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  1. #261
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    Hi All - new member joining to the forum.

    I have 2 units of the movement, AM0184 and AM0187 - both are working more consistently than any of my Seiko 7s26/NH35 - however, I am surprised with this cause I have fully disassembled, cleaned and oiled them both and I have a negative impression of what I have observed.

    They are not a quality built - that includes very soft materials, excessive assembly tolerances, poor design features, inadequate/non-existent oiling,dirty assembly environment and poor/dirty assembly practices (fingerprints and dirt all over the parts).

    I can give you more explainations if any of you have any wonder. Just ask.

  2. #262
    Member Brightling007's Avatar
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by diynor_77 View Post
    Hi All - new member joining to the forum.

    I have 2 units of the movement, AM0184 and AM0187 - both are working more consistently than any of my Seiko 7s26/NH35 - however, I am surprised with this cause I have fully disassembled, cleaned and oiled them both and I have a negative impression of what I have observed.

    They are not a quality built - that includes very soft materials, excessive assembly tolerances, poor design features, inadequate/non-existent oiling,dirty assembly environment and poor/dirty assembly practices (fingerprints and dirt all over the parts).

    I can give you more explainations if any of you have any wonder. Just ask.
    Mine too, produce a flat line on my Timegrapher and not much positional variation, plus a super high amplitude. I know an NH35 has a 53 degree lift angle, so the TG is set to that value properly, still the amplitude does rarely reach beyond 270 degrees on these units. Obviously that's drag, and the looseness on the SK1813 may actually contribute to a higher amplitude, but it doesn't explain the unexpectedly high accuracy.


    Finishing and material wise they are indeed not too impressive, but neither is the average 2813. I've seen 2813 far worse tbh.
    panchris likes this.

  3. #263
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    I agree with you but starting to discuss about high amplitudes and SHORT TERM excellent performance is going to deviate the focus from the message I was trying to convey.

    My point was intended to give an answer to the guys Wondering about reliability and duration. Plus, it is not too hard to beat a DG2813 in any feature - and winning that comparison does not make you any good.

    Back to the point, the answer is clearly that the issues I have listed in my original post would make you lucky if your SK1813 continues working beyond 1 year.

    There is a lot of discussion about of lack of QC - which I agree, I don't think they have any QC system in place - but the real issue here to my view is the purpose of their product and fabrication method design: there is no intention to make these watches to last far beyond 1 year. My impression is that they have missed the target and instead of having a population failing before the year in the range of 10%, they have a failure rate of 50% - apparently.

    My view to this is, if you are on the market with the intention to:
    A) buy a mechanical beater with a decent look just for a few bucks - cheaper than a Seiko plus with better strap and glass - but with comparable reliability (min. To last you 5years without requiring a service), then you are much better off buying Chinese watch equipped with a SII or a miyota.
    B) buy a fashion watch or a novelty watch for a few bucks, able to keep decent time regardless positional variance and so on -then you are much better off by buying a Chinese watch equipped with a Japanese quartz movement , again SII or Miyota - they will last you the duration of the battery and if you are so fond of it, you can always put a new battery to keep it going.

    Starking watches are a contradiction - they are clearly falling closer to the case B than A, but they are not able - by design- to deliver a minimum of reliability to last even 1year --- a person who buys a mechanical watch expects a minimum life expectancy for it of 5years and if you are willing to service it, it is also expected to last you potentially a lifetime.

    I guess with this message I am not leaving much to wonder for anybody falling closer to A or B in their expectations from their purchase.

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  5. #264
    Member Brightling007's Avatar
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    I have bought more than 10 SK watches, most are over a year old by now and still run great. Some came dead on arrival and simply needed a nudge to get them going. I've got several DG2813 that are over 10 years old and never got a service, heck, probably didn't even get any lube from the factory. So, sure, not sophisticated, poor QC, still nothing that indicates them not being able to live past a year.

    It were actually several miyota that let me down the past summer season. Not that they completely cut out running, and I must say the escapement is much better than any 2813 or 1813, but the date change wheel is made of candlewax in those. Then added the lack of hacking and in the case of a 7S26 also lack of hand winding. Add the extremely noisy rotor to the Miyota... All I can say if you want something good, go for a good ETA clone rather than all these asian options and you will be truely happy, and your watchmaker as well, as any bridge, spring, drum, whatever is available and service is never a mystery.
    Last edited by Brightling007; 3 Weeks Ago at 21:37.

  6. #265
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    I don't get your persistence to defend the "virtues" of starking movements - to me they are just a piece of junk - mainly because they have been designed, fabricated and assembled to be simply that: junk.

    A mechanical watch doesn't tend to magically break when is most of the time sitting in a box or forgotten in a drawer - I pointing this to clarify my view of your statement of owning way more than 10 watches (10sk, several DG, plenty of miyota, etc..) - and intend to use this as a prove of Starking reliability.

    Seiko 7xxx and miyota 8xxx series reliability in question --- to this I would point that they have been around since the seventies and there are still plenty of early units in working condition and those that are considered dead units are frequently brought back to life just by servicing them. Also, when it comes to reliability - simplicity is a positive feature.

