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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone out there in WTF land ever had any problem with their Seiko Spring Drive? They come with a 3 year warrantee, but it's off to Tokyo for any work. I'm also curious about the "periodic check" and "inspection and overhaul" as the owner's manual puts it. Any one had one yet? Interval suggested is "three or four years". Have they been out that long yet?

Nothing to report about my Ananta GMT other than it gains 2 seconds a month...Wah!
 

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It's very rare to have any issues with a Spring Drive. We've been selling them for over 7 years without having to send one in for an overhaul. My oldest Spring Drive is about 5 yrs old now and is still -2 a month. Not too shabby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just cruzing on the Bay and found this in a listing for a GS Spring Drive Chronograph:

"Grand Seiko can ONLY service in Japan. Any other Authorized Seiko dealers are NOT allowed to service ANY Grand Seiko.
This is Top-Of-The-Line Seiko = Very expensive maintanance fee. (Costed me nearly $1000 to service just the mechanism). This watch will need some polishing job, again will need to send Japan woth at least couple hundred$ just to polish.
This watch is built to be accurate NOT to be tough or heavy duty dropping."

OUCH!! I've got 2 now....Yikes
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
So I decided to ask Seiko. Turns out they won't give out the "periodic check" and "inspection and overhaul" price without having the timepiece. From Hawaii to New Jersey with insurance and at something faster than snail mail this will be almost $100 due mostly to the insurance cost. See form letter below:

Dear SEIKO Customer:

In reply to your recent letter/inquiry concerning how to obtain service and/or parts for your timepiece, please be advised as follows:

The SCA Service Center, provides repair services on Seiko, Seiko Clocks, Pulsar, Asics, and Lassale. We are also happy to handle the service of the following brands/collections: Grand Seiko, Seiko Galante, Seiko Credor, Seiko Spring Drive, and Seiko Kinetic Chronograph – caliber 9T (please be aware that all of these collections possess highly sophisticated movements and most must be sent to Japan for service, where the total lead time is 4-6 weeks). Please know that the SCA Service Center is the only service facility in the United States authorized by Seiko Corporation of America to service the above mentioned brands, and all work performed carries either a six or twelve month guarantee. The SCA Service Center will provide you with a free written estimate(s) to the cost of repairing your timepiece(s), including any part(s) it may require. We cannot provide estimates by phone, as we must have the timepiece in order to perform a proper evaluation. If you live in Puerto Rico, you may send/present your watch to Centro Tecnico, who is authorized by Seiko Corporation of America to provide In Warranty service on Seiko and Pulsar watches. Please see below for their address and phone number.

If you would like the SCA Service Center to evaluate your timepiece please send it to our service center in Mahwah, N.J. Please Note: We do not register warrantees. Warranty documents (original and fully completed Warranty Card or original Sales Receipt) must be sent with the timepiece for the service to be performed under the terms of the warranty. We will return all warranty and/or sales documentation. Items not covered under warranty, timepieces outside of the warranty period, and timepieces received without warranty paperwork will be estimated at prevailing repair costs. After the evaluation, we will contact you with the results of our findings.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE ORIGINAL GIFT BOX SINCE IT CAN NOT BE RETURNED.

We suggest you insure the package for your protection.
Please send the timepiece to:

SCA Service Center Centro Tecnico de Reparacion
1111 MacArthur Blvd. Or Avenida Roberto Clemente C16
Mahwah, NJ 07430 Carolina, Puerto Rico 00985
800-722-4452 787-750-7190

In addition, the SCA Service Center sells bands, straps, batteries, and band parts directly to consumers. Please call 1-800-722-4452 to order parts from us directly. Thank you for contacting us about your timepiece.

PLEASE RETURN THIS FORM WITH THE TIMEPIECE & KEEP A COPY OF THIS INFORMATION FOR YOUR RECORDS

NAME:
ADDRESS:
CITY: STATE: ZIP:
DAYTIME TELEPHONE #: ( )
FAX #: ( ) EMAIL:
BRAND: STYLE:
CASEBACK NUMBER: __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __
SERIAL NUMBER: __ __ __ __ __ __
COLOR: CASE: BAND: DIAL:
DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM:

SEIKO Corporation of America is committed to our customers and your complete satisfaction. We will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So.... I've 4 years to think about this, but I wonder what would you do?

A) At 5 years on the dot pack them up and send them off to New Jersey for 5-6 weeks of travel to Japan with largely unknown service costs. Suck it up, you bought big so you pay the man. (not my favorite choice, can you guess?)

B) Monitor the time loss/gain and deal with it when it seems excessive, completely ignoring the recommendations in the owners handbook.

c) Run it till it stops and send it in for service as I always done in the past. This seems the best way to buy a new movement.

D) Hope by 5 yeas in the future some reputable watchmaker in the continental US will have cracked open a SD and can do service on it.

E) When it stops put it on eBay and sell it "as is", then go buy a new one.
 

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Correct. Grand Seiko can only be serviced in Japan, as well as Ananta and the new Astron GPS. The chronograph will be the most expensive to service, but depends on severity of repair. I think $1000 is for a total dis-assembly/re-assembly and probably cost of replacement of parts.

As a forewarning... 4-6 weeks is being generous on time of repair. This may be closer to 8-12 weeks, again, depending on severity.

I personally would say B. or C. I think because the watches technology was so new, Seiko under estimated themselves. It is also over 80% mechanical, so they based their suggestions on other mechanical watches they make. As I mentioned, my 1st Spring Drive is 4yrs old now, and no signs of deviation in time, or lack of power reserve. Those are the 2 things I would watch for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks Joe, I prefer B, but if it runs for 25 years because Seiko overbuilt it, then C or E may be attractive. I read somewhere that Seiko itself has no real idea how long the movement will last. In the end it may depend on the lubricants and again I've read somewhere that Seiko has made significant strides there as well. Here were are being the mechanical equivilant of a double blind study. This is the weirdest hobby.
 

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As the old Fram oil filter ads said, "Pay me now or pay me later."

I have a house full of clocks, which I maintain (and fix) myself. As I understand it, even the best modern oils begin to break down in five years or so. It's a lot easier to clean and oil a clock than to overhaul/rebush/replace worn pivots.

When the oil is no longer doing its full job, the pivots and/or the bushings wear. This will happen before you notice any significant change in timekeeping. It's expensive to replace pivots, and/or rebush a watch.

I'll be sending my Spring Drive watches back to Japan each five years. I paid a lot of money for these watches; I expect to spend something to maintain them, and I have more than one watch, so I'll still have a watch (or two) I love for the six weeks or so I'll be without it (the one time I sent one back to Japan for some adjustments that probably included taking its movement apart, I got it back exactly six years later).

YMMV
 

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I agree completely with 124Spider on this. First, I'll be sending mine directly to Japan through the JDM dealer I got it from. Second, it will go back in 4 years after purchase regardless of whether anything seems to have changed in its performance. My feeling is--after a very expensive purchase--why try to push things? It will be going back anyway at some point, and it makes no sense to me to leave this until some real damage has occurred. I laid out some serious long green for my SBGA011, and it's an investment I will protect.
 
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