Many of the Seiko dive watches from the 1960’s and 70’s have rightly gone down as design classics, building a considerable following amongst watch collectors. Conversely some truly gorgeous watches from the same period produced by the same company have quietly slipped below the radar for the simple reason that they were designed for the typically much slighter of wrist, lady diver (or indeed, the lady desk diver). I’ve written about two such examples before but in today’s post I would like to revisit one of those watches – the lovely 2205-0760 – a 150 m rated dive watch featuring a high beat automatic movement with date quickset and hand winding. The watch in question is that featured in the earlier post but since we last left it, it has been resting, rather neglected in a drawer having ground to a halt a few months after a service by a professional watchmaker.
At the time, I did not especially relish the prospect of servicing it myself and so instead bought a 21 jewel 2205 ladies dress watch, the idea being simply to swap the movements over. Having done so, needless to say, the replacement movement also faltered and so the watch retired temporarily, waiting its turn at the top of the queue. Somewhat to my shame, I find myself embarking on its revival a full 4 years later, but now that I’ve resolved to do so, let’s proceed without further delay.
Our starting point is the watch case fitted with that 21 jewel replacement 2205A, with the original 17 jewel movement sitting forlornly to one side:
The watch case bezel measures about 32 mm across and so you can perhaps get a good idea of just how tiny the movement is. You will see that the dress watch variants sport rather snazzy red on white numerals on the date dial where the divers movement uses white on a black background. The size of the movement presented me with the biggest single challenge in completing the service, not least of which was the extreme difficulty in securing it into a movement holder. This problem derived in part from the hugely inappropriate size of the holders I have to hand but also from the fact that the landscape either side of the main plate make it very difficult to find an orientation that keeps it level and secure. You should appreciate the extent of the problem from the photo below of the movement sans rotor looking suitable ludicrous in the relatively giant movement holder:
A closer look reveals a surprising degree of tarnishing in a movement which had comparatively recently undergone a service but perhaps that is testament to the fact it has been sitting in a watch parts box for the past 4 years.
Here goes then, let’s start. First, off comes the autowinder ball-bearing
to reveal the autowinder framework, a considerably more complex piece of engineering than that of any of the autowinders used in Seiko men’s dive watches from the same period:
This complexity derives to a large extent from the fact that the watch hand winds but even so it is nice to see so much intricate engineering in such a tiny movement. It also makes a pleasant change to see a design that does not rely on the ubiquitous magic lever system used in so many other Seiko automatic movements.
In this design, the rotational motion of the winding weight transfers torque via one or other of the idle wheels on the rocking seat (depending on the direction of rotation) to the first reduction wheel (still attached to the ball bearing above) which meshes with the second reduction wheel which then acts to wind the mainspring via the ratchet wheel on top of the barrel. You may get a better idea of how this works from the schematic from the 2205A service manual shown below:
The role of the first reduction wheel click (which we’ll meet later on) is to prevent reverse direction rotation of the first reduction wheel and the resulting unwinding of the mainspring. If we remove the second reduction wheel, we get sight of the intermediate pinion for the ratchet wheel which plays the role of a clutch to permit hand winding without sending the autowinding rotor into a spin.
When hand winding, the intermediate pinion ‘clutch’ slips thereby not transmitting rotation to the second and first reduction wheels (see Fig 4 below) but the same part will mesh with the second wheel when the rotational motion derives from rotation of the auto rotor, transferring power to the main spring (Fig 3 below).
