Seiko 5717-8990 one button chronograph

This lovely one button chronograph came in recently a little the worst for wear. The 5717-8990 is a 21 jewel, manual wind 18,000bph single button chronograph. The 5717 signifies the movement has a date complication, models of these without a date are powered by the 5719 movement. The 5719 and 5717’s were brought to market on the back of the 1964 summer olympic games in Tokyo where Seiko were the official timekeepers. The early ones had an olympic torch stamped or etched on the caseback, but later ones can be seen with the seahorse design or the standard horseshoe type. There are also versions with the Asian games torch and the Military anchor so there are quite a few variants to choose from.The chap who sent this in received the watch as an engagement present from his fiancée in 1965 and the watch had been worn for many years until the pusher was lost and he was told no spares were available for that model anymore. As is usual in these cases the watch was consigned to a drawer for many years until it eventually made its way to me. Superficially the watch isn’t in too bad a shape but obviously the chronograph start/stop/reset button is missing and the crystal’s rather scuffed.

Seiko 5717-8990

You can see the empty pusher tube here.

Seiko 5717-8990

Being a UK watch the caseback on this would originally have had a Seahorse emblem in the middle surrounded by the make and model text, however this has worn smooth over the years. The production date is December 1964.

Seiko 5717-8990

With the snap on caseback removed the movement looks reasonably clean, however I did notice the chronograph button helper spring was also missing.

Seiko 5717-8990

The dial is in cracking condition….

Seiko 5717-8990

….but unfortunately the seconds hand parted company with it’s pipe upon removal.

Seiko 5717-8990

The case was stripped ready for ultrasonic cleaning.

Seiko 5717-8990

Then I attempted to stake the hand back together.

Seiko 5717-8990

Sometimes restaking works, sometimes not, especially with a chronograph sweep hand. The g-force generated on a reset will show up any deficiencies in the joint!

Seiko 5717-8990

The movement stripdown began in earnest with the calendar side.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Once that was done the movement was flipped and the train side was tackled.

Seiko 5717-8990

These 5717 and 5719 chronograph movements are a column wheel type with drive engaged and disengaged by a coupling wheel as opposed to the vertical clutch that Seiko favoured with it’s later chronographs.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

The mainspring was found to have no bridle, the end had been bent in an attempt to increase friction at the barrel wall.

Seiko 5717-8990

The movement was now ready for cleaning.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Whilst the parts were doing their stuff in the Vari-Matic I started re-assembly of the case, first a new pusher assembly was pulled from the dark recesses of the parts drawer.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Once fitted a NOS crystal followed it into the case.

Seiko 5717-8990

The case was now assembled but all the bezel marking enamel had long since disappeared.

Seiko 5717-8990

I applied black enamel to the engravings….

Seiko 5717-8990

….and wiped off the excess when it had dried a little.

Seiko 5717-8990

The movement components were then stored away whilst I waited for a new mainspring to be delivered.

Seiko 5717-8990

Once it arrived the rebuild started.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Note the double height fourth wheel designed to take the power from the train to the chronograph layer.

Seiko 5717-8990

Mustn’t forget the upper crown wheel and click which is mounted on the underside of the bridge.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

The chronograph levers are starting to be fitted here.

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

At this stage the movement is turned over and the keyless work is fitted.

Seiko 5717-8990

The movement is then turned back over and the power can be wound on and the balance fitted. The new pusher return spring has also been fitted in this shot. With the power wound on rough timing adjustments can now be made.

Seiko 5717-8990

The calendar work is nearly completed here….

Seiko 5717-8990

….and the dial and handset is refitted here. Unfortunately the re-staked sweep hand proved not to be secure enough, when reset the hand wandered on its pinion. Under high magnification I could see that not only had the top crimp fractured but the bottom shoulder had a crack running halfway around it. I had a suitable NOS period Seiko seconds hand from a Silverwave that I broached to fit. It’s slightly shorter than the original but not unduly so and it does match beautifully.

Seiko 5717-8990

The movement was recased and a new caseback seal fitted. With the caseback clipped back on….

Seiko 5717-8990

….she was finished. What a lovely one owner example of a 5717, the chap told me he had a tear in his eye when he received it back and unboxed it. He’s still married to the girl who bought him the watch back in 1965 – it makes my day hearing stories like that 🙂

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

Seiko 5717-8990

 

 

2 comments

  1. I am that chap.
    I will be forever grateful to you for returning the watch to it’s original state. I managed to obtain a strap that was similar to the original but it was too tight on my wrist so was even luckier to obtain another one that I transferred a link from.
    You would never believe that the watch is over 50 years old and I said that I would only wear it on special occasions but I couldn’t resist wearing it and it was hardly off of my wrist for the first two weeks after getting it back. Common sense has prevailed and It is “resting” to be worn at times befitting its splendour.
    Once again thank you for bringing a very special part of my life back to me

    Like

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