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Thoughts on going Franken with Seamaster Chrono


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Gents,

I just bought an SMP 300 chrono off a fellow member here, and would like to know your thoughts on going Franken on it? It is the newer revision of the watch without happy feet logo:

IMAG0111.jpg

Biggest let down for me is the bezel pearl - if this was more accurate to gen I reckon this would be a properly accurate rep now that they've sorted out the logo.

Other tells are:

- Colour of the lume in daylight, its a touch green instead of white.

- Subdial surrounds are not thick enough, and look a bit wrong.

- Clasp engraving is not very deep like gen.

- Polished sections of end links are not recessed like gen.

- Subdial hands are a touch short, as is the hour hand I think.

So, what do you guys reckon? Worth going franken? If so what would you replace?

I've had a little look on ofrei and cousins uk and I could get genuine:

-Bracelet for £250

-Dial £230

-Hands are about £50 for full set

-Bezel £175 (but may need other parts?)

-Case £529 (including all gaskets, pushers, crown, HE valve, crystal, bezel) However the caseback will be wrong I think, old one.

I think one thing I'll definitely try and change at some point is the bezel. Also tempted to get the lume sorted out and the crystal AR'd (assuming I don't go gen dial/ crystal etc).

I reckon bezel, white lume and AR would make this a 95% rep. What would you guys do? Ideally I'd like to go for best value for money in terms of how the watch looks in comparison to gen, and cost of parts. I'm thinking those 3 things could be the way forward in that respect?

Cheers for any thoughts and ideas guys.

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The genuine hands probably won't all fit due to the asian vs swiss 7750 shaft size differences. A swiss 7750 will drop right in with genuine hands. I wouldn't bother with genuine case, bracelet, dial etc.. too expensive given you buy a real one for quite a good price second hand.

I'm 99% sure the gen bezel won't fit, however there are plenty of after market bezel inserts which will.

Also keep in mid the earlier models of this watch didn't have A/R, only later production (genuine that is), so you could save a bit there and still be authentic. This watch does look great with AR though.

Seriously consider a crown and tube as it's a weak point on all seamaster reps.

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Tough question to answer. At the end of the day only you can say if it is worth going franken and to what extent.

I would suggest only swaping those items that really bug you. From the sounds of it this would be the bezel and dial. Get the hands lumed to match and call it a day. I would wait on the crown and tube until you have problems with it.

They key is to be cautious of how far you go. It is very easy to end up in second hand Gen cost range if you franken to far.

Best of luck and enjoy it!

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+1 on krpsters comments.

I have an eta 7750 smp chrono with gen hands (6), crown and tube, relumed dial & AR crystal. Was going to add gen bezel and dial. But I can live with the watch as is. Going too far is too easy, especially with a relatively affordable gen available

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id personally save the cash and just enjoy the watch, i have the exact same model and for the money out of the box its one of the best reps around, all i did to mine was add an aftermarket antireflective crystal...the amount you would spend on all those parts plus cost of the rep watch would equal a used genuine smp chrono in very good condition-you can pick them up pretty cheap (the earlier models).i went overboard on my orange planet ocean...and regret ever doing it, looking back i would've pretty much left it alone, instead of spending almost £700 extra on parts...

to franken or not to franken is indeed a tough question though-you get a watch you built yourself, have the fun of sourcing parts etc, but on the other hand the cost involved can get silly-especially with secondhand bargains to be had...reps will always be reps-a lookalike of the real deal, perfection will only come with a genuine article :)

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Ah the old Franken debate!

My problem is if I buy a gen part to make that part of the watch look gen, then I want more gen parts to supplement that initial desire, before I know it I could spend too much.

It's a vicious circle but a Franken project is a good hobby over time, the reward of finding parts and fitting them. I know most people say 'why not save up a bit more and buy gen?' but that involves saving i.e. patience and spending more cash!

A gradual Franken over a few months is a good idea just take it easy so it doesn't sting the wallet.

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Guys, thanks for all the useful and constructive comments. I'm actually really happy with this watch now they've sorted out the happy feet. The pearl on the bezel is the thing that bothers me the most, but as some have said already - once you start modding a watch it must be hard to stop.... I guess it seems almost pointless having some parts that look spot on as they are gen, then other parts that are glaringly rep. 2nd biggest gripe is definitely the colour of the lume.

