2 1960s Vintage Seiko Automatic Watches

Discussion in 'Watch Repair' started by captainclock, Jun 5, 2020.

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  1. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
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    Hello everyone a couple of years ago I was given for my birthday by my landlord who knows I like old watches a couple of 1960s vintage Seiko Automatic Watches, one is a Seiko Sportsmatic 5 that works and keeps time well but the quickset for the date is a little stiff (it will set but you really have to lay into the quickset to get the date to change), and the other is a Seiko Lord-Matic (which is a steop down from the King Seiko) and this one will only run for a few seconds and that's it, it won't stay running, no matter how much you wind it, the good thing is that the quickset works perfectly on it (which is amazing seeing as I've read that these Lord-Matics are known for the quickset feature breaking over time because of the clutch gear that switches the quickset between the day and date quickset is known for breaking because its made of plastic).

    Anyways I don't have any local watch repairmen that service Seikos locally, they have to send the watches over to Seiko over in Japan to have the watches checked out and serviced, which I had to put $20 down for each watch to cover the shipping charges. But they told me that the Sportsmatic watch could be repaired but it would cost $250 to clean and overhaul the watch movement, as for the Lord-Matic they said that one would just need a new movement all together (even though more than likely it would just need an overhauling and that's it) and to put a new movement in it would of costed $400, and I don't have that kind of money to throw around currently so I just refused the repairs.

    Anyone know of any place that could service these watches here in the U.S. and that wouldn't charge $700 to do it?

    Thanks,

    Levi

    Pictures below of the watches in question:

    Seiko Lord-Matic.jpg Seiko Sportsmatic Watch.jpg
     
    viclip likes this.
  2. Hawk53

    Hawk53 Registered User

    Dec 19, 2013
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    Since you didn't say where you're located, I'll ask...
     
  3. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
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    I'm in Elkhart, Indiana.
     
  4. Hawk53

    Hawk53 Registered User

    Dec 19, 2013
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    There's a couple of repair guys out here on the west coast, don't know it that would do you any good. You can do a google search for "Seiko repair" in Ca. Give em a call and maybe the can help you.
     
  5. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
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    Yeah, I don't know if I would want to spend the money to ship my watches all the way out to California all to possibly never get them back.

    I would be willing to give it a try if I knew they wouldn't try and rip me off (if I knew what their reputation was).

    There used to be a watch repair guy in the next town south of where I live that used to be an authorized Seiko Repairman but he decided to get out of repairing Seikos especially the older mechanical ones because he said that the parts for them are getting harder to come by these days and are thus becoming more expensive to service so now he just sends them off to Seiko Headquarters in Japan to have them serviced for a whopping $200 and whatever Seiko decides to charge for parts and labor to get the watch up and running again (whether it be to clean and oil the movement, or replace any worn or broken parts or just swap out the old movement for a new one if the old one is too far gone), so it could end up costing as much as $400 just to service one watch.)

    I'll look into one of those watch repair places in California you mentioned but like I said I'm not guaranteeing anything.
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    No wonder I never made any money. I've never charged more than $120 for servicing such as these.
     
  7. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    The funny thing is, I bought an early 1980s Seiko 5 Automatic wristwatch on eBay about 10 years ago that was missing its crown and part of its stem but still ran and I took it to this watch repair guy in Goshen, Indiana (the town straight south of me) and he only charged me $75 fix that watch 10 years ago, and now he won't even touch a Seiko...
     
  8. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
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    I don't know if this place is one of the places you were thinking of or not but they gave free repair estimates online through email (you filled out a form on their website where you provided your name, phone number, email address and the make and model of the watch and then the details about what the watch's malfunction is and submitted the form to them online and they get back to you within 1 to 2 business days with an estimate).
    They mention on their site about having access to the largest selection of parts for vintage watches including Seikos.
    The link to the place in question is posted below:

    Seiko Watch Repairs - Authorized Watch Repair Service Center in Burbank CA - Timepiece Network
     
  9. JTD

    JTD Registered User

    Sep 27, 2005
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    So why not just try them and see what they say? You've nothing to lose by asking them.

    JTD
     
  10. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    Seiko and Citizen both had a five year obsolescence plan right from the beginning.
     
  11. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    I did send them a message. I'm just waiting to hear back now.
     
