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RickFlorida

What tool/s do professional watchmakers use to force retainer rings over 5513 crystals?

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Hi guys (and ladies if there are any here as well),

 

I have up'd my game up and got a MQ Vietnam 5513 midcase so that I can use an ETA for now with a Yuki 55XX ETA adapter and will buy a 1520 movement in the near future.

Anyways, I bought 3 different tropic 19 crystals.   The GS PA 462-66, the GS PA 462-67, and some unknown tropic 19 from Ebay.

 

The 462-67 which is at 30.48 mm is too big, when I place the crystal on the case, the retaining ring will not go over the crystal.

The 462-66 which is 30.45mm will allow the retaining ring to go over the crystal but it took a lot of force and i had to use a PVC adapter method with a vice and lots of cushioning to get it done.  I think it took too much force and the crystal may begin cracking in the future.  It passed a water pressure test I did at 10 BAR but I think they sometimes crack over time if too tight?

The third crystal was way too loose.   

 

Does anyone know which crystal works perfect on an MQ Vietnam 5513 Case?  I would order one from him but it was such a pain the ass to wire money from the USA to him that I'd rather source a crystal myself if possible.

And finally, my original question:  What the heck tool do professional watch makers use to press 5513 retaining rings on with?   I see the PVC method here and that helped but it's not perfect. The fit is not exact so it's difficult to center the retaining ring with the PVC tube method.  I tried like an idiot using a crystal press and didn't realize that the dome shape and depth of 5513 crystals do not allow enough travel of crystal presses.  It's impossible!

 

I would really appreciate seeing a tool that rolex watch makers use so I can perhaps create my own tool.  (I make jewelry by hobby and have some knowledge of making tools like presses).

 

Thank you!

 

 

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Normally production methods are finely tuned...be they Lange et Sohne...or Wang and son.

 

Reps, their fits and limits....I'd suggest is  guesswork.

They don't make anything the same size....twice in a row.

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" I think it took too much force and the crystal may begin cracking in the future.  It passed a water pressure test I did at 10 BAR but I think they sometimes crack over time if too tight?"

 

You can look down through the outer edge of the crystal between the case neck and crystal retaining ring under bright light using a 10X loupe to see if the crystal is cracked.  Look at it just after installing the crystal and a week or two later.  From time to time check it to see if it has developed cracks because the older the crystal gets, the more prone it is to cracking.

Otoh most watches will not leak in everyday situations with a cracked crystal...washing hands etc.

 

"Does anyone know which crystal works perfect on an MQ Vietnam 5513 Case?"

 

Sad to say but in my experience it is hit or miss depending on the crystal and crystal retaining ring...assuming the case neck is very, very close to 28.2mm OD to begin with. 

My DW 'submariner' case necks are 28.15 +/- and I have to use PA 462-67 or some other brand that is a hair thicker than oem. 

I have had good luck with ST and Clark bezel kits being the right size.

 

"What the heck tool do professional watch makers use to press 5513 retaining rings on with?"

 

I do not know what pros use but I use a 'BB' crystal press with an aluminum die being careful not to press the bezel on with a die that could bend or scratch the ledge on the bezel where the rotating bezel snaps on.  The 'BB' press base is cast iron and the plunger is steel so there is very little if any 'wobble' when pressing a retainer ring on.  I also have an aluminum die that 55xx/1680 cases will fit on and not move around. 

You can also use this type of press to install aluminum bezel inserts using a die that presses the insert in the rotating bezel at the outer edge of the insert.  You need to pad the insert so the die will not scratch it.

If you attempt to press an aluminum insert into a rotating bezel using a die that exerts pressure on the inside edge of the insert it may flatten the insert out and it will not go in or shave color and/or metal off.  Sometimes you can recover the bezel taper by evenly pushing the insert down over a glass Coke bottle or something similar with a tapered neck.

 

Now there are 'new' BB crystal presses as well as 'replica' BB presses at reduced prices that should work just as well.

Here are pictures of the new BB type press, the replicas are near identical:

http://www.ofrei.com/page1708.html

 

It is hard to justify today's prices for watch tools.  I bought my BB presses and dies at NAWCC watch shows many years ago but there are probably still a few here and there at reasonable prices,  you might find one at a jewelry store that used to work on watches.

