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Expensive 1675 Experiment in Laser Welding CG’s

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    Expensive 1675 Experiment in Laser Welding CG’s

    A “budget” 1675 project is a sadistic thing - the Cartel case as a basis for modifications leaves so many issues for rework, resolution, replacement, and tweaking. The latest in my never-ending endeavor to make this watch 200% genuine has been adding material to the stumpy, odd shaped crown guards.

    I found a local craftsman who would laser weld 316 stainless steel material to the CG’s for me at his hourly rate ($90/hr here in the Pacific Northwest). I gave him detailed drawings indicating where and how much material to add - making sure the material is overbuilt. This was important, I wanted to be able to reshape and cut the material away.

    Here’s what I learned through the process:

    - The color matching and seams of laser welding 316 stainless to the case worked out great. After filing, grinding, sanding, and polishing, I don’t see areas of addition differentiated against the rest of the material.

    - I decided this was a good excuse to install a new tube and 5.3mm crown

    - A 5300, 5320, and 5330 tube screws right in to a Cartel case. No retapping required!

    - The 5320 was the best fitting tube when paired with the 5.3mm 530 crown I purchased of eBay (eBay said it was Gen, so it must be)

    - I used a 1/4” end mill milling bit on a milling machine to re-bore the crown opening in the crown guards. In my estimating, I thought this would come pretty close to hugging the crown with about .5mm space. I was unfortunately wrong or off in my estimate - I think it created a bit too much space. Next time I would use a slightly smaller end mill bit. Oh, an end mill bit is important since it ends with a flat edge, not angled. This allows the hole to have a flat bottom.

    - I notice the location of the tube is lower than ten on a Cartel case. This means not matter what CG reshaping done, the crown will never, ever sit as high as a ten does. Unless…I laser weld the tube hole, re-drill, re-tap…no, no, no just buy a damn Vietnam case if you’re about to go through all that.

    - I’m very satisfied with the shape and thickness of the CG’s otherwise.

    Well, that’s it for now - I’m not shelling out more money to re-laser weld and re-mill the crown opening. I’m going to enjoy it as is - a 199% gen, heavily reworked Cartel 1675.

    Here’s some pics, thanks for looking!

    Wow! This is a whole new level in your pursuit to perfection! Amazing!


      mzinski ... you know what ?.. just WOW !!!
      You did an amazing work here
      1 - A/6538 Burford Milsub
      2 - sorry ... that build is classified
      3 - 16800 Comex Rolex - dated 1984
      4 - Heavily modded 16610 cheapie


        Good shaping job, laser welding seems indeed the only way to have good looking CG's on a cartel case.
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          Great intricate work!

          Sent from my iPhone using RWI


            So how many hours did the laser welding took?


              Originally posted by TYL88 View Post
              So how many hours did the laser welding took?
              Just a bit over 2-hrs.


                What laser welder are you using? Great work

                Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                  Great work, congrats! Enjoy your build!


           if you look closely at the photos above, you’ll see a slight asymmetry and overly wide opening for the crown. It’s been driving me nuts! So I brought the case back to the welder and had more material added so I could do everything again, this time with a 5.5mm end mill bit and loads more care in set up. Funnily enough, after carefully aligning the case to the milling chuck with a small bit, when I changed bits it was misaligned!

                    Anyways, I’m pleased with the results and happy to get this back on my wrist - currently my favorite watch.

                    Thanks for looking!


                      This is great work! Thank you for sharing the process