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automatico last won the day on October 11

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  1. "...the 1030 movement works well! But I still worry about how to find parts when it has problem…" One thing that may cause trouble and is hard to find is the winding rotor bearing p/n 7004. You may never need it but if you find a new one at a fair price, try to get it. You will not have any trouble reselling it if you do not need it. A fair price is $50 to $90 USD or so imho. These movements usually do not have many problems but if you want to gather up spare parts...look for a rough watch with one in it at a low price...or you might find parts that a retired watch repair guy has from back when they were popular. Ask around...a friend had a small box of old rlx parts and he gave them to me when I asked if he had any parts. You never know what you might find. Stay away from rusty movements unless they set, wind, and still run...or are free.
  2. Modern or vintage type? If it is modern, a genuine 3135 date wheel turns in the correct direction to use on an ETA but with a 2824 there is not much room between the dw overlay and dial. ETA 2836/46 is not as bad because there is more room when the day of the week disc is removed. If you space the dial up a little bit somehow on an ETA 2824 to make room for a dwo, the hands may be too close to the dial. Then you will need taller sweep second pinion, CP, and hour wheel. Rlx 15xx and 30xx date wheels turn the wrong way for an ETA. Good silver/black vintage types with open 6/9 are hard to find but white/black is not as bad. One of the best silver/black: eBay item number 123941307445 Hour wheel, CP etc info (2824 and 2836/46 can use same parts): http://cgi.julesborel.com/cgi-bin/matcgi2?ref=ETA+2824&submit=Search
  3. "Automatico, I don't think you should have second thoughts about your 2879." The hammer gesture was meant for ETA in general because if they cut parts off, the older movements will starve to death too taking a lot of vintage watches out of circulation. One thing in favor of older ETA movements is there are a lot of them floating around in $35 watches so in reality they should be Ok. The 2879 was nos and I c/o it because the oil had gummed up. It is running within 7 or 8 seconds a day now and that's fine with me. What I have trouble believing is how good my beater '5513' is running with a Seagull ST16 in it. I set it two days ago and as of now it is about 5 or 6 seconds fast. It was new and I c/o it and removed the date and autowind works and wind it 28 to 30 turns every morning. Besides this one being accurate, 'A21' movements in general are rugged and I like the ST16 better than the regular A21 models with the reverser buried under the plate. The ST16 has a 'magic lever' type winding setup. The ST16 is also the base for the 'famous' swiss Claro Semag CL-888... https://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/claro-semag-cl-888-versus-sea-gull-st16-tear-down-312588.html
  4. "Keep your chin up as you are a great asset to the watch world and especially to our forum!" Thanks! It's the principle of it all...I just can not abide by the swiss watch companies cutting off parts. They are guests in the USA, they are not native to the country, and their first claim to fame was making fake American style pocket watches that they cranked out by the thousands without shame. Besides all that, they are horrible to deal with. If I was King of the Watch World I would put wheels under them and send them packing. Otoh there is probably no need for that because my guess is the last two generations will just about finish them off anyway because they are not interested in watches much at all...Apple watches maybe but not high $$ swiss watches needing $700 tune ups every few years. I read on various forums how much rwc 'authorized service' is costing now and it is pretty bad. First they charge $8k or $10k for a $3k watch and then they stick the sword in and twist it when service is due because they have cut off the parts necessary to repair the watches. Imho cutting off parts is far worse than their retail prices because buyers can buy something else if they do not like the price, but when you own a high $$ rlx and it needs service and parts you are basically forced to send it to them now unless an independent can/will do it...and there are less of them every year. Our town has one left. I know many watch mechanics have a stash of parts but sooner or later they will run out. One hope is the aftermarket and they can make anything that is not signed or under patent. There are already lots of parts available but reversers, MS barrels, most date works etc are not yet available. I did see where MS arbors, lower center wheel bushings, set bridges etc for 15xx movements have become available though. "Not true!! No acquisition of skills & knowledge is ever a waste of time!" You are right of course. I still work on watches, just not many rlx. I'll fix one now and then and sell it but I mostly work on vintage Bulova, Zodiac, Benrus, Elgin, Hamilton etc. But not today...today I put a crystal in a quartz Bulova and looked at a quartz Adidas (!) that will not run. I saved a quartz pocket watch for tomorrow with an ISA 1198 that needs cleaning...or I may rake leaves. Earlier in the week I worked on a DG Miyota clone with most of the guts under one plate. You put it together by moving the pivots around about 10 times to get them lined up. I'll always wonder how they do it on a production line. It's really not too bad when the pallet fork and balance are removed but I usually try a few times with them in place after resetting the 'keyless works'.
