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  1. cvrle1

    cvrle1 Oct 19, 2016

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    Tried searching and googling, but there isnt too much info that I could find. Can someone tell me if 145.022-69 (non transitional) ever came with stock decimal bezel? Found this watch, and bezel looks like it is original, but not sure if that is the case

    spms_5th_1.jpg

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. gemini4

    gemini4 Hoarder Of Speed Oct 19, 2016

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    I think these bezels were always optional
     
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  3. Dre

    Dre Oct 19, 2016

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    I might be wrong, but it looks like a service bezel for me

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. emilio

    emilio Oct 20, 2016

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    These bezels are so damn tricky I would never pay a premium for them.
     
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  5. Davidt

    Davidt Oct 20, 2016

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    Pretty sure they can be original to a -69, but this one isn't.
     
  6. uwsearch

    uwsearch Oct 20, 2016

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    Nice example... scratch a replacement to make it worth more $$$
     
  7. speedmaster971

    speedmaster971 Oct 20, 2016

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    The photo of the watch is small but seems a service bezel
     
  8. Tom Dick

    Tom Dick and Harry Oct 20, 2016

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    It is a what is known as a service bezel, I have done a ton of research on these and the tell tale giveaway (other than the thickness of the markers) is the spacing between the letters, note the very small gap between the 7 and the 0 and the 6 and the 0

    Orignial V's service shown above but a good comparator is this image showing an original worn original bezel and an original NOS 1960's bezel

    That said I've some more research to follow which I hope may show that the 'service bezel comes in a range of variants and might actually have been in circulation as early as the very late 60's)

    Screen Shot 2016-09-11 at 22.22.28.png
     
    Edited Oct 26, 2016
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  9. Davidt

    Davidt Oct 20, 2016

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    The gap between 7 and 0 is definitely the best way to tell these apart.
     
  10. Tom Dick

    Tom Dick and Harry Oct 20, 2016

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    This is what an original decimal should look like, my decimal on my 64 ed white

    IMG_2883.JPG IMG_2884.JPG
     
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  11. Tom Dick

    Tom Dick and Harry Oct 26, 2016

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    Here is my 145.022-76 with decimal fitted

    IMG_3304.JPG

    So some interesting information about these bezels I've gathered on my research, they were fitted and still available as optional extras to your speedy, dealers stocked them (which is a known known).

    From what I can find the original decimal bezel (larger gap between the numbers and thinner quarter markers) was available until circa 1970, when it seems the design switched over to what we now know as the service bezel.

    I'm compiling some evidence at the moment to support this. Why you ask? Who knows, same reason that the the dn90 changed to dnn90?? Different manufacturer?? Not sure

    There are actually three variations of the bezel I can find:

    Version 1: The original one (easily identified if you look closely by the spacing between the numbers, especially between 7 and 0 and 5 and 0 (show on my Ed white and 1960 - 1970)

    IMG_2884.JPG

    Version 2: The one pictured on the OP's watch, it is the same printing style as the later (named) service bezel but note the thinner printing of the numbers compared to version 3. Date from 1970's - unknown (I'm still trying to compile some concrete evidence on this)

    Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 18.17.35.png

    Version 3: The one fitted to my 145.022-76, this type is most commonly seen, the printing is the same style as verison 3 but the number printing is thicker than version 2. I believe this style came in mid 70's and runs to today)

    IMG_3304.JPG

    It is my belief that this decimal bezel version 2 was introduced in the early 70's and is still used up to today in version 3.

    I base this on the available images I can find on the web and also I have a friend with a nos sealed decimal bezel with type 3 printing but in a 1970's grease paper style omega parts pouch (with sealed omega parts sticker over the opener)

    It is my belief that the bezel fitted to the OP's watch may be original to the watch and as fitted when new (although still of the service bezel print type). The patina on the bezel is clearly similar to that on the watch itself
     
    Edited Oct 26, 2016
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  12. JanV

    JanV Apr 9, 2019

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    Reviving this thread, here are my observations how to identify a vintage bezel compared to the service ones.

    1. Check for spacing of the numbers 50 and 70, comparing at the same time the minute markers on the bezel. These need to align exactly to the numbers, and the later service bezel with less spacing between the 5 and 0 / 7 and 0 has the minute markers wider than the numbers.

    2. Check the lower extending edge on the letter 5 in 50, the service one protrudes much more than the vintage.

    Hopefully my observations help...

    Now compare to the three examples above and see if you notice the differences.
     
    E34A2E5D-F8E6-4EC7-A3CB-CD4A7919932B.jpeg
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  13. Bbturbo

    Bbturbo Apr 9, 2019

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    Good and useful info
     
  14. WurstEver

    WurstEver Apr 15, 2019

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    @Tom Dick did you ever get any further with reliably discriminating between Type 2 and Type 3 decimal bezels from your post above? Or with nailing down transition points in time? It seems to me that discussions about these bezels still often refer simply to "vintage" and "service" bezels, which may be leaving some details unaccounted for.
     
  15. Tom Dick

    Tom Dick and Harry Apr 24, 2019

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    @WurstEver I've been working on this for a while, I didn't realise until I acquired two and noticed the slightly different print density on them, both totally original and not the later (from 1980's) service replacements. They are so rare and difficult to distinguish between original and service replacement that there is little photographic evidence to go on.

    The example fitted to my 2016 image I believe is iteration 2, the iteration 1 had exactly the same format but the printing was more accurate and thinner.

    My research continues and as and when I find something new I will report back
     
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  16. WurstEver

    WurstEver Apr 24, 2019

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    Good to hear that you're still thinking about this! Coincidentally, just yesterday I grabbed some images from the web and constructed the figure below as an exercise in trying to convince myself one way or the other. All four bezels are so-called "service" versions (at some point this nomenclature could probably be sharpened up, but that's not the main point here). On the left are what I think appear to be fat-font bezels. On the right are what I think appear to be skinny-font bezels.
    Decimal Bezel Fonts.png
    After staring at this for a while I concluded: (1) I agree that there does indeed appear to be a difference in the thickness of the print, as you pointed out, (2) also as you pointed out, I agree there is no apparent difference in the typeface or other graphical elements that can be used to easily discriminate between the two versions, but (3) because there are no clear configuration differences and since I have never personally handled these, I wasn't 100% sure that the apparent difference wasn't simply due to characteristics of the images (e.g., sharpness, brightness, resolution). Given that you have direct experience handling both versions, that helps to eliminate image characteristics as a possible confounding factor, which is great!
     
  17. wsfarrell

    wsfarrell Apr 24, 2019

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    Just as a cautionary note, I've read speculation that some of the Rolex "fat font" bezels are simply the result of ink pads wearing out toward the end of their useful life. They start out printing thin and crisp, and end up (relatively) thick and smeared.
     
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  18. WurstEver

    WurstEver Apr 24, 2019

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    Thanks Bill! I hadn't heard that, but given the otherwise identical typeface and layout that could explain the variability quite nicely.
     
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  19. Bbturbo

    Bbturbo Apr 24, 2019

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    You are absolutely right, unlikely a speculation imo.
     
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