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Hi folks, I'm a newbie here so apologies if this is a thread that has been exhausted but some of the threads I've managed to find seem quite old. I own a genuine GMT master 6542 that I inherited form my dad. It was fitted (still is) with a steel smooth bezel from A Rolex Milgauss 6541 after the original bakelite bezel disintegrated. I've tried without success to find a genuine replacement bezel set due to the rarity of such a piece, as you can probably understand. I have come to the conclusion that the only way I can get the watch looking right is to try and source a high quality after market bezel to give the watch back some of its originality, albeit not original . I'd be grateful to any members if they could share some of their knowledge and experience to point me in any direction where I might be able to source one. I'd be very grateful. Thanks in anticipation, Pete. I've attached a picture of said watch. PS The strap is not original and I know I should screw the crown in. 

Edited by Pete Sinclair
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Many thanks folks for the very helpful suggestions. I'll wait to see what else comes through before deciding which way to go, thanks again I'm grateful Pete

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What a nice watch, it'll look good with a nice aftermarket bezel. Post pictures once it's installed! :) 

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What a stunner! A good aged Bakelite insert and well-brassed bezel will knock it outta the park, and be consistent with the age of the piece.

I'd like to also recommend you pick up a 7206 riveted folded Oyster band. Rubywatch has them; from her photos they look very accurate, and they're appropriate for a 50s piece.

Congratulations! Your dad had fine taste and knew how to take good care of his watch. You also might find a VERY high demand for a genuine Milgauss bezel ring. They're rare as hen's teeth.

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Hi Nanuq thanks for your kind words, I guess he didn’t really know what he had at the time but 60 years after it was made (1958) who’d have thought.Just a shame he didn’t hang in to the bezel as I’d dearly love to keep it as original as possible  but when the bezel insert broke in the late 60s early 70’s he couldn’t have known the implications  so discarded it. I can’t prove it’s from a Milgauss but it would have been end of the 60’s early 70’s when he replaced the bezel with the current one. His amateur Rolex watch dealer friend sourced it , I’m given to understand that the 6541Milgauss and the 6542 have the same size case , so it would fit, but I have no papers to prove either way unless it has markings underneath but on the balance of probabilities I’d say it is. Thanks for the advice about the bracelet I was made aware on another forum that that’s the best period bracelet to have. Thanks again , kind regards Pete

Edited by Pete Sinclair

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Hi Pete,

 

Funny running into you here.  I was just reading your post over in the Rolex Forums about your watch yesterday and thought that the smooth bezel looked great on it.

You are incredibly fortunate to own an original 6542  Most of us here can only dream!!   We do however enjoy building our own watches from both gen and aftermarket parts.  We do it out of the love for the various makes and models and our interests in horology.  We are a very friendly and helpful community   The scene here is not as shifty and shady as some tend to think 

 

I have  a bezel assembly from NDT Trading. on my 6542  

Its a pretty accurate example as the numerals are narrower and the lume actually glows 

http://ndtradingcorp.com/view-290-one-ser-bezel-insert-rolex-gmt

 

Here is a photo of my piece for reference 

 

 

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Hi JSebWC, wow that looks incredible ! If thats not an original dial that also looks amazing too. Thanks so much for the link I'll look into it. I had no idea you could get such amazing pieces. In an ideal world I'd like to get the real thing but prices are sky high. I'm not a collector and not interested in the watch being put away in a cabinet they're made to be warn and cherished in my opinion. Kind regards Pete

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Hi Pete, you're touching on a very common topic with this... what do we do when the supply of NOS genuine parts runs out?

 

I've got a 6536/1 Submariner from 1958 and spent many years sourcing the pieces to put it back to as-new condition (plus a lot of accumulated wear).  My original bezel was so worn, there was NO lip remaining to hold an insert.  I started the search and finally found a genuine NOS bezel, and paid dearly for it... and discovered the hard way that it fit the 6538, with a different diameter.  I sold it on (someone got a screaming deal) and kept looking for a genuine 6536/1 part.  I have yet to find one.  But I did find several aftermarket bezels that ranged from terrible to pretty darn good.  So I kept the best one, an extremely generous friend sent me a vintage fat fonts insert, and voila' the Sub was reborn.  To my eye it looks exactly like the genuine piece, so I'm happy.

 

Now the question: what will the boys on TRF and VRF say when their vintage bezels pop off (they are soft metal and they do get loose) and they're unable to find a replacement?  Now, they look down their long nose and sniff at "replica" watches that have one aftermarket part.  What will their song be when their favorite vintage piece loses its bezel?  Will it become an unwearable paperweight, or will they follow the path I did?  At what price are we willing to accept that good aftermarket parts are just as good as genuine?

