This was posted on the Seiko forum, but it might be of interest to the general forumners who may not lurk over there!
First post:And second post:Hello guys, just wanted to share with you my new pride and joy.
It's a 1965 Grand Seiko Chronometer 5277-9990.
I am constantly amazed at how current the design is, even though it's a vintage piece. The construction is absolutely brilliant (more on this later)
Here are some photos, both on leather, and a vintage steel Seiko bracelet that I found to be more than adequate for this piece.
Unfortunately the seal is not in the best possible condition, but is still very much there. The case construction is superb, with very few apparent flaws such as pitting, which is very common in watches from this time period (especially in many Swiss steel case backs)
It saddens me to know that many sloppy watchmakers here in Brazil never heard of such thing as a "Grand" Seiko, so this watch got the same treatment as beat up VW Beetles.
Today I watched as my trusted watchmaker (who has worked for Rolex and Seiko) disassembled the movement I took for him to work on. From preliminary inspections it was clear this watch never got the treatment it deserved.
Petrified lubricant (where there was still any lubricant left), dust specs, tool scratches from careless watchmakers. I was already expecting poor news, but fortunately it wasn't the case.
This is where Seiko's brilliancy in design becomes evident. Even though the watch worked most of it's life without the proper lubrication or cleaning, all of the critical parts that were carefully inspected by my watchmaker showed virtually no significant wear. This is to be expected from a watch that is left unused in a safe for many many years, obviously not the case when we examined my timepiece.
You can say Seiko may have gone over the top with 35 jewels, but it's this very set of jewels that protected the most wear prone components of this caliber. The barrel is jeweled, the plates are fully jeweled, the date disk slides over ruby jewels, etc etc etc....
My over-exaggerated watchmaker put it simply "This watch, after my full service, will be good to go for another 50 years".
We were quite pleased after each component was removed and prepared for cleaning when we saw what lay beneath.
Tomorrow he will put it back together, and I will take macro photos to try and document the process as best I can. This way you all can see the hidden "jewels" this beautiful caliber hides.
Stay tuned for the next installment!
Fred BonattoWell for those waiting for installment number 2 of my Grand Seiko's service, here it is. While I watched over his shoulder I realized how fortunate I am to have a watchmaker who allows me to breath down his neck with a camera for over an hour.
I apologize for the poor lighting and some unsteady shots, but out of over 80 photos I took, these are the best.
As you can see, most parts have surface/finish wear and blemishes, both due to age and poor watchmaking skills.
It did clean up nicely though. I'll try my best to explain what is on each picture!
Here's the watch whole and handsome
After disassembling the entire movement and cleaning each part individually Omar (my watchmaker) began laying the parts out in preparation
Here we see the dial side of the mainplate. As you can see, there are two sets of three rubies (triangularly set) near the center. These are there to ensure that the hour and minute wheels can spin smoothly. Around the "middle" circle you can see the rubies the calendar disk slide over (if you consider the plate as three circles, a large center one with all the complicated machining, a middle section, and an outer section)
The barrel bridge and mainspring barrel, both jeweled, hence the expression "jeweled down to the barrels". The necessity of these rubies can be debated, though I rather have them than not hehe
Detail of one of the wheels and escapement wheel.
And Omar begins....
Chosing the proper lubrication....here you can see the barrel is already set on the mainplate.
Chosing the proper screw
Placing one of the movement bridges.
Some more lubrication.
Barrel bridge on and fitting of wheels, checking to see if everything is spinning freely.
"Might I have missed something?"
..."nope, looks just fine, on goes the calendar disc"
Not much left now.
Balance bridge with balance spring and balance being set
How about the dial now...
Minor hand adjustments...
Getting cased up and ready for...
....the vibrograf fine adjustment! It tuned up well within COSC specs!!!
And all cased up again!
I hope you guys enjoy the pictorial! Thanks Omar for all the patience and question answering!