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Thread: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

  1. #151
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Another interesting example, this time an Omega Memomatic case.

    This has been hand refinished to a good standard and most would be more than happy with the results. With hand refinishing however you do lose the edges as it's impossible to keep a perfectly flat and consistent angle when working on cases by hand, especially those with lots of curves. The net result is they tend to look a bit soft as the shoulders and what should be flat surfaces are rounded off a little.

    Before








    The eagle eyed amongst you will also notice areas of over brushing where graining from the case top and sides has gone over on to the polished shoulders. Again because of the manual nature of the work this is a little inevitable and I've seen far worse examples.

    After pics to follow...

  2. #152
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    My watchmaker had a real quandary with this one as he's a perfectionist and wants everything to be perfect. However because this case had been hand refinished non of the angles were consistent, so for instance the angle on the polished shoulders on both sides should be exactly the same. Likewise the case sides should be perfectly flat and vertical and the sunburst case top should be a consistent angle.

    So it was a case of assessing what could be achieved without removing too much metal and inevitably there was a slight compromise. In this instant to get the case top to be perfectly flat too much metal would have to be removed, so you'll see that there's a slight imperfection. Likewise with the polished shoulders, too much metal would have had to be removed to get them perfectly flat again.

    After








    Having watched Rocco work on this I have to say that there's a real skill in working the lapping machine. He was constantly assessing the case and making judgements on how far he could go. His natural instinct wanted to make it as factory fresh as possible but he knew he'd have to make small sacrifices, otherwise it would have been very easy to wreck the case.

    Hopefully my pics have captured the difference between a good hand refinished case and a lapped case. The difference is quite pronounced I think.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  3. #153
    Master KavKav's Avatar
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    Rocco has refurbished several vintage watches for me in the past, his work is absolutely first-class and I would not go anywhere else!


  4. #154
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    Superb but how does he get the straight lines of the Sunburst pattern with a rotating wheel..? I cant seem to figure it out!
    Thanks

  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaitch View Post
    Superb but how does he get the straight lines of the Sunburst pattern with a rotating wheel..? I cant seem to figure it out!
    Thanks
    It's difficult to explain but here goes.

    Obviously the wheel on the lapping machine rotates but so does the watch case in the tool that you present it to the wheel. The friction of the two meeting rotates the tool at the same speed as the lapping machine. As long as you present the case to the dead centre of the grinding wheel, but obviously offset to the either the left or right, you get straight lines on the case. If the case is slightly too high or low you get an interesting curved sunburst graining, a bit like the pattern below.

    gg56441952.jpg

    So when presenting the case to the wheel you have to be very precise with the positioning. I've got some pics of the machine in action but they don't really help to demonstrate how the sunburst graining is achieved in all honesty.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  6. #156
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    Thanks Gary , I think I get it! What about the grained areas of a watch case that are say rounded or a couple of slight angles? Would it be done in sections or in one go? It interests me as many watch cases are slightly rounded and also slightly curved from top to bottom so its hard to appreciate how a flat wheel accomplishes this . Id love to see some pics of the thing in action!
    Thanks and great thread!
    T

  7. #157
    wow, great pics and sensation
    iguess ill thru my Tissot

  8. #158
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaitch View Post
    Thanks Gary , I think I get it! What about the grained areas of a watch case that are say rounded or a couple of slight angles? Would it be done in sections or in one go? It interests me as many watch cases are slightly rounded and also slightly curved from top to bottom so its hard to appreciate how a flat wheel accomplishes this . Id love to see some pics of the thing in action!
    Thanks and great thread!
    T
    Seconded Gary, it puzzles me how its achieved, would love to see it in action...video??

    Thanks for updating the thread, really interesting to follow.

    Best,

    James.

  9. #159
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    What a really interesting thread. Great to see craftsmanship like this!

  10. #160
    Very interesting thread....

  11. #161
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Another update and example for anyone who's interested, this time it's an early 70's Omega Constellation Megaquartz. Although it was acceptable for a 40 year old watch there was some pretty deep scratches to the case sides and shoulders, plus the bezel had some scrape marks. I think it was definitely time for a freshen up.

    This wasn't all done on a lapping machine, the case sides/back and clasp are hand refinishing and the bracelet was refinished on a polishing/graining wheel.

    Before









    After pics to follow...
    Last edited by Omegary; 19th November 2012 at 19:05.

  12. #162
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    After









    Obviously a macro lens really accentuates any marks on a used piece but likewise they pick up any slight imperfections, even on a brand new watch. A new crystal really helps the overall look too but even so it's a pretty good transformation imho.

    Many thanks to webvan for putting up with a slight delay whilst I did the before and after pics.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaitch View Post
    Thanks Gary , I think I get it! What about the grained areas of a watch case that are say rounded or a couple of slight angles? Would it be done in sections or in one go? It interests me as many watch cases are slightly rounded and also slightly curved from top to bottom so its hard to appreciate how a flat wheel accomplishes this . Id love to see some pics of the thing in action!
    Thanks and great thread!
    T
    Quote Originally Posted by dreamboat10 View Post
    Seconded Gary, it puzzles me how its achieved, would love to see it in action...video??

