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About automatico

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  1. "I am having trouble deciding between all gold and two toned." An all goldtone watch will usually be plated and the gold will quickly wear away on sharp edges and bracelet links. "I plan to wear this watch everyday for work and so what I am looking for is something that obviously looks great and works well, but that will be durable." Two tone will hold up better. "There are a couple of guys rocking two tone Rolex builds with solid gold mid links, bezel and crown. Genuine dial, hands and crystal." I put a few sapphire 36mm DJs together with genuine dials, solid gold bezels/mid links/crown/swiss etas etc and they are as rugged and 'handsome' as genuine. High gold prices have made them go from around $700 or $800 to $1500+ though. I bought a nice tutone 15053 with 22 link jubilee for $1200 a while back so a genuine watch can be a better deal if you shop around. Submariners are a different animal though. One big problem is there are not many (any?) aftmkt gold parts for the newer ceramic bezel submariners...bezels, SEL bracelets and glidelock clasps are going to be very expensive. Otoh DJ project watches are quite a bit cheaper than 16613 type submariners because DJ dials, bezels and bracelets are easier to find and cheaper to buy. ST has 18k submariner bezels for around $400 and a ss/14k bracelet is close to $800 (it is hard to tell 14k from 18k if the 14k color is made to match 18k). So...a 16613 project could still be 'affordable'...maybe $2500 with a good case and swiss Eta but that is still a lot of $$. You might look at it this way...if you wore it for 10 years with one $150 movement/gasket service figured in, you are looking at maybe $125 a year (only a little bit over $10 a month!) assuming the watch will sell for close to $1500 at the end of the run. That is not bad at all. In 10 years you would probably go through 3 plated $428 watches or two $938 'wrapped' watches that would be worth virtually nothing at the end of the run.
  2. "I was wondering if it is possible to convert my franken 16030 to a 16220?" If the 16030 case is genuine...best bet is to do as alligoat said and go with a sapphire conversion. Sapphire 162xx cases have taller bezels though. They are made a little bit taller so they will reach up far enough to clamp the gasket tightly against the crystal. Case necks are the same OD.
  3. "The 14060 is smaller, thinner and lighter than a 16610." "The 5512/5513 mid case is similar to a 14060 case." Just now tried a DJ size sapphire crystal/gasket on a IG44 1680 genuine spec case...way too big as I knew it would be. I did this only because a 16610 takes the same crystal as a DJ. Next I tried a sapphire crystal and gasket for a 15200 OPD (286C) and it fits...a little bit loose, but not too loose. Looks like the gasket may be thick enough to allow a 5512/13/1680 bezel to be pressed over it after making sure it will go (??). I did not try it because this combo may need a custom bezel and I did not want to ruin a gasket. So...a crystal/gasket combo for a no date sapphire Oys Perp/AK might fit...same as the 15200 crystal. AK sapphire crystal p/n is 286 (28.6mm in diameter). Someone could try this and see what's what...not me. One catch is the gasket is low so the crystal may not sit high enough to be very far above the bezel insert. Another is if the bezel is too small and squeezes the gasket down far enough to chip the top edge of the crystal...the gasket is thin at the top. Besides this, there would be no notches in the bezel action, it would be like a 5512/13/1680...and you still would need a 14060 dial to fit the 5512/13/1680 case. Q...will a crystal and gasket for a 14060 fit a 5512/13/1680 case? A...No. If they would fit it would make things too easy. Catch 22: The crystal for a 14060 is 295 (29.5mm diameter), same OD as a 295C DJ 16200 crystal but without the magnifier. Sapphire no date explorers also use it. So...the 14060 may be smaller than a 16610 but the crystals are the same diameter...according to a parts book.
  4. "Doesn't Narikaa still sell his budget builds that are better than this one ?" 'REGMARINERS' are still for sale afaik and they look pretty good (to me anyway).
