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Theviking

Aging a Cartel Rolex Deep Sea 1665 lessons learnt

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Theviking

I decided to have a crack at making a vintage cartel. Spured on by work and tutorials from @NCRich and  @repmaster1234 . Before I started this I had minimal watch modding experience (except for a cheap auto from eBay that I fiddled with), but I'd watched a load of videos online, tutorials from RWG and other rep/Gen forums. Apologies for lack of photos.

I started with a cartel from Marvelous Replica

aAek27y.jpg

And a set of basic tools from Cousins.

I took the movement out, no problem, getting the retaining ring off was a pain in the ass, but doable.

5ZShndt.jpg

First off I  wanted an aged worn bezel insert, the look I was after was a well used tool watch. I popped out the pearl with a craft knife and rubbed the bezel against brick and wood. Be very careful when doing this, the insert is soft metal and if bent out of shape, it is very tricky to fit back into the bezel (as I found out). In the end I used a eye loop to help return it to it's truncated hollow cone shape.

I then soaked the insert in bleach. There is lots of info available about this process and what I found out is household British bleach does the process very quickly. I used room temp thick bleach and you could see the black paint seeping off after 30 seconds. In all I soaked the insert for a few minutes. Insert done.

Next I removed the hands and dial. I removed the lume from the hands overnight with acetone and a cotton bud. The.hands were still were very shiney and I used a nail buffer (as advised by @NCRich ) to take off the shine. Be careful doing this as it is very easy to bend the hands (as I found out). To bend them back, I used toothpicks on the back (soft side) of a mousemat.

I then baked the dial. It was in the oven for over an hour at 220°c and nothing happened. In the end I placed it under the grill (broiler) and it baked it back 50 years in 6 minutes. The high heat bubbled the existing lume dots which I scraped (most of it) off with a small screwdriver.

Next came the relume, I used a vintage kit from eBay and an oiler. New lume paint is generally opaque so it covered the old half scratched off lume well. The hands were easier and a good way to get a feel for it. For the dots let the surface tension of the liquid form the shape, adding more and using the oiler in circular motions untill  it's the right size. Once you've done that dot, don't try to go back to it later or you'll have to start again. The battons/triangle are harder build them up slowly.

tVpw2OR.jpg

Dial lume done. Looks crappy here but I  cleaned the smudges with acetone on a cotton bud then used a matt clear coat to give it a nice finish and hide the sins.

I then trimmed the crown guards, and softened all the surfaces and edges with a dremmel. I went to enlarge the lug holes, even bought a dremel press and 1.3mm drill bit to find they were already 1.3mm on the cartel (I may have uncovered a racket on the vintage cartel sales). I then brushed the case with dremel mop polishing wheels.

I fitted a tropic 39 I got off eBay and reassembled with a tan nato

FW5sEI4.jpg

Thanks again to the RWG community for the info.

Edited by Theviking
Clarity, more detail.

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NCRich

Hey, that looks great!  Wonderful first vintage job!

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AskGinger

Awesome work!!!! Hell of a first job!!!! Thanks for sharing all the tips and tricks too. Looks a beaut. Get it on M2M at the Geek for $850 sharpish!!!

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judas9r

Wow! I wish i wasn't such a cack handed bodger. I'd love to create somthing like that. Great work.

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paccbet

Damn fine job at a first try! 

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repmaster1234

Great work @Theviking! I look forward to seeing your further work :D 

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FoxWilde

I envy the people on this forum who can crank out incredible works like this.

Well done mate

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Theviking

Thank you all for more kind words, I couldn't have done it without you all.

Now the sun has finally come out I thought I should add a few more shots (the key for getting better photos). The lume shot has not been touched up in any way and just looks fake, it's bright (as you'd hope with such thick new lume), I guess my phone camera settings went nuts.

cGPi4ZI.jpg

fbrTqU8.jpg

w9ZKUvF.jpg 

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ElvisFreak

nice results.

 

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