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  1. 8 likes
    This tutorial explains how to build a frankenjust (i.e, franken Datejust) from scratch, or at least how I did it. The specific model I built is a reference 16014, but I think the concepts apply to other 16000-model types, too. I geared the level of detail in the steps and descriptions below to novice modders, and to those on the fence about trying their hand. As a result, much of the following will be too simplistic for the more experienced. In the interest of getting it right, please correct and add comments where you see fit. I wrote this guide (1) to pass on some of the information I've picked up from research on several watch forums (see these excellent posts by KBH, LHOOQ, and TxRub779), (2) to build up the confidence of beginners, and (3) to increase the number of Datejusts in the world, since they are such beautiful watches. A Datejust is a great choice for a first franken: they are relatively budget-friendly and their assembly process is straightforward. I had a lot of one-on-one help along the way. Thanks especially to KBH, Preacher, and Tomhorn. If anybody has questions about the following, please PM me, and I will try my best to help. Now, let's build this thing! Step I: Source the parts 1. Case a. midcase b. tube c. crown d. case back e. bezel 2. Plexi crystal (ref# 25-135) 3. Gaskets (tube & crown for 6mm, and case back is a ref# 302-86) 4. Dial (for a 16000 case) 5. Movement (ETA 2836-2) a. Stem for movement b. Dial spacer 6. Hands (Clark white Tudor dress for 2836-2) 7. Movement Ring (Raffletime #2) 8. Case clamps for a 2836-2 9. Bracelet/endlinks/lugbars to fit 20mm lugs. 10. Datewheel overlay I found my 16014 midcase/caseback, crown, bezel, and tube for sale on the forums. But, they go up on eBay & VRF all the time. Make sure you read the fine print; sometimes sellers like to split up the cases and piece them out. My steel is all gen, although it might be possible to substitute rep parts in some places (e.g., a 6mm crown). Source your gaskets from a watch parts outlet--I used Esslinger. The 16000 case takes gaskets that fit a 6mm crown/tube, and a 302-86 case back gasket. See here for a good breakdown of which gaskets match various Rolex case backs, based on the case numbers. Ebay & VRF are also good sources for dials, but you have to be patient. I wanted a silver linen dial (which I am told is technically called a silver "florentine") since it seemed an elegant touch for an elegant watch, but only gold ones kept coming up. As I wear a platinum wedding band, I chose to wait. Or pay $350+, which is what some sellers demand. Crystals are also easily found on eBay. The 16014 uses a 25-135 crystal. I used an aftermarket version, from Clark watch parts. You can find movements from many watch parts suppliers. Ofrei is a good one in the US. Cousins in the UK. I chose to use an ETA 2836-2, since I happened to have a spare. Others have built these watches using 2824-2's, which are a slightly different dimension as far as stem height. I can't speak to their suitability, or what mods (if any) you need to make to fit them in a 16000 case. Nothing prevents you from using a clone of these movements, rather than a Swiss version, for budget purposes. Although perhaps less reliable, they work well enough in my limited experience with them. In most cases, the stem is movement-specific. If you buy a movement from Ofrei or Counsins, it will come with a correct stem. But if you transplant a movement from another watch, the trimmed stem length might not match the correct length for your frankenjust. Both the 2824-2 and the 2836-2 have a stem diameter of 0.9mm, which happily fits right into the gen Rolex crown. The movement also decides the hands, since the hand-hole diameter must fit over the movement pinions. Fortunately, 2824's and 2836's share these specs. I bought silver Tudor dress-style hands from Clark, since they are very close to the hands that Rolex used for vintage Datejusts. You can find ETA case clamps from a supply house or on eBay. The movement ring is a Rafflestime #2. It does a good job. But, I've read excellent things about Stilty's rings. Unfortunately, I couldn't get in touch with him or otherwise find one to purchase. I bought a 20mm rep jubilee bracelet set, but you can find gens on eBay or VRF. The right model for my watch is a 62510H with 555-stamped end links. They run a little pricey. You can find lugbars from the usual sources. Most vintage Datejusts used a Rolex 3035 movement. Because the datewheel on an ETA movement turns in the opposite direction to the 3035, you can't just slap the latter's datewheel in there as an overlay. If you're stuck on gens, you can use a 3135 datewheel, since it spins the same way, although you might have to sand down the back for clearance between the movement and the dial. I found that the few overlays I have in my parts drawer didn't fit properly in the 16014: it's window is a little further to the right so that the text looks left justified. I like the look of the vintage overlay (font with open 6's and 9's), and these are hard to find so I decided to try and print my own. It's getting there, but I haven't quite perfected it yet. Step II: Tools you will need (in no particular order) 1. Precision screwdrivers 2. Watch tweezers 3. Plastic tweezers 4. Hand presser 5. Hand removers (I prefer levers) 6. Pin vice 7. End cutter pliers 8. File/sandpaper 9. Caseback opener (I usually use a sticky ball) 10. Movement holder 11. Dial protector or similar 12. Dial dots 13. G-S hypo cement 14. Silicone grease 15. Xacto knife 16. Loupe (I prefer a headset) 17. Bezel press (or a custom tool to do the same) 18. Movement cups (optional) 19. Dust blower (optional) 20. Movement pad (optional) 21. Watch paper (optional) 22. Rodico (optional) 23. Springbar tool (optional) 24. Caseback knife (optional) 25. Finger cots (optional) Much of what you need can be found in the RWG/Watchbitz toolkit. I highly recommend it as an excellent resource of quality tools for any modder. The tools list is pretty self-explanatory. You can substitute in some places, but you will need/want pretty much everything above. The nice part about buying all these tools is that most are one-time expenses. And once you decide to open up a watch case, you won't be able to stop, as I have discovered. Step III: Make the watch Earlier, I claimed that the DJ assembly is straightforward, but I should qualify that. Truthfully, several frustrating little problems will pop up during rep building. But for me it's a rewarding feeling to solve them and admire your new creation--way better than just buying it. Like KBH says, half of the fun is finding a way to assemble things that were never meant to be put together in the first place. And you will know soooo much more about your watch than the average gen owner. Here's how you do it... 1. Remove the Rolex dial feet Dials come with little metal feet. These feet slip into the movement