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  1. Since I know there are a lot of big Rolex 6538 Big Crown fans among you, I wanted to share some pictures of the 6538 GILT Hands that I've been working on for almost 3 years now. They come with Big Lollipop Seconds and are for sale in two different Lume Colors and for three different Movements. Most important information first, followed by a few paragraphs for those interested in the details Perfect / Gen-Spec for Rolex 6538 / 6538A Big Crown. Will also work for a few other references and are better than anything else available for the following references: 5508, 6536, 6536/1, Gilt 5512 & 5513, 6200 (partially) (high-res pics at the end of the post!) Lume Colors: LEFT: Eggshell (Tritium-like, light beige) RIGHT: Old Radium Light (light Yellow-ish) Movements: Rolex Cal. 1030 / 1035 / 1570 / 1520 etc. ETA 2846 / 2836 / 2824 (and a few others) Asian 2813 (aka Asian 21J) Price (including shipping): (15% discount for each additional handset within the same order). Rolex Cal. 1030: 85$ ETA 2846: 50$ Asian 2813: 30$ Only available while supplies last. There won't be a re-run once a certain movement size or color is sold out. Please note: that I will probably never recoup my investment on these, because the market for these hands is quite limited and the tooling & setup cost were astronomical. I would be insulting your intelligence if I told you that the unit production costs (or marginal cost) are higher for 1030 hands vs. 2813 hands - but in order to make it fair for everyone, I'm charging more for the Rolex 1030 hands, because whoever can put down 4-5k on a Franken, can justify 85$ on a perfect set of Gilt Hands, but for those of you on a budget who are using a super cheap 2813, every $ counts. Even at 85$, the Cal. 1030 hands are cheaper than hands from Michael Young or Phong, which are nowhere near as accurate as these. How to Order: Please send me a Private Message with the following info: Quantity, Movement and Color Your Shipping Address (need to know the country before I can send you PayPal instructions!) Vintagizing Service: For those interested in Vintagizing service (some pics below showing the oxidation), I might consider a limited run of Vintagized Hands. These will be 100$ more expensive for each handset and I will do them in batches. This is not a 24hour service, don't message me about this if you are generally impatient. It's a very time consuming process that requires full attention throughout the entire process, involves several different toxic/dangerous chemicals, safety gear, patience and an experience that is acquired by damaging a lot of handsets in the learning process. Even with practice, there is still a big risk for me of damaging the hands that I'm vintagizing, which means I have to start from scratch with a new handset. If you are interested in this service, please send me a PM and let me know! Details of the design process I went through to make real 6538 Hands: Almost every Gilt 6538 you can find on the internet has hands that look different, so it was extremely difficult to get a real original sample to work off. It was hard enough to even determine which hands are truly "original" 6538 hands and which are actually hands made for other watches like the 6536, 6536/1 or 5508 and either carelessly used by Rolex or mounted by some watchmaker later on. After 100s of hours of research over the years, I was confident that I found the real original 6538 hands on a handful of different watches, which provided me with sufficiently good resolutions and angles to reverse-engineer the hands dimensions with the help of a few mathematical approximations down to the 100th of a millimeter. Very complex process, because no photo was shot 100% perpendicular to the dial surface and there is always some perspective distortion and at 0.01mm even a small change in perspective will affect measurements. I have numerous reasons for my confidence and if you have the time to bear with me for a bit, you will know how much thought and effort I put into designing these hands 1) every part of the watches I used appeared to be original and untouched: - the red triangle bezel inserts on the watches I used as samples were in incredibly pristine condition, while showing all of the characteristics of genuine inserts from that era (if the hands had been replaced, surely the bezel insert would have been too; additionally, nobody would “waste” these pristine red triangle bezel insert on a watch that was cobbled together) - the chamfers/bevels on the case appeared to be the unpolished original chamfers - the bracelets had the same clasp code as the caseback (e.g. 1956) 2) The Dials are early "radium" dials - early dials had the lume plot @6 made of radium (and the other lume plots tritium): - Radium glows brighter than tritium; so having one bright(er) lume plot (and knowing that it was @6 o'clock) allowed them to tell the time quickly because they didn't have to guesstimate where top and bottom of the dial was located while diving in the dark. Due to the level of radiation emitted by radium/zinc-sulfide luminous material, many of these dials were changed over the years. Changed dial also likely involves a change of radium hands. So finding a 6538 with radium dial is also a good indication that the hands are also still the same as they were when the watch was originally assembled. 3) The Minute Hand on all my examples perfectly hit the chapter ring: - If you research 6538 pictures on the Web, you will see that the length of the minute hand is all over the place, depending on which example you look at. From a designers perspective, it would make sense that Rolex would pick the length of the minute hand so that the tip of the hand either hits the chapter ring itself, or at least hits the end of the tick-mark of the chapter ring. Many other early big-crowns (e.g. 6200) have hands that hit the chapter ring, I concluded that it should be the same for the 6538. 4) Big Lollipop Seconds Hand: - Early 6538s came with both Gilt and White Big Lollipop Seconds hand. They taper off towards the and the tip hits the outside of the chapter ring. Plain Gilt Second Hands come without the curvature at the edges of the added white enamel coat, so there is more contrast/definition between the hand and the background. This made it easier to get more data for my calculations. So in combination, all these signs of evidence are making me extremely confident that this is how unaltered, original 6538 Gilt hands should look like and that my measurements are pretty much identical to Genuine & Actual 6538 Hands. So what makes 6538 hands unique compared to other handsets? Minute Hand: - The Sidewalls of the Minute Hand are very thin (significantly thinner) than on other gilt hands, resulting in a wider lume area. Most other aftermarket Handsets use the same sidewall width on the hour and minute hand - which is wrong. - Tip of the Minute Hand should hit the chapter ring. Hour Hand: - The Mercedes Star has very thin lines, thinner than the mercedes star of later 5512/5513 hands - The sidewalls of the small "inner" triangle on top of the mercedes star should be thinner than the sidewalls at the base of the hour hand (most aftermarket hands use the same width for the inside of the Mercedes star and all side-walls - e.g. Michael Young) - The sidewalls of the small triangle should also taper off as they run towards the round mercedes star and not be the same width. The result of tapered triangle side-walls is that the small "inside" triangle looks more like an Equilateral triangle, while the outside triangle is much taller and looks more like an Isosceles triangle Seconds Hand: - The diameter of all 3 circles or "balls" on the seconds hand are proportional to each other. Each circle is almost exactly 3/4 in diameter than the next bigger circle, i.e. the medium circle around the tube is 3/4 of the diameter of the Big Lollipop Circle at the tip of the hand, while the small circle at the end of the Seconds hand is 3/4 of the medium circle (or 1/2 of the Big Lollipop). - The tip of the Seconds hands tapers off above the big Lollipop circle. A big issue with watch hands is that you have to work with such tight tolerances, that there will always be a difference between the CAD drawing and the mass-produced product. So the CAD design has to compensate for the "deviations" of the machine that's being used to cut the hands. Molding Costs for watch hands are very expensive (up to 1200$ for each one of the 3 hands!) and each time you make a change, you have to buy a new mold... so experimenting is definitely not cheap ;) Because the hands are so small, 0.01mm difference can alter the look significantly under a loupe (or at full screen in AutoCAD), depending on where width is being added or subtracted on the hand. The only small detail that I’m still a bit bummed over is that no watch hands manufacturer whatsoever was able or willing to produce the minute hand with the slight chamfer around the base (where the hole is). The chamfer is also present on non-rolex hands from the same era - I have many vintage handsets with chamfer in my collection, from various different swiss hands manufacturers (most of them don’t exist anymore). Let me know what you think! Pictures below show the handset with the two different Lume Color Options under two different light sources. Stock hands on the left, compared to oxidized hands: ...and finally a few pics of my custom 6538 hands, which I Vintagized by hand: Before you call out the base: I realize that the base around the hole on the hour hand is slightly larger in diameter as on Gen hands; the reason is that the base must be large enough for ETA-Sized holes (which are bigger than Cal. 1030 holes). This slightly bigger base diameter is not visible when assembled! The Lume Plot of the Hour hand is still the correct length! Old Gen Hour Hand superimposed over mine illustrates this: @dbane883 @Kime @Bart Cordell @Nanuq @rolojack
