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automatico last won the day on June 7

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  1. "I have a truly great copy coming in a week." Replica Aston Martin? Just kiddin'. Post a pic or two when you get the watch. When I was much younger, a guy out the street had a 'Silver Birch' Aston Martin DB5 just like the one James Bond drove and he would wave at me when he drove by. Always wondered what happened to it. Used to be a lot of nice cars around here, now it's all SUVs and pickup trucks.
  2. A 'boxie'... Two NOS 'River' SD from 15+ years back... A little bit 'wokky' but it comes with new swiss ETA 2836, sapphire etc. The 'wok' effect can be reduced by cutting the reflector (rehaut) in a 90 degree angle to the dial for a mm or so. Do that, add oem spec spring bars, and it would make a pretty good watch. There is a pic of a later model no lug holes, no wok SD on page 241 for comparison.
  3. Not a 'wristie' but a 'boxie'. NOS replica quartz Cartier Santos from 2007... Very well made, all stainless with Hattori (Seiko) movement.
  4. "... I think I saw two two pigs fly!" An omen! Portending genuine 18K Submariners and Daytonas are $1199USD for one day only! Yesterday. CDC COVID Data Tracker: Daily and Total Trends
  5. "Interesting how it just vanished overnight. January it was the most deadly disease known to man." I have noticed it too. Call me cynical but Covid 19 vanished because it is not 'needed' right now, at least in the USA imho. "Now it’s all about the war." Yeah. Probably the main reason why C19 is not needed. "Corona who?" It may get famous again before November.
  6. 'Executive Decision' Finalized: Thought it over and decided to take the movement out of the 'shortcut 1655' and remove all GMT conversion parts...center wheel, CP, hour wheel, 24H wheel etc. and put it back to a regular date movement. I'll have to press another minute wheel post in the main plate but hopefully that will go smoothly. This movement will go back in the 1603 DJ it originally came out of...pretty nice, no case corrosion at all with a good black dial. Here are the details about changing the 1570/75 date movement over to a 'shortcut' GMT if anyone missed it or cares. Building an MBW Sub + 'shortcut' rlx 1560/70 GMT conversions... - Page 2 - The Rolex Area - RWG Start with post number 8. Next, I'll put another 'combo' swiss ETA movement together similar to my JMB '1016' project using swiss ETA 2836 main plates, hour wheel, CP etc. and 2846 escapement (21600 bph) with an Asian GMT conversion with non-adjustable 24H hand. This will go with the 'shortcut 1655' case/dial set to make a relatively low $$ '1655' for daily wear. Better than the average GMT type replica with a DG 3804 or Asian ETA clone...imho. Here is the info on the JMB '1016' with the combo ETA 2824/2846 movement: JMB '1016' project update... - The Rolex Area - RWG The GMT conversion will be using 2836 plates with 2846 escapement instead of 2824 plates with 2846 escapement. Last, I will put another 'shortcut' GMT movement together using a complete rolex 1570/75 hack movement, J$W case, dial etc to wear, sell, trade, or give away. It will make a first class watch and the 'shortcut' GMT conversion has been fully tested over the past year. They get a bad rap but some of them are pretty good...imho. This will leave me with a full set of nos genuine GMT conversion parts and I have a spare 1570/75 hack movement to make a 'correct' 1575 GMT movement for $ale or trade ($4K to $5K at today's prices). A genuine 1565/75 converted to GMT using all genuine parts is exactly the same as a movement that originally came in a 'four digit' GMT watch as long as the serial number starts with the letter 'D'. The serial number makes little difference on a 50+ year old movement unless someone comes up with the original chronometer certificate/documents with the movement and case serial numbers to prove it is not original to a particular GMT watch. Not many of these documents still exist and not many really care today. Update 5-19-22 Been digging through rlx 15xx movements and parts... The 1570/75 hack movement that was mounted in the J$W '1655' case (mentioned above) before I got it has the minute wheel axle removed and was previously in the '1655' case with the Asian GMT shortcut parts but it did not have the taller genuine center wheel/canon pinion/hour wheel, or a 24H wheel bushing like I used in the 'shortcut 1655'. Because of this, the 24 hour hand was too close to the dial and the 12H and M hands were also too close together. Without the bushing there is also the chance of the 24H wheel slipping out of mesh allowing the 24H hand to get out of correspondence with the 12H time. So...this is the movement I'll put back in the '1655' with the shortcut parts and genuine GMT hour wheel, CP etc. This will make a good watch without using any more genuine GMT parts to convert a 1565/75 to GMT because NOS genuine 1565/75 GMT conversion parts are getting hard to find and high $$, especially a complete set. How did I get the '1655' case? An RWG member and I made a trade in 2011...a Yuki '1680' I got from 'Stilty' for the '1655' case and dial plus extra $$ for the 1570 movement. The movement looks good and since the minute wheel axle has already been removed, I'll c/o the movement and put it back in the J$W case. Comments welcome.