  5. "Have you looked at Yuki watch recently?" +1 I would also go with a Yuki dial like alligoat said...because they are affordable high quality dials. Keep in mind you will need a dial made for a 34mm case because a regular 1016 dial will be too big. I put a few 34mm AK/1002 case projects together with 15xx movements and Yuki dials but if you use an Eta movement the dial feet will need to be removed. The 1002 and 5500 were all steel so I used black dials with white letters/markers and one AK was a 5501 with 14k bezel/crown so I used a black dial with goldtone letters and white markers. They all had badly refinished dials so the aftmkt dials were an improvement imho...Purists will always disagree. Dials can be reduced in OD but it is tricky because the paint tends to crack or flake off around the edges, besides gathering dust from sanding/grinding. I made an aluminum disc to mount 15xx rolex dials on in order to grind them down in a lathe but it is touchy. Eta dials are not quite as bad because you can mount the dial on an old Eta main plate and use it for a mount...still not easy though (saw this tip on the forum). Also saw where one member bored holes in an Eta main plate to allow the rolex dial feet to pass through but this would require precision work. So...the easiest way out is probably a Yuki 5500 Explorer dial made for a rolex 15xx with the dial feet removed.
  6. "What was 50 USD worth back then?" About $290.00 "In the early 70s I was making $5.25/hr and could still easily find 57 Chevies cheap and Ford T-Birds that needed some TLC for a Grand..." Bought a dark metallic blue/white top 1955 Chevrolet ragtop in 1964 with 265, four barrel (Carter WCFB), and 'three on the tree' for $200. I made $1.25 an hour bagging groceries and borrowed the $$ from a local bank where a cousin was a loan officer. The Carter WCFB was a dud. I called them 'Washout Carter Four Barrels' because when you stomped the gas, the car would jump ahead, the fuel would run up the back of the float bowl, the car would starve for gas (wash out), and fall on its nose. Hot Rod guys put some sort of baffles in the float bowls. Then the Carter AFB (Aluminum Four Barrel) started showing up. They were Ok. I called them Carter 'Awful F'n Big' four barrels. I admit it...I might have been a Gear Head.
  7. Everyone knows this by now... Keep in mind a genuine crystal may not fit a replica watch because the case neck and crystal retaining bezel have to be the same spec as oem. For this reason I usually go with aftmkt crystals on project watches...but this in itself can be a minefield of problems as everyone knows. On fitting crystals: When you find a combination that works...measure the case neck, crystal OD (after it has been pushed down on the case neck), and the crystal retainer bezel ID with a precision digital caliper and write them all down for reference. If the crystal is a snug fit on the case neck it only takes about .1mm, .2mm or so difference between the crystal OD and bezel ID to make it tight. A correctly fitting crystal should turn on the case neck with some resistance but not fall off. If the crystal is a tight fit over the case neck it may crack. If a crystal is loose on the case neck, it will be hard to determine if the crystal OD will work with the bezel ID without pressing the bezel down over it to see how it goes. The crystal retaining bezel should slip down over the crystal skirt without chattering or popping when pressing it on...if it chatters or pops, look for cracks in the crystal skirt between the case neck and bezel with a 10x loupe to be sure it is Ok. If the bezel can be pressed down over the crystal by hand, it is too loose and may work above water but the whole shebang can be knocked off fairly easily. Whole shebang = both bezels and crystal, sometimes including a hand or two. No glue. Except in an emergency.
  8. "While the C+I bracelets are probably not as desirable as the Swiss made bracelets, like everything else Vintage Rolex, they are not cheap. I have seen recently 20mm C+I bracelets in good condition selling for over 2000.00 USD. the 19mm bracelets are not as expensive, but ones in really nice shape are selling for 700-800 USD !!" Good find! Times sure have changed. I remember in 1972 when 19 and 20mm C&I bracelets were $59 new at a rolex AD about 20 miles away and when I bought a new watch from them they gave me one free. Another AD in our home town had similar bracelets with a coronet of a sort on the clasp but not signed rolex and they were $29. I still have one somewhere (stretchy type), that I wore it on a 1603 DJ. Iirc the stretchy models were a few bucks more. They were hair pullers though, after wearing one for a week your arm would be slick as a high school Cheerleader's leg. (Is it against the law now to say that?) Here is one like it: http://picclick.com/Vintage-Very-Rare-Rolex-Oyster-Style-Cromwell-Rivet-222300324810.html
  9. "i wouldn't say they're the best. the links are too thin and polished, the clasp is from a 93250 stamped 93150, and the end link connector does not accept gen bars with out mods and needed the dremel mod to look more correct like two pieces" True. Another pretty good bracelet came on some 'noobmariners'. Many had thick links with hollow mid links and good screws. The main faults are: 1...they are SEL 2...have a half link 3...have wrong clasp marking/dive extension 4...marked 93250. The SEL part is fairly easy to fix if you can pull the SEL links apart and substitute a proper last link to be used with hoods, same for the half link. Find a good dive extension and clasp and away you go. Not easy at all as I have done it a time or two and you also need a bunch of 'repjunk' to complete the project...clasp 'Z' blades, dive extensions, links etc. The Z blades need to be changed not only because of the 93250 stamping but because most had tabs bent over the hinge pin in the Z bar where vintage bracelets had the pin pressed in. It's a lot of trouble but maybe one possible fix...of a sort. The last mid link that connects to the spring bar...you can use a solid link if necessary and just drill it out to 2mm. They are solid but this will usually not be noticed and they will also keep the bracelet from folding under like can happen with some hollow links. "But alas, 93150 MBWs are no longer available!" Along with the watches (afaik). Sure would like to know who, when, and where the cases really came from. If it was the guy 'Paul' got them from (from the guy's wife), the guy must have had a pretty good setup in order to make them.
