This timepiece enjoyed a rich history travelling the world on the wrist of my client, with many memories attached. The brief was to restore the watch to an 'as-new' condition whilst retaining the 'battle scars' and patina. Furthermore my client had always wanted an Automatic movement for this timepiece (which features a vintage quartz from factory).
The first step was to strip the watch head & see what we're working with, assess the movement and address the case. The watch was delivered to me as a head & separate replacement Z22 Seiko rubber dive strap. The overall quality was typical for the vintage & usage, with evidence of impact damage on the bezel, insert, mineral crystal and case. The original spring bars were well beyond their use by date as well, with a fair amount of play evident.
The case was treated to deep clean and machine polish to restore luster whilst retaining the original patina and marks from usage.
The crystal was unfortunately beyond repair. Whilst some scratches and marring can be safely removed from mineral crystal, the crazing was simply too deep on this item. A replacement was sought, and after consultation with my client a flat sapphire crystal was chosen with clear anti-reflective coating to retain originality whilst adding considerable resistance against further scratches. Take a look at the clarity difference between the two below:
As the original bezel & insert showed significant signs of wear, the decision was made to replace both items and retain the originals in storage. I sourced replacement items for each and fitted them - aesthetically, this replacement made the most difference to the overall look of the watch.
Upon inspection the original quartz movement with flash-damaged dial was unfortunately beyond repair. As my client had always wanted an Automatic for this timepiece, I searched & managed to source an original, unmolested Seiko automatic movement from the same era (1970's) as a replacement item.
As the crown and stem are also replaceable between these two movements, I retained the original items for my client.
Having restored the case & received all replacement pieces, I re-assembled the case and attached the Z22 rubber strap. The immediate outstanding difference is the bright, fresh bezel insert replacement, however upon further inspection the clarity of the new crystal is apparent.