Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down
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  1. #1
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    I was asked Zoodles95 to tear down and compare these two movements during a routine service so we can see just what are the differences between these two movements:

    (Note: the top,or right-hand image will always be the CL-888 and the bottom, or left-hand image will be the ST16.)

    Here are the two movements in there respective cases, the CL-888 in a large black Swiss Legend; the ST16 in a smaller Seagull.





    The first thing done was check the timing of the two:

    CL-888:
    Beat error - 0.9 ms
    Rate - +6.00 (dial up), +21.5 (crown down)

    ST16:
    Beat error - 1.5 ms
    Rate - -7.2 (dial up), -11 (crown down)

    Both of these rates are acceptable, and should average within my preferred band of +/- 10 s/d.

    Now we start withe the actual disassembly of the movements. For those who wish to see the actual steps taken I refer you to the WUS thread titled "Inside an ST16 (lot's of images)", where did a step-by-step on the disassembly of this movement.

    I thought there would be some differences between the two, but, as you will see in the following pictures, there isn't.

    Mainplates


    Date wheels


    Main Bridge


    Auto Bridge


    Rotors




    Bridge for the 2nd Wheel


    2nd Wheel




    4th Wheel




    3rd Wheel




    Balance




    Pallet Bridge

    Pallets






    Escape Wheel








    Barrel




    Auto-winding Reduction gear


    "Magic Fingers" for auto-winding


    Click/Click spring combination and hack lever


    C-spring


    Here is the only difference I found:


    The CL-888 had two second hand pinion tension springs.

    My comments in a moment, for right now, I'll let your modems cool back down.

  2. #2
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Quote Originally Posted by lysanderxiii View Post
    (Note: the top,or right-hand image will always be the CL-888 and the bottom, or left-hand image will be the ST16.)
    Finally a tear down...thanks for taking the time lysander

    I haven't even looked yet, but the fact you HAD to put that...says a lot.

    Maybe its time to update the Chinese watch Wiki??

    -

    *post reading the thread - It doesn't take a watchmaker to see they are the same.
    Last edited by Craig M; October 3rd, 2009 at 23:00.
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
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    “If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” - Albert Einstein



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  3. #3
    Member particleman's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    I hope you didn't accidentally mix the IMPORTANT Swiss parts with the Chinese parts

    Excellent Job as always

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  5. #4
    CMW & Sales Moderator gigfy's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    drum roll please .......... why the jewel count difference?

    I am very anxious to hear what lysanderxiii has to say about this comparison!!

    This thread has been posted in the reference section.

    Cheers,
    gigfy
    Just to name a few:
    Sharkey SBDX001 Sharkmaster
    Seiko White Stargate SKZ323
    Hamilton Pioneer Mechanical H60419533
    Hamilton Limited Edition Pocket Watch H51459013
    Timex Camper Mechanical (May 1991)

    -Gone
    Minorva Crazy Hours Mechanical
    Shanghai Military Diver Model 114 - 24 Jewel SS4 Automatic

  6. #5
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Quote Originally Posted by gigfy View Post
    drum roll please .......... why the jewel count difference?

    I am very anxious to hear what lysanderxiii has to say about this comparison!!

    This thread has been posted in the reference section.

    Cheers,
    gigfy
    I think we should state out front that regardless of lysander's pending thoughts...we all agree that due to whatever process done it Switzerland...the CL-888 is "Swiss Made"...BY LAW....beyond that its totally an ST16

    I am also curious about the noted jewel counts
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    “If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

  7. #6
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Now, for my comments. These two movements are the exact same design, all the parts are identical and probably interchange (I had to be very careful not to mix-up the parts.)

    One difference between these two movements was the finish. I have always associated heavy, shiny chrome or nickel plating with cheapness, as is it is often used in an attempt to cover small machining imperfections. The Seagull is heavily plated as opposed the the light satin finish of the CL-888. This, with the deep cut Geneva stripes, detracts from the rather utilitarian design of the movement. But, that is just my opinion. There are ST16 movements out there with the lighter satin finish and I prefer them, but that has a lot to do with how I feel a Geneva finish should be done, and how Seagull does it on this and more noteably the ST19.

    The other visible difference was the addition of a second tension spring for the second hand pinion. This could have been an error during assembly, or it could be an attempt to ensure that the chances of second hand stutter are minimalized, right now, I don't know if it was intentional or not, but, if I see another one with two springs....

    The hair, or balance, spring on the CL-888 was better formed and the timing shows this. The rate of all watches in a timing machine varies slightly and the quoted rates are averages over a short period of time, but the CL-888 varies less, about the same as the average Standard grade ETA.

    Now, I know what some out there are saying, "So where do they get off saying that is a SWISS movement?"

