Waterproofing replicas part 2

IMG_4379In the previous post, I waterproofed Planet Ocean GMT with DG2813 movement. The ETA2836-2 PO GMT Replica Waterproofing is the next step.

Before I start, a few general comments – I looked in the forums on how to spot an Asian ETA movement. This is a comprehensive, fairly recent post. Either the Chinese have gotten a whole lot better in replicating the ETA’s, or this is the ‘real’ thing. How do I know? The ETA seal on the ebauche is legible. The + and – signs in the micro adjuster are etched and not stamped. The finish on the wheels is not shiny. Hmm… Well, whatever, this is still a replica one way or another. It certainly is not a coaxial movement, it does not have a silicon wheel or main spring (as the Omega 8500 calibre and its variations have). It is an exceedingly nice replica, though, and a lot better than the cheaper one I got. Still not as nice as the genuine Omega and the watch has certainly been assembled in a dirter environment, compared to the gen, but it is still very nice.

I need to do pretty much what I did with the DG2813. The only difference is that now I know how to get the movement out, so I will be sealing the front crystal too. I start by organising the workbench.

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I open up the watch with the Jaxa wrench. The gasket is dry as in the DG2813.

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I take the gasket out and put it into a silicone bath.

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Close the lid.

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I remove the three screws that hold the movement in place (with little washers) and the rotor.

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I then remove the stem and get the movement out (turn the watch around and tip it gently into my gloved hand). I want to make it clear that while it is true that the movement is face-down, it is (a) on a very soft cushion and (b) the movement is not running, so the seconds hand is not moving and is thus not under strain.

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I then apply G-S glue to the front crystal.

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I use pegwood and rodico to remove any residual G-S glue.

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I then notice (see the pic above) that there is absolutely no opening for the HeV. That is brilliant, because I do not need a Helium release Valve anyway and now I do not even need to close it down with marine epoxy. I now do not need the movement to be outside the case any more. While I am here, I am going to grease everything.

Prepare the silicon grease.

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I use the silicon grease and a fine brush to grease the stem tunnel, the crown and the gasket groove.

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Before I put the movement in and attach it, I notice that there is a grey smudge on the rotor edge. It was not me! I used cotton gloves and I was handling the rotor with tweezers. I use rodico, pegwood, watchmans brushes and soft cloth to remove the smudge. I was not completely successful, but it is a lot better than it was.

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Everything is greased now.

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I then put the movement in and re-attach the rotor and the washers.

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And the stem, of course.

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Before I am done, I need to apply G-S glue to the display window in the back. I do exactly the same thing as I did with the previous watch.

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I close the watch down, remove the wrapping … and realise there is a smudge on the inside of the front Sapphire glass. Doh! I know that I must fix this now, otherwise I will never fix it and it will drive me insane. OCD FTW. I open everything up, remove the stem, the washers, the movement and clean the glass. I then reverse the whole procedure and re-grease the gasket. I close the watch up and now the smudge is gone. I need to take the watch into town and have it tested.

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UPDATE. Had the watch tested. Water-resistant to 100m! Woohoo!

 

4 thoughts on “Waterproofing replicas part 2”

  1. Hey David,
    This is super helpful. Thank you for taking the time to share the post.

    My question is, would you considering doing this as a service? I just acquired a couple reps and don’t want them to fog up. Depending on the price I’d be willing to pay to have them waterproofed via your process.

    Thank you,
    R

    1. Hi Ryan,
      There is so much that can go wrong with these things that I am reluctant to work on anyone else’s reps than mine.

      Some reps simply cannot be waterproofed -> the crown tubes are too lose, because the hole in the casing is uneven or the rear thread is stripped, or the pushers do not have any kind of seals in them etc. I’ve chipped many crystals (from the force of ejection), stripped crowns and casings, trying to water proof reps, that it is just simply not worth it.

      There is no way to fairly charge for this, if everything works fine, then it is an hours work, but what if it doesn’t? You open up the watch, remove the stem from an A2836 and take the mechanism out of the casing. You seal the holes, test it, everything works fine, but then when you are putting the mechanism in, it becomes apparent that the keyless works were borked when you were removing the stem. You then remove the hands and the dial to get to the keyless works. You notice that some things are bent, so you replace from your spare pile. You repair this, then notice that the date spring is not really springy. Well, fine, it will work for now. You replace the dial, replace the hands, but one of the hands is very loose. It must have been glued onto the pillar. You then need to buy new hands. Gens are costly, reps are clearly reps. You order the parts, then wait. Get the new hands, fit everything together, but then when you remove the stem in order to get the mechanism in the casing, the keyless breaks again. You cuss a bit and repeat the process. When you are replacing the dial, one of the dial feet gets loose. FFS, now you need to solder it back on, because glue does not work, but you don’t have the equipment… etc. A 20 minute job can easily become many days of mindless, boring, soul destroying slog. There is no way to price this fairly. :). No one would be able to pay what I would charge for several days of work that I do not particularly want to do for someone else :).

      So, to make a long story short, no I do not want to offer this as a service, but thank you for thinking of me :).

      Kind Regards,
      David

      1. Okay, fair enough. I’ll just give it a shot on my own. They weren’t that expensive anyway.

        Thanks for taking the time to reply so thoroughly.

        -Ryan

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