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Found 37 results

  1. This tutorial explains how to build a frankenjust (i.e, franken Datejust) from scratch, or at least how I did it. The specific model I built is a reference 16014, but I think the concepts apply to other 16000-model types, too. I geared the level of detail in the steps and descriptions below to novice modders, and to those on the fence about trying their hand. As a result, much of the following will be too simplistic for the more experienced. In the interest of getting it right, please correct and add comments where you see fit. I wrote this guide (1) to pass on some of the information I've picked up from research on several watch forums (see these excellent posts by KBH, LHOOQ, and TxRub779), (2) to build up the confidence of beginners, and (3) to increase the number of Datejusts in the world, since they are such beautiful watches. A Datejust is a great choice for a first franken: they are relatively budget-friendly and their assembly process is straightforward. I had a lot of one-on-one help along the way. Thanks especially to KBH, Preacher, and Tomhorn. If anybody has questions about the following, please PM me, and I will try my best to help. Now, let's build this thing! Step I: Source the parts 1. Case a. midcase b. tube c. crown d. case back e. bezel 2. Plexi crystal (ref# 25-135) 3. Gaskets (tube & crown for 6mm, and case back is a ref# 302-86) 4. Dial (for a 16000 case) 5. Movement (ETA 2836-2) a. Stem for movement b. Dial spacer 6. Hands (Clark white Tudor dress for 2836-2) 7. Movement Ring (Raffletime #2) 8. Case clamps for a 2836-2 9. Bracelet/endlinks/lugbars to fit 20mm lugs. 10. Datewheel overlay I found my 16014 midcase/caseback, crown, bezel, and tube for sale on the forums. But, they go up on eBay & VRF all the time. Make sure you read the fine print; sometimes sellers like to split up the cases and piece them out. My steel is all gen, although it might be possible to substitute rep parts in some places (e.g., a 6mm crown). Source your gaskets from a watch parts outlet--I used Esslinger. The 16000 case takes gaskets that fit a 6mm crown/tube, and a 302-86 case back gasket. See here for a good breakdown of which gaskets match various Rolex case backs, based on the case numbers. Ebay & VRF are also good sources for dials, but you have to be patient. I wanted a silver linen dial (which I am told is technically called a silver "florentine") since it seemed an elegant touch for an elegant watch, but only gold ones kept coming up. As I wear a platinum wedding band, I chose to wait. Or pay $350+, which is what some sellers demand. Crystals are also easily found on eBay. The 16014 uses a 25-135 crystal. I used an aftermarket version, from Clark watch parts. You can find movements from many watch parts suppliers. Ofrei is a good one in the US. Cousins in the UK. I chose to use an ETA 2836-2, since I happened to have a spare. Others have built these watches using 2824-2's, which are a slightly different dimension as far as stem height. I can't speak to their suitability, or what mods (if any) you need to make to fit them in a 16000 case. Nothing prevents you from using a clone of these movements, rather than a Swiss version, for budget purposes. Although perhaps less reliable, they work well enough in my limited experience with them. In most cases, the stem is movement-specific. If you buy a movement from Ofrei or Counsins, it will come with a correct stem. But if you transplant a movement from another watch, the trimmed stem length might not match the correct length for your frankenjust. Both the 2824-2 and the 2836-2 have a stem diameter of 0.9mm, which happily fits right into the gen Rolex crown. The movement also decides the hands, since the hand-hole diameter must fit over the movement pinions. Fortunately, 2824's and 2836's share these specs. I bought silver Tudor dress-style hands from Clark, since they are very close to the hands that Rolex used for vintage Datejusts. You can find ETA case clamps from a supply house or on eBay. The movement ring is a Rafflestime #2. It does a good job. But, I've read excellent things about Stilty's rings. Unfortunately, I couldn't get in touch with him or otherwise find one to purchase. I bought a 20mm rep jubilee bracelet set, but you can find gens on eBay or VRF. The right model for my watch is a 62510H with 555-stamped end links. They run a little pricey. You can find lugbars from the usual sources. Most vintage Datejusts used a Rolex 3035 movement. Because the datewheel on an ETA movement turns in the opposite direction to the 3035, you can't just slap the latter's datewheel in there as an overlay. If you're stuck on gens, you can use a 3135 datewheel, since it spins the same way, although you might have to sand down the back for clearance between the movement and the dial. I found that the few overlays I have in my parts drawer didn't fit properly in the 16014: it's window is a little further to the right so that the text looks left justified. I like the look of the vintage overlay (font with open 6's and 9's), and these are hard to find so I decided to try and print my own. It's getting there, but I haven't quite perfected it yet. Step II: Tools you will need (in no particular order) 1. Precision screwdrivers 2. Watch tweezers 3. Plastic tweezers 4. Hand presser 5. Hand removers (I prefer levers) 6. Pin vice 7. End cutter pliers 8. File/sandpaper 9. Caseback opener (I usually use a sticky ball) 10. Movement holder 11. Dial protector or similar 12. Dial dots 13. G-S hypo cement 14. Silicone grease 15. Xacto knife 16. Loupe (I prefer a headset) 17. Bezel press (or a custom tool to do the same) 18. Movement cups (optional) 19. Dust blower (optional) 20. Movement pad (optional) 21. Watch paper (optional) 22. Rodico (optional) 23. Springbar tool (optional) 24. Caseback knife (optional) 25. Finger cots (optional) Much of what you need can be found in the RWG/Watchbitz toolkit. I highly recommend it as an excellent resource of quality tools for any modder. The tools list is pretty self-explanatory. You can substitute in some places, but you will need/want pretty much everything above. The nice part about buying all these tools is that most are one-time expenses. And once you decide to open up a watch case, you won't be able to stop, as I have discovered. Step III: Make the watch Earlier, I claimed that the DJ assembly is straightforward, but I should qualify that. Truthfully, several frustrating little problems will pop up during rep building. But for me it's a rewarding feeling to solve them and admire your new creation--way better than just buying it. Like KBH says, half of the fun is finding a way to assemble things that were never meant to be put together in the first place. And you will know soooo much more about your watch than the average gen owner. Here's how you do it... 1. Remove the Rolex dial feet Dials