Wristwatch restoration, servicing and repair

Seiko 4006-6031 (17J Bell-Matic)…

I’ve really taken a shine to Seiko’s Bell-Matics and though I’d done my homework, I still took a bit of a risk winning an eBay auction with this blurry picture…

(Click pictures to enlarge)

… but the risk paid off this time as the watch was all original, the hands, dial and alarm ring looked in excellent condition beneath the damaged crystal.

The watch didn’t run, and though the alarm did ring, it triggered as soon as the alarm button was pulled out. I put this down to a lubrication problem as the rest of the movement was pretty dry, but even when cleaned and oiled it had the same problem. After taking the alarm mechanism apart several times thinking it must be an adjustment issue, I finally tracked down the problem to a worn alarm disconnecting lever.

This lever is pressed down by the hour wheel arresting the alarm hammer until the chosen alarm time comes around. The disconnecting lever then rises, freeing the alarm hammer which moves back and forth beneath it, striking the sounding spring.

In this case, the wear on the disconnecting lever meant that it could not be depressed far enough to stop the alarm hammer, so the alarm would ring immediately when set. I’m steadily accumulating a few spare parts for this calibre so I swapped out the worn lever for one in better condition which solved the problem.

Here’s the results of a service, a new crystal and some refinishing work on the case.

This is a very popular model and has been on my Bell-Matic ‘most wanted list’ for a while now. Looking at that rich blue dial, it’s not hard to see why!


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