  2. My new line of retro/vintage inspired blue straps. These hides are fantastic! No two straps will be the same, the texture, colour, finish, texture and characteristics are different depending on where I cut. Custom orders available just fire me a PM or email @ blueradish@yahoo.com Shipping - Canada/USA - $7 standard airmail (no tracking/insurance), $15 (tracked/insured) Rest of World - $8 standard airmail (no tracking/insurance), $20 (tracked/insured) ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. 270mm w/o buckle - Blasted 3 ring hardware with matching Pre-V screw-in buckle - $50 2. 125/75, 24/24, 3mm thick - soft/no break-in required - $40 3. Classic stitchless 125/75, 26/26, 3mm thick - soft/no break-in required - $40 4. 120/75, 24/21, 3mm thick - soft/no break-in required - $25 (due to 21mm buckle size) 5. 125/75, 24/24 w/ aged Pre-V buckle - This one is incredible in person (see above on Egi) - $75 6. 120/75, 22/20 - Simple comfy, thin (see above on Squale) - $55 7. 120/75, 22/22 - Nato style keepers, buckle - $55 8. 130/80, 24/24 - $50 9. 130/80, 26/26 - Denim (edges will fray giving vintage look over time) - $45 10. 125/75, 24/22 - white edges - $40 11. 130/80, 22/22 - Painted white edges - $40 12. 130/80, 23/23 - Painted white edges - SOLD 13. 130/80, 24/24 - $50
  3. Hello Guys, I am back with this lovely roulette DWO, it is based on RWG friends and spend over 20 hours reshaping the font with AI, Photoshop, etc.... And finally ! I achieve it! Print with semi-plastic with black and red ink, it is Braille, on top of the DWO as gen, not print IN the paper. This DWO is suitable for eta movement, or DG, but not gen movement sorry. The price is 70 USD Firm include Hong Kong small post, if you need it fast, please tell me when you PM me. Please Comment below if you have any question! I will answer ASAP.
  4. Inspiration: a 5513 (5**/76, delivered to the Royal Navy in March 1976) the hommage (low cost but time consuming) dressed in grey:
  5. So I've wanted to post this for a long time now and I think now is the perfect time. This Daytona crazy is insane. With Paul Newmans Daytona selling for 17 million dollars more and more people are wanting a piece of history on their wrist. A few years ago that was me. I contacted the right people and since then I have had 2 spectacular vintage builds. Having said that the real reason for this topic is to get everyones opinion on who is the best. Rolojack or TheSociety. I have worked with Jack in the past and everything has been pretty amazing. Also, I have read up alot on TheSociety and from the looks of posts he also build really well. I want to get other members opinions on who goes down on the top 5 list. I know RoloJack really doesn't build anymore so its a sad situation. I also did not write this so we can flood all these Daytona builders. The main reason is to compare and get real life stories on peoples experiences dealing with these two. They both have different styles, Different sources, and different end products. I know RoloJack is so much more methodical and has attention to detail. I know Society has an insane collection and gets more into tropical dials, etc. With that being said I hope to hear back from you guys and look forward to reading some cool stories. If I left anyone out please members chime in. Thanks.
  6. So, I am just a few weeks away from wrapping up probably my most "involved" franken thusfar, a very special Tudor Monte Carlo (a 7031/0 actually) from Jensen aka VintageWatchmaker aka son of Phong. Anyways, the stock dial on the phong/Jensen 7031 isn't great imvho and accordingly, I had been on the hunt for a different dial to use for some time. With DW's (great) dials out of the picture, remaining options are kind of limited. Yuki's dial leaves much to be desired, NDT's dial is terrible and nothing on offer from either MQ or Tonny. I was at a loss. Then a couple weeks ago I made a last-ditch search on eBay and actually stumbled upon (and won; $88, score!) a pretty nice dial from a random seller. The details are pretty good from what I can tell (dial is still en route to me) but it doesn't look like any other Home Plate dial I've ever seen. My first thought was maybe it could actually be a random old DW dial, but comparing to pics of DW 7032s on the boards made me think otherwise. Curious to see what others think of it and if anyone has any idea of its provenance: Hard to see but the subdials are nice and recessed and have the correct guilloche texture, the lume plots look good and have an awesome texture, the hash marks on the minute track are nice and thin, shield looks good, the grey background looks quite nice, etc. Granted, those outer orange numbers are a bit too thick and "Oysterdate" looks a tad odd among a few other deficiencies; but compare then to the stock Phong/Jensen dial (below) that was supposed to come on the build initially. Above dial is better to my eye, both definitely have their individual pluses and minuses but overall I prefer the random eBay dial. Thoughts? Also, for what it's worth: The eBay seller seems to be listing a stream of random aftermarket Tudor dials; only listing one or two at a time. eBay profile says he's located in California by the tracking number for my dial originated in Vietnam. The dials all look pretty good all things considered and as far as I can tell they're not the same as the usual suspects you see for many of these dials (7149, 7159, pres. seal snowflake, etc.), perhaps a stream of new good "Vietnam" dials are slowly trickling onto market? eBay seller id: bivintagestore2014
  7. What if I buy a gen Rolex case and dial of an old Datejust or Perpetual Date? (Rewind) Few months ago I nearly bought case/glass/dial/hands/bezel/crown/bracelet of a gen Rolex 1501... eveything was there except the movement.... Nearly, but I didn't. (Everything was in very poor condition and the dial was an awful brownish/reddish...) Back to present... What if I get an old Date/Datejust WITHOUT the movement? What movement may fit in that case? (Talking about size and stem height...) In those years (70's) many Oyster Rolex had the self winding 1570 caliber... May I mount the Yuki 3135 or a 2836/46? (I know... there is not reply if I don't mention the case...) @Legend Al, I need your help here... Please... Thank you all!
  8. 5 of my best straps in inventory. Deeply discounted this weekend complete with buckles. See each strap for details. Sale prices only posted on HF and RWG in my Supporter sections. **Buy 2 straps and tracked shipping to Canada/USA is on me, International will get a $15 discount towards tracked shipping or free Airmail** Shipping - USA/Canada - $8 (Airmail, no tracking, no insurance) or $15 (Airmail fully tracked) International - $10 (Airmail, no tracking, no insurance) or $30 (Airmail fully tracked) 1. Vintage Swedish Ammo Bag - Made from an early ammo bag, re-purposed to give it a new life. A piece of history on your wrist. 140/85, 26/26 Sewn in GPF Mod Dep buckle $125This weekend - $85 - SOLD [/url] 2. Buttery soft Dark Brown Vintage 130/85, 24/24 Screw in naturally aged Pre-V buckle $80This weekend - $55 - SOLD 3. Caramel Brown - triple fold short side as per vintage gens - again soft as butter, no break-in required. 135/85, 24/24 Screw in naturally aged Pre-V buckle $80This weekend - $55 - SOLD *Please note strap is a little darker than pic, subdued, not as bright and caramel. 4. Vintage style Beige/Tan - Super soft, no break-in. Triple fold short side as per vintage gens 140/80, 26/26 Sewn in GPF Mod Dep buckle $75This weekend - $50 - SOLD [/url] 5. Vintage Panerai style with thin thread - Triple fold short side as per vintage gens 140/80, 26/26 Sewn in GPF Mod Dep buckle $100This weekend - $75 - SOLD *Worn once
  9. Fellow members I am looking to replace the bracelet on my 6263 Daytona with a Gen bracelet. If anyone has a 19mm 78350 Gen Bracelet for the 6263 Daytona please pm me. Any information will be greatly appreciated.
