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Vintage Seiko 0624 5009 - Water Damage


ejsdon
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Hi.  I recently restored my Dad's vintage digital Seiko - it was working perfectly, and I was enjoying wearing it occasionally.  I then washed my hands, forgetting that it was a 70s, non-waterproof watch that I had on.  Now, there is no LCD showing at all.  Does anyone know how I could possibly repair it, or who I could send it to? I tried drying it out for a few days in an airing cupboard, but that didn't work.  Just to mention, it didn't stop working immediately, seemed to fade and flicker for a day or two before the LCD disappeared completely. 

Just realised this should be in the Technical Questions section - though I don't think I can move it?

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3 hours ago, ejsdon said:

Amazon delivery of battery arrived today (I ordered 3 - 1 arrived - but I only really needed 1), and the great news is - IT IS WORKING!!.

Thanks again for all the help and advice.

Sounds like the old battery just died and the hand washing was an unfortunate coincidence. Lesson is always test the battery first. :)

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Yeah the post will probably be moved.

Have you.. (I don't recommend you do this but I would do this) taken the battery out? Water and batteries don't mix. I would remove the battery, place it on saucer with the back off the watch, and put the saucer on top of a quite warm radiator for a couple of days.. then let it get cold and try a new battery.

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Technically it's almost certainly repairable (and I think there are people on here who could do it) but probably not worth it. Don't despair though: Instead it's probably easiest to get another watch with the same module and swap the modules over. A watchmaker can do this or you can do it yourself if you're handy with small parts.

Seiko watches have a two part code on the back that identifies them. It looks like this: "ABCD-1234". The ABCD part contains the movement/module reference number and the 1234 part contains the specific case design.

Confusingly this code is entirely separate to the model number of the watch and is actually more useful than the model number.

If you let us know the full code then we may be able to advise further.

If and when you get a new module, don't throw away the old one as there may be parts on it that are still useful to others.

 

** Update **

Oops, I now see that the watch is a 0624-5009. Was that in the thread title before? Apologies if I didn't see it!

Oh, ouch.

I just checked on eBay and this is a classic early LCD. A working replacement watch is likely to be in the £500-£1000+ range.

That being so, if removing the battery for a while doesn't work as SolaVeritate suggested above, then I do suggest seeing if someone can repair it. As I said, I think there are people here who can do this, if they can find parts. If you can't find anyone here then I might be able to suggest someone.

Edited by Markrlondon
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Thank You both for the responses.  I have removed the back / battery and put in a warm place as suggested.  I have spare batteries - this is a particularly easy battery to replace as it has a battery-only door.

I will leave the watch for a few days and try with a new battery as suggested - then post update here.  Hopefully that works and I am not looking for repair advice. 

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You could try the following:-

Use a hair dryer on a medium setting and dry your watch evenly on the case, back and sides but ensure it never gets too hot. Applying lots of heat to the watch can also damage it. When water finds its way in, there’s no way for it to come out unless you open up the caseback. Be careful though because by doing so you can damage the gaskets and the watch will no longer be water resistant. Once you’ve manually dried it out as much as possible, take the watch to a reputable watch maker. The are hundreds of parts to these watches and he/she will firstly dry them all and then undertake a service by placing the mechanical parts in a cleaning fluid to remove any old oil and dust. They will then reassemble the watch and test it . Cost wise it can vary from watchmaker to watchmaker

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People arrived.. edit got cancelled..

Here..

Yeah the post will probably be moved.

Have you.. taken the battery out? Water and batteries don't mix.

(I don't recommend you do this but I would do this) I would remove the battery, place it on saucer with the back off the watch, and put the saucer on top of a quite warm radiator for a couple of days.. then let it get cold and try a new battery

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3 hours ago, Welsh Wizard said:

Be careful though because by doing so you can damage the gaskets and the watch will no longer be water resistant.

:whistling:

Applying a hair drier is quicker and might be better for automatics that need the water removed quickly (although I don't know what heat & lubricants do in high wind). I think there is a chance the battery has shorted and charge dissipated. The screen isn't usually soldered in most older LCD's it is pressure from a small fixable rubber loop with small alternating conductive/non conductive loops bonded together in a row. 

The long heat over a period of time will allow the small amounts of water to dry out between the tiny connections but the downside would be the residue left behind still making shorts between the connections. 

The screen itself will probably be waterproof so shouldn't need replaced. 

There is smothing to consider.. if the insides of the watch is left with moisture (buy replacement gaskets if the watch begins to work again) it can rust and the electronic connectors grow in size and short themselves out.

Time comes to all watches and delivers its own justice of entropy. - :crazy5vh: that's about as poetic I get on a random Tuesday. 

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I have dried out the watch and then can't find a 390 battery anywhere!  I've ordered on Amazon - which I think for Thanksgiving reasons (in Scotland?!) has no Prime membership delivery until Monday.

One more question - in general, with mild water ingress, is it only really the battery shorting that can cause the issue?  i.e. if everything else dries out it should remain functional?

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11 hours ago, ejsdon said:

One more question - in general, with mild water ingress, is it only really the battery shorting that can cause the issue?  i.e. if everything else dries out it should remain functional?

Maybe, maybe not. There's no way to tell until you try.

But I have to say that the chances are not good. Sorry. :-(

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On 25/11/2021 at 10:56, ejsdon said:

One more question - in general, with mild water ingress, is it only really the battery shorting that can cause the issue?  i.e. if everything else dries out it should remain functional?

No, any part of the circuit could short as a result of water ingress and don't forget, capacitors are very sensitive components

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