Longines VHP (174) weirdness!
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Thread: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

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  1. #1
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    Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    Hereís a new one:

    Got my NOS Longines VHP (L174 movement) and for a month or so it ran great. Then I noticed a few seconds shaved off. Then I got a few stops and starts. And then, incredibly, I would notice the second hand spin or shudder, sort of attempting to catch up when it would stop. Sometimes a bit of a tap would cause this, otherwise, totally random. Had he battery taken out and replaced and seems to be keeping time, but the first time it lost seconds it took weeks. And Iíve been nervous to wear it. Definitely reacted to minor impact from my fingers tapping on the crystal.

    Battery tests fine, and my watchmaker says the circuit is carrying voltage correctly, that it may have been an improperly seated battery, which I find to be a questionable hypothesis. If it were a mechanical watch, Iíd say this is a balance-wheel issue, but on a quartz movement, Iím thrown for guesses.

    Anyway, do any of these symptoms correlate to a specific issue endemic to these HAQ movements? Or is it just a 30-plus-year-old movement that will either need a replacement or service? Could it be a magnetism issue or other non-invasive problem?

    Thanks!
    Noah

  2. #2
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    Quote Originally Posted by kidblue View Post
    Here’s a new one:

    Got my NOS Longines VHP (L174 movement) and for a month or so it ran great. Then I noticed a few seconds shaved off. Then I got a few stops and starts. And then, incredibly, I would notice the second hand spin or shudder, sort of attempting to catch up when it would stop. Sometimes a bit of a tap would cause this, otherwise, totally random. Had he battery taken out and replaced and seems to be keeping time, but the first time it lost seconds it took weeks. And I’ve been nervous to wear it. Definitely reacted to minor impact from my fingers tapping on the crystal.

    Battery tests fine, and my watchmaker says the circuit is carrying voltage correctly, that it may have been an improperly seated battery, which I find to be a questionable hypothesis. If it were a mechanical watch, I’d say this is a balance-wheel issue, but on a quartz movement, I’m thrown for guesses.

    Anyway, do any of these symptoms correlate to a specific issue endemic to these HAQ movements? Or is it just a 30-plus-year-old movement that will either need a replacement or service? Could it be a magnetism issue or other non-invasive problem?

    Thanks!
    Noah
    This model is somewhat vulnerable to water ingress, especially after 30+ years! Have a good look at the hands and dial and check for signs of pitting, corrosion and flaking lume. Then open it up: the back is easily levered off once you've found the slim groove (opposite to the crown I seem to remember). Take out the battery and have a good look around for corrosion. Check that the triple-pronged disc is correctly in place on the battery, and that the two black rubber feet are there on the edge of the movement. With the crown at 12 o'c they are located at 11 and 5. My strong suggestion is to check that the battery is the correct type - Renata 371 - and is in brand new condition. Finally try pulling the crown a few times to check that the movement stops and restarts without hesitation (there is scope for corrosion in the switch). I don't have any other places to look. Magnetism would only be a problem in the presence of a very strong magnet, otherwise a non-issue.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    Quote Originally Posted by kidblue View Post
    Hereís a new one:

    Got my NOS Longines VHP (L174 movement) and for a month or so it ran great. Then I noticed a few seconds shaved off. Then I got a few stops and starts. And then, incredibly, I would notice the second hand spin or shudder, sort of attempting to catch up when it would stop. Sometimes a bit of a tap would cause this, otherwise, totally random. Had he battery taken out and replaced and seems to be keeping time, but the first time it lost seconds it took weeks. And Iíve been nervous to wear it. Definitely reacted to minor impact from my fingers tapping on the crystal.

    Battery tests fine, and my watchmaker says the circuit is carrying voltage correctly, that it may have been an improperly seated battery, which I find to be a questionable hypothesis. If it were a mechanical watch, Iíd say this is a balance-wheel issue, but on a quartz movement, Iím thrown for guesses.

    Anyway, do any of these symptoms correlate to a specific issue endemic to these HAQ movements? Or is it just a 30-plus-year-old movement that will either need a replacement or service? Could it be a magnetism issue or other non-invasive problem?

    Thanks!
    Noah
    No quick fixes here, I'am afraid.

    In trying to get an idea about what's going on, I'd like to see what happens when the watch is warm. Hot even. Not good for the battery, but who cares?

