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How I built my Franken Submariner 16610 JF

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    How I built my Franken Submariner 16610 JF

    Hey guys, as the forum helped me a lot within the last year, I want to give something back and thought it’s time for sharing some experiences with those of you who never built a Franken but would like to do so without having lots of knowledge yet. Why? Because this was exactly my situation, one year ago. Thus, please don’t blame me for mistakes as I‘m a nooby, maybe like most of you
    Of course, I already owned some replica watches during the past. But after buying some Genuine Rolex (GMT, Datejust, Turn-O-Graph), my emotion to replicas decreased as the quality of a Genuine is completely different, compared to all of my reps... Thus, I stopped wearing my replicas. Anyway, my budget is limited and I cannot effort a new gen every year. Thus, I registered myself in several forums to find the best version of a Rolex Replica (like everyone here maybe )

    To cut a long story short: there is no perfect replica - for all of you who are still asking „what is the best sub“... Yes, there is some good versions out and the makers getting better and better, but none of them can’t be identified as a replica (IMO).

    Ok, so it turned out that I‘d have to build a so called „Franken“. Therefore, you need Genuine parts. As those are rare to source, I chose a Submariner 16610 for the project. It seems that Gen Sub parts are still existing and that’s a good choice. There is lots of modders out there who can do this for you, but I really love watches and I wanted to build this watch on my own to have some kind of a special relationship...

    To start, I bought the following basement from M2M sales for 250€: Submariner 16610 LN SA3135 Best Edition V2 (also existing on Puretime). This seemed to be a good deal, but I just wasted my first 250€ (more losses will follow)...
    After reading lots of reviews about a Sub Franken, I intended to replace the most common and „easy to tell“ parts with genuine ones:
    Crystal (25-295-C2)
    Date Disc (3135-16200)
    Bezel Insert (for 16610 or 16800 or 16613)
    Crown (24-703-0 or 704 crown - work both)
    Crown Tube (24-7030-0)
    Clasp (93250 or 93150)

    As I had no tools and no clew yet, I ordered the following tools (I think I‘m not allowed to post links, thus names only):
    15€ watch press for crystal change from amazon (MMOBIEL Professional 13 )

    15€ Watch tool set from eBay (Horizon Watch Repair Tool Kit)

    100€ Bergeon 5537 Case Opener from Ebay (had luck, usually more expensive, but you can easly use a cheaper one)

    15€ Watch Case holder from eBay (Aluminium 4 Pin case holder)

    15€ Magnifying glass (Triplet Jeweler Eye Loupe Magnifier Magnifying Glass Jewelry)

    After watching several YouTube videos of „how to remove a Submariner bezel“, „how to change watch glass“ or „how to service a Rolex 3135“ and after testing all the stuff with some of my old and cheap reps, I thought that I was ready. Thus, I disassembled the above mentioned watch completely.

    Dismantling was not that much tricky, but the watch I bought was completely off to be basis for a franken project:
    The bezel construction is not made like gen...
    The SA3135 movement doesn’t accept Gen parts...
    The glass seemed to have a slightly different size....
    ...and more and more...

    Movement:
    During dismantling above mentioned watch, I destroyed the winding bridge of the SA3135 movement. I didn’t assume that this caused an expensive damage, but for SA3135 basically no watch smith has proper spare parts. If it’s destroyed, it’s destroyed. Meanwhile, I own two watches with SA3135 and although one had a service, both had some malefunctions. I‘d never recommend the SA3135 even there is some out here who might recommend it. Ok, to proceed I thought it’s easy to buy an ETA movement (e.g. 2836) or one of the asian ETA clones and continue my project. Forget it. If you switch to one of those, you will have many new problems , e.g. to find proper dials, hands, canion pins, installing the movement into your case etc. etc. If you are not an expert, leave it. It was important for me to accept, that although some parts are so tiny, most of them are not interchangeable and different hands as well as dials cannot be mounted on every movement (without modding).
    The easiest option was a SH3135 (not SA) or a YUKI 3135.
    Both movements are identical (apart from engravings) and accept more than 50% of Gen parts. If something is destroyed, a watch smith can repair it. Only difference between both, the SH has a Rolex plated autowind assembly, while the Yuki has a rather neutral winding. As no one might open your watch during daily business, you can use both if you are not using a crystal caseback.
    The SH can be ordered with JF watches like 16610LN or 16610LV from all trusted dealers (eg puretime, intime...)
    The Yuki is available on yukiwatch com

