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About mzinski

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    Starting to like this place...

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  1. A “budget” 1675 project is a sadistic thing - the Cartel case as a basis for modifications leaves so many issues for rework, resolution, replacement, and tweaking. The latest in my never-ending endeavor to make this watch 200% genuine has been adding material to the stumpy, odd shaped crown guards. I found a local craftsman who would laser weld 316 stainless steel material to the CG’s for me at his hourly rate ($90/hr here in the Pacific Northwest). I gave him detailed drawings indicating where and how much material to add - making sure the material is overbuilt. This was important, I wanted to be able to reshape and cut the material away. Here’s what I learned through the process: - The color matching and seams of laser welding 316 stainless to the case worked out great. After filing, grinding, sanding, and polishing, I don’t see areas of addition differentiated against the rest of the material. - I decided this was a good excuse to install a new tube and 5.3mm crown - A 5300, 5320, and 5330 tube screws right in to a Cartel case. No retapping required! - The 5320 was the best fitting tube when paired with the 5.3mm 530 crown I purchased of eBay (eBay said it was Gen, so it must be) - I used a 1/4” end mill milling bit on a milling machine to re-bore the crown opening in the crown guards. In my estimating, I thought this would come pretty close to hugging the crown with about .5mm space. I was unfortunately wrong or off in my estimate - I think it created a bit too much space. Next time I would use a slightly smaller end mill bit. Oh, an end mill bit is important since it ends with a flat edge, not angled. This allows the hole to have a flat bottom. - I notice the location of the tube is lower than ten on a Cartel case. This means not matter what CG reshaping done, the crown will never, ever sit as high as a ten does. Unless…I laser weld the tube hole, re-drill, re-tap…no, no, no just buy a damn Vietnam case if you’re about to go through all that. - I’m very satisfied with the shape and thickness of the CG’s otherwise. Well, that’s it for now - I’m not shelling out more money to re-laser weld and re-mill the crown opening. I’m going to enjoy it as is - a 199% gen, heavily reworked Cartel 1675. Here’s some pics, thanks for looking!
  2. Hello, I read @automatico post of crowns/tubes - super helpful. I’ve measured the crown in my Cartel 1675: ~2.4mm dia @ case side ~3.9mm dia @ crown side If I’m looking to buy a gen 530 crown and matching tube, what reference numbers and combinations am I trying to get? I see Phong or Jensen has this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rolex-Tudor-Prince-Oysterdate-Crown-5-3mm-Watch-Part-74000-3671-2784-7950-7996/392130647906?epid=682859194&hash=item5b4cced762%3Ag%3AeEAAAOxytBZSShRK&_pmc=true&_productid=682859194&rt=nc But it says it’s for a slightly larger tube. So I’d have to drill and tap the case. I’m also curious what ref number is for the tube on this one. He also has this but doesn’t come with tube: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tudor-Princess-5-3mm-Watch-Crown-Oyster-Date-24-530-0-Part-Turn-/392133984635 Says it’s for the same diameter as the tube in my Cartel. And then then there is this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rolex-Crown-5-3mm-24-530-0-GMT-1675-AAA-Condition/153175512241?_mwBanner=1&ul_ref=https%3A%2F%2Frover.ebay.com%2Frover%2F0%2Fe11051.m43.l1123%2F7%3Feuid%3Dfb2ec3d8715f43d2b57787e9dfeef51a%26bu%3D43603559023%26loc%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F153175512241%26sojTags%3Dbu%3Dbu%26srcrot%3De11051.m43.l1123%26rvr_id%3D0%26rvr_ts%3D331a4df71660a9e29f507cd9fffa5cc1&ul_noapp=true Seller will include a 5320 tube for $20. But I have no idea the dimensions on the 5320. Can anyone one help me sort they the differences in 530 crowns and tubes? It seems there are two different sizes. Thanks!!
  3. What is everyone finding to be the best (available) date wheel overlay compatible with Vietnam 1680 and 1675 dials? So far I’ve tried Riyi (Raffles Time I think) and Cartel. Mill probably order a Raffles Dial next but would love to hear some advice if it’s out there. Thanks!
  4. Hello! I'm currently planning out my Burford dial, A/6538 build and I'm in the middle of my research and parts acquisition. From what I've read, there are many opinions on what case to use based on thickness, shape, dial size, and price. For me, I'm not going down the rabbit hole of a VN case build - I simply cannot afford $1050+ out of the gate on this build. So that said, I'm looking at building this around a Silix, HR, or Cartel case. Where I'm getting stuck is the size of the rehaute on these cases - I have no idea what aftermarket crystals can be installed in these various models. The build I'm currently thinking: - Silix, HR, or Cartel Case and Case Back - Aftermarket Tropic 19 Crystal (Clarks, Ofrei, Sternkreuz, etc) - WSO 1665 Bezel Assembly (planning to reshape to approximate the German silver bezels) - Custom dial (another member of another forum) - ETA2840 - Athaya 800 Crown and Tube (plus stem adapter) - Aftermarket hand set (Ofrei, Raffles, etc) - Ernst Westfall military insert (eBay seller) - WSO 2mm spring bars (until I figure out how to fix the bars - maybe soldering?) - Reshaping, luming, and assembly by yours truly - Case engraving...I still need to figure that one out... First, let me establish and confirm - I should be looking to install a Tropic 19 to be reference correct. If that is the right assumption, let me move on to Tropic 19's - if not, please correct me! From what I understand, there are multiple variations of the Tropic 19: http://www.ofrei.com/page419.html with ID's of 30.45, 30.48, and 30.30 (and probably others from other sellers). I have read this watch is meant to be pretty beefy and the images on RPR appear to be tall and rounded - so I would suspect the 20A variation would be the right one. The 20A comes in with a 30.30mm ID. Are any of the Silix, HR, or Cartel cases going to provide me with a reasonable friction fit to any of the available Tropic 19 crystals? I prefer to assembly without heavy use of glue or spacers. It's one thing to add a thin bead of silicon glue as a safety measure, it's another to require that glue to hold things in place. Anyways, any insights on the project is much appreciated. In the meantime I'm going to get back to obsessively reading everything I can find.
  5. mzinski

