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5513 or 1680 case construction


RickFlorida
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Hello.  In my quest to see if a CNC file of the 5513 case can be made and then it would simply be a matter of sending the file to an online 5 Axis CNC service like 3d Hubs, I was wondering if anyone knows the purpose of the multiple dimensions you see on the inside of the case radius.

 

The Green Arrow is obvious. These threads are for the caseback to screw into.  Thanks to an Italian watch maker who does repairs, he shared with me that the thread size of the 5513 (and I assume 1680) is 31mm diameter, .5 pitch and the standard 60 degree thread profile.

But why do we see multiple threads/surfaces in the red area?  I'm assuming that the reason for these other thread looking parts is that in order to to create the nesting surface for the 15XX movement (the perimeter you see that has the half moon cut out to slide the movement holding screws into) they had to continue using a die/thread cutter.   In other words, all of these extra looking threads is only because they made the rolex cases on a lathe, they did not have 5 axis CNC machines.   Am I correct?

 

So if we want to just make a CNC file, we just need the movement holding space, the threads for the caseback, and of course the inner smallest diameter to hold the dial?

 

Is my thinking correct?

 

Thanks for any help.  If I succeed in making a 5513 CNC file for the midcase and maybe even the caseback, this will help us get cheaper cases. But these would be sterile.

 

midcase.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Sogeha said:

Rick, this is brilliant. I can’t offer any advice, but I love you for doing this and wish you every success 

Put me down for one please

I'll do my best.  A few things will have to happen for this to be a real project.  I will have to get enough funds to pay someone who can create the final CNC file for 5 axis machines.   And.... I'll have to figure out how to create the closes shape to acceptable crown guards before I send my Vietnam 5513 case.    My Vietnam 5513 Case is the closest thing I have to genuine but it has the 1990 thick looking crown guards.   Most people want the 1960's looking crown guards.  So before I would send my midcase to the guy to take accurate measurements, I would want to fix the crown guards or everyone will be bitching. LOL  (The picture I used above is from the internet to just show a quick description of my question)

Edited by RickFlorida
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RickFlorida,

I not only raise my hat to you, but will also bow to the depth of  dedication you have devoted towards achieving a 1:1 case!  I have been following your posts on this from the very beginning, but have never answered to any of them as I had nothing to offer in terms of helpful information.The intricate details of your aim in this project has definitely enticed me down in your list of potential buyers!  This forum has been Gods gift to the internet not just because of horological interests but above all; the members that are part of it, bringing  the best of society from all walks of life!

I understand with appreciation the difficulties you have faced and to invest a sensible and feasible amount of funds is paramount, which would otherwise defeat the purpose of the whole outcome!  Your quest to find the data on thread pitch etc, etc, has been a lot of work! Ideally it would have been easier to purchase the cheapest genuine 1680 or 5513  possible, perhaps in the worst condition and study the full details of the case having it properly calibrated to get the right data and then be done with it!  One could have easily sold the genuine and recuperated all the money back and perhaps even made a profit on it!
The other option would be to get your Italian watchmaker to do it for a token of appreciation!  I find That most Italians I have met In my lifetime can be very obliging and helpful !  Good luck and again I applaud y

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Hi Rick, this looks like a fantastic project!  Another member did something similar for the 5514 case years ago, you can read about it here.  Perhaps you and he can get together and share information?

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Nanuq said:

Hi Rick, this looks like a fantastic project!  Another member did something similar for the 5514 case years ago, you can read about it here.  Perhaps you and he can get together and share information?

 

 

 

 

I remember that project. So much potential there as here with this one

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I'll do my best.  A few things will have to happen for this to be a real project.  I will have to get enough funds to pay someone who can create the final CNC file for 5 axis machines.   And.... I'll have to figure out how to create the closes shape to acceptable crown guards before I send my Vietnam 5513 case.    My Vietnam 5513 Case is the closest thing I have to genuine but it has the 1990 thick looking crown guards.   Most people want the 1960's looking crown guards.  So before I would send my midcase to the guy to take accurate measurements, I would want to fix the crown guards or everyone will be bitching. LOL  (The picture I used above is from the internet to just show a quick description of my question)

Sounds good, great effort.
I wouldn’t bother the fatter cgs as most people reshape them nevertheless.
The more material there is in this area, the better it’s to reshape to the look you want.

I‘d do it as standard with thick CG’s and leave it, that everybody can shape its own CG’s to his preferences- PCG/SCG/ standard.

And sorry that I couldn’t help you out about the measurements fella.