    Case:
    It is very important to have a proper case.
    My case and watch was useless and most of reps out there won’t work easily for a Franken project (also for other models).
    As YM9 and TC (famous Sub modders) are no longer active, your choice is limited anyway or you find one of those in M2M sales (but be careful, they fly very fast...)
    Either you try to buy an ST (= StartTime) case from startimesupply com for around 150€ or a phong case from vintagewatchmaker com which costs around 1.000€, or you order a complete JF 16610 watch from a TD for 350€.
    Problem with StarTime, the site is only made for jewelers and no private person. Thus it might be difficult for you to order only one single case.
    In addition, the ST case has no engravings between lugs, like serial number etc. Phong, as said, is around 1.000€ and for me no option for a rep. In addition, although it accepts gen parts imho all edges and curves are way too round and it doesn’t really look like gen.
    Thus, the JF watch without rehaut was my only option. Rehaut should be a bit that accurate on this one, so I would recommend without. As rehaut was introduced by Rolex in 2008 it can be also period correct to have a LV without drilled lugs (ends around 2002/2003) and without Rehaut, but including LEC (laser edged crown).

    I ordered the JF 16610LV no rehaut edition from Puretime, as Angus is a well known member in this forum. Sometimes Sead from Supermirror has also some EU stock where you might save around 50$ shipping - where I just ordered a LN version, which didn’t arrive yet.

    Again, advantages of JF:
    - Bezel assembly has same construction as Gen but doesn’t accept gen insert without sanding (didn’t new that before, later more)
    - Glass can be replaced by Genuine one
    - Case has Gen specs (apart from small details like crown guards, heights of rehaut ring and not 100% similar engravings between lugs - in my opinion no one will ever notice this and you should take the version without rehaut engraving because of closer accuracy)
    - SH3135 Movement included (see comment above)


    JF 16610LN or LV
    There seems to be a difference between the LN and LV version. LN is closer to gen. But as I was supposed to build a LV, I ordered that one and didn’t care about those minor differences.
    Unfortunately, and this wasn’t clear for me again, the LV doesn’t accept a gen insert!! Not sure about the LN version, which should be closer to gen, but my gen LV insert didn’t fit into the bezel without modifications (sanding = no option for me to sand a gen LV insert). In addition, Gen Tube might not work for a LV. Maybe also not for a LN. Unfortunately, still not sure but will test with my last order

    Anyway, after searching half a year for proper parts and proper prices, I had purchased the following genuine parts:
    - Gen glass (with LEC, no AR - time correct after 2003)
    - Gen 93250 Clasp PJ12 (2008 - could be close to rehaut start, but hey - who knows exactly)
    - Gen 93250 Bracelet 801 SEL (2001/2002 - first solid end links, too early for LV but no one will dismount my bracelet to see)
    - Gen 16610LV insert (rare and hard to find with blister)
    - Gen 3135 DateDisc

    Ok, let’s go and start the project.... No no no...
    Again dismantling was simple, but what’s that? The bezel assembly (so called retainer ring) is really hard to get of the case. But it needs to be removed to install my new glass... again, after doing some research, people recommend to use a sharp and thin knife/scalpel and push step by step very slowly under the so called „retainer ring“. I used a simple Wedo 7852199 by amazon. Every other scalpel should work as well. After peeling it off, the crystal can be removed easily. Put a new crystal on the case, align LEC and cyclops, then push the retainer back again! First crystal, Second Retainer!





    As this is very hard to do by hands, I used the crystal press (as ordered above) and pushed the retainer back to the case. Hey it worked. What a simple step, but it felt like great success!

    After trying a lot with old reps I can say, THE TWO modifications where I destroyed most, was either pushing back the crown into the movement or installing hands on a dial.
    As you might not be an expert and the movement is sensitive, you might push the button, for removing the stem, too hard which leads to a problem by installing the stem again because it won’t „click“ in (at least this was what I did several times...).
    I wasn’t aware from the beginning, that the crystal can be changed without removing the movement. Otherwise, I would have done it without touching the movement and instead just removing the retainer ring.

