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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My name is Ivan and I am a complete newbie here, so please, let me know if I am doing something against the forum rules.

Well, I am just trying to ask for advice. I bought a Yobokies Albacore from Harold less than a year ago. I had bought a modded Seiko 007 from him in the past and I was very pleased with it. And so I was with the Albacore. Until a couple of weeks ago, when the screw down crown stopped engaging with the crown tube. I am afraid that it is threaded and just cannot remain screwed. I have send Harold several emails asking for advice to no avail. I have even asked for a repair with me paying the postage and the cost of it, but no answer. This is quite disappointing, to say the least, because if he would even tell me that there is no fix, I could review my options.

The problem now is that I do not know what to do. I have searched online and it seems that I have not been the only one who has had the same problem, but I have not read anybody that has come with any solutions.

Any suggestions, please?

Thank you,
Ivan
 

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I'm sure it can be repaired. I, or other members here, can recommend several reliable repair shops. If that is what you want just ask for it. I am disappointed to hear that Harold is not responding to your requests for help. Not much you can do about that. It is a hassle if the watch is still under warranty but considering you posted that you would be willing to pay for repairs I think you have a lot of options. I would recommend a Seiko AD as they would be most likely to have the parts you will need. There are several and you can find a list here:

http://www.seikowatches.com/support/customer/northamerica.html
 

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Okay, here is the bad news.

I have the exact same issue. I sent back the Albacore to Harold on my dime to have him "look" at it. He returned it to me after a few weeks of lousy communication (keep in mind, i have had tons of good dealings with him in the past) with a new crown that was screwed on properly. I then unwrapped it, and unscrewed the crown to wind it and set the time.

Want to guess what happened next?

It would not screw back down. I was out $55 worth of shipping, only to have the watch in the exact same shape as when I shipped it out.

After arguing with him over email, I decided to send it to [Redacted] where it has been for months. He has basically told me that there is no easy fix, as the crown tube is not replaceable on this watch, and normally the way to fix it is to replace the entire mid-case (not exactly and option with a small batch custom micro coming from Hong Kong).

Needless to say, [Redacted] is going to attempt some surgery on the watch to install a new crown tube and crown at some point. Harold has not supported his product at all, and communication regarding this has been awful (although he will respond quickly if I just wanted to order parts right now).

TL;DR
Harold won't help with this issue (and he has no warranty to speak of), and [Redacted] so far has been unable to fix mine. Seiko AD's will not touch this watch because it is basically a fake Seiko in their eyes.
You have an expensive paperweight on your hands.

I will keep you updated if I find out anything new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sure it can be repaired. I, or other members here, can recommend several reliable repair shops. If that is what you want just ask for it. I am disappointed to hear that Harold is not responding to your requests for help. Not much you can do about that. It is a hassle if the watch is still under warranty but considering you posted that you would be willing to pay for repairs I think you have a lot of options. I would recommend a Seiko AD as they would be most likely to have the parts you will need. There are several and you can find a list here:

http://www.seikowatches.com/support/customer/northamerica.html
Thank you, Spaceview. Do you think the ADs will accept to look at the watch? The movement is a SII neh36, but the case is custom made by Harold.
 

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Okay, here is the bad news.



I have the exact same issue. I sent back the Albacore to Harold on my dime to have him "look" at it. He returned it to me after a few weeks of lousy communication (keep in mind, i have had tons of good dealings with him in the past) with a new crown that was screwed on properly. I then unwrapped it, and unscrewed the crown to wind it and set the time.



Want to guess what happened next?



It would not screw back down. I was out $55 worth of shipping, only to have the watch in the exact same shape as when I shipped it out.



After arguing with him over email, I decided to send it to [Redacted]where it has been for months. He has basically told me that there is no easy fix, as the crown tube is not replaceable on this watch, and normally the way to fix it is to replace the entire mid-case (not exactly and option with a small batch custom micro coming from Hong Kong).



Needless to say, [Redacted] is going to attempt some surgery on the watch to install a new crown tube and crown at some point. Harold has not supported his product at all, and communication regarding this has been awful (although he will respond quickly if I just wanted to order parts right now).



TL;DR

Harold won't help with this issue (and he has no warranty to speak of), and [Redacted] so far has been unable to fix mine. Seiko AD's will not touch this watch because it is basically a fake Seiko in their eyes.

You have an expensive paperweight on your hands.



I will keep you updated if I find out anything new.