  7. "Speaking of MBW, I recently picked up an MBW 1680 from a fellow who wasn't happy with it- couldn't get a gen crystal to fit." All my MBK cases have oem spec 28.2mm OD case necks. The crystal retaining bezel is 30.15mm ID and I mostly use ST or Clark bezel kits with GS crystals. Never used a genuine crystal on one though. "But typically my Rolex reps these days runs $400-700 with a few mods. It's a rep, not a franken!" That is a very reasonable amount ($1400) to spend on a high quality watch project today, especially with that parts list. Besides that, if you drop it, chances are it will be fine. Can't say that for a 50 year old rolex 15xx movement with ruby rotor bearings and a winding weight that is just barely rivetted to the rotor axle.
  8. Fine looking watch, a Command Performance! "the paint is quite delicate compared to dials offered from yuki or raffles . the very outside edge of the dial chipped quite easily which was a bit of a disappointment It can not be seen when assembled but I expected slightly better for $400 dial." Maybe this happens when the dial and movement shift a bit in the case when pulling/pushing/screwing the crown down if the movement is not tight in the case. I have also put a very small amount of paint on the outer edge of a dial (where it will not show from the front) where it chipped to fill in where the paint popped off and smooth it up a little bit. Maybe the outer edge of the dial seat is a hair too small and chips the paint on the outer edge of the dial (and splinters around to the front) when installing the dial and movement. I've had a few dials do this so I started sanding the dial seat in the case with 1000 sandpaper on the flattened end of a round wooden stick to smooth the mating surface if the dial seat appears to be unusually rough. Did it help? Who knows? It might even contribute to 'dial slip' and cause more scuffing/chipping. Otoh, maybe it lessens the grip on the paint so it will slip rather than scuff/chip. Maybe. Maybe the dial plate is too slick or contaminated, maybe the paint just does not stick or is chalky. Maybe touching or holding the edge of the dial with bare fingers can get skin oil etc. on the paint and soften it. What causes it? Who knows for sure? I have no answer, just a bunch of maybes. Maybe MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts will study the problem and come up with a solution. Maybe not.
  9. For the DJ above. One up front, two out back... NOS from 2011, A7750. Three of a kind (more or less)... Left...sec @ 6 from 2011. Center...sec @ 9 from 2006. Right...sec @ 6 from 2011. All A7750, all nos, all will still run (small miracle). All still wrapped in plastic, had to remove it to put one on for the 'wristie'.
  10. RWG is the paper and my posts on this subject are just the pencil that started writing the story. Freddy and Alligoat have sharpened the pencil and turned the page. Where I only expressed my side of the story, their comments show valid reasons both for and against assembling Frankensteins in general. I fully agree with both. I am not moving over to 'anti-Frankensteinism' but have moved slowly away from 'chasing the dream' of the 'non rolex' rolex. Slowly being the key word. "Placing a gen movement into a rep/aftermarket case with a rep/aftermarket dial/handset does not make a lot of sense because it will have little effect on the look & feel of the franken. On the other hand, powering a gen dial/handset in a rep/aftermarket case with a gen movement takes the enterprise to a much higher level since what you see & feel is gen." And... "Second watch is an 1803 watch in SS. Picked up a 1556 movement on the bay with a silver day and date wheel for a good price, a redone white dial with silver stick markers and got a 16000 DJ case that Phong modified to accept the 1556 movement. A white dialed 1803 in SS. I love the watch- it flies below the radar. I'm wearing it on a 93150 and call it the Sportman's Day Date." Two very good reasons for 'chasing the dream' and I appreciate it. I still feel the same way about it but time has slowed me down a little and I have pulled back on projects. Besides that, it is the beginning of Summertime!, the grass and weeds are growing, and the porches need painting. Tending to it all will be taking up a lot of my 'spare' time for the next six months. Looking back at my opening post...maybe it was really (subconsciously?) aimed at members, forum surfers etc. who have entered the replica scene in the past few years and want to put a 'Four Digit Frankenstein' watch together with a genuine movement etc. but do not realize the pitfalls lurking in these projects and the $$ it takes to put one together today. I should have stated this up front but left it out. After all, guys like us who are 'addicted' to this 'hobby' are undeterred by the difficulties and cost of these endeavors. Below is a repost about the actual cost of an F-stein '5513' project I put together 10 or 11 years ago. It ended up costing about $1300. Compare it to how much the same watch would cost today. Double at least, maybe triple. Btw, it is still apart in the same box. Thanks for the replies, the more the merrier! Here is the info on one of my MBK 5513 projects a few years ago, 2011 or 2012 iirc (I have posted this before). It ended up costing about $1300. I still have it but it is apart right now. $300 or less for case (can not remember exact $$, got it from a member) $102 for Yuki dial $25 for TC tube and crown $12 for ST hands $650 for 26 jewel rolex 1520 hack mvt $20 for mainspring etc. $0 for c/o (did it myself) $85 for fake 358 hoods and put together '93150' bracelet, also have a folded oyster from 'Mary' that adds up to about the same $12 for GS crystal $68 for ST bezel kit (better fit than MBK bez with the GS crystal that was used) $25 misc...spring bars, gaskets, case screws etc.