  10. I've been selling all the watches for some time ... And I bought one again and made some pictures of it. Regards.
  11. •PROLOGUE• Over the last several years as I've built (or more accurately, had built for me essentially) franken versions of vintage watches that I admire, my interests gradually honed in on one particular area: Tudor. There's always been something so "honest" about Tudor to me and how the brand has always held its own while perpetually living in the shadow of its older sibling. Like Rolex without some of the fuss, if you will. Make no mistake, Rolex is unquestionably the king of the tool watch (imvho the 1016 is the greatest tool watch ever made), but for whatever reason, it has always been Tudor specifically that has spoken to me in the most "real" and personal way. This was instilled in me at a young age: my father wore an 80's-era Tudor Sub (which he always wore on an incorrectly-sized 19mm bracelet. ALWAYS... haha) As the secondary gen vintage market soaring higher and higher into the strata of rare air, it's getting harder in my eyes for me to personally "pull off" iterations of some of the rarer, more desirable references be it Tudor or Rolex (6263/6239 I'm looking at you). I just have a hard time seeing myself wearing a (perceived) near half million or near-million dollar wristwatch whilst, say, fly fishing or working on my old rusty Fastback. And besides I like to really WEAR my watches. I tend to put them through their paces. Tool watches used as actual tools. They way they were always destined to be used imho. Like I was saying, Tudor had always really "spoken" to me and always been my true love and focus, and gradually my (very) small collection of watches has morphed into a collection made up entirely of the Shield and the Rose (save for my gen 5500 of course lol). There was, however, a big hole in my Tudor collection that still needed to be filled: an exotic-dialed chronograph. The next move was clear: it was, of course, high time for a bad*ss Home Plate!! (**Side note: for me, frankens tend to be "go big or go home"-type builds, thus the small size of my collection. I know this can be a fool's errand sometimes, but it's what I enjoy most about the building: seeking out the best to make the best of the best so I may enjoy it the most**) (I*NOTE: Some reference photos via the Internet and stock photos from VintageWatchmaker are intermingled throughout some of these photos. Ok first, inspiration/reference shots for the build.) •PART I: THE MOON SHOT• So with the decision made, I contacted VintageWatchmaker Jensen and inquired about one of his Monte Carlos. Jensen and I have been friends for many years and once we talked it over a bit, he agreed he could get one started right away, and so we (mostly Jensen of course) began moving forward full steam ahead with the build, noting some modifications to make along the way and sourcing a few parts prior to assembly. Now, my only reservation about the 7031/0 was its size. Clocking in at right about 40mm, I had never been super keen on its size nor that of some of the more substantial classic sports chronos in general, what with their beefy crown guards, larger bezels, etc. (like the Zenith Daytonas for example). For me personally, they've always felt just a bit too big and cumbersome on my admittedly diminutive/scrawny wrists. So, in coming up with a solution to dissuade my reservations about its size and also do something I felt was completely unique, I decided to take a moon shot on an aspect the build (the quite expensive build, mind you). But first, to be clear: I wasn't overly concerned with perfect "correctness" overall, because accuracy isn't always what I find most gratifying with certain/most frankens and builds. It's really how much I enjoy the end result that matters most (the way it should be, imvho). And as far as classic, "exotic"-dialed chronographs go, the Home Plate is already in it of itself extremely unique. Still, I wanted to take things FURTHER. I wanted something I had never myself seen before, yet something that still felt "vintage" and as if it still had one foot in the "real world", so to speak (clichéd I know...). So I asked Jensen if he'd be interested in helping me realize this, uh, somewhat "different" iteration of the 7031/0 with one very specific and very major modification in mind: I wanted the crown guards removed completely. I was concerned Jensen might just flat out say "NO" or politely tell me how stupid of an idea it was. Frankly, I wasn't even completely sold on the idea myself yet, but I said "screw it, let's roll the dice anyways". Damn the weather... Fortunately, Jensen sounded like he was on board with the the idea right off the bat and agreed that, at the very least, it would at the make for an interesting project. Eventually, even he got pretty excited about the end result... (Stock Phong/Jensen 7031/0, about to get a serious makeover) •PART II: DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS• Although it should be pretty clear at this point that I was hellbent on creating some sort of fever-dream vision of a borderline "6263-esque" Home Plate, but I still wanted the rest of the details to be as accurate as I might be able to make them. I was also hoping to make some additional tweaks here and there besides removing the crown guards at the get-go of the build. All said, it actually only took a few weeks of the back-and-forth with Jensen, a couple lengthy email exchanges, and some minor tweaks here and there, etc. before Jensen finally had the watch headed my way. My lovely new Home Plate, here forth dubbed "The Knucklehead" haha... (Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Knucklehead...) (And a couple quick shots before full specs, including a cameo from its older sibling 7924 Big Crown...) •PART III: SPECS• --Case-- Obviously, the case was the focal point of the mods and where the meat of the work had to be done. While removing the crown guards was obviously the BIG modification to be made, I also asked Jensen if he could slim down the thickness of the lug shoulders just a little when he was shaving down the CGs, making the overall dimension of the case more proportional without the CGs. All said, the crown guard removal, thinner shoulders and more "low key" pusher/crown area (nickname starting to make sense?) gives the watch's silhouette a smaller, almost Daytona-esque feel and wears much smaller on the wrist now than, say, your everyday Monte Carlo or Big Block. Again, this bodes well for me and my scrawny chicken wrists too! If ever there was supposed to be a "Paul Newman" Tudor of some sort, in my mind perhaps this could have (or should have) been it... --Pushers-- Fortunately for me (and ol' Knucklehead), Jensen and his old man (Phong) had recently begun offering MK1 style screw-down pushers for some of their early Daytona builds. Good ones too. I had always preferred the cleaner look of the MK1 pushers with their flattened knurls and the plain tubes/buttons without that machined grooves you find on the later iterations of the screw-down pushers. Coincidentally, and from what I could find amongst a plethora of reference material, Tudor seemingly fit some of the early 7031/0s with those same pushers (they probably were, in fact, the same exact MK1s from shared Rolex/Tudor parts stock I suspect as they were also in use during the same period on the early Oyster Daytonas) and Jensen was gracious enough to fit a pair of his MK1s on the Knuck and even went so far as to file down the knurls/teeth a bit flatter for me to really give them that "smooth" look I was hoping for. In my very humble opinion, they turned out perfect. Compare the photos below (Knucklehead first; gen example second), I think Jensen just absolutely NAILED this part of the build. It might just be a trick of the eye, but with the CGs missing, the pusher tubes seems especially tall. Once I wear it for a while longer I'll decide on whether or not I think it'll be necessary to shorten the pusher tube lengths just a tiny bit so they sit more squat on the case they look great as they are so I'm on the fence about it still... (The Knucklehead's pushers) (Pushers on an early gen 7032. Just ignore those crown guards lol) --Crown-- Easy-peasy. Kind of haha. I was patient and eventually nabbed a NOS 700 crown on the 'Bay for cheap (relatively speaking) and had a sealed 7000 tube in my parts drawer. Regretfully, it's didn't make it to me in time for assembly so for now, I've got a Phong twinlock on there with the gen 7000 tube; should be an easy swap next time the watch goes in for work/service. I was keen on using the slimmer 700 over the more substantial 702/703s, and they were found on early. Sessions of the 7031/0. I certainly paid a premium for a NOS sealed twinlock, but with a fresh set of gaskets it'll give me good piece of mind regarding aesthetics and waterproof-ness and Jensen assured me that, regardless of crown choice, he would make doubly sure the watch would in fact be watertight and pressure tested before making its way to me. The Knucklehead is, after all, (now) one of my daily drivers and certainly gets put through its paces (like all of my watches). With the crown