20 Most Recent Seiko Kinetic watch Questions & Answers

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Removing Screw-type watch case backs


One of the major difficulties I faced when I began repairing Seiko Kinetic watches and replacing the Capacitors in them was removing the case backs.
Many Seiko Kinetics are over 20 years old.
The case backs are often stuck so firmly it is as if they are welded shut.
This is a brief description of one way I found works for me.
I hope that it is of assistance to you, also.
I glue a common lug nut onto the back of the watch.
I have shown 3 common types of Seiko Kinetic case backs in the photo.
Women's Seiko Kinetic case backs are exactly the same except slightly smaller.
As you know some Seiko Kinetics have a see-through case back.
This does not present an obstacle to this method of case back removal because the lug nuts I use are wider than the glass. The lug nuts touch the metal so when the lug nut is turned the metal turns, as well as the glass.
I use very small tubes of Krazy Glue because when I use the typical larger tubes I just end up wasting Krazy Glue. because the glue sets before I use that tube again.
I glue the lug nut to the case back, use a common wrench to turn the lug nut and loosen the case back.
Then I simply place the case back with the lug nut attached to it in Acetone, often sold as fingernail polish remover.
The Acetone dissolves the cyanoacrylate that is the Krazy Glue, leaving the lug nut and case back completely separated.
I have a 2 ounce coffee spoon I use frequently.
Or the top of a common medication bottle works well also. (See Photos)
When I have done the repairs on the watch, or I have installed the new Capacitor, I spray WD40 Contact Cleaner onto a Q-tip and run the Q-tip around the circumference of the case back.
I spray the glass window with Windex to get rid of fingerprints.
I then apply sealant around the case back.
Then I place the new gasket ("O-ring"), and screw the case back into place.
The sealant and the new gasket helps increase water resistance.
The WD40 Contact Cleaner makes the case back go back on more easily, and also ensures that the next time the case back needs to be removed it will be a much smoother process.

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on Apr 29, 2019 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Removing a screw-type watch case back


Removing Screw-type Case Backs
I have been repairing Seiko Kinetic watches for over 12 years.
I estimate I have also replaced over 200 Capacitors in Seiko Kinetics.
One of the biggest frustrations by far when I work with a Seiko Kinetic is removing the case back.

The Seiko Kinetics started out as the AGS (Automatic Generating System) in the 1980s.
The "Kinetic" began in the 1990s.
They were wildly popular.
(Seiko told a big fib when they advertised "Never needs a battery", but that story is for another time.

Because the Kinetics I work on were made as far back as 1991 they are now as much as 28 years old.

For this reason alone the backs can be atrociously hard to remove.

I did have success with many screw-type case backs by Super Gluing a lug nut on top of the case back, letting the glue set thoroughly (I used baking soda as an accelerant) and then merely turning the lug nut with a wrench.
Then, once the case back came off, I simply soaked the case back with the lug nut attached in a small amount of Acetone, which dissolves the Super Glue, and the case back is separated from the lug nut.

BUT: As you know many Seiko Kinetics have the clear see-through window.
The lug nut method does NOT work on those types of Seiko Kinetics.
The see-through window turns, instead of the case back, and separates from the case back.

For tools to remove a screw back I went through many types over the first few years, with aggravation and foul language.
I quit watch making forever at least once every 2 weeks.

1) I tried the standard 2-pin case back opener. (See photo)

The problem with the venerable 2-pin opener is that it does not give you much of a fulcrum arm.
I remembered from studying Physics that torque is dependent on the arm of a fulcrum.
The longer the arm, the more torque applied.

And no matter how hard I turned, many many case backs did not budge.

And I had a lot of injuries to my hand, especially at the base of my thumb.

2) I also briefly tried the classic 3-pin case back opener. (See photo)
This opener does have a longer arm, for greater torque.
But for me this opener was almost impossible to use.
I had great difficulty lining up the 3 pins, and spent a lot of time doing so, and then when I moved the arm in a circular fashion to turn the case back a pin would slip out and I would have to start all over again.