  11. "... if you want to sell the gen or replica with the 15xx GMT conversion for 3K I'd be ready and willing!" Thanks, I appreciate it. Btw, the '1655' has two problems that have bothered me... 1...The date flips part of the way at midnight but is always centered by 8 or 9am. 2...It is not a hack movement and afaik all 1655 models were. This has no effect on the way it runs but it has always bothered me a little bit. It has a folded oyster and 'lume dot' SS hand so it mimics a 1973 or a year or two later model. Earlier models had straight SS hands, no lume dot. The 1655 was introduced in 1970/71 (I've seen both dates claimed) and by 1972 all 15xx were supposedly hack movements. From what I have read, 15xx hack movements started showing up in the late 1960s on some models. Who knows for sure? Not me. Over the last 10 or 15 years with genuine rolex movement and parts prices escalating yearly, I just cannot recommend putting a 15xx movement in a project watch. This is mainly because I have genuine cases, dials etc. for the extra movements stored in cans. I am very slow putting watch projects together and this summer I'll be putting an Asian GMT conversion in a nos ETA 2846 to put in the '1655' case after the 'shortcut' GMT movement is removed. Until then, the '1655' will still be together to protect the movement. My J$W '1655' case is a problem though because it is such a nice case that it 'deserves' a genuine movement like I stated in the first post. The question is...would the J$W case with a genuine 1575 GMT movement be worth as much as the case, dial, hands, movement etc. sold one at a time? Here is a guess at what these parts would sell for: 1...Genuine 1575 GMT hack movement in 90% condition with fresh c/o and new mainspring...about $4500 today going by similar movements sold on eBay. Very few have been for sale with one on eBay now for $4950 with 'blistered' plates, number 224974170550. One in pretty good condition sold for $4850 on April 7, 2022 and it probably would need to be c/o. Mine is low mileage and looks like new plus c/o with new mainspring and all the genuine GMT parts are nos. Genuine Factory Rolex 1570 1575 Caliber GMT Complete Watch Movement w/ Date Disc | eBay 2...Used J$W case complete in 90% condition with genuine case tube and crown...$750. 3...New J$W dial and hand set...about $300. 4...Aftmkt (Mary) fold-oyster with genuine clasp and WSO 580 hoods...$400. 5...Labor (free to me but not on projects put together for sale)...$250. Total...$6200. Imho it would be very, very hard to get $6200 for the finished watch. "I have couple frankens with great cases and dials that I'd love to put gen movements into. My rationale here is to invest in what I have instead of buying more fakery." Nothing wrong with that as long as the individual parts hold most of their value. Today's high prices might make it a bit risky if prices happen to fall. Looks like gasoline prices are holding up though. Ha! Regular gas is $4.28 around here. Ha! Not so funny.