and, along with the handstack, align the dial correctly when it's seated on the movement. For whatever reason, the feet positions are often movement-specific, even for movements with similar diameters. As a result, porting a dial from one movement to another involves snipping and filing down the original dial feet. So, to fit your gen dial onto a 2836-2, you need to remove those pesky 3035 feet. Whenever you handle a dial, but particularly an expensive one, it's a good idea to either wear gloves or synthetic finger cots. I prefer cots since they allow the rest of your hand to breathe (avoid cotton cots when handling movements, since they will leave tiny bits of lint everywhere). While holding the dial securely, take your pliers and gently press them up against the back of the dial around the foot. Grip the foot and cut it off, then do the same to its twin. You will find a little nub remaining in each spot. To prevent it from interfering with the operation of the datewheel, you need to file or sand it off. I just used some fine sandpaper that I picked up at Home Depot. Although I have one, I didn't use my diamond file, as I found it awkward to handle in this application. Be careful to (1) hold the dial firmly enough so it doesn't slip, but gently enough so that you don't bend it and to (2) sand with precision. Take your time. A slip here and you will mar the dial. Now, blow away the tiny metal fragments from the back of the dial You don't want them wandering around inside your watch case. 2. Attach the movement ring and dial spacer to the dial The movement ring is a metal washer that is used to prevent the movement from sloshing around in the case, side-to-side. It surrounds the movement and gives it a snug fit inside the case, so that when you pull out or push in the crown of the finished watch, the movement sits firmly in place beneath the dial. The Rafflestime #2 ring does a pretty decent job ensuring a snug fit. It leaves a bit of space around the movement, but not enough to really notice when everything is put together. Most movement rings rest above the stem; in fact, they leave a little gap for the stem to fit into the movement. So, it's a smart idea (in the absence of dial feet) to just attach the movement ring to the dial itself. If you align the center of the gap to the 3 o'clock marker, it gives you some confidence that the dial is in the right position when you eventually peer down into the overturned case, and go to tighten the case clamps. You can use a little G-S hypo to join the dial and the movement ring, but be frugal. Too much glue will either wick up the side of the dial and perhaps onto its face, or make a big splotchy mess. Another solution is to use a tiny strip of dial dot. Use an Xacto knife to slice away several small bits of the double sided tape and go to work. I found dial dots easier to handle, and they offered a stronger stick. 3. Set and align the date wheel overlay ETA date wheels don't line up with Rolex date windows. You have to place an overlay on the 2836-2's date wheel to get the calendar to show up in the window. And to do it properly is harder than it sounds. At first, I used a date wheel from a donor rep submariner. It's smart to use plastic tweezers in this step, as the overlay is delicate. I often leave my movements on a movement pad (or rest). Before you do this, it's a good idea to remove the rotor to avoid stress on it. A dial spacer sits atop the movement, and forms a seat for the dial so that it clears the date wheel and the overlay. Otherwise, pressure from the dial will--at best--interfere with smooth date change operation. Enough pressure to can even cause something delicate to break. Make sure your dial spacer is thick enough to provide sufficient clearance. The flip side of the clearance problem is that the more space you leave between the dial and the movement, (1) the less space you leave yourself to press the hands down properly and (2) the further down you push the stem slot. Depending on your case (and movement), (2) can be a problem when you finally go to push the crown & stem into the movement. The "fit equation" that must be satisfied is: dial width + dial spacer + stem height = center of tube height from top of the dial ± ε The stem height is the distance from the top of the movement to the center of the stem hole. In the equation above, ε represents the "slop". Things rarely line up bang-on: if you're close, you're probably in business. You just don't want to put so much pressure on the stem that it snaps off in the movement. I had some dial spacer issues at first. This one ended up not working too well, but I found a decent enough version in my parts drawer. Now, attach the spacer to the dial using the same method as you did for the movement ring. That way, when you set the dial down, everything will be in place. And ready for alignment... Ultimately, your overlay alignment can only be as good as your overlay. If the font is off (left justified in my case), then the best you can do it to make everything equally off-center. Knowing that, insert the stem. Gently. You may need to turn it slightly as you do so. As long as your keyless works are in order, and you're using the correct stem, the crown will snap into place. With the dial off, put maybe 10 small dots of G-S hypo cement along the top of the ETA datewheel. G-S has a tendency to string up, so be quick. And don't leave enough so that it seeps down into the movement. Best to practice, first. Set down the dial, and make sure it's lined up with the stem. Fortunately, my linen dial had a convenient market right above the stem hole, making my job a bit easier. To align the wheel, make sure your calendar appears nice and centered in your date window. Do so by lifting the dial and using your plastic tweezers to move things around. Using a magnifier will help. Pull the crown into the quick-set position. Advance the date by 15 or so clicks and look at the date centering. Do your best to line things up. Repeat this process. When things are about equal, advance 7 clicks. Now you're on the other diagonal. Center things up. Advance 15 and do the same. Eventually, you will get things as centered as they can be. Note that things can sometimes look different when the date advances normally, versus the quickset. It's a good idea to check. OK. Now you're getting close. 