How to fix the Seiko Kinetic Arctura watch with a dead capacitor
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Having purchased an Omega Speedmaster (Man on the Moon) watch in the mid 90s, I decided to give my lovely Seiko Kinetic Arctura a rest. It had become increasingly difficult to get it to hold a charge and required constant movement. In any case, I filed it away in a drawer for something like 6 years. When I decided to pull it out to admire recently, I found that it held no charge at all and would not function - Strange I thought, as Seiko usually makes workhorses that last and last, and furthermore, this particular watch was advertised as self powered (that is, the electronic crystal based works are kinetically powered through the owner's daily activities. (a little off the subject - my casio G-Shocks have been running nonstop without a battery change for more than 11 years!!) - In any case, Seiko was pushing the envelope at the time with this technology and installed capacitors that would not last. I am actually surprised that they did not issue a recall or take responsibility for this - I suppose this is where being obsessed with cutting edge technology gets you.

Seiko did, however, manufacture a new bracket and rechargeable battery (instead of the capacitor) for the watch, and if you want to get your old Seiko Kinetic to function again, it should not cost you much more than $20 - or in the UK see - If you are reasonably handy and have decent eyesight then you should be able to do this yourself. Disclaimers are popular these days, so I will have to say I accept no responsibility or blame for anything that might occur to you, your watch, or your surroundings if you decide to take things into your own hands and fix your watch yourself.- (the popular rate seems to be something like $90 to have the bracket and battery overhaul including gasket replacement and general cleaning done for you). For a look at an early Seiko AGS c.1988 repair see Harald Bodhal's Norwegian site.

There are a couple different battery/bracket combos for these kinetics with slight variations on mounting - the one I am dealing with here is Seiko Kinetic Capacitor and Bracket 3023 5MZ for MODELS SKJ AND SKH, CALIBERS 5M22, 5M23, 5M42, 5M43, 7M22, 7M42. The 3023 5MZ Kit that I purchased from came with a Maxell TC-9205 lithum battery, bracket, and insulator.

Unscrew the four screws on the outer front face of the watch. Lift watch face and crystal from watch body. Once you have removed metal face and crystal you will have access to the actual dial. (careful not to lose the case gasket (rubber o ring that keeps watch water tight - note where this is if you need to get it back on). Be careful not to damage hands of watch as they are quite fragile. In order to remove works from watch case you will need to detach the stem (spindle attached to the crown) from the works. First pull crown outwards as if you were going to set the watch. Notice that there is a little dimpled lever imbedded between the case and watch face (see orange arrow above). Depress the lever with a small screw driver, toothpick or pin. This may take a little fussing. Rest assured that given the right pressure and angle, this will release the stem from the works and body of the watch. Make sure that you are placing all of your parts carefully in a safe container (these parts can be as extremely small so heed my words - These tiny screws will just disappear if you are not mindful) - Pull the stem by the crown out of watch.
Once the crown and stem have been removed - place the crystal face back over the inner works, and turn watch face down in your palm and let inner works (now set into the crystal face) fall into your hand. While preventing the rotor weight from turning (the half circle of heavy metal that translates your movement to the rotor gear) remove the rotor screw. This is the largish screw found dead center in the back of works. (see above orange arrow)
This is what the movement should look like after you have removed the central rotor screw - Note the the primary gear (orange arrow) here is slightly convex and engages the much smaller gear to the right. You need to tweezer this main gear off of the movement and place it aside with your other various parts. It will come off quite easily. Once you have removed this main gear you will have access to the capacitor bracket/cover, You will need to unscrew the two screws of the battery bracket (indicated by pink arrows.)
Remove the red transparent insulator, Take note of orientation and how it fits over tiny plastic registration knobs.
You have to slide the capacitor out of compartment by pulling to the right and up - Note the brass appendages and their proper orientation.
  This is how the movement should look at this point.
Shown here is the replacement battery, insulator, and bracket. One has only to reverse the process of disassembly to return watch to former glory. Make sure not to over tighten screws - A stripped thread will be a major problem for you - so careful. Make sure that body gasket is in place properly with retaining ring, and button the machine up. You should now be the proud owner of a beautiful working Seiko Kinetic watch.
Included here a little all purpose precision screwdriver set - You can most likely find one of these at True Value. You will quickly see if your set will serve your purposes. I had to sharpen the end blade on these with very fine 220 grit sandpaper. I primarily did my repairs with the 1.4mm and the 2.4mm units. You will also need tweezers. If you can get a hold of a watchmaker's tools well then you are all set.

Did you find these instructions useful? Let me know. If you would like to make a small (50¢ cents(25p pence) and up) contribution to my paypal account that would be really great!!! But no pressure though. You could just let me know that things worked out and that would be thanks enough.


Alexander Scott is a Boston based Clock designer and fine artist - Scott's work has appeared in fine pub;ications such as Wallpaper Magazine, Artforum, The Boston Globe - and has been showni in galleries and showrooms throughout the world including, Japan, France, New York, and Stockholm.

see: Alexander Scott Photgraphy



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