How to Fix a Loose or Noisy Rotor on Your Watch
Watch enthusiasts and modders often encounter various challenges with their timepieces, and one issue that can be particularly bothersome is a loose or noisy rotor.
A watch rotor is a semi-circular or oscillating weight that rotates with the wearer's wrist movements, winding the mainspring and thereby storing energy to keep the watch running.
The loose rotor problem can lead to wear and tear on the watch movement over time and create a distracting sound as the rotor spins. Seiko's NH35 and NH36 watch movements are popular choices for modders and enthusiasts alike, and both are occasionally prone to having loose or noisy rotors.
In this quick-fix guide, we will give you the step-by-steps you can take to address this issue, maintain the quality and performance of your watch movement, and ensure that your watch operates without unnecessary and annoying noises.
Gather Your Tools
Before you begin, you will need to gather the necessary tools to disassemble and reassemble your watch. These may include:
Watch case opener: A specialized tool designed to safely and efficiently remove the case back of a watch without causing damage.
Movement holder: A secure holder, usually made of plastic or metal, designed to keep the watch movement in place while you work on it.
Tweezers: Fine-tipped, precision tweezers are essential for picking up and manipulating small watch components without causing damage.
Source: HS Walsh
Small flat-head screwdriver: A precision flat-head screwdriver is necessary for removing or adjusting tiny screws and clips within the watch movement.
Loupe or magnifying glass: A magnifying tool, such as a loupe or magnifying glass, allows you to inspect watch components closely, revealing wear, damage, or debris that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Clean and lint-free cloth or work mat: A clean, lint-free cloth or work mat provides a safe surface to work on while disassembling and reassembling your watch. This helps prevent the loss of small parts and keeps your workspace organized and free of contaminants.
Steps to Follow
Step 1: Remove the Watch Case Back
Using your watch case opener, carefully remove the case back of your watch. This will expose the movement and rotor. Make sure you keep the case back and any gaskets or seals in a safe place, as you will need to reassemble the watch later.
Step 2: Remove the Rotor
To remove the rotor, first place the movement in the movement holder to stabilize it. Next, use your small flat-head screwdriver to gently lift the rotor retaining clip. This clip is typically located near the center of the rotor, holding it onto the movement. Once the clip is lifted, you should be able to carefully remove the rotor by lifting it off the movement with your tweezers.
Step 3: Inspect the Rotor and Bearings
Source: A Blog to Watch
With the rotor removed, use your loupe or magnifying glass to inspect the rotor and bearings for any signs of wear, damage, or debris. If you find any issues, you may need to replace the rotor or have it professionally serviced. In some cases, a simple cleaning of the rotor and bearing may suffice.
Step 4: Clean the Rotor and Bearings (Optional)
If you have determined that your rotor and bearings require cleaning, you can use a clean, lint-free cloth to carefully wipe away any debris or dirt. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure, as this can cause damage to the delicate parts.
Step 5: Reassemble the Rotor
To reassemble the rotor, place it back onto the movement, ensuring that the rotor bearing is properly seated. Once the rotor is in place, gently press the rotor retaining clip back into its original position to secure the rotor. Make sure the clip is properly seated and that the rotor can spin freely without any resistance.
Step 6: Test the Movement
Before reassembling the watch case, give the movement a gentle shake to ensure the rotor is spinning smoothly and without any noise. If the rotor is still making noise, you may need to repeat the previous steps or consider having the watch serviced by a professional.
Step 7: Reassemble the Watch Case
Once you are satisfied with the rotor's performance, carefully replace any gaskets or seals and reattach the case back using your watch case opener. Make sure the case back is tightened securely to ensure water resistance and proper functioning.
By following the steps outlined in this article, fixing a loose or noisy rotor on your NH35 or NH36 watch movement can be a relatively simple task for experienced watch modders and newbies alike.
Not only will you be able to address this common issue, but you'll also be ensuring the longevity and performance of your watch. And if you're looking to upgrade your rotor or find quality replacement parts, look no further than namokiMODS. Our best selling rotors feature designs like The Great Wave and Cote de Geneve in blue, gold, or silver, and add premium vibes to the back of your watch. Check them out here.