Everyone has probably heard that old joke “close only counts in Horseshoes and hand grenades”.  Well today we are going to show you some examples why “close” does not count when fixing a watch.

I get lots of inquiries from customers that want to add new crystals, bezels, dials and hands to their old watch.  They go out and buy parts that “are supposed to fit” their particular case and then they send them to me along with the watch and want me to install them.  Normally this works, but in quite a few occasions they  are “close” but not quite right.

Listed below are a few pictures of the tight tolerances that I deal with everyday.

Original dial on the right, aftermarket dial on the left. Notice the difference in height. No way to get the proper hand clearance with this dial.
Rolex dial with diamond hour markers. Showing the bare minimum clearance as the hour wheel protrudes through the dial. If the dial is too thick, the hour hand will rub on the dial


Rolex dial with diamond our markers. This is the toughest dial to deal with in an after market part. Some companies use diamonds of different heights making it difficult to adjust the hand clearance properly.
Another diamond dial with taller hour markers, minute hand is very close to the marker


Mans Rolex that uses sapphire crystal. Crystal is removed to show the close fit needed under the crystal. The sweep second hand can’t extend above the ledge or the hand will rub on the underside of the crystal.
Notice the slight amount of rust on the sweep center wheel on this rolex. It was just enough resistance to stop the watch.
Center pinion cleaned and ready to go.


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