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Everything posted by freddy333

  1. I think there may be some truth to Rolex's comments -- Rolex Is Reportedly Building a New $1 Billion Factory Rolex plans new factory and 2,000 jobs in Switzerland
  2. I think the major brands are going to have to rethink their marketing strategies before they alienate their existing & potential customer base. Unfortunately, your experience has become the norm, rather than the exception. Charging top prices for mostly unobtainium products, or requiring a potential customer to pass a social media background investigation before being granted the privilege to pay (often questionable) 'luxury' prices (mainly for a better fit & finish relative to their Chinese analogues -- never thought I would have to say that, but, now, it has to be said), or having your catalog available for hands-on demo/actual purchase only via the gray market is a recipe for failure. Though, to be fair, here is the official word on the subject from Rolex -- 'The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part. Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches – something we refuse to do as the quality of our products must never be compromised. This level of excellence requires time, and as we have always done, we will continue to take the necessary time to ensure that all our watches not only comply with our standards of excellence, but also meet the expectations of our customers in terms of quality, reliability and robustness. Rolex does not compromise on what it takes to produce exceptional watches. All Rolex watches are developed and produced in-house at our four sites in Switzerland. They are assembled by hand, with extreme care, to meet the brand's unique and high-quality standards of quality, performance and aesthetics. Understandably, this naturally restricts our production capacities – which we continue to increase as much as possible and always according to our quality criteria. Finally, it should be noted that Rolex watches are available exclusively from official retailers, who independently manage the allocation of watches to customers.' Why the Rolex watch shortage is a 'perfect storm'
  3. The Valjoux 23 is a clone of the 72, but in bi- rather than tri-compax form (ie, 2 rather then 3 chrono subdials). So any case made for a V72 will also fit a V23. The easiest way to 'freeze' a chrono hand is to permanently attach it to the dial with a tiny amount of cement or glue. The downside is that, if you look closely, you can see that the hand is sitting on the dial rather than sitting slightly above it. When viewed with the naked eye & depending on the dial color & lighting, it 'looks' like the hand was simply pressed onto the pinion too far by an amateur watchmaker. However, you run the risk of applying too much cement or smearing the dial paint. But if you are careful, this process can work well. Another option is to slip the hand through the hole in the dial & cement a small, flat piece of metal to the bottom of the hand tube & cement the flat piece to the underside of the dial. If done well, it results in a normal looking chrono hand. Another option is, working from the back of the dial, place & hold the loose hand in the proper position within the hole in the dial & cement the hand's tube (the vertical part that fits onto the pinion of the wheel that drives the hand) in place from the backside. The best (most realistic-looking) option is also the most difficult. Solder or epoxy a small pinion directly to the plate that sits directly below the chrono hole in the dial. Make it the same height as the other 2 real/working chrono pinions & you can then fit the hand as you would the rest of the working chrono hands. Or, if you are a bit more skillful & have the tools, drill a hole through the plate below the chrono (flush with the bottom of the plate so the pinion does not interfere with any components below the plate) & press fit a pinion into the hole so that it sticks up through the dial at the same height as the rest of the working chrono pinions.
  4. I can see both sides. Still, with impetus from the ever-willing/improving Asian Switzerland, I think the brands are creating a rift between themselves & their buyers, which is never a good thing. Making gen ownership more difficult while the Asians are making their copies more accurate -- both aesthetically & functionally -- cheaper & accessible cannot end well for the brands. Any of them, including Rolex. With rep factories like Noob having recently reverse-engineered the 4130 calibre to a fairly accurate degree -- sufficient to replicate OEM feel/function & accept many gen parts as drop-in replacements -- I think it is only a matter of time until traditional Rolex/Omega/Bulova, etc. buyers realize that high-end reps that offer 98% of the overall gen look/feel/experience for a fraction of the gen price make more sense than dealing with ADs, wait (& permission) lists & grey market scalpers (who often charge 2x retail). As it is, I recently read that more than 50% of the 'genuine' Rolex Daytona 116500LNs being displayed on Instragram are Noobs! I have no way to verify that, but I do see alot of Rolexes online that contain tells indicating their source was likely far east of Switzerland. On the other hand, I can appreciate the frustration of ADs, who are stuck between brands trying to protect their investments/intellectual property & buyers, who are feeling used/abused for the opportunity of having to fund the whole mess. I get that the brands just want to sell (new) watches. After all, that IS their business. But, as was the case with mp3 downloading, Napster & the record companies many years ago, I think the brands need to find a way to co-exist with (& profit from) the reality of a 21st Century luxury watch business that includes cheap CNC production, 3-D printing & global communication. I just do not see a way to have a successful business model based on exclusive distribution channels while those channels are inherently distributed & impossible to control. Remember IBM thinking they could market a PC & use their clout to maintain control of the PC market? Then, companies like Compac reverse-engineered the PC & produced a better PC for less money with more features? Well, I think history is about to repeat itself. As I posed elsewhere, what happens when (not if) Noob (or someone like them) begins offering spare parts &/or (reasonably priced) service for their reverse-engineered Rolex calibres? Of course, the question is completely rhetorical, because I think we all (including Rolex) know the answer. This is the ultimate nightmare for Rolex & the other brands -- Daytona Gen vs Noob
  5. I will go a step further -- If the Chinese 'rep' movement factories were smart, they would do just that -- produce high quality movement clones properly assembled. Then, they would setup their rep dealers as 'ADs' with spare parts stocks. So, as Rolex continues to tighten their grip on parts & watches, making it more & more difficult for buyers to buy while pumping up prices beyond the reach of even the mere wealthy, I could see how rep makers could end up pulling the rug right out from under them. Why wait many months or years, often being required to prove your worth by being forced to buy other watches & then have to pay thousands for a watch of similar quality from the Chinese, who require 0 wait -- & they even supply parts direct to the customer at reasonable prices? Of course, Rolex has always been able to outsmart the competition. But I think that even their most hard-core fans are starting to feel a widening rift between the company & their traditional customer base.
