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Tropical 5512 and basic mods

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JKF Rolex 5512

Tropical dial and basic mods



Ok, here's the second watch I got from JKF. This rep shares the same case set as the 1680 I reviewed HERE] which is reasonably accurate. The main difference is in the plexi used by the factory, which sucks bad imho, and of course the lack of date mag. Everything else is exactly as the 1680, case, bezel, insert, bracelet and all. Also the lume color on the dial and hands is exactly the same as the 1680, they really did their best at the factory to keep production budget under control ;)


I then decided to go for a round of basic mods and see how this watch would look using only stock modded parts. Here's what has been done:


- Crown guards slimmed from the outside. I tried to remove the crown tube in order to be able to shape the guards on the inner part but I couldn't. I am not sure whether the tube is press fitted or screwed in the hole, maybe some of you guys knows it?




- Ugly pearl removed and bezel faded to a blueish tint




- Stock dial cooked in the oven to get a brown tropic hue and relumed




- Hands relumed to match and slightly aged. I wanted to keep the "blink" of polished hands yet make them look as they're 50-60 year old.




- Plexi swapped for a sternkreuz tropic 19 (code XS303.472), they offer another T19 which has different shape (code XS305.451). I know I already mentioned in another thread I would have followed @NCRich advice and use a T39, but once I had them all here and test-fitted them I could not resist the high domed round shape of this crystal :)




- Lightly aging on case, basically simply removed the high polishing and left some marks on the case.




Further mods to be done imho:


- Inner CGs shape is fundamental imho, then one can go for PCG or square CG or whatever but without modding the inner shape all other reshaping is almost useless imho.

- Better crown as well, I will try Athaya's once I figure out how to remove the stock crown tube.

- Better pearl, I see Athaya is offering an acrylic pearl which I plan to try, although I really like the look of the bezel without pearl

- Rivet or folded bracelet


What do you think?


And now a "couple" more pics ;)



































That's it for now, any advice on mods or any detail I'm missing is more than welcome. Next 5512 has to be a gilt dialed one :)

Edited by kilowattore

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Nice! I have that plexi on my Comex as well. It is nice too, not as hefty. The crown is screwed in on these models. I use a three sided small file inserted into the tube to remove it. If you get an Athaya crown and tube it will screw right in without drilling and tapping. It does help to countersink it a bit though.


Once the tube is gone you can use a small file to flatten out the inside of the CGs if desired.


Good looking dial and hands. Did you drill the case for 2mm bars?

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That's a really authentic looking job.


I like the appearance of the dial & the faded bezel looks great as does the case work.


Nice set of photos to illustrate.

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Thanks guys and thanks @NCRich for the advice oncrown tube, much appreciated!

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Really nice...Great work.


The trapdoor of vintage Rolex is always trying to open up, I must resist..!

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Great work on this piece looks really good, your spot on with regards to cg really important, I personally like to use a Gen T19 on mine just gives a better look imo but with stock parts you've worked some magic there :thumbsup:

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