  5. "The biggest problem as I see it will be the lack of parts rather than movements." Yes, just like rlx has done along with many other greedy swiss watch/movement companies. Well guess what? I stopped buying their swissjunk when they stopped selling parts. Anyone wants to know how many rlx watches I bought before I stopped...send a PM and I'll tell them. Now my best rlx has an ETA 2879 and my rlx beater has a Seagull ST16. Having second thoughts about the 2879 now...
  6. The watch in the link looks good but imho you are wasting $$ chasing gold plated/wrapped replicas unless you are very careful when wearing it. Most of the time the difference between a $900 'wrapped' replica and a $300 plated tutone replica is $600, not the thickness of the plating/wrapping. It's usually a scam and the gold finish starts wearing off before long and you end up with an ugly watch that shouts Fake! I know there were 'gold wrapped' (aka gold filled) bracelets a few years ago but I have doubts about it now, it may be heavy gold plating. If I wanted a tutone submariner, I would go for a 1990s model and buy an ST case, gold bezel, gold and steel bracelet, and finish it off with a swiss ETA and good replica dial. It will cost a lot to begin with but you will not end up with a 'one and a half tone' $900 watch in a few months. Another option is to buy the replica in the link and save up for a steel and gold bracelet...but there's a catch: Later model tutone watches have solid gold center links and later style solid mid link aftmkt bracelets are expensive compared to older models with hollow gold center links. Besides that, I like the older cases with holes in the lugs and sheet metal clasps...they look more like a rugged watch and less like fancy jewelry. I have been down this road a few times when gold was $300/$400 troz. With $1500 troz gold, instead of costing $1000 to $1200 for a finished watch, you are looking at $2500+/-. The last 'heavy center link' SS/14k jubilee bracelet I bought was $338. Price one now...$945 on ST, 14k/SS oyster is $850, 18k submariner bezel is $485. ST case + SS/14k bracelet + 18k bezel = $1510. Add $1000 for clasp, movement, dial, crown etc and you are at $2500. Still not that bad since you will have solid gold parts that will last a long time. I can not tell much difference between their 14k and 18k bracelets...the 14k is probably alloyed to look like 18k. It's something to think about. Btw, since the ST bracelets are made in Italy, you might ask around and get better prices locally.
  7. "I also do not care much as it has totally destroyed my hobby to the point I am just a lurker and occasionally take on a limited time only special..." Me too. RWC cutting off parts is what brought me to the replica hobby/obsession. Learning to work on mechanical watches turned out to be a waste of time because of the parts problem. Was that a pun? My first 'good' watch was a 214 Accutron and now I mostly wear an Accutron II.
  8. ETA is cutting off movements to non Swatch Group brands at the end of December 2019. Non Swatch Group brands = any brand not made under the Swatch umbrella. Do not know about parts. Time will tell. Do I care? Not much. Swiss/USA movement: https://www.hoursandminutes.co/atelier-launches-the-caliber-1-movement/
  9. "I did realize back then that the 1655 bezel that Phong puts out is not GEN Spec, even though he swears by it. I don't know, maybe today's bezel ... so I had to find a used genuine, which you can tell are thicker." I dug my '1655' case out and looked at it. The bezel appears to be almost as thick as your genuine bezel but it has a small flat edge machined around the center of the outer edge where the top slopes down making the bottom appear to be thinner than the originals where it meets the case. I would give it a 7 out of 10. I could remove the bezel and extend the angle on the bottom side but I might screw it up so I'll let it be. The numbers on top are Ok but not remarkable. It is hard to find good side view pictures of a 1655 on the 'net for comparison. When I got the 1570/75 for the '1655' it had a quickie 24 hour conversion on it. It was different from the common quickie conversions as it had a good fitting 24 hour wheel and the little gear that turns the 24 hour wheel that is mounted on the minute wheel was domed and polished on top where most of these conversions are roughly made and just plain junk. I got an extra GMT CP, center wheel, and hour wheel set and I'll try the quickie conversion before I use my $$ GMT parts on this project...after all, it's a replica. My guess is it will work fine but I will also need to space the calendar ring a hair somehow to keep from using a genuine GMT calendar ring. The only reason the conversion did not work correctly to begin with is the hands were too close to the dial because of the regular 1575 date CP, hour wheel etc that are shorter than GMT parts. It had four hands in a three hand space. I have a couple '1655' that I got from Abay about 15 years ago but they used submariner cases so I would need to keep my left hand in a coat pocket when wearing one around rolex freaks. They are not too bad overall and came with new swiss 2836 ETAs and good 24 hour conversions. I changed a crystal on one and used a 1680 crystal and sanded the skirt down to make it a little bit shorter. I planned to put a slower beat 2846 in one but never did. Here is one of the ratty GMT 24 hour conversions. You can see the slack in the 24 hour wheel where it fits over the 12 hour wheel: https://rwg.cc/topic/141303-cal-1570-gmt-tell-me-if-i-m-wrong/
