An interesting job that came in recently was this Seiko Alpinist from July 1964. The Alpinist models were a Japanese domestic market range of watches which were introduced in 1961 and ran to 1964. The line was inspired by the Japanese concept of Yamaotoko, this term roughly translates as ‘Mountain man’, and describes the Japanese tradition of amateur mountaineering whereby people climbed Japan’s mountains during weekends and holidays. This example is powered by Seikos calibre 851, a 17 jewel, 18,000bph manual wind movement. It arrived needing an overhaul but interestingly the owner had a NOS case, dial and handset for it.
The original dial was lumed between the applied batons and the case whereas the NOS one for some reason wasn’t so this had to be addressed.
The case even had it’s little tag attached….
….as well as the blue plastic protective covering on the caseback 🙂 The EGP on the back stands for Electro Gold Plate.
The movement barely ticked so I stripped it ready for inspection.
One thing that was apparent was the set lever spring was broken so a new one would need to be sourced.
These relatively simple movements don’t take long to strip into their component parts.
Another issue was the broken resilient hooking on the end of the mainspring, so I added a new one to the list.
After cleaning and inspection I noticed the balance staff had a badly bent pivot, I have a Seitz pivot straightener but it’s pot luck as to whether they straighten back or not. This one didn’t so another item for the list!
I tracked down a mainspring and balance assembly quite quickly so I started the rebuild with the new mainspring.
The NOS balance alongside the old one.
The watch was now finished but the replacement set lever spring hadn’t arrived so the job ground to a halt at this point.
Once the spring arrived I could finish off the project.
The dial had been lumed to match the NOS handset, these were refitted at this stage.
The movement was then recased and a new stem was trimmed and fitted to the crown. The snap on back was next thing to fit which was a bit of a worry because as it was essentially new it took quite a bit of force to get it to snap shut. No matter how much protection I put over the blue plastic it’s still a heart in the mouth job when applying that much pressure, fortunately it snapped back on without any damage to the original covering.
And that was the watch finished, another interesting chapter in Seikos history.