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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