A major drawback of the 3-pin tool is it blocks all your view of the pins and holes.

The 3-pin opener I began to truly despise.

The 2-pin doesn't work often but at least it doesn't take 10 minutes every time it doesn't work.

3) I scoured eBay and Amazon and Chinese web sites for other case back removal tools.
I did have a hearty laugh when places advertised rubber balls that they claim you press against the case back and simply turn and magically the case back moves and opens.
Don't be a sucker and buy any of these. A total lie and a complete waste of money.

So then I realized the problem mostly was in the fact that when turning any tool I was applying pressure on only one end of the tool, which made keeping all the pins in their holes nearly impossible.
One pin was being pressed down while the pin on the other end was being tilted up, and would slip out.

So I knew I needed to combine something with a longer arm, that was simple to place the pins into the screw back case holes, did not block the view of the pins/holes.
Nothing was available commercially.

So I made my own, in a really amateur way. (See photo)

I taped a 2-pin opener to a heavy file that I bought.
The file is long enough to provide a substantial arm for the fulcrum, but no so large that it takes a
wide arc and is difficult to wield.

The difference of course is not I can place my watches in a watch holder, place the watch holder in a hobby vise, place the simple 2-pin opener into 2 pins of the watch case back, press down with BOTH hands on BOTH ends of the file, which causes BOTH pins to be firmly seated in BOTH case back holes, and what an immediate difference.
Astonishing difference.

For the first time ever pressure was being applied equally to both pins, with a long arm causing a great deal of torque, and reluctant case back after case back after case back came off, with relative ease.

A couple of things I learned to do very early on that helps a lot is
1) Spray around the entire circumference of the case back with Contact Cleaner
I use WD40 Contact Cleaner (see photo) available from Amazon
2) Gently and slowly and ultra-carefully work around the entire circumference with a box cutter
I spray Contact Cleaner directly onto the box cutter blade, and then work only 1/8 inch at a time.
3) By only sawing back and forth 1/8 inch at a time with the box cutter I am much less likely cut myself. I am in no hurry, because bleeding all over the carpet would take time to clean up.
And I don't know about your own local ER, but my local ER is very expensive.

I still pre-treat with WD40 Contact Cleaner, as I do think it melts through some accumulated crud, on watches that have been worn for 20 years or more.

I am hoping some of you have better ways you will tell me about how to attach the 2-pin tool to the file.
I will probably use electrical tape, pulled very tautly, the next time I have 15 minutes.

I thought also about first Super Gluing the 2-pin tool to the file, and then also taping it.
Just to see if that helped in any way.

And I suppose there is a way to weld the 2-pin onto the file.
But I know nothing about welding.
Nothing.

Anyway, send me your suggestions.

I hope this helps you remove a stubborn screw-back case back.

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on Apr 17, 2019 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Common reason for Capacitor failure in Seiko Kinetic


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Sometimes a Seiko Kinetic will run well but then stop unexpectedly.
Loosen the right "wing" of the capacitor, and check to see if the tiny gold tab it must rest on is positioned correctly.
If the tip of the right hand wing is not pointed at and touching that tab,
the current will not flow and the watch will not run.
The othen wing has a small square hole in the black plastic (shown as the
point of the rightward arrow), which aids in fixing the conductor in exactly the right position.
If the leftward wing has dislodged it is possible the right wing is pulled from its
contact with that little gold colored tab. (Pointed at by the downward Arrow)

on Apr 11, 2019 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Necessary placement position of Seiko Kinetic Capacitor


This is one of several photographs taken with Macro detail to help anyone wanting to install a capacitor in a Seiko Kinetic watch.

When I first started there was very little guidance, save for some hasty videos that assumed too much prior knowledge, or photos that made little sense.