guards gone, the crown sits nice and flush right up to the case, nestling in nicely underneath the bezel when properly screwed down all the way. --Dial-- In preparation for the build I, of course, spent a considerable amount of time pouring over reference material, particularly looking at various dials options for the Knucklehead. With DW now out of the picture, good options can seem limited. I wasn't 100% sold on the JAW/VW stock dial that was supposed to come on the watch from Jensen, it was quite good but certainly with its faults. Yuki's Home Plate dials left much to be desired I thought and neither Tonnywatch nor Minh Q had one to sell. NDT also had a dial but it looks terrible and very sloppy from the photos I saw on their site. The DW dials were certainly great and may still be some of the best, if not the best aftermarket dial option out there (still) for a Home Plate but I certainly wasn't holding my breath about tracking one down M2M on the boards or "cold calling" someone who might be likely to take pity on me and sell me an extra. I began to compromise mentally on the idea of the Knucklehead moving forward with the JAW/VW stock dial for the time being while I made one of those desperate late night, weeks-long eBay searches we all tend to make from time to time and, 'lo and behold, I lucked out and happened upon what appeared to be a completely random dial that was somehow miraculously better than any of the above options (at least in my very, very humble opinion) and which I acquired for the grand sum of- wait for it... $88. BOOM!... Definitely not perfect, the outer track numbers were too thick, the date window a bit too small, the "Oysterdate" text was perhaps a little wonky, and the subdial numbers were a bit different than those found on the gens (hard to tell, but photo overlays tell the tale). However, the indices looked way better than those on many of the other options, the subdials were correctly sized, had a nice texture, and were colored correctly. The tone of the grey background was nice and light (but not too light, still "rich") and even had a somewhat understated, aged look to it almost. The printing was crisp/clean and there was no color bleed anywhere, something I seemed to notice on many of the other dials (hard to hide mistakes on a dial with such bold shapes and colors). At first glance, I thought it might actually be an old DW dial, but those too-thick orange numbers on the outer track, the tone of the grey, the subdials, and the lume texture had me reconsidering that notion. I guess I'll never be 100% sure of its provenance, but the dial did ship from Vietnam so maybe there's a new wave of decent "Vietnam" dials possibly trickling onto the market (or maybe it was just some old random dial, but the seller seemed to be listing a steady stream of various aftermarket Tudor dials I'd never seen before, so who knows; these dials are definitely not the same as any of the above examples as far as I can tell). Other smaller details like the thinness of the quarter-minute hash marks I found to be very good as well. **UPDATE: My newfound dial's feet for some reason didn't match up to the Valjoux 7734 so as you can see I still have Jensen's stock dial on it for now (still looks great I think!) and Jensen assured me that he'll be able to get it fitted on the watch next time I send it over to him. (Random 7031 dial. Score! Thought/opinions?) Hopefully Jensen can fix the date aperture and the white background behind the shield appliqué and we can hopefully get this dial on the watch soon! (And a stock photo of the Jensen/Phong dial for comparison's sake.) --Hands-- This was another area of the build I was kind of intensely focused on initially. Of course, no one can seem to get this small detail quite right out of the box, and I know it's proven to be a sticking point for many, many others who've built these in the past as well. And actually, considering how prominent the hands appear on this particular reference (what with their bright colors, large lume mid-sections, various sizes and whatnot) some modification was going to be necessary to get them where they needed to be. The "newer" hands that JAW/VW now use on their Monte Carlos make a much better base than they used to be as the H/M hands are now correctly faceted and the sweep seconds hand has a much nicer, longer tail section below the post hole; but the color is still slightly off. I asked Jensen to slightly thin the sweep hand, strip the original paint off of it, and repainted it with Orchard Hardware Supply Orange spray enamel (I went through a several different colors swatches until I randomly came upon the OHS) I sent to him. Personally, I find it slightly more accurate than the oft-used Tamiya Orange most people gravitate towards when repainting the SS hand; Rustoleum Painter's Touch "Real Orange" is another great option as is Model Masters "Racing Orange" fyi; check out the below photo comparison I found on some random model making forum). (Various shades of oranges for comparison's sake, options for repainting the SS hand) Even though the new JAW/VW hands are now much better, they're both still a bit too long. It's not so noticeable with the hour hand, but with the minute hand it was very apparent and, for me at least, a dead giveaway. It incorrectly extends far into the upper black section of the dial well beyond the minute track. Hell, I think the minute hand may have originally been even longer than the SS hand was! Since the watch had to be completely disassembled for the case work anyways, Jensen was happy to take an escapement file to the tip of the minute hand and bring it down into the minute track where it should be. The stock subdial hand are one of the last remaining weak points still on the watch I feel and one of the few areas that is definitely getting re-worked in the very near future, most likely when I send the Knucklehead back to J for the dial re-fit. They are way too long and a bit "chubby", the tips too blunt, and the bases are painted black when they should be bare silver metal. Still weighing my options with these... (For comparison: Guts from a gen 7031. Notice the lengths, shapes, and colors of the various hands) (And a stock photo split shot of the Jensen/VW 7031 and it's not-so-great subdial hands before modification) (And finally, the end result of the various hands mods on the Knucklehead. Not sure if the SS repainting translates in the photos all that well, sorry...) --Bezel-- I knew the Phong/Jensen black Bakelite Tudor bezels were quite good, but it wasn't until I had one in hand that I realized just how good they actually are (especially considering the other rep options and prices for gens, which is, of course, insane). Comparing the Knucklehead's bezel with hi-res photos of genuine examples, I could find very few discrepancies. The printing perhaps seemed a touch heavy-handed but that'll probably diminish/subdue a bit over time with general wear and tear and environmental exposure. All I really asked Jensen to do to the bezel was take a bit of the sheen off the acrylic to give it a bit more of a matte, age-appropriate look and to polish the metal underside of the bezel. Not critical to the aesthetic in any way, but a nice touch I thought. (Genuine bezel) (Knucklehead bezel) --Movement-- The V72s and Tudor-decorated "in-house" movements from JAW/VW are an area where I think Jensen/Phong particularly excel. Maybe it's just my personal experiences, but pretty much every "Tudor" movement I've ever received from Jensen has been beautifully well-finished and decorated, calibrated well, and run very accurately. The Valjoux 7734 powering the Knucklehead is no exception. First off, it has the correct 45-minute totalizer at 3 o'clock; many donor movements used for these builds have the somewhat more common (albeit incorrect for a 7031/0) 30-minute totalizer. Jensen's 7734 even has nice Tudor-engraved bridges! And so instead of the very real possibility of ending up with a tired, old donor movement in need of possibly both a cleaning/service and a 45-minute totalizer conversion, I felt it was money very well spent for this portion of the build. The manual-wind movement keeps great time, all the chrono functions work perfectly, and everything resets precisely back to zero with a very satisfying "snap". Also, I don't know where the date wheel came from or if it's a newer(?) item for VW/JAW, but it definitely has a nice serifed font that's a lot closer to those found on genuine examples than I expected. All I know is that it's better than most of what I could find on donor 7734s and seems to be yet another Phong part that seems superior to other date wheel options for these builds. (Love that bridge...) --Crystal, Bracelet, End Links, et cetera-- So I picked up a genuine C-128 crystal for the build as aftermarket 128s with the mag at 6 can be hit-or-miss from what I could find. No cracks, not brittle, nice crisp clarity and it fit the case snugly with the cyclops lining up nicely with the dial's date aperture. Jensen sent me his stock xtal that he uses as a backup for me and honestly it is VERY close to the gen. If I were doing this build over again, I'd probably save my money and just use the VW/JAW stock one. (Gen service? 