    Of course, if you want to change Date Disc on your own, you need to remove movement, hands and dial anyway. I did it with some other watches before and I would say again: you can try it but rather leave this to a professional, as your movement needs to have a service anyway (EVERY REPLICA MOVEMENT SHOULD HAVE A SERVICE ASAP). Just send the DateDisc together with the movement to one of the available watch smiths. Why? Again, removing hands and dial is not a big deal, but you need to be very carefull in mounting them again. That’s very tiny work and you can scratch your dial easily or destroy hands (both I did). If you really want to do it, remember the current time which is indicated by your hands before removing them! Why? Because you have to install the hands afterwards with exactly the same position! For me, I decided not to remove hands on that watch and directly sent it to my watch smith (including stem issue, because I removed movement before as explained above).

    Service the movement
    Also nothing new, you need to service your movement to avoid big damages.
    Although I watched several videos on YouTube, I don’t think, that I would ever be able to do this. There is so many tiny parts in a movement and you can destroy a bunch of parts - again. Meanwhile, I do pay a lot of respect to all those watch smiths around the world who do not only service a 3135 (which seems rather a simple movement) but also others like IWC etc. That’s really crazy stuff and hard work!!! Anyway, as SH3135 and Yuki3135 does also accept Gen parts to be more reliable, I created the bellow mentioned list with part numbers that can be ordered on eBay. Just request your watch smith for replacement them during service. Costs for service should be around 150€-200€ (depending on your country).

    Before listing some parts you should know, there seems no consensus list of what has or can be replaced... some recommend to change some parts and others do a service only (which is mandatory anyway). Even with part recommendations, there is different recommendations available. I figured out that the below listed parts „can“ be replaced-if you feel better

    Parts to address a so called „date change issue“
    3135-614
    3135-645
    3135-204
    3135-625
    3135-623
    Parts to make the movement more reliable
    3135-540 (2x)
    3135-600
    3135-670
    3135-205
    3135-280
    Some others change the following parts only (seems to be as the best option between invest and outcome):
    3135-540 (2x)
    3135-625
    3135-600
    3135-614
    3135-623
    3135-421 (new compared to aboves list)
    Plus, you should need those parts, running into failure mostly - again according to some members only:
    3135-212
    3135-213
    3135-217
    Others change even more, but I think that’s way over:
    3135-204
    3135-205
    3135-201
    3135-311
    3135-240
    3135-250
    3135-614
    3135-268
    3135-260
    3135-270
    3135-280
    3135-145
    3135-130

    Overall, you can spend only for parts, service and movement more than 1.000€. Sometimes you will find a gen movement for around 1.400€ on M2M. Personally, for me the difference (400€) was too low for having still a rep movement. Thus, I decided to do a service only and change the Date Disc. In the beginning my movement made some problems, because all of a sudden two times stem didn’t flip back after setting time and wath stopped running. I sent it twice to my watch smith and now it runs very well. Having a quiet rotor and around 40h of power reserve. Only thing that annoyies me, I heard due to gen Date Disc, it doesn’t switch dates properly at midnight (seems a bit thicker than a rep date disc and can be solved with gen parts). Every morning, I have to adjust it slightly. Therefore, I ordered a hybrid movement from another well known member. He builds one that has 90% gen parts and it will be sold for a fair price to me (only 18x yuki parts remained - all other parts are gen).




    Bezel construction

    The bezel assembly and construction is similar to a gen in terms of parts.
    Anyway, and I really don’t know why, a gen remains a gen. Click and adjustment of a gen is completely different, although it’s constructed in the same way.
    Whatever, I was supposed to change my insert only. But damn, it turned out that a gen insert fits only with sanding. No one told me before and everyone writes changing insert is simple. Don’t know if that’s the case with LV version only and LN accepts, but I really don’t want to sand my rare gen LV insert.
    At that point, I felt depressed and thought to throw everything in a corner.

    Bezel construction of first Sub = wrong


    JF case = Correct



    Jf insert (mounted) vs Gen insert. Honestly, I don’t see a huge difference...


