Hello and thank you for finding my blog. This page is all about the restoration I carried out on this rather nice Seiko 7019-7210 from May of 1973. The watch had many surprises in store for me as I will explain as we go along this blog.
I saw this one on eBay with no bids but was open to offers. I had to make two offers but got it still for a very good price. The pictures were not great but I could make out it was a Seiko Actus and with a faceted crystal and original bracelet.
Here are the eBay photos and the last one is when it arrived to me.
On first appearance it looked pretty reasonable given its age. I have restored far worse. The first thing to do was see what state the movement was in so I removed the caseback and manually wound the spring and then put it on the timegrapher. This is what I saw!
The timegrapher tried to get a trace but could not get a constant reading. I interpreted this as bad news, clearly something major was wrong inside however I semi expected trouble so the only way to find out what was wrong was to start the disassembly of the movement and looks for clues as I dismantle.
I start first to remove the bracelet then the caseback, remove the crown and then the gasket and movement ring that holds it all in place. Soon the movement was out and onto my cushion and it was at this point I saw the main disappointment. A scratch on the dial and a big one at that. How had that happened? The crystal looks like the factory fit one so I can assume there had not been an accident in its life. Weird okay well on with the job in hand.
Here are some photos of the dial. You can observe the one and only service mark I found inside the case back.
I continued the stripdown by removing the dial and then all of the calendar works. This was completely uneventful and despite hunting for problems I could find non whatsoever. Not that I would expect a problem on the calendar works side.
I now turned my attention to the motion side. Looking at it more closely I could already see one of the screws was missing on the train wheel bridge which could be having a detrimental effect on the wheels.
To start I went to remove the second reduction wheel that the pawl levers operate. It has a left handed thread on the top and indicated by three grooves on the screw. I went to turn this and the head came clean off!! Oh great !
It was at at this point that the penny had dropped. Someone, probably with little or no experience has tried to fix this watch and messed it up. A professional would not break a screw head or if they did you would not know about it as it would have been replaced.
A bit of me died knowing some hack had been inside such a nice watch and scratched the dial probably by removing the hands with a bulldozer and then broke this screw. What else would I find…
also though I got a little excited that I would now have more of a project and a duty to fix this one to the best of my ability! Weirdly I get enjoyment out of being frustrated on problem watches!!
I stripped off the ratchet wheel and removed the train wheel bridge to find that my missing screw observation was incorrect ! It was in fact another sheered screw. Fortunately it had sheered at the top of the bridge plate so part of it was showing enough. Under my microscope I was able with tweezers to painstakingly encourage the remaining threaded stud to come out!
Once all the rest of the movement was disassembled I then dig around in my spare parts to find a 7019 21 jewel train wheel bridge. There was no way I could remove the first broken screw as it was sheered well into its threaded hole and would have snapped through over tightening likely by whoever attempted the fix not knowing it was left handed thread .
Into the cleaning machine it all went including a donor bridge I found.
Once I was happy with the cleaning it was over to the rebuild and all went like clockwork …
Everything looked okay and the balance was spinning so I placed on the timegrapher and this is what I saw.
That is one crazy reading but what could be wrong? I demagnetised the movement first of all bit that has no effect. I then refitted the balance but still the same.
May this point I noticed the pallet was not clicking over on one side how I would like so I investigated and concluded that perhaps the escape wheel was not right.
I swapped out the escape and pallet from a donor to see what reading I would get.
this is what I got next.
We’ll that is encouraging. At least I have some parallel lines now but that amplitude …
i re-oil the shock jewels but this has little effect. I then remove the barrel and clean and grease the barrel wall. No change!!
I then take a known good balance from one of my watches and try that it’s gets a little better but not where it should be.
After allot of part swapping and examination over a few evenings I eventually arrived with a more satisfactory reading and what solved it was to only change the escape wheel . Once I had put back in the original pallet fork I got a much more desirable reading that over a few days of running was in fact excellent and very accurate!
The video below shows the unregulated movement after installing the original pallet fork. The later photos are once regulated and tested again a day later. Readings are very satisfactory.
Now it was time for the case. I removed the facet crystal and one of my contacts came through, a guy I have bought from many times just so happened to have a new old stock crystal and so the deal was done.
If you are looking for Seiko parts and crystals contact Stefan here:
With the crystal out the way I looked at the case and soon found that on this one it was a high polish finish all over. So I used my thermal tape to mask of areas to keep the lines of the case while I worked on certain areas. (See my tool page)
First was to sand down with abrasive sticks and then to polish with 4 types of Menzerna compound and 4 ever softer wheels for each polish.
Probably took around an hour but the results were very satisfactory. I also did the case back and bezel.
With the case done it was time to marry up all the case parts and movement back to one. The crystal had arrived (Stefan’s service is excellent!) I then found his crystal had more facets and once doing some research and talking to Stefan it was clear that Seiko used two types! The new one had more facets and thus a much nicer look!
Fitting was nerve wracking as the crystals are rare and my die in the watch press only just clearing enough room. These crystals are thick!
Pushing firmly on the press lever I here a crack… I rush to remove the watch in a bit of a panic. Had I broken it??
Fortunately not it was just the sound of the bezel fitting back into place. Phew!
With all the hard work behind me it was time to finish the bracelet. I decided to apply a high polish to the centre links and brushed to the outer. The outer links I used a “special” wheel on my rotary tool to quickly take case of the scratches. I then used the 4 compounds and wheels on the centre links. A quick hot wash in the ultrasonic and left to dry for a day.
Then it was out with the thermal tape to mask off the centre links trimming off excess with a razor blade. To apply the brushing I used a maroon hand pad from Mirka (see tool page) this was applied in a matter of minutes. The end links got the same treatment. Then back into the ultrasonic for one last wash.
And now it’s time for the final reveal. With the bracelet fitted it looks stunning. New crystal was well worth it and the facets disguise the scratch well. The blue burst dial is just wonderful. Set off by the Japanese day wheel. (Prefer it to the English setting)
So thank you for reading this post, please leave a comment with your opinion .
More blogs coming soon!