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How to cut a stem and fit a Crown Guard

Below are some tips on setting up the Crown Guard Lever so that it closes just right. The lever should close firmly so that it applies some pressure to the Crown. Panerai used this design so that their watches remained water tight in deep water.

1) Winding Stem: Cut the Winding stem so that you are able to set the hands (adjust the time of the watch). Be careful!.... do NOT try to cut it accurately first time. Often I have to adjust the winding stem a few times so that its the perfect length, do this by cutting a very little, even filing or grinding the stem. Cut a little, try it, cut a little, try it...take your time do a little each time. If you cut it too long then you will not be able to set the hands when inside the Crown Guard. If you cut it too short then when you set the hands it wont go back into the winding position. Do this first BEFORE you adjust the Crown Guard lever.

2) Crown Guard Lever: These are always made to be a little larger than is required. This is because the lever can be filed to be the correct size for all the different movements that are used to build projects. Do NOT file the lever until you have cut the winding stem to the correct length! When you try to close the lever for the first time it will not close as the lever will be too large. File a little off the "point of the lever", then try... do NOT try to get it correct first time. Repeat over again and adjust it a little each time until you get it just right. The lever should close firmly and apply some pressure to the crown, but it should not be too tight that its difficult to close.

Here are some Step by Step Imaged and Instructions

Below:  You may want to file the Crown Guard first. Normally there is a small step on the Top Front and Bottom Front of the Crown Guard. Theres also a little filing along the edges near the crown, see arrows below.

Below: The lever will be too large at first. All levers should be filed to the exact size for a nice firm fit when the crown guard closes. Movement stems are not the same, so the lever is made a little larger than is normally required. DO NOT File this lever until the crown and stem are 100% correct!

Below: A good crown guard will use 2mm screws, check that it aligns correctly with the case.

Below: Also check that the lever sits nicely against the case. There should not be a large gap.

Below: To fit, mark and then cut your stem so that it is "close" do NOT try to cut it perfect first time, you will probably fail. Cut it a Little Too Large!

Below: The stem is too long the Crown does not close fully. This is ok, we now need to adjust the length of the stem carefully. Do a little at a time.

Below: Now we can grind a little off the stem. Do a little (not too much ) and test, repeat until perfect.

Below: Now the stem is close to the Crown we can test the Crown Guard to see if the Crown will open inside the Crown Guard. If it doesnt, grind a little more off the stem.

Below: What happens when you have made a mistake and taken too much off the stem! The crown will not close, the stem is now too short. Dont worry there is a solution.

Below: here is a nice tip. We cannot make the stem longer but by adding a little cold solder into the crown then screwing the stem into the crown it will crush the solder so that the stem is a little longer. Dont heat up the solder simply cut a little off with a sharp knife. Dont add too much solder if there isn't enough simply add a little more.

Below: Now we can test the crown and the lever. The lever should close firmly (not too firm) and the crown should pull out easily inside the crown guard.

Below: The completed crown guard and stem correctly fitted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Piece Dials

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The making of the 3 Piece Dials:

For the Step by step history guide to the Vintage Panerai 3 Piece Dial  click the following link:  Click Here for the History of the 3 Piece Dial and how it was made

Quick Points:
1) Many 3 Piece Dials are not 2mm thick
2) The indices (numbers) do not have a Plexi
3) Indices (numbers) on the 3646 and 6152 dials were not the same
4) Engraving had more than one font type on the same dial!

6152 LP:
The 6152 Dial was anodized before the Indices (numbers) and engraving were cut.

1) Dial machined from a solid aluminium bar
2) Dial surface textured
3) Dial then anodized
4) Dial indices (numbers) cut into the anodized surface using Pantograph Machine (hand operated)
5) Dial engraving (text added)
6) Resin added to Indices by hand (numbers)
8) Internal plexi machined on a lathe from a solid bar
9) Plexi recesses cut by Pantograph
10) Plexi filled with lume
11) Backing plate cut from brass
12) Dial feet soldered to backing plate
13) Backing plate nickel plated

          

3646 RP and Sterile:
The 3646 Dial was anodized after the Indices (numbers) and engraving were cut.

1) Dial machined from a solid aluminium bar
2) Dial surface textured
4) Dial indices (numbers) cut into the surface using Pantograph Machine (hand operated)
5) Dial engraving (text added)
3) Dial then anodized
6) Resin added to Indices by hand (numbers)
8) Internal plexi machined on a lathe from a solid bar
9) Plexi recesses cut by Pantograph
10) Plexi filled with lume
11) Backing plate cut from brass
12) Dial feet soldered to backing plate
13) Backing plate nickel plated

6152 MM:
The 6152 Dial was anodized before the Indices (numbers) and engraving were cut.

1) Dial machined from a solid aluminium bar
2) Dial surface textured
3) Dial then anodized
4) Dial indices (numbers) cut into the anodized surface using Pantograph Machine (hand operated)
5) Dial engraving (text added)
6) Resin added to Indices by hand (numbers)
8) Internal plexi machined on a lathe from a solid bar
9) Plexi recesses cut by Pantograph
10) Plexi filled with lume
11) Backing plate cut from brass
12) Dial feet soldered to backing plate
13) Backing plate nickel plated

Backing plates are made from brass the dial feet are then soldered

The Backing plates are then nickel plated

Below the assembled 240 type dial with backing plate

Below: the assembled 3646 dial with backing plate

6152 Case Project (available late summer 2017)

Progress Stages
Aug 14th 2017: First Prototype Made
June 16th 2017: Internal Case CAD Completed
April 9th 2017: 3D Case print made (stage 2). (satisfactory case shape)
April 2017: Calculating Internal Dimensions, CAD under construction
March 2017:  First 3D Case Print made Lug shape and size adjusted
March 2017:  Outer Case designed, 3D CAD produced
July 2016: CAD works starts but not completed (more accurate info required)
Feb 2016: Plans made to restart the 6152 Case

The 6152 New Case Project has been under development for over a year. Most of the time was spent gathering as much factual information as possible. The first batch of Cases are scheduled for summer 2017.

Type of Cases: The 6152 will be available with and without a Crown Guard

Follow this thread for further updates.

Below: early prototype (Feb 2017), the case has since been modified

 

3646 Type C or Type D – symmetrical or non-symmetrical case shape?

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There are two types of 3646 Case Main Bodies to consider when building a 3646 Project.

Types A,B and C:  The early Cases Type A, B, and C were non- symmetrical although I am informed that a few Type C were symmetrical. This means that the shape on the top of the Case is not the same as the bottom. The bottom of these cases are usually a little more flatter than the top. This case available on the Vintage Watch Parts website, its known as the Standard Bezel Case or Type C.

Type D,E,F,G:  These Cases were symmetrical, the top of the case is the same as the bottom although there is still a top and bottom to the case as the machined surface for the Bezel and the Case Back varies slightly. This case is also available on the Vintage Watch Parts website, its know as the Tall Bezel Case or Type D.

Lug Holes:  Lug Holes are "without internal bores" this means the lug holes are not drilled through the case but about half way through. I believe this was to ensure the Cases stayed water tight. The Lug Bars are 1.8mm thick, and are now formed on a small jig to ensure the radius of each curve are the same.

The images below show the various Case Shapes, both symmetrical and non symmetrical.