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  1. I thought I'd share this Tudor 7922 big crown build that I finally have near completion after a few months of messing around with cheaper builds. Added are some thoughts that might help others since this is a very uncommon build. Specs: Rubyswatch 6538 case ETA 2451 18000 bph, non hacking DIY movement ring from a silix case Athaya 8mm crown and tube Vietnam 7922 gilt dial, aged by hologramet Jkhorological hands Default Vietnam plexi shaved ~1mm Phong insert and pearl Tropic dive strap total cost: ~$1400 Notes: •Case I've noticed that a lot of people advise that the dial is the most critical component of a rep and that you should start with the best available dial and go from there. I'd have to disagree and say that the case is the most important part. Before getting the Vietnam case I tried the HR and Silix, and both of them nearly put me off from wanting to continue wearing a vintage Sub. They're just too big in diameter and don't look right on the wrist. To me the early Submariners are basically regular sized watches from the era (read: SMALL by today's standards) but with an oversized case in order to make them super durable and functional for divers. It's a specific look. When you watch the early Bond movies, the 6538 does not look like a big, eye-catching watch. There are certainly some awesome looking HR and Silix builds, but to me the 1-2mm dial and case difference is a deal breaker. I'm probably in the minority here as I'm partial to smaller, vintage, particularly military watches. With that said, I think ability to accept gen parts is an even bigger factor. If you bother to wear a rep watch in the first place, you're probably attentive to detail, and over time you are going to want to improve your build. The cheaper cases are dead ends in that regard. Getting the Vietnam case opened my eyes, not only to how elegantly designed the early sub cases are, but to how easy it is to improve on this build with gen parts in the future. Regarding Rubyswatch, this case was not perfect. The finish is spectacular: chamfers on the lugs are excellent in my view, lug holes are perfect, caseback and bezel function smoothly, engravings look great, and everything is brushed or polished as it should be. There is a minor flaw in the way one of the lugs is cut on its inside edge, but I'm being very picky there. Unfortunately the crown and tube I got were very bad. They didn't screw together properly and I stripped the threads in about one day. The tube itself was bare inside with no gasket and the crown didn't fit snugly as it should. Worse, the tube hole drilled into the case itself is not straight, it inclines as it heads into the watch, so that when I installed the Athaya tube it was noticably drooping downward off the side of the watch and would never have aligned with a movement stem. Long story short, I managed to bend the Athaya tube upward, probably about 3°, to exit the case properly perpendicular to the "ground", and the crown functions as it should. Despite the trouble, I would recommend dealing with Rubyswatch, I'm sure she would have accepted a refund or gotten a replacement if I had asked. Just be prepared to do some work if you want to pay half of Phong's prices. As far as this build goes, from reading around (here and VRF) I determined that early Tudor 7922s from ~1956 were cased with 6538 cases where the 6538 is struck out on the caseback and replaced with 7922. The 7922 big crowns were perhaps all military issue watches (MN, USN, etc.) total numbering in the 1-200's. There is a lot of confusion because later on, ~1958, Tudor seems to have released small crown subs labeled 7922 and big crown subs labeled 7924. Interestingly, the later 7924 used its own case that looks slightly fatter and has more bull-nosed lug ends from the side (more like a 5513 or 7928). So repping the 7924 seems like a lot of work since no one makes that case. I would need to fix the caseback and between the lug engravings to make this case totally accurate. I should also age it but so far I can't bring myself to do it. •Movement It was a pain in the ass to get this movement working after I lost the correct cannon pinion but the slow beat rate is something you immediately notice in the gen watches so it was worth the effort. Hopefully it won't cause trouble for a while. Originally from an interaktiv build so thanks to him. •Crown/tube The Athaya stuff looks and feels awesome and was really a lifesaver as shown above •Dial These are really hard to find so thanks to hologramet, who I think did an excellent job aging this one. As far as accuracy goes, it doesn't make sense that a big crown would have a 100m dial, but sure enough you can find several examples of seemingly original big crown Tudors bearing the shallower depth rating. Perhaps not many people build crownguard-less Tudor subs because there is really no accurate dial. The Tudor script in particular is different on these compared to the more famous 7928, which all the rep dials do a great job mimicking. See the difference, gen on top: The correct font is taller, thinner, and more calligraphic. They all look like that. It's subtle but a dead tell once you notice it. I realized this too late and just decided to go with the most expedient and nice-looking dial available, since not even Minh Quy seems to get it right. Let me know if you are aware of a more accurate dial... I may try to print one in the future. •Hands JKhorological are the best cheap hands I think. The proportions are off but it's not clear to me if anyone does better, even for ridiculous prices. Are the Michael Young hands still available? Hands are important to me and I might have to spring for gen eventually if I can ever find them. •Crystal The crystal coming with the case seems fine to me, although it was way too tall so I sanded it from the base. Maybe I need to go even a bit further? •Bezel The teeth on the Vietnam bezel don't seem totally accurate but I'm just so happy they aren't the big ugly square Silix ones The Phong insert I got also isn't totally accurate, it should have a narrower triangle and the pearl should sit higher. I really haven't seen one exactly like this on a gen watch, but I love the early, no minute hashmark and rounded font look. Almost all of the gen 7922s I've seen have either the round font/red triangle/minute mark insert or the later squared font with serifs insert that was undoubtedly a service replacement. All three I've described can look really nice and it was a hard choice. I bleached this one for a couple min and I'm really happy with the result. No more [censored] gluing in crappy Silix inserts!! Oh, and I definitely need to do something about the stock pearl!!. Not sure what yet as all my aging strategies would get washed off over time.. •Strap I really like the tropic straps even though they didn't appear until the 60s somewhere. This will be an unpopular opinion but I don't understand using a leather strap on a dive watch, leather is not going to hold up around seawater. But I do have to admit that some of the brown and black ones can look really nice. I'll eventually get a 7206 from Yuki or ruby and deal with that, but this project has already broken the bank for now. ____________ Well that about covers it. Hopefully this was an interesting or helpful read for a few of you. I'd like to hear what you guys think; there are some incredible builds around here and I wish I had stumbled upon this forum sooner. I appreciate the knowledge base here that helped me with the build and hope I'm adding to it a bit.
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