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  1. " so you like Pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain......" Pour yourself a drink and settle in for the build story... So as some of you may know, I am not a sub guy, but then built a 5513 a few months back and now I think that is starting to change. I have always admired the early subs but never got around to building one....well that day finally came. Raffles released a new tropical dial for the 6205 so I added it to my last order with a 6538 case set . (check the forum for my earlier tropical explorer build thread) Parts arrived and I was very pleased with the fit and finish of the case set and the dial. value for the money is quite high with these parts from raffles. machining on the case is great. Yes the bezel still has the wire retaining spring but overall very impressed , I asked raffles if a 6mm crown would fit the tube on the case and he said no, but it sure does. no issues. saves me alot of work swapping tubes. the crystal popped out no problem ( no glue) and it has a gasket , which was a bit of a surprise. I wonder if a Clarks T19 would fit on this case without a gasket. may be something worth trying. Anyway I started off by aging the case set. dulled the polished sides and added a few dents and scratches.. decided to stop here, wanted warn and used and old looking but not over the top. I can always do more, but its really hard to go back if go too far.. you will see how I prove that later on . Used an Asian 2824 clone with a modified setting lever for 2 positions and removed the date wheel. I like these clone movements because they are lower beat than gens. they beat around 21800 and have a bit of a choppy sweep, The keyless is a PITA as many of you know... Aged the lume a bit with some brown air brush paints to break up the evenness of the lume colour and give it some depth. installed the dial and hands and was in the home stretch and then noticed that the keyless was out of wack. no biggie, since becoming proficient in fixing the keyless , its just an extra step so I stripped it down , fixed it and reinstalled the dial and hands , checked the alignment of the hands and not noticing that the dial was not completed seated flat against the movement, the hour hand puts a nice scratch on the dial! DOH! armature bone head move glad it was only a 35 dollar dial and not a one off Vietnam piece..... anyway , since it stuck out like soar thumb. I decided to take the ageing further on the dial with some water damage and gave the dial a "spritz " of the same brown paint. it disguised the scratch quite well and was less obvious so It worked out.. Gently faded the bezel but it needed to go further with this , it looked more like a tire, because of the contrast between it and the dial.... but this past week was filled with obstacles... work, coming down with the sniffles, -30 temps and a dead car battery all added to it Anyway. made it to my studio so that I can continue the ageing of the case. I brassed the bezel which I knew was mandatory and was very happy with how that came out , so I headed back to the lab to get this build complete. DIAL: Back to the dial , since I had already scratch it , I figured I would experiment a bit so I tried adding some dry paints to give it a bit of a faded appearance..., wasn't there so then I gave it a quick spritz with some vinegar and popped it in the oven around 275-300 for a few mins and this was the result. The lume darkened, and the vinegar damaged the print in a few spots, but the paint masked it so it looks just like movement grease and dirt...so not a total disaster!! ? not what I was after but again, better than a new looking dial with a scratch on it , for a 70 year old watch. HANDS: So I had to go back and touch up the lume on the hands to better match the darker lume on the dial and after reading a few older modding threads I seen that some guys would brush the gilt hands on their watches to give it an older look... my scotch pad was a bit too new and I feel I went a bit far with it. lesson learned , these were the wrong hands for this ref so no biggie. I am going to swap in a set of pencil hands anyway. I will be using an older pad and a lighter touch for the next attempt. again....errors are part of the process. The bezel is wrong for a 6205 as it should have a no hash bezel. I happen to have in my parts bin, a tiger concepts red triangle no hash so I I test fit , needed a bit of work but got it to fit the bezel....now it was on to ageing it. I decided to bake it, after having success with my previous insert on my 5513 I figured , that was the route I wanted to go. first I scuffed it up a bit with some 2000 grit to knock off the top finish and gave it a soak in some bleach....then into the oven....set to broil for the better part of an hour. checking it occasionally .....the final time I pulled it out and