    Starking additional functionalities, hacking and hand-winding, they are both designed to let you down in short time and I believe why a percentage of the units arrive DOA - I am gonna elaborate this.

    SK hacking: just a folded piece of thin copper alloy sheet squeezed into the gears. Problem is that is constantly held in tension against the winding stem to be deactivated or it touches the balance wheel hence "hacking". This design is made for early wear and failure resulting in a dead movement by "constant hack" - everytime you operate the crown in the 0 (winding) and 1 (date) positions you are wearing it the thin copper sheet - when you transition between 2, 1 and 0 positions and viceversa you a badly wearing it out --- generated metal particles from stem and hacking lever have no other place to go than become a grinding paste in the rest of the movement - helping to reduce movement life. ----- in my 2 starkings I decided not to install the "hacking lever" back when I serviced them to gain movement life.

    Winding functionalities: Starking forgot to fully copy miyota on this and avoided to install the additional low friction thin brass washer in the intermediate sliding pinion - the only reason miyota has the washer there is to reduce wear of the pinion and plate/ contact points, hence the only reason Starking does not have it (and does not Grease the contact points either) is to guarantee a high friction and wear point.

    And to conclude: the only reason I pointed miyota and Seiko movements as a better option than Starking or DG movements is because you can have them for only 20% average additional cost over a Starking unit (Starking ranges from 30 to 50USD and Seiko/miyota prices start around 45USD - ref for both to AliExpress) and they are both a properly engineered, proven designs with unquestionable reliability.

    ETA clone as an alternative - yes you are right on what you say, but prices are in the x3.5 multiplier as a minimum in comparison with Starking. This wasn't a fair comparison and it is biased to keep the balance cost-vs-risk in favour of Starking.

  7. #266
    Member ronkatct's Avatar
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    I took the back off one of my non-functioning Starking AM0184 and tried to nudge the balance wheel to get the movement going. I tried to nudge the escapement gear as well. No idea whether there is a clutch of some sort, but now when I wind the starking, the second hand turns rapidly. The balance wheel and escapement no longer seems to be connected to the movement train. Any ideas what I did wrong? As I have 2 Starkings and a full refund, I have nothing to lose if I totally damage the watches.

    The qc on the Starking is worse than the tongji watches. I actually like my Winner, Tevise, and Fngeen watches with tongji movements.

  8. #267
    Member ronkatct's Avatar
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    double post

  9. #268
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by diynor_77 View Post
    I don't get your persistence to defend the "virtues" of starking movements - to me they are just a piece of junk - mainly because they have been designed, fabricated and assembled to be simply that: junk.

    A mechanical watch doesn't tend to magically break when is most of the time sitting in a box or forgotten in a drawer - I pointing this to clarify my view of your statement of owning way more than 10 watches (10sk, several DG, plenty of miyota, etc..) - and intend to use this as a prove of Starking reliability.

    Seiko 7xxx and miyota 8xxx series reliability in question --- to this I would point that they have been around since the seventies and there are still plenty of early units in working condition and those that are considered dead units are frequently brought back to life just by servicing them. Also, when it comes to reliability - simplicity is a positive feature.

    Starking additional functionalities, hacking and hand-winding, they are both designed to let you down in short time and I believe why a percentage of the units arrive DOA - I am gonna elaborate this.

    SK hacking: just a folded piece of thin copper alloy sheet squeezed into the gears. Problem is that is constantly held in tension against the winding stem to be deactivated or it touches the balance wheel hence "hacking". This design is made for early wear and failure resulting in a dead movement by "constant hack" - everytime you operate the crown in the 0 (winding) and 1 (date) positions you are wearing it the thin copper sheet - when you transition between 2, 1 and 0 positions and viceversa you a badly wearing it out --- generated metal particles from stem and hacking lever have no other place to go than become a grinding paste in the rest of the movement - helping to reduce movement life. ----- in my 2 starkings I decided not to install the "hacking lever" back when I serviced them to gain movement life.

    Winding functionalities: Starking forgot to fully copy miyota on this and avoided to install the additional low friction thin brass washer in the intermediate sliding pinion - the only reason miyota has the washer there is to reduce wear of the pinion and plate/ contact points, hence the only reason Starking does not have it (and does not Grease the contact points either) is to guarantee a high friction and wear point.

    And to conclude: the only reason I pointed miyota and Seiko movements as a better option than Starking or DG movements is because you can have them for only 20% average additional cost over a Starking unit (Starking ranges from 30 to 50USD and Seiko/miyota prices start around 45USD - ref for both to AliExpress) and they are both a properly engineered, proven designs with unquestionable reliability.

    ETA clone as an alternative - yes you are right on what you say, but prices are in the x3.5 multiplier as a minimum in comparison with Starking. This wasn't a fair comparison and it is biased to keep the balance cost-vs-risk in favour of Starking.
    Most of my SK watches I gifted to people that don't own more than two or three watches, people within my family. Most of those units are worn daily. This may aid in not wearing out the hacking leaver and winding function. As for the quality, it is definitely not junk, but it isn't great either. As I said before it is basically on par with a DG. Then I also did service the odd SK, when I decided to use the movement for a build, and lubricated the necessary points. This I did just for the fun and sake of learning to service movements when I wasn't yet very good at it and didn't want to ruin an expensive unit.

