In this weeks post, I will compare the crown and case tube between a standard Rolex and an Omega Seamaster. This is one of the biggest differences between the two watches and why I like the Rolex so much better than the Omega.
Rolex Case Tube
The Rolex case tube is a simple threaded stainless steel part with an internal gasket installed. It is the essence of simplicity, you unscrew the old one, and screw in the new one. I can replace a case tube in about 2 minutes, nothing to it, just about the easiest repair that you will ever do as a watchmaker.
Omega Tube and Crown
The Omega case tube is a different story. It is frictioned in place and just about impossible to replace. I have done lots of research on this repair and there is no clear cut way to do this one quickly or easily. The tube is pressed in place at the factory and there is no easy way to get the old one out and install the new one. I have tried to pull it out, never works. It just won’t come out in one piece. So now you try and twist it out, never works, since the outer portion of the tube normally breaks off and leaves the inner portion still inside the case. Now you need to grind out the old part, then try and friction or cement the new tube in place. The problem here is the tube needs to be perfectly straight, if it is tilted at all, the crown will not screw down properly. It also needs to be watertight or else the watch will leak. The other problem with the tube is that the threads are on the inside of the case tube and are quite fine. They strip easily and there is no gasket to change. The case tube on the Rolex has very sturdy threads and the gasket can also be changed easily. Hands down this is the single worst part of this watch.
The crown on a Rolex is quite a nice piece of workmanship. It is made in 4 parts that can come apart and can be repaired if needed. The crown is made to be spring loaded and if needed, the spring can be cleaned or changed if it is not working properly. The crown also has a removable gasket that is quite easy to change. Overall, a very simple and sturdy design.
The Omega crown is well built, but it does not come apart, and there is no way to change the gasket after an overhaul. The crown is not fixable, it is just replaceable. The threads are on the inside of the crown and are a bit fine, so it is easy for a customer to cross thread it if not careful.
This part of the comparison is not even close, the Rolex tube and crown are hands down better than the Omega. We are coming to the end of the comparison, only a few more things to talk about.