  12. After putting about a dozen 'vintage Frankensteins' together using genuine rolex 15xx movements since 1997 ('explorer 1016'), I have made an 'Executive Decision': No More projects using genuine rolex movements. Why not? 1...Because (imho) it is a major waste of time and $$ even when taking into account that I can do all the work myself. Anyone paying someone to put one of these watches together will have to pay more, sometimes a lot more. 2...Frankensteins are expensive to begin with because of the high cost of genuine movements, movement parts, and service, especially today. 3...To be 'worthy' of the genuine movement these projects more times than not end up with high $$ cases, dials etc. instead of lower $$ cartel parts that most of the time can be modified to pass muster. 4...Where can you go to sell a Frankenstein with a genuine movement when you need $$ etc? You might be able to sell it to an RWG etc. member and get most of your 'investment' back but not always and there is the chance the watch will end up being sold as 'genuine' after it passes through a few owners. Not good. So...my last Frankenstein project using a genuine rolex 15xx movement is going to be taken apart...a '1655' with an aftmkt GMT conversion. The movement will be going back in the watch it came out of (1603 DJ) and an ETA 2846 with a China GMT conversion will be put in the case. The '1655' with a genuine movement might sell for $3000 and it is basically fake! but the DJ will probably sell for $3000 (at today's prices) and it is all genuine. After the '1655' is taken apart I will have one F-stein left...a DW 1680 case with a rolex 1570/75 and genuine 'Mark 1' Lemrich dial. I put it together in March 2011 to keep the dial and movement clean and it will stay that way for now. I have a J$W '1655' case and rolex 1575 with all nos GMT parts so the case will be sold or an ETA put in it. The GMT movement will probably be sold at a watch show etc. All the basically useless information above was presented for only one reason... My (free and worthless) advice to anyone contemplating a vintage 'four digit' Frankenstein with a genuine rolex movement should realistically price it all out before starting the project and decide if it is worth the $$ and effort to go through with it. A rule of thumb on projects like this is after it is all added together...add 30% or 40% just to be safe. Also...take into account that when I bought the parts for all of these Frankenstein projects, a rolex 1520/1560/1570 movement could be purchased for $500 to $800 (often as a running watch) and a very good aftmkt case and dial was around $1000 or $1500. Now the same three components will cost $3000 to $4000 not counting labor. One example...I paid $575 for the complete running 1603 DJ in May 2015 that supplied the movement in the '1655' project and the only thing wrong with it was a rusty stem stuck in the main plate. It needed c/o, a stem, and a mainspring, about $25 my cost.
  13. First, here is my '1655' with the outer track markers slightly inside the reflector (rehaut)... Replica dial, hands, case, bracelet, and hoods with rolex 1575 and 'shortcut' GMT modification. Second, here is a genuine 1655 currently on eBay with the markers spaced inside the reflector similar to mine... eBay item number 265240566116 Here is another genuine watch with the markers spaced away from the reflector a little bit.... Here is one with the outside markers right up against the reflector like the vast majority of genuine examples... My question is...has anyone else noticed genuine 1655 watches with the markers spaced away from the reflector like mine and the two genuine examples? I figured the markers being spaced away from the reflector (on mine) was a sure-fire way to tell my watch was not genuine at a glance (among other things of course). The dial is usually one of the first things that reveal the pedigree of a watch. Hands for a 1655 are also a major 'tell' and it took me a long time to find the (replica) hands. Evidently the spacing of the outer markers is not the same on all genuine 1655 watches. Btw...my watch looks a little better than the picture (imho). It is supposed to mimic a 1973 model so it has a folded oyster and 'dot' second hand, 'straight' second hands were mostly '71 and '72.
  14. I have lost three friends in a little over a week. Nanuq makes four. Never met him but he always answered my messages and treated me with respect. Rock on 'nuq.
  15. "I’ve always only ever had gen watches, including gold Calatrava..." My life story Ha!... Have owned only one nice Patek, a mint condition manual wind cal 23-300 'Golden Ellipse' on the original integrated bracelet. I never wore it but my impression of the watch was it was a quality case/bracelet with a fragile, fancy movement (case work no better than the Gubelin above imho). I paid gold scrap price for it from a gold and diamond dealer in April 1998 and traded it even for a nib rolex 16233 with factory diamond dial in November 1998. Never owned a manual wind Daytona but owned a few chronographs with the V72. Sold them all in 1996/97, too cheap, too soon. Q...How did I get tangled up with replicas/Frankensteins? A...When RWC went full tilt 'No Parts For You!' I sold most of my modern 'trade and sell' rolex watches (quick set and/or sapphire) and kept a few vintage models, then went with replicas/steins to scratch the itch. Before that, I traded into and out of quite a few replicas at flea markets etc, mostly low grade examples. Still buy a genuine vintage rolex now and then if the price is right aka cheap. Last time I wore a genuine rolex for more than a day or two to check it out was probably 25 years ago. Now use a Bergeon 'Final Test' so I do not have to wear one. Last watch purchase from a rolex AD was May 1998. Next time is Never.
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