No announcement yet.

Mega(12) review: ARF Datejust v3 126334 and GMF 126331 Roségold wrapped jubilee

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Mega(12) review: ARF Datejust v3 126334 and GMF 126331 Roségold wrapped jubilee

    Mega(12) review: ARF Datejust v3 126334 blue & grey dial and GMF 126331 Roségold with wrapped bracelet brown dial 41

    Hi guys, decided to do a little review before this babies will get frankened.

    This time I ordered from Li (@JTimeWatch).
    It was my first purchase from Li.

    Usually, I ordered my watches from puretime. However, credit card payment causes sometimes problems over there....
    Nonetheless, the PT team is always quiet helpful and replies very fast, but if I can’t pay, I can’t pay

    Thus, I recalled that Li from JTime accepts PayPal from serious RWI members - for what I counted myself. I contacted him and he was also very supportive.

    Originally I intended to buy and do a review of Noob 126331 as there seems not to be any review of a Roségold Datejust model yet.

    Li recommended the GMF 126331 instead. He said that Noob has no good price for the quality. I wasn’t aware of the GMF version and followed his advice.

    QC time and shipping time was ok. Not the fastest but also not very long. Just normal I would say.

    You need to know, I didn’t comment or ask for any replacements after QCs as I wanted to get „what they chose“. I told them before that I will do a little review and therefore I was just curious to see what I will get. Most of the parts will be replaced anyway. Thus, whatever comes - lets see.

    Now first onto the SS review:

    ARF 126334 v3 latest version

    Took the grey dial as Lana from JTime told me that the blue dial was currently out of stock. However, purchased a blue dial on a local m2m section in parallel.

    Both (blue and grey) had slightly misaligned cyclops. No big deal. Just removed the bezel and corrected the crystal.
    The blue one has a great date font. One of the rare ones I guess.
    The grey one from JTime has the typical ARF shitty bold date font which represents most of the ARFs I guess.

    Had a gen grey dial some time ago and a gen complete 126300 watch with blue dial. Honestly speaking, the ARF gray dial is bullshit. Way too light, not even close to the dark rhodium of the gen. But the blue dial is amazing. It’s really very close to gen. Originally, I intended to change the blue dial to a gen white dial including gen hand set, but after seeing this I will definitely keep it as it is. And also no gen date disc needed on this one. The blue one is great and will remain as it is. Just replaced the crystal by a prof crystal. Now it’s perfect. Ok, you could replace the bezel, as the gen is slightly more elegant and more bling bling. But I don’t want to spend 2k on this bezel... No one will notice this during my daily life.

    Pics show the gen dials and watch

    Both, grey and blue dial have the typical good ARF jubilee (smooth after giving it a WD40 bath) and all the other details are made very fine as well. Even the ARF crystal has a great black whole effect nowadays. Although magnification seems slightly more than gen has, but this could be also caused by the crystal heights.
    Date change during winding is on the blue one exactly at midnight, while the grey one is around half past twelve (apart from this, both have the typical slow 2824 date change, taking 30min or so).

    The grey one will be base for my rosegold franken. Thus, I don’t care about the dial and date disc as both will be replaced anyway.
    And the delayed date change will be corrected after placing the new and gen hands again.

    Overall I can say that ARF made a great watch. The blue one seems slightly „better“ assembled and features definitely a better dial.

    In fact, there is two date fonts available.
    If I would have been Li and the team, I would have tried sending me the thinner date font to do a better review as there is two version available. But the rest is normal variances on a rep and can be corrected easily.

    Now onto the GMF 126331 Brown dial with wrapped jubilee review

    To me, this is the more interesting watch / review as it doesn’t seem that there is any reviews of a two tone Datejust Roségold model on jubilee bracelet yet.

    As mentioned, I purchased this GMF version based on Li‘s recommendation because he said it’s better quality for the price instead of the equivalent Noob version.

    My intention was to build a Franken with and replace the following parts
    - gen Brown dial
    - gen date disc
    - gen Roségold hand set
    - gen Roségold fluted bezel
    - gen Roségold crown
    - Prof / Clark or Gen crystal

    Thus, again I didn’t care about the little details which might not be correct as the major parts will be replaced anyway.

    I was not able to find this GMF version on any of the TDs website. Even JTime hasn’t listed it (but he recommends it).
    Only TS-station had listed this one.

    First thing I noticed from the website as well as from QCs later:
    The Roségold crown has a completely wrong shape. No clue what the Chinese makers had drunk before creating this crown. No bid deal for me as I will replace the crown by a gen one. But could be a huge disadvantage for someone else, because such a crown costs 350-400€ and can’t be sourced easily like the regular steel ones.
    The correct part number for Roségold DJ41 crown is 24-605-5.
    However, it’s useless searching for it as there is ZERO for sale. Only thing you can do is using the previous Datejust crown 24-604-5. This will fit as well (at least on the ARF, no clue if it will fit on the GMF tube).

