Casio Giez GS-1100: saving him from a slow agony and the seed germinator
A few days ago I found in a second-hand website an ad for the sale of a Casio Giez GS-1100, a watch with a completely steel case and very interesting features at a very good price.
In the sales ad, I noticed that the needle on the right subdial was a little discolored. Although I initially attributed it to excessive sun exposure, I soon discovered that another cause was at work.
Receiving the clock
Finally, the longed-for package arrives at home, and the process of opening it and inspecting the watch begins.
I open the package, unpack the watch, and the first evaluation of our purchase begins. As indicated in the advertisement, the watch was used, so it has marks on the box, but well, nothing special.
The first surprise comes when you notice that the screws of the pins that join the straps to the box have the heads passed. This I did not expect. It is a disadvantage since not being able to remove the straps, it will be much more uncomfortable to work inside the watch.
I also noticed that the dial seems to be a bit uneven in color. It looks as if part of the solar cell underneath has jumped out. This confirms my worst suspicions: the watch has at some point gotten water on the case.
In addition, a "mist" on the glass that was not visible in the photos, indicating traces of condensation, confirms my worst suspicions: the watch has been half-drowned at some point.
The good part is that the watch is working properly, so I will touch "operate" to check it thoroughly.
Cleaning the clock
With a little annoyance for not having noticed that detail in the photos of the ad, I start little by little the cleaning. As I know that water has entered at some point inside, I try not to "submerge" it too much so that it won't drown.
Even so, after cleaning it, I notice that after a few minutes the glass starts to fog up.
I see that I will have to use the gloves (the amount of dirt that came out as soon as I unscrewed the ring that holds the back cover was impressive).
The back cover closure
In case anyone doesn't know it, the back cover closure system of this giez range seems to me very curious and a very effective solution. It's similar to the one used in the Vostok:
The back cover, it doesn't turn as we're used to seeing in watches, but stays in one position on the gasket. To ensure the seal, a ring is used which is screwed into the watch case, pressing the back cover against the gasket.
This system has an advantage, since the seal is only subjected to a vertical force (the one the back cover exerts on it), while in the traditional system it is also subjected to a horizontal force when the back cover is screwed on.
The first problem, the rear seal
For more inri, the jaxa key does not have a sufficient opening to be able to unscrew the back ring, so using only two pivots and helped with a pair of scissors I can remove it with great difficulty.
And I find... more dirt. This is possibly the dirtiest watch I've ever found. Please, if you have a watch and you're going to sell it, with a little brush you can clean it up a bit.
I lift the back cover and I see the problem. The back gasket that has been replaced is not the right size, and besides, part of it is above the back cover.
I honestly don't know who did this, but it's amazing. I can't explain how they left the seal in its correct position, as simple as it is with this sealing system. If you can even see the gasket on the back cover when you remove the ring..
As a curiosity, in the plastic gown, a sticker has been added indicating a date, I guess it will be the date of change of the battery.
Correcting the problems
I take the opportunity to remove the module from the box. As I can confirm with the magnifying glass, the glass has a "mist" inside.
I check the buttons to see if there is any water left on any of them, apparently they keep the watertightness, but as I don't trust them, I disassemble them by removing the circlip, cleaning the button, gaskets and spring and lubricating them with silicone grease.
I mount them back in the box, and proceed to clean the glass from the inside. After a few passes, the mist seems to have lifted.
I was hesitant to remove the needles to check the state of the solar cell and those "irregularities" that you see through the dial, but I was running out of time and I preferred not to get into that subject, perhaps on a later occasion.
I take advantage of it, I check that the accumulator is the right one and that the compartment does not have water remains. I put it back and proceed to reset it.
I mount the module in the box, I put the plastic gown with the inscription of the change of the accumulator and the upper lining
I change the rear seal for one of your size, I lubricate it with silicone grease and I put back the rear cover.
I start using the watch and after a few minutes, I check how the glass starts to fog up inside.
It is clear that this is not a waterproofing problem, since it has not touched the water, so it is obvious that there are traces of water in the module. Perhaps from the cleaning operation I performed on it. The question was to find a method to dry it without dismantling it completely.
The seed germinator
You'll think I've gone mad, that I'm a "seed germinator" in all this. Well, it is a very useful device that gives off a heat that allows us both to accelerate the germination of seeds (placing them on top between moistened cellulose paper), and to dry modules with moisture as is the case.
It is a device that emits a very soft heat, it does not damage the electronics or the accumulator and once disassembled again the clock allows that this one evaporates all the remains of water of the module and the rest of pieces without disassembling it.
Place the box, back cover, gown and module on the sprouter and leave it overnight to "evaporate".
Oh, by the way, you probably have a "seed germinator" in your house too, and don't you know it. It's called a router and it's very useful because of the heat it gives off.
The next day, I think that's enough and proceed to put the clock back together. I arm it, and after using it for hours, there is no trace of "mist" on the glass, a good sign.
As the days go by, I dare to check the waterproofing at home and everything goes perfect. It withstands splashes, showers and even diving without problems, goal achieved.
Obviously, the price was very good, and that was the factor that encouraged me to buy the watch.
I do not regret having done so, I use the watch assiduously and so far I have only found one small defect. Being in the dark, because of the energy saving system, when a certain time passes the second hand stops. So far, so good.
The problem is that when it is exposed to light again, the second hand does not start again. The time and everything else is perfectly maintained. Perhaps it is because of the irregularities on the surface of the solar panel that this damaged part, when exposed to light again, may not reach the threshold necessary to activate the second hand.
By pressing any button, the second hand on the subdial at 6 o'clock starts moving normally. All other functions are 100% operational: timing, calendar, world time, etc.
I also thought that this might be a problem with the battery, as it has been leaking water inside and is not charging correctly. Or the charging system of the module itself. What I am sure is that there will be a second part with this clock, one day when I have free time I will check it and tell you what I find under the dial 😉
Anyway, as I say, the watch does me a great service, and we must admit that these models of the giez range are of a very high quality. You can see that it was once Casio's top range with outstanding features such as the 5 independent engines, solar charging, radio control, multiple time zones, etc.
In short, this buying second-hand watches is a lottery, you never know what you might find. But it has helped me to learn to look at the pictures much more before buying, without losing detail.
After all, not everything can go as well as with the restoration of the Casio Giez GS-500.