At this point, lets turn over and take a look at the calendar side, which, with the date dial guard removed, looks relatively conventionally laid out:
However, with the date ring removed, the complexities of the date quickset mechanism reveal themselves:
The multiplicity of stacked bits and pieces clustered north east of the keyless works parts facilitate the operation of the date quickset which is achieved by pulling the crown outwards from the time setting position. This mechanism is not unlike that used in the Omega 565 movements used in Seamaster watches from the 1960’s but in this application is spring loaded. We’ll take another look at this when it all comes back together after cleaning. Stripping the rest of the calendar parts away we can take a quick look of the naked main plate before turning over to continue on the balance side:
First the barrel and train wheel bridge comes off
the click spring still in place which serves the hand winding facility together with its partner click. With the bridge removed we see the barrel, third wheel and sweep second pinion beneath:
The train wheels in this movement adopt a classic layout (if not a classic Seiko layout) with the fourth wheel and sweep seconds pinion separated, the latter driven by the third wheel and the fourth wheel hidden beneath the centre wheel bridge:
The jewelled bearing in the centre wheel bridge turned out to have been damaged at some point in its past (something I would have hoped the previous watchmaker might have attended to) and so the bridge from the 21 jewel dress donor will serve as a replacement when we come to rebuild the movement:
We leave the main plate in its grubby state, balance refitted, minus its diashock, awaiting cleaning:
A good clean and rinse in the ultrasonic bath later, the entropy minimization process begins, first with the winding pinion, clutch, yoke, setting lever and setting lever spring, seated with a temporary stem taken from the 2205 dress watch donor:
Next the date corrector and date corrector spring
held in place by the setting lever axle spring
At this point, we flip back over to put the balance side together, starting with the centre wheel, escape wheel, and fourth wheel, secured into place by the centre wheel bridge, then the barrel plus ratchet wheel, third wheel, sweep seconds pinion and barrel and train wheel bridge:
Next the friction spring for the sweep second, the click spring, click, pallet and pallet cock, balance cock, topped and tailed with the two Diashock settings supporting the balance staff:
A bit of power into the mainspring confirms the watch runs happily at its rather manic 28800 beats per hour. Next, we turn back to the calendar side, fitting the setting wheel, minute wheel, minute wheel bridge and cannon pinion:
before fitting the hour wheel, intermediate date wheel, date driving wheel and then the date corrector lever (indicated in the photo below).
The quickset works by pulling the crown outwards, with the stem causing the setting lever to pivot outwards, acting upon the date corrector which moves the date corrector lever against one of the teeth on the inner side of the date ring. The date corrector spring causes the stem to return to the first click position automatically after each date quickset operation.
The final order of business on this side is to refit the date dial and date dial guard:
With all of the essential elements of the movement in place, we can refit the dial
whose diameter appears to dwarf the movement until we fit the movement ring which re-establishes a sense of balance to the dimensions
The advantage of having the movement ring in position at this point is that it provides a firmer base to support the refitting of the hands:
The case was a little dirty and so a quick clean was in order,
revealing the same crystal retaining construction as used in the 6105 and 6309 dive watches, before fitting the turning ring and bezel
I’d replaced the stem gasket previously and it looked in good condition still
So we are all set to refit the movement, check the hand clearances are all ok and refit the automatic winding mechanism. Movement in first,
followed by the slightly involved process of installing the automatic winding mechanism. We start with the second reduction wheel clutch, second and first reduction wheels and the rocking seat:
I’ve opted to use the rocking seat from the 21 jewel movement because it uses fixed idle wheels rather than then seemingly slacker arrangement of separate idle wheels seated on individuals pinions. We fit the automatic ball-bearing next
followed by the first reduction click
The final step is to fit the rotor
and sit back and appraise the completed watch.
David Bidwell said:
As usual it turned out beautifully. Due to their size these models are unfortunately unpopular. I do have one question, why install the movement in the case then add the auto-winding mechanism?
Simply because I find it easier to do it that way and it also reduces the possibility of damaging the dial in an inappropriately sized movement holder.
David Bidwell said:
Why not put the auto-wind mechanism on before the dial and hands? Is the issue that you cannot firmly hold the movement with the mechanism on to install the dial and hands?
I want to be able to sit the movement flat when installing the hands and having all of the autowinding gubbins in place makes it much more difficult to achieve. If I had the correct Seiko movement holder then it might make sense to install the autowinder first but in the absence of such, the watch case provides a secure support for the movement when refitting the autowinder with hands in place.
Nicely done! I agree the lady divers from this era are very nice. I am currently fixing up a quartz version with gold markers for my wife, and it’s really a beautiful thing. (but sourcing parts is proving to be a nightmare!)