come with little metal feet. These feet slip into the movement and, along with the handstack, align the dial correctly when it's seated on the movement. For whatever reason, the feet positions are often movement-specific, even for movements with similar diameters. As a result, porting a dial from one movement to another involves snipping and filing down the original dial feet. So, to fit your gen dial onto a 2836-2, you need to remove those pesky 3035 feet. Whenever you handle a dial, but particularly an expensive one, it's a good idea to either wear gloves or synthetic finger cots. I prefer cots since they allow the rest of your hand to breathe (avoid cotton cots when handling movements, since they will leave tiny bits of lint everywhere). While holding the dial securely, take your pliers and gently press them up against the back of the dial around the foot. Grip the foot and cut it off, then do the same to its twin. You will find a little nub remaining in each spot. To prevent it from interfering with the operation of the datewheel, you need to file or sand it off. I just used some fine sandpaper that I picked up at Home Depot. Although I have one, I didn't use my diamond file, as I found it awkward to handle in this application. Be careful to (1) hold the dial firmly enough so it doesn't slip, but gently enough so that you don't bend it and to (2) sand with precision. Take your time. A slip here and you will mar the dial. Now, blow away the tiny metal fragments from the back of the dial You don't want them wandering around inside your watch case. 2. Attach the movement ring and dial spacer to the dial The movement ring is a metal washer that is used to prevent the movement from sloshing around in the case, side-to-side. It surrounds the movement and gives it a snug fit inside the case, so that when you pull out or push in the crown of the finished watch, the movement sits firmly in place beneath the dial. The Rafflestime #2 ring does a pretty decent job ensuring a snug fit. It leaves a bit of space around the movement, but not enough to really notice when everything is put together. Most movement rings rest above the stem; in fact, they leave a little gap for the stem to fit into the movement. So, it's a smart idea (in the absence of dial feet) to just attach the movement ring to the dial itself. If you align the center of the gap to the 3 o'clock marker, it gives you some confidence that the dial is in the right position when you eventually peer down into the overturned case, and go to tighten the case clamps. You can use a little G-S hypo to join the dial and the movement ring, but be frugal. Too much glue will either wick up the side of the dial and perhaps onto its face, or make a big splotchy mess. Another solution is to use a tiny strip of dial dot. Use an Xacto knife to slice away several small bits of the double sided tape and go to work. I found dial dots easier to handle, and they offered a stronger stick. 3. Set and align the date wheel overlay ETA date wheels don't line up with Rolex date windows. You have to place an overlay on the 2836-2's date wheel to get the calendar to show up in the window. And to do it properly is harder than it sounds. At first, I used a date wheel from a donor rep submariner. It's smart to use plastic tweezers in this step, as the overlay is delicate. I often leave my movements on a movement pad (or rest). Before you do this, it's a good idea to remove the rotor to avoid stress on it. A dial spacer sits atop the movement, and forms a seat for the dial so that it clears the date wheel and the overlay. Otherwise, pressure from the dial will--at best--interfere with smooth date change operation. Enough pressure to can even cause something delicate to break. Make sure your dial spacer is thick enough to provide sufficient clearance. The flip side of the clearance problem is that the more space you leave between the dial and the movement, (1) the less space you leave yourself to press the hands down properly and (2) the further down you push the stem slot. Depending on your case (and movement), (2) can be a problem when you finally go to push the crown & stem into the movement. The "fit equation" that must be satisfied is: dial width + dial spacer + stem height = center of tube height from top of the dial ± ε The stem height is the distance from the top of the movement to the center of the stem hole. In the equation above, ε represents the "slop". Things rarely line up bang-on: if you're close, you're probably in business. You just don't want to put so much pressure on the stem that it snaps off in the movement. I had some dial spacer issues at first. This one ended up not working too well, but I found a decent enough version in my parts drawer. Now, attach the spacer to the dial using the same method as you did for the movement ring. That way, when you set the dial down, everything will be in place. And ready for alignment... Ultimately, your overlay alignment can only be as good as your overlay. If the font is off (left justified in my case), then the best you can do it to make everything equally off-center. Knowing that, insert the stem. Gently. You may need to turn it slightly as you do so. As long as your keyless works are in order, and you're using the correct stem, the crown will snap into place. With the dial off, put maybe 10 small dots of G-S hypo cement along the top of the ETA datewheel. G-S has a tendency to string up, so be quick. And don't leave enough so that it seeps down into the movement. Best to practice, first. Set down the dial, and make sure it's lined up with the stem. Fortunately, my linen dial had a convenient market right above the stem hole, making my job a bit easier. To align the wheel, make sure your calendar appears nice and centered in your date window. Do so by lifting the dial and using your plastic tweezers to move things around. Using a magnifier will help. Pull the crown into the quick-set position. Advance the date by 15 or so clicks and look at the date centering. Do your best to line things up. Repeat this process. When things are about equal, advance 7 clicks. Now you're on the other diagonal. Center things up. Advance 15 and do the same. Eventually, you will get things as centered as they can be. Note that things can sometimes look different when the date advances normally, versus the quickset. It's a good idea to check. OK. Now you're getting close. 