Service: Certina blue ribbon calibre 25-651

IMG_8081If it’s a Certina, it has to be Joris’! Well, not exactly, but it belongs to a friend of his, and there is a long story involving bicycles, watches, and other things… The gist of it is that Joris has to have the watch fixed, and will get a bicycle in exchange.The case has already be pre-cleaned, but there is still a lot of dirt that has to be removed.

IMG_8085The inside looks pretty clean, but the watch runs too fast.

IMG_8086Look at the solidified grease on the winder clutch wheels!


Nice and tidy bottom plate.IMG_8090

Got to love those Certina movements!IMG_8097

It’s been a while since this watch has been serviced.IMG_8099

Solidified grease on the barrel bridge.IMG_8100

The mainspring is pretty dry – time for a new one.IMG_8103

The date changer doesn’t work – let’s see why.


The little spring in the date change wheel is broken, and somebody glued it in with super glue. I can’t get hold of a replacement wheel, and I don’t have wire that fits to make a new one. So for the time being, it will be the first every day, until a replacement can be found.IMG_8104

The bottom plate comes apart.IMG_8109

Everything ready for the cleaning machine.IMG_8187

And I’m ready for reassembly.IMG_8188

As usual, I start off with a new mainspring.IMG_8192

The base movement is back together, and the movement is ticking.IMG_8195

That looks pretty good!IMG_8196

The auto-winder assembly goes in.IMG_8200

And the movement is ready for casing.IMG_8201

I take the bezel ring off to replace the crystal and clean the case.IMG_8553

The dial has some damage, but is looking pretty good considering the age of the watch!IMG_8555

Lovely movement – just the rotor missing.IMG_8644Back together and cased – a great watch!







30 thoughts on “Service: Certina blue ribbon calibre 25-651

  1. Hi, in my blue ribbon the outher ring with the luminous dots is missaligned (about 30 deg) relative to the indices on the dial. So far I have removed the movement but it seems that I have to remove the crystal like shown on one of your images.
    How is the red tool called you used to remove the crystal and the bezel? Is it easily possible to reassemble the watch by just pressing the crystal and bezel on to the case?
    Thank you

  2. Hi, from what I have read on here, it sounds like servicing and repairs on a Certina Blue Ribbon wristwatch can be very expensive. I have said watch passed on by my late father. It fits well and is not too masculine for me (his daughter) to wear.
    It’s dirty and needs a good service. The date doesn’t work and there are a few of the raised digits missing. The hands sweep nicely and it keeps great time if I wind it manually everyday. (However it is a self winder) There does sound something loose inside as it as it rattles. Does it sound as though it’s repairable and what sort of figure are we talking please?
    Thank you.

  3. Hola :
    Tengo un Certina Bristol 195 – calibre 25651
    Las ruedas inversoras están MAL y no carga automáticamente , solo lo hace con el remonte manual .
    Un saludo

  4. Hey,
    I’ve got recently such watch but have surprised with a back which is sealed with a cover from Technos watch company. Is it OK or just this Technos’ detail attached to the Certina watch as a some kind of replacement? What do think about please?

  5. The spring at the dial wheel can be replaced,
    I learned that from an ex- Certina dealer.
    It’s very hard to find a replacement date wheel nowadays, not impossible though.
    Usually the date wheel spring brokes mainly from two reasons:
    The watchmaker assemble it without align it properly
    (hence the dot in it), and/or the owner tries to change date
    with the back-and-forwards crown fashion,
    and in these calibers this is not a very good idea.

  6. Hi,

    nice articles, as usual.
    The little spring in the date wheel,
    can be replaced with hairspring from pocket watch.
    That’s your best bet, as I learned from an official 50s-60s Certina watchmaker.
    It is absolutely imprescindible to align,
    cannon pinion-dot on small date wheel-point of little spring,
    as this leaves little room to maneuver,
    once the date wheel is engaged and starts to change (date).

    Congrats and keep up.

    • Oh, I forgot btw :
      this replacement I did several times, with complete success.
      This spring I think, is broken usually
      by a date-wheel set misalign and/or
      the user not taking the hour back enough, when changing several days.
      Once must recommend customers to drive back the hour hand as far as 21-22 hs,
      just to be sure there will be not jamming
      and the little spring doesn’t break

      p.s. forgive my horrible english, plz

  7. I’ve asked a watchmaker whether it can be put only the spring into the wheel, and he said no, but I don’t beleive it. So I need some confirmation about that. Is it posibble to replace this staff only? It’s interesting for me because i could purchase this part (Ref. Number 2575).

  8. Making a new spring for the date wheel is quite a job. I have the same problem… The spring in your case which was glued in place appears to not be origional – that probably broke some time ago. The spring profile appears to be about 0.1 mm x 0.2 (square). The closest I have is a 0.2mm round, which I am pounding flat and then filing down to size. On the plus side, at least you have the retaining ring (steel) which I had to make on the lathe. It appears to be about 1.7 mm inner diameter, 2.0 outer x 0.1-0.15 mm thick. I have come to understand that these are very often broken and spare parts are hard to find and expensive, so the best option is making your own.

  9. I have the same watch and need to replace the crystal. Can you tell me where you sourced it and what it is called? I am not able to find crystals with minute markers on the tension ring here in Canada.

  10. Hello Christian,

    I’m a friend of Joris and the happy owner of the watch, which was once my grandfather’s. I really enjoyed all the photos of the process! Really nice to see the ‘world’ behind the glass…
    How old do you think this watch is? Because I do not have any information about the history of this watch.

    Thanks for all your work!!!


  11. Looks great Christian! I’m going to send my friend to this post, so he can admire the work 🙂

    I’m checking ebay every now and then for the date change weel thingy, but I’m not sure my friend minds the stuck dat very much. He’s probably just happy to know that his grandfather’s watch is in good (and good-looking) condition again.


  12. Thanks Christian

    Are there any dials known to be quite resistant to such natural problems, or any such materials that fare better in general?

    • Enamel is pretty good, but can get cracked. There are different grades of normal dials as well, and cheap watches don’t fare as well as more expensive ones over time. Just a general rule, you can have a 50 year old cheap watch with a good dial…

  13. I like this watch. I had to stop myself buying this model recently as I have overshot my budget. Shame about the date spring.
    A question I have relating to this watch and others is. Why is damage done to the dial on watches when in theory most of it’s life is behind glass etc?

    • There are various reasons for dial damage…
      Firstly, most painted dials have a layer of varnish, which deteriorates in time. Oxygen and ultraviolet radiation together probably do the trick. Once that’s gone, the next layer is attacked.
      Secondly, any humidity that might enter the watch can inflict really bad damage really quickly.
      Thirdly, people taking the watch apart, and not paying attention when removing the hands, or trying to remove dirt with unsuitable tools…

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