4. Case the dial & movement With the overlay all set, it's time to pull out the stem. For most watches this isn't the case. You would have to set the hands first, before you case everything. However, the hands and crystal for the 16000 series can easily be set in place after the movement is cased. This is a good thing, since sometimes you need to fudge a little with the hands to make them fit properly under the plexi. I use a movement cup, because it is an easy way to turn the movement over (to press the stem release), without hurting the pinions. With a cup set, you're bound to have one that fits the movement diameter pretty well. Flip the movement onto the cup. Put the crown in the winding position. On a 2836-2, use a min. 1mm screwdriver to depress the stem release button. VERY GENTLY. It won't take too much pressure. At the same time, just slide out the stem. If you press too hard, you can screw up your keyless works. And then you will have to take everything apart to re-set, and go through the entire process of overlay alignment again. Now put the movement pad soft-side down on top of the face-down movement. Flip everything over again and you've got the stemless movement ready to be cased. Carefully, slide the case down over the dial. As you do so, make sure the tube is lined up over the three o'clock marker, and that the rehaut is evenly spaced around the dial. If you're ham-handed, you can scratch the dial. And that would suck. Again, a bigger movement cup forms a really easy rest for the movement/case. Just flip it over. At this point, I like to insert the stem, to make sure everything is lined up right. Just place a finger on top of the movement (being careful to NEVER touch the balance wheel) and slip the stem in. (As long as you adhered to the fit equation, you'll probably be OK.) Putting the stem in this way helps to keep everything (dial and movement) lined up when you screw down the case clamps--especially in situations where you don't have any dial feet. Of course, I didn't think to take pictures showing this little gem... Case clamps keep the movement centered between the dial and the back of the case. They provide pressure, in fact, so that the rotor doesn't scrape against the case back. Use tweezers to transport a clamp over to the movement and line it up. Then, drop in a screw and tighten it just enough so the rotor clears it. Do the same for the other clamp and then tighten everything up. Add the case back here. Well, first place the gasket that you've been soaking all the while in silicone grease . Whenever I screw it down, I like to use my hand at first to turn the case back counter-clockwise against the case threads until I feel/hear a click. Then screw it in, normally, by hand at first. If you encounter no resistance, use your sticky ball or equivalent. This helps you avoid cross-threading (hat-tip, Bonesey). Up to now, you've been using a generic crown and stem, right? Well, take the stem out and use your pin vice to switch crowns. Then, use the pliers and a few stem insertions to get that stem to the right length. It should be long enough so that the winding position is clear of the tube, but short enough so that the crown spring can easily get the crown to the tube for screwing down. Again, I sit the case on a movement cup and test the date wheel form the quick set position, and also by normal time-set advancement. If everything looks good and you don't get any resistance, it's time to move on to the last few steps. 5. Install the hands The 16000 crystal/bezel set affords you the convenience of doing this step after the dial and movement are set in the case. When you've done it a few times, hand setting is no big deal. But you have to tread carefully because it's easy to scratch the dial. So, use a dial protector. My dial has stick markers, which preclude me from using my RWG/Watchbitz-toolkit-sourced-Bergeon. Instead, I "customized" a bit of watch paper to perform the same function. Always use a loupe when installing hands. They are small. Rodico is your friend. Press it down (gently, to avoid bending) onto any hand at the tip. Guide the hand over to the cannon pinion and line up its hole. Then install. Hack the movement. It's not really necessary, but it makes things a little neater since you don't have to worry about the hands moving around while you take your time. For the hour hand, I usually just use a cheap set of plastic tweezers. First, slowly advance the crown in time-set position until the date snaps over. Then press the hour hand home so it points directly at 12. Advance the hand until the next change occurs. If it's off, you can use the plastic tweezers to nudge the side of the hand a bit, to line it up. Keep doing this until you have it straight. You need to use the hand presser when installing the minute and seconds hands. At first, I was really worried about snapping off the seconds pinion when using the pen-type tool, since you are kind of blind once you lower it to make contact with the hand. But if you're gentle, you can actually move the presser slowly around and feel the seconds pinion is inside the hole at the end of the presser. Once you're sure about that, just press down. But not too hard, or you could break a jewel. Make sure to move the hour hand over to point directly at another hour marker before you install the minute hand at 12 (3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock work well). When hour and minute hands are on, use the crown to turn the hands all the way around the dial to make sure they don't hit each other, but also so that the minute hand crosses 12 when the hour hand strikes an hour. If not, go back and use your plastic tweezers to nudge the minute hand into the right position. Advance the hands again and check your work. The seconds pinion it TINY. So if you haven't been using a magnifier, use one now. Again, line up the hole over the center of the cannon pinion using Rodico. The bottom of the seconds hand has a tiny female part that caps the male pinion. It really only fits one way. When you think you've got it right, press down very gently with the presser. If you pull away the presser and the second hand is still sitting up there, you're almost done. Just press down with the presser using a little more force--that should seat it. Unhack the movement. If the seconds hand starts to move, you're nearly done. Now pick up the watch and turn it around and upside down. Check different positions. If the seconds hand slips around the dial, it's not on firmly enough. Press down gently again and check. If you need to remove the hands at any time, a piece of advice... I much prefer the hand-lever style removers to the presto ones. With the levers, you are in complete control of the amount of force applied. While using your dial protector, just place the tips of the levers against the base of the cannon pinion (levers at 45-degree angle) and gently press the held ends of the levers toward the dial. The hands will pop off. Use Rodico to pick them up. 6. Seat the crystal and press down the bezel The DJ crystal is plexi. It fits over the watch really easily, and serves as its own gasket when the bezel is pressed down. Once you've set the hands in place, you should test fit the crystal to make sure it doesn't interfere with the hands at all. In my case, it did. I only realized it when the movement stopped after I pressed down the bezel--the curvature of the plexi caused the arrow-straight second hand to jam. So I had to pop everything off again, and make the fix. Since you're smarter than me, you will remember to check first. If the hands are a problem, just