    Thanks for updating the thread, really interesting to follow.

    Best,

    James.
    I think you're right in that a video is probably the only way to really demonstrate how it works, however Rocco isn't keen on the idea. TBH having watched him work on a number of cases now it won't make for riveting viewing. A lot of time is taken up making sure the angles are exactly right, presenting the case to the wheel at the perfect height and then lapping the case gently until it's as best as it can be.

    I've got some pics of a Rolex Explorer bezel being refurbished on the lapping machine which might help give some context. I need to sort them all out though first which might take some time.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  14. #164
    Thank you for these wonderful before and after pictures, that Constellation from 1972 really looks like new now and the problem of course is that's it's going to be a concern to wear it for fear of scratching it ;-) Well it can go back to Rocco in a few years time I guess ;-) What talent!

    Beautiful inside and out as after some tweaking of the trimmer it's pretty much locked into my "custom" thermocompensated SMP 300.

  15. #165
    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    Hi Rich, I've no idea who made it, as you say there's no obvious identifying marks. It was supplied by Rolex, from what I understand they bought a lot of new equipment when they moved to their new UK HQ. Rocco's had a weeks intensive training course with Rolex too which probably explains why he's getting good results in such a short space of time. AFAIK he's the only person outside of Rolex to have been offered the training and he's been invited back, so they must think pretty highly of him.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    I used to use Rocco when I lived in Bristol. His Rolex knowledge is amazing. Top guy.

  16. #166
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    A little up date and some more before and after pics, this time an Omega Speedmaster MKIII.

    This was a bit of a challenge as it's a serious chunk of steel with sunburst and vertical graining, lots of tight angles to access and some big surface areas to get a consistent graining on. Ostensibly it didn't look in too bad a shape but closer inspection revealed lots of scratches and dings, some around the bezel lip and hidden lug area. Plus at some point it had been hand refinished so the edges where a little soft and had lost some of their profile.

    Before







    Some laser welding was needed to build up some of the deeper dings and scratches

    During





    After pics to follow...

  17. #167
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    After












    I think it's fair to say that this has been my watchmakers biggest lapping machine challenge to date. Personally I think he's pulled it off rather well. Thanks for looking.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Last edited by Omegary; 13th January 2013 at 19:18.

  18. #168
    Wow, this is absolutely amazing!

    Actually with the Z-33's similar shaped case I was wondering if lapping worked on titanium too as well as laser welding if the nicks are too deep? Not enough Z-33s around but I suspect they must be scratch magnets...

  19. #169
    Journeyman rehunk's Avatar
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    Simply amazing. He has become a real artist. You really must talk him into a video demonstration.
    Thanks for sharing with your excellent photos.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by webvan View Post
    Wow, this is absolutely amazing!

    Actually with the Z-33's similar shaped case I was wondering if lapping worked on titanium too as well as laser welding if the nicks are too deep? Not enough Z-33s around but I suspect they must be scratch magnets...
    I'm fairly certain titanium can be lapped in the same way. Not sure if it could be welded with steel though, I'd imagine there would be a colour difference in the metals. I asked if there was any discernible colour difference with different steels, as Rolex use(d) 904* and not the more common 316 grade, but there isn't.

    * I think they now use a different grade steel in their modern watches.

    Quote Originally Posted by rehunk View Post
    Simply amazing. He has become a real artist. You really must talk him into a video demonstration.
    Thanks for sharing with your excellent photos.
    I'll keep trying but having watched him refinish a few cases now I don't think it would make for entertaining viewing tbh.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    P.S. Hope you're wearing your MQ Conny Mr G and it's not become a safe queen.

  21. #171
    Craftsman Emeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post

    I think it's fair to say that this has been my watchmakers biggest lapping machine challenge to date.
    Oh boy is he going to love my three MKIII examples!!!Now they'll be a real challenge.
    I did start chatting with him before Christmas but money constraints have slowed me right down.

    Looking at those pictures is real motivation to get something happening.

    I'll try to get you involved too for the photo story again Gary. Fantastic pictures.
    Thanks for putting them up.

    Ian

  22. #172
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    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Wow... you wouldn't even say that was the same case!

  23. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emeister View Post
    Oh boy is he going to love my three MKIII examples!!!Now they'll be a real challenge.
    I did start chatting with him before Christmas but money constraints have slowed me right down.

    Looking at those pictures is real motivation to get something happening.

    I'll try to get you involved too for the photo story again Gary. Fantastic pictures.
    Thanks for putting them up.

    Ian
    No problem at all Ian and I'd be happy to take a few pics if/when you send a watch or three over. I find the processes and skills involved in case restoration fascinating.

    Cheers,
    Gary

    P.S. Three MKIII Speedies! Isn't that a bit greedy mate?

  24. #174
    Craftsman Emeister's Avatar
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    Thanks Gary, I'll get in touch when I'm a bit more in control of my situation.
    Don't want to spoil this thread with ugly pictures if I can't get the job paid for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    Three MKIII Speedies! Isn't that a bit greedy mate?
    They are rough, rougher and mangled!!!

