Dann Thombs
Jan 15, 2013 8:41 PM
Felipe Fumeni, A member on the Oakley Enthusiasts Facebook page recently mentioned that he replaced his Time Bomb capacitor recently. While these are supposed to last quite a while, his died after about 10 years and needed a swap. I asked him if he'd mind if I posted this information here, so he took the time to write up some steps and take some pictures. Below is his write-up. I can redirect questions, or see if he minds stopping by.


I hope these photos and explanation can help our friends collectors and connoisseurs of watch Time Bomb 1.

The Oakley Time Bomb uses a movement partially or fully similar to that in Seiko Kinetic watches. These watches used a capacitor (SL920) that was later deemed defective- unable to hold a charge for more than 15minutes in some cases. A replacement (TC920S) has been issued with far superior performance.

Looking at the pictures, follow the instructions starting from 1 thru 3. The other photos show a comparison between the old and new capacitors, as well as what should be replaced.

Work in a clean, dust-free environment with good lighting and appropriate tools.

- Pull the crown out to the second position, stopping the watch.

- Remove the caseback screws in the numerical order seen on the picture (In a "X" order), so as to not damage screw threads. Use this same procedure when closing the watch. First, lightly tighten all four screws in the "X" order, then tighten all four screws further to ensure a seal.

Warning: avoid contact of the tools with any other parts of the watch movement.

1. Hold the "inertial generator" lightly, and using an appropriate screwdriver, remove the central screw. Use watchmaker's tweezers to carefully remove and store it in a safe place.

2. remove the rotor wheel

3 and 4. Remove the screws holding down the capacitor plate. Warning- The screw can "jump" when removed due to spring pressure of the plate. Use caution.

5. Remove the capacitor plate

6. Remove the capacitor insulator (orange)

7. Using insulated tweezers, remove the defective capacitor (SL920), and replace with the new capacitor (TC920S), as well as the new insulator and plate.

Follow steps in reverse order to reassemble the watch.

Before closing the watch, ensure the inertial generator is moving freely, and push the crown back in and ensure the watch is running properly.

Below is a link to swapping the Seiko capacitor, which is needed, and some part number suggestions.

Twenty Fifty
Jan 15, 2013 5:54 PM
Cool writeup.
Jan 15, 2013 7:12 PM
Good write up. I might be able to bring a busted icon to life now.
Dann Thombs
Jan 15, 2013 7:49 PM
Brian Poh helped revise the instructions, and provided specific part numbers. I've changed the original post to reflect these changes.
Felipe N. Fumeni
Jan 15, 2013 7:54 PM
Dann, very good! The pictures turned out better that way.
Stanley 'True Love Hates'
Jan 16, 2013 1:52 AM
This explains why TBs and Icon watches couldn't hold charges after a while. Plus a solution to boot. Kudos!
Jose A. Galvez
Jan 17, 2013 2:13 AM
Incredible!! Thanks!
ken cruz
Feb 4, 2014 7:46 AM
sweet write-up, thanks! just to add my experience, tb stealth ticks weird, ticks twice in succession every two seconds then stops. did the swap and it is back as new. Just to help out someone who comes across my same situation, while removing the capacitor plate that is spring loaded i had pressed down on one of the two screws too hard and discovered that when I tried to re-install the screw that was near the wound up copper, the hole it went into was stripped! i thought i had swapped the screws but they are the same, I had to cannibalize an old watch that i hadn't planned on buying batteries for anymore and after taking out 9 screws, i found one of the same size, just a bit longer and was able to hold the plate in place. in hindsight, I would have eased both screws off little by little as to not use the cap. plate to pry the screw out of its thread.
Michael Elfstrom
Feb 4, 2014 10:25 AM
Does anyone know if you can get ahold of a new capacitor for the icon?
Dann Thombs
Feb 4, 2014 2:11 PM
I believe the Icon is the same (non-Small version), since it just lacks the cosmetic 'fins' around the face. Might need confirmation on that. I'll ask around.
Michael Elfstrom
Feb 4, 2014 7:05 PM
I have the icon and a new capacitor but the watch repair shop said it wasn't right.
Alexander Ball
Oct 25, 2014 10:53 PM
I have an early Timebomb that I really like. Eventually the watch began losing its ability to keep time and I stopped wearing the watch because it became unpredictable. It also constantly double clicked the seconds indicating a low charge.