WOW!! so after it cooled I completed the assembly and snapped some pics. a few teaser pics before the big reveal...... love how the bezel turned out....better than expected really. not seated properly but you get a peak....what color is it?? how did the bezel turn out??!! Ladies and Gents... I present to you my 6205 tropical sunrise.. tried a few bracelets , including my Ruby rivet but settled on my custom straight end link raffles rivet it just encapsulates the 50s tool watch look. A watch that spent most of its life out on the seas in the tropics , soaking up the rays ...only to find a pampered retirement after nearly 70 years.....so the story goes. The fade on the bezel is unreal!! I am very pleased with how it turned out!! a metallic brown that ties the brassed bezel and tropical dial together beautifully!! I just cant bring myself to distress the bezel with some marks....until I can replicate this effect I am gonna leave it as is and let it happen naturally with wear...as I am no doubt going to wear the [censored] out of this piece for a while. The red triangle wasn't common on this ref in fact very rare, I have only seen one gen with one and it was from the original owner. so its plausible. but the red does kinda stick out against the browns. I will order another silver one from TC and see if I can replicate this effect!...but DAMN!! Imagine if this bezel was gen? I could sell it and retire to the beach , but to find a watch with both a tropical dial and bezel...1 in a million... plausible I suppose but the odds are off the charts...unless you happen to build it yourself.!! in the variance of light , you can see it goes from a blackish brown to a warm chestnut. pretty wild. The dial did fade out and look baked by the Caribbean sun , despite its damage It looks the part, especially on the wrist. overall I cant complain it looks old and chocolate tropical , compared to how it appeared new out of the box. artsy I do plan on swapping the hands with pencil hands and go another round with another proper bezel ...I have a 6mm +brevet crown that I am going to shape and swap as well to complete the build. tossed it on an old light brown nato, now single pass strap ....talk about a warm rich color combo. It reminds me of a black bay bronze. Is it too much? that is for you to decide. Like it or hate it. this is where were at. I will update this post once I have swapped the parts in. Would be nice of there was a slightly smaller case and bezel option for the 6205 as it was 37mm where this one is over 38 at case and 39 at the bezel .but now were just splitting hairs...need to find a bubble back that fits this case maybe JMB can machine the back for me like he has done on my 6350 As always, comments and questions welcome. Thanks for looking. p.s sorry for the ear worm if you picked up on the song lyrics , it was a theme party after all.. lol
  2. Some of you may recall my first attempt with customizing a Raffles dial This was the first one.. Before and after. [/url] [url=https://clickpix.org/image/ZhSXQE] Then I came across this gen on ebay....and I was in Awe with the dial.. I had to replicate something similar the water damaged / tropical look is spectacular So I ordered another Raffles dial and went to work.. results : Its not exact but it does have the same feel to it...I really like how it turned out. The hands could be aged a bit more to match the dial but other than that I think its pretty cool. JMB Ver 2 Case Raffles dial Raffles hands Eta Clone 2824 Clarks T21 domed crystal Keep an eye on the M2M forum as I think I might be clearing this and a few others out of my collection to fund some future builds.. Comments and questions always welcomed. Thanks for looking.
  3. Hey Guys. I was googling 6542 gmt as one usually does when obsessed and I came across this listing from 10 past 10 http://10pastten.com/watch/ta718 Reading the description , a few things jumped out at me. He claims that the case "has been recently detailed with correctly matted case sides and razor sharp large beveled edges." Ive never seen any rolex with matted case sides before. They have all had been polished...or where they all brushed from factory in the early days? This case has been reworked , clearly but has anyone else ever seen an original with brushed sides? The Dial is a T<.25 but it is a gilt dial. The T<25 dials are known as service dials but this one is gilt? Never noticed or seen one before and for it to be tropical and so evenly tropical also...the stars have aligned on this piece. That "bakealite" bezel is in amazing condition for an original, wouldn't you say? Eric Ku has a good reputation in the Vintage Rolex Market and has probably forgotten more about Rolex than I know but does anyone else find this kinda odd? a replacement "gilt" dial but original bezel ? Anyway...it is definitely eye candy!
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