Case tube change

Discussion in 'Other Watch Brands' started by Archer, May 8, 2011.

  1. Archer

    Archer

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    I have a vintage Tudor Snowflake Sub in for servicing right now, and it required a new crown and case tube, so I thought I would show the change of the tube for you.

    There are several different types of Rolex case tubes, and the tubes and crowns are not interchangeable in many cases, so if a new crown is needed for the sake of water resistance, like with this watch, then changing the tube is a must. The first step is preparing the case for the work, by removing the rotating bezel, and also removing the bezel that holds the crystal in place:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see above, I used my Omega bezel removal tool for the rotating bezel, and a razor blade to slowly work the second bezel off -now the crystal can simply be popped off.

    The next step looks a bit odd, but I received this tip during some training with Rolex last year. The trainer recommended using boiling water to loosen the bond of Loctite on both case tubes and when changing the crown on the old stem. Shortly after that I had to do this job on a 1680 Red Sub, and it worked great, so I have stuck with this method as it heats the case evenly, and since there's no flame involved, no discolouring of the case that I have to clean up later. The crystal is removed and the case is placed in boiling water for maybe 10 minutes:

    [​IMG]

    Next I look at the tube, and if the original internal serrations are there I use a Rolex specific tool to unscrew the tube (there are 4 tools in total depending on the models). This tube was bare on the inside, so I use a clock sized cutting broach, and gently tap it into the tube so it bites. I then use a wrench on the broach and simply turn it, and the old tube threads right out easily:

    [​IMG]

    Next I prepare the new tube. There is a gasket that seats against the case, and one on the outer portion of the tube, as well as two gaskets inside the tube (which I haven't installed at this point). A bit of Loctite on the threads, and I use the "new style" wrench to turn the new tube into the case:

    [​IMG]

    Here the tube is installed, and I have also installed the two gaskets inside the tube. Once the Loctite sets, it's ready to go:

    [​IMG]

    I can then install the crystal, the fixed bezel, and later when the watch is ready the rotating bezel.

    Hope you enjoyed seeing this, and thanks for looking.

    Cheers, Al
  2. DSimon9

    DSimon9

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    Great post. Enjoyed reading it. :thumbsup:
  3. Baco Noir

    Baco Noir

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    Al - very interesting and educational as always. These posts really make me appreciate the cost of servicing a watch! It's an art for sure. :thumbsup:
  4. SPACE-DWELLER

    SPACE-DWELLER

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    Another amazing post! :worship:

    Thanks for sharing, Al! Keep'em'comin'! :goodpost: :rocker:
  5. deadeye

    deadeye

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    Great post! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  6. RW16610

    RW16610

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    :goodpost: as always, Al! I really enjoy reading your posts and it was cool to find out about that technique and the tool(s) :cheers:
  7. Pete17

    Pete17

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    Ah, good ol' Loctite, a knifemakers and watchmakers best friend. The heat trick has saved many a knife on disassembly over the years.

    Thanks for the lesson Al. I'm amazed at how many different tools a watchmaker really needs to have to do the job right.
  8. Kiwi

    Kiwi

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    Awesome post , Al :goodpost:

    In my trade to loosen the loctite, the parts are a bit too big for the pot, so I use the gasaxe :lol:
  9. Pete17

    Pete17

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    You butcher!!! Lol

    Sent from my Droid
  10. Goldbug

    Goldbug

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    Use boiling water...how interesting! Thanks for the information.


    John