4. Case the dial & movement With the overlay all set, it's time to pull out the stem. For most watches this isn't the case. You would have to set the hands first, before you case everything. However, the hands and crystal for the 16000 series can easily be set in place after the movement is cased. This is a good thing, since sometimes you need to fudge a little with the hands to make them fit properly under the plexi. I use a movement cup, because it is an easy way to turn the movement over (to press the stem release), without hurting the pinions. With a cup set, you're bound to have one that fits the movement diameter pretty well. Flip the movement onto the cup. Put the crown in the winding position. On a 2836-2, use a min. 1mm screwdriver to depress the stem release button. VERY GENTLY. It won't take too much pressure. At the same time, just slide out the stem. If you press too hard, you can screw up your keyless works. And then you will have to take everything apart to re-set, and go through the entire process of overlay alignment again. Now put the movement pad soft-side down on top of the face-down movement. Flip everything over again and you've got the stemless movement ready to be cased. Carefully, slide the case down over the dial. As you do so, make sure the tube is lined up over the three o'clock marker, and that the rehaut is evenly spaced around the dial. If you're ham-handed, you can scratch the dial. And that would suck. Again, a bigger movement cup forms a really easy rest for the movement/case. Just flip it over. At this point, I like to insert the stem, to make sure everything is lined up right. Just place a finger on top of the movement (being careful to NEVER touch the balance wheel) and slip the stem in. (As long as you adhered to the fit equation, you'll probably be OK.) Putting the stem in this way helps to keep everything (dial and movement) lined up when you screw down the case clamps--especially in situations where you don't have any dial feet. Of course, I didn't think to take pictures showing this little gem... Case clamps keep the movement centered between the dial and the back of the case. They provide pressure, in fact, so that the rotor doesn't scrape against the case back. Use tweezers to transport a clamp over to the movement and line it up. Then, drop in a screw and tighten it just enough so the rotor clears it. Do the same for the other clamp and then tighten everything up. Add the case back here. Well, first place the gasket that you've been soaking all the while in silicone grease . Whenever I screw it down, I like to use my hand at first to turn the case back counter-clockwise against the case threads until I feel/hear a click. Then screw it in, normally, by hand at first. If you encounter no resistance, use your sticky ball or equivalent. This helps you avoid cross-threading (hat-tip, Bonesey). Up to now, you've been using a generic crown and stem, right? Well, take the stem out and use your pin vice to switch crowns. Then, use the pliers and a few stem insertions to get that stem to the right length. It should be long enough so that the winding position is clear of the tube, but short enough so that the crown spring can easily get the crown to the tube for screwing down. Again, I sit the case on a movement cup and test the date wheel form the quick set position, and also by normal time-set advancement. If everything looks good and you don't get any resistance, it's time to move on to the last few steps. 5. Install the hands The 16000 crystal/bezel set affords you the convenience of doing this step after the dial and movement are set in the case. When you've done it a few times, hand setting is no big deal. But you have to tread carefully because it's easy to scratch the dial. So, use a dial protector. My dial has stick markers, which preclude me from using my RWG/Watchbitz-toolkit-sourced-Bergeon. Instead, I "customized" a bit of watch paper to perform the same function. Always use a loupe when installing hands. They are small. Rodico is your friend. Press it down (gently, to avoid bending) onto any hand at the tip. Guide the hand over to the cannon pinion and line up its hole. Then install. Hack the movement. It's not really necessary, but it makes things a little neater since you don't have to worry about the hands moving around while you take your time. For the hour hand, I usually just use a cheap set of plastic tweezers. First, slowly advance the crown in time-set position until the date snaps over. Then press the hour hand home so it points directly at 12. Advance the hand until the next change occurs. If it's off, you can use the plastic tweezers to nudge the side of the hand a bit, to line it up. Keep doing this until you have it straight. You need to use the hand presser when installing the minute and seconds hands. At first, I was really worried about snapping off the seconds pinion when using the pen-type tool, since you are kind of blind once you lower it to make contact with the hand. But if you're gentle, you can actually move the presser slowly around and feel the seconds pinion is inside the hole at the end of the presser. Once you're sure about that, just press down. But not too hard, or you could break a jewel. Make sure to move the hour hand over to point directly at another hour marker before you install the minute hand at 12 (3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock work well). When hour and minute hands are on, use the crown to turn the hands all the way around the dial to make sure they don't hit each other, but also so that the minute hand crosses 12 when the hour hand strikes an hour. If not, go back and use your plastic tweezers to nudge the minute hand into the right position. Advance the hands again and check your work. The seconds pinion it TINY. So if you haven't been using a magnifier, use one now. Again, line up the hole over the center of the cannon pinion using Rodico. The bottom of the seconds hand has a tiny female part that caps the male pinion. It really only fits one way. When you think you've got it right, press down very gently with the presser. If you pull away the presser and the second hand is still sitting up there, you're almost done. Just press down with the presser using a little more force--that should seat it. Unhack the movement. If the seconds hand starts to move, you're nearly done. Now pick up the watch and turn it around and upside down. Check different positions. If the seconds hand slips around the dial, it's not on firmly enough. Press down gently again and check. If you need to remove the hands at any time, a piece of advice... I much prefer the hand-lever style removers to the presto ones. With the levers, you are in complete control of the amount of force applied. While using your dial protector, just place the tips of the levers against the base of the cannon pinion (levers at 45-degree angle) and gently press the held ends of the levers toward the dial. The hands will pop off. Use Rodico to pick them up. 6. Seat the crystal and press down the bezel The DJ crystal is plexi. It fits over the watch really easily, and serves as its own gasket when the bezel is pressed down. Once you've set the hands in place, you should test fit the crystal to make sure it doesn't interfere with the hands at all. In my case, it did. I only realized it when the movement stopped after I pressed down the bezel--the curvature of the plexi caused the