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80's insert swap with long 5 insert problems

November 10 2017 at 1:28 AM
Michael  (Login Fatfour)
from IP address


can anyone advise? I have a 1962 gilt Submariner 5512 which I am I the process of restoring to its original condition and would like to change an older service bezel insert for the correct a long five insert. My problem is that after popping out the old service insert I could not fit the long five insert into the bezel. So, before I damaged the insert or bezel I brought the bezel and insert to my local Rolex AD for fitting. The local AD offered to send the bezel and insert to Rolex London for fitting, which I agreed to. Now Rolex London are asking for the rest of the watch to be sent to them? This is making me nervous as we have all heard of terrible stories with regards to vintage watches and Rolex service centres. Would you risk it or ask for the bezel and insert to be returned back and use an indy?

Kind Regards,

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(Login fattoro)
VRF Member

Re: 80's insert swap with long 5 insert problems

November 10 2017, 2:28 AM 

Hmm all you need is a pair of plastic tip piler to push the last bit in.
Any experienced watchmaker or collector can do it for you, why bother sending the watch in?
A friend of mine roll the inlay in using a hardtop table on top of some tissue paper, but that never worked for me.

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(Login lambstew)

Might be a stupid question but..

November 10 2017, 5:11 PM 

..are you certain your bezel is the correct thin edged cookie cutter type? From experience, the last bit of the insert can be fussy to get to snap in but have done so myself with a plastic tool on several occasions..but if the bezel is a later replacement..

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(Login mattedialdoc)

I feel your pain.....

November 11 2017, 6:07 AM 

Michael, I have had this happen several times. It seems to be a case of being VERY experienced with the nuances and feel of guiding that last little edge of insert into the bezel. I tried the “edge of the table” trick and couldn’t do it. I actually had to mail it to a friend and he inserted it in a NY second! But I do hear that using a pair of nylon tipped pliers can easily guide the last edge into the bezel. With these inserts upwards of $2-3k USD it’s scary to take a chance. Good luck.

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(Login mbeere)

Re: 80's insert swap with long 5 insert problems

November 12 2017, 10:32 AM 

I've been through this sweaty palms experience. In my case the bezel insert had become somewhat flattened and needed to be shaped. My watchmaker pressed the insert in a crystal press, Well protected from scratches, and that did the trick. Remember to remove the PIP/pearl if you have one or it will crack. Best of luck!

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