128 sourced from VRF ready for install on its way to VW) I still need to scoop a folded-link 7836 bracelet from Mary/Watch International. I think Mary's folded link bracelets are great, and when I do eventually go that route, at most I might swap on a gen clasp if I can find a decently priced one; but I'd much rather beat the crap out of a very accurate Mary bracelet worry-free rather than fret over an overpriced, tired gen bracelet. In the meantime, with a nod to my father, I sometimes put it on an undersized 19mm bracelet. Yes it looks silly, but I think it's a chuckle and obviously 95% of folks have no clue anyways haha. Most of the time it's on a leather or Tropic anyways (On a 19mm. Just like dad with his sub haha...) Generally speaking, most of the "usual suspects" for end links don't seem to agree very well with the 7031 from what I could gather. Even the fit on gen examples with their standard-issue 380 ELs is often quite poor apparently with most gen owners retro-fitting 589s that came along later with the Big Blocks for a better fit. As luck would have it, however, the 589 ends that came along from Jensen actually fit better than most anything else I tried and besides, 95% of the time I wear it on either a Hodinkee leather band or a vintage NOS Tropic I also grabbed off eBay. Jensen also provided a pair of the longer/fatter 2mm springbars and even rounded off the tips a bit for me as they poke out of the lug holes now after everything got slimmed during the case shaping/crown guard removal. Nice touch and a classy move I thought. Last but not least, Jensen gave the whole case a very understated aging treatment (something else he is REALLY talented at imvho) and finally re-polished everything (at my request), to try and further emote the feel of a well-loved, 45 year-old timepiece. (On a Hodinkee strap...) •EPILOGUE• In retrospect, the build actually went pretty fast once I had sourced the few parts I needed/wanted and got all the details ironed out with Jensen. Before I knew it, the Knucklehead was sitting on my front porch (along with my freshly serviced and also Jensen-built Tudor 7924 Big Crown, now with its new/old Rose caseback sticker!) (The Knuck with its big brother Big Crown) (And bonus shots of the BC and its new-old gen caseback sticker. Couldn't resist, thought this was cool addition. Grabbed this when I got the MC xtal. Not sure how "correct" it is though lol) (A little pre-aging and wear and tear and I'm liking the way it looks on there) (And 3/4 of the Tudor family. Including another "fantasy" Tudor 7750 chrono built with a DW 6239 case. Not pictured: the blue Snowflake, currently with Mr. Jensen getting an "MN" engraving and a COA...) In retrospect this seemed like it could have been a VERY expensive gamble; adulterating a classic in such a way, possibly "ruining" it in one way or another. However, I did have a gut feeling it was going to turn out pretty great and that in the end I would be pleased with the result (in truth, I had been daydreaming about this idea for a loooong while). Having finally pulled the trigger, I really truly couldn't be happier with the Knucklehead. And that's all that really matters at the end of the day, right? All in all, it manages to almost "hide in plain sight" and I think overall it actually looks/feels quite restrained and understated. 99% of folks won't have any idea what they're looking at or what it's "supposed" to look like anyways. This watch perhaps won't jive with purists too much (ha!), and I'm sure there's probably some franken-watch folks that may raise an eyebrow at "hacking up" a Phong/Jensen MC like this. C'est la vie I guess, to each their own... So with the MN 9411 Snowflake (gen dial incoming soon!), a 7924 Big Crown, the 6239-cases fantasy "Small Block", and now finally the Knucklehead, I'm starting to finally feel like my Tudor itch has been more or less scratched and my collection is starting to feel "complete" to me (famous last words, right?), Haha... And like LHOOQ has said somewhere in the past, I think I've got pretty much "all the good boxes checked off" now on my personal list of vintage Tudors. Thank You to any and everyone who actually read this A-Bomb of a post in its entirety (if anyone actually bothered to do so lol) and of course to my friend and watchmaker Jensen for his amazing work as always! For me anyways, this was one for the books, and a build that I'll certainly remember fondly every time I slap it on the wrist. Cheers... --Meadowsweet
  12. Hi guys, I have not presented something new here for very long time, but today I have something that should share with you! My new Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513, gilt dial, Meter First, from 1966. Let's see in detail: Case: Yuki case with Serial number from 1966 - Modded with speciale patina (steel browning). Dial: GEN from the same period, in very good condition. Hands: Yuki, relumed and reworked. Movement: Cal 1520 with 17 jewels non-Hacking, from the same period (revised und regulated). Crown: GEN 24-700, in good condition. Tube: WSO reworked. Insert: GEN Service. Plexi: T19 GEN Service. And the result: I hope you liked it
  13. Thx to Repwatch´s extraordinary post of his unique wonderful piece I started to admire this watch and got really into this but could neither afford the gen nor build a Franken. First I looked at the Marina Militare but than destiny struck and I found a solution, so after many sleepless nights and one month visiting the above post I happily present to You, in the most unconventional way, serious Purists beware (I love and I am into vintage, no seriousness intended here, this is a hommage), an addition to my fast-growing collection: the famous PAM203 (2005), originally with vintage Angelus movement, only available to some 150 selected few. Just look how the golden hands, specially the small second hand reflect the sun on the glass from the inside:) This 47 mm stainless steel case with a sandwich chocolate/grey dial is historically correct and simply magnificent! The gold hands, sub second hand and logo's " Luminor Panerai" and "8 Giorni Brevattato" 8 giorni means 8 days and brevettato means patented, referring to the original sixty year old and large sized, handwound Angelus SF calibre 240, 8 days power reserve, give this watch character that no other watch has... or ever will have again. Here is the famous and still ultra-secret Panerai-secret: “how to make modern USD out of old italian lire trick”: (Research from Dadog13: Mr. Ferretti sold them to Panerai in the 1996 - 190 pieces // each priced 110.000 lire italiane (about 60 usd each in 1996) http://www.rwgforum.net/topic/99316-nos-angelus-sf240-pam203pam267/ link with sublink). Et voilà: Today possibly worth 110.000 Usd. The patented device protecting and locking the crown tops this watch off. CG lever points upwards. Both versions were made, with downpointing CG also. Of course it has Reg. Tm. engraved in the crown guard. Dial: brown, with luminous hour markers and Arabic numerals. It consists of two superimposed discs: the top one is perforated with the numerals and hour markers while the lower one was covered with a thin layer of Super Luminova Small seconds at 9 o'clock on the left and the legendary 8 Giorni Brevettato symbol painted in white near the 3´position complete the balance. DIMENSIONS: 47mm x 13.5mm WEIGHT: 126 grams Vintage Mods (here is where the fun part really starts): Crystal: removed the original sapphire, made from corundum, 2 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating. Replaced with Plexiglas. the Plexy gives a superb look, very warm, to the whole watch, and especially the dial. The gold dials reflect on it. Tried to catch the fantastic domed shape and the reflecting edges of the huge Plexiglas in sunlight. Also close look onto the sandwich dial of this Vintage Panerai in the pics. The “Open Six” carries the DNA of the brand from the 1930s until today. Crown-lock: applied some vintage rust, than applied the gluegun trick to make it feel more hefty and solid; tried to replace the crown with a vintage Rolex seadweller crown but it did not fit with the CG-mechanism so had to remove it again. Rolex actually made all vintage Panerai watches, from 1936 through 1956 (Jake Ehrlich). Movement: first removed the vintage 8 days Angelus SF 240 movement (cost of just 60 USD back in the nineties) because it had only 15 rubis and was very lowbeat at only 18.000 bhp; the Angelus powered divers where used by Panerai in the 50´s and 60´s but I wanted to go more to the Rolex-made Style of the 30´s and 40´s. So because of the Rolex connection I replaced it with a more gen-like Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 with some dust in it. Both where antique and HANDWOUND, so finally decided to put a more modern automatic movement in: MOVEMENT: Asian 21j automatic, keeps perfect time now! Greatest power reserve I have in a 21j also! Just don´t look at it. Solid case back: After changing the movement couldn´t stand the looks of the 21j, so the see-through sapphire glass had to go and was replaced with a nice, solid SS caseback (not yet engraved with a