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CptTripps

My never-ending 16520 build.

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I started this build about 5 years ago, and it's still not done.

 

Started out with an idea...build a "close as I can get" Daytona.

 

I found a NOS El Primero movement...seems like a good place to start. So that led me to getting Phong's case. Then I found a gen dial and hands...then a bezel...then gen pushers...you know the drill. I even found a genuine rotor to finish off the build nicely.

 

I sent the lot of parts off to a watch builder (whom I can't locate anymore because I lost access to the email address that we'd conversed over) to put everything together for me. He came back with a laundry-list of gen parts that I'd need in order to make it work. "No problem...do it." 6 weeks later, I got the watch back with a note that said the case wasn't drilled correctly and the pushers wouldn't engage. This really aggravated me, but I figured that Phong would fix it for me. As expected, Phong offered to replace the case, just send it off to him. No problem!

 

...then I mis-placed the watch. Couldn't find it anywhere. Looked high and low...not in my safe, not in my watch box. GONE. I was [censored]. I had about $5,500 into the build. I was upset for a few months, but eventually got over it. Then, today happened.

 

I found the watch. I'm packing to move and was digging through my "I never wear these sweaters" drawer, and there it was. Just sitting there looking at me.

 

Wound it up, set the time, and it's ticking away. But it's still not working correctly.

 

I'm positive that Phong won't replace the case now, as it's been 4.5y since we talked about it, and I don't have that email address to go back to him. I opened the back up, and can click the chronograph pushers from the inside. They click, but do nothing. It doesn't engage the second hand, or either of the other 2 hands.

 

So now I'm in the hunt for a talented watchmaker that could work on this for me. Hopefully, they can fix the movement and make the pushers work somehow. I don't know...I'm happy, but now frustrated again.

 

Here are a few pics I took when I had it on the old bench a few min ago.

 

Any ideas?

IMG_3045.jpeg

IMG_3044.jpeg

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I emailed him a week ago about something else, and haven't heard back from him. If he replies, I'll ask. Can't hurt!

 

Although, when I engaged the pushers manually, from inside the case, nothing happened. The chrono hand didn't move. I clicked it several times, and clicked the reset too. It seems like something is happening, because the bottom reset trigger won't engage unless I first "start/stop" the top one. I think I need a proper builder to sort this out for me...after I get the case squared away.

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I found the list of parts I bought for the movement rebuild. Still can't figure out WHO it was that built it for me.

 

4030-335 Center Wheel
4030-8000 Chronograph Wheel
4030-270 Cannon Pinion
4030-280 Hour Wheel
4030-240 Yoke for Sliding pinion
4030-220 Setting Lever
4030-251 Intermediate Setting Wheel
4030-8500 Bridge for Chronograph
4030-570 Oscillating Weight/Rotor

 

I sent another email to Phong to see if I can get the case re-worked. I haven't had the watch for years, so what's another month or two to get it fixed and working correctly.

 

In the meantime, I need to find a reasonably priced 78390 bracelet. Holy crap did these things shoot up in value over the last 4 years! They used to be $800-$900 and I balked at that. Now the cheapest one I can find on ebay is $2K!

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I was thinking about building a 16520 myself. But when I read how much money you have in your project... Close to what you have to pay for a gen if you get it cheap. 5.5k plus bracelet, wow.

 

And even with the rotor, every watchmaker can tell without even having to open the case, that it's not a gen. Just put it on the timegrapher and read the VpH. 36.000 with the El Primero vs. 28.800 with the 4030. Altering an El Primero to a 4030 is really difficult, because Rolex altered the main plate of the movement completely. So for me the price and effort would be to high for the resulting watch. 

 

But on the other hand... Love your watch. :throb:

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On 5/15/2017 at 3:21 AM, CptTripps said:

I started this build about 5 years ago, and it's still not done.

 

Started out with an idea...build a "close as I can get" Daytona.

 

I found a NOS El Primero movement...seems like a good place to start. So that led me to getting Phong's case. Then I found a gen dial and hands...then a bezel...then gen pushers...you know the drill. I even found a genuine rotor to finish off the build nicely.

 

I sent the lot of parts off to a watch builder (whom I can't locate anymore because I lost access to the email address that we'd conversed over) to put everything together for me. He came back with a laundry-list of gen parts that I'd need in order to make it work. "No problem...do it." 6 weeks later, I got the watch back with a note that said the case wasn't drilled correctly and the pushers wouldn't engage. This really aggravated me, but I figured that Phong would fix it for me. As expected, Phong offered to replace the case, just send it off to him. No problem!

 

...then I mis-placed the watch. Couldn't find it anywhere. Looked high and low...not in my safe, not in my watch box. GONE. I was [censored]. I had about $5,500 into the build. I was upset for a few months, but eventually got over it. Then, today happened.

 

I found the watch. I'm packing to move and was digging through my "I never wear these sweaters" drawer, and there it was. Just sitting there looking at me.

 

Wound it up, set the time, and it's ticking away. But it's still not working correctly.

 

I'm positive that Phong won't replace the case now, as it's been 4.5y since we talked about it, and I don't have that email address to go back to him. I opened the back up, and can click the chronograph pushers from the inside. They click, but do nothing. It doesn't engage the second hand, or either of the other 2 hands.

 

So now I'm in the hunt for a talented watchmaker that could work on this for me. Hopefully, they can fix the movement and make the pushers work somehow. I don't know...I'm happy, but now frustrated again.

