Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > Bend it, Mend it - Mods & Wreckers > Strip down and rebuild of a Cartier Ferrari Formula

Sir Alan
Posts: 457

My second Cartier Ferrari Formula was bought with the sole intention of moving the dial and hands across to my first - I therefore didn't really mind that the pushers were worn, and one (the 10pm pusher) had been replaced with a non original one, the glass was badly scratched and the gold plating on the bezel was quite worn. 

Having done the dial swap, I realised that the grey dial actually really suited the silver case, and the bracelet and expanding clasp were in very nice condition. So, I have set about trying to restore it to better condition. I'll use this thread to update my progress.

Things I'd like to do:

1 - get the bezel re-plated

2 - fit a new glass

3 - sort out the worn pushers

4 - sort out the odd (10pm) pusher

5 - re-finish the case



To get the bezel re-plated I needed to remove it. Unlike the Seiko cases this was not easy. There is a very small indent at 9pm, but it really is small.

I was unsure how the bezel might be fixed to the case - a gasket?, glued in? or maybe pressure fitted?

It took me three different attempts to get the tool into the indent and release the bezel.


here you can see the marks I made with my tool, and also the locating pin (for both the tachy ring and the bezel).




and here's the bezel, you can see the indent, the gasket (soft) and the case locating pin indent.




here's the bezel with the gasket removed (you can see the groove the gasket fits into.



and some shots of the bezel, showing the wear

With the bezel out I was able to clean the case in the ultrasonic cleaner (I wasn't able to do this until now because the tachy ring is held in by the bezel).

I had already pushed the crystal out, deciding that I couldn't live with the bad scratching. It meant that I was committed to finding a suitable replacement and also glueing this in (as there is no crystal gasket).

Here's the old crystal

and the glue (very brittle)

This crystal is 31mm x 1.1mm.

At the time I placed my Cousins order I hadn't got the bezel off and I was wary of Pauls words around not getting any glue on the tachy ring. Therefore I ordered a variety of crystals, just to give myself as many options as possible.

As it turned out, with the bezel off I didn't need to worry about getting glue on the tachy ring.

So, I thought I would have a practice, using an old crystal (a 31.5mm x 1.5mm) and some of this

I didn't take much time doing this for the first time, just applying a liberal amount of glue into the bezel where the crystal gasket would normally go, and then pushing the crystal home.

Due to the amount of excess, quite a lot of it was pushed out of the underside (and may well have gone onto the tachy ring if it had been in situ).

I left it to dry for about 20 mins and then used a pin on the underside to remove the excess

first impressions are that this will be quite straightforward.

More to follow ......

June 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 566

I have done this but-- have trouble getting all the air bubbles out :P

June 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sir Alan
Posts: 457

OK, so I got the bezel re-plated (by a friend of a friend).

I'm reasonably happy with it, its not perfect (still showing signs of wear at 6pm) but it was done free so its good enough for now. I had a quote to do it 'professionally' for £65 which I might pursue at a later date.

With the bezel done, I could now fit a replcament crystal.

I opted to use a Sternkreuz MS 315 crystal. Slightly bigger than the original, but given that I was using a different glue (non UV hardened) I figured this would be more suitable.

Here's the crystal glued in place, with glue everywhere (when I practiced this I used less glue and was much neater!!)

I knew that the glue cleaned off very easily once left to partially set so wasn't worried by this.

you can see why its necessary to remove the bezel and do this nowhere near the tachy ring!!

I also re-finished the case.

July 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Sir Alan
Posts: 457

Having done this, I put the watch back together minus the pushers.

I then turned my attention to finding a new crown and new pushers.

As luck would have it, there was a crown for sale on ebay which I snapped up. It took a while to get to me via my shipping 'agent' in Germany and until it arrived I was worried that it might either not fit or not be NOS as advertised.

When it did arrive it was perfect :D

Shortly after this I saw a red dialled watch for sale and decided to make what was for me a very speculative low ball offer, based largely around what I'd pay for the parts, rather than a complete watch.

To be honest I was surprised and very pleased when my offer was accepted. Despite the sellers very blurry photos, it looked like I was going to get a pretty decent condition watch, with papers for a very fair price.

Better still I managed to avoid the stupid Global Postage Programme fees (which would have been significant) and had it shipped to me (for free!!) via a friend of a friend in the US.

When it arrived I was pleased to see that all 3 pushers were in great condition (no wear through) - interestingly the crown was worn through (so a good job I'd got the NOS crown). Here's the crown:

Here are the three pushers removed

but a good clean had them looking very nice

that's the new crown on the right.

I removed the old stem

and cleaned the pusher stems and springs

and then re-assembled them (using loctite to keep the pusher and crown stems in place)

I'd already decided to fit the red dial to this watch

So now I've got the same problem to solve (at my leisure) with the black case ............

July 21, 2014 at 11:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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