    I've wanted a silver dialled version since joining here. Started with a black dialled version and got a decent silver dial to swap, then found a reasonable silver dialled version before finding another, much rougher, silver dialled version. Hopefully we can get at least one spectacular watch and see how the others turn out. Was considering trying to convert one silver into a blue to have the set but parts might kill off that idea.

    Haven't got around to giving R any pics yet. He was a little concerned about sourcing some parts. I now see Keith's went to STS first (but doesn't look like he had any need to have visible parts replaced). Lots to ponder. Too many projects!

  25. #175

    Omega

    Its great to see such skills still exsist with our modern throw away upbringing

  26. #176
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    I have just read through this thread and wanted to echo the previous comments and applaud the fantastic level of workmanship involved. Really impressive stuff and great to see such an informative thread.

  27. #177
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    May I ask in what ballpark we are if the work carried out by Rocco involves some laser welding and lapping of a case?

  28. #178
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    Sorry Bernard, just seen your post and replied via PM.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  29. #179
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    Iam suffering withdrawal symptoms, need more pics!

  30. #180
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    Thanks to Gary, I have booked into to get the case back of my vintage speedy touched up (its been butchered) in its previous life)

    Cant wait to see the results

  31. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    Sorry Bernard, just seen your post and replied via PM.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    Thanks! I have to admit: didn't check this thread for some time ;-)

  32. #182
    Some really impressive results - is there ever a problem with the newly-added metal having a different colour or finish, given the variety of different case alloys?

  33. #183
    Journeyman Andybhoy's Avatar
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    What an absolutely fascinating thread this is!! The level of skill and patience involved in this must be monumental, hats off to your watchmaker as he is clearly a very talented individual indeed. Superb results on all the examples shown, and it is great to see the watches being brought back to their former glory!

  34. #184
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    Some really impressive results - is there ever a problem with the newly-added metal having a different colour or finish, given the variety of different case alloys?
    I know 904L grade steel wire has been used on all the examples to date, so there's no colour difference between it and regular 316L steel as used in most cases. I'd assume that laser filling a titanium case would require a titanium wire to get a good colour match but that's really just a guess. I can find out for certain if you're interested, just let me know.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  35. #185
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    This is amazing, so cool to see these watches brought back to their original condition. And great photos!

  36. #186
    Master ed335d's Avatar
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    My MKII Speedy is with Rocco at the moment.

    If pictures are taken, please feel free to post them here!

  37. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by ed335d View Post
    My MKII Speedy is with Rocco at the moment.

    If pictures are taken, please feel free to post them here!
    Seen this on another forum (different watch) - its an incredible restore!

  38. #188
    Master ed335d's Avatar
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    MkII Speedmaster

    I did post some details in the main forum, but it only takes a day or so for things to drop to page 2 these days!

    Here're some pictures of Rocco's work...

    Before









    After












  39. #189
    Another fantastic job! I thought big dents like that were a lost cause, guess the laser welding came in handy once again ;-)

    @omegary - did you get a chance to ask about titanium lapping?

  40. #190
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webvan View Post
    @omegary - did you get a chance to ask about titanium lapping?
    Hi G, tbh I completely forgot, I'll ask at the weekend (if I remember)

    Cheers,
    Gary

  41. #191
    No rush and TIA! Looks like you have nice watch activities regularly lined up for your week-ends ;-)

  42. #192
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Asked Rocco about titanium cases and he said laser welding shouldn't be a problem but refinishing might be depending on the finish of the case. Titanium is generally harder to work with and bead/sandblasted finishes would need to go to someone with the right equipment.

    He also said that he can laser weld and refinish gold cases. Essentially as long as the right material/grade of wire is obtainable it can be laser welded.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  43. #193
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Another quick update, this time with a Girard Perregaux case. It wasn't in too bad condition but there were a few scratches and dinks, plus the caseback had some deep tool slip marks.

    Before








    After pics top follow...

  44. #194
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    After









    Quite a transformation imho, even though it wasn't really in too bad a condition for a 40 year old watch.

    Thanks to RaulGonzalez (Luke) for letting me use his watch as an example.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  45. #195

    Re: Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Very interesting results. I am tempted to buy a lapping machine but divorce prevents me from trying.....
    Edit: divorce that would follow once the wife sees the machine..

  46. #196
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    Only just spotted this thread Gary... thanks for sharing. I love knowing about this sort of stuff! Hats of to your watchmaker man for getting the machine too, and the intelligence to operate it!

  47. #197
    Thanks for asking about Ti, good to know and thanks for these new Before/After pics, they really have some "feel good" quality to them!

  48. #198
    Craftsman Paul J's Avatar
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    Lapping machine - case example pics on page 3

    Gary, can I ask for his details - I've a couple that could do with some TLC?

  49. #199

    Fantastic work

    Pictures and finish look amazing!

    Gary, I've sent you a PM regarding laser welding and refinishing of my AP. Please let me know the details when you can. Thanks :)

  50. #200
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    Still going stong I see. Very impressive stuff!

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