Ask around and put the word out, maybe one will show up.

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Thanks so much.  It’s 28.18mm according to my cheap caliper.   The Vietnam 5513 is supposed to be a pretty direct copy of the 5513 case.  But even original 5513’s use different crystals I guess.

 

my install may work out since it’s not cracked yet ( I did use magnification after install).   I have an idea for next time.  To put less stress on the crystal, I can use the same size next time but freeze the case to make is slightly smaller and then force the crystal on which in theory, may prevent stress.

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8 minutes ago, keeper said:

The above is lunacy.

Buying 7 or 8 crystals and none of them fitting a 5513 replacement case is lunacy.  Freezing stainless steel....It’s how we install tight fitting bearings on car wheels.  If you have a better fitting crystal to avoid this I’ll buy it.  The real lunacy too is that without the right tool, it’s hard to push the retaining ring straight.   Does anyone know what tool is used ?   Crystal presses do not have clearance for the dome crystal and depth of the retaining ring.  

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Just now, RickFlorida said:

Buying 7 or 8 crystals and none of them fitting a 5513 replacement case is lunacy.  Freezing stainless steel....It’s how we install tight fitting bearings on car wheels.  If you have a better fitting crystal to avoid this I’ll buy it.

We?

 

I'm an engineer. Shrink fitting is a specialised area. The parts to be assembled are temperature controlled to ensure they are correctly sized at the point of assembly.

Not farted about with because they don't quite fit.

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28 minutes ago, keeper said:

We?

 

I'm an engineer. Shrink fitting is a specialised area. The parts to be assembled are temperature controlled to ensure they are correctly sized at the point of assembly.

Not farted about with because they don't quite fit.

Fair enough.   I think my main problem is not having a tool that fits over the the retaining ring wall and is deep enough for height of the crystal.   I’d love to see what watch makers use on 5513 or 1680 crystals to press.

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I agree..with the fair enough... part. 'Watchmakers....koffs' do your wurst.

A wee gag there...

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This is what I use. It's a 1-1/4" PVC cap (non threaded) and I cut down its wall height to fit inside my manual press. I didn't cut it very well and it still does a great job.

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IIRC that was a cap for sealing off a length of pipe prior to pressure testing. That doesn't explain the hex head. It just worked out that the ID of that piece fits nicely over T19 crystals.

 

 

Edit: I just checked and it's a slip plug. Good eye.

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Just a note on the crystals. If you ck your crystal that you use, make sure it's not loose on the rehaut. Also, when you press the retainer on, try to keep it as level as possible. If one side goes down before the other, it will usually crack the crystal. Good luck.

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^^what he said

 

Also I recommend against using the little rubber button to press against, like I show in my photos.  I use another large diameter die on the "button" side, that fits over the domed caseback.  I actually dented the caseback on my 1675 with that button when pressing on the last crystal.    :nono:

 

If you have Manly Hands like Mike On A Bike, you can do the old hockey puck press too.  Cut appropriate holes in two hockey pucks and use your manly grip to squeeze the ring on.  If it won't go using that method, it's probably too tight anyway.

 

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I too use a piece of PVC tube cut to fit, a wood piece on the back of the case, and my 4" vise. 

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I use a couple of aluminum dies I made and use a small machinist's vise instead of crystal press...

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Thank you Nanuq and all.   While a metal die would move the retaining ring better, the pvc method is pretty good.   I made my own like Nanuq.  Works good but I might make a bronze or aluminum die for the future.

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8CED065F-B8C8-4A69-83C7-A70B89B0CC18.jpeg

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Some good thoughts here, so a wee bump for those who've not seen it and thinkin'....hmmm.

I, like Nanuq, would prefer a softer material. Nylon is best, rigid but ultimately it conforms to your will with regard to form without compromise.

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If you happen to have a second retaining ring or can find a cheap aftermarket one, I simply place one upside down on the one I am mounting and then use a standard press. The second ring will not grab because the crystal is curved (usually). 

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