Repair: Seiko World Time 6117-6400

As regular readers of my blog might know – there is nothing I like more than a watch with history, especially if it’s family history. And boy, does this watch have it!

It belongs to Mike, and it was his late father’s watch. His dad was a soldier with quite a bit of active duty in the 70s and 80s. He died in 1982, and left this watch to Mike’s younger brother. Mike was left one of his father’s army issue watches.

In 1985, Mike’s mother wanted to have the two watches serviced, so she could give them to their sons as a christmas present and a memento to their father. Alas, the watches never made it to the watchmaker, as her house was burgled, and the two watches were taken.

For any watch, that would be the end of traceable history, but this one is made of tougher stuff.

Mike became a police officer, and, in 1999, so 14 years later, took part in a raid on a house where stolen goods were suspected. Mike stumbled across a box of stolen watches, and there were three Seiko World Time in there. The raid was a good 100 miles away from his mother’s hose, but something about one of the watches struck Mike. He checked with his mother, who happened to have a receipt from an earlier service. Hard to believe, but the serial numbers matched!

I imagine it’s not easy for a police officer to tell his sergeant that the watch actually belongs to his family, but after enough due process, the watch was finally handed back to the family.

This is not where the story ends, though! Mike’s three year old niece, whose mother has an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, thought she’d try it out on uncle’s watch to surprise him. That she managed, but the cleaning fluid (mostly water) did a fair amount of damage to the watch.

So it has found its way to me, as Mike wants to give it to his brother for his birthday.

This does not look good, and I wonder already if this movement is salvageable at all.

Ouch. That’s a lot of rust.

This is beyond repair.

As luck has it, I have an old 9400 donor movement lying around! Now the challenge will be to use some of the original parts of the movement, so we can preserve a bit of originality.

The balance has some rust damage on the pivots as well, but the hairspring is in surprisingly good condition. As that is really the heart of any movement, I will put the hairspring onto the donor balance.

Here we are – original hairspring on donor balance.

I take apart and clean the donor movement, and now it’s time to put it back together.

Ticking already.

The bottom plate comes together.

Date ring in place.

I lightly grease the case where the world time ring goes in.

The case back gets a new gasket – only the auto winder missing.

The auto-winder gears are mounted, and I use one of the old, slightly rusty screws to fix it on – just as a little reminder.

Mike managed to find a replacement dial on eBay, and I had the spare hands to go along with it. The dial doesn’t look new, but I think it is just in the right condition for this watch.

There we are – back in business!

The watch now has a new dial, new hands, and a replacement movement. What’s original:

  • the case
  • the case back
  • the movement ring
  • the hairspring
  • the balance cock
  • one screw of the auto-winder assembly
  • the barrel
  • the crystal

It’s the best I can do, and I hope the watch will be passed on in the family!

8 thoughts on “Repair: Seiko World Time 6117-6400

  1. Hi. I have a 6117-6400 which I bought new in 1975 for $50 at a duty free shop at Brisbane Airport (Australia). It never missed a beat until only a few weeks ago. I suspect the auto winder has fallen off its jewels because it has a definite rattle as I shake it gently. The local watch repairer here in New Zealand tells me it is not repairable because the parts are no longer available. Do you know where I can get the parts? That is of course assuming that I am right in guessing what is wrong and I could take a shotgun approach and simply purchase the likeliest bits I need. As you can imagine, I am very attached to my watch as it has been my companion for over 40 years.

    • There are a lot of parts available on eBay, but you first have to know which parts you need. Go back to the watchmaker (or maybe a different one), ask him to give you a list of parts needed, and you can take it from there.

  2. so I have a Seiko 6117-6410. Crown came off. Looking at your IMG 1843 and 1845, I see a rubber seal, spring and something that joins crown to the bras gear. I can see the brass gear on mine. Any thoughts wold be welcome.

  3. I love stories like these, and think it’s very laudable hwo you handled the watch and tried to preserve as much as possible while still return it to it’s original purpose.
    I’ll never have the patience and precision to work on a watch myself, but I love the care, love and workmanship that’s shown in your blog entries.

  4. Pingback: Seiko World time with a unique history

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