  6. Question -- How to affix a wheel to a pinion that is too small for the hole in the wheel? Background -- After being unable to figure out the cause of the locked pusher, I just ended up doing a complete overhaul. During disassembly, I found the pinion of the chrono minute wheel was broken, but I cannot see how that would cause the pusher to get locked? I also found the wheel referenced above that was supposed to be press-fit onto that chrono minute wheel pinion had the broken bit of that pinion stuck in it. Fortunately, I was able to get the broken pinion piece out of the wheel without damaging it. I ordered a new ETA chrono minute wheel. Anyway, it turned out that the clone's chrono minute wheel pinion is about twice the diameter of the pinion of the gen ETA part. This I did not realize when I installed the new ETA minute wheel & reassembled the movement. So, now, the hole in the wheel that is supposed to be press-fit onto that ETA chrono minute wheel pinion is too large, so the (press-fit) wheel is just spinning free & unable to move the chrono minute hand on the dial. I tried staking the hole smaller, but my smallest concave staking bit only partially closed the hole, so it keeps sliding down the pinion & out of position to mesh with the adjacent wheel. The pics below show the wheel that WAS press-fit onto the chrono minute wheel (which is located on the other side of the movement) & a comparison of the diameter of the clone chrono minute wheel's pinion (thicker) to that of the ETA chrono minute wheel (which is installed in the movement). I was thinking of dabbing a bit of epoxy onto the top of the wheel which I think might work, but I am worried it might migrate down below the wheel & cement it in place. Or, worse, it might migrate into the movement & kill the entire thing. Any of you watchmakers know of a safe & effective way to lock that wheel (circled in the 1st pic) onto that pinion (sticking up through the wheel)?
  7. Great info! Unfortunately, I do not have a lathe, but I was able to repair the broken chrono hand. I ended up pressing the arm wand onto the tube with a flat stake. Then, I mounted the temporarily mated wand/tube in a piece of rodico & applied a tiny bit of solder flux followed by a literal dot of silver solder. Then, I held the soldering tip to the edge of the round area of the wand until the solder melted all around the broken joint. It was a very fiddly operation, but it worked.....Mostly. Unfortunately, some of the solder migrated into the tube, blocking the pinion from sliding far enough into it to hold the hand. So, I have a new technique for repairing chrono hands & learned to be more careful. On a related subject -- have you had any experience working the new Asian 4130 clone movements? If so, what is your impression of them? I see that the new 4130-powered Daytona reps are now able to accept the correct, flat caseback (1 of the remaining tells on the 7750-powered Daytonas like mine is its thick caseback, required to fit the taller 7750 movement). They also appear to have correct CGs, so that is 1 less issue that needs to be addressed. So if you or anyone else has any direct experience with the Asian 4130, please post below.
  8. Phil -- Sorry for not responding sooner, but I have not been here regularly for awhile. As to your non-locking stem, you likely pressed the release pin a bit too hard, which misaligned the spring that locks the stem in place. Assuming you have not damaged the part (unlikely, unless you used something along the lines of a hammer/nail to release the stem), once the dial is removed you should be able to spot the problem by inserting the stem & noting where the stem is supposed to be 'latched'. Then, just realign the parts. Hope this helps.
  9. Click me While on the subject, do you (or anyone else) know where I can find more of these curved chrono hands (0.20mm hand hole, 3.5mm length in steel/silver) for the ETA 7750-powered 116520 Daytona? By 'curved', I mean if you look at the hand from the side, the top surface is curved rather than flat. Hopefully, these pics illustrate what I am describing -- While reassembling my Daytona, I found that some of the chrono hands are loose on their tubes, which makes it impossible to properly set & maintain their default positions (pointing north) on the dial. Chronograph hands, even gens (especially, after repeated r&rs), are notorious for having this problem (loose hands on their tubes) & I broke 1 of them while attempting to tighten the joint with my staking tool. Because of the curved top surface, I have not found a way to stake the joint tight without flattening (or damaging) the hand. So I need to purchase a few more of these curved chrono hands (the gens, as these are, have become unobtanium). In fact, I would like to get several as that will increase the odds of receiving at least 3 in the bunch that are sufficiently tight so they do not shift after installation. Note -- Anyone with a chrono having a problem with the center (chronograph) running seconds hand (or any of the small chrono hands) failing to reset back to 12, this is most likely the problem. You need to either replace the hands or find a way to permanently fix the hand wand (the upper horizontal part) in position with the hand tube (the vertical tube that gets pressed onto the movement's pinion).