Niklas Jonsson said:
Hi, I just won a Seiko diver 2205-0760 on eBay. I gave it to my wife as a gift and she loves it. It was advertised on eBay as a “Baby 6105”. Do you know where that nickname comes from? Does it really have any close ties to the larger Seiko 6105 or was it just to boost the price?
Thanks for a interesting blog post!
All the best, Niklas, Stockholm
I’ve seen these watches compared to the much higher tier 6159-7001 mens’ diver’s watch more often than the 6105, in part because of the similarity in appearance of the dial and hands but also because they both use high beat movements. However, these 2205’s were closely aligned to the 6105 watches in terms of market position, both being 150 m dive watches. The 2205 is quite a bit more sophisticated though and can more than hold its own against its much more famous big brother. Glad you like the post.
Chris T. said:
I am very interested in this watch. I love the meticulously executed rebuild. I am very interested in buying this watch. Any chance i can buy this very watch?
Chris, I’m afraid I sold this watch some time ago. Sorry!
Chris T. said:
Can you please help me find one. I am going crazy searching & searching. I am a heavy watch enthusiast. I have been actually fixing & working on watches my self since i was 16. Your blogs amaze me, they remind me of myself. The meticulous work & the attention to detail. I would greatly so much love to proudly own & wear one of your rebuilds. Especially the Seiko 2205 0760. This piece would fit my collection, i am on the hunt for this watch. It fits all my sweet spot criteria’s when it comes to measurements & functionality. Looking foward to hearing back from you & reading more of your amazing blogs.
I don’t have any great insights to offer on where you might find one other than to suggest taking a look at the Yahoo Japan auctions through a proxy site or, of course, Ebay. You may find the odd one for sale through watch forum sales corners too but I am not at all calibrated on how likely the latter strategy would be to find what you want. It is just a case of getting your eye in and then being patient until something pops up. Good luck!
Chris T. said:
I would like to stay in touch. If i find what i am looking for are you whilling to do a rebuild on it for me?
I’m really sorry Chris but I am not a professional watchmaker – just a hobbyist and I don’t take in work. I don’t know where you are located but if the US then you might give Spencer Klein a try. If the UK, then Richard Askham or Duncan Hewitt.
Hi Chris, (and Martin),
Not sure if you ever found one of these? … but I just unearthed one from my mothers old storage boxes. It was my mums diver in Papua New Guinea in the 70s.
Its in pretty decent condition, needs a new crystal and I as about to put it in for a full service, cleanup and new crystal.
Im a watch nut, but Mums not interested in in it and my wife doesnt seem that fussed either (wish it was my size its awesome, vintage seiko … wookhoo!).
Anyway ill get it cleaned up a little but if either of you are interested let me know, as its likely to go to ebay eventually.
Arya Nugraha said:
Hi Rhett, I came across your comment on this board while looking for a 2205 0760 seiko diver. Just wondering if you still have the watch and still willing to sell? You can contact me through my email arya_triad(at)yahoo(dot)com
Jaime Davis said:
I have one! It works but needs a good overhaul. Can I hire you for the job!?
I’m afraid not sorry. I only work on my own watches. You can see why under the About tab.
Tammy STAFFORD said:
A nice watch! i wish I could get one!
carpet tiles said:
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If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, you should see options to follow the blog either via email or through WordPress. By email, you just enter your email address in the box provided and click follow.
Hi, thanks for the great article and insight to this watch. I just received this very watch today with original band in Pristine condition from the original owner after purchasing it on eBay. I am currently looking to purchase a 6105-8110 to accompany it. It is a really nice watch and I love it to bits, it won’t fit my 9” wrist though ;-(. I was considering giving it my wife but I don’t think she would appreciate it so I guess it will be a showpiece. Thanks again. Regards Steve
No problem. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck with your search for a 6105.
Hello, great watch. Just wondering how you opened the mainspring barrel for cleaning. Is there a special tool? It’s so small I can’t get my fat fingers in there to open it.
