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  1. Today
  2. "I was thinking of getting a 1mm stamp kit and try my hand at adding my own markings but I think that would end up in a disaster...but in my mind's eye it would look better than the chinsy laser etching." A friend engraved a few cases for me using an old Hermes pantograph engraving machine and they all came out fine. It takes a while and most of the time is spent on setting it up...mounting and centering the case in the machine etc. Many jewelry stores that have been in business for a long time will have one along with many hobby guys who bought one for not much $$. The correct font is easy to find because it is a basic design. You might ask around and see if anyone you know has one or knows someone who does. Using an Older Flat Engraving Pantograph. - Bing video
  3. Wow.. That's impressive!! especially the time keeping but the fit and finish has really elevated. I dont often say this in a watch forum but, nice set!!
  4. Yes I always get a laugh looking at those covers while waiting in line....never forget batboy!! Interesting I didn't realize that gen dials were less that 28mm for 36mm watches. I assumed I have a few gen OP's meant for 34mm cases and they are that size. I guess its all on the inner case design , slightly larger seats/ ledges on the 36mm cases to hold the dials Yes the raffles cases are great. he offers sterile mid cases so you dont have that brutal jibberish to deal with. I was thinking of getting a 1mm stamp kit and try my hand at adding my own markings but I think that would end up in a disaster...but in my minds eye it would look better than the chinsy laser etching. Wow I didnt know you had build one of these Freeddy!! Is that a raffles dial that you aged and relumed? Inspiration indeed. that movement is a mint now! I completed my build last night and tried baking the dial , didn't have shoe polish but tried a bit of modeling dry paints and some vinegar and had mixed results. it look alright but not quite what I was after. the lume did darken , which I didnt really want but trial and error. I will probably leave it and just order a new one on my next order and try again with the shoe polish I can see how it would give depth to the color. I did bake my insert and all I can say is wow. I am really impressed with how that turned out. I am going to take some pics later on today , so stay tuned.
  5. Yesterday
  6. The Big Kahuna's time was last set (to our company's email server, which is linked to an atomic clock) a little more than 1 month ago. I just checked it for the 1st time since then -- it lost 5 seconds! That is less than 2 secs/week! Of the 4 quartz watches I have, only 1 maintains more accurate time than that! Although The Kahuna does contain some gen (movement) parts, it is technically a fake Rolex, whose total financial outlay was less than $3,500 -- & without the games, waiting lists & various other issues that are part of today's 'gen buying experience'. The Golden Cuckoo, fitted with the same contingent of gen parts (&, likewise, w/o any timing adjustments!), continues to run within gen specs, +/- 2secs/day. I will say it again -- these 1165xx clones are 1 of the best buys in rep watch history. As further evidence of their accuracy, I just returned the gen gold 23-704 crown/tube I had purchased for The Cuckoo back into storage because they are nearly indistinguishable from the clone parts these 2 watches came with from the factory. Yes, these fake Rolexes are so good that it is not worth my time to swap gen parts for these fakes.
  7. The best way I found to naturally patina a tropical dial is to add a tiny bit of black shoe polish to some of the brown/blank areas & then bake it -- carefully -- until the desired effect is achieved! Done properly, you should not see where the polish was applied & some of the shininess will be reduced. You did great work on the Explorer & I look forward to seeing the outcome of your tropical Sub. In the meantime, here is some inspiration --
  8. Both dials are knockouts, so you win either way. But I would always give the nod to well done (ie, believable from an arm's length away) tropical dials.
  9. "Where did you get that picture of me?" Saw it on a news stand, the face looked familiar. Ha! I never was a National Enquirer fan, but I look at the covers...mostly UFOs landing in back yards etc. Now it's Harry, Meghan and of course Bigfoot. It has been a familiar magazine in one form or another in supermarket checkout lanes for as long as I can remember. "The National Enquirer is still in business. It was originally founded by William H. Hearst in 1926 and is one of the oldest and most successful tabloids in the United States. Over 95 years in business, the Enquirer has changed owners and has gone through several rebranded versions, including the Star, the Globe, and the National Examiner" "That 1016 mk2 was something I whipped up for a member next door. raffles case with acrylic crystal swap ruby mk2 dial ruby hands - aged lume to match dial Ruby bracelet asian eta 2824 and a subtle amount of aging to the case desk diver safe queen." All the dials I got from Raffles have been very good, but they were mostly unsigned project dials. Got two '1016' dials a couple years ago and they were pretty good except they are a little bit oversized for oem spec cases...Raffles are 28.5mm and genuine 1016 is 27.9mm. It looks like their cases are very good too, may have to get a couple for the dials. The dial of unknown exact origin in my '1016' project is pretty good but the letters do not 'jump', they are a bit subdued/faded. It is Ok for an 'older' vintage watch I guess.
  10. Hayst

    Thank you.

