Repairing a Steelfish (2836-2) with Low Power Reserve

12 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted

A forum member sent me his Breitling Steelfish with the problem of having a poor power reserve.

The movement is a clone ETA 2836-2. The following video shows why the watch has a low power reserve:

As seen, when the watch is horizontal and the rotor turns to wing the movement, the rotor spins, in fact unwinding the movement. This only happens when the watch is more or less horizontal (rotor has not vertical weight). Therefore, in the real life, only when the owner is wearing the watch horizontally and he moves the arm, the movement will loose power reserve.

REPAIR

This behaviour shows a problem in the reversing wheel(s). Therefore, we have to swap the defective reversing wheel to repair it. After removing the case back we see the clone ETA 2836-2 movement

img2977g.jpg

The rotor is removed:

rw1r.jpg

The two red arrows show the two reversing wheels (RWs) of this movement.

Green arrows in following picture show the holes of the screws to be removed. Then we will be able to remove a module where the RWs are located,

rw2v.jpg

The module is shown in the two following pictures:

img2980.jpg

rw3m.jpg

Green arrow in previous picture shows a screw to be removed to free the RWs. In next picture this screw and a jewelled plate that fastens the RWs have been removed.

img2982x.jpg

Next step is to remove a gear above of one of the RWs:

img2983.jpg

Therefore, now the RWs can be removed, shown on the right:

img2984x.jpg

Next step would be buying the spares RWs. As you can imagine only one of the RWs is defective (not very probable both RWs defective at the same time). Unfortunately, the most expensive is which has problems. The other one, quite cheap, is perfect. However, as the price is low I will swap both.

Top face of both RWs is practically equal, as seen in previous picture. However, if we look to bottom face,

rw4mj.jpg

one of them has a pinion. This is very important, because the pinion is the only way to distinguish them when looking for their references.

Cousinsuk.com parts numbers

To search for spares for ETA 2836-2 we have to take into account that many parts of this movement are not listed, because these parts are compatible with ETA 2820. Hence, in this case we have to know that RWs of 2820 and 2836 are the same pieces.

Searching at cousinsuk produces this list:

ETA28201530 ETA 2820 1530 Auto Reverser Wheel Without Pinion £2.95

ETA282014885 ETA 2820 1488.5 Auto Reverser Wheel with Pinion and Jewels £12.95

ETA28201488 ETA 2820 1488 Auto Reverser Wheel with Pinion £4.50

There are two references of RWs with pinion and one without pinion. Therefore, the reference for the without pinion RW is clear.

And with pinion we have tow references: one without jewels (cheap) and one with jewels (expensive). The clone has a jewelled RW, therefore, we should buy the jewelled one. However, I bought all the references, to check if the RW without jewels is fully compatible.

Next picture shows a comparison of Asian / ETA RWs with pinion:

rw5m.jpg

As seen, the only way to distinguish them is counting the number of holes. Some time ago this difference was commented by one dealer in this picture, to detect a clone ETA 2836:

rw7.jpg

Following picture shows a comparison of the two ETA RWs with pinion, jewelled and not jewelled:

rw6s.jpg

As seen, the jewels seem to be the only difference. I have checked that the not jewelled RW works flawlessly. Therefore, which one to use? Being honest, if this were my watch I would use the cheapest one, because for me to repair it again in the future is not a problem. However, for a forum member we have to employ the best spare available.

Assembling again the RWs is very easy; we only have to follow the same steps back. Therefore, this work is not shown.

As a curiosity, the hands of the watch were damaged:

img3020i.jpg

img3021.jpg

As previous picture show, lume is very dark and some oxide is visible on the hands. Therefore, we are going to remove the oxide and to re-lume.

Old lume is removed employing acetone:

img3022.jpg

Oxide is removed employing Cape Cod:

img3024.jpg

Re-luming:

img3027l.jpg

The watch has been repaired:

img3126.jpg

img3127.jpg

Best wishes,

Francisco

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ID: 2   Posted

Fantastic post Francisco. Thanks for sharing your work thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

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ID: 3   Posted

I always look forward to Francisco's threads, they really help me with understanding more about what I'm about to break when I start tinkering :)

Just wish you recorded more of your work on PAM specific A7750's ;)

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ID: 4   Posted

I always look forward to Francisco's threads, they really help me with understanding more about what I'm about to break when I start tinkering :)

Just wish you recorded more of your work on PAM specific A7750's ;)

Thanks.

Why PAM specific A7750? What do you mean?

Regards,

Francisco

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ID: 5   Posted

Well the PAM 7750 movements are usually modified so that they only have the seconds at 9 post and date wheel left (NOTE: the date wheel on these is not covered by any cogs and looks like it can just be pulled right off), the chrono second hand post is removed (unless it is chrono model. Then the GMT version of the 7750 used in the PAMs has a separate closed module fixed on top of the movement which adds a GMT post (not sure exactly what's added, but it partially covers the date wheel as well). I happen to have both movements out of their case on my desk at home, if you want me to take some pics of what they look like on top.

As most of your video tutorials are of Rolex or Hublot fixes, they don't really show the equivalent fix needed to be done on the 7750. I suppose the Hublot ones would be, until you start dealing with the top part of the movement.

As the 7750 is much more complicated than a 6497, I only feel comfortable working on it to a certain point. If fixing the unwinding problem on the 7750 is accomplished the same way as this (2836-2) - with just removing some screws, rotor, module and a wheel or two, I'd feel comfortable doing it while referring to your guide. But if I'm going to encounter a spring, or tension filled part I'll probably leave it for an expert :)

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ID: 6   Posted

ANother great write-up filled with great, practical tips, clear instruction and description of the problem.

Bravo!!!

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ID: 7   Posted

Well the PAM 7750 movements are usually modified so that they only have the seconds at 9 post and date wheel left (NOTE: the date wheel on these is not covered by any cogs and looks like it can just be pulled right off), the chrono second hand post is removed (unless it is chrono model. Then the GMT version of the 7750 used in the PAMs has a separate closed module fixed on top of the movement which adds a GMT post (not sure exactly what's added, but it partially covers the date wheel as well). I happen to have both movements out of their case on my desk at home, if you want me to take some pics of what they look like on top.

As most of your video tutorials are of Rolex or Hublot fixes, they don't really show the equivalent fix needed to be done on the 7750. I suppose the Hublot ones would be, until you start dealing with the top part of the movement.

As the 7750 is much more complicated than a 6497, I only feel comfortable working on it to a certain point. If fixing the unwinding problem on the 7750 is accomplished the same way as this (2836-2) - with just removing some screws, rotor, module and a wheel or two, I'd feel comfortable doing it while referring to your guide. But if I'm going to encounter a spring, or tension filled part I'll probably leave it for an expert :)

I see now what you mean....

If I repair one of these movements, I will post the work... ;)

Regards,

Francisco

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ID: 8   Posted

Thank you Francisco, always a pleasure to read and learn.

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ID: 9   Posted

pretty f'ing amazing. I wish i could do that!

p.d. por cierto francisco.. haces revisiones de relojes? Estoy en Madrid y tengo un par de pelucos que necesitan revisiones..

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ID: 10   Posted

pretty f'ing amazing. I wish i could do that!

p.d. por cierto francisco.. haces revisiones de relojes? Estoy en Madrid y tengo un par de pelucos que necesitan revisiones..

te env

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ID: 11   Posted

great write up. love the clip it brings it all to life...thanks for sharing

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ID: 12   Posted

Excellent ! Ty!

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