When it comes to servicing quartz movements, the most likely and cheapest route taken is to replace the movement. However, sometimes the parts for watches and movements are so rare and tough to find, that servicing is the only option. As was the case for this gorgeous Seiko Grand Quartz from the mid-seventies, the Seiko 4843A movement was not readily available and the need was there to take it apart and service.
As I dug into the watch, I found quite a lot of debris floating around from a few rusted parts that were starting to flake and infiltrate the watch. The magnetic wheel known as the Stator was definitely picking up rust dust and jamming up the works. The smallest piece of dirt or debris is like a wrench in the gears and can totally stop everything. I was very happy once I cleaned it up and re-lubricated it. It sprung to life like it had been cryogenically frozen and now newly thawed.
An interesting thing to note about this Seiko quartz watch is the stop seconds feature. When you pull out the crown on a typical quartz watch, the second hand stops in place and restarts once the crown is pushed back. On this watch, when the crown is pulled, the second hand advances to the nearest 10 second marker. This allows for a quick and easy synchronization to a time standard. I’ve often wondered why this isn’t a more common addition to many watches. I read of an A Lange and Sohne watch that has a stop seconds reset, but of course it’s also a tourbillon and crazy expensive.
The stop seconds feature on this Seiko 4843A movement
I normally don’t get excited about quartz watches, but in the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of servicing a couple very cool Seiko quartz watches. They are just as romantic and cool as any mechanical watch I’ve seen and I look forward to the next opportunity to take one apart.