    JF case with dismantled retainer ring and glass


    After some days of regeneration, I found a TW bezel assembly on M2M sales that accepts gen inserts. Again, motivated I bought this one. But this was just another step backwards... Unfortunately, seller didn’t tell that it accepts gen inserts, but with glueing only. I neither want to sand my LV insert nor glue it in any way to lose value. Arghhhhhh... ok, what’s next? I would need a gen bezel. I found one with a German watch modder. He would sell it to me but he told me, that it might not fit to my retainer ring. What???? And then??? He said, he can try to mount but he is very busy and it might take a month. Oh no... I don’t want to give my watch away for another month (although I was hating this piece of metal at that moment). I will think about.... And then, all of a sudden, by coincidence I read a sales thread, where a member wanted to split a super Franken and sell all parts separately. What a dream!!!! Of course I catched the complete gen bezel assembly. Meanwhile I had a good routine in dismantling the watch, assembly, glass or whatever. And yes, it fitted!!!!! Gen insert, with Gen Bezel, with Gen Retainer and Tension ring plus click spring (Tension and click spring can be ordered on Ebay:
    Tension Spring 316-16800
    Click Spring 317-16800)



    As the seller included a Bluesy insert, I mounted this one as well and honestly, I directly felt in love.
    I think I will keep the blue one and now I gained back some love to my watch.




    Dial / Hands
    Yuki and SH3135 (SA3135 as well) movements are interchangeable with gen dials and hands.
    Just be careful where the gen dial comes from. If it’s from a 3035 movement (eg 16803 or early 16800 from some older 5 digit Rolex) it might have a little bit longer dial feets, which needs to be filed down. Not a miracle, but needs to be considered. In addition, ETA dials and hands won’t fit! Neither the eta on gen nor the other way round, Gen dial and hands on ETA, without mods.

    While I was wearing my beauty daily, I found a dial that catched my attention:




    Basically, I’m not a big fan of two tone Rolex. But I really like the blue insert and dial. Thus, I decided to purchase the this as well and install together with the blue insert, but without golden crown or bezel etc.
    Not sure at the moment how it will look alike because I’m still waiting for my hybrid movement to do it together, but I’m very curious to see. As mentioned, gen dials should be easy to mount. Let’s see...

    Tube / Crown
    I purchased a gen Tube with a gen crown as well, but I will give this to my watch smith again because you need some special tools to change the tube without scratching it too much. Next, I’m not sure if the Tube will fit. According to different sources, there can be different versions of JF cases. Some newer V2 or whatever might accept, some older not. We will see and just in case I hope my watch smith can mount it somehow.
    For your crown you can use 703 and 704 - 7mm crown. Both are period correct and can be mounted on 7mm Tube (part numbers above).

    Franken Gen Parts

    To sum it up, at the moment I have installed
    Gen Bracelet
    Gen Clasp
    Gen Date Disc
    Gen Sapphire Glass
    Gen Bezel Assembly
    Gen Insert

    The following parts will be installed soon either in this or a new build
    Gen dial
    Gen Tube (if it fits)
    Gen Crown
    90% Gen 3135/yuki Movement
    Gen (but not Rolex) Sapphire Caseback

    Finally, only hands and midcase will remain rep. I could change hands easily, but honestly I tried to see the difference and I cannot see it. Even if they are lying next to each other. Maybe someone else might notice but not me.

    Conclusion
    I love this watch and I wear it more regularly than my gens. This might come due to the extended relationship by being frustrated, building it again, searching parts for one year and so on...

    And while I’m still having lots of spare parts, I might build a second watch. One blue and one green insert now it should go faster as I know somehow what to buy.

    Hope this experience might help some one in taking the right decision at the beginning and building a Franken watch like I did
    Thanks for reading.

    Some more pics.







    #2
    Oh I forgot to mention:
    Giving your rep Bracelet a 30min bath in WD-40 oil makes it more smooth.

    And I won’t order parts from Ebay seller wholesaleoutlet. They are not good quality and definitely not as described “gen like”. Ordered an insert plus a pearl and both was completely off to call it gen like.
    Just my experience, as I was hardly looking for a Bezel construction once...

    Comment


      #3
      Gorgeous watch!
      Been looking at going down the five digit 'Shark' route myself - possibly with six digit dial and hands to get matching lume.

      Extremely helpful post, especially for a noob like me. Have saved it.

      Thanks!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Buglicker View Post
        Gorgeous watch!
        Been looking at going down the five digit 'Shark' route myself - possibly with six digit dial and hands to get matching lume.

        Extremely helpful post, especially for a noob like me. Have saved it.

