I bought this Tag Heuer from its previous owner as non runner, cosmetically it was in outstanding condition for a watch thats 18 years old but it had stopped working. It had been looked over by a watchmaker previously and a quote of £160 was given for a full service, as a result the owner decided to put it up for sale. My plan was to get it running again, hopefully a service would suffice, then wear it in rotation with my other watches.
After uncasing the movement and removing the dial/hands, I could immediately see the problem, the battery had obviously leaked into the movement. There was evidence of this not only on the battery contact but also on the circuit and main plate. I could guess from this and the overall excellent condition of the watch, that it had probably been in a drawer for a number of years with a dead battery. When a battery dies and discharges, the chemicals can leak out and cause a lot of damage to the movement. Its therefore better to either replace or at least remove a watch battery when it dies to prevent this kind of damage.
I tested the movement on a Witschi Analyzer Q1 Quartz Tester, it showed that the circuit wasn’t working correctly and the drive level was 100% (Should be around 50%!). The circuit can’t be repaired easily so I would have to source a replacement, inspecting the rest of the movement as I disassembled it showed that it were traces of the battery leaking in quite a few places. Most of the parts would have cleaned up perfectly but some needed replacing along with the circuit. I remembered at this point that I had an identical movement at home with a good circuit which just required a service so I decided to proceed with this instead. The only part I would carry over is the Tag Heuer branded coil cover.
The movement was now ready for reassembly and lubrication. I had serviced this ETA quartz movement on a couple of occasions before and its relatively simple compared to a mechanical movement. The gear train and bridge can be a little tricky sometimes due to their minute size but everything else is straightforward. I know how to reassemble and lubricate this movement without any technical information, but I’ve included below some pictures that show the assembly order and lubrication points.
With the service now completed and new battery fitted, it was time to put the movement on the Witschi Analyzer Q1 Quartz Tester once again. This time it was running perfectly, drive level was at an acceptable 50% and timekeeping was acceptable for a standard quartz. I was pleased with the end result and could now refit the hands/dial. A quick clean of the case/bracelet and it could all go back together. I decided not to refurbish the case/bracelet as they were in such good condition and still retained the original factory finish.
I’m really happy with the work I carried out and this watch just doesn’t look the 18 years old its build date shows. Unfortunately since finishing this I have purchased a number of other watches and projects, it just isn’t getting worn so I have decided to move it on. Its a shame after all the work I’ve put it in but hopefully it will go to someone that will wear it as intended. Check out my For Sale page if your interested in purchasing.