Next Watch Repair/Restoration - 1970's Nino Day/Date - This one had issues! - Pic Heavy

mn_danger

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I was always intrigued by them, and would watch some of the watch repair channels on YouTube. When I decided that it was time to learn, I started paying more attention to those videos and soon I was able to follow along with what they were doing and seeing patterns in how watches were built. Eventually I felt like I could tackle one for myself.
All of the knowledge in the world is great, but until you handle the parts yourself, it doesn't fully prepare you. I quickly learned the value of quality tools, and while I could take apart a watch and put it back together, I realized that I basically had zero clue how to troubleshoot problems like low amplitude, end shake, side shake, regulation, etc. Another thing the videos don't show you is how to read the technical manuals, how to properly lubricate a watch, etc. That's where the courses came in handy. I eventually found a couple of online forums that provided a lot of this info, but I'd sincerely recommend taking some courses once you have a basic understanding of the insides of a mechanical watch.
It's a rewarding hobby, and I'd be happy to help you if you decide to take the plunge.

FWIW, I think building some Seiko divers is a great way to get in. I am a big Seiko fan, and have some divers myself. One of my very first projects was repairing and modding a Seiko PADI diver that I bought off of eBay. I wear that watch regularly. I thought about doing the same thing you described, and buying up several old vintage non-runners off of eBay, restoring them, and giving them as gifts for Christmas (probably next year).
Have you taken any classes? I see a few online, but how can you tell if it's a good one or not?
 
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thor447

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When I decided to take some classes, I started with Mark Lovick's courses. He also has a a YouTube channel called 'Watch Repair Channel'. He's been a watchmaker since they 80's, based overseas. His initial three course levels are very well put together. I had a basic understanding of the mechanics when I started his lessons, but I picked up quite a bit still.
  • Level 1: The Basics
  • Level 2: Maintenance Servicing
  • Level 3: Fault Finding
The lessons are built in such a way that it starts from the ground floor. If I were to recommend a starting point for online lessons, Mark's courses would be it. It goes on from there, and I'm taking some other lessons at this point. Mostly about advanced troubleshooting, machining and making my own parts (which I have a LONG way to go there), etc. Mark's YouTube channel is very straight forward and informative. His online lessons, while great, aren't the only benefit of his website. Once you sign up for his courses there is a lot of other resources, like parts supplier directories, etc. There is also a pretty active forum on there as well where I've found really good info. There are several professional watchmakers on there who really get into the technical side of things and help troubleshoot issues people are having.

If you're starting out, I'd suggest Mark Lovick - WatchFix. It's really a great way to start off in an organized and structured manner.

There are several good YouTube channels out there that I learned quite a bit from before I started doing it myself.

Watch Repair Channel - Mark Lovick's channel. He does some full services, and has several videos where he posts lessons on how to do specific things.

Wristwatch Revival - Probably the most popular channel. He has excellent production of his videos. He is an amateur, and quite good. He also started out by taking Mark Lovick's courses.

Vintage Watch Services - It is a Dutch guy named Theon who got into watchmaking later in his life, and is doing exceptional work.

Chronoglide Watchmakers - A guy named Kalle Slaap who has a shop and watchmaking school in The Netherlands. He does a bunch of streaming on YouTube. He has some very detailed videos and has tons of really great lessons on his channel about all matter of things regarding watchmaking. His videos can take some time to get into the meat of the subject, mostly because he is livestreaming it and has a lot of interaction with the people who are watching it and posting. I've never watched it live, and find it helpful to skip past a lot of the back and forth, but sometimes you'll find a nugget of good info in the back and forth between him and the live viewers. He has dedicated videos with lessons on several things as well, and does a really great job of explaining things.

It's About Time - This guy has only been on YouTube a few months. He created his channel with the intention of doing a ground up instruction for someone wanting to learn watchmaking. He's a professional watchmaker and just started making videos. His first ones weren't really the best quality production, but as he's continued his videos have gotten better. He also has 'Bonus Tips' at the end of each video that are really great.

Spencer Klein - The is the last one I'd really recommend you check out. He is a specialist with Seiko's, and will spout off part numbers, model numbers, and history of the watches as he works on them. He's generally regarded as one of the best vintage Seiko people out there. He business is home based, He has a website where he sells a bunch of watches he's restored, and people send him in vintage Seikos, chronographs, and really cool old divers where he does assessments, service work, etc. and posts the videos. He works on tons of different watches, but his specialty is vintage Seiko. Since he is home based, sometimes you'll hear his kids or wife come in the room while he is filming, lol. He doesn't have best video quality, but the content of his videos and his knowledge are tremendous.

There are several other channels, but these are what I've found to be the most informative, from a learning perspective.

I'd recommend watching a lot of these channels, especially the lessons from Watch Repair Channel, Chronoglide Watchmakers, and It's About Time. You'll learn a lot from just those channels. As far as video quality goes, I'd suggest watching several videos from Wristwatch Revival and Vintage Watch Services. Once you watch several of those videos, all filmed very well, you'll start to get an understanding of how watches are put together, and start to see commonalities among the several different manufacturers. Eventually you'll get to point where you can name the parts and know exactly what they do as the watch is taken apart.

Hope this helps.
 
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mightymouse

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Fascinating work! I would love to be able to do that kind of work, but lack the manual dexterity, good eyesight, basic technical knowledge, and, most importantly, patience to do so. Thanks for taking the time to make the posts and the videos, they are very interesting and very informative.
 

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