        Thanks!
        Great to hear. Thanks and good luck. Share some pics

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by mega12 View Post
          Hey guys, as the forum helped me a lot within the last year, I want to give something back and thought it’s time for sharing some experiences with those of you who never built a Franken but would like to do so without having lots of knowledge yet. Why? Because this was exactly my situation, one year ago. Thus, please don’t blame me for mistakes as I‘m a nooby, maybe like most of you
          Of course, I already owned some replica watches during the past. But after buying some Genuine Rolex (GMT, Datejust, Turn-O-Graph), my emotion to replicas decreased as the quality of a Genuine is completely different, compared to all of my reps... Thus, I stopped wearing my replicas. Anyway, my budget is limited and I cannot effort a new gen every year. Thus, I registered myself in several forums to find the best version of a Rolex Replica (like everyone here maybe )

          To cut a long story short: there is no perfect replica - for all of you who are still asking „what is the best sub“... Yes, there is some good versions out and the makers getting better and better, but none of them can’t be identified as a replica (IMO).

          Ok, so it turned out that I‘d have to build a so called „Franken“. Therefore, you need Genuine parts. As those are rare to source, I chose a Submariner 16610 for the project. It seems that Gen Sub parts are still existing and that’s a good choice. There is lots of modders out there who can do this for you, but I really love watches and I wanted to build this watch on my own to have some kind of a special relationship...

          To start, I bought the following basement from M2M sales for 250€: Submariner 16610 LN SA3135 Best Edition V2 (also existing on Puretime). This seemed to be a good deal, but I just wasted my first 250€ (more losses will follow)...
          After reading lots of reviews about a Sub Franken, I intended to replace the most common and „easy to tell“ parts with genuine ones:
          Crystal (25-295-C2)
          Date Disc (3135-16200)
          Bezel Insert (for 16610 or 16800 or 16613)
          Crown (24-703-0 or 704 crown - work both)
          Crown Tube (24-7030-0)
          Clasp (93250 or 93150)

          As I had no tools and no clew yet, I ordered the following tools (I think I‘m not allowed to post links, thus names only):
          15€ watch press for crystal change from amazon (MMOBIEL Professional 13 )

          15€ Watch tool set from eBay (Horizon Watch Repair Tool Kit)

          100€ Bergeon 5537 Case Opener from Ebay (had luck, usually more expensive, but you can easly use a cheaper one)

          15€ Watch Case holder from eBay (Aluminium 4 Pin case holder)

          15€ Magnifying glass (Triplet Jeweler Eye Loupe Magnifier Magnifying Glass Jewelry)

          After watching several YouTube videos of „how to remove a Submariner bezel“, „how to change watch glass“ or „how to service a Rolex 3135“ and after testing all the stuff with some of my old and cheap reps, I thought that I was ready. Thus, I disassembled the above mentioned watch completely.

          Dismantling was not that much tricky, but the watch I bought was completely off to be basis for a franken project:
          The bezel construction is not made like gen...
          The SA3135 movement doesn’t accept Gen parts...
          The glass seemed to have a slightly different size....
          ...and more and more...

          Movement:
          During dismantling above mentioned watch, I destroyed the winding bridge of the SA3135 movement. I didn’t assume that this caused an expensive damage, but for SA3135 basically no watch smith has proper spare parts. If it’s destroyed, it’s destroyed. Meanwhile, I own two watches with SA3135 and although one had a service, both had some malefunctions. I‘d never recommend the SA3135 even there is some out here who might recommend it. Ok, to proceed I thought it’s easy to buy an ETA movement (e.g. 2836) or one of the asian ETA clones and continue my project. Forget it. If you switch to one of those, you will have many new problems , e.g. to find proper dials, hands, canion pins, installing the movement into your case etc. etc. If you are not an expert, leave it. It was important for me to accept, that although some parts are so tiny, most of them are not interchangeable and different hands as well as dials cannot be mounted on every movement (without modding).
          The easiest option was a SH3135 (not SA) or a YUKI 3135.
          Both movements are identical (apart from engravings) and accept more than 50% of Gen parts. If something is destroyed, a watch smith can repair it. Only difference between both, the SH has a Rolex plated autowind assembly, while the Yuki has a rather neutral winding. As no one might open your watch during daily business, you can use both if you are not using a crystal caseback.
          The SH can be ordered with JF watches like 16610LN or 16610LV from all trusted dealers (eg puretime, intime...)
          The Yuki is available on yukiwatch com

