Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Parts Info, Tech Tips and Tinkering > Seiko p/n 4450.727 Switch actuator lever - Obsolete & No Longer Available

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Some bad news I'm afraid, Gentlemen. :(


I've probably not helped the situation by posting this in a number of topics in the Workshop section, when discussing sticky pushers:



October 21, 2013 at 7:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

I'd used the last new one I had left in my spares stock on Dave's 7A38-7270 at the weekend (see this thread in the Workshop section).


So yesterday evening I sat down to compile my next Cousins' order.

I thought I'd order 6 off 4450.727 switch levers, as I have a couple more watches / movements that are going to need them.

This morning, Cousins' acknowledgement / invoice arrived in my email inbox. Against the line for 4450.727, it showed:



Oddly, when I checked the item details, around mid-morning, it (then) showed:




So I phoned Cousins and asked why they hadn't created a back-order for the other 5 I'd ordered. Apparently a data entry error. :roll:


If you search on 4450.727 on Cousins' website now, you'll see this:


This is what shows (in my basket for the back-order for 5, that I'd subsequently created for myself):



Confirming what Seiko Oceania's database had been showing for some time:



So it look's like the supply (or at least what stock Seiko UK had left) has finally dried up. 


October 21, 2013 at 7:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

is there an alternative? or will we have to search for battered watches and hope for the best? I still have 4 I bought months ago when I was restoring my late fathers 7A34-7010... 

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 21, 2013 at 7:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Then I expect you're going to be increasingly popular George. :P

October 21, 2013 at 7:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

In hindsight, actually I am happy I did, since I have a 7a38-7060 that I am planning to restore....

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

You're going to waste 3 of those NOS switch levers on that water-damaged mess ?? :o


October 21, 2013 at 8:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

ahaha no, no worries... I have another one I got later on... the "guinea pig" will stay as it is for a long time, I am afraid...

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

Paul, just one quick thought.... these 4450.727 switch levers are just plain metal (steel?), and could be easily reproduced with a laser cutting machine, or with a much cheaper tool (press cutter), provided that we are able to get the correct dimensions out of a sample.

Considering that this part is used on all 7Axx series watches (7a28 - 7a34 - 7a38 - 7a48 - 7a54) how much sense do you think it would make to remake them? Would there be enough demand, to make it feasible? Or would this be just a stupid idea?

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Not a stupid idea - at all, George. :)

I was already thinking along the same lines (having some samples laser cut) this morning, but decided not to write anything for now.

One of my previous now lapsed hobbies is slot car racing (the proper thing - not Scalextric).

In the 1980's chassis materials started moving away from piano wire / brass plate to laser cut spring steel (as switch lever material).

There's a few (relatively simple) designs futher down this page (from 1/24th Open onward): http://www.chaskeelingscd.co.uk/1_24.htm

As you can see, some of them include relatively small laser cut components. I'm sure we could find someone prepared to make a batch of repro' switch levers to exact tolerances. But I don't think we need worry just yet. Still plenty of gash watches / movements about. ;)


October 21, 2013 at 12:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

Sure, we can "recycle" still, but those who do not want / cannot use an old movement from which to "strip out" the parts are left with no option than to sell the entire watch / movement to those who can (and this is not a bad thing...) or scrap it into a bin (and this IS bad).

Of course, we should not only care about the switch levers, but also think about all those other parts that can be reproduced easily.

As per who could eventually do it, I got some companies that work in the IT business, and specifically some PC case manufacturers who work with laser cutting... 

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Be my guest - feel free to go ahead and make enquiries, George. After all, you've got 4 NOS spares (to send out as patterns) ....

"provided that we are able to get the correct dimensions out of a sample". Compared to my ONE (and only) incoming from Cousins. 

October 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

GeorgeClarkson
Member
Posts: 508

mm I will talk with one of them, showing the gross ideas of the "project", and see if it is feasible for him. Will let you know if he comes back with a positive answer.

--

My personal Blog: www.onlyvintagewatches.com/blog

October 22, 2013 at 3:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Just because Seiko don't have any more, it doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any 4450.727 switch levers left out there.

So it pays to keep your eyes open. Earlier this week, an eBay listing for Qty. 4 came up as one of those eBay 'suggestions'.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/272507000471



Unfortunately, by the time I saw the listing, there was only one left. It galled me to pay $7.00 shipping for just the one. :roll:


January 6, 2017 at 9:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Micha
Member
Posts: 3
The same seller had an offer of ten levers just a few days before. When I saw them only 7 were left. I waited, because on the picture there was no hole visible. When I wanted to buy them all seven were sold to an other single buyer. I asked if they had more in stock and they relisted another 4. I bought the first 3 items. But it seems worth to ask the seller. Maybe he still has some more left in stock. Very nice contact and answers very fast.
January 7, 2017 at 5:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

I doubt he has any more left. Think about it - he lists 10; then when you enquired if he had any more, he only lists 4 (rather than another 10). That, to me, would indicate that he could only find 4 more.


I now know why I missed them first time around (and only picked up that last one by chance). :/ I've got myretrostyle blocked from the eBay search engine that I use. He's one of those sellers whose listing descriptions frequently comprise a list of (mostly irrelevant to me) Seiko calibers. I habitually search on '7A38' included in title and description. This seller currently has 991 items listed. Of those 991, 465 have 7A38 included in the description. :o In reality only 3 of them are 7A38 components. Plus of course, he only had 7A28 (not 7A38) in the title of his listing(s) for the 4450.727 switch levers. :roll:


January 8, 2017 at 5:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Micha
Member
Posts: 3

The pieces arrived. I was a bit uncertain, because the picture in the ebay listing was so bad, but they seem to be original parts. The upper three are the original ones from a 7A38-706A with damage due to battery leakage. The lower are the new ones. I will only replace the badly damaged one on the right. It did not break yet, but it has bended a bit and corrision is very bad. It think they are probably made from spring steel and then plated with something. Does anybody know what the silver coloured plating might be? Since I only have a tin plating bath available, I will maybe try to tin plate it. Maybe it becomes reusable in the future, but I think it will break pretty easily due to the corrosion. For the other movement parts I used vinegar essence and WD-40 to clean it. That actually worked quite well, especially the vinegar. 

January 10, 2017 at 6:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

It seems there are still a few around, in private hands - if you're willing to pay their extortionate asking price. How about 40 Euros each from this greedy scumbag speculating Spanish eBay seller ? 


http://www.ebay.co.uk/123490945046


November 15, 2018 at 12:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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