Jump to content
  • Current Donation Goals

Explorer 1016, in Depth side by side, Bonus info


Recommended Posts

A bit over one year has passed since I entered into this fantastic scene, after receiving my first Explorer 1016 (a MBW version).

Finally I managed to gather enough courage, equipment and not at last knowledge & parts, thanks to this forum and its members, to try to build (put together) my own Franken! A big thank you members (too many names to mention)!

 

Thanks to the nice posts from lhooq, JMB and a few more members, the new project was all clear to be an Explorer 1016 build, based on the "famous JMB Datejust 16200 case", including a flatter Clark Tropic 25-22 crystal, JMB´s special bezel and a few more specialities. The mission was to get a few more steps closer to the gen by keeping the budget at a reasonable level.

 

I personally see the vintage watch (re)building as sort of restoration of an oldtimer car, where most of the parts for it need to be recreated, because they are no longer produced. It is "almost" the same case with the building of the vintage Explorer 1016 for example. The whole process of gathering parts from all over the world, do months of research and talk to a lot of helpful members here on the forums, make the project so interesting. It is the road to the destination in combination with the destination (the Explorer 1016) that motivates.

 

Well, after straight two months of searching and ordering parts, patience and a lot of luck, I was forced to let the project lay aside another two months, because of a hectic professional life, but that´s a different story.

 

The past few days were so thrilling as I got the chance to return to the Explorer 1016 project and build it. It was in fact my first Franken and of course doing it was way more difficult and tricky than my initial thoughts (I had been warned before ;) ). But I knew I can do it, because of my previous trainings with vintage Seiko restoration. The more important is to keep calm even if something does not go as planned, do a new research, rethink and it will work out well.

 

Here I present you some pictures of the Explorer 1016:

 

and some side by side with my other favourite Explorer 1016 version

 

My new 1016 build (In the background is the MBW Explorer 1016)

 

The MBW Explorer 1016.

 

Side profiles (each version has its Pro´s and Con´s, but I love both of them!) *The MBW 1016 is on the right side.

 

I would keep myself away from commenting all the differences between both 1016´s, but one major difference I´d like to mention is the appeal of the crystals!

Both crystals (in terms of shape and profile) we see above, have been used in the gen in the course of about two decades, experts my correct me.

The Datejust based 1016 has a Tropic 25-22 crystal, that is gen spec.(Clark´s).

The MBW on the other side has a domed crystal that is not gen specification but is quite close to the gen domed Tropic, in terms of visual appearance (in my opinion).

 

Nevertheless I personally prefer the Tropic 25-22 crystal as it is much flatter and makes the dial "come into shine" in a different way, it also makes the dial look wider, compared to the domed crystal.

 

A question for the experts: Would a Tropic 25-22 crystal fit on the MBW 1016 case without modifications?

* (I only know that the MBW crystal bezel is not compatible with the Tropic crystals)

 

 

Bonus info on the build itself, not really a step by step, but would like to highlight some special details.

Some of the parts involved in no particular order.

 

That dial is one of the most important parts of the project itself.

This version is, in my opinion, quite a good alternative, considering the current market situation for Explorer 1016 dials (rep or gen)! It is also budget friendly. The ones of you that are long enough on the forums, would recognise what origin the dial has ;)

 

From the start of the project I knew I had three alternatives for attaching the dial to the movement, as the dial has its dial feet placed for an 1570 movement.

The first alternative would be to use dial dots (round double sided tape). Fast and really budget friendly.

The second version is to glue the dial on to the movement spacer, that comes with the case. Problem is that the dial and spacer pass/fit from different sides the movement. This way locking the dial on the movement, when the dial and spacer ring are glued. And what if you screw up the keyless works (like I did a couple of times) and need to remove the dial and reassemble the Keyless?! Maybe there are some other methods of attaching the dial in a secure, service friendly way ...

Third alternative, is to place the dial on the movement using dial feet (that was always my favourite one).

The most important part of this method is to have proper "dial feet". The experience here on the forums and on other sites has shown that no one recommends this method, because the only alternatives are the Bergeon dial feet. They are in fact the most popular, but pricey and do not have a well sized basis/head, that can be glued on the dial.

 

What I used and can recommend, are the so called "D109 Gents Dial Feet" ( I will not place any links as the supplier may easily be found on the internet).

 

Some measurements and details:

 

How I glued the dial on the dial feet? Therefore I have been looking for an ETA 2824 Main plate, luckily the member "1680" pointed me to one that was on sale for not much money.

Then I took a common lighter apart and cut-fitted the mini gas outlet tube on to the ETA Main plate in order to have a cone type centre-alignment-helper for the dial.

 

With the dial feet placed it was an easy task to centre and glue the dial with epoxy glue.

Later I had to cut and file the glued dial feet, place and remove the crown stem by holding only the dial. The glue and feet stood rock solid on their place!

 

The result:

* The little epoxy that can be seen is really not a problem as it has the same height as the dial feet head. It would have been too risky to file down epoxy glue on that tiny dial edge.

 

 

Hope I could bring in some new inspirations into the mighty Explorer 1016 Franken world :)

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you alligoat, freddy333 and Dlf.

 

In fact I was thinking of creating similar dial feet but that would have cost and be much complex to find precision engineering firms, to order,  create CAD files etc.

Did a thorough research and got lucky finding them in the UK.

