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hanski

Expensive 1675 Experiment in Laser Welding CG’s

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hanski

A “budget” 1675 project is a sadistic thing - the Cartel case as a basis for modifications leaves so many issues for rework, resolution, replacement, and tweaking. The latest in my never-ending endeavor to make this watch 200% genuine has been adding material to the stumpy, odd shaped crown guards. 

I found a local craftsman who would laser weld 316 stainless steel material to the CG’s for me at his hourly rate ($90/hr here in the Pacific Northwest). I gave him detailed drawings indicating where and how much material to add - making sure the material is overbuilt. This was important, I wanted to be able to reshape and cut the material away. 

Here’s what I learned through the process: 

- The color matching and seams of laser welding 316 stainless to the case worked out great. After filing, grinding, sanding, and polishing, I don’t see areas of addition differentiated against the rest of the material. 

- I decided this was a good excuse to install a new tube and 5.3mm crown

- A 5300, 5320, and 5330 tube screws right in to a Cartel case. No retapping required! 

- The 5320 was the best fitting tube when paired with the 5.3mm 530 crown I purchased of eBay (eBay said it was Gen, so it must be)

- I used a 1/4” end mill milling bit on a milling machine to re-bore the crown opening in the crown guards. In my estimating, I thought this would come pretty close to hugging the crown with about .5mm space. I was unfortunately wrong or off in my estimate - I think it created a bit too much space. Next time I would use a slightly smaller end mill bit. Oh, an end mill bit is important since it ends with a flat edge, not angled. This allows the hole to have a flat bottom. 

- I notice the location of the tube is lower than ten on a Cartel case. This means not matter what CG reshaping done, the crown will never, ever sit as high as a ten does. Unless…I laser weld the tube hole, re-drill, re-tap…no, no, no just buy a damn Vietnam case if you’re about to go through all that. 

- I’m very satisfied with the shape and thickness of the CG’s otherwise. 

Well, that’s it for now - I’m not shelling out more money to re-laser weld and re-mill the crown opening. I’m going to enjoy it as is - a 199% gen, heavily reworked Cartel 1675. 

Here’s some pics, thanks for looking! 

czJoR.jpg

 

czymZ.jpg

 

czUWg.jpg

 

czRha.jpg

 

czkmG.jpg

 

czMRy.jpg

 

cz2oq.jpg

 

czPp6.jpg

 

czw70.jpg

 

czgmr.jpg

 

cz8RF.jpg

 

czhpo.jpg

 

czSwI.jpg

 

czd7L.jpg

 

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GC

The code has been cracked... this is the best CG shaping/addition  I’ve ever seen using a Cartel case! 

Bravo

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Jackflash

Fantastic work! The effort paid off, congrats!

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BM284

:clap:Superb effort!!! 

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Theviking

Great dedication to the cause. Well done.

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repmaster1234

Awesome Mzinski! I know RA talked about doing this back in the day but I don’t think he ever got around to it - so you might be the first. It looks fantastic, especially with the teeny gen crown. Congratulations!

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hanski

Hey thanks for the encouragement guys, I'm blushing! :blush:  I was actually wavering on posting the experiment as it wasn't as successful as I hoped but posted as a good lesson learned for whoever else wants to try too. 

Despite what the rest of the internet says about the raucous nature of this forum - you're a good group of people here! :cheerleader:

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onionbag

Yer man did a very fine job stitching those welds.

Hope your case is still flat and all alignments go well.

:thumbsup:

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Nikosaldente

Amazing case reshape!

Well done!

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McGilli

Wow...

czw70.jpg

Fantastic work.

I can't contribute anything like this - but I sure wish there was more current work like this to be shared around here - it's always so fascinating to watch.

Great photos too!

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Luxuracer

Amazing work, @mzinski

This takes case modifying to the next level.

czSwI.jpg

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TheFreckledTampon

Those crown guards are as impressive as these Crown Guards. Good work.

c1J5f.jpg

 

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onionbag

Nice alignment and the 'crown' looks small.

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JSebwc

Well done on the welding and shaping.  Looks great!!   I can hardly wait to place my order !! ;)

 

I know DLF , next door has done some laser welding and shaping as well with some equally great results!! 

 

Fantastic job!! 

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semperfi55

Very inspiring work! :thumbsup2:

You could just buy a Vietnam case.....but this way is more frustratingly fun and worthwhile :) 

 

Thanks for sharing your process.

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J!m

Oh! Oh!

Please post contact info, or PM me the info as I need some work done to one of my cases... (not a GMT)

Thank you!

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hanski
23 minutes ago, J!m said:

Oh! Oh!

Please post contact info, or PM me the info as I need some work done to one of my cases... (not a GMT)

Thank you!

PM sent. He is a one man operation. He's not a rep sympathizer or anything like that - just a professional who will do projects if they work with his skillset, schedule, and fee. 

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FoxWilde
18 hours ago, GingerBlubba said:

Those crown guards are as impressive as these Crown Guards. Good work.

c1J5f.jpg

 

Guard.jpg

 

Anways

Mzinski you're a damn genius. 

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Logixa

what... the.... fuck... holy ....fcking shit!

 

@mzinski i take my hat off for you sir!

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J!m
52 minutes ago, mzinski said:

PM sent. He is a one man operation. He's not a rep sympathizer or anything like that - just a professional who will do projects if they work with his skillset, schedule, and fee. 

Got it, thank you!

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hanski

Sigh....so if you look closely at the photos above, you’ll see a slight asymmetry and overly wide opening for the crown. It’s been driving me nuts! So I brought the case back to the welder and had more material added so I could do everything again, this time with a 5.5mm end mill bit and loads more care in set up. Funnily enough, after carefully aligning the case to the milling chuck with a small bit, when I changed bits it was misaligned! 

Anyways, I’m pleased with the results and happy to get this back on my wrist - currently my favorite watch. 

Thanks for looking! 

lgjC3.jpg


lgH4b.jpg


lgXG2.jpg

 

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J!m

I think you give Rolex more credit than they deserve...

dedpite the rumors and ad campaigns, they are NOT perfect. 

I’d do some more flattening and then polishing and go for it. Easing the sharp edges around the crown bore (edge break) is not unusual and would hide this imperfection very well. 

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