          Case:
          It is very important to have a proper case.
          My case and watch was useless and most of reps out there won’t work easily for a Franken project (also for other models).
          As YM9 and TC (famous Sub modders) are no longer active, your choice is limited anyway or you find one of those in M2M sales (but be careful, they fly very fast...)
          Either you try to buy an ST (= StartTime) case from startimesupply com for around 150€ or a phong case from vintagewatchmaker com which costs around 1.000€, or you order a complete JF 16610 watch from a TD for 350€.
          Problem with StarTime, the site is only made for jewelers and no private person. Thus it might be difficult for you to order only one single case.
          In addition, the ST case has no engravings between lugs, like serial number etc. Phong, as said, is around 1.000€ and for me no option for a rep. In addition, although it accepts gen parts imho all edges and curves are way too round and it doesn’t really look like gen.
          Thus, the JF watch without rehaut was my only option. Rehaut should be a bit that accurate on this one, so I would recommend without. As rehaut was introduced by Rolex in 2008 it can be also period correct to have a LV without drilled lugs (ends around 2002/2003) and without Rehaut, but including LEC (laser edged crown).

          I ordered the JF 16610LV no rehaut edition from Puretime, as Angus is a well known member in this forum. Sometimes Sead from Supermirror has also some EU stock where you might save around 50$ shipping - where I just ordered a LN version, which didn’t arrive yet.

          Again, advantages of JF:
          - Bezel assembly has same construction as Gen but doesn’t accept gen insert without sanding (didn’t new that before, later more)
          - Glass can be replaced by Genuine one
          - Case has Gen specs (apart from small details like crown guards, heights of rehaut ring and not 100% similar engravings between lugs - in my opinion no one will ever notice this and you should take the version without rehaut engraving because of closer accuracy)
          - SH3135 Movement included (see comment above)


          JF 16610LN or LV
          There seems to be a difference between the LN and LV version. LN is closer to gen. But as I was supposed to build a LV, I ordered that one and didn’t care about those minor differences.
          Unfortunately, and this wasn’t clear for me again, the LV doesn’t accept a gen insert!! Not sure about the LN version, which should be closer to gen, but my gen LV insert didn’t fit into the bezel without modifications (sanding = no option for me to sand a gen LV insert). In addition, Gen Tube might not work for a LV. Maybe also not for a LN. Unfortunately, still not sure but will test with my last order

          Anyway, after searching half a year for proper parts and proper prices, I had purchased the following genuine parts:
          - Gen glass (with LEC, no AR - time correct after 2003)
          - Gen 93250 Clasp PJ12 (2008 - could be close to rehaut start, but hey - who knows exactly)
          - Gen 93250 Bracelet 801 SEL (2001/2002 - first solid end links, too early for LV but no one will dismount my bracelet to see)
          - Gen 16610LV insert (rare and hard to find with blister)
          - Gen 3135 DateDisc

          Ok, let’s go and start the project.... No no no...
          Again dismantling was simple, but what’s that? The bezel assembly (so called retainer ring) is really hard to get of the case. But it needs to be removed to install my new glass... again, after doing some research, people recommend to use a sharp and thin knife/scalpel and push step by step very slowly under the so called „retainer ring“. I used a simple Wedo 7852199 by amazon. Every other scalpel should work as well. After peeling it off, the crystal can be removed easily. Put a new crystal on the case, align LEC and cyclops, then push the retainer back again! First crystal, Second Retainer!





          As this is very hard to do by hands, I used the crystal press (as ordered above) and pushed the retainer back to the case. Hey it worked. What a simple step, but it felt like great success!

          After trying a lot with old reps I can say, THE TWO modifications where I destroyed most, was either pushing back the crown into the movement or installing hands on a dial.
          As you might not be an expert and the movement is sensitive, you might push the button, for removing the stem, too hard which leads to a problem by installing the stem again because it won’t „click“ in (at least this was what I did several times...).
          I wasn’t aware from the beginning, that the crystal can be changed without removing the movement. Otherwise, I would have done it without touching the movement and instead just removing the retainer ring.

          Of course, if you want to change Date Disc on your own, you need to remove movement, hands and dial anyway. I did it with some other watches before and I would say again: you can try it but rather leave this to a professional, as your movement needs to have a service anyway (EVERY REPLICA MOVEMENT SHOULD HAVE A SERVICE ASAP). Just send the DateDisc together with the movement to one of the available watch smiths. Why? Again, removing hands and dial is not a big deal, but you need to be very carefull in mounting them again. That’s very tiny work and you can scratch your dial easily or destroy hands (both I did). If you really want to do it, remember the current time which is indicated by your hands before removing them! Why? Because you have to install the hands afterwards with exactly the same position! For me, I decided not to remove hands on that watch and directly sent it to my watch smith (including stem issue, because I removed movement before as explained above).

