Hybrid #8, the gift that keeps on giving

by Bill


Have just gotten Hyunsuk's wonderful Hybrid #8 back from the watchmaker. Had broken the crown somehow, and been having a problem with it stopping mysteriously when the caseback was fully tightened. Norbert solved this by slightly "doming" the dial; turned out the movement is a date, and needed a fraction more clearance.

In the meantime, after much deliberation, I had removed the white paint, which was getting sort of flakey, from the hands, revealing the original plate. Find this sharpens the "read" slightly.

But the real improvement is the new reproduction insert a plastics craftsman made up, which Hyunsuk had sent a few months ago. Looks laser etched (?). Almost exactly the format of the original, font a little different. I treated this the way I've done stripped 300 inserts, filling the etched markings with white Humbrol, then painting the back with black. I then discovered that the outer edge was a hair higher than the bezel-lip, and it didn't feel right, so I used a Japanese micro-abrasive stick (like a super fine emory-board, for working plastics) to round this off. I was able to do this with the insert in the bezel, using the bezel-lip as a guide. The abrasive wouldn't cut the steel as quickly as it cut the plastic -- a neat trick. Then took the insert out and refinished the top and profile until it was glossy and completely transparent. A touch of epoxy to hold it in, and voila!

Amazing-looking watch, with its big Squale case, custom mega-dome crystal, repro Type 1 dial. I've scarcely taken it off since!

By the way, I hope Hyunsuk has held on to this plastics guy -- there are watches out there waiting for him to save!

Posted on Nov 28, 2001, 8:24 AM
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