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Thread: Pip's Adventures in GS Land... a 5645-7000 production.

  1. #1
    Member Pip's Avatar
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    Oct 2016
    Berkshire, UK

    Pip's Adventures in GS Land... a 5645-7000 production.

    I was recently offered a vintage Grand Seiko 5645-7000  for what seemed to be a good price and without pausing to think too hard I said yes. Non running and with a poor dial, it obviously had seen some water ingress and needed some love. Case was in good condition and the medallion was in place and not too worn, all very hopeful.

    First off, a bit of research. After some hunting I found a parts list in Japanese. After a lot of hunting I found a parts list in English! Try as I might, I could not find a tech guide for this or any of its sister calibers. These are the 5646 day and date complications; the 5645 with day only and the 5641 simple three-hander without complications. After some digging I settled on the 5606A as being a good base caliber to start from, and the tech guide for that is already in my collection.

    Taking that lovely caseback off revealed a movement that was very dirty but seemingly all there and not bashed up. Screw heads donít have much damage which is a great sign and the hairspring is in good shape. You can see some dirt on the plates and this would become more evident as I went along, including some pure filth later!

    With the movement uncased and the dial and hands put aside I could see that the movement wanted to run. It would give a few ticks, but the best it could manage was about 20 seconds running with an amplitude that was maybe 50 degrees. And the dial... well, I had a decision to make. Did I want a dial that would mean I would never wear the watch but would keep it original, or did I want to get the dial repainted? After a lot of thought I decided on the latter. Was it the right decision? With the benefit of hindsight, I have to be honest here and say no. I would make a different decision given the same dilemma today. More on that later.

    The disassembly went smoothly, despite there being so many shepherds-crook springs; man I hate those things! First the movement side...

    Then the dial side...

    The good news is that the date setting wheels are in good condition meaning that nobody has tried to change date around midnight. I know from my research that this is a very common problem. If you search the forums you can see posts from @hal0eight talking about the issue and possible solutions.

    After some pre-cleaning it was into the machine with all the parts, apart from a few of the tiny ones and those with shellac, which were hand cleaned. Oh, and the barrel, but weíre coming to that next.

    And I did promise you some filth. Opening the barrel revealed, well, urgh!

    After removing the mainspring I did discover some damage to it presumably left from a previous incursion into the watch. Not too bad though, and after some thought I decided that it didnít warrant a new MS at this point, unless the amplitude was very poor after reassembly.

    So the old MS, barrel and arbor were cleaned, oiled as required and reassembled.

    With the parts now pegged, cleaned and inspected, assembly started. I largely follow the oiling indicated on the tech guide, with a few minor tweaks such as using a touch of 9415 on the pallet stones. The stem got a good clean and a new gasket.

    As usual, I forget to take photos of large sections of the reassembly largely due to concentrating on ensuring everything is inspected and clean as I pick it up and also to checking my notes and disassembly pictures.

    Eventually I get the movement rebuilt and running, give it a wind and put it on the Timegrapher. Pretty satisfying results, a flat line and half decent amplitude across the positions despite the mainspring issue (remember that?). It's not giving me swiss numbers but I didn't expect it to. Mind you, it's my first GS so maybe it should be?

    While all this was going on I broke down the case and pegged all surfaces thoroughly, gave it a few hot baths in my ultrasonic and installed the new crystal Iíd secured. I decided not to polish it but just to clean it; Iíd turned the dial into an AM and didnít want to ruin the case lines too. Only real issue was that I couldnít get the bezel back on! My Robur press set is missing size R and guess what size this bezel is? So that would have to wait a couple until I saw my friend who has the right size. I have a saved eBay search for the R now but if anyone has one laying around...

    The dial had come back to me from my refinisher. It looked amazing but comparing it to the original showed me what was missing - the Suwa logo wasnít there (he canít do this logo without large expense in creating a new print pad which I didnít want to pay for) and the ďHI-BEATĒ text kerning was narrower, plus the lower dial text was missing. In a way - good. I donít want the dial to be a fake, donít want to pretend that itís NOS, but part of me now wishes I hadnít got the dial repainted, while the other part of me thinks the watch looks much better and that Iím much more likely to wear it. A touch of ambivalence in its truest form.

    Anyway, dial ring, dial and hands went on and she was recased, then the auto-winding weight was installed (I always do this last). Gave her a full wind and let run down completely, then wound again and back on the Timegrapher for initial results and then again after two hours. Nice clean traces and not much variance between positions.

    The movement was, I have to say, just nicer than a normal Seiko which is an indicator of the improvements to quality.

    A few days later I saw my man and got the bezel back on with a very satisfying ďSnap!Ē and strapped her up, the only thing left was a wrist shot...

    ...and if you have stayed with me this far well done, give yourself a pat on the back, and dig out that NOS dial and Size R press for me and drop me a PM

  2. #2
    Ich bin ein Ebeler! WWII70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Boston ex-pat Brit
    Congratulations! Nice pick up and restoration

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ebels (lots), IWC, Omega, FC, Eterna, Tag, Invicta, Movado
    If you are interested in the details

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  4. #3
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    came for a look stayed for the biskwits
    nice mate ant felt like working on mech lately got loads that need it a couple of rado for a start also a couple of pw that run down as soon as wound up plus others so yeah nicely done ..

    yeah same with the dial in some ways better now worked on looks presentable but the missing info on their niggles some so yeah think for wearing probably did right as only some one who really know seiko or gs would even noticed I saw it the other day and thought off but not place it for a little while so yeah mean one day you may see a nos dial to swap in so yeah think would be happy really on it as is
    one of the most original good guys their was never anything but a true friend "the daito to my shoto"
    rest easy good buddy

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  6. #4
    Another Member crownpuller's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Bristol UK
    Nice job.... Both on the restoration and the thread.

    Bravo and thanks for taking the time to document it.
    Excellent sympathetic restoration, and a perfectly wearable end result.
    Some people have opinions - The rest of us have taste.

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  8. #5
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Marietta, GA
    I'm simply liking this for now, but look forward to actually reading through with coffee in the morning.

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  10. #6
    All I have to say is major respect for your skills. I canít imagine having the ability to do any of this, the level of dexterity is beyond my ken.

    Oh, and it looks quite nice, too!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  12. #7
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
    The Valley of Heart's Delight
    Blog Entries
    I loved seeing what you did, and I would have done the same reading the dial. When I was looking for an affordable vintage GS, I debated about what I thought of problems on the dials. Usually it drives me bonkers, and I prefer a clean look. When I did find one that was all original - even unpolished on the case - it had a slight discoloration in one area of the dial, but I decided I prefer that to any alteration, so go figure, I ended up straddling my own opinions and going original. All this is just a way of saying that those are decisions that truly can go either way. Wonderful job!
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  14. #8
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Kent - UK
    A great post - one that I read slowly to absorb every detail. And very impressive work, of course!

    I would have done the same thing with the dial. You’ve given the watch a new lease on life, which has to be better than a relic that works.

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  16. #9
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Sebring, Florida
    I like what you did with the dial. I'll always take new looking over patina or discoloration. Again your money, your way.


    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

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  18. #10
    wind-up merchant OhDark30's Avatar
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    Nov 2014
    Thanks for posting this Pip, and congrats on a great looking, now fully wearable watch!
    It's the final countdown! PM me before they're all gone!

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