Hi Ganson,



Thanks very much. I feared that was the case. Please, let me know if [Redacted] gets back to you. Fingers crossed!



Thanks a lot guys!
 

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Thank you, Spaceview. Do you think the ADs will accept to look at the watch? The movement is a SII neh36, but the case is custom made by Harold.
They won't, trust me I tried.

Either way, they can't repair the part that is the issue because it is a custom piece that Harold had made. He states in his description that the crown and tube is based off the Seiko 6309, but I have already had confirmation from [Redacted] that is shares almost nothing in common.

It is a nasty situation and I kept quiet for a while so that way Harold could attempt to redeem himself, but like you stated, a bunch of owners have started having this issue and Harold refuses to make it right.
 

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Check out these guys. I'll bet they will take a look at it, maybe for a fee. They are Seiko repair specialists.

http://oldtimewatchclockshop.com/services/

I have used them for a few repairs over the years. They worked on some watches for me and even a wall clock.
 
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There is a Seiko guru that is based in either North or South Carolina (I'm blanking on his name... but I don't think it was Jack at IWW) but he may be able to help. I think he does case work-

I'm searching for his info...

EDIT: I'm coming up with nothing... Maybe it was Jack that I was thinking about. I'll keep looking though-
 
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There is a Seiko guru that is based in either North or South Carolina (I'm blanking on his name... but I don't think it was Jack at IWW) but he may be able to help. I think he does case work-

I'm searching for his info...
That would most likely be [Redacted].

[Redacted] and I have been discussing drilling out the existing crown tube, and then tapping a new aftermarket one in its place. It ends up being slightly more complicated then just that, but he is going to make an attempt on my watch.

If it works, then that will be the best place to send it. [Redacted] does amazing work as many on this forum can attest to, so I am anxious to see how this turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just thinking, if there is a number of people with the same issue (I would suppose that the problem lies with the tube rather than the crown), it might be interesting for a repairer to figure out a fix. Meh, wishful thinking again
 

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That would most likely be [Redacted].

[Redacted] and I have been discussing drilling out the existing crown tube, and then tapping a new aftermarket one in its place. It ends up being slightly more complicated then just that, but he is going to make an attempt on my watch.

If it works, then that will be the best place to send it. [Redacted] does amazing work as many on this forum can attest to, so I am anxious to see how this turns out.
You are probably right.
Hopefully he can fit a new tube and crown for you... it's such a sweet piece, that I hate to see it die over something every good dive watch ought to have (a sound tube and crown).

Good luck!
 

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Just thinking, if there is a number of people with the same issue (I would suppose that the problem lies with the tube rather than the crown), it might be interesting for a repairer to figure out a fix. Meh, wishful thinking again
Crown would be easy, and Harold (Yobokies) replaced mine fairly quickly, but it turns out that the tube is what was damaged. The Albacore uses very fine threads on the crown and tube which strip easily. Also, the tube is part of the mid-case and is not made to be replaceable.
The only thing we could come up with so far is to drill out the existing tube, and press in an aftermarket one. We will see how it works out in the end.
 

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After all that has been discussed in this thread would it be safe to say that purchasing parts from Harold is still OK just don't buy anything that might need service. I need to purchase some parts from him and I am a bit hesitant after reading this post
 

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After all that has been discussed in this thread would it be safe to say that purchasing parts from Harold is still OK just don't buy anything that might need service. I need to purchase some parts from him and I am a bit hesitant after reading this post

His parts are still excellent, and even his modified Seikos are pretty safe. The Albacore was the first (and only?) limited run watch he had mad from the ground up. With exception of the Seiko Sii movement, every other part was custom, and that is the issue because super small micro-brands can't afford to keep enough parts to service all their watches if there ends up being a widespread problem.

If you need parts like bezels, dials, crystals, and hands, by all means use Yobokies. I would avoid the Albacore as cool as it is, and be hesitant if he ever does another small run watch like it.
 

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Okay, so here is the update.

[Redacted] managed to install a new crown and tube on the Albacore (no small task since the tube on that mid-case is not made to be serviceable). He is waiting on a new stem which he said should be in in the next couple of days.

Right now, it is an operable watch with one caveat; water resistance. Once the new stem comes in he is going to work with it a little to get the WR to an acceptable level for everyday wear. This is something I expected after I sent it in. It is disapointing, but as elmiperru is evidence of, I am not the only one with this problem, and as time goes on I would expect many more Albacore owners to experience the same.
 
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