Cheers
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5 hours ago, Mr Seamaster said:

 

 

Thanks for the replies everyone, this has been very helpful to hear what you all think and about the fellow who tried to get China to make cases for him.   I respect what he tried with the 5514.   I only want to try to make the midcase and maybe the caseback plus I want to eliminate the need to depend on those factories overseas.   I'll keep posting any updates but I don't think real progress would be until summer.   The purpose of this post is really just to share my idea.  

 

By the way, does anyone know the exact dimensions of a 15XX no date movement with the dial? Or what is the thickness of a dial and the thickness of the 15XX movement and I can just combine them?   It's awkward measuring the inside of the case so having the exact dimensions of a 15XX movement with the dial will help me a lot.    I know dials are 26mm in diameter but not sure of their thickness.

Edited by RickFlorida
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I sent RickFlorida a reply by PM and here are the basics:

 

Afaik the thickness of the calendar spacer is the only difference, and there are two or three different spacer thicknesses...date, GMT etc. and no date models do not have a spacer at all.  The only difference in the 1520 and 1570 is the flat hairspring on the 1520 and the overcoil hs on the 1570, the plates are basically the same.  For example, you can swap a 1525 date movement into a case made for a 1575 date movement since everything except the escapement is the same, date works and all.  The main plates are basically the same except for hack vs non hack.  Hack movements have a groove machined in the main plate for the blade type hack lever to lay in with a threaded hole for the haklev mounting screw.

 

"Are all 15XX movements 28.5mm by 5.75mm without a date?" 

 

According to my rlx manuals all 15xx no date movements are 5.75mm thick.

The only way to get super accurate measurement info is to find a 15xx movement with an oem spec dial and measure them with a precision digital caliper.  There is a step on the outside of a 15xx movement and you need to take that into account as well as noting how thick the step is and how far the step is from the bottom of the movement etc.  You need to do this yourself and not depend on second hand measurements.  In other words, 'you have to see it in order to measure it.'

 

"...what is the thickness of a 26mm rolex dial for submariner?"

 

Most oem vintage dials are .4mm+/-.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks again everyone, especially Automatico.

 

So I have a new question I need to work on before I try to get a CNC file made.  One thing I didn't realize is that the rolex screws slip under the first radius (that the half-moon cut out shape for the screws).  So the threads that seem to go all the way down inside the midcase even after this half-moon shape radius are more important than I thought.   I assume the threads are there due to how the half-moon shape radius is created.   The diameter of these threads (if that's what they are) is smaller than the diameter of the caseback.   So now I think I have to discover what these threads are dimension-wise.    I only have an MQ case but it does have the half-moon shape and fits 15xx so I should be okay if the reverse engineering is done on this.

 

Does anyone have any other knowledge of these inner threads from the half moon shape to where the dial sits?

cased with screw hightlight.jpg

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On 4/23/2020 at 3:13 AM, Nanuq said:

Hi Rick, this looks like a fantastic project!  Another member did something similar for the 5514 case years ago, you can read about it here.  Perhaps you and he can get together and share information?

 

 

Does anyone have his email address?  I tried to message him through this Forum but it says he can't accept messages so I don't know how to contact him.  Thanks.

 

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8 minutes ago, Sogeha said:

I can’t give that out, but I guess I can forward a message or ask him to contact you

Thanks. All I want to ask him is how did he or his case maker figure out the threading that start where the movement screw sits (the half moon shaped cut out).  The threads from there to where the dial sits.  I figured out the caseback threads but it then steps down to a smaller diameter.   It's really hard to figure out how these threads were made.  Maybe he has drawings?  By the way, the picture is just from the internet for quick reference, it's not mine.  Maybe he can give the contact information to the company that made his cases? Whatever is easiest or comfortable with him.

Edited by RickFlorida
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Thanks.  I'm not trying to be cheap or lazy.  My plan is still to have a guy 3D scan and reverse engineer my case but I feel like if I don't write down what the thread profiles are, they will get it different or wrong.   So having all the data I can before hand will help verify.

 

Supposedly, the 3D scanning that some people can do on Fiverr.com is up to .05mm accuracy.    I asked one of them which scanner they would use and it checked out. But they would still have to reverse engineer it and put in the CNC software what size and profile the threads are so I'm kind of worried that if I don't know all the original thread profiles, it will be slightly different when reverse engineered.    I guess if the scanner is accurate to .05mm it will be okay but I figured why not ask people before hand.