arrow-straight second hand to jam. So I had to pop everything off again, and make the fix. Since you're smarter than me, you will remember to check first. If the hands are a problem, just remove them, bend them a little, and repeat step 5! Once the crystal is on and everything is working OK, make sure the cyclops is properly aligned over the date window. I don't know if this method is correct, but here's how I do it... Using a magnifier, I place myself directly above the cannon pinion and twist the crystal into place. Then, I lower my sight line until I'm just opposite the crown, and the handstack is lined up with the 9 o'clock marker. Checking that the cyclops edges are parallel, I go back and repeat. Cyclops alignment is a little more difficult than it seems, at first, because it can play optical tricks on you. When you're satisfied, it's time to press down the bezel. I have a caseback press, by my dies are too shallow. Instead, I found out that a PVC t-joint worked wonders. Just make sure that you use a little frog tape or something to soften the plastic edges and protect your shiny bezel. Place the bezel around the crystal, line up the PVC joint and press it down. Shouldn't take more than a couple tries to make sure everything is in place. If for some reason you need to remove the bezel, I've found that the best way is to use an Xacto knife to pry it up in one location. A case back knife does the rest. Just be careful to tape up any lugs if you want to use them as leverage. 7. Epilogue That's it. You've got your franken. A couple parting tips: if you scratch your crystal at any point, know that it buffs out pretty well with Meguiar's PlastX (found in an auto parts shops) or Polywatch. Various metal polishes can be used to get scratches out of the case itself. But scratces can add character, too, so whether you leave them is really up to your preference. Getting my 16014 together was just an awesome experience. I love it. It was my grail watch and now I have it. Joy. What's more: my serial number dates my watch to 1983. So, I feel like I'm bringing a little vintage back when I wear it. Which is like every day right now. I hope this guide helped you at least a little. I'm sure I've forgotten some important steps somewhere. But I'm tired of writing, so I'll just stop. In fact, I'm feeling like it's time to grab a drink. I'm just going to throw on my Member's Only jacket and hop in the DeLorean. If you're up for it, let's meet up. I'll be at the Mutiny, wearing this:
  2. Greetings all! I've started on the road to building a 16030 franken Datejust and I have a few questions for everyone. And yes, I've searched, but haven't found anythign definitive. Every guide I've found so far uses a GEN mid case and I simply cannot find any that are affordable. I was planning on using the following: Rep Mid Case Rep Jubilee Bracelet Rep Crown Gen Dial Gen Engine Turned Bezel Gen ETA Movement (Undecided?) Clark Acrylic Crystal Clark Tudor Hands JMB or STONEP Datewheel Overlay I've already purchased the Dial and Bezel but I have some questions before I continue. I plan on removing gen dial feet and using epoxy to secure new dial feet in ETA position. 1)What type of ETA movement would be EASIEST to use with a gen dial, rep case and custom DWO? I've heard about issues with spacing between overlay and dial etc. 2)Will I need to change cannon pinion, hour wheel etc on the ETA movement no matter what? I've heard about issues with spacing with hands Any help would be greatly appreciated! Also, if anyone knows where to find an AFFORDABLE gen case.....I'm all ears! Thanks so much. I will continue my build with photos in this thread as a future reference for any would-be builders out there.
  3. They say on forum that a franken sub is closest to gen,who sells it and describe,thanks a bunch
  4. They say on forum that a franken sun is closest to gen,who sells it and describe,thanks a bunch
  5. Just wanted to share some xxx pics just got it back from the wiz Domi Hope you like it AP Tit Franken Gen Lwo 283 genuine dial and tachyring gen tube and genuine crown Gen hands Rounded pushers Modding the gaskets Full serviceof the movement Case mod/shaved midcase Full polish and satin inclusive bezel AR Crystal
  6. Good news everyone, I've not run out of parts yet! Here's my interpretation of one of the three kings of old school GMTs. The very underrated and beautifully balanced PAM63. I hope you like what I've come up with this time. This is the third version, v1 & v2 now belong to long-time forum friends. Big thanks to everyone who helped Specifications: -Honpo original thin case 63 w/ full deco 2893-2 movement -Genuine dial -Genuine hands -Genuine crown -Genuine bezel -MM104 crystal w/ Chief cyclops -Lello DW -Custom SS crown tube -My usual CG mods (lever bushing, chamfering, bevel, etc.)
  7. My latest and greatest one and a watch I'd always admired perhaps from watching magnum pi as a kid. Lol These are pics from the builder and Italian enthusiast and his watchsmith. Need to refresh my memory on the exact specs but... Gen spider dial Gen xtal Gen insert Gen clasp Gen jubilee Reshaped case unknown origin ETA CLONE 2836-2. Genuine Swiss eta rotor and full disassembly and overhaul WSO bezel modified
  8. Dear all, before I start I want to thank this really nice community! I already bought some nice pieces here from some members and met some really friendly people - Also from Germany or Netherlands. Lots of support here!! I did not know that the scene would be so big in Germany too. Sorry to copy and paste that from my other two threads. But I am really impressed here! So this time no work log. I just want to show you my daily watch I bought from "dutchguy2" and of course I would love to read your feedback and I have one question. Specs: SSD V2 GEN crown CGs trimmed by Jackjo Bezel insert shaved by Jackjo Watchmaterial pearl installed by Jackjo Caseback and crown seal lubed by Jackjo Bracelet Lubed and buffed by Jackjo Relumed with Tritec C1 super luminova Movement serviced and regulated to +2 seconds a day First questions: What else should I change to GEN? I think this is already close to perfect. Might only consider a GEN insert with pearl. What do you say? The bracelet does not look as good compared to a GEN watch. What is closer to GEN? This? Any other ideas? I do not like the space between the links. Depending on the year of the watch I do not need to drill holes for the drill lug holes, right? So what are your thoughts? Any other ideas or hints or feedback? Thanks!!
  9. Just started working on a Submariner 16610 Franken and was curious what order others had done their upgrades in? So far I've done: Gen Crown Gen Ceramic Bezel Next I would like to do a gen band but am questioning if I should go for the crystal first. The dial looks so close I'd likely look at that last. Movement I'm not concerned with as I'd just buy gen if I was doing that as well. So what about you?
