Vintage watch accuracy problem

Thread: Vintage watch accuracy problem

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  1. #1
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    Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Hi all, I have a question to ask about mechanical accuracy, not sure if this is the correct place..

    I recently purchased a Marathon General Purpose Mechanical Benrus Limited Edition.

    However , recently I realised it has been gaining some serious time. We are not talking about seconds here, we are talking about minutes. A quick check it has gained 4 minutes in just 12 hours. I will continue to monitor it and check for 24 hours. What Im asking is if this is normal for a vintage ETA 2801 Benrus? According to the story Marathon reused these 600 NOS Benrus ETA 2801 movement found in a vault post war. I am not super concerned with accuracy and am aware of limitations of a mechanical watch accuracy but it affects me if it is off by minutes. I just bought this a few weeks ago and really dont wish to send it for repair :(a

    Sorry if all these sound noobish, new to the hobby!

  2. #2
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Most likely it got magnetized. Any watch repair shop and most jewelers can demagnetize it for free or very inexpensively. That should be the first thing you try. It's also possible that the spring is snagged, which is an easy enough repair although it involves actual repair.

    The bigger question is, has the watch been serviced recently, or ever? If it has, the problem is almost certainly one of the two I just mentioned. If not, you're basically runnning a car that hasn't had an oil change in a very long time. A proper service can be expensive, expect a few hundred dollars.

  3. #3
    Member daschlag's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    I had to Google the watch, interesting piece with a nice history.

    To answer your question, no, a new watch should never run that fast, even with a vintage movement. If they can't get the movement to keep decent time they should not have sold it to you. You could opt to pay out of pocket for regulation/de-mag/whatever, but if there is any serious problem with the movement you will need to send it anyway, and your warranty may be invalidated. My suggestion is to send it right back for a replacement or repair.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Likestheshiny View Post
    Most likely it got magnetized. Any watch repair shop and most jewelers can demagnetize it for free or very inexpensively. That should be the first thing you try. It's also possible that the spring is snagged, which is an easy enough repair although it involves actual repair.

    The bigger question is, has the watch been serviced recently, or ever? If it has, the problem is almost certainly one of the two I just mentioned. If not, you're basically runnning a car that hasn't had an oil change in a very long time. A proper service can be expensive, expect a few hundred dollars.
    I am unsure, asking my dealer now. I am so sad a new watch has o go through this now.. really hope it can be solved my demag, really dont wish to send it for repair, still in honeymoon phase with it :(

  6. #5
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Quote Originally Posted by daschlag View Post
    I had to Google the watch, interesting piece with a nice history.

    To answer your question, no, a new watch should never run that fast, even with a vintage movement. If they can't get the movement to keep decent time they should not have sold it to you. You could opt to pay out of pocket for regulation/de-mag/whatever, but if there is any serious problem with the movement you will need to send it anyway, and your warranty may be invalidated. My suggestion is to send it right back for a replacement or repair.
    Yes it is, my first "vintage" movement watch. I am asking my dealer now. I really wish to but finding a good watch repair shop is hard here in Singapore.

  7. #6
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    When I see Vintage and accuracy in same sentace I have problem since for me it is quite unusual that people expect 40 or 50 year old watch to be dead on. But adding some vintage pieces in my collection I realised that with good watchmaker it can be incredibly accurate.

    Of course in your case this is different since 4 minutes in 12 hours is simply too much.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  8. #7
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint1975 View Post
    When I see Vintage and accuracy in same sentace I have problem since for me it is quite unusual that people expect 40 or 50 year old watch to be dead on. But adding some vintage pieces in my collection I realised that with good watchmaker it can be incredibly accurate.

    Of course in your case this is different since 4 minutes in 12 hours is simply too much.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    which is why i mentioned "I am not super concerned with accuracy and am aware of limitations of a mechanical watch accuracy" I am aware it will not be accurate, hell, i am not even concerned with accuracy the way you guys are! I am just worried as a watch off by minutes is a watch that effectively useless..

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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

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    I have a few vintage watches. These are my favourites. Seiko Skyliner 6102-8000 loses a few seconds a day, Seikomatic always late by a minute and a bit everyday which I dont mind that much for the age. I may want to take a look as to whether i can get the figure down to under half a min which I think it is quite capable of doing. Am yet to take a look at the FL Sea Chief though but I do remember its a bit off. The dial looks a bit poorly and can do with a bit of gentle cleaning. I am in the early stage of acquiring some tools to enable be to work on watches myself. It does get a little too expensive if I have to run to a watchmaker for every little bit of tweak of work required on my fleabay finds. Rates are not that high with a guy that I frequent to but that is because I have gone to him many times when I started on this interest in watches. I have managed to revive quite a few drawer dwellers that are now happily running on friends' kids. With care those watches can become heirloom. I can do adjustment if a watch is a little slow or fast, takes a few attempts to get it down to below 10s per day.

    I did find one of my new Seiko 5 that ran off a min a day! Have managed to bring that down to around 10s. With a bit more work think I can get it down to below 5.

  10. #9
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    Quote Originally Posted by odh1 View Post
    Hi all, I have a question to ask about mechanical accuracy, not sure if this is the correct place..

    I recently purchased a Marathon General Purpose Mechanical Benrus Limited Edition.

    However , recently I realised it has been gaining some serious time. We are not talking about seconds here, we are talking about minutes. A quick check it has gained 4 minutes in just 12 hours. I will continue to monitor it and check for 24 hours. What Im asking is if this is normal for a vintage ETA 2801 Benrus? According to the story Marathon reused these 600 NOS Benrus ETA 2801 movement found in a vault post war. I am not super concerned with accuracy and am aware of limitations of a mechanical watch accuracy but it affects me if it is off by minutes. I just bought this a few weeks ago and really dont wish to send it for repair :(a

    Sorry if all these sound noobish, new to the hobby!
    If the watch uses an ETA 2801 movement those have only been in production since 1983 and are still in production from what I read. So I'm not sure which war Marathon refers to. Marathon should have serviced the movement before using it. Before demagnetizing the watch or sending it back lets narrow down how big the error really is. Set the watch to a time standard like time.gov. Not your cell phone or laptop. Then just wear the watch for 4 days, winding it fully once a day. Finally after 4 full days check the accumulated error and divide by 4. With a bit of luck the problem will have disappeared.
    Last edited by John MS; July 11th, 2016 at 20:48.

  11. #10
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    Re: Vintage watch accuracy problem

    As I stated above I had revelation once I got this one





    Service history unknown but constantly on +10s a day. I think it looks and performs outstanding.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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