Saturday, 8 March 2014

Seiko 7A28 dial restoration

I've owned my Seiko 7A28-7020 since it was handed down to me by my father in the late eighties, and I love it! As is evident from my photo's, I wear the watch for most of the time, and it has dealt with some fairly heavy abuse, even once having an MG gearbox land on it. I realised a few years back that it was an interesting watch when I had the battery replaced at an independent dealer, and they told me the history of the model which is relevant  to me as my father is an electronics engineer.I've recently joined a very informative forum about this model of watch and other Seiko variants, I found out from there that the watch I have is quite early, from the serial number 2D0273, it would be from December 1982, the model was released in 1983.

I joined the forum as I wanted to replace my dial.


Unfortunately in around 1992/93 I had the battery replaced and when that was done, the tachymeter ring had moved, causing the movement to sit proud. At the time I was an arts student so I was not paying due care and attention! This has caused some 'quite significant' discolouration of the watch face (this looks much more horrendous in the photo's!) and after having an explore of the forum I would hazard a guess this is from moisture ingress from the back not sitting correctly. I would love to get another white face to replace the original, as the watch works perfectly. Also, it could do with a new crystal, but as I understand it the black gaskets aren't available any more and I would like to keep that so we'll see...
Giving the watch a clean...


I decided to explore restoring the dial as finding a replacement is a nightmare!
I started drawing up vectors and test printing those from engravings I exposed...


And this is where I'm at now. The print is getting close, almost ready for a test print on the dial. A huge consideration is the fact that printing has come on so far since 1982, and that the print will be of much higher quality than the original. But, I do not want the restoration to be noticeable, I want the watch to look like it is in very good original condition.

As an aside, I found out on the forum that the watch is a James Bond watch! Which is brilliant! But obviously I can't tell anyone about that as it makes me sound like an idiot. As I did when I contacted Seiko UK....


The dial should look like this...