    IMO the GMF case has better lug shape and slightly thinner, more gen like lugs than the ARF.
    Nonetheless while the gen has a thickness of 11,8mm, the ARF case is closer to gen with its 11,9mm vs. 12.4mm of the GMF. Of course, this can be caused by different gasket heights as well. It seems that the GMF has a slightly higher magnification which would then also lead to a higher gasket and result in a higher case size overall.
    The rehaut seems better on the ARF.
    Also stem heights is more gen like on the ARF. If you don’t have both watches aside, I would say that most of us won’t notice the stem heigh anyway.
    The case back opens/closes very strong on the GMF and goes much smoother on the ARF. But again, nothing you will notice while wearing...

    I ordered the GMF with wrapped rosegold jubilee bracelet.
    After removing the rosegold bezel I directly felt a difference between my gen bezel and GMF. The gen bezel feels much heavier with its 10 grams of Roségold against the light GMF one, which might have a thin layer of Roségold only. I did compare the total weight of the TT GMF versus my SS ARF and the total watch differs in around 1.5 grams if all links are included at both (125,7 vs 124,2). Wow, not really much if you ask me. Doesn’t seem like a heavily plated bracelet... anyway, the bracelet itself feels nice and ok.

    The watch was offered on TS station with 3 different movement options. Li offered me the „highest“ only. Thus, I assumed that the watch will feature the „best“ option which is described as a „Swiss 2836“ on TS website.
    After receiving and checking the movement it seems to be an 2824 and not 2836. Fine for me but I don’t know where the mistake has happened. Either it’s regularly a 2824 and TS has a wrong description on their site or I received a 2824 instead of 2836. I don’t know. Anyway, it’s a Swiss ETA and that’s good.
    Rotor noise is quiet good for an ETA. Still there, based on its ball bearing construction, but no big deal and much better than the ARF rotor noise.

    Where shall I start... The color of the brown dial is a joke. It looks like a cheap chewing gum watch. With and without the gen aside. Especially if you put it into direct sunlight to see the sunburst. Then it looks like a hubba bubba watch.
    The gen brown dial is much more classy and way darker. Seems like a similar problem like for the rhodium silver dial.

    And then the rosegold...
    The color tone of the bracelet and bezel is a bit too “pinkish”. Depending on different lights, this is sometimes more and sometimes less visible.
    That’s fine once you keep it apart from gen parts. But my original plan was mixing the gen bezel with the GMF bracelet and this won’t work. The gen rosegold is much more decent and not that intensive. You can see this once you put both next to each other.

    The quality of bezel and bracelet seems good. Only the front part of clasp is not polished very well and shows some uneven reflections. But the rest feels and looks nice. Don’t get me wrong, keeping the Roségold parts apart from gen parts won’t spot any big flaws. But mixing them together is a bit obvious. That’s why I decided to use the grey ss ARF case for a base to Franken as I will keep these parts together.
    And if you replace the dial by a gen one, the watch looks really nice I guess.

    The crystal seems ok, anyway the ARF crystal and black whole effect is definitely better. Nothing beats gen, but ARF is closer. Thus I replaced the crystal by an ARF one.

    Date font
    This round goes to GMF. The GMF date font is pretty nice and better than the ARF ones. Not every number is perfect, but 90% are as they should be. Thin, centered and nice.

    So all in all I would recommend the following upgrades on this watch:
    -gen dial
    -ARF / Prof or Gen Crystal
    -gen crown or reshape

    Afterwards you will have a nice and elegant model to wear with a suit.
    But don’t mix it with other gen parts than above mentioned (just hands - if needed).

    Finally, I would love to see the Noob and how they managed this model.
    I am not that sure whether the GMF is the better option, but hard to say without seeing both life. Anyway, I’m thinking about buying the noob as well and pray that they have a Roségold color which can be also combined with gen. Why? Because I still need to find a solution for a bracelet on my Franken. Probably I will install a gen rubber b instead... let’s see.

    Thanks for reading

    One of the most comprehensive reviews and build descriptions I have seen in a long time. Outstanding work sir. This was a pleasure to read. Thank you for all the visuals too.

    Stunning, stunning, stunnning!!

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

    That's some blazing pretentious sniffing your own fart shite right there going on about gens being valuable and better because they can be passed on to children and such. Heck, that's advertising right in line with the De Beers diamond cucks


      Originally posted by kennygconspiracy View Post
      One of the most comprehensive reviews and build descriptions I have seen in a long time. Outstanding work sir. This was a pleasure to read. Thank you for all the visuals too.

      Stunning, stunning, stunnning!!

      Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
      Thank. My pleasure


        Fantastic! Blown away at the blue dial, both the dial and the watch are ARF?

        You are 100% right it looks Very good as is!

        The brown dial looked so Nice afther you finshed working on it! Wow! Good Job and congratulations!

        Keep posting projects like this please, made my day!

        Best regards!


          Originally posted by Valdon Sadiki View Post
          Fantastic! Blown away at the blue dial, both the dial and the watch are ARF?

          You are 100% right it looks Very good as is!

          The brown dial looked so Nice afther you finshed working on it! Wow! Good Job and congratulations!

