I picked this up for a modest sum, in a rather sorry state, not working and sporting a heavily scratched glass. It also came with a DIY attempt at brushing the case/bracelet. The plan was to get it working, fit a new glass and refurbish the case bracelet. Once completed, it would be presented to my 11 year old nephew as his first ‘proper’ watch.
In all its glory…
I started by removing the bracelet, uncasing the movement and removing the dial/hands. After removing the rotor and capacitor, I then tested the movement on a Witschi quartz tester and everything seemed to be working fine. Everything pointed to it being the capacitor in need of replacement. The capacitor is basically a Lithium ion battery that stores the energy generated by the Kinetic movement.
I promptly ordered a new Seiko capacitor and a replacement mineral glass, in the meantime I set to work on the case/bracelet. At some point in the watches hard life, someone had attempted to grain the whole watch with what I would imagine was a scotchbrite pad! The various scratches and gouges still remained under the very course finish and would take some removing.
Luckily for me, one the guys at school is a trained polisher, he gave me a few tips and also some help from time to time. My first job was to polish the whole case and bracelet on a buffing wheel to remove as many of the scratches and gouges as possible. This took a good hour or two, spread over a few days, and I managed to remove all the marks bar a couple of the deepest ones. I wanted to grain the bezel and top of the case, leaving the sides polished, and also grain the bracelet.
I held the case in a chuck on the schaublin lathe and while it was turning, I used a garryflex block to give the bezel a circular grain. The top of the case was then grained on a course buffing wheel and taped up. I then repolished the case sides to remove any minor marks. With the case finished, I moved onto graining the bracelet, again using a course buffing wheel. It took a good few hours to complete and this was my first ever attempt at polishing, albeit with some help.
The parts I ordered had arrived by now so I fitted the new capacitor to the movement and thankfully it began to tick away once again. I then fitted the dial and hands ready to case it all back up. The old glass was removed and the new one fitted in its place. The movement was then cased up and the bracelet reattached.
That was the project completed and I’m very happy with the end result. It took quite a few hours but I have learnt a number of polishing techniques along the way and I’m sure my nephew will have a smile on his face when he sees it! My apologies for the lack of pictures showing the various processes but everything was completed in the bits of spare time I’ve had over last few weeks, so no time for taking pictures!
The watch will be on its way to the (currently unaware) new owner over the summer and here are the end results…