 

Here are a few pics I took when I had it on the old bench a few min ago.

 

Any ideas?

IMG_3045.jpeg

IMG_3044.jpeg

beautiful piece. shoot me a message regarding it, I might have a case which would work. can' send you any message, your postbox seems to be full.

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Have you ever completed the watch?

My recent build, all gen except midcase:

3581c397f09f95e1e795eaa515c1f841.jpg


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Have you ever completed the watch?

My recent build, all gen except midcase:

3581c397f09f95e1e795eaa515c1f841.jpg&key=e7a215640e6f3e03f35b9d367a88d0af92bbe9020bdd47c16b12eeb20d41a682


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You put a gen 4030 in there? I am toying with the idea of modifying a 16523 to 16520 by repurposing the movement and the midcase...


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Very nice Zenith Daytona project!

I like the Zenith Daytonas best of all.

 

My Zenith Daytona story:

When I see these builds it takes me back to December 1992 when I bought my first new steel Daytona from an AD for $3825.  Later on in 1996 I bought two more but by then they were $5120 each, the last one came in May 1998 and it was also $5120.  All the prices are list prices but iirc I got a discount on one of the last three but can not remember which one or how much.  I flipped all of them without ever putting one on because back then I could always get more.  The AD got a few every now and then and when buyers on their 'reserve list' backed out they would call me. 

Time rocked on and I ran up on a like new tutone Zenith Daytona from a watch/diamond trader for $ 3300 in November 1999.  I sold it in a flash. 

That was the end of the Zenith Daytonas for me.

 

The prices I paid back then have always stayed in my mind, setting the price for the watches and I doubt I will ever own another one because of today's prices...but you never know what might turn up. 

I have stumbled on quite a few bargains in my time and it always seems like I run into the best deals when I am not looking.  I snagged a lady rlx 69173 a few weeks ago for $500 so all the bargains are not gone yet.  The 69173 is a 'ruffy' but it's a good runner.

Maybe a deal in a Zenith Daytona will turn up.  You never know.

 

Daytona 500 today at 230PM Eastern

th?id=ON.908D44096AAA76B459503E926B03D0E1&pid=News&w=197&h=112&c=14&rs=2&qlt=90

 

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On 17 February 2020 at 3:21 AM, automatico said:

I like the Zenith Daytonas best of all.

 

 

So do I !  I would still buy the original Zenith El-primero chronograph which resonates at 32k beats instead of the adulterated 28k beat which is housed by the Daytona! Have you seen the 50th anniversary WG zenith chronograph?  What a gem of a piece!

 

 I was never wealthy enough to purchase the Daytona inhouse chronograph to compare it , which most dealers claim to run circles over their zenith predecessor , but it would be interesting to see how they compare!

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Very nice Zenith Daytona project!
I like the Zenith Daytonas best of all.
 
My Zenith Daytona story:
When I see these builds it takes me back to December 1992 when I bought my first new steel Daytona from an AD for $3825.  Later on in 1996 I bought two more but by then they were $5120 each, the last one came in May 1998 and it was also $5120.  All the prices are list prices but iirc I got a discount on one of the last three but can not remember which one or how much.  I flipped all of them without ever putting one on because back then I could always get more.  The AD got a few every now and then and when buyers on their 'reserve list' backed out they would call me. 
Time rocked on and I ran up on a like new tutone Zenith Daytona from a watch/diamond trader for $ 3300 in November 1999.  I sold it in a flash. 
That was the end of the Zenith Daytonas for me.
 
The prices I paid back then have always stayed in my mind, setting the price for the watches and I doubt I will ever own another one because of today's prices...but you never know what might turn up. 
I have stumbled on quite a few bargains in my time and it always seems like I run into the best deals when I am not looking.  I snagged a lady rlx 69173 a few weeks ago for $500 so all the bargains are not gone yet.  The 69173 is a 'ruffy' but it's a good runner.
Maybe a deal in a Zenith Daytona will turn up.  You never know.
 
Daytona 500 today at 230PM Eastern
th?id=ON.908D44096AAA76B459503E926B03D0E1%26pid=News%26w=197%26h=112%26c=14%26rs=2%26qlt=90&key=c44c3e425fcf69df8dd358de3da834d0be8979168e83bc288f7396f56ff925aa
 

Your stories are always amazing mate and great to here how the watch market (especially rolex) was in the past. I thought the Daytona was always hard to get except of the 4 digit ones that were basically sitting in the shelf for long. Yet, it seems like you got them super easily? In any case at this point in time I was barely born so missed all those opportunities of course.


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You put a gen 4030 in there? I am toying with the idea of modifying a 16523 to 16520 by repurposing the movement and the midcase...


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I used a brand new Zenith 400 and bought all the rolex parts in order to convert it so genuine hands fit. No need in my eyes to change bridges and reduce the beat rate!

0e961b32eccf414e7f6775d8b084c0ff.jpg


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I used a brand new Zenith 400 and bought all the rolex parts in order to convert it so genuine hands fit. No need in my eyes to change bridges and reduce the beat rate!

0e961b32eccf414e7f6775d8b084c0ff.jpg&key=3241cbd1dfa6660df13a72f4b45e4240dd1ae48a319d33871aeea3c8d4ec177f


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Did you also remove the phantom date position?


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Did you also remove the phantom date position?


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Yup of course :)


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