Further Mindthots - Spring bars, Straps, Noisy Rotor Bearings and Regulating.
The spring bars that come with the Parnis are rather slimline, and easily removed. As a consequence of their slenderness, the original strap has a fair amount of loose play about them. Wary of the flawed lug hole mentioned earlier, I wanted to fit stronger spring bars to keep the leather strap more securely in place.
|Original spring bar on the left, aftermarket spring bar on the right. The Parnis takes a 22 m.m. strap.|
With the uprated spring bars in place, the original strap has less play - it just feels more secure. The Parnis Power Reserve is not the lightest of watches, so I'm particularly keen on decent spring bars.
Depending on the seller, I've seen the Parnis Power Reserve offered with either black or honey brown leather straps, fitted with conventional or deployment buckles, or a Nato style synthetic strap. My personal preference was to go with a honey brown leather strap, reasoning that this Parnis looks too dressy to suit a Nato strap, and that if I wanted a black strap, I already had a decent one of the correct (22mm) size.
As it turns out, the honey brown strap supplied is better quality than I'd expected; stitched as well as glued, leather rather than "leather like"; it's quite comfortable, with a robust brushed steel clasp that matches the watch case.
|The factory fitted 22 m.m. honey brown stitched leather strap.|
|I didn't take to this black ZRC strap when paired with |
|The contrast stitching in particular seemed |
to lend the case an ungainly appearance.
I gave the watch a week of wear in the hope of the factory fresh bearings quieting down. This didn't do much for the noise, so when I read Articman's mention of silicon greasing the rotor bearings on a WatchuSeek thread, I thought I'd have a go too. After greasing, the rotor noise is less rackety and more composed.
Here's a before and after comparison. The difference is not dramatic - I didn't want to pack the bearings with grease. While the rotor is a little less free spinning after greasing the bearings, 2 hours of very light use is still enough for the power reserve hand to move from an indicated 21 to an indicated 40 hours.
I thought some video clips would best serve to illustrate this section of the review, rather than try to describe the noise. As with the earlier hand winding clip, I've included some bubble wrap rustling as an auditory reference, the microphone on this camera tends to emphasise the treble in an artificial way.
Bearing noise out of the box, prior to greasing. The rotor is very free spinning!
After applying silicon grease to the bearings, the rotor still winds the mainspring without difficulty.
Wearing the Parnis backwards to demonstrate wrist winding after noise dampening the bearings with silicon grease.
To grease the bearings, I used blu tack to open the screw back case, some silicon grease I had left over from fountain pen repair, and a plastic CD envelope as a soft, lint free applicator. I didn't want to remove the rotor for this undertaking - my good screwdrivers are magnetised, I'd read that the blued screws are painted rather than heat treated, and I didn't trust myself not to mess something up.
|From foreground to background: the Parnis, some silicon grease, a plastic CD envelope, and blu tack.|
First step - screwing off the exhibition case back. I didn't want to stress the glass, so I applied the blu tack to only the metal area, and twisted off the case back.
|The case back, some Blu Tack, and the exposed movement.|
A closer look at the movement shows the rotor bearings (about 17 of them, arranged in a ring) a little more clearly. In the photos below, some of the bearings are highlighted in green.
|Arrowed & circled - one of the Parnis' winding rotor bearings.|
|Some more of the fellows.|
Greasing the bearings involved dipping a corner of the CD envelope in silicon grease, introducing it perpendicularly to the valley in which the bearings sit, and then giving the watch a shake to revolve the rotor, in the hope of evenly distributing the grease. I gave it three thin applications, at different points in the valley's circumference.
|The greased CD envelope corner, circled in green.|
|It's about time I got some proper Rodico for this sort of thing!|
After hand tightening the case back into place, I torqued it down with the blu tack (I very much recommend hand tightening first if using blu tack, to minimise the risk of cross threading the case back). Notice the neat scalloping on the double bridge of the balance and winding rotor in the following photo, the exhibition case has a lot to show off!
|... All done.|
I've kept the blu tack handy, as I'm still regulating the movement. I'm quite clumsy and out of practise! The watch arrived gaining 8 seconds a day, resting crown up overnight. At the time of writing, I have it losing 5 seconds a day, dial up overnight, going by greenwichmeantime.com.