    Well, the rules allow of up to 50% of the value of the entire movement (not including labor) to be of non-Swiss origin and a movement to still be considered "Swiss." The hairspring was almost certainly Swiss, as Chinese one usually don't look that well formed, the mainspring probably (although the two were identical, as far as I could see), possibly the rotor and maybe the plating as well. These parts could very well account for over 50% of the value of the movement, as brand new Chinese movement can be had retail for 10 bucks, imagine what they cost if you order 100,000 direct from the factory, unassembled.

    (By the way, for those who feel this is a rather loose definition of "Swiss Made", you should read what is required for the "Made in USA" label, while not as ridgedly defined as the FHS definition, it is a better definition.)

    Other observations: The CL-888 was clean and tidy on the inside and properly oiled, the ST16 was relatively clean but the oiling was spotty, some pivot had a hint of oil, others did not have any.

    From what I have seen the Claro-Semag "Triple-Eight" is an improved ST16, in that it has a better hairspring and is more consistant in its rate and lubricated for five to ten years of wear before it needs looking after. These aren't big, or really even noticeable to the average guy wearing watches in these price ranges (who don't plan on ever servicing them), but they are improvements. Whether, or not, you feel they are worth the extra cost of "SWISS MADE" is entirely a personal question.

    In any case, the design is an excellent design, capable of hard use and good timekeeping.
    Jcp311 likes this.

  8. #7
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Quote Originally Posted by particleman View Post
    I hope you didn't accidentally mix the IMPORTANT Swiss parts with the Chinese parts

    Excellent Job as always
    I didn't mix any parts, important or otherwise.

  9. #8
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Quote Originally Posted by gigfy View Post
    drum roll please .......... why the jewel count difference?

    I am very anxious to hear what lysanderxiii has to say about this comparison!!

    This thread has been posted in the reference section.

    Cheers,
    gigfy
    The jewel count was the same, I think all the jewels are pictured. [EDIT: the CL-888 has 21 jewels, the ST16 has 20. The extra jewel is on the bottom pivot for the barrel arbor, the same useless (IMO) location as ETA uses. And, all of them are pictured]

    The jewels might be of Swiss origin, that would also add to the Swiss value content.

    But, how can you tell the difference between a Swiss ruby and a Chinese one? Is there even a noticeable difference?
    Last edited by lysanderxiii; October 4th, 2009 at 00:24.

  10. #9
    CMW & Sales Moderator gigfy's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    Thanks lysanderxiii for the very informative write up.

    Quote Originally Posted by lysanderxiii View Post
    ... the CL-888 has 21 jewels ...
    Very interesting! Why all of the fuss and put 18 jewels all over the rotor and literature. And the EL-18 (even further refinished CL-888) states that they have 18 jewels. Don't you think they would have caught that mistake?

    Not that it makes any difference with the added jewels. That is not my point. The fact that they put that on the movement & literature and it is not correct, says a lot, in my book.

    Cheers,
    gigfy
    Just to name a few:
    Sharkey SBDX001 Sharkmaster
    Seiko White Stargate SKZ323
    Hamilton Pioneer Mechanical H60419533
    Hamilton Limited Edition Pocket Watch H51459013
    Timex Camper Mechanical (May 1991)

    -Gone
    Minorva Crazy Hours Mechanical
    Shanghai Military Diver Model 114 - 24 Jewel SS4 Automatic

  11. #10
    Member Craig M's Avatar
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    Re: Claro-Semag CL-888 versus Sea-Gull ST16 tear down

    I find this whole subject to be really interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by gigfy View Post
    Thanks lysanderxiii for the very informative write up.



    Very interesting! Why all of the fuss and put 18 jewels all over the rotor and literature. And the EL-18 (even further refinished CL-888) states that they have 18 jewels. Don't you think they would have caught that mistake?

    Not that it makes any difference with the added jewels. That is not my point. The fact that they put that on the movement & literature and it is not correct, says a lot, in my book.

    Cheers,
    gigfy
    Cheers!
    Craig M.
    Somerville, MA
    The Escapement Watch Blog
    The Escapement on Twitter

    “If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” - Albert Einstein



    Watches:
    Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph . Rolex Rebberg Trench Watch . Tag Heuer F1 Chrono . Tissot T-Touch . Tissot T-Race . Million Smart Flying Tourbillon . Zodiac Dragon Wing . Invicta Skeleton 3379 . Invicta Pro Diver 8926 . Scooby-Doo Chrono [A7750] . Alpha "Sea" . Alpha Jump Hour . Vostok CK-1 Orange . Poljot 2614.2H Movement . Gruen Quartz 'Soviet' . G-Shock GW300A-1V / G9000-8V 'Stormtrooper' . Timex Perpetual Calender . Vintage Helbros [Felsa 690 Mvt] ....Among others

    Go Yankees!

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