remove them, bend them a little, and repeat step 5! Once the crystal is on and everything is working OK, make sure the cyclops is properly aligned over the date window. I don't know if this method is correct, but here's how I do it... Using a magnifier, I place myself directly above the cannon pinion and twist the crystal into place. Then, I lower my sight line until I'm just opposite the crown, and the handstack is lined up with the 9 o'clock marker. Checking that the cyclops edges are parallel, I go back and repeat. Cyclops alignment is a little more difficult than it seems, at first, because it can play optical tricks on you. When you're satisfied, it's time to press down the bezel. I have a caseback press, by my dies are too shallow. Instead, I found out that a PVC t-joint worked wonders. Just make sure that you use a little frog tape or something to soften the plastic edges and protect your shiny bezel. Place the bezel around the crystal, line up the PVC joint and press it down. Shouldn't take more than a couple tries to make sure everything is in place. If for some reason you need to remove the bezel, I've found that the best way is to use an Xacto knife to pry it up in one location. A case back knife does the rest. Just be careful to tape up any lugs if you want to use them as leverage. 7. Epilogue That's it. You've got your franken. A couple parting tips: if you scratch your crystal at any point, know that it buffs out pretty well with Meguiar's PlastX (found in an auto parts shops) or Polywatch. Various metal polishes can be used to get scratches out of the case itself. But scratces can add character, too, so whether you leave them is really up to your preference. Getting my 16014 together was just an awesome experience. I love it. It was my grail watch and now I have it. Joy. What's more: my serial number dates my watch to 1983. So, I feel like I'm bringing a little vintage back when I wear it. Which is like every day right now. I hope this guide helped you at least a little. I'm sure I've forgotten some important steps somewhere. But I'm tired of writing, so I'll just stop. In fact, I'm feeling like it's time to grab a drink. I'm just going to throw on my Member's Only jacket and hop in the DeLorean. If you're up for it, let's meet up. I'll be at the Mutiny, wearing this:
  2. 7 likes
    I guess I'm a fake guy because I took a rolex 1570 made out of parts gathered from here and there plus c/o/put it together, stuck it in an MBK case with aftmkt bezel kit, dial, hands, case tube, crystal, one of Mary's folded bracelets...and cranked out a 'fake vintage' watch that will run for a many years. I can't help being a little bit proud of it even if it is a 'fake' because I put it together, know it inside and out, and can fix it if it breaks. So...when some dildo with shiny shoes and a new submarooner starts bragging about how great and expensive his watch is and spouts 'fake watches are for fake people', I have to wonder if characters like that ever learn anything about life or just slide in and out, always being a dildo. "This one was $175 brand new." ...back when an RC and a Moon Pie was less than a quarter.
  3. 6 likes
    As we have many new members on the forums now I thought it might be a good idea to touch on how these sites came to be. The first true replica watch forum was TRC (the Replica Collector) there was in fact a group before this but it was more a notice board than a forum. TRC was not only the first but for quite a few years even after the formation of others it was regarded as the aficionado, the board where all the serious collectors were. The one real draw back for TRC was its sedate pace, which did not prove attractive to those who liked a more up tempo style. To this end a young member of TRC decided to form a new forum called Replica Watch Guide (RWG), this forum took off like a rocket, in fact a visiting TRC Moderator at the time described the RWG experience as akin to stepping off the sidewalk into heavy traffic. For a long time the Replica world existed off the flat out RWG and the more sedate but far more serious collector forum of TRC. Unfortunately things do not always pan out like we want them and such was the sorry saga of the RWG Collaboration 1 watch which was the start of the collapse of RWG. The watch itself was an attempt to 1. Knit the community together more and 2. A special memento/reward for the loyal members, I should point out that by this stage RWG had a VIP room in which the senior members could chat in private with the admin team, so while the watch was being planned on the open forum there was also a behind the scenes discussions that the general members were not aware of. Early in the planning of the watch our Admin (Blade) took over the communication between the members requirements and the dealers. After much discussion on the forum we came up with the design we wanted, the end product which many have seen is exactly what was planned, a redialled Omega Railmaster but to get there was a very, very rocky path. The major problem was that we wanted a clean watch with no brand name markings, a watch that could proudly be shown as the genuine RWG watch with nothing to show its replica heritage and this was a stumbling point with certain dealers (no I will not name them) as profit being profit there was a constant insistence to recycle branded replica parts. What followed turned into a clash of wills with the dealers trying to force what they wanted on us and the members refusing to accept anything but what we asked, and Blade? Well I still feel today that he was caught between a rock and a hard place as by now he had paid a lot of our money to these people to make what we wanted. From there on it was a case of missed deadline after miss deadline until the unthinkable happened, Blade disappeared! From that moment on the RWG admin team and the VIP’s became somewhat a crisis team going around putting out spot fires on the forum, keeping a cap on the gradual creeping discontent within the group that had paid their money for this watch as well as all those who stepped up claiming the forum was basically an elaborate scam site and we also needed to find our way around many hurdles simply because when Blade disappeared he took the keys with him, we therefore also mounted an intensive search to try and track Blade down. A side product to having your admin go missing around Christmas time was that RWG for the best part of the year was decorated with a perpetual Winter theme. The one date that we had glowing like a beacon before us was the renewal of the domain, the admin team and VIP’s knew that if we could not find Blade before this we had no way of paying the fee so RWG would simply cease to exist. Despite our best efforts with less than a couple of months to renewal date we had still made no progress in trying to find Blade and knew it was time to bite the bullet and look to preserving our forum elsewhere. We debated long and hard what our options were within