This is the iconic Seiko “Turtle”, THE classic Seiko diver.
Although Seiko obviously designed this as a dive watch, it was also a great choice for a soldier in combat. It was immortalised in the film Apocalypse Now, where it was worn by Martin Sheen. Water resistant, with a simple robust automatic movement, a timing bezel and also a hacking feature for synchronising (and of course a G-shock wasn’t available back then!).
This example was sent in by David, he wanted the movement serviced but no cosmetic work to be carried out at all.
The movement is a 6105B and is not running at all well and is obviously overdue some TLC.
After removing the movement from the case and taking the dial and hands off, it appears that the dial and hands are original, this is a rare thing these days and increases the value of the watch dramatically. Although I believe the seconds hand should have a red dot on the end so maybe it has been relumed in the past. A lot of these watches have had redials or been “modded” to make the watch resemble another model, or just to have a different colour dial and hands, consequently there are fewer original examples out there which goes some way to explain why the value of these watches has increased quite a lot in the last few years.
The disassembly is trouble free with no damaged parts, just a bit dirty and dry.
The bezel is removed and the case disassembled, the case is then ultrasonically cleaned and I manually cleaned underneath the bezel and the crystal.
Movement parts now clean and ready to be reassembled.
The cap jewels are Epilame treated and oiled and refitted to the balance, the movement is then given a gentle rotation to get the balance moving, it is observed to see if the balance moves without resistance and comes to a very gradual and not abrupt stop.
The mainspring is fitted into the barrel.
All is well so I proceeded to fit the barrel and gear train, here you can see the hacking lever, always a nice feature to have and not always found on other Seiko divers. The train bridge is then fitted and the gear train is checked to see if it turns freely before fitting the pallet fork.
After the pallets are fitted and checked the balance goes in and then it’s put onto the timegrapher. This looks a lot more healthy.
The movement is turned over to fit the keyless works, motion works and calendar.
The dial and hands go back on and the movement is fitted into the now clean reassembled case. The auto winder mechanism is then reassembled. It doesn’t get anymore simple than this for a bi directional auto winder. Perhaps a bit crude, but efficient and very robust and reliable, which is what you want in a watch such as this which was designed to take a beating. This movement does not have manual winding, but a few flicks of the wrist is all it takes to get it going, AKA the Seiko shuffle!
A new gasket is fitted and it’s almost done, just another quick check under the microscope to make sure no fibres or dust have managed to sneak into the movement before the case back is fitted.
All done, cosmetically the same but clean, as the client wanted. Also fitted the crystal back in the same orientation so the scratches lined up as they were when it came in 😉