2625, Diver's Watches, Ladies watches, Quartz, Seiko, Vintage
October 1979. Pink Floyd put the final touches on the The Wall. Liverpool at the height of their pomp, embark on the ‘79/’80 season as League champions (again); Steven Gerrard’s Mum is 8 weeks pregnant. And this sweet little watch rolled off the production line in the Seiko Daini factory in Kameido, Tokyo.
This very tidy example of the Seiko 2625-001B, a small 150m quartz powered 150 m diver’s watch, caught my eye with the 12th birthday of my youngest son in mind. In the description on the Yahoo Japan auction, the seller highlights ‘crown operation failure’ and ‘immobility reason unknown’. Given the otherwise excellent cosmetic condition, I was confident that whatever fault lay within, I’d sort it out in a jiffy.
The condition of the watch in the flesh did not disappoint, with the overall impression lifted by the fact that it came on its original blue rubber strap, in its original presentation box and with instructions and guarantee present and correct.
However, as promised the crown served to accomplish nothing much at all other than the ability to quick-set the date. The battery was flat and starting to leak but with a fresh battery fitted, the watch started ticking. It became clear though that the fault was not limited to the hand setting because, although the minute and seconds hands advanced as the watch ran, the hour hand remained stubbornly pointing at the 10 hour marker.
The first step then is to remove the case back and survey the movement
which in this watch is the A version of the 2 jewel 2625 quartz movement. You will notice that the battery is held in place by the case back and so removing the back automatically stops the watch. The next step is to locate the stem release lever which makes its presence known only once you’ve pulled the crown out to the time setting position:
With the stem removed, the movement drops out onto the movement cushion without further ado to reveal the really very lovely dial and handset. The dial in particular a wonderful shade of blue, finished in a very matt, powder finish, there to highlight the raised hour markers, generously filled with lume (now long since exhausted).
You will notice that I had let the watch run until the minute and seconds hands overlapped the hour hand to aid removal of the hands (remember, the crown is inoperative).
To remove the dial, we first have to remove the case ring from the movement and locate the screws that secure the dial feet. The screws operate in much the same way as those on the Fontmelon movement fitted to the 1945 Tudor Oyster described here. Turning each screw so that its flat side faces the dial foot releases its grip on the foot, and the dial can then be gently levered off.
Before we can see what’s what in the time-setting department, we need to remove the calendar plate
which, having done so, initially reveals everything to be present, if not necessarily correct.
In fact, it all looks rather spick and span but operation of the crown fails to cause any of the wheels beyond the setting wheel to rotate. The reason for this soon becomes apparent: the minute wheel is plainly not sitting quite where it should. In fact a tentative prod shifts it north and it threatens to fall through the adjacent hole in the mainplate. Removing the minute wheel reveals just how catastrophic the failure is:
The shaft on which the minute wheel sits has sheared off at its base,
a seemingly tiny failure but one which has basically written off the movement – or at least its main plate. A proper watchmaker might have drilled out the shaft remnant, made a fresh shaft on a lathe and pressed it back but for me, there is no solution to this other than to find a replacement mainplate or a complete movement from which to rebuild a working movement.
Those of you familiar with the content of this blog may remember a post a while back describing a pair of ladies diver’s watches, a 2205 and a 2625 (see post here). The latter saw service on the wrist of my eldest son until he killed it and it has sat since, in a drawer, waiting for opportunity to knock.
In this case, it’s role is a sacrificial one. It was originally withdrawn from service because it started running very slow, before expiring and I have suspected that the cause might have been a failed coil or circuit. My plan then is to take its movement, transplant the circuit and coil from the 001B, clean and oil the going train bridge and hope for the best. So this is what I did, removing the circuit and coil from the donor movement, then the train wheel bridge, cleaning the latter, refitting, and finally fitting the circuit and coil from the 001B movement.
A quick check reveals it runs and so we are set to refit the blue dial and handset.
Meanwhile, the case deserves a clean before refitting the movement. The bezel click mechanism is the same as that in the contemporary 6309, the click provided by a sprung–loaded ball bearing acting on one of 60 machined grooves to the rear of the turning ring.
Although I had a fresh crystal to hand, I opted to keep faith with the original which, while sporting a few light scratches, is in decent condition and perhaps a better choice given the likely challenges the watch faces in the short term. So with the case cleaned, we are all set to offer up the movement.
The final touch is to replace the crown with a new one in the interests of fully restoring its original water resistance.
With that done, reunite the case and movement
pop on a fresh strap (the original a little stiff and distorted)
and finish with one on the wrist of the birthday boy.
For a watch so small, it assumes a similar presence as that of an Hublot on the wrist of the England football manager, but he’ll grow into it.
Willem v Breda said:
As per always, beautifully written with fantastic snaps Martin.
You’re an artist! Keep us enlightened.
Louis Juarez said:
Way to go Dad …and Happy Birthday to your young son . I just sent my youngest son a refurbished Seiko 6309-7290 for Christmas and a new Zodiac Ladies Blue Dot quartz diver to his wife and my lovely Daughter-in-law . I also sent my older son a refurbished Seiko 7002-7000 this week . He’s not usually a watch wearer , but when he saw his brothers a few weeks ago, he fell for the Seiko diver look .
Great write-up , pictures , and commentary on your article….as always .
Aloha , Louis Juarez
Just wanted to compliment you on your work, I have been looking through your site and there are a lot of nice pieces that you have completed. Not only that, but I like that you take it a step further when necessary rather than giving up.
Great work as always Martin! I do have a question regarding these small divers. I have several nos sample case 2A22 and 2625 divers. On the 2a22’s, even though the case threads and crowns are new there only seems to be 3/4 to 1 full turn of the crown to lock. On the 2625 It’s a slightly larger crown and probably has 1.5 turns to lock. Is this just because of the size difference compared to a 6309 which has 2 to 3 turns to lock down?
I don’t think the number of turns matters a great deal. The thread is just there to ensure that the crown stays in position and cannot accidentally be pulled out under water. But in terms of how many turns there are, this will depend on the depth of the thread on the crown tube which to an extent will be more limited on a smaller watch. On the 2625 in this post, the crown takes 3 good twists to tighten which I think is plenty.
HI Martin – Great, informative post. I just picked up one of these models and have a question. When I pull the stem out, there are no “clicks” to the first (date) and second (time) positions….so it’s a matter of very inaccurate guesswork/trial-and-error to get it in the right position. Is this the same on yours? I suspect not, but thought I’d double check before I tear down the movement to see if a lever is gummed up or (gasp) broken. Cheers! TW
Thanks! On the matter of clicks, yes, they should be there 🙂 My son’s watch clicks purposefully on both the outwards and inwards legs of crown setting. I wonder if the setting lever spring indents are worn on yours or the spring out of position perhaps?
Thanks for the prompt reply! The crown/stem is stiff to pull out, so something’s definitely gummed up…whether or not there’s also something broken that’s contributing to the problem also remains to be seen. Either way, looks like I’m tearing down a movement and starting a search for a parts watch. Thanks again for the information!