So, with the basics:
1) The all important peg.
The Mylar Insulator has a hole which slips over this peg...
doing that initially and correctly will save you frustration galore.
I will post another photo later about the orientation of the Mylar Insulator, as it absolutely must be, so that it does cover what it needs to cover, and yet does not block transmission of a charge where it shouldn't.
A tricky little piece of dexterity that caused some cursing occasionally.

2) A specific little square notch that is only for the Left Hand contact of the Capacitor.
If you start with the Capacitor "upside down" (with the shiny side face down" unlike other watch batteries, and slide it tipped downwards initially, as shown in the photo, then it will slip under the little lip that is has to hide under, which is at 12 o'clock in the photo

3) This is a little detail most videos never mention: There is a tiny foot
on the end of the Right Contact.
That foot absolutely must be in contact with the tiny piece of materiel as shown in the photo.
If it is not, the capacitor won't work.

4) A piece that touches one of the coils, as it is supposed to.

Caveats: 1) Do not use metal tweezers
2) Do not Short the Bridge Plate and the foot's resting materiel area
3) There is a gold toned metal spring retainer...be certain the Capacitor is fully inside that spring, and not merely laying on top of it.

(I like to envision the foot as the bottom of the number "9", and in that manner
the gold toned spring is at the top of the "9")
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on Feb 13, 2019 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Removing case back screw type


When I started replacing the Capacitors (rechargeable batteries) in Seiko Kinetic watches 10 years ago the most difficult part for me was getting the darn case back off the watch.
I struggled and cursed and busted my knuckles and strained a thumb and lost those tiny tiny (and expensive) screws in the carpet and so on.
So I want to save others the same frustrations.
I have 2 ways now that I use to remove the screw-back case backs from Seiko Kinetics.
This is one method.
I will document the other method in a later post.
You will need:
A Nut appropriate for the size of your Seiko's case back
Krazy Glue or something similar
Acetone
A wrench or some kind

1. You will clean the case back to remove oils and such that inhibit the Krazy Glue from making a firm seal
2. Glue the nut onto the case back
3. Let the glue set. I use baking soda to expedite that process.
4. Don't get impatient.
5. When the Krazy Glue has set just turn the nut with a wrench and
the case back will easily turn off.
6. Then simply soak the case back with the nut glued onto it in a capful
of acetone
7. The acetone will dissolve the Krazy Glue and the nut will separate from the case back.
8. The case back is now free from the watch, and you have access to the inside of the watch to replace the Capacitor.

Voila.
Finished

There are other methods touted all over the Internet.
Trust me, over the years I tried them all.
The biggest scam I think is the sticky rubber ball they sell.
You are supposed to be able to just buy that rubber ball and press it against the case back and turn it and the case back will come off.
Hogwash.
Dozens of the Kinetics I have worked on are over 20 years old and have never been serviced, but have been worn daily and are simply horrible to work with.
The gaskets ("O-ring") is usually dried out and shrunken and adhesive.
There is grime and dirt and skin oils that have degenerated and more and more.
Don't waste money on a rubber ball.

I will post the other method soon.

Let me know if you have any questions about Seiko Kinetics.
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on Jan 02, 2019 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Warning about Seiko Kinetic batteries and capacitors


I frequently am sent Seiko Kinetics and the User says "this watch stopped and I tried to put a capacitor in it but it still didn't work. I know the capacitor was good because it was new and I checked it with a battery checker."
A Seiko Capacitor (battery) must NEVER be checked with a battery charge measuring device of any kind. The inexpensive battery checkers that are sold on eBay or Amazon will deplete a capacitor immediately and fully. And when the "new" capacitor is placed into the watch the watch will not run. It cannot run because it has not power to run because it has a depleted capacitor. And that capacitor will NOT recharge. The battery/capacitor is DOA. Dead. DNR.
##### (Another frequent mistake is to use metal tweezers when installing the capacitor instead of plastic tweezers. Or making contact with either the + pole or the negative pole. Or not correctly installing the mylar insulator in EXACTLY the same position it was when the battery was removed. It is tricky, and it trips up a lot of battery replacement attempts.
And occasionally I receive a watch that the User installed the battery upside down. A Seiko capacitor does not go into the battery well like most watches; it goes in "upside down", with the Positive side DOWN, and the negative side facing you when it is in the well.
But the most common reason a new capacitor placement does not make the Seiko Kinetic run is that when the rotor assembly was removed the User pressed down, even the slightest bit, when removing the screw that holds the rotor. That downward pressure pushes the second hand into the watch crystal, and it is now simply a dead watch.
The slot in the Rotor screw is the thinnest slot I have ever encountered, and I have several expensive screwdrivers that are truly precision.
But I have to use a whetstone to carefully grind down a precision screwdriver to an razor thin tip, before I can safely remove that Rotor screw.
I often break a single edge razor in half, and just use the razor blade, because
it is thin enough enter into the slot of the screw.