  10. ROLEX 5513 Spider Franken build After exactly 6 months since I started on this project I can now announce that my Franken ROLEX 5513 Spider is now fully assembled and finished . I´m still considering a GEN 702 crown (Anyone got one?) but then again the Athaya is also great. So once more here´s the parts list and then I let you guys enjoy the assembly pics by the master himself Joran (@DR3M3L at RWI and a very skilled watchmaker). He did an incredible job of putting it all together after @Rolojack did an amazing job on the case (see part 2 of the build for that). A big thank you to all of you who have responded to me a long the way. A very special thank you goes out to @Ingelero who has been a big inspiration and help in my journey. He is one of kind guy and his love and passion for Vintage Rolex has inspired me to the vintage route. For part 1 of the 5513 build click here: http://www.rwgforum.net/topic/178404-5513-build-parts-now-complete/ For part 2 of the 5513 build click here: http://www.rwgforum.net/topic/178871-5513-case-origin/ Updated Parts list: Cartel 5513 case (Modded to a 1984 5513 by Rolojack) Helenarou Caseback (flatter than the cartel) NOS Swiss ETA 2846 GEN ROLEX 5513 Spider Dial GEN TUDOR Mercedes Hands (switched from the TCV1 and clarks because of softer white) GEN ROLEX 5513 Insert GEN ROLEX T-19 (switched from aftermarket to GEN because of clarity) Aftermarket Bezel Assembly Athaya 702 tube & crown Yuki Bracelet and clasp WSO 580 ends Gen spec spring bars Pics and text Courtesy of Joran (D3M3L at RWI) GEN 5513 Spider Dial Removing the old (bold) plexi: Fitting new gen plexi: Insert fitted and bezel added to the case: Dial: Removing datewheel and it's gears: Dial and hands attached, into the case: Silicon grease on the sealings, caseback back on and the bracelet attached! And waterproofed till 6 Bar
  11. Hope I don't bore anyone with another thread about a 1016 build, but after having what amounted to what I thought may have been, for me, the luckiest week ever over on the 'bay, I have found myself with now most likely two 1016 builds. Originally, I had started approaching this build around (in my humble opinion) a pretty nice rep 1016 slab serif dial I picked up from Minh. I had been eyeing the dial for a while and had already sent a gen 16013 case over to Jensen at vintagewatchmaker to be re-engraved and have the lug holes drilled out (both of which were done quite well btw). From there I was going to go the ETA and TC hands route and I had, of course, already procured a perfect bezel from JMB. Anyways, checking on eBay late one night I see an Aussie had listed what appeared to be five(!) gen service dials; all ending on different, consecutive days, all un-lumed, and all priced well under $200 at the time with very few people watching, let alone bidding on, the dials. The one ending the soonest had about 30 minutes left to go and was at $101 when I haphazardly put in a low-ball bid of $225. I hadn't done a ton of research on the seller, but the dials looked great. I thought, if for some unforeseen reason I do actually win this and it turns out to be fake, I will have at the very least gotten a pretty nice rep dial for less than what I paid for the Minh dial. Well, I won it. For $202.25. And while waiting for it to arrive I poured over the (low-res) pictures and started realizing it was legit. Even sent the crappy listing pictures over to LHOOQ who was kind enough to look them over and say that he also felt that it was probably gen. And so now the franken build takes on a more serious tone and the hunt for a gen hands set and a gen movement began I tried to photograph this under a loupe in the harshest natural light conditions I could find. As you can see there is definitely some very minor scuffs and wear marks throughout. Frankly though, these blemishes are only noticeable under magnification; the naked eye doesn't pick them up and I can't imagine them being visible under a plexi. Also, it'll add to the genuine older feel of the dial (even for a service dial) onc eit gets a proper, more vintage-hued lume job. More on that in a second... Lovers of the 1016 can, I think< sympathize with my absolute frustration with rep 1016 dials. I stand in awe that no one seems to be able to get the fonts and most importantly the spacing correct on the "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified" text. That one detail in particular drove me nuts. The coronet and the SCOC spacing on the gen dial have finally put my OCD on this to rest. The back of the dial looks good for a late 70's-early 80's Rolex in-house made service dial. Looks good to me, and besides I don't recall ever seeing a rep'ed in-house Rolex plate nor have I ever seen a re-dial done on a gen one so this was just a tiny bit more confirmation for me about the dial's authenticity (sorry about the photos, I had a hard time capturing the Rolex engraving on the tarnished back plate) And then compared to the rep Slab Serif dial from Minh: I gotta say, I was feeling really happy with the build(s) at this point. Four days later, I went back on eBay simply to check on the tracking of the dial shipment when, on a lark, I just did a quick search of new listings for "Rolex watch hands" and look what had just been posted not twenty minutes earlier and with a BIN price of $185: Unquestionably in rough shape, but still, they were gen cal. 1560 hands from an old 5512 and were being sold as in "destroyed condition" by (I think) a retired/ex-watchmaker. I was obviously already getting into this build deep, sourcing random gen parts here and there; the original inspiration to go "super-franken" started with a gen double-stamped triple six 1016 case back I fell in love with (http://www.rwgforum.net/topic/178594-1016-case-back-double-stamped/?hl=%2B1016+%2Bcase+%2Bback). Between that and the dial, I couldn't say no to these hands and snatched them up instantly. Side note: regretfully, the gen 1016 case back is incompatible with the 16000 mid case, thus the two projects: the Eta-based 16000 cased Minh dial, and now an uber-franken with the gen dial, hands, case back, 16200 mid, and eventually a gen 1560. I'm not sure why, but I'm hellbent on using this 1016 CB. Besides, Automatico was telling me a 1016-dialed 1560 is a way east fit in a 162XX case rather than a 16XXX case; no need to change out cannon pinions, etc. So the BIG and somewhat more pressing issue right now for me is finding a skilled lumer (hopefully in the US too) who is skilled at/enjoys 1016 lume work and hopefully someone who can also do the hands. I'm hoping the hands don't need to be "repaired" per se, and that they can simply be cleaned up a bit and matched to the dial. And I know it's a later-era service dial and was most likely slated to be a "Swiss - T<25" branded transitional Luminova dial, but I'd like to give it an older feel with a tritium-esque no glow lume job. Nothing too "antiqued" or yellow, not even vanilla or creamy colored, but more of (hopefully) a bone/off-white; almost slightly tinted white color similar to limestone. Does that even make any sense haha? So to wrap it up, I'd love to hear suggestions on lumers, color choice(s) for the dial/hands, criticisms/observations on the dial and hands, the build, etc. Everything! The wonderful RWG community houses sime true 1016 afficionados and exoerts and I wold love to hear everyone's thoughts on the build(s) as it stands and where they're going. Going to part out my super-franken 6263 I was building to fund the completion of this project. With this amazing dial, I feel like I'm almost there...