 

I thought I was all done when I got the gold nugget of information that the case back threads are 31mm by .5 pitch by 60 degree profile.  Then I realized there are even stranger threads when you get to where the movement sits!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some updates yes.  They are good and bad.  The good is that I'm learning a lot about how this is done and possible. There are tolerance terms like "constrained" and many different technologies that I didn't even know for how to reverse engineer.  The bad news is that it's rather expensive.  (Some quotes were 3600 dollars).  I did get some quotes as low as 600 dollars to reverse engineer but what I'm worried about is that once I pay to have it reverse engineered, what if I find out the cost to have a single case made from the CNC file exceeds the 600 dollar cost from Rubywatch or MQ?   Although there is the danger they may stop making cases like everyone else has.  (Yuki stopped making 5513's, Phong and his son are impossible to reach right now, etc.)  

 

Sadly, the most eager and lowest cost engineer I found who wants to replicate my sterile MQ case is in Slovenia and the shipping costs due to pandemic make the cost 137 dollars just to ship the small case to him!  That's one way!  Russia is still air mailing things cheap as i bought a Vostok watch and shipping was 9 bucks last week. But every other country wants incredible shipping costs.  So I'm trying to keep my reverse engineer quote in the USA where I am.    I found a guy who will do it for 450 for just the midcase.  I'm still hesitant until I talk to another guy next week so stay tuned.  Once I know what the cost to have one made from the file is, then I'll be more likely to find the money to have the reverse engineering done.

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I have not been visiting this site that much in the last year, but this looks like a very nice and interesting project to follow. I had bought the last of the HH 5514 cases back then, and used it to build my first (and most expensive) uber franken with the help of some very nice members here. It has been my daily wearer since then.

 

You are doing an amazing job. Love to see what comes out of it.

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"Some updates yes.  They are good and bad."

"There are tolerance terms like "constrained" and many different technologies that I didn't even know for how to reverse engineer." 

 

From the 'net:

"An example of someone constrained is a criminal in handcuffs."  Dam n.   :shutup2:

 

In order not to spend/lose a lot of $$, I would find some 5512/13 cartel cases made close to genuine and modify them to be as close to genspec as possible.  That is most likely what you get when you pay $600 to $1500 for a Vn etc case.

The case blanks have to come from somewhere and my guess is they are cartel blanks costing maybe $25 or $35USD each.  Maybe they stamp case blanks out in Taiwan too, do not know.  Add $200 or $300 for modifying and you have the same $600 to $1500 case.

 

Q...What is so hard about locating suitable cases?

The Dirty Dozen:

1...Finding cases made with proper case backs (gasket in the case back, not the case).

2...Finding cases with stamped numbers/letters in the case backs...engraving them does not look right.

3...Correct 'rehaut' (reflector) size and spec.

4...Correct case neck diameter. 

5...Correct dial seat and dial window specs.

6...Correctly sized inner bezel and outer rotating bezel that will accept oem spec crystals and inserts.

7...Correct 'droop and shape' to crown guards, many cartel cases are not right.

8...Lug holes in the right location to accept oem spec hoods.  Also not too high or low so the spring bar holes will not be too close to an edge.

9...Enough metal inside the case to allow machining to accept a 15xx rlx movement.  This is usually not a problem because almost all cartel cases are made for Miyota clones or ETA 28xx that are 11.5 ligne size, rlx 15xx is 12.5 ligne.

10...Correct case tube threads and machining for the gasket on the case where the case tube seats against the case.

11...Proper engraved numbers/letters between the lugs cut with a pantograph...no lasers  etc.

12... The hardest part of all:  You might lose your a$$.  :cry:   

 

A guy I know had private label watch cases, bracelets etc made in China years back...a lot of hassles.  Word is you don't always get what you pay for.    

I saved a couple from back then (2004/5 iirc)...about 45mm, swiss ETA 28xx, sapphire etc...they have a panerai vibe.

Found a pic of one in an old 'for sale' ad in WUS...mine are like the watch on the left.

 

Image result for iw marine diver

 

Blasts from the past:

 https://rwg.cc/topic/69328-ndtradingvietnamese-watch-cases/#comments

https://rwg.cc/topic/144341-replacement-case-for-sub-1680/

https://rwg.cc/topic/158972-5513-case-for-1680/

 

Look up highoeyazmuhudee's trip down the rabbit hole when he had cases made. 

 

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10 hours ago, RickFlorida said:

Some updates yes.  They are good and bad.  The good is that I'm learning a lot about how this is done and possible. There are tolerance terms like "constrained" and many different technologies that I didn't even know for how to reverse engineer.  The bad news is that it's rather expensive.  (Some quotes were 3600 dollars).  I did get some quotes as low as 600 dollars to reverse engineer but what I'm worried about is that once I pay to have it reverse engineered, what if I find out the cost to have a single case made from the CNC file exceeds the 600 dollar cost from Rubywatch or MQ?   Although there is the danger they may stop making cases like everyone else has.  (Yuki stopped making 5513's, Phong and his son are impossible to reach right now, etc.)  

