Spinning rotor syndrome

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Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by watchaholic » Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:28 am

Referring to the suggested disparity between Selitta and ETA quality in another thread. One of the more commonly reported problems, the dreaded "spinning rotor" syndrome. It would be interesting to know of those forum members who have had this experience, which were Selitta and which were ETA.
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Laird » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:00 am

3 Selittas & 1 ETA last month ! - had been on a Winder for quite some time, so didnt try a Manual Wind until I saw some references on here - then ...kaboom....

... and now my C11 Makaira 500 is suffering ... sigh
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by nbg » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:57 pm

I had spinning rotor syndrome on a C65 Dartmouth that I purchased NN in January. It became evident a few days after I received the watch, at the point I let the watch power down and then tried to reset and a few winds to get it going (because it was running and correctly set when I received it, I didn’t notice until the reset).

The movement is a Sellita SW200-1 and I wrote about it here. The watch was fixed and returned to me by CW in a timescale of 3 weeks.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53534

Whilst I was aware of anecdotal evidence of potential issues, across many brands, it was not something I had particularly looked into, until I had the problem with mine. I was aware of comments on various forums that the issue in simple terms was a problem with the reverser wheels (sticking?), but didn’t know if that was just about suboptimal lubrication, or other aspects. Easy enough to envisage it happening if there was virtually no effective lubrication on a watch not serviced for many years.

During my initial email exchange with CW reference was made to Sellita’s tolerance of 30 degrees of tilt. However I must stress that CW were not indicating that if it passed the 30 degree test they would say it was in spec. It was made clear from the outset that the watch would be repaired to run as both CW and I would expect.

This set me off on trying to find something that explained the 30 degree tilt test, albeit I had already worked out what I thought it meant.

Mr Google then threw up a useful thread, where from reading the responses it is evident that a couple of those who responded are likely to be watchmakers. Gave them somewhat of a head start on me, given that my watch expertise is limited to wearing them and managing to change a bracelet/strap! :)

https://forums.watchuseek.com/f6/help-r ... 425-2.html
.
C7414C82-5172-4428-90C3-8B49B8591770.png
The situation with mine was that even if held at 0 degrees, I.e. in the position with least gravitational pull on the rotor, it was still not possible to do anything other than spin the rotor when attempting to wind. As I moved towards 30 degrees it became more difficult to be able to impart any wind and at 90 degrees wouldn’t wind at all.

Now that the watch is fixed there is no difference whatsoever in the feel of manual wind, regardless of the angle of tilt at which the watch is held.

Further thoughts from me include - are the movements provided to a brand by the likes of Sellita or ETA already lubricated and “good to go”, or is this something that the brands would do themselves? Possibly dependent on retail price point of the watch and whether the brand performs any modifications? Do ETA adopt a similar “tilt test”?

We probably have a couple of watchmakers as members on the forum and it would be interesting to get their perspective, even if only to tell me that what I have put above is incorrect, or to be able to add further detail.

By way of further test I picked four Tridents from my watch box (2 Mk1 and 2 Mk2, purchased between December 2013 and July 2017). Couldn’t get the rotor to spin on any of them, even when held horizontal at 0 degrees. Not much help though, as I don’t know whether they have ETA or Sellita movements. :)

Neil
Other watch forums of interest:
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by watchaholic » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:13 pm

Great writeup Neil. Personally, I have yet to experience this issue, but is nevertheless intriguing, and good to know about as it seems just a matter of time till this crops up. Probably tempting fate just mentioning the subject. Till then , I'll be knocking on wood with no clear winner/loser between the two.
Does anyone know of any clear differences in design between the two brands that might lead to failure, or is this purely a matter of lubrication?
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Bident » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:37 pm

My Oris Aquis had the spinning rotor issue when I first received it last year, along with strong resistance when attempting to wind. After talking with the AD and researching this issue, it seems to occur in both the SW200-1 and the ETA2824 regularly. Oris states in their manual to hand wind only when the movement is completely powered down, and only 12 turns rather than the often stated 20 to 40 turns. I'm guessing they have had more than their fair share of watches being sent back to them with this problem and introduced the 12 turns accordingly. My Aquis' crown would also not fully pop out, something that also seems related to this problem. Following the advice of various sources, my problem was resolved by (1) waiting until the watch was fully powered down; (2) after unscrewing the crown, I continue to unscrew two to three times, then slowly move the crown forward and it pops out; (3) handwinding 12 turns at the aforementioned 30 degree angle; and (4) not handwinding at all when the movement is powered. So far, I haven't had the problem return, although admittedly I rarely hand wind and keep the watch on a winder. At some point I will likely send it in for a look as I have a few years on the warranty (Oris extends the 2 year warranty to 3 years when you register your watch on their website).
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Commisar » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:40 pm

nbg wrote:I had spinning rotor syndrome on a C65 Dartmouth that I purchased NN in January. It became evident a few days after I received the watch, at the point I let the watch power down and then tried to reset and a few winds to get it going (because it was running and correctly set when I received it, I didn’t notice until the reset).