    I have been watching your builds and like the profile the T21 gives. Unfortunately I work on the local shire and an acrylic crystal would be destroyed almost immediately. ...and wild horses couldn't drag that watch away from my Daughter.
  11. HA! Where did you get that picture of me? That 1016 mk2 was something I whipped up for a member next door. raffles case with acrylic crystal swap ruby mk2 dial ruby hands - aged lume to match dial Ruby bracelet asian eta 2824 and a subtle amount of aging to the case desk diver safe queen . On my last order I thought I would try out one of his new tropical brown dials. was not disappointed. (stay tuned for the sub build ) New raffles case with acrylic (apparently they are glued it - caution advised) enlarged lugs. soften case with some ageing raffles dial and aged the lume with some brown air brush paint to break up the evenness of the lume tone. raffles gilt hands -- aged asian 2824 with date wheel removed and setting lever modded to 2 settings. Silix rivet bracelet under bright direct light the dials pop and have a bit of an rootbeer colour leaning towards orange. under overcast skies in natural light it does take on a chocolate tone. the finish does have a bit of a metallic effect to it , but subtle , I want to give it more age and depth but deciding which way to go as they are a semi gloss finish and I think dulling down the dial will reduce the metallic effect which I dont want . open to suggestions. I must say that Raffles has really upped his game the cases he offers are very good quality great machining and quality. the dials are miles ahead of what they used to offer. crisp text and the details are way more accurate than they used to be , now he offers albino and tropical options also. the quality and durabiilty of the finish is top notch. I have worked with Vietnam dials from ruby , mochacha and mq and honestly they dont compare as far as finish . I've had lume fall off a mq dial , paint chip off really easily on mochacha dials . ruby is good but they are getting slow on the communications I hope they are not going under cause they are the best value for a Vietnam parts. But Raffles is really coming in strong and for a 10the the price!!+ I hope they continue to expand their offerings.
  12. JSebWC

    Thank you.

    Nice job on the builds. you seem to have been bitten by the bug haha careful or you will end up with a watch box full of them I hope your daughter loves her new Tudor! I recently just bought the tropical dial as well but went with a bit more of a safe queen look before I decide which direction I want to age it further. I did age the lume on the dial and hands lightly with a brown air brush paint . I like how your dial turned out with your aging technique. it gives it a well worn look.
  13. Hayst

    Thank you.

    It was interesting for a bit but I shall be changing back to a Raffles 6610 gilt dial tomorrow as I cannot see the time as easily on the brown dial.
  14. Hayst

    Thank you.