Hi Alex, It is a long time since I serviced that movement and I don’t remember servicing the mainspring. There is a note in the 2206 service manual that suggests that the barrel need not be disassembled and I think it is a quite difficult to do so. I’ve only serviced one 2205 and have not had to revisit the question. I think if I were to work on one again, I would probably attempt to remove the mainspring but I have no direct experience to offer I’m afraid.
Hello, thanks for the reply. I think I won’t try to remove the mainspring as you suggest and just service the rest of the watch. I’ll destroy the barrel if I keep trying to open it.
These beautiful articles you made on this and the 2625 have been really helpful, really awesome work! I’ve been on the hunt for a 2205 and I was wondering if you know what size its dial is. I’m close to giving up on finding a fairly-priced, decent condition one, and I’m considering hunting down parts to frankenstein together to fix one up instead. Thank you!
Many thanks for your kind words – I appreciate them. I don’t have a 2205 dial to take a measurement from but I do have a 2625 dial and that is 21.50mm diameter. I don’t know how easy it would be to find an alternative – you might be better off looking for 2205’s on Yahoo Japan. Good luck!
Thank you for the reply and measurement 🙂 Yes, I’ve been diving deep into japanese auction sites as well. I hope to find a good one soon, I really love the history of it and how this looks, moreso now because of your great photos. And it really does seem perfect for my barely 6-inch wrist.
This is a beautiful little watch Martin! I also really like the look of the 2625 after someone recommended it to me as a cheaper quartz alternative to the Lady Diver, and was happy to see you had a nice post on that as well.
It kind of makes me sad though — I really wish Seiko continued producing watches like this and the 2625. I would *kill* for them to have a 40mm with the exact looks and stingray-like case shape of this one ; )
Yes, they are lovely. I’ve thought these would look good sized-up in the past, but I think I’ve seen a boutique watch maker who have produced something along those lines and I thought it looked a bit odd. It may be one of those shapes that just works as a smaller watch but less well if scaled up.
This was very interesting. I recently worked on a 2706 for my wife, which is also a tiny hi-beat handwinding automatic, but clearly a move back to more conventional Seiko design inside (magic lever, middle position calendar quickset with wheels, center wheel bridge covering only the center wheel). I really appreciate the technical achievements that make movements as small as these possible, but working on it was much more nerve-wraking than normal.
Yes, they are brilliant examples of engineering design but not particularly enjoyable to work on because of the size. For that reason, I’ve steered clear of lady’s watches since completing this one and the 2625 quartz watches documented elsewhere.
Hi, thanks for the nice blog! I recently got a 2205-0599 and am trying to swap a working movement. I am getting a hard time removing the movement from the case. After removing the stem, I can’t take the movement out even by prying with quite a lot of force. Is there any trick or other screw to be removed?
Is the case back gasket still in position? If this has hardened it might be acting to weld the movement ring to the case sides.
You are right the gasket is indeed hardened and stuck… Gonna try softening it and breaking it. Thanks!
Hi, I recently pick up a 2205-0760 Orange dial in what one would call almost NOS..On original strap. And gave it to my wife as a birthday gift. How rare are the orange dial ?
I’m afraid I don’t know, sorry. I would guess that there are fewer orange dials than black but I really don’t know for sure.
Just bought same watch. However after removing the oscillating weight found 3 screws that seems to be hex screws. No idea where to find the tool to remove them.
To my understanding, I need to remove the 3 screws to access the 2 regular one below.
Any idea to help me on my first watch repair endeavour
In some of these movements, the ball bearing assembly is riveted to the framework rather than attached by screws and so not removable. All you need to do is remove the two screws to detach the autowinder framework.
Can anybody kindly tell me the thickness on the Seiko ladies diver watches? I’m not finding this measurement anywhere…
I don’t have any 2205 divers here to measure but the quartz-powered 2625 are about 11mm thick.
Thank you Martin!
I have a Lady Diver: The Seiko 2205-0760, that is almost a tear down but the inside looks good. Wanted to know if you restore and estamate cost to take down to the studs and replace clean parts. iInside looks clean. Hands look corroded. Not looking for a looker just want it to run well.
Hi Steve, I’m afraid that I don’t take in third party work. I only work on my own watches. Sorry! All the best Martin