Seiko 7009-8081 From 1976
Hello and welcome to this blog post on my Seiko 7009-8081. This watch was made in 1976 and is very retro in its colour choice for that dial.
This cost me £25.00 on eBay it was running but very poorly. Also had all the usual dents and scratches that a 40+ year old Seiko would have. I fell for the dial colour and that it is what we call a linen dial due to the pattern colour. This one would need a new crystal and some gaskets along with a really deep clean of case, bracelets and all internal parts.
First thing was to order the parts up, I went onto Cousins and found a Sternkruez crystal with bevelled edge and a gasket set for no more than £7.00
I was intending to prepare for their arrival so set about stripping all the movement and case components down for cleaning.
Here are some photos of the watch before any work and some of the strip down.
Once I had disassembled the movement I popped all the parts into baskets and put them in my cleaning machine for a long cleaning cycle. I visually checked each part beforehand, if you see hardened old oil then you need to clean this by hand first. I do this using Renata and some pegwood. (links to these products here)
Once the cleaning was finished reassembling the movement was quite a simple process, first I hand wind the mainspring back into the barrel. I know this is not good practice but the main spring winding tools are frighteningly expensive and I am (currently) too stingy to purchase them!
Once the spring is back in the barrel its onto the build. Most 7### movements are pretty much the same so in no time at all this was all back together. I build the motion side first and then test on the timegraper machine as this will indicate how well it is running. To my delight this had lovely parallel lines meaning only some regulation needed.
Now the movement was back together I could get on and refinish the case & bracelet. Case would need the bezel polishing and the sides. The case top would be brushed to give contrast. Looking closely I think it was finished using an abrasive belt or something similar. Due to the curves I would not be able to replicate but I can give it a nice brushed finish. I start with all the bright work by polishing the bezel and sides using my polishing machine. This took a good half hour to achieve and probably the same amount of time masking off the parts on the case I did not want to polish.
Brushing the top was allot easier however I had to first sand down slightly with fine wet & dry paper p800 – p1200 grit to remove any deeper scratches. I then used a very fine hand pad (see my tool page) to apply the brushing.
At this point I cleaned it all up and then fitted the new crystal and gasket. I had to then case the watch to get a first look at its beauty.
I was very pleased by the look. better than expected! the dial is everything on this watch so seeing it through a clean unscratched crystal was a sight to behold.
Okay now for the bracelet. I had nothing to go on here. Internet would throw up nothing concrete. I was looking for how it might have looked originally. I decided to use my “artistic” license and go for polished centre links and brushed on the outside. Starting with the polished links I used little felt wheels and polishing compound on a rotary tool (Again see the tool page) I then used cotton wheels for the final compound.
After that I had to clean them and mask them off with thermal tape, I am not worried about heat but I find this tape sticks really well and is tough. It took a while but after taping down the middle I used a razor blade to cut it nicely. Brushing was applied again using a fine hand pad going up and down to give a grain effect. Now doing this will not remove scratches that are deep. I choose to live with that because restoring this bracelet to new would be extremely difficult.
Once the tape was off I was more than happy with the result.
So putting it all together this is the finished watch and what a beauty. I was not sure how it would turn out but I can safely say this one is a keeper for sure.
I hope you liked this blog and I thank you for reading.
Enjoy the photos below of the finished watch.