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Loose Bezel fix?

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Hello to all,

 

I have recently purchased a lovely 1680 built by the Zigmeister and I am very happy with it. The bezel is, however, a little loose and can easily be prized off with a thumbnail. I was wondering if any of you geniuses out there had a quick fix that I could do to tighten the pesky little tinker up a tad?

 

Thanks.

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Is the case a newer cartel? If so, it's best to buy a whole new bezel assembly. ( Retaining ring and bezel). Adjusting the tension ring does not solve a loose bezel on the newer cartel cases. But, since the mid case neck is to spec ( the bezel itself is not), replacing it works.

 

It appears that to speed up assembly, they make or buy bezels that are a little too big, very annoying since a new bezel costs as much as the watch.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited March 9 by RickFlorida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've found WSO bezels are very loose on gen-spec retaining rings. Someone told me a watchmaker might have a tool to squeeze a bezel down to a tighter diameter, which would do it. Alternately, you can order a WSO retaining ring and use it, making sure it's not too tight on your crystal. A little sandpaper judiciously applied to its inner diameter will loosen it up if it's too tight.

 

I did this on the Nastymariner, because the original bezel was so loose (on its original retaining ring) that a hard stare would send it flying. A replacement WSO wouldn't stay on at all, but a replacement WSO bezel, spring and ring did it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No worries, I was just sharing in case you had the same issue I did.

 

But sounds like a similar problem. Good luck.

The key is a bezel that fits a retaining ring perfectly. So you should buy them together and like Nanuq said, you can then adjust for the crystal only.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited March 9 by RickFlorida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I've had very little trouble fitting a WSO ring to a gen. I did it for the Nastymariner and a friend's 1675.

 

Pop off the bezel and flat spring

 

Slip a single-edge razor blade between the ring and case

 

Tap gently with hammer or etc, and work your way around and around the ring

.....after awhile the ring will appear lifted up a bit from the case

 

Slip a thin screwdriver in the slot and twist a little, work your way around the ring

.....pretty soon the ring and crystal will come right off the case

.....sometimes the ring comes off and leaves the crystal on the case (preferable)

 

Test fit the new ring onto the crystal as it sits on the case. It should be pretty snug but not too snug

 

If you can press the ring all the way down to the case with your thumbs it's too loose

If the ring won't go more than 1/2 way down, it's too tight

Sand the inner face of the ring and test fit again. I use a little vaseline on the ring as I press it.

If the ring is too tight, you will crack your rare/expensive crystal.

 

When the fit seems right with the ring/crystal/case, orient the date mag over the date aperture, add a tiny smear of Vaseline around the crystal around its base, and press the ring all the way on in one smooth motion.

 

Install the flat spring and snap the bezel on. It should be perfect.

 

If the bezel won't turn, either it's not snapped clear on, or the ring is holding the bezel down tight against the case

 

On the Nastymariner I repeated step 3 just a tiny bit to lift the ring, and the bezel freed up nicely.

 

It's a trial and error thing, you get the feel of how tight a ring should be only by doing it. Too tight and the crystal cracks, too loose and it won't stay on the watch and it will leak. This is where the Vaseline helps, because the ring sliding on presses the lube down beneath it, and into the gap between the crystal and case... and you don't have to make the ring quite so tight on your expen$ive crystal.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great details! I personally like silicone grease over Vaseline. Silicone grease seems whiter or should I say perfectly clear whereas some vaselines have or develop a yellow tint which could reflect through the crystal. ( If it is between the crystal and bezel, but if you are using between just the bezel and retaining ring, then it won't matter). I use a lot of vaselines and silicone greases to maintain my pool equipment so I'm exposed to seeing this. Just my two cents.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited March 9 by RickFlorida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"It's a trial and error thing, you get the feel of how tight a ring should be only by doing it."

