Valjoux chrono second hand stutter
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  1. #1
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    Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    I recently purchased a Victorinox Airboss Mach 6 that is in brand new condition, keeps good time, but has the Valjoux chrono second hand "stutter" I've read about before. I'm going to have it serviced (the chrono hour hand is also not quite zeroed right), but I'm wondering how big a repair this is, and how much it can be improved.

    I had a look at the second hand sweep with a high speed camera at work, and it's pretty obvious why it looks so jerky when you slow it down. While it does tick at the correct rate, the spacing is completely off, in random sequences like one large tick, two tiny ticks, etc. It occasionally misses a tick completely. It's kind of interesting watching it tick along with the actual second hand, which is perfectly smooth.

  2. #2
    Member c7aea's Avatar
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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
    I recently purchased a Victorinox Airboss Mach 6 that is in brand new condition, keeps good time, but has the Valjoux chrono second hand "stutter" I've read about before. I'm going to have it serviced (the chrono hour hand is also not quite zeroed right), but I'm wondering how big a repair this is, and how much it can be improved.

    I had a look at the second hand sweep with a high speed camera at work, and it's pretty obvious why it looks so jerky when you slow it down. While it does tick at the correct rate, the spacing is completely off, in random sequences like one large tick, two tiny ticks, etc. It occasionally misses a tick completely. It's kind of interesting watching it tick along with the actual second hand, which is perfectly smooth.
    It probably is the result of gear lash. Im not sure if it can be adjusted. There might be something to provide friction on the gear to keep the lash tight that can be adjusted.
    The 7750 on my Hamilton jumps a very small amount if you watch it closely. While the one in my maurice lacroix is perfectly smooth.
    Again im not sure if it is an adjustment or the grade of movement used

  3. #3
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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    I seem to recall reading there is a spring that can make it a lot worse if it comes loose. I have a Victorinox Alpnach automatic chrono that is much, much smoother. The Airboss dial is larger, which probably amplifies the stuttering, but it's quite noticeably worse even taking this into account. Also, the sweep is very smooth if I hold the watch vertical.

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  5. #4
    Member NutellaBear's Avatar
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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    First thing I would check would be to make sure the second hand isn't loose. Does orientation of the watch seem to affect where the second seems to slip? For instance, keeping the watch vertical with 12 up, is the second hand slipping going up between 6 through 12 or is it random around the dial?

    -T
    So what difference does it make, whether it's 20 minutes or 20 years, since neither amounts to the faintest echo of the tiniest whisper in the thunder of time.

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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Holding the watch with the 12 pointed up, it stutters like crazy between about 12 and 6, then is relatively smooth the rest of the way. If I turn it upside down (6 pointing up), it's smooth all the way around. If I lay it with the face pointing up, it stutters at random all over the sweep. I'm sure it would behave differently in other orientations. Not sure if there is a pattern that would help diagnose the problem, though.

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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Like the good engineering geek I am, here's a video showing some stuttering, though this example isn't particularly bad. You can see it miss two ticks in the first 20 seconds of the video, and the spacing isn't very even, which is what makes it look jerky at normal speed. Each tick is 1/8s.


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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
    I seem to recall reading there is a spring that can make it a lot worse if it comes loose. I have a Victorinox Alpnach automatic chrono that is much, much smoother. The Airboss dial is larger, which probably amplifies the stuttering, but it's quite noticeably worse even taking this into account. Also, the sweep is very smooth if I hold the watch vertical.
    First thing I would check would be to make sure the second hand isn't loose. Does orientation of the watch seem to affect where the second seems to slip? For instance, keeping the watch vertical with 12 up, is the second hand slipping going up between 6 through 12 or is it random around the dial?

  9. #8
    Member c7aea's Avatar
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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_McBob View Post
    Holding the watch with the 12 pointed up, it stutters like crazy between about 12 and 6, then is relatively smooth the rest of the way. If I turn it upside down (6 pointing up), it's smooth all the way around. If I lay it with the face pointing up, it stutters at random all over the sweep. I'm sure it would behave differently in other orientations. Not sure if there is a pattern that would help diagnose the problem, though.
    That is the result of a loose gear lash. As the second hand sweeps downward it falls because of gravity due to the loose spring not providing resistance. Then when the teeth make contact again the second hand moves until it falls again due to gravity. Which causes the stutter. There is no stutter the rest of the way because the gears are lifting the second hand against gravity providing a constant gear mesh.
    It should not effect the accuracy. IMO it is just unsightly. If you are sending the watch in anyways for the hands to be moved have them take a look.

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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    Thanks. I think I must have read practically every thread ever posted on this subject here and on other watch forums, and it certainly seems like this is generally a fixable problem. I figured it was probably a loose spring, since it's worse in certain orientations. I realize it doesn't affect time-keeping, but it bugs me to see the chrono hand not moving smoothly, since one of the main appeals of an automatic to me is the mechanical workings.

    I found what sounds like a good watch repair place in Toronto here. Local options are pretty sketchy, unfortunately. Other than jewelry stores and kiosks, this is the only place that actually specifically advertises itself as a watch repair shop. I've been by there a number of times, and they definitely seem more clock-oriented, but the owner claims they do lots of watch repair as well. I don't have any reviews to go on, and I'm nervous about handing over my watch after reading "watchbreaker" review threads here

  11. #10
    Member c7aea's Avatar
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    Re: Valjoux chrono second hand stutter

    I have never had to send a watch in for repair, or go to a local watchmaker yet. I would also be worried about handing my watch over to someone to open it up, there are a lot of little parts in there and it is a very expensive item! How old is the watch? Is there any warrantee left to send it back to Victorinox? The hand not being alined sounds like a warrantee issue to me. With this being said I guess its like dropping your car off at a mechanics you will only feel comfortable if you trust them. Many people here have long relationships with their watchmakers and trust them very much. I am not sure on policies if they mess up though. But the 7750 is a pretty common movement and I am sure most watchmakers see them a lot. I would not bring it to a jewlery store or kiosk, im not even sure if they would do the kind of work you want. They are good for changing batteries, even then I trust myself more. I would give the place that you posted locally a try, if the price is reasonable and they seem like good people. I have found (by talking to them) that people who do this work do it because they truly enjoy time pieces and are honest people.
    Good luck

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