 

Sadly, the most eager and lowest cost engineer I found who wants to replicate my sterile MQ case is in Slovenia and the shipping costs due to pandemic make the cost 137 dollars just to ship the small case to him!  That's one way!  Russia is still air mailing things cheap as i bought a Vostok watch and shipping was 9 bucks last week. But every other country wants incredible shipping costs.  So I'm trying to keep my reverse engineer quote in the USA where I am.    I found a guy who will do it for 450 for just the midcase.  I'm still hesitant until I talk to another guy next week so stay tuned.  Once I know what the cost to have one made from the file is, then I'll be more likely to find the money to have the reverse engineering done.

Shipping fee is shocking expensive these days but still possible. Not for every countries though. Attempted to send a book to my friend in Mexico was told not possible. Tried to purchase something from Germany, sellers told me shipping is not available until further notice.😪

 

Have you spoken to anyone from homageforum or RWI about 5513, some guys there are very talented and knowledgeable. Perhaps team up with them might not be a bad idea. 

3 hours ago, automatico said:

9...Enough metal inside the case to allow machining to accept a 15xx rlx movement.  This is usually not a problem because almost all cartel cases are made for Miyota clones or ETA 28xx that are 11.5 ligne size, rlx 15xx is 12.5 ligne.

 

I am very interested to know who can machine the inner of the cartel case to accept gen movement and do case engraving as well. Care to share? 

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"I am very interested to know who can machine the inner of the cartel case to accept gen movement and do case engraving as well. Care to share?"

 

Machining the inside of a case is not too hard to do if you have a small precision lathe and a genuine case to get the interior specs from...and are skilled in grinding special cutting bits for the job.  Most (can not say if all) cases will have a shoulder cut in them where the movement seats when installed in the case.  This shoulder is the only thing much different from the average cartel etc. case as the cartel cases are usually made so the movement is secured by the dial at the front of the movement and case clamps/screws on the back side.  This shoulder basically acts to keep the movement secured in the case on the front side without having to rely on the dial being pressed against the front of the case.  Original rlx cases have a cutout for the case screws to pass through on one side and the screw on the other side of the movement passes by where the notch is cut for the case tube.  Without the shoulder for the movement to mount against, the dial would be scuffed when turning the movement to line the stem up.  If you look up the dimensions of a rlx 15xx movement on Ranfft you will see two outside diameter numbers (28.2mm  &  28.5mm)...the smaller one is for the nominal OD and the other is for a shoulder made on the movement to seat against the shoulder in the case.  ETA 28xx movements are 25.6  &  26.0mm.

You can tell what I am talking about by looking at a genuine vintage case made for a 15xx movement.

 

"...who can machine the inner of the cartel case to accept gen movement..."

 

A few members on the forum can do this type of work but it will probably not be cheap because it is a genuine hassle to do and there is always the chance of making a mistake and having to reimburse the case owner.  One mistake can cost $$$...that is why people who can do it either say No! or charge a lot.

 

Case engraving is specialized and in order to duplicate the letters and numbers you need a pantograph type engraving machine and proper font to match the original type.  I have a jeweler friend who has an old Hermes engraving machine and he can duplicate the letters and numbers between he lugs.  The catch is he runs me out of his shop if I mention it after I conned him into engraving a few cases.

Q...How much does it cost?

A...My jeweler friend did it free.  Otoh I have heard Phong may charge up to $300.  T? or F? 

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15 hours ago, automatico said:

"Some updates yes.  They are good and bad."

"There are tolerance terms like "constrained" and many different technologies that I didn't even know for how to reverse engineer." 

 

From the 'net:

"An example of someone constrained is a criminal in handcuffs."  Dam n.   :shutup2:

 

In order not to spend/lose a lot of $$, I would find some 5512/13 cartel cases made close to genuine and modify them to be as close to genspec as possible.  That is most likely what you get when you pay $600 to $1500 for a Vn etc case.

The case blanks have to come from somewhere and my guess is they are cartel blanks costing maybe $25 or $35USD each.  Maybe they stamp case blanks out in Taiwan too, do not know.  Add $200 or $300 for modifying and you have the same $600 to $1500 case.

 

Q...What is so hard about locating suitable cases?

The Dirty Dozen:

1...Finding cases made with proper case backs (gasket in the case back, not the case).

2...Finding cases with stamped numbers/letters in the case backs...engraving them does not look right.