    Bored, so dropped in a Soprod Newton PO92, a Raffles Tropical dial and a new swiss pendant tube plus gasket. Went for old and knocked about look. I shall put it on the Timegrapher tomorrow. On the plus side I got to utilise the set of Bergeon screwdrivers my girls got me for Christmas...really nice change from the cheap Chinese set I have been using.
  15. Last week
  16. Bump Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. "$1,300 for a few vintage Rolex parts. Crazy -- but this time next year, crazy will have been a bargain." Yeah. If you can find one at all a year from now. I bought two sets 1575 GMT center wheel with cp and hour wheel, without any GMT calendar wheels (pn 8034) a few years back and they were somewhere around $200 for two sets. The 8034 GMT calendar wheel is hard to find today. The $1300 kit is basically enough for a conversion plus you may need to space the calendar ring up a little bit. Why? Because the GMT calendar ring is about .10mm thicker than a regular 1575 date ring to make space between the 24 hour wheel and dial. A friend cut some 4 mil (very close to .10mm) circles out of Mylar on a decal plotter that sticks to the ring to raise it up. Works fine and saves $$. I did not use an 8021 GMT calendar wheel on the 'shortcut 1655'. The GMT kit for $1300 on eBay has the 8021 calendar wheel but does not have a GMT calendar ring (pn 8037). Sometimes they work Ok without the thicker calendar ring and sometimes not. After proof reading all this mumbo-jumbo a couple times, it sounds like 18 month old kid gibberish. An 18 month old kid that's been hittin' the prescription cough syrup. Typos are free.
  18. $1,300 for a few vintage Rolex parts. Crazy -- but this time next year, crazy will have been a bargain.
  19. Buddhabar: "I'll put you a link where maybe you can find the solution." Thanks! Probably get a set...after a few paydays. Ha! Good 1655 hand set recently listed on eBay, looks the same as J&W: eBay item number:234857548399 Also has basic GMT conversion kits: eBay item number:234535951473
  20. "I like how it's coming together." Thanks! "...you may need to enlarge the ID of the bezel slightly." I have a few generic T-11 (GS PA459-37) with rounded outer edges and that is what I am going with. Seems like the Raff bezel will fit. Later T-12 crystals have sharp outer edges. "I would go with the gilt gloss yuki dial AFAIK all matte dial 5500's are rep..." I have not decided for sure which dial will be used but the dials with goldtone letters have better detail. Otoh, I am not a big fan of steel watches with goldtone markers...but I see quite a few steel 16xx, 160xx DJ, 6694, manual wind no dates etc. with goldtone markers on the 'net. I have also seen a few 5500 AK/1002 'explorers' on eBay with goldtone markers and most of them had gold bezels and crowns. The 1002 also came in a tutone version so an 'explorer' dial with goldtone letters would be quasi-legal along with gold bezel/crown. Sorta. The jury is still out. I need to save the best goldtone letter dial for a 5501 AK and the gloss and matte dials are about the same in detail. I read that almost all of the 5500 AK with explorer dials were sold in the UK. True or not? Probably true. I do not remember seeing them at watch shows when I attended shows in the 1990s, mostly in the southern and eastern USA. Burley Bullock (rip) and a few others changed the wristwatch landscape during this time with radio ads, formation of the IWJG etc. Then the internet, eBay etc. changed it again. "Did you do the movement service?" Yes, c/o, mainspring, rotor axle etc. and a friend put a new balance staff in it. It took 2 or 3 weeks soaking the main plate in white vinegar to melt all the rust away so the stem would come out of the plate. I painted over any critical steel parts pressed in the plate with nail polish every few days. The main plate screws that hold the various bridges to the main plate were rusty and I replaced them with near identical stainless steel screws from an assortment of stainless case back screws. A few others were also replaced. I have original screws but did not want to use them on a 'battleground movement'. The three blued screws that hold the autowind assembly to the movement were still Ok. All in all, it is a pretty good movement, it just looks bad, and it runs much better than it looks. It is a lot like the movement in my '1016 explorer' project with a movement made out of a combination of well used ETA 2824/36 and 2846 parts. It is one of the best running ETAs I've owned. One other ETA that runs like the 'explorer' is in a 1990s/early 2000s Marathon CCG SAR. Marathon Coast Guard (broadarrow.net)
  21. nice project. I like how its coming together. the 25-12 T crystal should fit the raffles crystal. you may need to enlarge the ID of the bezel slightly. I would go with the gilt gloss yuki dial AFAIK all matte dial 5500's are rep, according to Eric Wind on the explorer reference points by Hodinkiee look fwd to seeing this come together. Did you do the movement service "?
  22. I have not forgotten about that. It just takes alot of time to remove the curtains from the rod, pull together all the contestants & then set everything up, which I have not had. But I plan to do an update as soon as time permits.
  23. Where is the shower curtain rod photo update? Amazing none the less!
  24. Thank you for link... new info about this brand. cheers.
  25. Ball 999B... "Wow...you got a good deal...." Yeah, I did pretty good on that one. It needs one tiny screw for the 'whiplash' regulator, c/o...and a dial. Hampden McKinley pocket watch info: hampden wm.mckinley | NAWCC Forums
  26. Earlier
  27. Wow...you got a good deal.... Look here how much it costs... https://www.etsy.com/it/listing/1312856969/ball-hamilton-999b-railroad-pocket-watch I love pocket watches too....here's a Hampden Mc Kinley.
  28. "Have you considered using another dial? The print of the Yuki dial pictured is pretty poor. I think even most standard rep dials today might be a better option, let alone 1 from 1 of the better franken parts sellers." Yeah, it is not too hot. The one for my AK 5501with yellow letters is a little bit better. "Also, will you be removing the corrosion on the metal before finishing? It looks like mostly surface rust that could easily be removed." The corrosion/rust is gone. What you see is the brass base metal of the main plate showing through heavily damaged rhodium plating. The rust was removed by soaking in white vinegar plus two trips through an ultrasonic cleaning machine. This is about as good as it going to get. Polishing the damaged areas with Simichrome polish etc. would make it look better but I skipped it because it would remove more plating. Here is the other 5500 'explorer' dial, it might be a little bit better: Close up, it is really no better: These AK 'explorer' dials were $110 each with hands including shipping in 2014/15. The other dial with goldtone letters is a little bit better, but it looks a lot better at a distance of 12 to 18 inches: Since these are project watches made out of miscellaneous parts, I guess I'll go with these dials and not spend any more $$ on them. The original dial on the 5501 AK has been badly refinished and dented so the Yuki dial will be an improvement. The rough original dial/hands will be included when it sells to help the deal a little bit. These '90% genuine rolex 'lost cause' projects are now numbering over 100 with 10 or more 'originals' left to finish so I am slacking off on project watches a bit. Hopefully these projects will be Ok along with 'full disclosure' as long as no one is too picky. Q...What is left? A...Two 16xx DJ, one (? ref number) manual wind with date, one 1675 GMT, two 5500 AK, one 5501 AK, one 1500 OPD with a 'blistered' movement, two 6422 (iirc ref number) manual wind no dates plus a few others. 'Blistered' = movement discolored by harsh cleaning solvents. I am beginning to see piles of shucked oysters in my sleep. Ha! Update later in the day: I found another yellow letter Yuki 'explorer' dial with a matte finish in my box of dials. The one above has a glossy finish. The matte dial with yellow letters is about the same quality as any matte dial with white letters in this thread. All are from 2014/15.
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