the VIP room, a new forum was obvious but under who’s administration? To this end I turned to the admin of our respected sister board of TRC, once he had decided to take the second board on I worked as the go between with him and my own VIP’s, as without the keys we could not let him into the group. The formation of the new RWG consisted of a 3 point approach, first of course was alerting all our members to what we were doing, second was to move as much knowledge base as possible from the old to the new board and third was to build a forum that our members would not only feel ‘at home’ with but basically a better model than what we were leaving. Unknown to us at the time we had a member (with the help of one of our seniors) going through the PM list recruiting for his own new forum, it was underhanded and it was a banning offence but we lacked the tools to stop him. He went on to form the first ‘For profit’ board RWI, he was also the first forum Admin to openly scam his members out of a lot of money before disappearing. From this bad blood a new forum was then formed ‘Rep Geek’ this was the 2nd ‘for profit’ forum and also the 2nd time a forum Admin went on to scam his members for much money then vanish. Back on the new RWG we didn’t really concern ourselves too much with other forums, our aim was only to build the best we could for our members, which we know is what we achieved. The day for the launch of our new forum was set about one week before the deadline with the old forum, on opening day we had more traffic than any other board has ever seen, the admin team (although a global group) was basically all present, I know I was online at 4am from Melbourne, we spent the entire day welcoming and interacting with all the old, and new, members. Then one week later Blade came back and paid the fees for the domain renewal of old RWG….. Blade did come over to our new RWG, he sent me a PM saying that he was happy with the work we did to preserve the forum, but the reply I sent to him was never answered. At this point we had 2 RWGs, our new thriving forum and a ghost town, we did speculate crashing the other forum as we had the people with know how to do so but in the end senior members who held our respect (Dempsy, Omni, Highflyingclive etc) started using it as a playground so we left it for them and with time others stumbled across it and it slowly became the wild west of replica forums, this was not by design but necessity as they had no way to give moderator powers to anyone to keep the place in check. Obviously many things are glossed over in this brief history but to fast forward a little, it's one year later and the renewal is due for the old RWG again, only this time Blade did not come back. Being the civil types we are here on RWG (the real RWG) when the old board died we set up a sub forum for the members of the old site on our board so they could stay together until they could launch a new forum of their own. This is an important point to understand, if we did not give them a way to keep their people together they would have scattered far and wide and there would have been no point for a new forum. So now we come to the current situation, we have this board that imported all the original members and knowledge base from our home in an attempt to save it and we have the jr RWG started up with no member more than a year old or with anything even resembling what the original forum stood for. Still all water off a duck's back as far as we are concerned, on day one of our forum we discussed the path we wanted to take within the admin area and we have always stayed true to that path and we are very happy with what we have built. We could get upset with petty things like ‘the knitting club’ comment but we always set out with a ‘less is more’ approach and we find that has attracted the more serious and mature collector so if you enjoy the joke, knock yourself out…then of course we could point out that the member who created the comment was banned from every forum under a previous incarnation and for reasons that every rep collector despises and who has been a sworn enemy of our forum long before the RWG jr came to be. Yes there are forums I have not covered Watch Trader is one, they formed to give us a place to sell watches when we suspended sales on the original RWG due to brand name lawyer attacks, however WT closed doors when we started the new RWG, their Admin told me he was just doing a service which was not needed once we started afresh. There was also a forum that spun off Rep Geek after the Admin Julio did a runner with members' money, the forum name evades me at this time. Just a quick wrap; the majority of members travel to all boards and that is the way it should be, one of the founders of the other RWG (trailboss) who is now the admin of RWI is an Aussie who I have shared beers with and would do so again, these forums are in fact hobby boards and as we are provide the same thing we should all be able to co-exist. Yes there will always be a clash with the names, the name is ours we used it for years on the old forum and we used it for around a year and a half once we started the new forum, others can tell themselves anything they want to believe. Ken
  4. 6 likes
    Being one of the oldest folks on this forum, I am going to chime in on my take about "fakes are for fakes". I totally disagree with that premise, unless you are some guy who is overtly showing your "fake" AP,Rolex Hublot, etc. to others with the sole intention of deceiving them into something that you aren't. I would hope that there are none like those people on this forum. Most likely not, because for the most part they are not interested in watches as a marvelous miniature, intricate machine that allows us at a glance to see the time, date, phase of the moon, time in other time zones, etc. They are only interested in a watch as a symbol of their ostentatious lifestyle. I would suspect that the vast, vast majority of people who are here are proud of their watches, marvel at their design, but are as inconspicuous in their watch wearing. These are not fake people, they are not trying to deceive anyone, they wear replicas because they represent an opportunity to wear watches that they for whatever their reasons are not desirable to them in their genuine form. Possible they cannot afford the genuine, maybe it's because they have had genuine watches and are turned off by the incredible costs of repair and parts. Possibly they feel that their money can best be put to better uses than buying a 6-10K watch. Everyone has his reasons, and all are valid. Here is my experience. I have ben collecting (Accumulating) watches for probably 40+ years. I'm old enough that I bought new Rolex 1680's,1665's and Daytonas for less than 1000.00 USD each, in fact all of those were around the 500.00 USD range. Wish I had a couple of those back by the way!! Over the years, I ventured out into other brands, Breitling, IWC, Chronoswiss, Omega,Maurice