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Seamaster 120 166.027 case backs clarified

  1. Gwade

    Gwade Mar 4, 2017

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    I just received what appeared a sleeper watch. I was attracted by the perfect pip, creamy patina, even the cracked Tritium in the hands and dirty underside. I've been looking at these closely and have all the information I thought I needed. I've read that some of these especially issued to military bases came with the 17 jewel cal 563 for import tax reasons. I even disregarded the funky crystal as owners dis-interest in watch collecting. HOWEVER - upon admiring this new arrival and how great the watch looks, I notice the words "tested" 120 on the case back and checked around ebay and other listings....

    I suspect it might be a new round of fakes. They ALL have cal 563 movements. See pics, its a real bitch as its a great looking watch...
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg 11.jpg
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2017
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  2. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Mar 5, 2017

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    Nothing fake about the watch you posted.
     
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  3. Badwolf

    Badwolf Mar 5, 2017

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    I'm not an expert on these, but that doesn't look fake. If it is that's very worrying. The patina looks as you would expect for the age. The movement looks spot on.
     
  4. ChrisN

    ChrisN Mar 5, 2017

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    It just looks to me like the train bridge, where it says 563, had been swapped at some point. It's a different colour. The only difference between a 565 and 563 train bridge is the writing so it's probably a 565 and it was accidentally swapped during a service. Obviously, that would make the serial wrong.

    Did you read this?

    And also this has a comment on the case back engraving.

    Cheers, Chris
     
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  5. Gwade

    Gwade Mar 5, 2017

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    image.jpeg Yes, I read all the posts on 120's and everything checked out. Then the case back raised concern -
    The genuine pieces don't say "tested". Shown by a search here, previous listings on eBay, and chrono24.

    Perhaps the 563 watches got the different case backs??? The searches on previous 166.027's didn't even turn up any 563's. But there are currently two on eBay...

    If anyone can prove differently, I would love to keep the watch.
     
  6. ChrisN

    ChrisN Mar 5, 2017

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    I'm not sure but here there is a back saying "tested". And it's from @dragoman so should be fine. It passes the "angry eye" and "upside down Y" as mentioned there by @TNTwatch so, seems genuine to me.

    I'm not sure if these came with cal 563 although it does say 17 jewels which tallies as the 565 have 24. That odd coloured bridge makes me think it's been replaced though but with that auto bridge it cannot be a 565 - I was mistaken above.

    Can you link to the others as it looks fine to me?

    Regards, Chris
     
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  7. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Mar 5, 2017

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    Some of them do, like this one and another NOS posted by dragoman in the case back thread. Everything on the inside of this caseback is perfectly genuine also. Just because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean it's fake.

    Calibre 563 is the lower end variant of the 565, with fewer jewels to save on cost and customs duties. Both have been equipped concurrently in many same watch models. Nothing appears incorrect for this watch, but you can confirm it via an Extract.

    PS: Also fake watches usually come with more than one fake piece, including fake upper case, fake bezel, fake dial, etc...
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2017
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  8. Gwade

    Gwade Mar 5, 2017

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    Thank you both! I don't mind the 563 as I intend to wear this as a daily for a while so the lower movement allows me the space to feel loose with it. It really is a great example and will go for a proper dome crystal this week. I have a correct 1098/547 for it too.
     
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  9. Gwade

    Gwade Mar 5, 2017

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    At this point I would request the mods to allow a title edit.
     
  10. ConElPueblo

    ConElPueblo Mar 5, 2017

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    ...You could try the "edit title" link at the top of the thread ;)
     
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  11. uwsearch

    uwsearch Mar 5, 2017

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    I don't know much about that reference, I only own a 166.027 and a 165.027, both with extract, and yours looks wrong, wrong case, hands, caseback, bezel,...
     
    Edited Sep 1, 2017
  12. TNTwatch

    TNTwatch Mar 5, 2017

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  13. WatchmakerTheory

    WatchmakerTheory Mar 5, 2017

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    Glad to see this was cleared up, was very confused at first..
     
  14. Gwade

    Gwade Mar 5, 2017

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    That watch was listed in 2013 so further proof these are not new fakes. I will order an archive for my watch to see what comes up.
     
  15. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Mar 6, 2017

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    With regards to the jewel counts, yes the 563 has fewer jewels than a Cal. 565, but all those additional jewels in the 565 are in the automatic winding system, so the bulk of the movement that provides the timekeeping and calendar functions are the same quality as a 565 is. The use of bushings rather than jewels in the automatic winding system means that I often have replace those bushings when servicing the watch, but either design with jewels or bushings will work the same when properly maintained.

    Having jewels or bushings is not so much about performance in this case, but longevity of parts. You would think the higher jewel count is better, but I am revising my previous stance on this....maybe...

    I have yet to gather enough data to say this conclusively, but on the watches with bushings in the automatic winding I am seeing less wear on the wheels than on watches with jewels there. In any plain bearing situation such as this, the weaker of the 2 materials will bear the brunt of the wear, so in the low jewel count watches it's the softer bushings that wear, and in the high jewel count it's the steel pivots of the wheels that wear. So although bushings certainly wear, given the cost of the bushings ($7 each X 7 bushings) it would still actually be cheaper than replacing all the wheels in the automatic winding - something I have to do fairly regularly. Those wheels add up quickly since the winding wheel is $104 on it's own...

    Some will still prefer the higher jewel count, and that's fine, but on a technical level it really is not a big deal, and these are essentially equal quality movements in either jewel count.

    Cheers, Al
     
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  16. default

    default Jun 26, 2017

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    were all Seamaster 120 produced with a black date wheel? Why are there so many with white date wheels arround (white background and black font)
     
  17. tentate

    tentate Sep 1, 2017

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    Hi everybody, i was reading this post and wanted to ask something.
    One hour ago I listed a seamaster 120 ref 166027 in eBay, and as soon as it was listed somebody wrote me saying it was a fake.
    I took the listing immediately out, this guy was very kind explaining me
    that this fake case is well known, that the movement was ok and may be the watch was recased.
    May I have your opinions please? here are the pictures.
    Kind regards


    IMG_8828.jpg IMG_8833.jpg IMG_8865.jpg IMG_8876.jpg IMG_8880.jpg IMG_8885.jpg IMG_8890.jpg IMG_8911.jpg IMG_8912.jpg
     
  18. uwsearch

    uwsearch Sep 1, 2017

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    Fake case, caseback, crown, hands and bezel...

    Should look like that:
    Capture.JPG
     
  19. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Sep 1, 2017

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  20. tentate

    tentate Sep 1, 2017

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    Well, glad to meet you here!, I wanted to be 100% sure, best regards