine watch and you got yourself a beautiful example in nearly pristine shape.

    Yeah, the only real drawback to the 548 module is that it's finicky for servicing. The battery clip is difficult to put back on (it's easy to do it wrong and foil the piezo speaker connection) and the pusher contacts can get out of alignment. But... it's only once every 2~3 years you have to replace the battery. I do wish the timer ranges were longer, and the backlight bulb a bit brighter (would be very cool if an LED swap was feasible).
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Omega Seamaster | CASIO: TW-7000, MRG-220, RevMan, G-2000D, DW-5700ML, GW-9100 | Seiko SKA-413, SBPG001

  10. #9
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Thanks - it's a great little piece of retro-goodness!

  11. #10
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    Re: When is a Marlin not a Marlin?

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoBear View Post
    Thanks - it's a great little piece of retro-goodness!
    You also have the original bracelet in fine condition, which is pretty uncommon. So many times I see these watches in the wild with rubber straps, or different bracelets that aren't original. Good thing is the lugs are a standard size so you can fit a variety of replacements.
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Omega Seamaster | CASIO: TW-7000, MRG-220, RevMan, G-2000D, DW-5700ML, GW-9100 | Seiko SKA-413, SBPG001

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