Following this thread I had the capacitor replaced but soon it started doing the same thing. I looked into getting a watch winder, but these are expensive and don’t work on kinetic watches because they don’t generate enough speed.

I tried putting it on my electric drill for a half hour and it improved the charge a bit. However, it was clear this was going involve a lot of wear and tear. Then I came upon the thread for Seiko kinetic watches (which seem to have the same mechanism). Owners of those watches complain of loss of charge. Watch collectors knew that Seiko sold an induction charger to dealers so that they could charge up the watch after installing a new capacitor. Someone suggested that any induction coil would work. Some use a Philips tea light charger that has three induction coils so they can keep three watches charged at once. I had an old Braun toothbrush and put it on the top for a few hours as described. Nothing. It was suggested on the Seiko thread to try and find the charging coils and orient the toothbrush inductor coil parallel to the watch coils. This is easy to see through the clear back of the Timebomb. Soon the double click disappeared in the orientation shown with the winding stem up and I have been wearing the watch without losing charge ever since. The problem with the kinetic watch design is that the pendulum magnet does not generate enough electricity in the two coils to charge the capacitor. This is a simple solution to bring the watch back to manufacturer spec and keep it that way. Whenever you are not wearing the watch just put it on the charging stand. Unlike a watch winder this makes no noise, causes no wear and tear, and works perfectly.
Dann Thombs
Oct 25, 2014 10:57 PM
That really cool. I know my original Time Bomb is far from useable at this point, so I might have to try this for the occasions I want to wear it, but not look silly for swinging my arms around for ten minutes trying to charge it.
Oct 26, 2014 6:14 PM
Excellent write-up... I think the value of the Time Bomb just increased a bit ;-]
Michael Elfstrom
Oct 26, 2014 8:40 PM
Bob Russell
Oct 27, 2014 6:20 PM
Thanks for the tip @Alexander! So, you're using a toothbrush charger in your photos? Did the Seiko thread you found list any other commonly found induction chargers that could be used?
bomb oakley
Jul 7, 2015 2:37 AM
David Pantoja
Dec 15, 2015 5:12 PM
something is up with my keyboard sorry. anyway i just purchased a timebomb small icon for my wife and it won't hold charge. is there any way you can post the steps to replacing the capacitor again. let me know and thank you.
Dann Thombs
Dec 15, 2015 5:25 PM
I don't have the images anymore, but I can try to look for them. Might be buried deep in a Facebook PM somewhere.
David Pantoja
Dec 16, 2015 5:40 PM
OK. So here is a picture of the Small Icon Oakley Time Bomb Taken apart for the capacitor replacement. Its not hard to take apart but you should probably video tape yourself doing it so you don't forget. The replacement capacitor or equal is the Seiko Kinetic Battery 3027 3MZ. I have close up of the capacitor for reference.

Dann Thombs
Dec 16, 2015 5:46 PM
Good to know. Looks like they can be bought for under $20

David Pantoja
Dec 16, 2015 7:09 PM
Once I get mine in and replaced I will report back on how well it works.Thanks for all your help Dann.
David Pantoja
Dec 16, 2015 11:24 PM
S.O.A.B@#$%!!!!!! Ok Dann I need your assistance. Like the true idiot that I am, as I was putting everything back on the watch I just happen to have lost the most important screw of them all on this watch. The screw that holds the engine. FML. Can you assist me in polling anyone that is willing to help, so that I can determine what size screw that is and how I can get a hold of one. It's a long shot but it's all I have. Thanks in advance.
Dann Thombs
Dec 17, 2015 1:50 PM
Do any of the other screws match. If so you could use that as a basis. I know micro screws aren't the easiest thing to measure.
David Pantoja
Dec 17, 2015 6:10 PM
That's the problem. all of the screws are the same with the exception of this one. The head is much bigger to hold the engine.

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