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Thread: Does your SMP Quartz second hand hit every marker?

  1. #1
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    Does your SMP Quartz second hand hit every marker?

    During the recent (now aborted) sale of my 2541, I was asked, quite reasonably, whether or not the second hand hit the markers. As can be witnessed in my sales thread you can see that it's not totally perfect. In a full revolution it mostly is, but sometimes it's slightly off. However, overall, I stick to my guns that mine is more than acceptable - tho your OCD may say otherwise:) and that's fair enough.

    Now, I also have a 2264 which is one of the last made and must therefore have the 'D' movement and it does hit every marker bang on. So it can be done.

    Even though I asked STS to upgrade my 2541 to 'D' spec it's still not as good as my 2264..........I may well ask STS to fit a brand new movement in mine at the next battery change (which would mean it definitely will never be offered for sale again and I'll damn well wear it!) and see if that enables it to get to total perfection.

    But it's got me thinking and I'd be very interested to know how precise the same variants are for other owners.

  2. #2
    Master
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    I've had two Seamaster quartz. Neither have hit the markers. One was right in between, to my great frustration.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    I think there has to be some tolerance allowed. It would annoy me if it missed every marker or was between every marker but a little off some is ok by me.

    Also I wasn’t aware that the 2264/2541 (or the other quartz Seamasters) had different versions of the 1538 (eta 255.461) movement. I know the calibre 2500 used in the automatic Seamasters had c and d variants (possibly b in some?). What was the difference in the newer Quartz versions? I can’t imagine it would make them hit the markers better as my understanding is that’s primarily down to how the watch is assembled.

    I’ve had a grand Seiko quartz that didn’t hit the markers perfectly and that did bother me a little to be fair.
    Last edited by Mr Tetley; 17th February 2024 at 15:08.

  4. #4
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Tetley View Post
    I think there had to be some tolerance allowed. It would annoy me if it missed every marker or was between every marker but a little off some is ok by me.

    Also I wasnít aware that the 2264/2541 (or the other quartz Seamasters) had different versions of the 1538 (eta 255.461) movement. I know the calibre 2500 used in the automatic Seamasters had c and d variants (possibly b in some?). What was the difference in the newer Quartz versions? I canít imagine it would make them hit the markers better as my understanding is thatís primarily down to how the watch is assembled.

    Iíve had a grand Seiko quartz that didnít hit the markers perfectly and that did bother me a little to be fair.
    Taken from another forum and I can confirm it's correct (I do have the official build specs from Omega about all this but can't put my finger on them right now)

    The 1538 went through several different versions, and some of the upgrades done were to improve the accuracy of the seconds hand hitting the markers. This includes changing some wheels to reduce the play in the teeth of the wheels (gears), and also adding a magnet under a bridge to help stabilize the hand once it has moved. The last iteration of the Cal. 1538 is the D version.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Just had a look at m 2264.50 and it does hit every marker.
    Iím going to also check my £29 Lorus in a minute

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Grand Master TaketheCannoli's Avatar
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    Likewise, Iíve had three and none hit the markers.

    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    I've had two Seamaster quartz. Neither have hit the markers. One was right in between, to my great frustration.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 9S using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    Taken from another forum and I can confirm it's correct (I do have the official build specs from Omega about all this but can't put my finger on them right now)

    The 1538 went through several different versions, and some of the upgrades done were to improve the accuracy of the seconds hand hitting the markers. This includes changing some wheels to reduce the play in the teeth of the wheels (gears), and also adding a magnet under a bridge to help stabilize the hand once it has moved. The last iteration of the Cal. 1538 is the D version.
    Thanks for that. Very interesting and every day is a school day and my understanding was obviously incorrect.

  9. #9
    Grand Master zelig's Avatar
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    I had a 2264.

    It didnít hit any markers.

    Really bugged me so I flipped it.

    z

  10. #10
    This really is a first world problem :) personally I couldn't give a monkeys if it does or doesn't, pretty anal IMO :)

  11. #11
    Master
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    When I had my 2264 I wasnít a member here so didnít care or know if it hit the markers.

    Simpler times.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Most quartz watches don't hit every mark. My Sinn UX missed a few, but it never really bothered me. My only current analogue quartz, a Mondaine 40mm classic, hits a good three quarters. That's near enough for me.

    I bet that even a mechanical doesn't hit every marker, but the resting time is too short to notice.

  13. #13
    Grand Master
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    OK, quiz time:

    Why donít some quartz watch seconds hands hit all the markers all of the time?

    Hint: Think about the concept of concentricity.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    OK, quiz time:

    Why donít some quartz watch seconds hands hit all the markers all of the time?