pig-torpedo and “Kampfschwimmer” – lettering and dating of probably 1944 which I will do with a Dremel, but already well-brushed with steel wool) Water resistance: after modding: tested to 0,00 metres (originally 100 metres); waterproofing to at least 200 ATM intended Lume: the original Superluminova applied to the sandwich dial looked too bright for the look of a 73 year old watch. Different to the “Luminor” substance used in later produced watches and instruments, “Radiomir” , patented 1915 by Guido Panerai (he did not know then it was a million more times radioative than uranium and that it has a half-life of 1602 years, neither did Marie Curie) does not react instantly under the impact of light anymore in 2013, here is a vintage sample of a "Kampfschwimmer" - combat diver: oh, this didn´t work.... so the Superluminova was scratched off this pam PAM 203 to give it a more vintage look. Once the human eye has been in total darkness for a couple of hours, the remaining glow of the simulated “Radiomir” substance now becomes visible. Strap: Ordered an original vintage 8 Giorni Brevettato symbol, authentic hand made WWII Ammo strap made from 65 year old army leather pouches and José Maria over in Spain promised it would be ready for me this week, making this package complete and spectacular! Time is what prevents everything from happening at once . ~ John Archibald Wheeler Thx to Torobravos this time: Got this original “as is” in a perfect service from him, it’s a fun watch more than expected and got that nice strap on it until the vintage arrives: Enjoy the pics! Finally some lume-shots as requested of my hefty PAM 193 Tuna-Can (on the left) also Hope You had as much fun reading as I had writing for the Forum. A big thanks to You all and RWG and what I´ve learned just browsing around here. Any addition and comment Welcome:)
  14. The parts for my next project just arrived Last week I received a new Cartel 1675 from Toro and just today the gen dial (refinished) arrived. The overall look of the new Cartel 1675 is pretty good. But the Lego lume dial hurts my eyes and I don't trust these clone movements. So I was looking for a good dial to put in and got lucky with a refinished dial via the bay. Next already on its way are some inlays that I'm going to age once arrived and a rafflestime sub case back. I guess I'm going to keep the plexi and the hands but they will be relumed to match the dial. For the case I'm going to discuss with Domi what is possible. I'd like to have the case being slightly slimmer and the crown guards have to be reshaped and gen spec drilled lugs of course. I don't do anything to the crown...I don't like the look of a small gen crown sitting "loose" in between its CGs...looks way better (in my eyes) with the rep crown. The movement will be changed with a swiss 2893. I don't care if the sweep is correct...my main concern is the realibility and I had too many problems with the asian GMT module in the past. I'm not sure if I have to change the bezel assembly. It's working fine and looks decent enough to my eyes (which aren't the best lately I have to admit ). What you guys say, especially about the bezel assembly?
  15. Recently I purchased 6202(from local market), 1680(intime), 1675(local market). Those 3 stunning watch all had been vintatage finished. 6202:sanded and faded,dot patina,dirt hand. 1680:sanded and faded to gray,yellow patina, grey with bit pink hand. 1675:faded,nipple yellow patina, dirt hand. Thank you for watching and give me some advice to make it much more better. Lost phone after 1680 vintage built.So there is some random picture of afterfinish.
  16. I recently started getting into vintage Rolex watches. Specifically the Paul Newman watch. Every time I travel to a different city I go to vintage watch stores to check out what they have. Most of you know that the vintage rolex watches are crazy expensive. Having said that how difficult is it to build a new perfect vintage Paul Newman Rolex? I know there are a few different color options and of out of those which is the coveted among the Paul Newmans? I have a few genuine rolex watches and just now have done more and more research on forums like this. I dont think I will ever buy a genuine watch again given that several websites have great replicas. I would rather pay a couple hundred dollars than $8,000+. Let me know what you guys think and if any of you members has any vintage Paul Newmans youre looking to get rid of I would be interested. Thanks.
  17. Hi Gents ! For those of you interested in 50'Subs and their evolution, here are few shots borrowed from P. STAHL Instagram, about one of his recent acquisition : a beautiful military version of our beloved Ref. 6538. Take a look to that bezel, "prototype-lly" made to be even easier turning around in deep water missions for the MOD divers. Big crown, "german silver" Bezel and Red Depth dial... Cheers!
  18. My goal was to build a 5513 that aged like it's seen the world. It's not about beating-up a watch, but making it believable that it is 50+ years old. I guess I'd call it "giving the watch it's character". It's the little details that make the difference on your wrist! I absolutely love the way the dial, hands & case turned out on this one. The dial in particular is absolutely gorgeous and the way the GILT Rolex letters reflect the light alter certain angles is unmatched by any cheap printed dial. There's a reason why a GILT dial alone on a gen Rolex adds about 30.000$ to it's price. Doing these build properly takes a lot of time, I often start work on a watch and then abandon it for weeks until I have an eureka moment about something I could do to get the look that I want on the dial, hands, case, and so on. I also lost count on how many hand-sets, bezel inserts and dials I wasted due to experimenting (so don't feel bad if you ended up damaging parts while trying something new :)). What I used: CASE: 5513 from Sead BEZEL: Phong Fat Font Insert BRACELET: Yuki 7206 Folded Bracelet MOVEMENT: Replaced w/ a low-beat 2813 DIAL: Tropical GILT dial from Vietnam HANDS: Clark's GILT Mercedes Hands CRYSTAL: Michael Young (CWP) Tropic 19 CROWN/TUBE: Athaya 700 What I did: CASE: The stock case was too round for my taste and the stock lugs slightly too thick, so I completely reshaped the case from all sides and angles (including the lugs from top, bottom & side). I re-defined & polished the bevels/chamfers several times to make them look like they would look on a watch that has been polished (but not extremely over-polished) the years. Crown guards were trimmed on the inside and re-shaped from the outside. After getting the case in the correct shape, I aged it & polished it several times over and over to give it character. Last but not least, I drilled the tube hold, tapped new threads and drilled a cut a countersink to install the 700 tube properly (without the countersink, the tube and as a result the crown will stick out too far and look hideous). DIAL: I aged the lume of the gilt dial & gave it a nice patina as I'd expect it on a watch that has gone so tropical. I also aged the dial itself a little to give it some patina that goes well with the tropical turned brown color - not full-blown radium dust like I did on another build recently (since this represents a tritium watch), but a little to make it believable that there was some radioactive substance, sun-light and other corroding factors present. HANDS: I used several steps involving different mixtures made of various minerals & chemicals and even soft-drinks to get this look that resembled old gilt tritium hands. BRACELET: The 7206 bracelet from Yuki looked like it was brand new, especially the inside of the bracelet (which was brushed) bugged me, since I own a few genuine folded rolex bracelets and a bracelet this old shouldn't be brushed on the inside anymore - even if has been restored at some point. I aged & polished the inside of the Yuki bracelet to mimic the look of my well-taken-care-off gen folded bracelets. BEZEL: It's a phong fat font insert that was aged, browned, re-coated and pressure-fit into the the bezel ring. - Note about my Vintage Builds: I often receive PMs from members asking me if I could build a specific watch for them, but I declined all of these requests for the reason I mentioned earlier - doing these vintage builds properly takes time and passion for the work. I don't think you can do this on a "contract basis". I end up selling many of my watches, but even if I start building something with the intention of selling it later-on, I build each one of them as if I'd build them for myself. So if you like some of the watches I build so much that you want one, I appreciate the trust and I'm definitely flattered, but I'd ask you to not PM me and ask me to build a specific watch for you. I'll put up whatever I decide to sell in the Sales Section. Eye-candy:
  19. Hey all !!! Today I want to introduce my last mod, a ROLEX Red Submariner 1680 Tiffany. I hope you enjoy it Case: The cheap variant 1680 (dg 2813) by Sead. Crown and Tube: Athaya 702. Bezel Insert: Yuki. Movement: ETA 2846. Dial: GEN Singer stamped dial, custom printed and Refinishing. Hands: Yuki aged. Plexi: 25-127 "CLARK".