Lacroix.,Ulysse Nardin are the ones I remember and can recall the exact watches. During that time, I ventured into Replicas, first joining a rep forum way back during the days of the old TRC. One thing that put me off gens at that time was the cost of repair and the lengthy time involved. I remember A Breitling Chronomat that every time I sent it in for repairs (twice) they wanted to change things that didn't need changing and the repair bill was in excess of 300.00 USD. That was a lot in 1988! Another was a Chronoswiss that required a trip back to Germany and was gone for 3 months. All in all I could see that the costs of maintenance on some of these somewhat finicky watches was not where I wanted to go. I eventually sold almost all my genuine watches and replaced them with replicas. Way cheaper and just as accurate and dependable. A few years later, I had a bit of a falling out with reps, primarily because at the time I was mostly dealing with Rolex and after purchasing them, I spent a good bit on making them nice frankens, the usual genuine crystal, insert, crown, reluming, replacing the rep bracelet with gen bracelets/endlinks. I was really happy with the results, however when it came time to sell one, no one wanted to pay much over the price of the original watch, so usually when one sold, I took a beating. this is still the same today, however I feel like folks today are more willing to pay for what was done as well as the original price of the watch. Over the years, I have totally enjoyed my reps. I never try to hide that they are reps, although I find that the vast number of folks are totally disinterested in watches in general. Most cannot tell a Rolex from a Timex!! Maybe that's a good thing as it probably prevents undue watch scrutiny. I still have a good many genuine watches, which alas, get very little wrist time. I have a gen Rolex 16610 that has not been on my wrist for probably 2 years. Why do I keep it? Probably to pass on to my son or grandson who both like watches. A few others get a little wrist time. Probably my Rolex 16750 gets the most, primarily because of it's GMT function. And finally, if you are worried about wearing replicas, then I have two pieces of advice. First, don't try to pull off something that is a well known expensive piece. Even though there have been lots of threads here about folks who don't look the part actually being able to afford a expensive genuine watch, in real life there are not that many young guys who are going to be able to afford a 100K watch at age 20. Certainly there are some, but by and large their numbers are pretty small. So if you are going to college and delivering Pizzas part time, unless your family owns the Pizza chain, don't try to pull off the unpulloffable. Second if you truly want to fly under the radar, wear "unknown" brands, or at least models of brands that look like a lot of other watches. My AP FC diver looks like about a thousand other "Black" watches that you see everywhere from drug store watch displays, mall stores to chain jewelry stores. Also, watches from those "unknown" brands. There are so many genuine boutique brands and even larger more recognized brands that are to the general population, unknowns. If you want to see how popular and widespread a brand is, go to the genuine website and click on dealers. Some of the genuine brands have almost no dealers in the USA. Watches like Linde Werdelin for instance have a grand total of five dealers in the USA!! and of these five two are in the Phoenix area and one in Florida. What do you think your chances are of seeing someone with a genuine LW are? Pretty slim. Same with others that some of us would consider pretty popular. A good example is Blancpain. And old brand with a pretty established history especially with their vintage dive watches from the 60's and 70's. Blancpain has about 36 retail establishments over the entire USA, about half of those a Tourneau, which to me is sort of a watch supermarket. So again, pretty slim chance that you are going to see your Fifty Fathoms walking down the street or in a restaurant/bar. So, finally to all you fine forum members out there, wear your replicas in good health, and for whatever your reasons, I feel certain that you are as comfortable wearing them as I am.
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    Ben Franklin said, " the worth of a man is not determined by what he has, but rather by who he is". So based on Ben's statement, real or fake, doesn't matter. The question is Who are You. lol
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    Today I would like to show you my New 5513. Yes again a 5513 .... But this has one speciality as i think not see before. Let's start with the base. For the Case i used a Cartel 1680. The basic Watch was as good as new. I know the case has not the right reference number engraved, but I do not care because it is worn on the steel braceled. The case became a strong reshape of the lugs and crownguard. The crown and tube were exchanged. The crown is TC and the tube was still lying in my mint. The lugs were drilled for gen springbars. The Plexi is a rather flat version, I find it more beautiful than the domed original Plexi manufacturer unknown. Now to the dial . I buy from a friendly Member this refinished/ painted dial . The dial was also quickly from Uk arrived and I could start immediately with the relume. This was necessary because the yellow dots I did not like,and i love lume shining . Unfortunately (as always happens with the special things: -0) the first layer has turned out to be too dark gray.So i relumed again .... next default....on the ultra-sensitive surface was a scratch . This did not go up to the Metall but only the matte surface shined .... also around the dots it shone easily .... thats was not very nice... so radical solution. I panted it complete with clear lacquer matt .... Result was perfect. The beautiful gen like hands and pearl were matched with the lume. The pearl was handmade by me and filled with lume. Now to the Movement . Here comes the special. Here is a standart Eta Clone. The complete date circuit was expanded. This created the right place ... The dial had feet for the gen movement Thats i wont to cut it off. So I dismantled till the base plate. At the place where the feet are located i drilled some holes for the dial feet.Than i assembled the movement . Unfortunately, you can apply this trick only to no date because otherwise the datewheel disturbes .... The braceled of the 1680 reworked and drilled to the gen springbars. I hope you like the watch Here with her children... Gesendet von meinem Sony Erricson K750I Gesendet von meinem Sony Erricson K750I
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    Time to update it a bit... Thx for the magic @rolojack!
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    Better sit down, Rick. This one was $175 brand new. There's an old saying... "Rolex makes the world's most expensive $500 watch".