  12. Hi guys, I was looking at the Serie Speciele Navitimer on Perfect clone's site, at link - /bl10034-navitimer-serie-speciale-black-dial-working-chronos-p-1693.html Does anyone knows what type case this one has ? I'm thinking of doing a franken navitimer (using a gen 7750 movement, hands and dial ) would the gen parts fit in there ? (mainly movement and dial - hands should fit on a swiss 7750 as much as I remember) Any help will be so much appreciated thanks! db1
  13. Hello Guys After 3/4 long long months, I'm really really happy to present my Xmas gift. Maybe not the last one of my own gifts... Stay tuned It's my new: FRANKEN ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE WHITE THEMES The Great watchmaker, the Best around here, Mr Domi did it the 1st time on a JF/J12 case. And, it has the following features: Gen dial Gen tachymeter ring Gen hour & minute hands Serviced Baume & Mercier movement with Dubois-Depraz module Mickey's Gen-spec single side AR Xtal Domi's Gen-spec AR cyclope Edge's Gen-spec DW Thinner midcase Recessed crown position Thinner caseback He built a movement's case holder (as the Gen), etc... etc... etc... After this built, Domi told me the pros of the JF's case. This is what he said: "It's a gorgeous case, they make a Gen-spec construction. No need to recut the screws (after thinning the mid-case and the caseback), no need to thin the bezel's gasket), no need to mod the Gen tachy & dial, etc..." That's why he built that movement's case holder, same as the Gen. So THANK YOU Domi for this UNIQUE piece you made for me. I have also to say Thx to 3 great members and friends Daytona1984, Micasol & Guru for their assistance and support. And a special Thx to Mickey and Edge for the parts they gave me to complete this awesome piece. Thx for watching and reading... All comments are welcome PS: I put a creamy Safari tachy ring on it (not the silver one). And I really like it as is
  14. Hey guys, This thread is something that some of you were waiting for. A thread about my ultimate franken. I feel I have taken this franken to a much higher level compared to the current existing frankens on the forums that we know off. Basically the story starts in June-July 2012, I wanted to build my own franken so I started looking for parts. Sourcing a dial was easy, in fact I bought several dials, being a blue classic baton dial, grey dial, black rubberclad dial, safari dial, white rubberclad dial, black themes dial. All of them except the safari and white rubberclad dial were sold to nice members here. I even assisted two of them with their build. After studying the current frankens I was not pleased with them. They look close but in fact they are not that close. All of them have the flaw of the mid case that is too thick. Next to that, all of the frankens around have thinned rubber gaskets between the bezel and the midcase, which is wrong too! The replica rubber gasket is 1:1 as per gen, believe it or not, both on front and on the back of the case. So I wanted to keep this correct. Above you see an example of a current existing franken compared with a gen on top, notice the differences?! To me these are huge differences, but I’m a nitpicker. Offcourse I knew this would make the project more difficult but it’s an adventure and I’m a perfectionist so I wanted to find out how to. I was able to buy a gen rubberclad bezel with gen screws, then I also bought a gen crystal and crystal gasket set as well as genuine rubber gaskets (not really necessary). The gen bezel cannot use rep screws. It also needs a gen crystal. Here you see why: (gen on the left, rep on the right) (gen on the left, rep on the right) The gen screws are smaller at the head and have a thicker head as well. Another important thing about a rubberclad bezel is the fact that AP uses a stainless steel bezel with a rubber coating on top. The rep rubber bezel is pure rubber and plastic. The difference in quality is big imo. Here you see some comparison shots: (gen on bottom, rep above) (rep) (gen) (rep on top, gen on bottom) Also, on the forums there is a lot of whining about the gen crystal having AR etc. Well, I have a gen crystal and it does not have any AR!!! So AR’ing your crystal might look nice and does look nice imo but I don’t like it as the AR hue makes it a huge tell. If you however decide to AR your crystal, get a proper coating on the inside of the crystal. Some pics of gen vs rep crystal: (gen on the right) (gen on the right) (gen on the right) (gen on the right) I also bought a gen set of pushers and a crown, but I decided not to use these as the pushers sit too deep in the case which makes it less gen like. As you can see the gen and rep screws are slightly different: I started off by milling my mid-case to the correct height as per gen. Therefor I used a gen piece and measured everything side by side. A cool feature is that there is a slight difference in height on the mid case, this on the outside of the gasket channel and the inside of the gasket channel. So, after the milling the midcases got blasted a second time and there I had my 1:1 thickness midcase. The cyclops I bought from Uwe 2 years or 3 years ago (with purplish blue AR, closer to gen!). Since I was building a white rubberclad my datewheel window had to be matte black as per gen. So I disassembled the Dubois Depraz 2000 module from the ETA2892 movement, pushed out the window, sanded it, painted it and installed it back. (on the photo above the incorrect datewheel is visible. It’s quite good but not close enough to me) In the meanwhile I was able to install my gen spec datewheel as well. This datewheel is also part of my project and to help other members with their build. Everyone was using the LWO datewheel which is always wrong. I wanted mine to be correct as per gen, what is the point of making a franken? So I did the datewheel production, which was a success. After installing mine I was even more pleased with the project. I was able to install the hands, datewheel, cyclopse and dial on my own. The tachyring was easy to install as well. But for the drilling of the case, to replace the crown tube I needed a competent watchmaker. Therefor I contacted a German watchmaker (not Domi ) to do the work. He is the watchmaker of a watch customizing company. He agreed to do the work as it was a very nice project. I also asked him if he was able to change the caseback engraving, he said he would take care of it. He also suggested to make a custom movement ring as he felt this watch needs it. Imo it does need it. The gen piece also uses a movement ring. So, after a while he finished the job of the assembly and I received my watch. The only thing I have to do now is blast the caseback, brush the caseback with the circular finish and then it’s completely done! I can attest that my AP White rubberclad has a thickness of 14.52mm, gen is 14.50mm in height. I did not shave any rubber gaskets, only caseback and midcase. Which makes my piece amazingly close to gen. Specs: - Gen bezel - Gen gaskets (all of them) - Gen screws - Gen crystal + gasket - Gen hands (all of them) - Gen dial and tachyring - Rep crown and pushers (closer to gen dimension wise) - Rep midcase with my own milling mod + sandblasting - Rep caseback with custom engraving - Rep rubber strap (no need to go gen, I sold my gen rubber strap) - Sead’s deployant. Imo the best one available as it has the proper stamps - LWO 283 movt. NOS with custom Edge datewheel Total cost is about €3250 - €3500 (USD 4.485 - 4.850), but the joy I got with this build is priceless! That’s about it. I hope you guys enjoyed it and I hope it was a helpful read. Any questions, just shoot. Thanks!
