Wednesday, August 28, 2019

1952 Seikosha Japan National Railway Pocket Watch

Bringing to life a long written off pocket watch is always a challenge. Getting a vintage timepiece to run let alone keep correct time is not a matter of cleaning, oiling, and adjustment; that only works on modern watches. It is always a matter of solving the problem of wear and tear and replacing the corroded and broken parts.

And this Seikosha (early name for Seiko) is the perfect example of how easy it is to underestimate the time and effort required. The heart of the watch (shown on the last photo) known as the balance complete was beyond rescue. Luckily we had a donor watch. So four hours later after the complete rebuild, this 67 year old Seikosha was full steam ahead!

The dial restoration is something I am extremely proud of. Anything to do with chemicals is usually beyond the expertise of a watchmaker and until the last moment the outcome is unknown. Removing the embedded grime that built up on the dial over decades was tedious and painstaking and you can see how the dial looked before and after the process.

The calibre 9119A was introduced in 1949 and remained in production until 1971 (Showa 24 - Showa 46). And here is one juicy bit. Unlike most Swiss railroad watches, Seikosha pocket watch comes with original "second setting". It is a hack mechanism that enables the railman to set and restart the watch at the exact 00 seconds signal. When the stem is pulled out, the watch continues to run until the seconds hand reaches the 60 mark, then it stops and the time is set to the exact hour and minute when the time radio signal is next expected. At the last radio beep the stem is pushed in and the minute and seconds hand are synchronised properly. This synchronisation is much more difficult to achieve with a standard Swiss hack method.

As promised before, I am on the constant look out for original Seikosha Railway pocket watches and any duplicate will be offered for sale to subscribers. I appreciate your patience. 

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