Saturday, October 27, 2012

Longines Ladies Dolce Vita - ETA 980.153 Battery & Strap change

Time for another battery/strap change!

Longines Ladies Dolce Vita
This time on the Missus's Longines Dolce Vita. The Dolce Vita is an extremely popular watch for ladies, being fairly well priced (at the retail level) and it is a very elegant and classy watch, at the same time very versatile. You can dress it up or down and comes with many different dial colours and styles. Hers is the beige dial with black roman numerals, giving it a hint of Cartier...

Yes - Dick Smith battery. The size was common enough and I couldn't be bothered buying the battery on ebay then waiting for it to be sent over from China.
The Dolce Vita has a snap-on case back, so fairly easy to open with the right tool. It is very tight (as it should be) so best to leave one side of the bracelet on the watch, as the end link gives you some leverage to pry open the case back. (Otherwise the case back sits very flush with the case, and you risk damaging the case/scratching the case/deep gouges on the edges which are all big no-nos when it's the Missus's watch. Even if it is already scratched to buggery...)

Leave one side of the bracelet on to use as leverage

Once it's popped open, all smooth sailing from here. As most other quartz watches, there really isn't much to see. Simple plastic casing ring with a Longines L178 movement, aka ETA 980.153. What I do find interesting is that Longines has also signed the movement with name and calibre. (Tag Heuer didn't do this with their quartz movement) I'm pretty indifferent about this aspect. It's a quartz movement that in general consumers don't see, so... meh... Battery size fitted here is 379, but according to the manual a 317 will also fit. However you'll find that the 379 is much, much more common...

Very basic movement with plastic casing ring. Nothing to write home about.
The movement is again very common. If you see a ladies watch with 3 hands, small seconds at 6:00, More likely than not this would be the movement. Haven't heard anything bad about it, so I'm going to assume that it's reliable enough. As a smaller movement it is not much cheaper to replace, a quick glance over the interwebs prices the movement at around about USD25-35.

Snapping the case back in place takes a bit of pressure but easily done. The Dolce Vita unfortunately has a less-common lug width (outside the norm of 14mm, 16mm, 18mm 20mm, etc) at 15mm across, meaning it can be a little more difficult to find aftermarket straps to fit. As the watch is quite small, a 1mm difference can be quite huge (unlike, say, squeezing a 24mm wide strap into a 23mm lugth width which would be ok...)

The versatility of the watch comes into play once again with straps. You can fit almost any colour strap to the watch (provided you can find them in 15mm width) Here it is with a lovely white strap to give it that summer feeling.

Yes- again, this is not taking into consideration the water resistant ability of the watch after the battery change. But it's not really a watch you'd stick in water anyway, and as it is, a bit of rain will not cause damage. 

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