They are not that easy to order, the seller´s online presence is a bit outdated. The online shop seems present but not working, payment is only wire and they seem a bit slow on email responds.

 

This may have gone for the better now, who knows ...

Best of luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you alligoat, freddy333 and Dlf.

 

In fact I was thinking of creating similar dial feet but that would have cost and be much complex to find precision engineering firms, to order,  create CAD files etc.

Did a thorough research and got lucky finding them in the UK.

They are not that easy to order, the seller´s online presence is a bit outdated. The online shop seems present but not working, payment is only wire and they seem a bit slow on email responds.

 

This may have gone for the better now, who knows ...

Best of luck!

Edit:

During my research I also found some other dial feet.

Not sure how good these are

0q4x.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with cementing dial feet is that they often fall off. At least that has been my experience. I posted a tutorial several years ago, but it may have been lost during 1 of the site upgrades. The only sure-fire way to permanently attach them is by soldering & there are tools designed for that purpose to avoid damaging the painted surface. Again, there is a tutorial that was floating around here that you may be able to locate via the Search.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks "TeeJay"!

@alligoat

During my research, at the beginning I stumbled upon "bonesey" and his nice work. He had build 2 or 3 versions of his feet positioning tool. I came too late as he had sold his little stock he had. Making a new one would cost a bit, as they are Rapid Prototype pieces (3D printed).

What i thought as alternative was that old ETA Main Plate. Found with the help of member "1680" one that sold for around 10€. Which was equally helpful and at about 1/3 of the price a 3D print would cost.

@freddy333

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I think the most crucial part of this method is the "head" of the feet (diameter, the wider the better) in combination with two component Epoxy glue. Last but not least roughened surfaces of the glued parts with rough sand paper. This way the adhesion would be the strongest possible, without risk to peel off.

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic post, blue.!  Seeing these pictures makes me fall in love with with the 1016 all over again.  Luckily, I'm just a few feet away from my watch box!

Regarding the crystals, the problem with the MBW (and almost all 1016 reps) is that the dome is too low.  On the gen, the crystal protrudes by nearly 1mm before the crystal starts to curve.  Like so:

 

i-Dbkxpx2-L.jpg

 

A question for the experts: Would a Tropic 25-22 crystal fit on the MBW 1016 case without modifications?

No.  On Lanikai's Gilt 1016 build, he asked Zigmeister to shave a Clark T22 so that it would fit the MBW.  The results were not pretty, as the modifications completely killed the profile of the crystal.  This is not a knock on Zig's work (which is always exemplary), but more an observation of how you can't squeeze a square peg in a round hole. 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you very much Ihooq and Ephry73! 

I feel deeply honoured! :)

 

That is a nice super domed plexy on the gen 1016, Ihooq!

Two years have passed since I first fell in love with the Explorer 1016. The picture on my avatar was that "love from first sight", even if it is actually a 5500 Precision, early Explorer, with PVD/DLC coating.

 

Yes, it may be a tricky part with the MBW´s and other 1016 alternatives out there. I saw Lanikai´s MBW Explorer (modded by Zigmeister) some time ago, thanks for remembering!

I also remember bumping over a topic here, where someone else, experienced in modding, had offered his MBW Explorer for sale.

He had placed a super domed Tropic (probalbyT19?) on his MBW! That was interesting too...

But I can not remember where that thread was, probably from 2011 or 2010 ...

Any ideas where that topic is, or who had done that?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great, Blue!  If you are wanting to build up something with a bit more "dome" in the crystal a T21 can be used with the correct bezel.  The T21 and T22 seem to have the same ID.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask M to post his Explorer w/T21...

 

Fitting the Tropic 21 on the 1016 was a happy accident that occurred because, if I recall correctly, I was ordering some parts through jmb.  (I was living in Asia and trying to save a few bucks in shipping costs.)  When J completed his mods on both my 1601 and 16203 cases (he was working on two of my 1016 frankens simultaneously), he paired one with a Clark T22 and the other with a Clark T21--machining each bezel to match.  The results were fantastic. 

 

Here are some fresh shots, with my gen 1016 on the left and the old Space-Dweller on the right. The crystals are a genuine domed Tropic 22 and a Clark T22.

 

i-fs8s7Z2-X3.jpg

 

Optical properties are practically identical.  And if you can tell the 0.5mm difference in diameter, you should probably buy a gen!

i-s6WSMmN-X3.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a special comparison LHOOQ and great 1016´s!!!

Thank you for the images! :)

 

I see the left bezel on the gen does not have a mini flat top section, where the right bezel has a smaller flat section.

Conclusion, the left bezel has a bigger inner diameter.

 

@StormTooper4

Many thanks! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Happy New Year fellow members! :)

 

I wanted to share some recent update I made to the Explorer 1016 (mbw version).

Managed successfully place a genuine specification crystal, Clark´s Tropic 25-22 in combination with JMB´s special bezel (Thank you J!).

 

Well, the stock crystal (similar to Tropic 21) and bezel combo wasn´t my taste, it also made the case and dial look smaller than they really are.

Now I have a spare MBW Tropic 21 with bezel laying around, scratch free. It has genuine specification inner diameter, means it will fit on genuine cases.

 

And the results:

Masked up case with the Tropic 25-22 (rebrushed lugs, removed all engravings).

 

Bezel

 

Side profile

 

Final result

Edited by blue.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...