 

+1

 

First step is to be sure the case neck is 28.2mm and the crystal is very close to oem spec. Next step is to make sure the crystal retaining bezel is a proper fit over the crystal (have to learn this by trial and error as stated above). Then it is up to how good the rotating bezel fits over the crystal retaining bezel.

 

For what it's worth (nothing), I installed and removed a ST/Clark/watchman 408 rotating bezel over the crystal retainer bezel 30 or 40 times to see if it would become loose enough to be easy to knock off (all parts from the same kit). The answer is No. It still fits fine, has the proper tension when turning, and has no tendency to get knocked off. After installation, the trick to preserving 'tightness' is to always use a spacer/tension washer and push down on the rotating bezel when turning it. Pushing down greatly reduces friction and wear where the rotating bezel is snapped onto the crystal retaining bezel. Sometimes the tension washer can be a real headache and I have had to reduce the OD, enlarge the ID, and/or thin them down quite a few times. If you have a rotating bezel that turns Ok most of the way around but has a tight spot or two, you can smear Simichrome polish etc between them and turn the bezel back and forth a few dozen times and it will usually loosen up. Sometimes you have to replace the polishing compound 3 or 4 times. Be sure to remove the rotating bezel and clean all the polishing paste off when finished. Use a thick rubber glove for traction when turning the bezel through the tight spots.

 

A very thin coat of liquid dishwashing soap will also help the crystal retaining bezel slip over the crystal and when it dries it is no longer very slick. Besides that, you can rinse most of it away under warm water when finished, unlike grease.

You do not want any lubricant at all between the crystal and case neck for two reasons:

1...It may travel onto the dial.

2...It can make the crystal and both bezels easy to knock off of the case neck in one piece.

A bit of grease between the rotating bezel and crystal retaining bezel will smooth out the action for a while but it collects dirt over time and turns into grinding compound.

 

I have had the best luck with ST/Clark/watchman 408 bezel kits...the ones with the matte finish. MBK kits that come on the watches have been hit or miss. Never used a WSO kit. Genuine can be hit or miss too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you friends for your very helpful and informative replies. Looks like I need the skills of someone who has experience of these things. That person is certainly not me. Anybody capable in the EU?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Had a thought. I've got an old skool MBW 1665 which has had much work done on it but it still has its original bezel with a PMWF insert. Could I just prize off the 1665's bezel, slap it on the 1680 then have the 'surgery' done on the 1665 to accept the WSO bezel set up? I'd try this right now but my 1665 is away being fettled. Thanks again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doubt that will work, as the 1665 bezel is much thicker than the 1680 and I bet it won't snap on. How about the ring/bezel from the 1665 onto the 1680? It should fit and you'd have the world's most original 1680.

I bet a WSO assembly for your 1680 would fit right out of the box. If it's a little too tight just sand the inner diameter and try it again. You should have that bad boy on there in 15 minutes tops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sorry 'Nook but I don't understand what you're saying?

 

What I'm trying to do is avoid removing the retaining ring from the 1680, sounds like a bloody nightmare and I have never done it so even more scary. Don't forget when it comes to messing about with a £1k rep I'm a cowardy cowardy custard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Time for your Big Girl Panties my man. It's ridiculously easy to do this... tap a thin blade in under the ring, work your way around and it will leap off the case. Easy squeasy.

 

If the crystal stays on the case, good. Otherwise pull it off the ring assembly that just came off, and twist/push it back onto the case. Then push the new ring down over it to hold it on.

 

It will take a press of some kind to really push that ring down correctly. You can drill a hole in a hockey puck that just fits over the crystal, or a piece of wood, or buy the cheapie $10 press off eBay. It looks like a garlic press.

 

See how easy it is?

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PS: if you want to use the 1665 bezel with a 1680 ring it probably won't work. There's a big height difference, at the level where the bezel clicks down over the ring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OK. I see what you mean. So, my 1665 bezel on a 1680 is a no no. Reckon it's time to gird my loins, get the razor blade and hammer out and prepare to throw £1k down the pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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