 

And so here we are at good old RWG.  We're willing to accept gens, frankens and nasty cheap $100 replicas.  In the end these are just wrist watches.  It's the meaning our hearts give them, that make them valuable.

 

Do some searching for threads by freddy333 and cc33 about bezels.  They've posted some high def photos showing the pieces available from different suppliers.  Suppliers and factories do change though, so you may be starting from scratch.  You also might try contacting Mary, she has her own parts subforum here.  She is amazing... tell her exactly what you want and chances are she can find one for you.  Be kind and gentle with her, she's a treasure.

 

Good luck!

 

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Wow that’s a beautiful thing I’m sure you’re rightly proud of it . Its just as well that there are passionate people like yourselves and others on this site that  try and keep the history and dream of owning a genuine or faux Rolex alive. Don’t get me wrong I know that collectors are passionate and have a great love of these watches just the same  way but we can’t all own a genuine watch and what’s wrong with coveting one whether a franken Rolex or made up . People spend lots of time and a lot of money to achieve that dream, what’s wrong with that? There’s nothing sneaky or underhanded about it and it shouldn’t be sneared at ( unless an attempt to pass one off as genuine) of course. What I’ve seen on here is a real passion of people wanting to have a beautiful timepiece on their wrist and being prepared to put in their hard earned cash to do it . It’s funny, I was thinking the same thing as you,  what happens when all the originals are snapped up by collectors?  I personally don’t get the fascination for patina where it’s to the point of lume flaking off and dials faded to a point that they’re almost unreadable. It’s strange you can restore a masterpiece, a vintage or classic car , furniture correctly and it will add value , but for most, but not all, if you touch the dial or hands of a vintage watch it undermined its integrity and devalued it. As I’ve said a watch is to wear and to cherish, not to lock away or be too frightened to wear in case the fragile bakelite breaks. I wonder what will happen when the supply completely dries up too, will genuine watches with refinished or restored dials be the next big thing and best option for collectors, time will tell? It’s an immotive subject which seems to divide the vintage watch community. All I know is a Rolex watch is to be worn, looked at, admired, loved and cherished. I’ll get off my soap box now! Kind regards Pete

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My watch has been modded this week by Tripdog. Maybe he can help you out.

The two pictures with the watch on the leather strap are before modding, the other pictures I received yesterday from Tripdog.3b5edf6a6a93137f76c1e1004702378a.jpg7a4bad0517a490c5d23347d3abbc8777.jpg2244ecb356ab6e5061b2cb5b15da9a17.jpga1c857ca2ae3112216704806b5da69b1.jpg2e863a3901d41248e097ba126290da4b.jpg6b664029cd978da0332943a5537e2859.jpg63c0efb26b025671c1d0796b2d44de19.jpgc4c9c6c1fec171c12187acaba98797b1.jpgf308519d2bf91c0d32516cb064d2f425.jpg

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G960F met Tapatalk

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@JSebWC Is NDT back in business? I seem to remember from a good time ago that NDT was out of the game. 

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[mention=75572]JSebWC[/mention] Is NDT back in business? I seem to remember from a good time ago that NDT was out of the game. 


I am not too sure. I assumed they were. I bought my bezel a few years back. Late 2016 iirc.


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Hi guys, their website is still up and running. I’ve emailed them today for prices availability. I’ll let the forum know I’d I hear back, regards Pete

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Hi Replica01 nice looking watch, what mods did you get done.

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Hi Replica01 nice looking watch, what mods did you get done.
The watch is originally a Yodog build. All parts of the watch, except the movement, were reworked, aged and patina added by Tripdog. The watch is on its way home right now. Can't wait!

Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G960F met Tapatalk

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I have both. Click on the link in my signature for details. 

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Hi JSebWC, wow that looks incredible ! If thats not an original dial that also looks amazing too. Thanks so much for the link I'll look into it. I had no idea you could get such amazing pieces. In an ideal world I'd like to get the real thing but prices are sky high. I'm not a collector and not interested in the watch being put away in a cabinet they're made to be warn and cherished in my opinion. Kind regards Pete

 

 

Thanks Pete!

 

It’s a complete rep build. The dial is hand made by a fellow modder here using actual gold leaf. It’s stunning in person.

 

I nodded my insert over the weekend. It sat too high up the side of my crystal so I sanded down the top until it was at the correct profile and the added some contour. The. A little bit of polishing to bring it back to a satin look. Now the insert has a closer look to Gen

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Have you decided on an bezel assembly yet ? Have you heard back from any of the Asian suppliers ?

 

 

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You can not fault Trip with his amazing work, here's mine where I have requested the bezel to have some "paint cracks". I am fortunate to have worn and seen the gen so I was quite particular with its finish. 7b4e67259edbf9ad0a34012e5a48cb8b.jpg

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk

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