The movement is a Sellita SW200-1 and I wrote about it here. The watch was fixed and returned to me by CW in a timescale of 3 weeks.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53534

Whilst I was aware of anecdotal evidence of potential issues, across many brands, it was not something I had particularly looked into, until I had the problem with mine. I was aware of comments on various forums that the issue in simple terms was a problem with the reverser wheels (sticking?), but didn’t know if that was just about suboptimal lubrication, or other aspects. Easy enough to envisage it happening if there was virtually no effective lubrication on a watch not serviced for many years.

During my initial email exchange with CW reference was made to Sellita’s tolerance of 30 degrees of tilt. However I must stress that CW were not indicating that if it passed the 30 degree test they would say it was in spec. It was made clear from the outset that the watch would be repaired to run as both CW and I would expect.

This set me off on trying to find something that explained the 30 degree tilt test, albeit I had already worked out what I thought it meant.

Mr Google then threw up a useful thread, where from reading the responses it is evident that a couple of those who responded are likely to be watchmakers. Gave them somewhat of a head start on me, given that my watch expertise is limited to wearing them and managing to change a bracelet/strap! :)

https://forums.watchuseek.com/f6/help-r ... 425-2.html
.
C7414C82-5172-4428-90C3-8B49B8591770.png
The situation with mine was that even if held at 0 degrees, I.e. in the position with least gravitational pull on the rotor, it was still not possible to do anything other than spin the rotor when attempting to wind. As I moved towards 30 degrees it became more difficult to be able to impart any wind and at 90 degrees wouldn’t wind at all.

Now that the watch is fixed there is no difference whatsoever in the feel of manual wind, regardless of the angle of tilt at which the watch is held.

Further thoughts from me include - are the movements provided to a brand by the likes of Sellita or ETA already lubricated and “good to go”, or is this something that the brands would do themselves? Possibly dependent on retail price point of the watch and whether the brand performs any modifications? Do ETA adopt a similar “tilt test”?

We probably have a couple of watchmakers as members on the forum and it would be interesting to get their perspective, even if only to tell me that what I have put above is incorrect, or to be able to add further detail.

By way of further test I picked four Tridents from my watch box (2 Mk1 and 2 Mk2, purchased between December 2013 and July 2017). Couldn’t get the rotor to spin on any of them, even when held horizontal at 0 degrees. Not much help though, as I don’t know whether they have ETA or Sellita movements. :)

Neil
The Mk2 started the transition to sellita

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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by watchaholic » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:18 pm

(1) waiting until the watch was fully powered down; (2) after unscrewing the crown, I continue to unscrew two to three times, then slowly move the crown forward and it pops out; (3) handwinding 12 turns at the aforementioned 30 degree angle; and (4) not handwinding at all when the movement is powered

Great advise. I have a Damsko that acts exactly the same way, referencing the crown not popping all the way out. Probably not always the case but I suspect a portion of the problems arise from over hand winding. Give it 8-10 winds to get her going and let the watch do what it was designed to do. Possibly why the less expensive Seikos are made so they can't be wound by hand.
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Bident » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:32 am

^^^I bet your winding only eight to 10 times is one of the reasons (maybe THE reason) you have yet to experience this spinning rotor issue! :thumbup:
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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Commisar » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:33 am

Bident wrote:^^^I bet your winding only eight to 10 times is one of the reasons (maybe THE reason) you have yet to experience this spinning rotor issue! Image
While seemingly common, I doubt that even 15% of ETAs/Sellita movements have this issue

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Re: Spinning rotor syndrome

Post by Bident » Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:38 am

Commisar wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 4:33 am
Bident wrote:^^^I bet your winding only eight to 10 times is one of the reasons (maybe THE reason) you have yet to experience this spinning rotor issue! Image
While seemingly common, I doubt that even 15% of ETAs/Sellita movements have this issue

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I wouldn't disagree. I do wonder though, if the majority of that 15% or less are being hand wound with any frequency.
Best regards,
John

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