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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

New to the watch world, would like to share my story and see if there is something out of the ordinary here regarding the brand, the store or the repair experience.

I’ll try to keep this short! I received a Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day/Date watch as a gift. A few key things have happened w/in the first 2 years of ownership:

1. Strange cloudiness of the hands w/in a year of ownership;
2. ‘Clicking’ sound during winding after repair;
3. Return of cloudiness 1 month after repair;
4. As of yesterday (7/26/16), something shaking around inside the watch.

Here’s some more detail per issue:

Cloudiness 1

  • After about 6 months with the watch, noticed that the hands had become cloudy and spotted. Store said watch was still covered by warranty but they needed a warranty card, which I never got. I emailed ML support (DKSH Service Center) about the situation. A technician replied quickly, explained that the cloudiness was not normal and the store could easily reprint a new card based on my receipt on record. I emailed the sales person (w/ the watch technician cc’d) to ask for a card. Sales person responded quickly saying there was no problem and to drop the watch off.
  • Tech got the watch and emailed the following notes: 1, watch is not completely waterproof and moisture definitely got in somehow; 2, lubricants used in the last service may have been the wrong ones or they used too much of them and it began to evaporate with your arm’s heat; 3, there could have been some residual water/liquid that created a mist w/ the heat of your arm. Note - I’ve never had the watch serviced before this problem.
  • The watch came back looking great, hands no longer cloudy. Store owner, btw, was pretty surly w/ me when I came in to pick it up - “Oh, it’s you.” I guess the message got out. :)
Clicking

  • The watch had a new ‘clicking’ sound after winding 10-20 times. Contacted tech, explained how the automatic mechanism works and that the clicking is a normal indicator that the watch is fully wound. Makes sense except it wasn’t like that before. Tech explained it was likely due to a new lubricant they used during repair and cleaning.
  • Note: store owner recommended 30-40 turns to fully wind the watch. This new clicking sound starts after only 10-15 turns on the stopped watch. Is the store owner right or the technician?
Cloudiness 2
  • About a month later (Aug, ’15), hands got cloudy again. Emailed the tech, he had more ideas but wasn’t sure so didn’t send it out again.
Something rattling around
  • Noticed yesterday there’s now a rattling sound of something in the watch. Watch seems to be keeping time but there’s clearly something loose.
A few other points:
  • I would say I am a ’normal watch wearer’ - wear it as an everyday watch but often leave it off for a day or so; never had it underwater.
  • In case it matters - original gifted watch was a placeholder. When I went back to the store to exchange for a different face the one I wanted wasn’t in stock. The owner overheard and tried to sell me another from the display case. I politely declined and they ordered the one I wanted.
  • Not looking to immediately smear a store by name so I’ll just say we’re in NYC. I’m happy to share more details (multiple touch-points, equally bad) w/ anyone interested.
  • Just to be clear - while the store experience was really bad, the technician was really great and stuck w/ the issue the whole way.
Some questions:
  • Anyone have a similar experience w/ cloudy hands or something coming loose?
  • Is this a sign of a tampered with or ‘lemon’ watch?
  • Anything specific to ML quality control issues?
Any other insights or comments are appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Truth is, i know very little other than what I've read about Maurice Lacroix watches. I understood that this watch was marketed as a 'diver'. If so, i'd have some real concerns over the tech comment that it 'isn't completely waterproof' and if that's the case it makes that 'helium release valve' useless. You dont mention what strap you have on the watch so if you use a leather strap and keep the watch fairly snug on your wrist then there is potential for constant moisture around the watch from body heat/sweating etc. The cloudiness certainly indicates that moisture is entering the watch somewhere and the rattling indicates something is loose inside and it needs further repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. There is a diver model but this isn't it. This one is the Day/Date and is rated water resistant to 5 atm.

The band on it is metal, not leather and definitely not snug on the wrist.

Seems like something else is up, I guess. Disappointing, overall, as I really like the watch and what I've read about the company.
 

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  • Note: store owner recommended 30-40 turns to fully wind the watch. This new clicking sound starts after only 10-15 turns on the stopped watch. Is the store owner right or the technician?
Cloudiness 2

  • Noticed yesterday there’s now a rattling sound of something in the watch. Watch seems to be keeping time but there’s clearly something loose.
A few other points:

The click sound when it's partially wound sounds to me like the mainspring is not properly fastened in the barrel. Under light tension, the spring can build up enough power to drive the train but once you wind it beyond that point, the spring snaps loose inside the barrel until it finds a new position to find tension against. The loose part rattling around inside may actually be the barrel hook that's supposed to hold the spring to the barrel.

Normally, there is a clutch in the mechanism that prevents the spring from overwinding but in this case, the spring breaks loose under an extremely light load.

This is just my amateur guess based on the description you gave. I have a vintage Hamilton Automatic that does the exact same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting, thanks.

The technician was from an official ML maintenance company (DKSH Service Center in Lincoln, NE) and sounded really knowledgeable and committed to his craft. Here is what he said when I asked about the clicking:

" If your watch has an automatic movement, the "click" sound your hear when the watch is wound to the end is normal. All automatic movements have a "snake tongue end" and they begin sliding in their barrel when wound at about 90%. The end of the mainspring is not attached to the edge of the barrel as in manual wind movements. That is to prevent the breakage of the mainspring in the event of strong motion from your arm. Since the automatic winding device (rotor) does not know when the mainspring is fully wound and keeps turning with the motion of your wrist, if the mainspring would be attached to the barrel, it would snap in no time. To avoid that, the mainspring starts slipping when would to about 90% of its capacity, thus the subtle "click" sound."
 

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... I have a vintage Hamilton Automatic that does the exact same thing.
Likewise with my '72 Omega Seamaster DeVille. This is the first time I'd heard it explained so comprehensively. :thumbup1:
 

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Interesting, thanks.

The technician was from an official ML maintenance company (DKSH Service Center in Lincoln, NE) and sounded really knowledgeable and committed to his craft. Here is what he said when I asked about the clicking:

" If your watch has an automatic movement, the "click" sound your hear when the watch is wound to the end is normal. All automatic movements have a "snake tongue end" and they begin sliding in their barrel when wound at about 90%. The end of the mainspring is not attached to the edge of the barrel as in manual wind movements. That is to prevent the breakage of the mainspring in the event of strong motion from your arm. Since the automatic winding device (rotor) does not know when the mainspring is fully wound and keeps turning with the motion of your wrist, if the mainspring would be attached to the barrel, it would snap in no time. To avoid that, the mainspring starts slipping when would to about 90% of its capacity, thus the subtle "click" sound."
If you want to test the mainspring theory, wind the watch manually until it clicks, then set it down. Take note of how long it runs. Compare that against the published specs of it's power reserve. If it only runs for six hours on a "full wind", there is a problem with the mainspring. If it runs for a couple of days, the spring is probably fine and there is some other issue.

I do have many other thoughts on this issue that I will share depending on the results of the "full wind" power reserve test.
 
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