    Hint: Think about the concept of concentricity.
    Because the dials are either not fixed exactly horizontally or the dials markers are not precisely placed.

    Neil

  15. #15
    Grand Master TaketheCannoli's Avatar
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    It has nothing to do with the dial. As the second hand only ticks 60 times per
    minute the margin for error is larger than that of a mechanical. What nobody ever talks about is the hitting (or not) of the markers of a mechanical movement. I bet they donít hit markers either but we donít notice.


    most of them donít but you donít notice it did to the
    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    Because the dials are either not fixed exactly horizontally or the dials markers are not precisely placed.

    Neil

  16. #16
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    Because the dials are either not fixed exactly horizontally or the dials markers are not precisely placed.

    Neil
    Whilst any misaligment or imprecise manufacture of the dial will cause issues, I think that Paul is alluding to the axial plane of rotation of the second hand shaft (whatever the technical term is for that!). If that does not rotate with perfect precision then it's going to wander and cause the hand to drift. And, being quartz, the outcome is potentially way more 'dramatic' than for a mechanical watch.
    Last edited by Mouse; 17th February 2024 at 22:18.

  17. #17
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    When I had a SMP quartz many moons ago I can’t remember it not hitting the markers. But it was before I joined TZ so didn’t know about such things.

    I have had a number of Omega X-33 and also various Breitling ani-digi. All of them hit the second markers around the dial. Still own an Omega X-33 MKii and it hits the markers.

    The SMP that was for sale looked a fine example btw!!

    I believe GS introduced technology in their quartz to alleviate backlash and more accurate alignment.
    ď Ford... you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.Ē HHGTTG

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    It has nothing to do with the dial. As the second hand only ticks 60 times per
    minute the margin for error is larger than that of a mechanical. What nobody ever talks about is the hitting (or not) of the markers of a mechanical movement. I bet they donít hit markers either but we donít notice.


    most of them donít but you donít notice it did to the
    100% wrong.

  19. #19
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    Because the dials are either not fixed exactly horizontally or the dials markers are not precisely placed.

    Neil
    Close enough to score full marks.

    There are two factors that have the biggest influence on the seconds hand being observed to hit the markers, and both are related to the dial. If the dial printing isn`t perfectly concentric the seconds hand will hit some markers closer than others and here's nothing that can be done to improve this. The second aspect is the dial feet, slight spraining or misalignment can cause the centre hole of the dial to not be perfectly concentric with the hands, in extreme cases the hour wheel will actually rub against the dial and kill the amplitude on a mechanical watch. This fault can be corrected, it's something I do when I have to but it requires care, no prizes for snapping dial feet.

    When I fix a seconds hand on a quartz watch I aim to get it hitting the markers between 50 and 10 secs, if it hits all the rest that's great, if not it's the best I can do.

    Owners mistakenly perceive this parameter as an indication of quality, I think that's a misconception. I`ve had Omega quartz watches with a significant error that can`t be corrected, I`ve also had cheap quartz watches that have (fortuitously) being bang on. Provided the seconds hand has been fitted to give the best compromise I really wouldn't judge a watch on this basis.

    Here's a little test for the OCD folks: check the alignment of your watch hands at 12 o clock, confirm this by checking at 2 mins to 12 and 2 mins after (always winding clockwise). Check again at 6 o clock. Are you happy with the result? This is the criteria I work to when fixing hands and it's far more important than a date change at exactly 12 or a seconds hand hitting all the markers. Again, printing discrepancies and misalignment of the dial will exacerbate the errors, on older watches wear to the bearing in the centre of the mainplate won't help, but it's quite common for errors to be present if you look for them. A competent repairer will always try to find the best compromise and in most cases the owner won't notice.

    Hope this clarifies a few points, fitting the hands to a watch can take 5 minutes or 25 minutes and some bugger will always moan because he's read smething on the internet that raises his expectations to an unrealistic level. My strong advice is to try and understand what's actually going on, that will help to accept the imperfections that are inevitable.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Only had one SMP quartz, bought it in '98, still have it. It does hit the markers all the way round.

  21. #21
    Master gunner's Avatar
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    My Seamaster 120 multifunction didn't have a second hand but I basically had the same annoyance from the minute hand.

  22. #22
    Grand Master dkpw's Avatar
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    My £150 Seiko SUR311p hits the markers.



    My Seiko Arnie 2 hits the markers.



    My Ray Mears 2 hits the markers.



    My GA835 hits the markers.



    My old Tag 1500 hit the markers.



    Why can't Omega?

