Solar Analog-Digital Alarm
Cal. Miyota C030-086853K
Demagnetizer with two positions, the DRIVING position emits the WEAKER magnetic field. The MATIC position emits the strong magnetic field.
Never use the strong field on assembled Quartz watches. Here is a link to more details and an inside picture of the "MAGNOMATIC" which
is an illegally used trademark from Bergeon. I only realized that much later. I would not have bought this Demagnetizer otherwise
Resurrection was simple (May 2004)
The watch was in the safe of my Swiss bank for 8 years. Then on Easter 2002 I took a picture, I was just wondering why the watch was not kick starting when exposed to light, but had not time to really find out since I had to take many watch pictures from all the watches I had left behind in Switzerland when moving to Thailand.
In November 2003 I had time to open all the watches and remove dead batteries and take movement shots. I thought I would need a new Backup Battery 280-403 as indicated on the sticker on the back of the movement.
On Sunday May 23rd 2004 I was working when I suddenly heard that Alarm going off at 07:51 AM again. I had previously checked a lot of watches in my study and could not find an activated Alarm. I normally turn the Alarm off to save battery life. This time I shot up from my chair and followed the sound and it lead me straight to the Solar "Butterfly" Ana-Digi Alarm Chronograph on the bookshelf behind me. Wow! That was a surprise. I had always assumed that the watch was dead. Even the LCD display seemed to be dead.
Life span of Backup Batteries for Solar
This leads me to the conclusion, that Backup Batteries for Solar watches, especially the Eco Drives have indeed a very long life span and will also survive very long periods of inactivity. This watch was in the dark for at least 8 years. This is the 3rd Citizen analog-digital watch that I had to jump start. The Wingman needed a little bit of work on the gear train (Rob B. did that for me), the Citizen Quartz Minute Repeater took some 2 hours on this Quartz Driving machine until it worked well again. This Butterfly did not take long to fly again, just a couple of turns and it kept moving. If you got a couple of Citizen Quartz watches collected over a couple of years, then a driver/magnetizer seems to be a very reasonable addition to your tool box.
The watch was out of the light for a long time again. While I did the periodic maintenance of all my solar watches, all but the "Butterfly" started. So out came the Demagnetizer again. This time the watch would only start in the MATIC (Demagnetizer) position. The field from the DRIVING position which should normally be used to drive Quartz watches did obviously not provide a strong enough magnetic field. The buffer battery is still working, the digital part of the watch functions flawlessly. However, the analog part of the watch seems to have developed some problems. The analog part of the watch only runs a couple of seconds and then stops. It might be that the battery does not hold the voltage well enough for the analog part or that there has been an increase in friction in the gears.
Please do not use a Demagnetizer with your Quartz watches like I did with the Butterfly in this case. If you demagnetize the rotor of your Quartz watches, the movement will stop working! The watch will not tick anymore. Quartz watches rely on a magnetic rotor and stator and the coil/rotor, it is their "escape/balance" equivalent.
November 2013 - see two pictures below plus another update
After oiling the top pinions and the jewel of the gear train on Sunday, November 10th, the watch ran for 5 days on time and started to slow down on Thursday afternoon. I used Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010/2 synthetic oil and trust will help this watch jump start when coming out of the dark for many years to come. The power reserve is only a couple of days for the analog part. The digital watch has a power reserve for approximately one month. It will keep running even if the analog hands have stopped.
I am not using watch oil on a daily basis. Thus I got some oil directly from the bottle. Not very elegant, but
I do not have to clean my oiler station afterwards.
OIL IT STUPID! Instead of messing around with the Demagnetizer (with the strong field) and risking of ruining the watch, I should have
oiled it with Moebius Synt-A-Lube 9010/2 much earlier
Update 16th November 2013 - the
analog watch stopped but
when pulling and reinserting the crown and holding it under a 20W desktop lamp, the analog part of the watch started again immediately. The watch had slowed down on Thursday 14th after having been oiled on November 10th. The analog watch part stopped today November 16h 2013. Please also see this page about Solar CASIO watches. On that page you can see that outdoor sunlight meters ca. 50'000 lux. Indoor fluorescent light meters at ca. 500 lux. That makes charging solar watches a hundred times more efficient in outdoor sunlight compared to indoor fluorescent light.
The digital part of the "Butterfly" C030 will probably keep running for a very long time. Right now I am keeping the "Butterfly" on my desk. I will update this page again once the digital part of the watch stops as well. My office light is on ca. 16 hours a day. The watch probably gets the approximately 500 lux mentioned in the Casio manual. The intensity of light decreases with the inverse square of the distance. The Inverse Square Law (Wikipedia) might tempt you to go very close. Always check the watch temperature with your hand. Once you found a safe distance with no noticeable warming of the watch crystal and body, leave it at that distance. E.g. your watch is 1 meter away from the light source. Moving it to 50 cm distance from the light source will quadruple (times four) the light intensity. But if the watch overheats, it may shorten it's life considerably.
After having oiled the top pinions and the jewel on the gear bridge, the analog part was ready for action again
Update 17th November 2013
On Sunday today, the digital display went blank too. The watch's buffer cell ran down after one week indoor fluorescent lighting. However, when placed ca. 40 cm below my fluorescent 20W Panasonic desktop lamp, the digital display came back within seconds and the analog hands started immediately without the need to pulling the crown. Which sometimes helps to kick start any analog Quartz watch, not just the solar ones.
Lessons learned from this second Resurrection: OIL IT STUPID!
Sometimes my watch tools are in a bit of disarray because I am permanently trying to optimize the space in my little study. And sometimes, to be very frank, I am just too lazy to look for the oil and the oilers. But I am sure I will remember this lesson for the rest of my days. It was so amazing to see the analog part starting again after the oiling.