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    Are people that drive replica vintage Porsche Speedsters and Shelby Cobras fake too? What about the reproduction paintings of Monet's hanging in millions of homes? Are those people fake? What about the replica bronze horses outside Saint Marks Basilica in Venice? Is the Catholic Church fake? Hmmm. Maybe the author has a point
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    Out my front door, we'll have alpenglow in half an hour
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    5512 Gilt PCG w/ chapter ring dial - on my wrist today, but built for a friend. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    All of these fake watches and fake people have created and University for me. I would not know have the things I know now if it wasn't for all these fake watches no thanks to all the fake people that have shares all there journeys I have found a fake world full of greats. So sorry but there is no turning back. From one fake person to a real one. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    I buy replica watches, and don't give a toss what anyone thinks about it.
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    I do not buy fake watches to be someone I am not. I buy fake watches simply because I like a certain model/style and I can't "afford" the real deal. Ofcourse I can buy a real watch that is cheaper, but what will I get? An overpriced Sevenfriday, which is basically a cheap Miyota? Or should I get a Guess watch that looks like a Hublot that had sex with an AP?
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    Here is a build based on a cartel 6263. The insert was removed and replaced by a Vietnam insert. The movement was CLEANLY converted to reposition the 6 o'clock hand. I could not resist finishing the top plate with a perlé... Even if no one will see that. Dial is from Viet nam WITH feet installed for the Venus 75. Revarnished to be more resistant and not get damaged on the edges, relumed and index finished with black enamel as it should. No glue here !!!! All clean and tidy inside out. I can't stand chewing gum finished watches.... Subsidiary hands are from DW as cartel hands are too large for my taste. Gen 700 crown, and cartel pushers modified to look like first generation pushers. Cherry on the cake: retailed by Hermès..... so we reach the half million !
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    Thank you all for keeping this the best place on the net. I am proud to have been a TRC and RWG v.1.0 veteran member. The incredibly remarkable membership clientele, the vast array of empirical watch and life knowledge, and the amazing friendships created over more than a decade going on two decades! WOW! I'm very lucky to be able to check in on all of my pals here--anytime! Best regards to all PS. Thanks KB for sharing the brief history. You've sparked up quite a few memories for me. Cheers!
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    Here's dipping my toe in this pool for the first time.
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    River 3646 Case set, Bigwaved dial on Betmen strap. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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    I would expect that this primarily relates to new members. When you do a search in the sales threads, sometimes your search will bring up a very, very old thread, one that has been dead for years. I got a PM to approve a post a little while ago. A new member was asking about photos of a strap for sale. When I went to the thread, I saw that it was started in 2009!! Now what are the chances that a 7 year old strap thread is going to get you a strap? So guys please look at the date the thread was posted before you start asking questions about the items for sale. This does not apply to any of our "Knowledge" threads, brand threads, general discussion, etc. often it's sort of neat to bring and old thread back from the dead. Newer members read it, folks add new comments and everyone gains. Sales threads, however, are like a smelly corpse. Better to let them rest undisturbed, far away!!
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    You have the right idea, but the wrong approach. You need a Watch Repository.
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    1966 always looks good on my wrist [emoji4] Highly recommend!
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    yes guys the watch is gen, no doubt about it. The purpose of this thread, is both for education and entertainment. I encouraged @paristototo post this thread, to share the knowledge that the reps these days are getting very very good, and calling a gen a franken or genstein may not be disputable immediately. It would in fact be bad for our hobby if this watch is resolutely identified as a gen, by 100% of the members who reply. And that once the human mind is conditioned to do so, flaws can be spotted where there are none. Yes of course this is a joke, and one of the things I believe a forum should be about. Congrats bro for this wonderful piece. And for this prank. Speaking of which, you are hereby sentenced to eternity in this madhouse, where the lines between gens and reps are increasingly blurred, and reality and delusion switch places at the blink of an eye.
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    I love your thought process. For me it is the latter from your possible reasons to buy a fake: I am obsessed and intrigued to get a fake as close as possible to the genuine counterpart in regards to reliability (movement, waterproof etc). My wife owns multiple genuines (which I bought her) and does not like wearing reps. She often tells me: "buy an nice gen as your next watch" ... But simply buying a gen does not give me the same feeling and reward as totally pulling apart a rep and servicing it to be on par with a gen. So my watch box consists solely of reps.
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    Just thought I'd say hi! Got my feet wet in the other forums but am happy to find RWG. I own Crown & Skull Watchworks and have been providing serviced Yuki 3135s for over a year now. My interest in reps goes beyond the aesthetic and is more in the technical/mechanical. So I'm thrilled to have found a lot of members here who feel the same. Looking forward to contributing! CS.
