Monday, February 2, 2015

Taking apart a Citizen watch

In the previous post, I was writing about a Citizen automatic 21 Jewels day and date watch that I bought on eBay for 11.5 dollars. The watch came with a small problem, the second's hand is not staying in place. At the moment, because the watch was not winded enough, I thought it was keeping horrible time. I found out later it is running very well.
So the only reasonable thing to do was open the watch and see what can be done. The first obstacle was removing the crown and stem to take out the mechanism. For that I didn't need tools, just a steel sheet to open the back, and a Rotring Tikky to press the stem release button. (see previous post)
I put the second's hand but it does not want to stay, it's a two-hand watch now. But this was not all. The manual date/day change was a bit scratchy, so I thought it just needs a few twists to loosen it. I did the day/date change while the hands of the watch were not in the correct position. This caused another problem. The most serious one.
The day/date can't be changed manually anymore. I decided to take the Citizen watch apart, even though I didn't open a watch before.

Step one, buy a set of watch screwdrivers. 
I bought the cheapest set in the world. Under 2 €.

Even though the set is cheap and the quality is poor I used them with no problems. The only thing they needed was a sharpening. This is a simple an fast job, the only thing to do is to use the screwdrivers to open the insides of the watch.
Even though the cheap set has a poor quality the screwdriver did the job. I only had to sharpen them

The set has 3 flat screwdrivers, 1.00, 1.40, 1.80 mm. The only one I used was the 1.00 mm.

The only thing that was missing in my kit was a magnifying glass. But I solved that with the digital camera. How? Take a high resolution picture and then zoom in. I thought to connect the camera to the TV to have a live stream but I did not need to. I  managed with still photos.

I had the mechanism out of the watch (see the previous post), the way to get to the day/date mechanism is to take part by part starting with the dial face.
The dial comes out easy just insert the screwdriver beneath it and force it out. 
After taking the dial the date and day wheel will need to be taken out.

 To take the day dial out you need first to get the C washer marked with the orange arrow. It is difficult because you need a sharp screwdriver. (The scratches on the dial are not caused by me). After taking the washer out the dial just comes off.

The day dial is fixed on by the plate. To take out the date mechanism the screws that hold the plate on, need to be taken out. Be very careful because the screws are smaller than small.
The screws that I took out are circled in the picture below.

After taking them out the plate will come out, also the date dial. Take it apart with care, some parts might fall.

The plate that guards the day/date mechanism and other internals, and the part that does the date and day manual change
The mechanism that changes the date and day of the watch normally stays between the two handsprings.
After taking the plate off I saw that one of the arms of the spring has a crack at the base. This is the problem causer. Because the broken arm can't push the mechanism in the correct position after changing the date. All the fuss made by this tiny crack...
The only solution for this is replacing the broken spring. But I have a hunch that changing the broken part will cost as much if not more than the entire watch cost.

mechanical watch

I also found out from watchmakers that this is a very common problem for older Citizen mechanical watches that have day/date display.

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