          Service the movement
          Also nothing new, you need to service your movement to avoid big damages.
          Although I watched several videos on YouTube, I don’t think, that I would ever be able to do this. There is so many tiny parts in a movement and you can destroy a bunch of parts - again. Meanwhile, I do pay a lot of respect to all those watch smiths around the world who do not only service a 3135 (which seems rather a simple movement) but also others like IWC etc. That’s really crazy stuff and hard work!!! Anyway, as SH3135 and Yuki3135 does also accept Gen parts to be more reliable, I created the bellow mentioned list with part numbers that can be ordered on eBay. Just request your watch smith for replacement them during service. Costs for service should be around 150€-200€ (depending on your country).

          Before listing some parts you should know, there seems no consensus list of what has or can be replaced... some recommend to change some parts and others do a service only (which is mandatory anyway). Even with part recommendations, there is different recommendations available. I figured out that the below listed parts „can“ be replaced-if you feel better

          Parts to address a so called „date change issue“
          3135-614
          3135-645
          3135-204
          3135-625
          3135-623
          Parts to make the movement more reliable
          3135-540 (2x)
          3135-600
          3135-670
          3135-205
          3135-280
          Some others change the following parts only (seems to be as the best option between invest and outcome):
          3135-540 (2x)
          3135-625
          3135-600
          3135-614
          3135-623
          3135-421 (new compared to aboves list)
          Plus, you should need those parts, running into failure mostly - again according to some members only:
          3135-212
          3135-213
          3135-217
          Others change even more, but I think that’s way over:
          3135-204
          3135-205
          3135-201
          3135-311
          3135-240
          3135-250
          3135-614
          3135-268
          3135-260
          3135-270
          3135-280
          3135-145
          3135-130

          Overall, you can spend only for parts, service and movement more than 1.000€. Sometimes you will find a gen movement for around 1.400€ on M2M. Personally, for me the difference (400€) was too low for having still a rep movement. Thus, I decided to do a service only and change the Date Disc. In the beginning my movement made some problems, because all of a sudden two times stem didn’t flip back after setting time and wath stopped running. I sent it twice to my watch smith and now it runs very well. Having a quiet rotor and around 40h of power reserve. Only thing that annoyies me, I heard due to gen Date Disc, it doesn’t switch dates properly at midnight (seems a bit thicker than a rep date disc and can be solved with gen parts). Every morning, I have to adjust it slightly. Therefore, I ordered a hybrid movement from another well known member. He builds one that has 90% gen parts and it will be sold for a fair price to me (only 18x yuki parts remained - all other parts are gen).




          Bezel construction

          The bezel assembly and construction is similar to a gen in terms of parts.
          Anyway, and I really don’t know why, a gen remains a gen. Click and adjustment of a gen is completely different, although it’s constructed in the same way.
          Whatever, I was supposed to change my insert only. But damn, it turned out that a gen insert fits only with sanding. No one told me before and everyone writes changing insert is simple. Don’t know if that’s the case with LV version only and LN accepts, but I really don’t want to sand my rare gen LV insert.
          At that point, I felt depressed and thought to throw everything in a corner.

          Bezel construction of first Sub = wrong


          JF case = Correct



          Jf insert (mounted) vs Gen insert. Honestly, I don’t see a huge difference...


          JF case with dismantled retainer ring and glass


          After some days of regeneration, I found a TW bezel assembly on M2M sales that accepts gen inserts. Again, motivated I bought this one. But this was just another step backwards... Unfortunately, seller didn’t tell that it accepts gen inserts, but with glueing only. I neither want to sand my LV insert nor glue it in any way to lose value. Arghhhhhh... ok, what’s next? I would need a gen bezel. I found one with a German watch modder. He would sell it to me but he told me, that it might not fit to my retainer ring. What???? And then??? He said, he can try to mount but he is very busy and it might take a month. Oh no... I don’t want to give my watch away for another month (although I was hating this piece of metal at that moment). I will think about.... And then, all of a sudden, by coincidence I read a sales thread, where a member wanted to split a super Franken and sell all parts separately. What a dream!!!! Of course I catched the complete gen bezel assembly. Meanwhile I had a good routine in dismantling the watch, assembly, glass or whatever. And yes, it fitted!!!!! Gen insert, with Gen Bezel, with Gen Retainer and Tension ring plus click spring (Tension and click spring can be ordered on Ebay:
          Tension Spring 316-16800
          Click Spring 317-16800)



          As the seller included a Bluesy insert, I mounted this one as well and honestly, I directly felt in love.
          I think I will keep the blue one and now I gained back some love to my watch.




