Crown action / servicing

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missF
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Crown action / servicing

Post by missF »

When I bought my breitling colt there was a problem with the winding out the box. I could set the watch but couldn’t reseat and screw in the crown (which was unscrewed when I took it out the box). It went back for a warranty repair.

The crown now unscrews, works and rescrews properly. It’s just.... a bit stiff and crunchy... it takes quite a lot of pressure to rescrew.

Here are my newbie questions-
-Are different movements different in terms of how stiff the crown is?
-If I get the watch serviced would that make the winding a bit smoother just by dint of taking everything apart and putting it together again?
-Would you consider this a fault that needs an actual repair?

Thanks :thumbup:
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

It’s something we have discussed from time to time, Lindsey.

Obviously it’s vital that the screw-in mechanism is seated properly in the thread. A lot of people, myself included, have found that its best to keep a little pressure with the thumb and first finger on the crown while turning it backwards; you often feel a distinct click which means that the mechanism is seated properly.

Even then, different movements behave in different ways. My Meistersinger is a bit stiff and crunchy in the way that you describe; the C63 GMT is so smooth that I did not at first believe it was actually screwed in. The UN will only screw in if you apply back pressure as described, but once engaged it’s very smooth, though it has a really short travel to screw in fully. The Glycine also needs back pressure and is very smooth once engaged. Same with the C5. My other three main watches have pull-out crowns.

I hope that makes sense; it’s a bit difficult to explain properly.
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by JAFO »

It doesn't help anyone with a screw down crown, but it's a shame everyone is so paranoid about "needing" a generally superfluous screw down crown. (In my opinion)
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Not always paranoia, Dave. If the screw-down crown helps better to protect against water ingress, so much the better. With my Sealander I’m happy to wear it all day every day on holiday, including swimming. The only place I won’t take it is a hot shower (or obviously a steam room or sauna). Accepted logic is that it can also add a layer of protection against dust, dirt and high humidity. But I’m no expert, and it only takes a few seconds to screw or unscrew the crown anyway.
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by thomcat00 »

Among my limited variety the watches with threaded crowns are all Sellita powered, irrespective of the brand. Of my pull crown watches there are multiple movements driving them. There is a bit of difference among movements and their rotation feel in the crowns but not that much.

For all threaded crowns I always turn the crown in the opposite direction to find where it seats to seal it. Just habit over the years.
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by tikkathree »

missF wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 10:39 am When I bought my breitling colt there was a problem with the winding out the box. I could set the watch but couldn’t reseat and screw in the crown (which was unscrewed when I took it out the box). It went back for a warranty repair.

The crown now unscrews, works and rescrews properly. It’s just.... a bit stiff and crunchy... it takes quite a lot of pressure to rescrew.

Here are my newbie questions-
-Are different movements different in terms of how stiff the crown is?
-If I get the watch serviced would that make the winding a bit smoother just by dint of taking everything apart and putting it together again?
-Would you consider this a fault that needs an actual repair?

Thanks :thumbup:
I beg your pardon? You a newbie? :D :D Oh come come now, your self-effacing modesty becomes you but prithee madam kindly do not tarry with us. (I'm sorry I went a bit Bard there....)

So is the issue with the stem (which is connected into the movement) and crown, or is it to do with the threads on the underside of the crown and the threads on the outside of the stem tube? I think if you have issues winding the stem to wind the watch or adjust the hands that points to the stem and its interaction with the movement but if the problem is in reseating the crown and windin the watch feels completely free that points to the stem tube and its threaded part.

Your description of "stiff and crunchy.... a lot of pressure to rescrew" makes me wonder if the stem is actually fractionally longer than optimum?

I have two watches which I know to require a bit of application when reseating the screw-in crown. One of them has very snug and quite deep crown guards and due to the design of the case and the guards I find it easier to have the case back upwards when reseating the crown: it's just easier to see what's happening.

There's merit in the Vostok Amphibia school of crown design: the famous "wobbly crown" which is a design feature to avoid the risk of damaging the movement when securing the crown.

Is there any possibility that the threads on the stem tube have a little bit of damage? It's not easy to see I know.
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by missF »

^^^
Thanks Pete (and others) - it all helps.
Pete - as you say - at least part of the difficulty is the design of the crown guards. They stop me from pushing the crown in far enough to really start to engage with the screwy part of the tube (I don’t know enough technical words here...). So - thanks to you I’ll turn the watch over and wind it that way from now on :thumbup:

Also, you’ve all reminded me about turning the crown backwards until it seats, before screwing it in. I’ll do that from now on - when I do it that way the crown seats in closer to the case so there’s less fiddly winding to do to screw the crown in fully.