  15. Hey Guys- I recently picked up a nice cheapie 40mm rolex explorer. What I am wondering is how hard it would be to upgrade this from a 21J Asian movement to an ETA highbeat so that the hand sweeps a little smoother. I am looking to try to mod this also with a gen crown and crystal but am unsure if it will take these mods. I am very new to modding and this would be my first project so any advice even as stupid as it may sound is appreciated. Also, does anyone have experience trying to get the correct hand stack on a watch like this? I have heard that the Asian and ETA are simple movements which can cause the correct hand stack mod to be unreliable and break within a couple months. Is this a myth or do I truely need a gen movement for something like this? Thanks in advance as I really hope to learn a bit more about this watch and modding in general!
  16. Hi All, Am now getting around to seriously looking at this Franken project. Im looking for advice as i want to build something a bit special if i can, but just want to make sure I don't make any silly mistakes along the way! Ive done a fair bit of research on the forums, so have a good idea of the parts i need, but need some advice on the below points if anyone can help me?... I purchased a V5 42mm PO with black bezel w/ white numbers, and am very happy with it as a rep, and understand it to be one of the best cases/cases for a good franken(except for the dummy He valve). As i have brought the cheapest movement, the Asian 4813, from my research on here it seems that its too much of a ball ache to fit gen dial and hands to this movement, so i want to get a new gen swiss movement that i can fit all the gen parts to, and then install this into the rep case. So, firstly, what movement would be the best to use for this, i have read that 2824-2 is a good reliable movement that will accept the gen stuff. Can anyone confirm this would be the best way to go? And if so, where would you recommend to get the movement from? I can pick a gen swiss up off e-bay, and dont mind spending a bit on the movement, as i want something thats going to be a reliable. If not the 2824-2 movement, then what movement would you suggest? And from where?.. The full list for the Franken is below: Gen Swiss movement(model TBC...) Gen Dial Gen Hands Gen Crown & Tube Sunny Crystal Eventually a gen bezel, although the bezel and pearl on mine are very good So really i just need to confirm which movement is the best to use as the base. I would also be interested in knowing if anyone out there knows of anyone in the EU(UK preferably) that could help me with the build, its something i could tackle myself, but i think for the best results, it would be better being done by someone who has done similar previously.... Appreciate any input guys, really keen to get this project started Merry Christmas to all forum members
  17. Weird rehaut, too much room between the CGs and the crown, and a CG profile that's generally a little off. I think this is a high end rep, but would love the experts' take before I report it: 1979 ROLEX GMT MASTER I 1675, Matte Dial, Pepsi Bezel - Stainless Steel
  18. As reps go, the Breitling Superocean Steelfish is very nice. The gen is a classic, and so is the rep. I bought an H factory v2 "Asian ETA 2836-2" (more on this later) from Toro. Ordering was easy, and shipping was fast. I unboxed it six days after confirming QC pics. As many of us have found, the H-factory gets a lot of little details right. And even the ones that are a little off--like the dial--are still high quality. Rep left, gen dial right. Sure the color is too bright, the markers and numerals are a little too big, and it doesn't reflect light quite as nicely. Still, it's a good attempt. For all those reasons, though, a gen dial is a great upgrade. It makes a nice rep a whole lot nicer. Breitling parts are very hard to find. Although expensive, genuine Rolex dials are pretty easy to come by. In contrast, finding a genuine Breitling--let alone Steelfish--dial for a reasonable price is nearly impossible. I pulled the trigger on a blue dial, to see what all the fuss is about. It's worth it. I figured it would be an easy swap... Toro sold me what he called on his website an "Asian 2836-2". I wanted to drop in a Swiss movement, add the gen dial, and port the rep hands over. No such luck. I was very surprised to learn that my 2826-2 clone is not a clone at all. It is instead a new high-beat version of the DG2813. It is also a piece of crap. The "ETA 2836-2" that Toro and other dealers (according to him) are selling in at least some of their watches is a clone of the 2836-2 in the same sense that a Yugo is a clone of a BMW. They are both cars, and these are both movements. And one of them is, well, $#@£. On receiving the watch, I tried to operate the crown. I found that the stem was tight and didn't easily allow me to switch between positions. A keyless fix is pretty straightforward. But I couldn't find anything obviously out if place. It was just made badly and didn't work right. Beyond that, I didn't have any replacement parts--this being a new movement. I imagine that many of our watchmakers are running into the same problem. When I brought the problems up with Toro a few weeks ago, he kindly offered a full refund. That's commendable. He also agreed to change the movement description on his website. Unfortunately, as of today, the high-beat 2813 movement is still called a "2836-2 clone" in his ad (see http://www.torobravos2014.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=656). Read more about the problems of the new movement here: http://www.replica-watch.info/vb/showthread.php?t=170876 In the past, I and others here have advised noobs to get the ETA clone version because it's cheaper, works well, and is nearly as reliable as the Swiss counterpart. But if dealers are calling this junk movement a "2836-2 clone", that advice no longer applies. I would say: get the basic 21j or the Swiss. Stay far away from this one. I would hope that out trusted dealers revise their product descriptions. We all know what an actual clone ETA is. Back to the franken-making: the hands didn't transfer easily. The hour hand size on the junk "clone" was too large. Weighing my options, I picked up some genuine hands rather than take the chance that my modded rep hands would come loose and scratch the dial. I had a similar problem with the datewheel. A 2813 datewheel is completely different than a 2836-2. And Breitling fonts for the latter are hard to find. But I got lucky and saw a 2879 datewheel on the bay with the right font. Because that movement uses the same datewheel as the 2836-2, it worked out. In any case, here is the finished product. I'm very happy with it:
