Blog

6152 Case Project – Lug shaping.

How to build the 6152 step-by-step using the Nightwatch 6152 Case:

This section shows how to shape the Lugs

Click Here to see Larger Step-by-Step Images

Important: The 6152 has added metal to the top surface of the Lugs. This is so that you can shape the lugs to the desired dimensions, to give the "step" you see in the images below. Remember, try not to remove too much metal, if you want to remove more you can always do this later.

Below: I am going to use a small fine/medium flat file. Note the edge of the file, make sure that the smooth side is the side you use near the top surface of the case.

Below: This is the side you should NOT use. Keep this side away from the case

Below: Start by filing down the top surface of the lugs.

Below: Start with one lug and try and get it right before starting on the next

Below: When you remove metal from the top surface you will see a small curve of metal starting to form in the corner of the lug (see red arrow). Use a small square file to remove this

Below: This is an image of the type of file you require

Below: The "step" has been formed to the depth that is required. The case comes with a "step" and for some people this may be enough. However, because extra metal has been added in this area you have the opportunity to make the step as small or as deep as you wish.

Below: We can now compare our case with a genuine case. Tip: Lighting can play tricks, what you see in the image isn't always accurate so compare different images.

Below: If you look at the case from the side, the step doesn't look as deep. This is because the top surface edge of the case curves down towards the top of the lug.

Below: Now its time to smooth out the rear of the lugs, the image below shows the area to be filed flat.

Below: It doesn't take long and with a little filing the area is soon flat.

Below: Dont forget to finish smoothing the area using P400 wet and dry paper (or grit paper).

Below: This area has not been polished on a polishing machine. Instead you can get great results just by using P1200 wet and dry paper. This gives more of an aged finish and not the super bright finish that the polishing machine gives.

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

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

Note the different Indices (Numbers) thicknesses between the Non Sub-Dial version and the Sub-Dial version. This is probably because of the different time periods the dials were made. For example the early MM Non-Sub Dial with Rolex Movement has thicker Indices. The later (1950's-60) MM with Sub-Dial using the Angelus 240cal Movement has thinner Indices.

 

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 – Top surface shaping.

How to build the 6152 step-by-step using the Nightwatch 6152 Case:

This section shows how to shape the top surface of the 6152 Case

Tools: Its possible to do this work with very few tools in fact the 6152 Case in this article was built using only a few files and some wet and dry paper.

Dont I need a Polishing Machine and Dremel? No, you can use these tools of course but I will show you that you can get a better aged finish by not using the Polishing Buffer. As regards the Dremel then it can make life a little easier but its not essential.

Click Here to see Larger Step-by-Step Images

Below: These are Medium to fine grade files

Below: I will use 2 grades of wet and dry paper. Firstly P400 wet and dry paper and then P1200 wet and dry paper

Below: The Dremel is a handy tool for the edges of the case but with a few small Medium to Fine Grade Files I will achieve the same results. In many cases I prefer the files over the Dremel.

 

Important: Before we start its important to understand that the 6152 Case is very close to the shape we want to achieve. Therefore you should only be taking small amounts of metal off the case. NEVER take large amounts of metal from an area.

Why shape the case? This is how the authentic Panerai 6152 Cases were made back in the early 1950's in fact some of the worlds most expensive watches are still finished this way today, its called Hand Finishing. The machinery used back in the 1940/50's produced a 6152 Case but in order to completely finished the watch case a small team of "finishers" would shape some of the sharp edges and then polish the case. This made the case a little more comfortable to wear and also nicer to look at.

Getting Started: The red arrows below show the areas I will be targeting. These areas do not require a lot of metal removing so be careful. Take your time and remember, its better to take off less metal and correct it later than it is to take off too much metal.

Below: Lets start by smoothing the top surface of the case a little. I have started to file the top surface on the four corners so that they are smooth (see below)

Below: This stage requires the edges to be made smooth around the case.

Below: Repeat the process on all sides of the case

Below: I have added the image below for those that prefer to use the Dremel, This is one job were the Dremel is faster but the same results can be achieved with files. Just be careful not to touch the lugs if you are using the file.

Below: The front edge above the lugs is now nicely rounded and less shape that it was.

Below: Now go over the area you have filed with P400 wet and dry. Smooth the area until all the scratches have disappeared. If you have used the correct grade file (fine or medium) then this should only take a few minutes. Make sure all scratches are removed.

Below: The font top section of the case is now finished.