    If the oils are thick they make life too hard for the stepper motor. Warming the watch will thin the oil. Or so goes the theory. Why a brand new watch should have deteriorated oils, I don't know.

    The manufacturers try to preserve battery power and reduce stepper pulses to the bare minimum. It will just run. But only just. No reserves for nothing.

    Wait for the watch to stop and place it in a bowl of hot water. 70 degrees Celsius. Put it in a few plastic bags first. After half an hour and still stuck, give it a few taps.
    ronalddheld likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    Thanks for this checklist, it's exactly what I was looking for, since I'm new to the HAQ scene and plenty of options before getting a professional to take it. No pitting -- I'll check for corrosion, although when I had the battery checked, I think they also checked for that. It really was NOS, boxed and everything.

    In the event that we find some, how would it be cleaned prior to repairing/replacing the movement?

    I'll look at the battery tomorrow, but do you think an incorrect type could cause this sort of effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris01 View Post
    This model is somewhat vulnerable to water ingress, especially after 30+ years! Have a good look at the hands and dial and check for signs of pitting, corrosion and flaking lume. Then open it up: the back is easily levered off once you've found the slim groove (opposite to the crown I seem to remember). Take out the battery and have a good look around for corrosion. Check that the triple-pronged disc is correctly in place on the battery, and that the two black rubber feet are there on the edge of the movement. With the crown at 12 o'c they are located at 11 and 5. My strong suggestion is to check that the battery is the correct type - Renata 371 - and is in brand new condition. Finally try pulling the crown a few times to check that the movement stops and restarts without hesitation (there is scope for corrosion in the switch). I don't have any other places to look. Magnetism would only be a problem in the presence of a very strong magnet, otherwise a non-issue.

  6. #5
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    It was malfunctioning off my wrist, so I don't think there's a temperature issue, unless, of course, it were exacerbated by heat, which is entirely possible. Oil-wise, it has probably been sitting for nearly 30 years, so I would consider the lubrication in less-than-ideal condition, right?

    You think the heat will help loosen any gunk or thick lube?

    Sorry, I don't quite understand "no reserves for nothing" -- do you mean the stepper motor is attempting to play "catch up" (which is what it looked like to me) but would never "gain"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Moleman View Post
    No quick fixes here, I'am afraid.

    In trying to get an idea about what's going on, I'd like to see what happens when the watch is warm. Hot even. Not good for the battery, but who cares?

    If the oils are thick they make life too hard for the stepper motor. Warming the watch will thin the oil. Or so goes the theory. Why a brand new watch should have deteriorated oils, I don't know.

    The manufacturers try to preserve battery power and reduce stepper pulses to the bare minimum. It will just run. But only just. No reserves for nothing.

    Wait for the watch to stop and place it in a bowl of hot water. 70 degrees Celsius. Put it in a few plastic bags first. After half an hour and still stuck, give it a few taps.

  7. #6
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    Quote Originally Posted by kidblue View Post
    Thanks for this checklist, it's exactly what I was looking for, since I'm new to the HAQ scene and plenty of options before getting a professional to take it. No pitting -- I'll check for corrosion, although when I had the battery checked, I think they also checked for that. It really was NOS, boxed and everything.

    In the event that we find some, how would it be cleaned prior to repairing/replacing the movement?

    I'll look at the battery tomorrow, but do you think an incorrect type could cause this sort of effect?
    You should be OK with a watch that's been in hibernation for years, although corrosion will be a danger if the battery has been stored in the watch and has started to leak.

    If the movement has issues, a full service is the only realistic fix. This involves dismantling and cleaning/replacing parts. Here the problem would be the lack of parts for a 30-year old quartz watch. Replacing the movement would be a better solution, IF one can be found.

    It's not very likely to be a battery problem but, as the simplest & cheapest possible remedy, it's clearly worth a try. I can get the correct battery from Amazon UK for £1, so don't go picking up a cheap copy on eBay.

  8. #7
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    Re: Longines VHP (174) weirdness!

    So far, over the last week, itís been keeping time perfectly ó off the wrist. Who knows. Iím anxious to wear it for a day and put it to the test, as well as check the battery, but hereís hoping it was either a battery issue or something wrong with engagement of the stem, fixed by fiddling with that.

    Overall, I could not come to any conclusion as to why it was acting how it was ó stuttering, the second hand spinning, stopping for few a seconds at a time. There really seems to be no precedent for that kind of malfunction, especially on these specific movements.

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