          Keep posting projects like this please, made my day!

          Best regards!
          Thanks man. Yes the ARF is fully ARF apart from the crystal. I installed a prof crystal over there


            That is some professional review! Thanks for the insight!


              Some Franken pics will follow in about 1-2 weeks. Need to source some final parts first


                So guys, I finally managed to finish my Franken and here is a little update.

                The watch on jubilee strap you will see is my Franken.
                I also managed to purchase an ARF 126331 on oyster bracelet which you will see on some comparison shots and which I did not had for comparison on my previous review yet. And sometimes you will also see my stock ARF v3 blue dial.

                Some details about my Franken:

                Finally, the build consists of the following parts

                -Gen Brown 126331 dial
                -Gen Datejust Roségold hand set
                -Gen 3235 Date Disc
                -Gen Roségold 126331 bezel
                -Swiss 2824 ETA (serviced)
                -ARF v3 base watch case and crystal:
                -ARF 126331 rose gold crown
                -GMF 126331 wrapped jubilee bracelet
                -Date Disc installation, Dial installation, pinion mod and hand set installation done by interaktiv

                Crown & Case
                First of all, I had quiet some trouble with mounting an appropriate crown.
                The gen crown which I purchased, did not seem to be a 604 and therefore it didn’t fit on the tube of the ARF v3 case. Interestingly, I was able to mount the gen crown on the tube of the previous GMF case. However, the tube of the GMF watch did not fit into the ARF case whole.
                As gen rose gold crowns are quiet expensive and there was no proper alternative for sale I catched an ARF 126331 with oyster bracelet and brown dial on a local m2m platform. I thought it’s great because then I can switch the build directly to the correctly engraved ARF 126331 case instead of the ARF 126334 case.
                Well, it turned out that I was wrong...
                The movement including dial etc. did fit into the ARF 126331 case but the dial did not align with the case. Means, there was always a gap between dial and case after fixing the movement screws. I tried everything but did not manage to get this even. This remained the same after installing the original ARF dial/hand set and movement. However, I realized, that the 126331 ARF case uses a complete different case shape than the v3 126334 does, both produced by ARF. Although the movement looks like a 2824 to me, it could be probably a 2836 which would then explain the difference cases. But I really don’t know. It could be also that the v3 case has been updated over the time. Anyway, the problem was, that both cases had different tubes and crowns which did not match between each other... So this became quite an exhausting game... I was close to cancel everything and sell the watch without doing anything further. But then I decided to put everything back into the 126334 case and sanded the top of the 126334 case tube. I switched the stems and finally mounted the rose gold crown on the 126334 tube. Screwing in and out isn’t as smooth as gen tube/crown combination, but it works and looks good. Luckily ther is no need to set your watch daily, so all good. Although the crown logo has two dots on it while it should have a line bellow the coronet, I’m quiet happy with it. Btw, the tube of the GMF watch did also not fit on the ARF case, nor the crowns were interchangeable.

                Similar issues have been caused by the crystal. My intention was to mount a prof crystal. However, the prof crystals seem to be thicker than all others and so it did touch the hands which stopped the movement... This issues has been also caused on a GMT Franken of mine, by a prof crystal. So be careful when using them and make sure to use one gasket size higher than originally (which is unfortunately not correct then). Thus, I tried different options for the crystal - first on the GMF:
                GMF case with ARF gasket and prof crystal: did not work because I was not able to get the bezel even
                GMF case with ARF gasket and ARF crystal: did not work because I was able to rotate the crystal while bezel was installed
                GMF case with Clark crystal and Clark gasket: did not work because Clark gasket was not fitting to the case
                GMF case with Clark crystal and GMF case: yeah, this did work.
                I think the GMF does only accept combinations of GMF gasket with other crystals.

                However, I decided to use the ARF case for my Franken and while the GMF gasket did not work properly on the ARF case (it was the highest gasket of all) and the prof crystal did touch the hands again, I decided to go with the ARF stock crystal as this is quiet good anyway.

                Movement / Dial / Hands
                I did send the watch to my friend interaktiv who supported me with a few things:
                Gen Date Disc Installation
                Gen Dial Installation
                Gen Hands Installation
                Gen ETA with Service

                For mounting gen hands on a eta you need to do a pinion mod. Therefore, he switched the complete pinion set and shaped it to get the gen hands fitted. This is a great job and so far he is the only one I know who did this mod on a Datejust.
                Originally it was planned to use the stock ARF movement. But it turned out that the Chinese friends seem to have even different versions of their ARF movements and one wheel did not match to be replaced by the gen eta pinion set. Thus, we had to change to whole movement to a Swiss eta one. Which is better anyway.

                interaktiv did a really great job and the results look stunning! Thanks again.

                All in all, I’m quiet happy with the build. Just the GMF bracelet is not really matching in terms of color. The gen rose gold is slightly lighter than the ARF of GMF rosé gold tone. I am still considering a gen black Rubber B bracelet.
                Probably this will come next, but it’s an easy swap.