As might reasonably have been anticipated by your correspondent, the business of working on, filming, editing and uploading video content related to an ongoing project is enormously time-consuming. I had entertained the possibility that I might construct a parallel series of articles here with snap-shot photos, documenting each step, but that would only have slowed progress even further.
The good news though is that I am making progress and there are currently five episodes of this latest adventure uploaded to my YouTube channel, two more waiting in the wings and an undetermined number to follow. In working on this diversion from normal programming, an inadvertent perk has been that I have ended up making a number of snap-shot tutorials covering core aspects of movement servicing and which I hope will provide stand-alone resources that I can link to from the main blog.
As things stand at the time of writing, the donor 6216A movement has been completely disassembled and cleaned, and the reassembly process has begun, with Diafix settings complete and oiled and mainspring refitted to the barrel. All of this has been documented in detail and currently everything barring the start of the reconstruction (Diafix and mainspring) has been uploaded and is viewable on the YouTube channel.
In addition to the scene-setting introduction here, currently available episodes comprise:
Part Two: The deconstruction of the donor 6216A movement begins, starting with the balance and most of the calendar parts. We take a look at how to remove Diashock and Diafix springs and jewels and get a preview of how many of the 39 advertised jewels are functional.
Part Three: We start this episode by reviewing the functional vs. reported jewel count in this relatively high-end 1960’s Seiko automatic movement before returning to the train wheel side of the movement to remove the auto-winding mechanism and deconstruct the going train. Along the way, we pause to note the operation of the hacking lever and identify the cause of a slipping clutch wheel.
Part Four: In this episode, we embark upon the tricky business of removing the mainspring from the barrel. This is always a somewhat hazardous operation, made somewhat more challenging in this case by the reluctance of the barrel arbor to detach itself from the inner end of the mainspring. Consequently, in an attempt to keep you rooted to the edges of your seats, I attempted to remove, without the aid of a safety net, the spring from the barrel with the arbor still attached. You can see whether this turned out to be a sensible move by watching the video!
Part Five: The movement parts are cleaned in a two-stage cleaning process involving an ultrasonic bath stage followed by the full clean and rinse cycles undertaken using a conventional watch cleaning machine. For those of you interested in the type of machine featured in the video, mine is an Indian-made facsimile of an Elma Elite. It’s not built to the same standards as the German-made original but it’s reliable and has served me well over the years. The added intrigue in this episode involves the highly unprofessional use of a glass tea-caddy as substitute for a broken Elma jar.
Further episodes are imminent and once a critical mass of additional episodes has accumulated, I’ll provide a further update here.
By way of reassurance to those of you who view YouTube content with suspicion, regular programming will resume in due course. This YouTuber lark is rather too much like hard work!