First of all, thank you for tolerating the numerous posts regarding this build. The whole build process is detailed here http://www.rwgforum.net/topic/176345-6538-build-progress-movement-discussion/
When I joined the forum, I always thought certain vintage Rolex models were out of my price range. I have been wearing a Rolex since 1987, but just bought a new one every few years and traded in the old one. I found this place doing research for a new Rolex; this was near the end of 2013. So initially I was just looking for information about the new models and stumbled on this forum and figured I could try out some rep models for minimal cost and figure out which gen I would buy. So over a few months I tried about every modern Rolex I liked the looks of—found out I really do not care much for modern Rolex’s.
One thing happened that I did not expect, I became part of the community and started participating in discussions and became friends with some of the members here. I really had no idea that I was diving into a new “full time” hobby. As time went on I became more fascinated with the vintage models that members were building and displaying. This led to a few of my own vintage builds. Made some mistakes and had many learning experiences but have been mostly happy with the results.
My wife notices how much peace and joy I get from being part of this community and the hobby and actually encourages the “watch thing” as long as I do not go into details about builds as that puts her to sleep. She thinks it is funny that I am a WIS…
No one ever really notices my watches. About once of year I run into another WIS and talk watches but really as most of you know this hobby is for yourself and these communities.
One of the models that really grabbed my attention was the 6538 Big Crown Submariner, always thought to be too expensive for me to ever afford. Mainly I am talking about Nanuq’s, CC’s and more recently Dbane’s builds.
My first real reading as a kid was Ian Fleming’s Bond series and 007 and his 6538 have been favorites of mine for a very long time. I tend to like watches that are simple with no dates and minimal text/distractions. So I did some research and figured out to do one right it would take some knowledge, a lot of help, and it could easily exceed the cost of a nice gen Rolex. Being that I had never worn one, I decided to start with a more conservative approach and bought a nice modified HR 6538 to see how she felt and looked on the wrist. I was pretty much hooked from there. Right away I started doing more research and developed some connections with some of the great members here who had completed these builds.
Developed a build plan and a spread sheet to track costs, and then started sourcing parts. Dbane helped throughout this process as for the most part I still an unsure at times of the authenticity of parts and what part is correct for what model. I am learning but always good to have another opinion. It took a while to source all the parts…
Dbane is really responsible for putting this together. He has helped me throughout this project. He did the case shaping, the beautiful bevels, lumed the hands, had the movement serviced and did the complete assembly. He is an amazingly skilled and intelligent person who seems to take great pride in whatever he does whether it is building watches or handmade speakers. I have nicknamed him the “case whisperer”. Thank you my friend!
Thanks to CC33 and Nanuq who shared their knowledge and experience freely and whose builds were initially responsible for the inspiration.
This project was only possible because this forum exists.
Minh Quy case set (mid case, bezel, case back) shaped by dbane and custom engraved by NeckyZips—serial number is period correct but has significant value to me.
Genuine spec real gilt dial—hand produced by the nameless one
Classic Watch Parts hands lumed by dbane
Genuine cal 1030 movement fully serviced
Genuine NOS 8mm crown, tube and stem
Genuine T-17 dome plexi
Genuine MKII long 5 insert.
Genuine 7206 bracelet restored by Classic Watch Parts .
Thank you so much for being here and for all the help on this project. I really find much enjoyment spending time and sharing with you.
This is really the culmination of all the years of collecting watches and my time here so far. Needless to say, I am very happy with the way she turned out. The dial and hands reflect light like no watch I have had. Truly a work of art.
I think Mr. Bond would approve.
Pics coming from my phone: