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danielv2000

Where have all the franken 6538’s gone?

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Happy new year all.  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted.  One of my to do’s for 2019 is securing a beautiful 6538.  A few years back it was all the craze here led by our knowledgeable CC33 and dbane.  

 

Let’s see them beauties.  This is likely a long-term project for me.

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This old thing???

 

sunset.jpg

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Nanuq said:

This old thing??? emoji2.png

 

sunset.jpg

 

 

 

That thing is freaking beautiful !!! I think that’s the next one I want to build. 

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Thanks guys!  Not helping at all.   Me wants one!   

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This is a worthy endeavour but be prepared to pay 2 or 3 times what you anticipated.  I built a couple based on Silix etc oversized cases and they were just .... wrong.

 

The 6536 Small Crown is tiny on the wrist and thinner than you can imagine.  The 6538 uses roughly the same dimensions but it's thicker.  It's very hard to get the right relative size to the pieces.  Look at mine and Bart's ... the bezel has to extend over the edge of the case just the slightest amount on the 9:00 side and the 3:00 side is tougher.  The big crown has to clear the bezel by just a smidgen and it has to seat next to the case.  I wound up experimenting with countersinking my gen 702 tube into the case to get just the right clearances.  The bezel can't be too thick top to bottom and it needs the slightest gap underside between the case and bezel ... they're not supposed to rub.  The lugs begin the curve of the top surface at the flat ring beneath the bezel, and are already curving down and away as they appear beneath the coin edge.  Most cases extend the flat surface out too far before they begin the curve.  The sides are not vertical, so you have to make sure the tube hole is drilled parallel to the deck, not perpendicular to the side.  Then there's the much coveted "canoe" shape to the lugs as their tips extend downward.  Phong and MQ do this, but you have to be relentless with MQ so he knows that you know he's willing to send you crap, and push him into sending the good stuff.  He'll complain ... who cares?  Be politely pushy and do not take no for an answer.  As for the crystal, a gen T-17 will cost more than a cheap car, and it's really the only correct part.  Watch out for aftermarket pieces sold in "genuine wax envelopes", those are easy to fake too.

 

When you're done you'll have an icon and you'll be astounded how small it is.  You'll forget you're wearing it, which is exactly how these are supposed to be.  Remember they are tools, nothing more.  A commercial diver straps on his watch (or they used to!) as part of his rig... it's just a tool.  The only care you give it when you're at work is once in awhile you remember not to smash it as you're moving something heavy.  I have over 1,000 hours as a commercial diver and watches are only in the way, the divemaster is in charge anyway.  But it's a good backup.  So 6538 or 5510 or 1665, it's a tool to be cared for by keeping it clean, tested and regulated.  It will show signs of much use, and much care, and keep great time.  My 1665 has new seals and the band is stretched beyond belief.  That's about perfect.

 

Good luck on this adventure!  Make sure you get a GOOD dial and case, and the rest you can improve over time as funds allow.  It's gonna be expensive.

 

:tu:

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Can’t give better detailed informations than Nanuq, and as English is not my native language, here is some case pics.
e1a30879eb7d88b1d7e7257191e097e4.jpg0b15d64bf47cdbe691d36705bb495590.jpg

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Can’t give better detailed informations than Nanuq, and as English is not my native language, here is some case pics.
e1a30879eb7d88b1d7e7257191e097e4.jpg&key=9c0cf882f3f7a282d5d75aded7f5e62039e2efec9903738c4db5ad6b5e65fb120b15d64bf47cdbe691d36705bb495590.jpg&key=341c2dde15828d0c44a45a44876a999d2654ae45f1339dd379f5b821109142fb

That’s visual poetry right there!

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14 hours ago, Nanuq said:

This is a worthy endeavour but be prepared to pay 2 or 3 times what you anticipated.  I built a couple based on Silix etc oversized cases and they were just .... wrong.

 

The 6536 Small Crown is tiny on the wrist and thinner than you can imagine.  The 6538 uses roughly the same dimensions but it's thicker.  It's very hard to get the right relative size to the pieces.  Look at mine and Bart's ... the bezel has to extend over the edge of the case just the slightest amount on the 9:00 side and the 3:00 side is tougher.  The big crown has to clear the bezel by just a smidgen and it has to seat next to the case.  I wound up experimenting with countersinking my gen 702 tube into the case to get just the right clearances.  The bezel can't be too thick top to bottom and it needs the slightest gap underside between the case and bezel ... they're not supposed to rub.  The lugs begin the curve of the top surface at the flat ring beneath the bezel, and are already curving down and away as they appear beneath the coin edge.  Most cases extend the flat surface out too far before they begin the curve.  The sides are not vertical, so you have to make sure the tube hole is drilled parallel to the deck, not perpendicular to the side.  Then there's the much coveted "canoe" shape to the lugs as their tips extend downward.  Phong and MQ do this, but you have to be relentless with MQ so he knows that you know he's willing to send you crap, and push him into sending the good stuff.  He'll complain ... who cares?  Be politely pushy and do not take no for an answer.  As for the crystal, a gen T-17 will cost more than a cheap car, and it's really the only correct part.  Watch out for aftermarket pieces sold in "genuine wax envelopes", those are easy to fake too.

 

When you're done you'll have an icon and you'll be astounded how small it is.  You'll forget you're wearing it, which is exactly how these are supposed to be.  Remember they are tools, nothing more.  A commercial diver straps on his watch (or they used to!) as part of his rig... it's just a tool.  The only care you give it when you're at work is once in awhile you remember not to smash it as you're moving something heavy.  I have over 1,000 hours as a commercial diver and watches are only in the way, the divemaster is in charge anyway.  But it's a good backup.  So 6538 or 5510 or 1665, it's a tool to be cared for by keeping it clean, tested and regulated.  It will show signs of much use, and much care, and keep great time.  My 1665 has new seals and the band is stretched beyond belief.  That's about perfect.

 

Good luck on this adventure!  Make sure you get a GOOD dial and case, and the rest you can improve over time as funds allow.  It's gonna be expensive.

 

:tu:

THanks for the heads-up.  Having seen and held CC33’s beauty in-hand, I am entering the dark side as a willing participant!

 

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anim_nicholson_nods.gif

 

Welcome to the beginning of the loss of your sanity.

 

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here is some case pics.


Just spectacular. How about I send you my case and bezel and you make it look exactly like that?!

:notworthy:

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21 hours ago, Nanuq said:

This is a worthy endeavour but be prepared to pay 2 or 3 times what you anticipated.  I built a couple based on Silix etc oversized cases and they were just .... wrong.

 

The 6536 Small Crown is tiny on the wrist and thinner than you can imagine.  The 6538 uses roughly the same dimensions but it's thicker.  It's very hard to get the right relative size to the pieces.  Look at mine and Bart's ... the bezel has to extend over the edge of the case just the slightest amount on the 9:00 side and the 3:00 side is tougher.  The big crown has to clear the bezel by just a smidgen and it has to seat next to the case.  I wound up experimenting with countersinking my gen 702 tube into the case to get just the right clearances.  The bezel can't be too thick top to bottom and it needs the slightest gap underside between the case and bezel ... they're not supposed to rub.  The lugs begin the curve of the top surface at the flat ring beneath the bezel, and are already curving down and away as they appear beneath the coin edge.  Most cases extend the flat surface out too far before they begin the curve.  The sides are not vertical, so you have to make sure the tube hole is drilled parallel to the deck, not perpendicular to the side.  Then there's the much coveted "canoe" shape to the lugs as their tips extend downward.  Phong and MQ do this, but you have to be relentless with MQ so he knows that you know he's willing to send you crap, and push him into sending the good stuff.  He'll complain ... who cares?  Be politely pushy and do not take no for an answer.  As for the crystal, a gen T-17 will cost more than a cheap car, and it's really the only correct part.  Watch out for aftermarket pieces sold in "genuine wax envelopes", those are easy to fake too.

  

When you're done you'll have an icon and you'll be astounded how small it is.  You'll forget you're wearing it, which is exactly how these are supposed to be.  Remember they are tools, nothing more.  A commercial diver straps on his watch (or they used to!) as part of his rig... it's just a tool.  The only care you give it when you're at work is once in awhile you remember not to smash it as you're moving something heavy.  I have over 1,000 hours as a commercial diver and watches are only in the way, the divemaster is in charge anyway.  But it's a good backup.  So 6538 or 5510 or 1665, it's a tool to be cared for by keeping it clean, tested and regulated.  It will show signs of much use, and much care, and keep great time.  My 1665 has new seals and the band is stretched beyond belief.  That's about perfect.

 

Good luck on this adventure!  Make sure you get a GOOD dial and case, and the rest you can improve over time as funds allow.  It's gonna be expensive.

 

:tu:

 

I fooled Santa into thinking I've been a good boy and he came through with this...

 

 

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

So now it's time to go on the gen-spec treasure hunt.  Are there Vietnam 6536 cases?  I like a thin watch but I'm also a Bond fan - how about a 6538 dial with a 6536 case and crown with 1030-spec hands and a T-17*?  I already have the undersized strap LOL.

 

* If not gen, who makes the most accurate aftermarket dome?

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An absolutely gorgeous thread. I've been tempted at times to go down the 6538 rabbit hole as a big bond fan but these builds are insane. Crazes tend to ebb and flow here. You don't see anywhere near the amount of 1016s that you saw a few years ago now. 

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@HaydenM you couldn't be more right. When you find yourself happily throwing $1,000 at someone for the chance to own the grail part you've been seeking, you know you're in trouble.

Then it happens a second time. Then a third time.

Pretty soon you're lying to yourself and trying to make it all seem reasonable somehow.

It's all so very unhealthy and yet the finished pieces look SOOOOO good.

"Hello my name is Nanuq. I have a watch problem."

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What do Chuck Yeager, Jacques Cousteau, and Elvis Presley all have in common?

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Y0frh.jpg

 

Y09dp.jpg

 

Y0ons.jpg

 

 

No, I'm not trying to goad anyone toward hemorrhaging obscene amounts of cash into a grail 6538 build.. :whistling:

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@cheld  what do you have there?  Let's see the face of that beauty.  Look at those canoe shaped lugs, you know you might be right in the ballpark for something even more rare than a Big Crown....

 

The Small Crown Sub.  Very few have been attempted, and none with any real success besides Freddy333 and his tropical version.

 

:jumpy:

 

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@Nanuq you know of my on going love affair with my 5508, that’s a small crown

i have some 6538 parts stashed, I’m trying to tell myself I will be perfectly happy with an ETA movement and mostly failing

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