on Nov 10, 2018 | Seiko Kinetic watch


I thing required cleaning for the movement and new capacitor.

From:

AmFix Jewelry & Watch Repair
203 N. LaSalle Street,
Chicago, IL 60601
Ph: 312 641 7000
Email: info@goamfix.com
Web: www.goamfix.com

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Nov 10, 2018

Tip

Vital danger to be aware of when working on a Seiko Kinetic.


When replacing the capacitor/battery of a Seiko Kinetic watch it is necessary to remove the pendulum that swings to create the electricity to charge the rechargeable capacitor.
The pendulum is fixed by a screw with a very thin slot.
If that screw is pressed down while it is being removed it will push the hands of the watch into the crystal, and the watch will be ruined.
It is vital to only turn the screw, and not apply pressure downward.
The slot of the screw too thin for most screwdrivers, and I either use a knife sharpening stone to shave off the sides of a precision screwdriver ( I like Wera brand screwdrivers ) or I use a razor blade.

on Oct 22, 2018 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

How to charge a Seiko Kinetic with an electric toothbrush charger


This is the Sonicare "Advance" model charger.
Other chargers will work, but many do not open with screws, they instead are welded or glued shut and must be shattered to get open.
I use the Advance charger for my toothbrush and to charge my watches.
This model has 2 very simple screws.
And the inside is arranged such that a watch fits logically over the flux.
Photo 2 shows the bottom of the charger.
Photo 3 shows the same charger with the screws removed and the bottom plate removed.
In every model of charger there should be a rectangular section and a circular section.
The circular section holds the electromagnetic flux generator. That is what will generate the power to charge your watch.
In most Seiko Kinetics the Generating Coils lays beneath the 8 o'clock marker on the watch.
You would like to have that 8 o'clock marker pointed toward the 9 o'clock spot on the Circle.
(See Photo 5)
On other chargers and with other watches simply rotate the watch around stopping ever 10 degrees or so for 10-15 seconds, until the watch starts to tick in 2 or 1 second intervals.
It may take several days to charge your Kinetic if it was fully discharged.
I hope this is helpful

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on Aug 16, 2018 | Seiko Kinetic watch

Tip

Replacing the Battery/Capacitor of a Seiko Kinetic watch


There are some articles and videos circulating recently about replacing a Seiko Kinetic Capacitor with a common Silver Oxide battery, the type used in common watches.
In a word: Don't.

I have replaced over 200 Seiko Kinetic Capacitors (sometimes mistakenly referred to as a "battery") and am very comfortable discussing the right way to get a Kinetic running correctly, versus the wrong way.
Can you remove the Kinetic's rotor and put in a Silver Oxide battery the same size as the previous Capacitor and your watch will work? Possibly.
Will you install the new battery upside-down? Very likely.l
If you touch any of the vital contacts inside the watch with the battery will it fry your watch? Possibly.
Will the watch overheat or burn? Possibly. Typical batteries don't have the inner chemical makeup of a Lithium-Titanium Capacitor.
Is the pendulum that is weighted and designed to turn the rotor going to be negatively affected? Probably.

The cost of a correct Seiko Kinetic Capacitor has dropped dramatically, reputable sources like Amazon now sell genuine Seiko Capacitor kits for about 20 dollars.