    A quartz watch missing the markers means it's returned or sold.
    I discount guff from amatuer watch fettlers about dial printing, concentricity and accepting inevitable imperfections, as being just that, guff.
    David
    Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

  23. #23
    Master
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    Fair question, I have two £7 Casios and they both hit the markers nicely.

  24. #24
    I bought a Citizen promaster today, hits every marker all the way round. But I returned two to get this one, first landed mid way between markers all the way round (consistently inaccurate at least) second hit maybe 50%. Returned to a store today for a refund and their display model hit every marker.
    So did an exchange, sales guy was fine with my issue.
    So some can be spot on, guess it's all down to the skill or luck of the assembler.

  25. #25
    Master
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    Also plastic gears vs metal gears you'd assume the plastic gears less friction and could be less backlash etc.

    A snippet from the link below>

    "Polymers outperform metals in precision gearing"

    https://www.designworldonline.com/po...ision-gearing/
    Last edited by Bry1975; 22nd February 2024 at 09:20.

  26. #26
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    Fair question, I have two £7 Casios and they both hit the markers nicely.
    And I have a Casio Oceanus that does not hit the markers 100% around the dial. So no make is immune from this quartz issue..


    Sent from my SM-A047F using Tapatalk

  27. #27
    Grand Master
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    The backlash in the wheels should be consistent, I donít see this as a significant factor for the seconds hand not hitting markers or doing so consistently.

    CWC G10s are fairly good, Iíve restored a few and its been possible to get the hand hitting the markers exactly or very close for all of the dial, fitting the seconds hand can take a couple of goes to get it right.

    I think people take this too seriously, I always do my best when working in other folksís watches but I canít say Iím too bothered for my own.

  28. #28
    Craftsman TF23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    The backlash in the wheels should be consistent, I donít see this as a significant factor for the seconds hand not hitting markers or doing so consistently.

    CWC G10s are fairly good, Iíve restored a few and its been possible to get the hand hitting the markers exactly or very close for all of the dial, fitting the seconds hand can take a couple of goes to get it right.

    I think people take this too seriously, I always do my best when working in other folksís watches but I canít say Iím too bothered for my own.
    I have three CWC's, two G10s and a Royal Navy diver, and the second hand is perfect or near perfect on all of them.

    However one G10 - actually a Fatboy '80 reissue - had a slightly different issue which would have been unacceptable to me if not fixed. Shortly after buying it (mint but not brand new) I happened to check the time at almost exactly 12 o' clock and was dismayed to see that the hour hand hadn't reached twelve even though the minute hand was on 12. Experimentation showed that the hour hand didn't line up until the minute hand was beyond five past the hour.

    That really would have driven me mad, so I spoke to Silverman's and they were happy to send it to their watchmaker for attention. It came back perfectly aligned and I must praise Silverman's for their excellent no-hassle service in dealing with me. (Pleased to be able to mention that as it seems Silverman's come in for various sorts of flak from time to time around these parts.)

  29. #29
    Grand Master
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    Hr and minute hands out of alignment pisses me off far more than a seconds hand not hitting the markers.

  30. #30
    Craftsman TF23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Hr and minute hands out of alignment pisses me off far more than a seconds hand not hitting the markers.
    I couldn't agree more!

    It did surprise me that this degree of hand misalignment had escaped correction by QC at the Swiss factory, especially as my experience of CWC models' build quality has been very favourable. People complain about their current pricing, and I understand why up to a point, but I think they are well made watches with a genuine heritage and great style - if you like that sort of thing - and it's not obvious to me why mediocre brands offering boring watches with bog standard mechanical movements can charge much more without a word of criticism being raised!

  31. #31
    Master
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    I have a blue and a black variant, neither hits the markers perfectly, if I could be bothered I'd just reset the hands. Otherwise it's not a big issue although mostof my cheaper quartz watches, Citizen, Casio, Seiko etc. do hit the markers.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    Taken from another forum and I can confirm it's correct (I do have the official build specs from Omega about all this but can't put my finger on them right now)

    The 1538 went through several different versions, and some of the upgrades done were to improve the accuracy of the seconds hand hitting the markers. This includes changing some wheels to reduce the play in the teeth of the wheels (gears), and also adding a magnet under a bridge to help stabilize the hand once it has moved. The last iteration of the Cal. 1538 is the D version.

    thought that it is just the scales of those markers and the ratio of the second hand wheels.....

    Last edited by seikomatic; 23rd February 2024 at 03:26.

  33. #33
    Grand Master
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    Improvements incorporated in the last version of the 1538 don't make a significant difference in my opinion, anyone with an earlier SMP that doesn`t hit all the markers won't see an improvement by going to the expense of uprating their watch to the later movement. Think about what I posted earlier and that'll become obvious.

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