  12. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    That's interesting because I have a Citizen Automatic watch from the early 1980s with day/date complication with quickset for both that is a 21 jewel movement that still runs like brand new yet, and I bought it from a pawn shop for $20 10 years ago and all I had to do to it was have one of the hour markers put back on the dial and that was it.
     
  13. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I was referring to their stock of spare parts.
    Their policy was to not keep parts in stock after five years.
    and of the most recent, they were offering the shop a package only of a series of mechanical wathes for a box set which cost thousands. They weren't offering any individual mechanicals.
    The shop was dying with the state of the family retail Jewellery store business in rural Aus anyway. Ours was one of the last bastions of the community to go.
    We told Seiko to go.

    It is all a circle. There was a time when we had to convince the shop owner who had fought a war against those Japanese that if he didn't stock Japanese watches the shop would die and that was back in the 70's.
     
  14. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Well that's Australia, in the USA mechanical watches are making a comeback especially amongst the younger people who are into the vintage stuff like records and vintage Hi-Fi gear etc. So actually in the USA mechanical watches especially vintage ones are something that most watch repairmen worth their weight in gold better be able to fix, of which the watch repairman near me is someone who is a sorry excuse for a watch repairman because he decided it wasn't worth his time to keep repairing vintage mechanical watches anymore unfortunately.
     
  15. Hawk53

    Hawk53 Registered User

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  16. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I've weathered all the years since 1971 in this industry. Where when I started an Omega digital watch cost $1600 and when I finished my apprenticeship, NEC digital watch cost $2 cased and banded.
     
  17. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Ok, thanks, I'll keep them in mind as a backup, as they would definitely be closer to me.
     
  18. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Sir I'm not knocking your expertise, I'm just saying that Australia where you live has a completely different watch market than the United States does so when you were trying to apply the Australian watch market to the American watch market, they just don't match up.

    10 years ago there was an old watch repairman that had retired so he was selling off his watch collection he had acquired over the years at a local antique mall.
    I was able to acquire almost half of his collection of working vintage mechanical wristwatches and partially working mechanical wristwatches of which most of then were 17 jewels or better movements for under $75 USD and I still have most of those watches in my collection to this day still running and keeping good time.

    Most of them were nice high quality Swiss watches with a few Bulova, Benerus and Hamilton watches thrown into the mix.
     
  19. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Moving thread to watch repair where some of the members there might be able to give you a referral or even do it themselves.



    Rob
     
  20. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Levi,
    There is nothing particularly complicated about your watches and any competent watch repairman should be able to handle them if they can find parts. If you do not have references for a watchmaker in you area, I suggest using the AWCI website at this link to find a certified watchmaker in your area. With AWCI certification, you at least know the watchmaker has some formal training and will abide by certain business practices to keep his certification. Look for CMW21 or CW21 certification in their profile. I am not affiliated with AWCI, just had great results from a certified watchmaker near me.
    Allan
     
  21. captainclock

    captainclock Registered User

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    Ok, thank you for that suggestion, and yes I agree there really isn't anything that complicated about these watches (except that they're Seikos) and I would think that they should be able to be serviced fairly easily.
     
  22. pocketsrforwatches

    pocketsrforwatches Registered User
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  23. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I've used them.


    Rob
     
  24. Tom Huber

    Tom Huber Registered User
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    I have my original Seiko 5, 21J, day/date watch that I purchased in the px in 1969 while stationed in Korea. It still works and keeps good time. I,ve had it cleaned and serviced once in 51 years, probably about 25 years ago. service was done by the old watchmaker in a local jewelry store. Cost me $45. When I picked up the watch, this watchmaker asked me if I had purchased the watch in the px overseas. When I said yes, he said that Seiko sold a different design and movement to the Army PX system than what they imported to the states. Have no idea what the difference is.

    Another unique thing I must mention. I have not worn the watch in a lot of years. When I read this post, I dug out the watch. When I went to set it, the day/date read Sun-7.
    What is the probability that the watch would be on the exact day and date when I put it on. I'm sure there is at least on reader on the board that is an advanced mathematician who would be able to figure out the probability:) .
     
    musicguy likes this.
  25. egg

    egg Registered User

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  26. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    I paid 150 to get my Seiko divers watch serviced, he gave me a deal as he knew me, i believe he said usually over 200 is what he charges for automatics.
     

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