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  1. Benio, The dial feet positions for the 3075 are at the 13th & 37th minute marker whereas the postions for the caliber 1570 are located at the minute markers 30 and 57. I would have liked to have sent some pictures of both the dials as well as the movement, however, due to not having sent pictures in a while, I find myself a little rusty at transferring picture files over to this forum. Regards, Bob Quote:
  2. Occasionally, I'll service a watch where the movement and or case has been modified in order to achieve a goal. As seen in the picture below, this particular modification suggests that the repairman did not have the correct case back opener needed for the repair. Therefore, (4) countersunk holes were drilled into the case back in order to allow a universal case back removing tool to connect. This modification was probably rendered earlier on (70's perhaps) when the watch was not as recognized and the repairman did not consider the merits of a devaluation. I can just imagine that the repairmen felt good about his "resourcefulness" at the time. Secondly, in addition to servicing the movement, the dial had to be brought back to a proper appearance. Next week I would like to post another modified case; the Sub 6538. While I've seen a few case backs with the counter sunk holes, the needs of this Sub were unique and the challenge was stimulating. Bob
  3. To: Letsgodiving, Tools, JimSnyder, stevemulholland3, I’m not sure of the best way to respond to your questions; to send a private reply or to provide a general/public reply? A. Regarding the process involved with restoring this case, I can say that (3) steps are included. In general, the first need would be to clean the corrosion out of the pitted “honeycomb” holes. Secondly, fill each of the holes and thirdly, resurface the areas that have been addressed. Depending on various conditions, some of these cases are brought back to a degree where they have an appropriate water resistance level. The model illustrated with this post was fortunately, enhanced to resist minimal moisture/elements from the environment. At lest, a minimal seal is what’s needed to preserve the movement, dial & hands. B. Regarding the 904L steel being less susceptible to this type of corrosion: 904L is an austenitic stainless steel designed for moderate to high corrosion resistance. Various industries prefer their equipment to consist of this metal for their acid or fertilizer production needs. C. While gaskets have their vital function to providing a resistance to the elements of the environment, the surface area that compresses the seal needs to be consistent with applied pressure. In some applications, the surface area will need to be “machined flat”. You mentioned if this watch may have come from a rainy part of Texas, actually it came from France. I plan to be in Dublin and London later this August and hope to meet some of the Rolex watch collectors. D. Regarding how these repair/restorations are performed not only requires an appropriate skill level, but also a genuine desire for reaching whatever the goal may be. While my answer to the question “how did you do that” seems vague at best, my real feeling in these days for the younger watchmakers is to appreciate and embrace their trade with passion. Why, because out of this virtue, one gives the ground for three aspects to develop; pride and enjoyment for what one does, a proper maturing in the field of horology, and thirdly, a healthy growth as a business man. Regard, Bob Ridley
  4. This 6538 Sub came to me needing more than the movement & dial restored. The case back as well as the back of the case was corroded and needed plenty of help. This assignment was a challenge that I looked forward to. The need for restoring steel cases with corrosion continues to grow. Illustrated below, are some pictures of the watch before services were rendered as well as after. Enjoy,Bob Ridley
  5. In addition to Als 1908 Wilsdorf & Davis pendant watch, this is another early vintage pocket watch I enjoyed working with: 16 size Hunters case Rolex piece
  6. Attached are some pictures of a watch that was endorsed as the official supplier to the Royal Italian Navy. Founded by Giovanni Panerai in the late 1800s, and famous for its Radiomir & Luminor watches. These cases and movements were supplied to Panerai by Rolex. I understand that this style was known for its support to the Italian commando/frogmen and that this model remained low key until the actor, Sylvester Stallone, began to promote it. You will notice that, unlike its predecessor, this case has solid lugs verses the wire lug configuration; a response to the military's need for more stability in their cases. At the time these pictures were taken, I had decided to start taking pictures of various watches that came to my bench. As you will see, I was using a cut out portion of a milk jug with the hope of diffusing the light, however,dont let that distract you. LOL BTW; one of the nicest, aged dials that I've seen. Regards, Bob Ridley
  7. Hello Christopher, Regarding the turn a round time for this chronograph repair was within (3) monthes. As to the fair market value, I don't have a professional opinion for the value since I'm not a "dealer" of these products. However, I understand the value to be in the low-mid, five digit figure. Regards, Bob Ridley
  8. Having served people for the last (30) years, I've had the opportunity to meet some great people. Not just in positions of great stature, but in the simple fact that they are just great people in themselves. Along with this opportunity, I've enjoyed seeing various watches. This is my first post with the Rolex Forum and I wanted to share some of my experiences that you might enjoy them. My first post represents a particular watch that came to me last year. The owner acquired this piece in the late 50s or early 60s ,from Bucherers Jewelry Co.(located in Neuchatel, Switzerland.). He described himself as one who had prosthetic arms and learned to wind his watches by lowering the watch down to the heel of his shoe and then rub back & forth. This gentleman provided (2) pictures of himself wearing watches, as illustrated below. *************************************** Having pulled a broken watch out of the drawer, he considered whether or not the watch would have some value; contacted me, and we then began to speak about the possibilities of restoration. As it turned out, the broken watch in his sock drawer was a rare, Triple Calendar Chronograph, Anti-Magnetic Rolex # 4768 with a Valjoux 72C movement. As you can see below, both of the upper case lugs were broken from the case. One lug was missing and the other lug was available. The remaining lug, was used as a pattern to fashion the replacement lug. 3591VRF3************************************** The grade of steel used during that time was along the line of #302 or #304. Unlike the surgical quality of steel used today (#904), this particular grade was softer as well as vulnerable to water corrosion. However, in