  20. I guess the addiction went on .. these are some of the pics of what i have done for this month . Hope u guys like it . No 1. GPFF / GB KW 6152 A6497 No 2. MM 3646 Silix A6498 ​ No 3. RP River Hornlug A6497 No 4. MMRP River Welded Lug 3602 No 5. MM Jackson 6152 A6497 No 6. RP River Welded Lug A6497 No 7. Pam Egi 47mm Auto
  21. Hello friends of Vintage Watches! Here my last mod, a cheap but nice 1680 white, hope you like it;-) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  22. Just wanted to fire up a thread on a 6541 Milgauss build as I get started with it and progress through it. Wanted to share some initial QC pics of the dial and case, etc. Literally all the components of the build is en route to me and needed parts start showing up first thing next week... (Some inspiration for the build:) Dammit Slay... A genuine 6541 Milgauss is an extremely rare bird indeed with auction estimated well into the six figures if and when they even do pop up on the auction block. Accordingly, a 6541 build of your own can get EXTREMELY expensive. Maybe not a quarter mil like a gen, but still... There are few case options out there for vintage Milgauss builds and what is out there is pricey. More with this build than some others perhaps, but the case, as much as the dial, makes or breaks this project. The case is especially important because of the unique internal construction of its Farraday cage shielding the movement from potentially harmful magnetic fields. Aside from the frankly terrible budget (Cartel?) out-of-the-box versions of the 6541 that are floating around, you're left with what appears to be pretty much just two (albeit two very good) case set options: Phong or MQ. And if you've ever looked into the case prices of either, you start to understand why so few people endeavor upon these builds - Minh Q's case comes in at around $1250 and Phong's around $1800(!) iirc. So before you even start looking for dials you're already in the hole for over a grover. Damn... Now, I'm not one to skimp on my builds, but this was already staring to look like a money pit even if this is essentially a mid-shelf "budget" version of a Milgauss build LOL. So I put the idea of the build on the back burner for a while and turned my attention back to the gen-dialed 1016 build I'm working on. That is until I saw Slay's sales post with his absolutely STUNNING 6541 franken build. Slay spared no expense, MQ case and dial, gen 1030 movement, gen hands, the works... My jaw hit the ground. It was damn near perfect and now I had to build one. So I re-started my search and began weighing my case and dial options in earnest once again. Dial As luck would have it, a "new" guy had popped up on Instagram about 6 months ago peddling high end rep dials and a few cases, Tonnywatches. I started following him and was pretty impressed with the quality of the dials he was posting; "Vietnam" dials that were, to my eye anyways, on par with or very close in quality (maybe even the same?) to the dials Minh Q offers (some of the better aftermarket dials for many builds imho), but at less than half the price in some instances. I'm always weary of new sellers (who isn't, right?) but his 6541 dial looked an awful lot like MQ's and it cost about 40% of what the MQ dial costs so I said what the hell and pulled the trigger and purchased one. Looks pretty good to me; the coroner is so-so, but I have a gen white gold dial coronet to replace that one, and I'm might give those lume plots a very understated aging/re-lume. Love the fade on the reddish-pink Milgauss text and the SCOC printing/spacing looks pretty good compared to reference photos of gen dials. Certainly not "perfect" in any sense of the word, but pretty good all things considered and again looks almost identical to the $750 MQ dial. The printing is a little heavy handed and they didn't get the "crippled" R in Perpetual right amongst other minute details, but you really can't beat it for the price. Hands Only one really strong option imho for the 6541's characteristic thunderbolt seconds hand and that's Michael Young at CWP. Looks great and it's long enough to extend into the dial's minute track as per gen. The hour and minute hands, however, are the leaf-shaped hand type with the lume and I want to fit a set of the no lume all-metal "leaf" hands that were also fitted to the 6541. Luckily for me, Offrei offers the near-exact same style hands in an array of sizes and fit for ETA so they'll be compatible with my movement choice and I can get the lengths just right (like a 12.5-13mm minute hand extending into the track like the seconds hand). I'm going to remove the red paint from the thunderbolt tip and age the hands with some sulfur, acids, and some light abrasives. The below reference photo of a gen shows the style, length and aging of the hands I'm going for: Since I'm using an ETA movement (more on that in a minute) I won't have to broach the hands either (which I have an atrocious track record with). Might have been the easiest sourcing yet: a quick email exchange with Michael, payment sent and hands on their way in a matter of days. Ordered a spattering of differently sized and shaped leaf hands from Offrei. They were so cheap I was able to buy enough that I'll be able to make sure I get the aged look correct and possibly file down a larger sizes minute hand to match the length of the CWP thunderbolt. Case When I was going back and forth with Tonny about the dial, I happened to dig a little bit deeper into his Instagram and saw that he actually had a 6541 case set he was offering mixed in amongst the photos of his various small crown, big crown, etc. cases. It looked pretty good in the photo he posted and I already had some experience with one of his 5508 case sets that I had purchased for a friend of mine, so I knew the quality was pretty good and that, generally speaking, his cases were pretty gen-spec. For sure, some modifications would have to be done (lug bevels need some tlc for instance), but again the price was right especially considering the case construction had the correct Farraday cage that is central to getting this build right. All said, case set and dial would cost me less than half of what just a Phong case set would've cost me. So again, I pulled the trigger and asked Tonny for some quick QC pics before making my purchase: (Photo from Tonnywatches Instagram:) (QC photos:) You get the idea... Pretty good if you ask me, but still much work to be done. The dial/cage construction is correct and I'm comfortable re-doing the perlage on the Farraday cage back. The only thing not pictures (which is, in fact, included with the case) is the cross-shaped metal tension "spring" that seats into the inside of the case back and keeps the cage snugly sandwiched together around the movement protecting it from magnetic field variations (well, in theory anyways haha). Other than that, I'll weigh my options on having the mid case re-shaped/thinned and maybe re-do the lug bevels. Should make a good base though for sure... Bezel, Insert, Crown, etc. Some of the finer details of the case set have yet to be seen since I'm still waiting on it to show up from Tonny, but there are some modifications that are inevitable: Gen crown is an easy one,; already have a few various 6mm gen crowns in the parts drawer and a gen 602 tube which are way less problematic than installing a 600 tube which would have been "more" correct for a 6541. No question, a 602 would've been installed during a service however, and requires no broaching/modification prior to install. I picked up a gen T-16 beveled service crystal, and as luck would have it, also happen to have an aftermarket domed T-16 from Phong sitting gathering dust. I love the look of the Milgauss with its domed crystal, but much prefer the practicality of the lower-profile beveled service so it'll be nice to have both should I ever decide to switch between one or the other. The insert that comes with the Tonny case is suspect and I had already acquired a Phong 6541 insert before I got the case, so I'm going to give the Tonny insert some heavy aging for a more worn-in/beat up look for the watch should I ever