This classic 6159-7001 came in recently for a movement service, a new crystal, a relume of the dial and hands and investigation of the non clicking bezel. I’ve written about these beautiful watches a few times before, they were actually Seikos first ‘Professional’ series divers watch (a line which continues to today) developed in conjunction with real divers who listed the features they’d find most useful in a dive watch. When released they were more expensive than many of the Swiss brands (including Rolex) and as such tended to be bought and used by professional divers for their intended purpose as a hard working tool watch. Remember these were the days before big chunky watches became fashionable, the average dress watches at the time were 35mm and a lot slimmer 🙂
As can be seen on this one the lume on the minute and seconds hand had dropped out and had been replaced with a non matching compound, the remaining original lume was quite grubby but the gilt frames had survived remarkably well.
This example has a production date of July 1969.
With the bezel and crystal removed the dial seems in remarkably decent shape apart from the lume.
Once the movement is out of the case the first job is to strip the rotor and autowind mechanism.
With these out of the way the next thing to go is the balance assembly….
….this keeps it out of harms way as the movement is flipped over again to tackle the relume.
I can now start digging out the old compound from the dial. I find that doing it whilst it’s still attached to the movement keeps it held solidly in place and as everything has to be stripped and cleaned anyway it seems a logical way to tackle it.
Some of these vintage dials have a lume compound with the consistency of concrete, however this one wasn’t as bad as that.
The hands were also stripped, the owner supplied a NOS seconds hand so I just removed the white lume so that it would match all the rest. The red stop light dot I left in place.
The first coat of lume being applied in this shot.
And in this one it’s had two coats.
With the lume work done it was now time to strip the rest of the movement.
Turn the watch over and tackle the rest of the train side.
The famous “Do Not Open” barrel!
The watch was soon ready for cleaning and inspection.
The rebuild, as usual for me, begins with the mainspring and barrel. You can see the thicker spring used in the 6159 due to the higher teeth count which increases the gearing to the escape wheel.
The relumed dial and hands were fitted at this stage.
The watch then has to have its rotor attached ready for recasing.
It’s now ready for the crystal, locking ring and bezel to be fitted.
The lack of a click was due to there being no click ball in place, but that was missing for a reason! When I fitted a new ball the bezel triangle ended up slap bang in the middle of the minute markers, the ball had been removed to allow it to sit lined up with the 12 o’clock marker.
This is a trait I’ve seen on a number of 6159-7001’s and is a problem because the insert can’t be removed and re-aligned like it can be with the 6217’s, 6105’s, 6309’s etc. To remove an insert from one of these bezels means having to destroy it, however having a non clicking bezel isn’t an option so there I do have a fix for it.
This involves drilling a new click ball hole 180 degrees from the original.
I mark the position so that the triangle is correctly lined up then drill a hole for the spring and click ball.
A suitably greased spring and click ball are fitted in this shot.
This allows the bezel triangle to line up correctly and the bezel to click as it should. Once this was done the watch was completed, I never want to send these beauties back when they’re finished 🙂