keeping with this period, we chose to go with a #304 grade steel for the sake of blending and consistency. *************************************** Interestingly, wrist watches have only been around since WWI and the interest in restoring timepieces is perhaps, at its highest point yet. Due to sentimental as well as fair market values, the owners are more interested in having their prized, micro-engineered products restored. However the services needed for many repairs go beyond those services offered in the day to day repairs for newer models. This, in part, is why we've retooled...to address restoration needs that are not being addressed to the extent that it should be. In the field of watch repair, there are two schools of thought and perhaps these two schools are primarily based on ones person (disposition). Some can look at the many demands of restoration as a frustration while others can look at them as a challenge and thus enjoy the "fruit of that labor." There is no demeaning to either school .each side has a vital function in maintaining watches as well as preserving them. Today, there remains a great need in providing proper services for both current day as well as earlier models. *************************************** Note: In the illustration provided below, the push buttons located on the nine oclock side of the case are hidden. These buttons operate the forwarding of the calendar indicators to the desired day, date, & month, whereas, the visible, flat buttons on the three oclock side of the case active and reset the recording hands. I hope that ya'll enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed going through the process to get his watch back into function. Having the opportunity to meet and help Rolex enthusiasts has been a real treat. Best Regards, Bob Ridley
  9. Seal integrity is an increasingly relevant vintage topic. Ive touched on this concept with collectors in recent years because of the value of preserving dials, hands, and movements. As collectors/inheritors, our hope is that the watch will age gracefully producing a patina that is pleasant to the eye as well a condition that will hold its own in the market place. I believe that by caring for the seal integrity can we have the greatest influence toward this desirable combination. A watch is new only once, and over time the components will age. The aging process, however, is relative rather than constant. Now that we have been observing watches over decades, we can apply these observations to the ongoing care of vintage timepieces. With respect for the sentimental and intrinsic value of these watches, I suggest a long term approach. The watch case itself is intended to function as a closed system; it should remain dry, lubricated, and clean free of micro-particles and airborne contaminants. Any lack of seal integrity will allow elements of the environment into the watch. Moisture entry has a fairly predictable outcome. In addition, other elements airborne micro-residues or toxins have outcomes, although less predictable. Over time, such elements can cause premature aging some of it damaging to the watch. They can affect the dial/hand conditions, as well as the condition of the movement. One could say that these elements are a silent killer. The Silent Killer : Elements from the environment While current technologies enable us to restore, repair, or correct most damage to the components of a movement, case, and bracelet, we have yet to arrive at a point where dials can be restored without affecting their market value. Simply put: when a dial is blemished, theres no point of return. The dial plate can be refinished but the original finish is gone. .................................Preserving the current condition of a dial for the next generation............................... My focus in this discussion is to suggest ways to preserve the dial and hand components, in order to care for what is both precious and valuable. We have all seen well-preserved dials and damaged dials. Sometimes it appears that there is no apparent logical cause as to why some dials age more quickly than others; however, this apparent random outcome is not a thorough observation. When we divide vintage watches into two broad categories, one category rarely shows dial/hand degradation (these watches have aged gracefully) while the other category reveals random levels of degradation (to a point where some are a blemish to the eye). So, which category of watches seldom degrades? ..................................Watches which have consistently remained sealed have the desired outcome.............................. I have personally never observed a painted watch component prematurely oxidize where the seal integrity was good. This is not to say that every mint dial was correctly maintained some mint dials are preserved randomly even without seal integrity. Yet in a consideration of how to best preserve the current condition of ones dial, it does seem relevant to consider that mint dials are less common. Why is this? Most, if not all dials have been at least somewhat affected by exposure to the elements. From this point I make my recommendations regarding seal integrity. In my experience, the best way to ensure the preservation of your watchs painted/lumed components is to maintain the correct sealing. To do otherwise exposes your prize vintage watch to a roulette wheel outcome where it is less likely to fare well. ........................... Care for it in the short run and it will care for you in the long run.................... In discussing this matter, weve sidestepped the broader issue of periodic service. Owners have varying opinions about service based on experience and personal preference. To proponents of the If it aint broke, dont fix it thought, Ill say Okay. When its broke the watchmaker will fix it. That is, one will fix what can be fixed. At this stage of vintage restoration, we do not have the same level of influence over dials and hands which we have over rusted and damaged movements. So, while you are placing great faith in the durability of your Rolex movements, we urge you to please consider protecting your increasingly fragile dials. The specifics for ensuring seal integrity vary according to the case model. There are 3-5 entry ports in most wristwatches: Crystal, Case Tube/Winding Crown, Pushers, Valve (Sea Dwellers), and the Caseback. The seals in these areas do have a certain life expectancy and need to be periodically checked and replaced when necessary. My current recommendation would be to have the seal integrity of your vintage watch tested. Determine whether or not there is current entry, and evaluate all possible points of entry to determine the need. Then, address the soft spots on an as-needed basis; replace components with an eye to maintaining the market value as well as enhancing integrity until the next scheduled maintenance. This process will greatly increase the likelihood of a watch that will age with grace. Best regards, Bob Ridley
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