  10. If it is p/n RMOSS-BC89, this link goes between the clasp and bracelet at the flip lock end.
  11. "Star time sells connector pieces that might help." If it is p/n RMOSS-BC104 it is the wrong part, it goes between the dive extension and bracelet. You might be able to grind it down to work because the thinner part is the same width as a mid link. Here is the catch...the wide end is made for a 1.0mm press pin.
  12. "...$139 with a swiss eta and it even had a working HE valve. The bracelet was hollow link and pretty nice - had the clasp with the Rolex crown on the side like this one." A genuine example cost a little bit more but flyin' down the road with your arm out the window...they look exactly the same to me. I got robbed! I paid $159! eBay item number: 221920434323
  13. I had a few oyster type no name bracelets with end links like I needed so I used them. They were the right size, about 8.7mm wide and 6.5mm long. The tops are gently rounded and the undersides are made like a 'figure 8'. If the bottom side is not made like an 8 to keep it in place, it can turn and lock the bracelet against the hoods.
  14. "It's strange that the neck size of the cartel case is so near gen. But their bezel is so off and loose that they have to glue the insert. My guess is that they make the midcase but purchase the bezel from someone?" I know what you mean. Genuine case necks are 28.2mm as are my MBK/Yuki/IG44 and cartel cases from 'Paul' (Abay) but some others are off. DW is 28.1 to 28.15 making oem spec crystals and bezels too loose. GS has 3 or 4 different T19 crystals and you can swap them around and sometimes get a good fit. "Or....... It's faster and easier to fit the bezel parts if they are too big." They might do this so they can slam them together by hand without a press...who knows? My guess is they buy parts from various sources and do not care if they fit properly as long as they do not fall apart. One run of 5513/1680 from Abay had the right size 28.2mm case neck with a 'short skirt' crystal glued to the case neck and they pushed a 'spring wire' type rotating bezel down over the crystal and the spring wire caught in the space below the crystal skirt and held the rotating bezel on...for a while. I have about 10 like this from around 2005. Other than the goofy bezels and the case back gasket groove cut in the case, they are pretty good. For some reason they mounted the case back gaskets in the case like a vintage SD instead of the case back.
  15. "First of all, the extension system inside the clasp is horrible. What is a remedy? did anyone try to simply take it out and connect the bracelet straight to the clasp?" My Frankenstein 5512/13/1680 project watches are made to mimic late 1960s/early 1970s models and I use folded oyster 7836 bracelets from 'Mary'...should be 9315 but that is all they had. For the clasp, I use older model clasp caps with 8 holes in a row without a dive extension with notches crimped at the end to keep the inks under the clasp cap (like some genuines). Later models did not come with folded bracelets so this is not an option with them. I have seen quite a few older genuine submariners over the years with the dive extensions removed. If you do not need them, they are just in the way. "Secondly that end middle link which attaches to the end links, has this line cut don't know why, but it is a tell and it is annoying as it should not be there. What is your remedy for this?" I change the mid links that connect to the spring bars at the watch to a hollow rounded type and do away with the 'figure 8' links that came on the bracelets...and go with WSO 580 hoods. "A gen bracelet is nice but nearly 800 dollars or more." When you blow that much on a bracelet, it takes a lot of the fun out of owning a replica in the first place...imho. Besides that, you see lots of replica bracelets/bracelet parts on older genuine watches so replica bracelets/parts abound in the real world. We seem to worry more about genuine bracelets that the average watch guy...average, not an All Original! All Genuine! rolexnut.