Teardown + Service: Hongqi Butterfly

Firstly, many thanks to Jon from Canada for letting me have this watch for a teardown and service. These are rare beasts, and the movement is quite unique. Shortening Butterfly to “Butfly” might not have been the best marketing ploy, but it certainly adds to the character πŸ˜‰

The case is quite chunky - and in very good condition

Even before I open the back, I can hear the winder rattling around in the case - and there is a good reason for it, as it's not fixed to the movement at all and just rattles around

Not doing too badly

A bit of dirt on the barrel wheel. Get an eye full of this - I don't think I have ever seen more wheels on a top plate! Not only was the winder loose, but 2 of the 3 screws that hold the support plate for the winder are missing M0.5 x 0.5, good luck with that πŸ˜‰

Having removed the hands, I start off with the bottom plate

The day wheel has numbers next to each day - I presume this is for people that don't speak English

With the bottom plate cleared, I turn the movement around

Slowly wading through a gazillion wheels πŸ˜‰

Pallet fork with cock

Wheel bridge removed

You can see how the barrel drives the second wheel, which is not a centre wheel

Rinsing the parts after the cleaning solution

Parts dried and ready for reassembly - and there is no lack of them!

All the parts that didn't go into the cleaning fluid are safely wrapped up

Having cleaned the main spring and the barrel, I rewind the spring, oil it and close the barrel

With the barrel and barrel bridge mounted, I put the wheels in

Oiling as I go along

Wheel bridge and pallet fork are back on the plate

Top plate back together (bar the auto winder on top)

Time to put the bottom plate back together

Just the day ring left to go in

As I want to put the dial back on, I notice that the "Butfly" is loose

I glue the emblem back on by pressing it back in and putting two drops of shellac on the holes from the other side

Dial and hands back on

The movement goes back into the case - you can see the two holes where the screws for the winder support plate are missing

The short screw at the bottom is the original, and the two other screws are the closest thing I can find. The thread is correct, but they are too long

First, I cut the screws to the right length

Well, a bit longer. Now the thread needs filing down so that it's even again

I hold the screw with some pliers and file the screw down

As the filing will compress the bottom thread, I run the screw through a screw plate

And now the winder plate is held by three screws again - that should keep it from wobbling loose again

The auto winder goes back on, the gasket in, and I'm ready to close the back

And I'm done

I wonder why this watch is so complex – there isn’t really a need for it. It’s almost as someone wanted to fit as many wheels into this movement as they possibly could.

The date can be adjusted when the crown is pulled out to first position, but the day has to be adjusted by setting the time – that makes sense, as you only have to adjust the day once, but the date has to be changed every other month.

The manual and automatic winding mechanism is quite something, and I wonder if you can find that sort of complexity anywhere else.


14 thoughts on “Teardown + Service: Hongqi Butterfly

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  2. hongqi was an old chinese millitary industry ,and have many products for people like watches and bike and so on,

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