  10. I just finished overhauling my 2000-ish vintage Daytona after 20 years of trouble-free service. It probably could have gone on for another 20 years, but I accidentally dropped it & it stopped running, which necessitated my needing to attend to its mechanical issue. While I had everything apart, I decided to try to take it to the next level by seeing about installing another gen part. It requires significant craftsmanship to the case & I am not sure it will be successful, so I do not want to say too much until I know 1 way or the other whether the upgrade will be worthy of an appearance. But, if all goes well, I may have something of interest to Daytona fans in the coming days. More later --
  11. Have you looked through the recommended dealer listing section from RWG's main page? It is rare for only 1 seller to offer a specific model. Often, if you search the dealer's pages, you will find what you are looking for. If not, send pics to a few of the dealers & they may be able to source the watch for you.
  12. Bumped (again) for new members. For those who were not regulars in its heyday, RWG contains a staggering amount of watch-related research & technical articles that I believe appear nowhere else but here. It is a shame that watch forums have lost the majority of those members who regularly pushed the boundaries, leaving a treasure trove of important, 1-of-a-kind knowledge behind.
  13. I already replied to your message, but hopefully another member can assist you. Good luck.
  14. As luck would have it, I am dealing with that right now. So I get the point. Over the years, I have lost only 2 or 3 parts, but I have lost the same spring 3 times this week (I just ordered 4 more & fortunately they are not expensive).
  15. Why not make lemonade out of your lemons? You can pickup a basic set of watchmaking tools (screwdrivers, tweezers, movement stand, rubber ball caseback opener & 3x loupe) for about 100 quid. Find a youtube overhaul video for 1 of your rep movements (most are either ETA or Asian clones of same) & take a shot at watch repair. There are a number of watch repair forums, including RWG, where you can ask questions & receive guidance along the way. If you fail, worst case, you are out 100 quid & still have watches with issues. But if you succeed, you have begun to learn an enviable new skill & have pride of having done it yourself. More importantly, once you gain a bit of experience, you may find that you enjoy repairing (and wearing) those mechanical watches -- that no longer have issues.
  16. After removing/replacing the auto-wind module (for cleaning) on an ETA 7750 clone in my Daytona, the balance (watch) stops as soon as I start the chrono. The oscillating pinion IS running when the chrono is OFF & it DOES move into contact with the center (chrono) 30-minute counting wheel (center wheel that drives the chrono seconds hand) when the chrono start pusher is pressed. So I know that much is working. The problem is that as soon as the (running) oscillating pinion comes into contact with the 30-minute counting wheel, the balance stops. If I press the chrono start pusher again (to stop the chrono (which moves the oscillating pinion AWAY from the 30-minute counting wheel), the balance starts right up. But if I restart the chrono, the balance stops. I cannot figure out why the oscillating pinion is stopping the balance?? Can any of you watchsmiths spot the problem? I am in process of relocating & have alot of clutter all over & space is very limited my workspace, so I do not want to do a full disassembly (too much risk of parts getting lost). Since the chrono was working fine prior to my r&r'ing the auto-wind module, I think I must have disturbed something related to the chrono that is directly beneath the auto-wind module. I have had the automatic device bridge off at least a dozen times looking for a chrono pinion, clutch, wheel or hammer that is not properly installed &/or aligning with a jewel in the bridge, but everything appears correct.
  17. A few random thoughts -- Rolex's previous dalliance with quartz was a failure & they tend not to make the same mistake twice. So I cannot see them producing an OysterSub or similar in the future. Having said that, considering the popularity (though now beginning to wane) of "smart" watches (1 reason for the recently empty AD shelves is because of the vast numbers of nouveau riche who're now turning off their computer watches & turning on to Rolex "investments"), I am surprised they never released an OysterSmart watch. (But I am glad they did not) As far as your quartz Sub goes, if you swapped the rep dial/handset/crown for gens (a relatively simple, albeit costly, operation), I doubt anyone -- well, save for the most neurotic watch savant -- would even have cause to time the movement of the sweep seconds hand.
  18. This does not look familiar, but because of the decorated cock & uncommon balance wheel, I do not think it is ETA. Your best bet is to search google for similar designs, or post the pic on nawcc's website to see if another collector recognizes it.
  19. Neither have I. All of my radium dials look like some variation of this -- Geiger Counter.MP4
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