In a way I'm surprised the rep factories still haven't got these things right - I mean people have been complaining about the bezel pearls for years and how hard can it be to use the same white lume as they have on other reps (I think a lot of the rolex reps etc. now have nice white lume). They obviously take notice, I mean the happy feet on these was a biggie. But then I remember that we are talking about rep factories here... you do have to wonder sometimes if they could get things much much better - if they wanted to! Anyway, that's a different story I guess.

I guess going franken does make a lot more sense on models that are a fair bit more expensive to buy 2nd hand, like PO chronos etc. I just think with a few mods this watch could be sublime, even if it wasn't 99% accurate. On that front, I am definitely tempted by lume, bezel and AR. Problem is I wouldn't be 100% confident taking the crystal out myself for AR, and not sure about bezel changing either. I messed up a bezel removal years ago on a really cheap Seamaster rep, and I've never tried taking a crystal out (well only once, with a hammer though :rolleyes: ).

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Damn this is a very hard question to answer as I am about to buy this super rep next week from mary@watchinternational..

I have looked over on ofrei's and damn $590 for the bracelet, $960 for the complete case (Bezel, insert, crowns, crystal, gasket, caeback all) so to sum up it will be around $1800, will definitely burn my wallet.. I will really want to have these mods myself too but to me maybe just these parts an I'll be happy;

1. Bezel insert

2. Dial

3. Hands

4. proper decorated 25 jewel ETA Valjoux 7750

Otherwise, I would buy the black one, but the itch is really for the blue bond

but the blue of the insert I simply could not stomach..

Good luck mate!

Please post more pics of your watch so we could see that beatiful timepiece!

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  • 8 years later...
On 2/2/2012 at 6:50 PM, jcagara08 said:

Damn this is a very hard question to answer as I am about to buy this super rep next week from mary@watchinternational..

I have looked over on ofrei's and damn $590 for the bracelet, $960 for the complete case (Bezel, insert, crowns, crystal, gasket, caeback all) so to sum up it will be around $1800, will definitely burn my wallet.. I will really want to have these mods myself too but to me maybe just these parts an I'll be happy;

1. Bezel insert

2. Dial

3. Hands

4. proper decorated 25 jewel ETA Valjoux 7750

Otherwise, I would buy the black one, but the itch is really for the blue bond

but the blue of the insert I simply could not stomach..

Good luck mate!

Please post more pics of your watch so we could see that beatiful timepiece!

done this project as well

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  • 2 weeks later...

Post a couple of photos please. I’ve always been a sucker for frankens of Seamasters. 

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Post a couple of photos please. I’ve always been a sucker for frankens of Seamasters. 
Here you go:

In fact I'm selling mine, trying to be sober and move on from this watch collecting addiction LOLc616331220366a6f5853ab92f822debc.jpg9511c116d8b3e1ab61070c9d5f2d459d.jpgea9a1b993b7949d8ac55205daddc4ac9.jpge383d2015eb4671d145b0452681e371d.jpg981b5603ccd471763629bf05e3e44737.jpg

Sent from my Mi 9T Pro using Tapatalk

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In fact I'm selling mine, trying to be sober and move on from this watch collecting addiction


“Addiction”? If it’s that serious you need a clean break brother. Best way is to be done with those foul watches! Done with them! Make your move! Quick while you’re motivated, jump up! Do it now! Grab them all, yes ALL, and throw them in a box! Do it! Be strong! Tape that box up! Lock the beasts inside!!! Take charge!

Now mail it to me.
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“Addiction”? If it’s that serious you need a clean break brother. Best way is to be done with those foul watches! Done with them! Make your move! Quick while you’re motivated, jump up! Do it now! Grab them all, yes ALL, and throw them in a box! Do it! Be strong! Tape that box up! Lock the beasts inside!!! Take charge!

Now mail it to me.
Aha! if I was a YouTuber who only cared about content in doing gen vs rep videos, I would give it away for likes, subscriptions, and comments.

Cheers

Sent from my Mi 9T Pro using Tapatalk

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I'm in, where do I "like" it?   :Jumpy:

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