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No ratchets/clicks on 5513 bezels?

  1. mrchen Apr 22, 2021

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    Hey all,

    Never had a chance to handle a vintage 5513 (1968 production) sub in the metal until a few weeks ago, and I was surprised to discover that the bezel rotation had almost no ratcheting or feeling of detents in it. Is this due to the watch being 50+ years old, or were all of the old Subs designed with friction bezels with no clicks?
     
  2. mzinski Apr 22, 2021

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    The four-digit Rolex Submariner bezels were assembled as a sprung, friction operation.
    The bezel is clicked onto a retaining ring that works double duty - compresses the acrylic crystal for water tightness and acts as a base to the bezel. Between the bezel and retaining ring is a round spring (kind of shaped like a taco when bent for spring). This creates friction between the bezel and retaining ring by pushing them apart but not so hard the bezel clicks off. The idea is you push down and rotate to overcome the friction and spring. With age the spring wears out or flattens and the bezel moves loosely. This can be fixed by rebending the spring or getting a new one.
     
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  3. blubarb May 26, 2021

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    Interesting. So which model was the first to use the unidirectional ratcheting bezel?
     
  4. Dan S May 26, 2021

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    You can read about the bezel in the brochure.

    IMG_0239.jpeg IMG_0237.jpeg
     
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  5. mbeast May 26, 2021

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    I believe the 16800 Sub was the first to use a unidirectional bezel.
     
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  6. blubarb May 26, 2021

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    With a ratchet or the old washer system do you think?
     
  7. Blackdog May 27, 2021

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    The system changed all at once: ratchet, unidirectional bezel and sapphire crystal. The very same system that was in use up to the 16610.
     
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