want it. The Phong insert is pretty spot on; the only thing I might do to it is bleach out the red triangle a little bit and give it a good fade. The bezel ring looks pretty suspect in the QC pictures as well, but I'll have to wait to have it in hand before I can see if it's up to snuff with the shape of the coin edge or if I'll be able to properly age it to give it an older, polished worn-in look. Tonny assured me its plates brass so I'll be able to sand/age/tarnish/polish the bezel and take it down to the brass in what I feel is a more appropriate look for a half-century old watch. If the bezel construction or shape isn't good enough however, I'll just buy one from MQ as I feel his is just a tiny bit better than the one Phong offers and both are pretty solid stand-ins for the genuine article. Yet again neither option is cheap (see a theme developing here?), so I'm hoping the Tonny bezel passes muster. The case should be here in a week so I'll know for certain then. The engravings also look a little iffy in the QC photos, and if they're too are not good enough then hopefully I can send the mid and back to JMB to be re-done. Plenty of bracelet options as I've got both an NDT and Yuki 7206 waiting in the wings and picked up this really nice NOS StyleCraft 20mm tropic rubber strap that I think will look good on either my 1016 or the 6541 for a more subdued look that's still somewhat substantial and fitting for the era of the watch to a certain degree: Movement As you can see, I've already got a decent amount invested into this build, and as nice as it might be to put a cal. 1030 into a build like this, it just doesn't seem all that practical to me because: a) the Farraday cage covers the movement so you don't see it, b ) sourcing parts and servicing a 1030 movement is becoming increasingly difficult and cost prohibitive, and c) I plan on wearing this watch. A lot. And the ETA 2782 I'm using is far more rough & tumble-ready than the 1030. I found a brand new NOS watch with a 2782 that had been sitting untouched and unused in storage for the last few decades. It's in really great shape, and after a good cleaning and oiling, will run like a dream. The 2782 has a nice low beat rate, good stem height, good canon pinion height, and the same Kif shock absorbers Rolex would later use in its 1500-series movements so it should be able to handle a fair amount of wear and tear. I got a Yuki 1030 ETA movement ring to make it fit in the case correctly, and one of the only internal modifications I'll need to do is notch out the middle ring of the Farraday cage so the movement clamps can seat the movement in the case properly. The Farraday cage is 3 parts: the interior case back, the middle ring section with a small opening for the winding stem, and the dial (the bottom side of which "completes" the cage by capping over the movement and lining up flush with the middle ring section. Like the Phong dial and cage, the dial has no feet so as long as I can get the cage pieces to line up properly and get the movement with the Yuki adapter seated firmly in the cage install should be relatively painless. All things considered, once I have all the pieces in front of me the assembly will go rather quickly hopefully. I'll update this thread as o go along with each part of the build so hopefully I can glean some insight from others and maybe be the "guinea pig" with one of these Tonny cases (and dial for that matter). Stay tuned...
  23. As I type this, Aurel Bacs and his merry men are wrapping up their weekend of auctions in Geneva, and most likely patting themselves on the back for a "job well done". At least, in their eyes anyways. (100% sales totaling over $25M on the first day alone. Sheesh...) Saturday's chrono-only "Start. Stop. Reset" auction produced some seriously crazy numbers, watches hammering at prices never seen before: a mere FIVE Daytons hammered in for a total north of $7.5 MILLION. That's right, millions. For five watches. In fact, only one vintage Daytona on the block hammered for less than six figures yesterday, so it doesn't seem like the Daytona bubble is bursting anytime soon. There's was the Paul Newman "Sotto" coming in at right under $2M: Or the (gorgeous) 6239 "Medical" and its silver dial with blue Pulsations scale: Or the star of yesterday's auction, a Rolex Split Seconds chronograph from the 40's, realizing almost $2.5M: Make no mistake, these are stunning, amazing timepieces, but the prices at auction are getting to the point of being almost laughably outrageous, even to the uber-rich collectors to whom these auctions cater to. To wit, a 5500 Explorer hammered in this morning's second auction for over $20K: Sheesh. I might need to take my Explorer 5500 build a little more seriously I guess hahahaha... To be fair, I think Phillips didn't disappoint with some of its more interesting finds, both Rolex and a plethora of lesser-known (yet still amazing) chronos from the 40's, 50's, and 60's (It's totally worth it to download the Phillips app and look through the hi-res catalog pictures of all the lots. They did an outstanding job photographing the auction, no question). For Rolex, there were some lesser-seen rarities like a gold cased 6238, a rarely seen (and mint!) all gold 6542 GMT with its dauphine hands and salmon-hued dial (just look at that coin edge bezel and all-red Bakelite insert too!) and a two-tone 1675 with the sharpest insert I've ever seen: Lest we forget the black dial triple calendar Moonphase 8171 'Stelline' that's sure to break the million dollar mark later today as well: Personally though, and as much as I love vintage Tudor and Rolex sports models, my absolute favorite of the weekend was neither Rolex nor Tudor (although I was salivating over the Tudor Home Plate that sold on Saturday. Be still my heart...). It was an absolutely STUNNING Longines fly-back chrono that hammered in at a "humble" (LOL) $75K: Amazing, right? Bears a striking resemblance to the Patek that sold for TEN TIMES that amount a few lots later too, doesn't it? Hmmm... (I know I'm late to the party, but it might be high time to start looking at collecting Longines haha...) And the bonus awesome lot from today for me was one of the coolest Patek Calatravas maybe ever. A possible "piece unique" with a 3-6-9 "Explorer" dial. Classy. And a steal at the estimated $120-180K! I just think this thing is so, so cool: I'd be curious to see what others here thought about this weekend's auctions. In my humble opinion, it was a surprisingly strong showing considering the economic climate in the certain parts of the world right now; because of my day job, I know the rare wine market at least has taken a massive hit lately due to the economic downturn in China and the barrel price of crude in the Middle East, so it's very interesting to see million-dollar Daytonas literally fly off the block and 100% sale results from the likes of Phillips (it's looking like only 2-3% of the lots will have hammered for below pre-sale estimate) and their mega-auctions, with no signs of depreciation or slowing sales on the horizon either it seems. I wonder, how many of us here on the forums may be looking at the V72-powered Phong 6263s and 6239s in a very different light after this weekend...
  24. Hi Guys, I'm hoping one of you would be able to lend some expertise. I recently inherited an old Heuer from my granddad. I'd like to find out some more information about it. I've taken it to a vintage watch specialist in London and he wan't able to tell me a great deal about age or its history. He tried opening the back with a rubber grip and couldn't get in, which suggested to him it's not been opened before and all the parts on the face are probably the originals. He also said that despite the strap material breaking down, it doesn't look like it has been worn much. The watch was found in a box in a drawer in a basement and I don't ever remember my granddad wearing it so this may well be true. I wondered if anyone could help me identify it? And any rough indication of worth? Thank you in advance
  25. 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
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