3...Correct 'rehaut' (reflector) size and spec.

4...Correct case neck diameter. 

5...Correct dial seat and dial window specs.

6...Correctly sized inner bezel and outer rotating bezel that will accept oem spec crystals and inserts.

7...Correct 'droop and shape' to crown guards, many cartel cases are not right.

8...Lug holes in the right location to accept oem spec hoods.  Also not too high or low so the spring bar holes will not be too close to an edge.

9...Enough metal inside the case to allow machining to accept a 15xx rlx movement.  This is usually not a problem because almost all cartel cases are made for Miyota clones or ETA 28xx that are 11.5 ligne size, rlx 15xx is 12.5 ligne.

10...Correct case tube threads and machining for the gasket on the case where the case tube seats against the case.

11...Proper engraved numbers/letters between the lugs cut with a pantograph...no lasers  etc.

12... The hardest part of all:  You might lose your a$$.  :cry:   

 

A guy I know had private label watch cases, bracelets etc made in China years back...a lot of hassles.  Word is you don't always get what you pay for.    

I saved a couple from back then (2004/5 iirc)...about 45mm, swiss ETA 28xx, sapphire etc...they have a panerai vibe.

Found a pic of one in an old 'for sale' ad in WUS...mine are like the watch on the left.

 

Image result for iw marine diver

 

Blasts from the past:

 https://rwg.cc/topic/69328-ndtradingvietnamese-watch-cases/#comments

https://rwg.cc/topic/144341-replacement-case-for-sub-1680/

https://rwg.cc/topic/158972-5513-case-for-1680/

 

Look up highoeyazmuhudee's trip down the rabbit hole when he had cases made. 

 

I totally understand your logic and agree that it's more cost effective to try and modify Cartel cases.  But I don't believe that's really possible anymore and please let me know if I'm wrong.  I thought I heard that the new Cartel 5513 cases don't have genuine spec crystal "necks".  (the part that is around 28.2 mm for the rystal).  I also find it hard to imagine that the inside of the case can really be machined to not only fit the 15XX movements but to also have the right stem height.  Since Cartel cases use movement rings and rolex cases do not, there must be a lot more "slop" and space inside the cartel case.   It's hard for me to hope that you could ever get the right stem height.  But like I mentioned before, I could swear that the new cartel cases for 5513 have non genuine size crystal necks.   We don't really have a choice anymore to build 5513's.    What's really really frustrating is I see a butt load of aftermarket seiko diver cases being made in high quality and for as little as 37 dollars.       It cant' be this hard to make a 5513 case and I think with determination we can hopefully once day solve this problem.  :)

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"I totally understand your logic and agree that it's more cost effective to try and modify Cartel cases.  But I don't believe that's really possible anymore and please let me know if I'm wrong."

 

You are right if what I have read recently about many cartel cases being out of spec on the basic dimensions.  After MBW/MBK cases disappeared, affordable high spec replica cases are rapidly becoming history.

 

"I also find it hard to imagine that the inside of the case can really be machined to not only fit the 15XX movements but to also have the right stem height."

 

Some cases are better suited to making a 5512/13 and some are closer to a 1680 case depending on how it is machined inside and where the stem enters the case.  One example is MBW/MBK cases are 1680 spec except for the dial size.  I do not know much about the crown being too high or too low in appearance but I put a 1570 date movement with genuine 1680 dial in an MBK case with a slightly enlarged dial window and it fit like a glove.  I never paid a whole lot of attention to crown location and doubt if I could tell 'genspec' from 'close enough'.

 

"Since Cartel cases use movement rings and rolex cases do not, there must be a lot more "slop" and space inside the cartel case."

 

Some cartel cases will accommodate a rlx 15xx movement and some will not.  Since a rlx 15xx is bigger in diameter than an ETA or Miyota clone, many cases are big enough inside for the 15xx but an ETA/myclone without a spacer would be too loose.  No telling why they make the cases too big for an ETA/myclone.  Iirc a rlx 15xx date mvt is a close fit in an old Paul/Abay cartel case but I do not remember the details. 

 

"What's really really frustrating is I see a butt load of aftermarket seiko diver cases being made in high quality and for as little as 37 dollars."

 

They probably cost close to the same to make except...

The cheapo Seiko cases are replacements for $200 watches for Broke-Azz 'Si-eeko Connoisseurs'.   Image result for Cartoon Beggars

The 'high spec' high $$ rlx cases are replacements for $15,000 watches for 'Big Bux Ro-lexxer$'.     Image result for Cartoon Picture of Rich Guys

 :animal_rooster:  Eat more possum.

The other white meat.

 

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