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    Hi everyone, I scored an awesome deal on a full Rolex 69173 case set on the Bay and I’ve always wanted to build one of these. There are some information out there on how to build these, but I haven’t come across any that are compiled so I put this together for anyone that wants to build one. Here’s the parts list: - Gen Rolex 69173 Case Set - Gen Rolex 69173 Dial - ETA 2671 - Champaign DWO (sourced from Riyi) - Gold hands for ETA 2671 (sourced from Riyi) - 13mm TT Sterile Jubilee bracelet (sourced from Riyi) - 3M Double-sided Adhesive (sourced from WSO) - Dial Adhesive Strips - 7.75 ligne Plastic Movement Spacer (sourced from Esslinger) - Bergeon dial feet posts Step #1: DWO You’ll first put the overlay on the existing DW. The ETA 2671 has a sunken DW so you’ll need to ensure proper clearance so the DWO doesn’t snag the movement. jmb actually had a cool hack he described here: https://rwg.cc/topic/140693-franken-ladies-dj/ Since I didn’t have another DW, I decided to use the 3M Double-sided Adhesive. I somewhat ‘balled-up’ the adhesive so it lifted the DWO over the movement. I first added the adhesive on 2 locations: over the 12 & 18. DWOs are a PIA to align so I only added the adhesive in these 2 locations so I could re-align if needed. Once I had it aligned I just added the balled-up adhesive to other parts of between the DW and the DWO. Simply lift the DWO slightly, position the adhesive, press down. Step #2: Positioning the Dial Dial adhesive on builds with DWOs aren’t my favorite. The dial can easily move when the stem is pulled/pressed too hard. In theory this is where the Bergeon dial feet would have been helpful. Check out this amazing thread on HF: http://www.homageforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=1419 Unfortunately the DWO overlapped the dial feel slots so I had to go with the Dial adhesive. This one was a real bummer because I was excited to try out the HF method. Align the dial onto the movement. Make sure you double up on the Dial Adhesive so the dial doesn’t press down onto the DWO. Adjust time until the date flips over and attach the hands. Clean the dial and case and begin to assemble them together. Step #3: Movement Spacer Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the most annoying part of building: movement spacers. Originally my plan was to use Ken’s brass movement ring (Raffles Time), but he was out of them. So I ordered the plastic ring from Esslinger and shaved it down to size. This ended up not working, because the spacer wasn’t tall enough to contact the caseback threads. These things hold the movement and dial in place, but is also secured in place by the caseback pressing down on them. My solution was rubber gaskets. I took the measurements from Ken’s website and found some rubber gaskets that were pretty close. Gaskets normally provide you with the inner/outer diameter information so this made sourcing them relatively easy. The one’s I found were perfect in securing the movement in place and tall enough for the caseback threads to make contact. Photo may not show very well, but the gasket is squeezed in between the case and movement and keeps it in place very secure. Assembly complete. Better pics. And now it’s onto the next. I may consider a different dial that’s in better shape if I find one at a good price. Oh, and I also have a ton of these rubber gaskets now so PM me if you need some. Thanks for reading.
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    You made the jump successfully. Welcome back brother
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    The second of two bigwaved dials. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    It's always nice to re-read about the history of rep forums. I was back then present on the forum(s) but not linked to any "team"/"group". I followed everything what was actually happening. Today I found myself more of a lurker than a member mostly due to my limited time available for the hobby. Felt good always on all boards, even on repgeek where I got banned by a frustrated mod for a fight with another member (who actully was not banned even though he used some harsh words in my direction). I was never a person making fuss, fights,..always tried to enjoy the hobby for what it is - love for watches! I am always glad to see things move around here with the prosperity to last for a long time. Thanks to the mod team achieveing this for quiet some time now (similar to RWI).. Hopefully in the future of the rep forums there will be less shock and the boards will keep doing their job - gather watch lovers from all over the world (rep and non rep related).. Cheers to the admin team! (btw, I still have my RWG ring as a memory of good old times) Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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    No problem, I haven't seen build threads here, so I thought it was just a HF thing... Points taken. I'm still trying to find the right strap combo... Went with a strap from Bosphorus today... Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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    Hey, you are helping a new guy. I appreciate that brother.
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    Welcome to the forum mate.
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    Just paid for my VIP membership. A few comments on the new layout: I like the looks and the newly added features. The layout seems to not make good use of the real estate on my screen (wide unused edges on both sides, but maybe it's just an issue with my set-up ?). The Classified section does fell like a step in the wrong direction IMHO: Writing a sales thread seems more complicated (but I can probably figure it out) and finding sales threads is definitely less intuitive. I see a 50% decrease in views and even more in actual sales at least for my last sale Otherwise I appreciate what you are guys doing to provide this great platform for us. Donerix
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    Feedback: This looks like it is going to be great and I have always been impressed by how @JoeyB freely shares hard won information on GMT builds. Suggestions: Keep posting pictures and reports on progress. You are right, we love watch pictures and a meaty build thread.
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    Lucky pick up[emoji106]
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    A touch of Venus, in the form of cal. 178
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    I have both his 7016 and 7021 cases and they are perhaps the best aftermarket case for the vintage Tudor out there. Phong typically uses ETA 2789 movements which are the last iteration of the 2784 that Tudor originally used in the 9401 and 9411. The later 7016 used a 2783 which was the 2784 with no date. The place where I feel Phong could improve is in the area of his handset and dial. The hands are out of proportion when compared to gen. Hour and minute hands too fat and the second hand diamond falls in the wrong place. Tail of the second hand is also tapered out too wide in the back. Remember that Tudor offered three dial versions during the life of the 7016. Pre 1968 the rose dial like the 7928 was available and later the shild dial with roung indices and also the snowflake. This really opens up your available options when searching for a gen dial. (They are becoming rare) The dial is nice enough but this case calls for a gen dial or at least a MQ for sure. Add to that a set of onlinestorehk hands, gen 703, gen T19, gen insert, gen bracelet and you have a real winner! In the end you will still have half the cost of buying a gen in the watch. So considering all the above would I buy the Phong? Yes! I have two of them and if there was a third vintage Tudor I had an urge to build I would buy another. Here are a few pics of my 7021 build which is the same case but with 7021 engraving. The bezel is the Clark watch parts bezel. Dail, crown, 93150 bracelet and endlinks are gen. 2784 movement sourced as NOS and serviced by Misekped. Cost to reproduce $2500-3000. (Depends greatly on dial and phong case cost) I guess I could have just said buy one you will love it! (Bit I feel there are too many nondescript posts these days) Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
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    The Ben Franklin quote says it best.
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    Looks to be of recent (Asian) vintage........ $130, without knowing what is inside, would be a more accurate value.
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    Spent many hours on this one. I'm asking the Rolies experts out there. How can I make this JF 1:1 looking any better?