          Dial / Hands
          Yuki and SH3135 (SA3135 as well) movements are interchangeable with gen dials and hands.
          Just be careful where the gen dial comes from. If it’s from a 3035 movement (eg 16803 or early 16800 from some older 5 digit Rolex) it might have a little bit longer dial feets, which needs to be filed down. Not a miracle, but needs to be considered. In addition, ETA dials and hands won’t fit! Neither the eta on gen nor the other way round, Gen dial and hands on ETA, without mods.

          While I was wearing my beauty daily, I found a dial that catched my attention:




          Basically, I’m not a big fan of two tone Rolex. But I really like the blue insert and dial. Thus, I decided to purchase the this as well and install together with the blue insert, but without golden crown or bezel etc.
          Not sure at the moment how it will look alike because I’m still waiting for my hybrid movement to do it together, but I’m very curious to see. As mentioned, gen dials should be easy to mount. Let’s see...

          Tube / Crown
          I purchased a gen Tube with a gen crown as well, but I will give this to my watch smith again because you need some special tools to change the tube without scratching it too much. Next, I’m not sure if the Tube will fit. According to different sources, there can be different versions of JF cases. Some newer V2 or whatever might accept, some older not. We will see and just in case I hope my watch smith can mount it somehow.
          For your crown you can use 703 and 704 - 7mm crown. Both are period correct and can be mounted on 7mm Tube (part numbers above).

          Franken Gen Parts

          To sum it up, at the moment I have installed
          Gen Bracelet
          Gen Clasp
          Gen Date Disc
          Gen Sapphire Glass
          Gen Bezel Assembly
          Gen Insert

          The following parts will be installed soon either in this or a new build
          Gen dial
          Gen Tube (if it fits)
          Gen Crown
          90% Gen 3135/yuki Movement
          Gen (but not Rolex) Sapphire Caseback

          Finally, only hands and midcase will remain rep. I could change hands easily, but honestly I tried to see the difference and I cannot see it. Even if they are lying next to each other. Maybe someone else might notice but not me.

          Conclusion
          I love this watch and I wear it more regularly than my gens. This might come due to the extended relationship by being frustrated, building it again, searching parts for one year and so on...

          And while I’m still having lots of spare parts, I might build a second watch. One blue and one green insert now it should go faster as I know somehow what to buy.

          Hope this experience might help some one in taking the right decision at the beginning and building a Franken watch like I did
          Thanks for reading.

          Some more pics.





          Fantastic learning journey ! Congrats for your extensive patience and continuous commitment to this hobby (costly one...). Appreciate your time spent for sharing.
          Great achievement mate


          Sent from the RWI App PgrPgrPG

          Comment


            #6
            Wowww

            Sent from the RWI App

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks guys. Happy if I might help someone (maybe)

              Comment


                #8
                Fantastic build and read mate!

                Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G960F met Tapatalk

                Comment


                  #9
                  Today, wrist shot: gen vs my Franken

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Gen dial is more shiny
                    On gen date disc numbers are more bold, but both is correct as there is two gen versions of date discs out there
                    Of course, gen has better CGs
                    And gen has rehaut, but again, both is correct

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Puts perspective on the effort that goes into some franked builds. I do wish to build one myself purely for the learning experience, but I'm not sure I can match your patience.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Livaren View Post
                        Puts perspective on the effort that goes into some franked builds. I do wish to build one myself purely for the learning experience, but I'm not sure I can match your patience.
                        Pretty sure that you can do it.
                        Just be careful with some stuff I mentioned and you will love your build

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I'm in the same process, and your post is so interesting to read !
                          Many thanks !

                          Comment


                            #14
                            thanks for sharing this. it was a nice read!
                            i admire the patience people have to complete such builds. i dont have such patience to do so
                            i assume it makes you love the watch even more after all that trouble and it must be very satisfying once its complete
                            • Hublot Big Bang Evolution Steel Ceramic V6 6.5
                            • AP Royal Oak Offshore Diver JF V7
                            • Rolex Submariner 116610 LN ARF

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks for this extensive and well worked out tutorial,...an inspiration to build my own.

                              Comment

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