Beyond that the crown winds the movement smoothly. I don’t think there’s a fault here - just me needing some good advice to avoid me causing a fault or getting frustrated :thumbup:
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by missF »

(I call these things newbie questions because I feel like I really should know all this by now! :lol: )
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by Richard D »

missF wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 4:02 pm (I call these things newbie questions because I feel like I really should know all this by now! :lol: )
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by JAFO »

tikkathree wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 3:51 pm
missF wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 10:39 am When I bought my breitling colt there was a problem with the winding out the box. I could set the watch but couldn’t reseat and screw in the crown (which was unscrewed when I took it out the box). It went back for a warranty repair.

The crown now unscrews, works and rescrews properly. It’s just.... a bit stiff and crunchy... it takes quite a lot of pressure to rescrew.

Here are my newbie questions-
-Are different movements different in terms of how stiff the crown is?
-If I get the watch serviced would that make the winding a bit smoother just by dint of taking everything apart and putting it together again?
-Would you consider this a fault that needs an actual repair?

Thanks :thumbup:
I beg your pardon? You a newbie? :D :D Oh come come now, your self-effacing modesty becomes you but prithee madam kindly do not tarry with us. (I'm sorry I went a bit Bard there....)

So is the issue with the stem (which is connected into the movement) and crown, or is it to do with the threads on the underside of the crown and the threads on the outside of the stem tube? I think if you have issues winding the stem to wind the watch or adjust the hands that points to the stem and its interaction with the movement but if the problem is in reseating the crown and windin the watch feels completely free that points to the stem tube and its threaded part.

Your description of "stiff and crunchy.... a lot of pressure to rescrew" makes me wonder if the stem is actually fractionally longer than optimum?

I have two watches which I know to require a bit of application when reseating the screw-in crown. One of them has very snug and quite deep crown guards and due to the design of the case and the guards I find it easier to have the case back upwards when reseating the crown: it's just easier to see what's happening.

There's merit in the Vostok Amphibia school of crown design: the famous "wobbly crown" which is a design feature to avoid the risk of damaging the movement when securing the crown.

Is there any possibility that the threads on the stem tube have a little bit of damage? It's not easy to see I know.
I know Lindsey was asking about screw down crowns, not push pull, and it's derailing the thread a little, but it's the problems caused by difficult screw down actions that make me wonder why so many posters are desperate for a screw down. Yes, maybe, if you go in water, but if you don't want to go in water the screw drown crown is a hindrance at best. Especially screw down chronographs (and pushers). I really think a lot of the pleasure with my C65s is the push pull crowns, and the hand winding. :D
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by tikkathree »

missF wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 4:02 pm (I call these things newbie questions because I feel like I really should know all this by now! :lol: )
Oh she shoots.... she scores!!!! GOALLLLLL!!!!! :clap: :clap:
JAFO wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 5:02 pm
I know Lindsey was asking about screw down crowns, not push pull, and it's derailing the thread a little, but it's the problems caused by difficult screw down actions that make me wonder why so many posters are desperate for a screw down. Yes, maybe, if you go in water, but if you don't want to go in water the screw drown crown is a hindrance at best. Especially screw down chronographs (and pushers). I really think a lot of the pleasure with my C65s is the push pull crowns, and the hand winding. :D
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by rkovars »

One thing that might help. Get some waxed dental floss (it must be waxed). Unscrew the crown and pull it all the way out stopping the movement. Take the dental floss and rub it back and fourth against the protruding crown tube. This will lubricate the threads a little with wax. It should help a little when re-engaging the crown.

Not the greatest video but gets the point across I think.

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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by missF »

rkovars wrote: Thu Feb 16, 2023 9:53 pm One thing that might help.
Thanks - that’s perfect. ‘Gritty crown feel’ is a thing then! :thumbup:
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

^^^ Indeed. It is a sensation experienced by the follically challenged when sand accidentally gets mixed up with the suncream one is attempting to apply to the scalp. Just another excellent reason for wearing a Panama.
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Re: Crown action / servicing

Post by missF »

:lol: :lol:
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