Why risk a 400 dollar watch to save 10 dollars on a battery.

Let me know if you have any general questions about Seiko Kinetic Capacitors and/or Batteries.
There is a lot of inaccurate information floating around, which can be expensive.

on Mar 11, 2018 | Seiko Kinetic watch


Bill, when you say "does not work" I am going to guess you mean that the second hand does not sweep as it should, so you do not have an accurate indication of remaining capacitor charge.
There are many other malfunctions of the Indicator on a Seiko Kinetic but I am guessing that is your current watches malfunction.
The button at 2 o'clock depresses a tiny lever inside the watch, and that in turn releases a discharge from the capacitor.
The strength of that discharge swings the indicator.
The lever itself is very very small, and can be misaligned, very commonly after capacitor replacement.
Actual breakage of the lever is quite rare.
Does the button have a definite detente when you press it?
Or is it instead like pushing on Jello.
Is the button spring loaded such that it returns to the neutral state on its own?
It is actually a quick diagnosis for anyone familiar with Kinetics; as a quick peek will tell if a broken lever, absent button gasket, need of lubricant, etc.

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Aug 12, 2016


That is way too fast for a Seiko Kinetic. There is no adjustment to slow it down. With time of course it might run slower as the gears get dirty. Maybe Seiko will replace the movement, worth asking

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jun 09, 2016


All parts can be purchased by phone from the Seiko New York call line. They are extremely helpful and get your part as soon as it is available. This is the TRUE Seiko parts line - NOT an off brand. I have used this call line numerous times over the last couple of decades for my husbands Seiko watches. the phone number is:
(201) 529-5730 If they cannot get it no one can!

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jul 20, 2014


The bezel is available through any certified Seiko dealer, though I would suggest using one with a Certified Master Horologist on staff.

Thanks for rating! Expert watch repair for Rolex Breitling Tag Heuer Movado

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jul 09, 2014


The issue reported is not about how to set the watch, it is about the fact that it stops if it us not worn continually. This could be an indicator of the movement needing to be serviced. Automatic watches such as yours need to be serviced regularly, every 3-5 years or as needed by such indications. My recommendation is to see a Certified Master Horologist to test the watch on the timing machine.

When serviced, there should be approximately a 45 hour power reserve when fully wound.



Thanks for rating! http://www.watchandpen.com/id76.html

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jul 09, 2014


Hi, Look on page 11 of your manual for the proper procedure to restart watch after a battery change, or complete discharge of capacitor system. If you don't have the manual, Try this link:
http://www.seikowatches.com/support/ib/index.html

Take the four-digit module number from the back of the watch, enter it, and download a PDF of your watch setting-instructions/manual.
I hope this helps you. Thanks, Bill

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jul 14, 2013


This is obviously unsatisfactory and I can understand your problem. Even spring driven automatic watches will run for 2 - 3 days when not worn.

Your watch can either be charged by use (i.e. wearing it) or by winding the crown wheel, although there seem to be a variety on kinetic watches and it is not clear if all of them can be wound by hand (mine can't but it goes to sleep after two days and can stay in this mode for 3 months and re-starts when it is worn!)

For a fully description of the kinetic operation go to http://www.seikowatches.com/technology/kinetic/kinetic_dd.html and there you will will see a choice of kinetic watches.

You can also access the instruction manual list to check out how your watch is intended to operate. Some watches indicate days in two languages (as yours appears to do) and you can select the correct day by pulling the crown wheel to the middle position where you generally change the date by rotating it forward and the day by turning it backward. When turning it backward, you should see and alternative day and you should stop at this position. The watch will continue with the same language after this.
If this does not work, then you should be able to find out the day sign after reading the instructions.

If your watch is new and after reading all the literature you still cannot sort out how to make your watch run for a longer period, then contact the maker who should be able to help.

Good luck!

Seiko Kinetic... | Answered on Jul 14, 2013

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