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BPF "3230 clone" OP 36mm 126000 (from Trustytime) review

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    BPF "3230 clone" OP 36mm 126000 (from Trustytime) review

    I was on and off this forum for the last decade and recently got back into reps, and back on RWI. The dealers and problems with watches are a little different than I remember so I wanted to share some of my findings. I purchased a BPF "3230 clone" OP 36mm 126000, listed as ROYP009G at Trustytime a couple months ago.

    Recommend? No

    Visual check: SELs and crystal bezel were very loose up arrival. The SELs rotate around the springbar and the crystal side of the SEL pries the crystal bezel up. I took the bracelet off and saw what appears to be damage to the case where the SEL slots into, potentially by the laser engraving tool / alignment jig. Very careful tweaking of the case (interface to SEL) by pilers and re-pressing the bezel made it wear-able as long as I'm careful not to put too much force on the bracelet, at which point the bezel gets pried up (off of the case) again by leverage of the SEL around the springbars. Trustytime wasn't able to offer much help - the replies were generally fast but after many replies and marked up pictures I gave up. TD said it was normal and then after supplying more pictures kept saying to bend or reseat springbars. Bracelet is fine, but very sharp on edges of links. On a positive note, the dial looks very good to my eyes, with long-lasting but very dim lume. Screw down crown is difficult to get started compared to past Subs and Seamasters, but perhaps this is due to the smaller tube. LEC is subtle enough, and the rehaute engraving isn't too loudly "rep". TD did not respond to question of why timesetting direction is reverse of 3230/3235 (see "Clone movement" section).

    Timekeeping: Even with daily wear power reserve is very inconsistent and stops running once every other week, with no relation to how much I'm walking about vs. sat at my desk. TD showed timergrapher of 0s/day but it was about -15s / day by the time it arrived, which isn't unexpected as the movement beds in. I could hear rubbing sounds from time to time as the rotor moved which I initially attributed to the new 3230 ball bearing rotor support. See next section.

    Clone movement: Upon removing the case back to further investigate the irregular power reserve and movement stopping, it became clear it was a hastily modified 3130 clone. The rotor wobbled a lot and is able to rub on the case back when facing up, which alone likely isn't the reason for the irregular power reserve since friction isn't that great - the reversing wheels likely have a lot of slip. The rotor is the 3135 style that needs to be removed by sliding the keeper within a slot, but the slot is covered up by the attempt to make it look like the "3230" whose nameplate is stamped on the movement. There is a fake triangle fastner stamped into the otherwise 3135 style rivet, which as expected, cannot be turned and is indeed missing a triangle hole for the most part. Fake screws that just spin and fake 3130/3135 auto winder wheels are stuck in place onto the auto winder bridge. The auto winder bridge itself was sitting uneven with large gaps between it and the main movement that could be temporarily closed by pushing down with tweezers, not helped by the fact that it is held down only with one screw due to the second screw location being used for an artistic interpretation of a 3230/3235.
    All decorations around the perimeter of the movement are a thin (but somewhat well-machined) plate that goes between bridge/plate screws and bridges. On the rotor, there is a thin ball bearing motif that is glued in place with two dots of glue.

    QC process: Timegrapher is a nice touch. I asked for more SEL pictures at different angles but TD instead replied that it is perfect. I don't doubt the loose SEL could have occurred as a symptom of shipping but this makes the QC process less effective, and the generally dim lighting of the pictures isn't very good for inspecting certain aspects of the watch.

    Overall I can't recommend this watch despite how it looks in static pictures. It seems in this era of readily accessible clone movements (not just ETA/Valjoux clones) there is quite a big variation between the movement makers, which seemed easier to navigate back in the 2824 times. TDs (Michelle at Silix, Trevor, etc) of yore seemed to have better understanding of problems with watches and customer expectations, or perhaps it's just a language barrier in this case. The RWI user interface is great now - no more Photobucket!

    Does anyone know if clone 3135 movements can be installed in place of 3130 movements, after removing the date dial, and ignoring the extra position in the keyless works? I'm aware that the stem/crown may have compatibility issues, but mostly I'm concerned the datewheel adds a subtle amount of height that makes the rotor not clear the caseback.

    I have the 2824 version of the BP 116 OP watch and the movement is unmodified by the factory so it has a daily date flip and a ghost stem position 2. Someday I'll get around to remedying that but it's running so well it's far down on the project list.

    I would try a VR3130 in yours.

    tsyeo4 has some for sale
    Last edited by KJ2020; 14-11-21, 22:56.
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      Thank you JK2020! The link to the VR3130 for sale by a long time member is super appreciated, hope your weekend has been good! And great guides!


        KJ2020 thanks mate
        watch fixer


          BPF is that the same factory as BP?

          Sent from my iPhone using RWI


            BPF is that the same factory as BP?

            Sent from the RWI App


              Originally posted by Nick8k View Post
              BPF is that the same factory as BP?

              Sent from the RWI App
              yes the F is for Factory