  19. Hi. I'm pretty new to building/modifying watches, but I am just finishing my first 1601 datejust franken build, and thought I would share my project with you- hoping to get some tips/ providing some pointers from my experience. I have started another build aswell, and would like to perfect my skills and keep building time pieces with a personal touch :-) this topic will include both projects. #1: - genuine 1601 case - genuine 1601 bezel and acrylic - genuine Rolex tube and crown - ETA 2824–2 - genuine blue dial - Tudor hands - movement holder raffles time #1 (slightly modified) - aftermarket leather strap # 2 - About the same specs but with the pan pie dial - aftermarket Jubilee bracelet (signed 554) ----- Just ask me whatever you want, and I will try to help you out if I can. I would gladly share my experiences/provide tips/pictures/explanations if it could be of any help to others doing similar projects ;-) trim.7BE67496-CB21-449C-8D5A-BD6A5F132EE9.MOV
  20. This was a watch I was crazy for a while back. I was going to buy from J&W and then this appeared on the sales forum and I dropped a LOT of money (I shouldn't have) on it... It's the Vietnam case with gen valjoux 72 movement, with correct assymetrical gen screw in pushers and tube and crown. Raised crystal (can't remember if this is gen?), old school bracelet.. and I love the red dial, definitely different. I also have the white dial with black subdials. I guess the chase was the big thing for me as it's quite small for me but it looks lovely! Here are some pics:
  21. Hi Guys, I joined these forums a couple of days ago and I've had a lot of insightful and very helpful members on here take the time to explain things to me and help me on my travels. Mike on a bike and TC, thanks for all your help so far. Im new to these forums and gradually finding my way around the place is getting a little easier each day but now it's time to haul ass and get something built. I've decided that the first piece i would love to have is the LV sub. I know that TC does amazing work but unfortunately as we all know, this model has ceased production until supplier issues are sorted out. I would love to commission someone to build me a piece at the same quality that TC builds (if at all possible) but as yet, I have not found the cheese at the end of the maze. So I put this out there to any any and all builders, modders and anything in between: Is there anyone here that can build me something as good as TC's LV sub or am I going to have to commission someone to build me a Franken LV sub? Ubiquitous has the most amazing Franken LV sub i've seen on here and I figure getting one built with all the gen parts like he did is probably the best option at this point. Thatst type of piece I am after, quality wise. Who can help me on here or point me in the right direction with a Franken solution or something similar. Once I start collecting, the other Rolex's I would want would also have to be of this high quality too. So I will definitely be coming back for more if you help me out on this first purchase with the LV sub. Is this possible? If so, I would encourage and appreciate any and all members to chime in and give me your .02 Anyone looking to sell (including you too Ubiquitous!!!) Please feel free to PM me too. Thanks for your help gentlemen! DK
  22. I just built this franken 5513. My plan is to use all gen parts eventually. I'm liking the gilt though, so it may be a while before I get bored with it The build list is: Gen 5513 midcase Gen 24-700 crown and 24-7000 tube Ingod gilt dial Yuki case back ST vintage bezel assembly, pearl removed from insert ST t-19 crystal DG 4813 movement Rafflestime #2 movement ring, modded 21j hands, "gilded" Gnomon NATO I settled on an Ingod gilt dial for the franken stage. It's not as correct as some put there, but the Ingod is relatively inexpensive, and more than adequate as a temporary solution. I had an old cartel 1675 case back that fit the gen midcase well, by there was no room for a gasket. Luckily, I found this Yuki from dbane... I used a DG4813 movement. It fits perfectly--the stem hole lines up smack in the center of the case tube, but I had to sand down a Rafflestime #2 ring pretty far to get it to center the movement properly in the case: I rubbed some 21j hands down with 1500 grit paper to produce a gilt effect, then baked them enough to get a decent color match to the dial markers. I popped the ugly base pearl out of the insert and tried to fit an acrylic I have, but the acrylic was too big. So that still needs to be done. But here is the semi-finished product: I still need to find a bezel assembly, a case back, hands, and a movement. But, these will help when I decide to go full-gen:
  23. Im looking to start a Planet Ocean 42mm Franken Project and looking for some advice... I have read through a lot of threads here regarding franken PO'S, there are some real beauts being created and posted here, and i'm, hoping to achieve something similar. so a few questions: Is the latest 5th Gen aka V5 PO (From Trevor or similar?) the best base to begin with? i.e does it have all the basics - good case, HE Valve in correct position?.. Any advice? Recommended TD's? As this is the most critical bit, want to make sure i start with a good one! I know i can source the parts from cousins or ofrei, Right? Below is stage one that should get it looking pretty good: Gen Bezel(Or insert/Pearl at least) Sunny Crystal(Got to be done) Gen Dial Gen hands Gen Crown & Tube Gen HE Valve Waterproofing I have a surprisingly good(guess i must have been lucky?!) 20mm SS Bracelet, from a PO rep that ive already got, but would look to get at least Gen End links and clasp in time, if not the full bracelet. Once i get the correct base unit, and all the parts, who would you recommend to get in touch with to undertake the work? Any experiences would be greatly appreciated!
  24. Hi Guys, I am fairly new to the forum, but ya'll have inspired me to build a franken PAM 104. I've started with an H-factory 1:1 104 rep with the A7750 movement. So far, I've purchased: - gen alligator strap - gen deployment buckle - gen dial So, I have two questions I was hoping someone might be so kind to help me with: 1) Who should I use state-side to help me with service and assembly? 2) Should I put in a Swiss ETA 7750 movement? And if so, do I go with the 17 or 25 jewels? Thanks in advance for the advice!
  25. One of my favorite watches is my 1665 DRSD with a gen 1570 under the hood. I've been gathering parts to build a 1665 Comex to complement it for some time. After several setbacks, I decided to pick up an already built 1665 DRSD (yes, I now have 2) with a beautiful 1570 in there as well. As i debate which dial to sacrifice, I'm reaching out to all the experts. Both dials are beautiful but very different. My original one has only a faint tint of yellow in it - almost whitish creamy. The new dial is more yellow/orange. I like them both. I swear they are the same dial except for the color. Opinions, PLEASE!!! Also, although i purchased both with supposed gen crystals, both are very different. I will post pics later but the new one has a greater distortion effect. My old one: My new one: My old one: My new one:
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