    1680 Red Submariner Project

    Thanks! It’s an honor to get the attention and compliments of a vintage expert like yourself! Frustratingly the VN date window doesn’t align with the stock cartel DWO. I need to get a new one to satisfy my OCD.
  6. Hello,

    I’ve read you manuf silver DWO’s. Are you still making these and are they available for purchase? 

    I’d like to upgrade the DWO on my 1680. 


  7. mzinski

    1680 Red Submariner Project

    Updated my 1680 build with the VN dial (relumed, shaved to fit case, and dial feet soldered on) and a pip made from scratch (tiny ball of lume covered in epoxy 330).
  8. mzinski

    Project 1675 All Red Hand Complete!

    Thank you! Appreciate the compliment!!!
  9. mzinski

    eBay 1680 dials?

    Looks good! How is the matte black paint job? I like the finish and texture of the Vietnam ones but not so much the Yuki ones. For $40 less, I'm super happy with the caucacon dial.
  10. mzinski

    eBay 1680 dials?

    My lume work (neutral, charged with lights on, and charged with lights off). I like my lume working (glowing) and relatively flat but with a slight pillow form
  11. mzinski

    eBay 1680 dials?

    So I received the 1680 Red Dial from “caucacon” on eBay. $99 + $6 shipping. Arrived within 3 days. Transaction is protected by eBay if something went awry. Not to worry, the dial is high quality. On par with Ruby’s Watch dials. Nice matte texture, precise lume, 1570 dial feet, good DW window, singer stamp on back, 26.5mm diameter, and nice logo/printing. I would highly recommend this seller! I mean , for us CONUS folks, this is a steal being local, fast shipping, and half off (or more) other Vietnam dials Sure, I clipped the feet and soldered new ones for ETA 2824-2 movement in my Cartel build. Then shaved off .5mm from the diameter to fit the Cartel case. And finally relumed to match my hand set. But here are the pictures out of the box:
  12. mzinski

    eBay 1680 dials?

    So I got responses from both sellers. The first, richview8i8, said the dials were "fair" quality. In looking at them compared with the analysis at DRSD and what I can get with Ruby's Watch for a similar price, it doesn't seem worth it. On the other hand, caucacon, said the dials were from Vietnam - best quality. For $99, it seems like a reasonable risk to buy one. The layout looks decent enough as a Mark IV 1680 but at $99 it's a good price for a Vietnamese dial - even a good price for a Yuki dial - all of which is better than a stock Cartel. I will let you all know how the quality is once I get it (if I get it...haha, knock on wood). And don't worry - there was never a doubt the dials were rep dials. I was just trying to figure out what quality rep dial they were.
  13. mzinski

    eBay 1680 dials?

    Has anyone purchased a dial from eBay user “richview8i8”? They have some 1680 dials up for sale at $148 a piece. I haven’t picked apart the details of the graphics but I’m curious about the dial/print quality. Upgrade from stock Cartel? Comparable to...? https://m.ebay.com/itm/Rolex-1680-Submariner-WHITE-LUME-Matte-Black-Refinished-Dial/263894180987?hash=item3d7151a47b:g:nY8AAOSwEyVbfdqh Also noticed some from “caucacon” for $99. https://m.ebay.com/itm/Repainted-Rolex-Dial-for-Rolex-Submariner-1680/323439270682?hash=item4b4e7b9b1a:g:W~EAAOSwHt5bM9gc Insights appreciated.
  14. mzinski


    Great build! I'm adventuring down the road of trying to build one of these too... Any chance I can impose on you to share some of the specific sources of the parts? Silix case, but which one? You mentioned the bezel was just laying around - any insights on what would be a good base bezel to modify? Anyways, thank you for sharing the build progress - it's very nice. I really appreciate the efforts put in to constructing the two part, extra tall bezel.
  15. mzinski

    Project 1675 All Red Hand Complete!

    Updates! I’ve made a few small tweaks to the watch - slimmed the case, installed a Sellita SW330-1, and a Gen 6251 bracelet. I used an old, small Baleigh type industrial large to machine .7mm off the back of the case. This then necessitated re-cutting the gasket groove. Overall it was pretty successful. The chuck isn’t great and left some marks on the outside of the rehaute and the bit available bevels the gasket groove. Both aren’t major issues but I know they could be better. Also got a nick in the case when the chuck released the case mid-lathing. It’s under the case back but annoying nonetheless. Overall this brought the overall height down to 13.45mm. Not sure if the pictures do it justice but it wears much slimmer on the wrist now. Installing the movement was easy enough - got it with the higher hand height and used epoxy to space the dial and DWO. Overall I’m pleased with the watch. With the bracelet and all the rework, it wears like a vintage watch and pays a good homage to the original. Enjoy the updated pictures. Thanks!