    As for Seiko, no question about it, they are reliable, perhaps one of the most reliable movements ever made. Miyota may be reliable, but there are certainly issues with some parts, that I've come across twice in my own collection of barely worn watches.

    Then ETA clones, the low beat versions are available for just over 20 dollars and are already better than the SK, and DG, and have good power reserve, run very accurate, wind both directions. The 2836-2 found as the Seagull ST2100 I recently bought for 53 euro a piece, which is relatively expensive when compared to these bottom of the line units, but a more than double raise in quality and having all the nice features. And sure they also could do with a little lube here and there that they did not get from the factory, but the basic quality is really incredible at that price point.

    So yeah, we are discussing the cheapest of the cheapest, off course there will be compromises made. I am however tasting the pudding and liking it enough to not just be calling it junk.
    ObiWonWD40 likes this.

  10. #269
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    Re: Starking Automatic

    Quote Originally Posted by ronkatct View Post
    I took the back off one of my non-functioning Starking AM0184 and tried to nudge the balance wheel to get the movement going. I tried to nudge the escapement gear as well. No idea whether there is a clutch of some sort, but now when I wind the starking, the second hand turns rapidly. The balance wheel and escapement no longer seems to be connected to the movement train. Any ideas what I did wrong? As I have 2 Starkings and a full refund, I have nothing to lose if I totally damage the watches.

    The qc on the Starking is worse than the tongji watches. I actually like my Winner, Tevise, and Fngeen watches with tongji movements.
    The balance wheel is nearly never the culprit. When trying to determine where there is a gear not turning you can start at the balance wheel off course and work back from there to the main spring. This is perhaps already watchmakers territory, as it is very delicate and a shaft pin breaks easily. I do this under very heavy 3d magnification, so when there is a reason for it not turning the chances are great of seeing where the culprit lies.

    When we look at the movement with the rotor up, the energy of the main spring is stored via the top gear. (I'm not ggoing to describe the winding methods here) The bottom gear is the releasing end. This passes it's energy to another gear almost at the center of the movement all the way on the bottom (no3) This is driving no2, that drives no1 which drives the escape wheel.

    No1 can be seen through the hole in the top plate near the balance wheel, right above the escape wheel, no2 is a little more to the center of the movement and sticks from under the bridge, and overlaps slightly with the balance wheel. Usually that needs a little nudge to get the movement going, so it appears there are some rough edges there that cause a blockage. Giving it a nudge though, means you are risking hitting the balance wheel, and must be done with preferraby a plastic stick or pegwood. You must grip it in to the teeth, so any damage there also will cause it to block. Also never push down on any of the gears as it will likely snap the shaft end pin.

    Good luck!

    And as for Tongji, they make a very decent 2836-2 clone as well, very affordable.
    ObiWonWD40 likes this.

  11. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronkatct View Post
    I took the back off one of my non-functioning Starking AM0184 and tried to nudge the balance wheel to get the movement going. I tried to nudge the escapement gear as well. No idea whether there is a clutch of some sort, but now when I wind the starking, the second hand turns rapidly. The balance wheel and escapement no longer seems to be connected to the movement train. Any ideas what I did wrong? As I have 2 Starkings and a full refund, I have nothing to lose if I totally damage the watches.

    The qc on the Starking is worse than the tongji watches. I actually like my Winner, Tevise, and Fngeen watches with tongji movements.
    I believe you have damaged either the "escapement wheel" pivots or the "pallets" pivots and now they are sitting partially on place but out of alignment (no connection to the other parts of the movement) - that leaves all the "time regulating components" disconnected from the main spring with the effect of:
    - the balance wheel sees no action/movement.
    - the pallets don't move.
    - the escapement wheel don't move ( if it does move, means that is on place and you have only damaged the pallets).
    - any tension applied to the mainspring gets immediately released fully ( with the observation of the seconds hand following that energy release and no movement on the balance wheel).

    Now you are left with a beautifully crafted and nice case and bracelet, rendered useless, and a movement only useful for spares.

    I would definitely use it as a learning/practising ground as recommended by Britling - since you already have it and have nothing to lose.

    The advice of "giving a nudge to the gears" considering the complementary information given along it, made it a poor one - sorry to say.

    There is a blog ( in German but Google translate it if you need to do it) with an evaluation of the SK watches, movements and its parts - follow this link:

    https://watch-movements.eu/blog/en/2...i_sk_1813-s-2/

    If you attempt to extract the movement from the case to fully disassemble it : AM0184 is a front loading case, meaning that you need :
    - remove the exhibition bottom lid in order to access the stem-crown release pusher.
    - remove the top glass-besel (only pressure snapped into the case) in order to get the movement-dial out of the case.

    Note that this action most likely leave you with a case with ugly and noticeable indentations - specially if you haven't done it before and don't have the right tools for it.

    Hope is of help.

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