  10. "I always remember Phong use to justify his expensive parts, and cases on using better stainless and specs compared to Yuki ... he would say "yuki was garbage" .. LoL" Except for the Yuki cases that look better than his. Ha! Most SS replica cases are 316L...it's cheap and relatively easy to machine. SS in general is a pain though. There is maybe 75 cents worth of 316L needed to make a watch case...current commodity price is $1.65 per pound. Cheaper by the ton. How duh, duh, duh, dumb do they think we are? (no answers please) "I did pick up a Phong 1655 midcase many years age, his bezel was not equivalent to Genuine, so I found a Gen 1655 bezel with a ding... most the other Gen parts for the case I collected over the years, including 1570 GMT movement." I have one of his 1655 cases from 7 or 9 years back that I got from an RWG member. Have not finished it yet because by the time I rounded up all the GMT parts I needed, I lost interest. I need to finish it. "As far as what I see ... all the new and "close to spec" vintage Rolex case sets are coming from Vietnam …" That seems to be the case. (pun!) Final finishing and serial/reference/case back letters and numbers are what would be hard. Putting removal notches in case backs would also be hard to do on a small scale. I wonder if they start by punching out case blanks from sheet or machining them from a bar etc? CNC machining from scratch is probably cheaper than using a big punch press to make blanks then finish by CNC. They might even buy unfinished punch blanks from case makers in China. Who knows?
  11. "Cartel vintage submariner (5513 or 1680) these are actually very good bases. Modded to enlarge the lug holes, replace movement for a eta 2846 or other slow beat movement." Good advice. I put one together and the only thing that bothered me about it is the lug holes were a hair too high in the lugs after drilling them out to 1.3mm. It is not that bad and the holes are still out of the bevels so it's really Ok. Other than that it turned out just fine.
  12. "I have a DW 1680 case set. Looking for parts, gen-spec ... not Yuki." If 'DW' = David Wong... I have a few DW 1680 cases and the main thing that is close to gen-spec on them is the case back on most of them. The case necks are a hair too small in diameter and the case sides are rounded like a DJ. All of mine came with spring wire bezel sets, not snap on like oem and because of the undersized case neck, fitting crystals can be a problem. Some DW cases also have undersize case back threads...oem is 30.9mm and most of my DW cases are 30.9 but some are 30.4mm. All of mine came with the gasket groove cut in the case back like genuine. The overall quality is good imho, other than spec accuracy. Later Yuki 55xx and 1680 cases were very good imho. I read somewhere they came from VN but do not know if it is true or not. Afaik they have been discontinued for quite a while. "Would it be better to go with MQ instead?" If it was me, I would keep after Ruby for a while...to save $$.
  13. It could also be a genuine case/dial/bracelet with a non rolex movement...very hard to tell without removing the case back. Not many of them around though. If it has a plastic crystal...ask if it is slow set or quick set date, they look alike. QS usually sells a little bit higher. Good luck!
  14. No experience with them at all but keep in mind almost all of the mid grade replicas sold as complete watches on the internet come from the same 'holes in the ground' in China. Higher grade replica components needed to assemble a 'close to genuine' watch (cases, dials, bracelets) may come from China, VN Thailand etc and they will be much closer to genuine in appearance but also much more expensive. The average unmodified cartel vintage type 5512/13/1680/GMT etc sells for about $180 to $250 USD. The average lightly detailed cartel replica will cost around $300 to $1000 to put together depending on who does it and the parts used...lug hole drilling, aging bezel/dial, or buying better dial etc. The average high grade replica with a fresh swiss ETA may run from $1500 to $2500 or more. This basically eliminates thevintagepower watches from being 'one off' high grade creations. My guess is these watches are basic China cartel type watches with 'aged' lume on the dials/hands. Notice the 'GMT' has the same submariner type crown guards as used on basic cartel GMTs and I can not tell if the lug holes have been bored out for oem spring bars or not...a 'gotta have it' modification. It looks like the printing/lume on the dial is the main difference along with the hands. Imho the explorer dial and hands are overcooked. Here are examples of what you can get on a basic cartel submariner/GMT from a trusted dealer (except for the deep fried dial and hands): http://www.trustytime01.cc/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_11 Maybe someone who knows about the thevintagepower watches will chime in.
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