Service: HMT Pilot

2014-04-01 08.41.16Under the guidance of Christian I successfully serviced my first wristwatch. This particular HMT watch I bought new from a HMT dealer in India about 4 years ago.
HMT 17 Jewel movement is based on a Miyota Citizen 0201movement from the 60’s. The finish on this watch resembles that of Soviet era Russian watches. I have already removed the Para shock balance jewels.2014-04-01 08.40.53Christian helped me with the wire springs. It is a fine art to get them in place without it flying across the room. I was required to look for them several times on the floor..2014-04-01 08.59.56Slowly coming apart. I’m in no rush to complete this watch, as that will only increase my chances of mangling it.2014-04-01 08.52.49There is actually decoration on the mainspring barrel!2014-04-01 08.57.08I clean oil and reuse the original mainspring, as it is still in good nick.  2014-04-01 14.02.20I have some problems with the balance not moving freely, because I had fitted the jewels the wrong way with the flat side pointing downwards, after they where turned around it swung like it should.2014-04-01 15.58.12Success the movement is put together with all the pivots intact and an un-mangled hairspring unlike a very unlucky Candino watch that I tried servicing once. I will come back to that particular watch when I’m ready to undo the damage.2014-04-01 14.15.05Not bad at all for a 35 dollar/2100rupee Made in India watch! 2014-04-01 16.01.34I really love this watch. Just look at the awesome 60’s design of the dial, no lumen is saved here. The case is in reasonably good quality steel considering the price. (I apologise for the dust on the outside of the crystal)

The watch stopped last night, and after adjusting the second hand it was moving freely again.



24 thoughts on “Service: HMT Pilot

  1. Hi there – This is an old post but maybe you can answer a question. I started tearing down my Pilot for service and immediately sheared off the ratchet wheel screw head. Can you recall if it is a left hand thread instead of typical right? The crown wheel was of course left handed. Looking at photos of the original Citizen 0201, the ratchet wheel screw had 3 lines, suggesting to me that I turned it the wrong way. Thanks

      • The ratchet wheel screw is indeed left hand thread. I ended up getting a donor movement to replace some parts. The HMT 0231 has a left hand winding mainspring. While the older models seen in some photos do have 3 grooves on that screw head, none of the 3 movements I’ve had in hand did. They all look like they’d be right threaded. Warning to future HMT repairers!

  2. All HMT models and movements are not commendable.Only few models with craftiness and fine mechanism deserve appreciation.Many watches with simple mechanism of calibre 020,0321 are total failure.One can judge this while servicing a watch of the said calibre.Parts would not align so easily and most of the times,they will break,leading one to utter frustration.Even if align and work will be for a short period.One day,the watch will stop running and you will find some parts broken,normally escape wheel,minute wheel or the second wheel,or the main spring.This is what I have been experiencing with such hmt models.

  3. Hey Mitka,
    It’s so cool that you are learning this skilled art form : )
    I love it when dedicated people keep traditional service/crafts/skills going and do not surrender to the throw away-disposable-mindless-consciousness of today !
    Congratulations Mitka and many thanks Christian for taking my little brother under your finely skilled wing : ) xxx

  4. Anders ,
    Due to you, i now finally know what my HMT’s look like on the inside.
    I bought 2 over the years, they are called “Janata”. which translates as “common people” i’ve been told. I use them as my daily beaters. They are nowadays sold for 1100 rupees = 15 euro.

  5. hi christian.there is a cheap alternative for moebius oil? i do service for some of my watches and i use siliconic oil.i don’t afford any moebius at this moment,and i think is there a lot to learn before i buy some pricey stuff.

    • For you own watches, you can use whale oil if you want to 😉 I wouldn’t use anything else but Moebius. Cheaper oils will congeal pretty soon, so it isn’t really worth using them.

      Posted by Christian on Mitka’s account

  6. I’m very impressed that you managed to take apart and put together a watch on your first day in the workshop! Not easily done, and a big credit to you, Mitka!

    Another month or two on your own collection, and we’ll slowly get you onto the real stuff. It’s all there – dexterity, huge amounts of passion, and the will to succeed. We’ve had a great first week together, and I’m sure our readers will avidly follow your progress in the next couple of years.


  7. Welcome Mitka! Well done on your service, please listen carefully to Christian. My TAG Carrera will need a service in six months or so, and I intend to send it to your workshop, so you might be the guy taking it apart. 😉

  8. Gratulerer!
    I wish I had a chance to learn this craft. Good luck an looking forward to see loads of Mitka posts in the times to come!

  9. A simple and robust movement married to a simple dial – what more could you want? Well, an 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar for preference, but there is a bit of a price difference…

    Congratulations on not losing your first patient 😉

    Is the dial slightly off or is it just the angle of the photograph?

  10. Hey well done! Did you find any small Futurematic hands when you were grovelling about on the floor? 😉

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