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  1. JwRosenthal Jan 16, 2021

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    So I recently picked up a 14060 from a fellow member. All of my Rolex’s have their bracelets, but like many I like to play with options from time to time.
    One strap I was exited to try was the Uncle Seiko Tropic, but like most straps that are thick and flat at the top, I discovered that the lug hole to case distance proved to be an issue - something I hadn’t even thought about when I got the sub- that’s a tight gap.
    (Yes, that’s a 19mm in the below pic for illustration- I had already modded my 20 when it occurred to me to post this)
    C96AEBC9-7E61-473A-9EA4-2550846FC059.jpeg
    I couldn’t even seat the spring bars because it couldn’t clear the case.
    2A2338EB-FD0C-42AD-A6B4-F1512516AAF5.jpeg

    I have several vintage curved tropics but none in 20mm, so I thought that sacrificing a 20mm US to this experiment was a worthy endeavor.
    I used a Dremel with a sanding wheel and started to gently grind away at the center and move back and forth to create the curve.
    ADC197AB-B151-41D4-904C-9C4CDE14767E.jpeg

    I eyeballed it and when I felt like it was close to the correct shape, I finished it with a little sand paper to smooth out my choppiness (not the steadiest of hands).
    3BD91875-EE0F-471E-BD42-7F5372C479D3.jpeg FDE934E3-0137-4ADD-B5F7-FBECA53A6529.jpeg

    Now I have the gap I need between the case and top of the strap for it to move freely.
    563A7DDB-E53F-4599-A8D8-5532770AD4B0.jpeg

    And on the wrist
    195B3437-29F2-4457-B643-E53F197489F6.jpeg

    In hindsight I may have worked to be a little more fluid with my grinding and angled downward the top to maintain more of the pattern on top. I was trying to create an even up/down curve so the strap wouldn’t hang up on the case- but realize after the fact that the strap doesn’t need to flex that way, so couldn’t have kept more of the top pattern.

    Regardless, I think it’s promising as an option for these hard-to-fit lugs and my next attempt would probably be a little cleaner looking.
     
  2. Norfolk Jan 16, 2021

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    Looks good. Might try that with some of my straps.
     
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  3. Dan S Jan 16, 2021

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    FWIW, I've had to do that with some modern rubber straps also.
     
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  4. Dan S Jan 16, 2021

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    You can finish it off with a finer wheel to get a more attractive end result. It's easier if you have a bench mount for the Dremel.
     
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  5. JwRosenthal Jan 16, 2021

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    On the wrist you can’t really see the unfinished edge as you can in the photo, but I was thinking that perhaps heat treating it (like with a soldering iron) could smooth out that visible top edge
     
  6. JwRosenthal Jan 16, 2021

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    That’s a good thought- I think I do have finer wheels- but not bench mount- but I could just put it in a vice.
     
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  7. Scarecrow Boat 5000 Candles in the Wind Jan 16, 2021

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    Dang, that looks good! Nice little work around as well
     
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  8. Walrus Jan 16, 2021

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    Looks very nice in general let alone the strap, but strap looks great.
     
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  9. alam Jan 16, 2021

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    Looks good :thumbsup: and for the minor imperfections that remain, don’t worry - no one flying at 33K feet will notice them anyway :D
     
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  10. Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Jan 16, 2021

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    Heat gun over a soldering iron.
     
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  11. Uncle Seiko Jan 16, 2021

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    Well done!
     
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  12. JwRosenthal Jan 17, 2021

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    So I went back over it with a finer grit wheel and it did smooth it out 879B62D5-BCB0-47B9-A503-A5D3CCA73326.jpeg

    buuuuut, I went too far, and you can see the spring bar peeking through when it flexes on the top end of the strap ::facepalm2::
    It’s not noticeable on the wrist but I know it’s there...so will be ordering another 20mm strap and doing it again a little less aggressively.
     
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  13. SkunkPrince Jan 17, 2021

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    All due respect to our Uncle Seiko, the vintage/original is probably a better choice. Still uses those fat bars. I prefer the straight end; I had the curved but it looked weird on my Seamaster 300. I also prefer the 20/16 taper.
     
  14. JwRosenthal Jan 17, 2021

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    Agree on the 20/16 taper- that would be nice, but strait ends won’t work on the sub case- it rubs the case, so it has to be curved. Originals in 20mm are prohibitely expensive.
     
  15. SkunkPrince Jan 17, 2021

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    Yes, very.

    Not sure it would rub. If you're nice to me, you can borrow mine to see.
     
  16. Faz Jan 17, 2021

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    It works...sports Rolex are not strap friendly, so well done!
     
  17. DaveK Yoda of Yodelers Jan 17, 2021

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    Dude, congrats on that sweet watch! Strap looks good
     
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  18. JwRosenthal Jan 18, 2021

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    I noticed using a B&R strap on my OPD that I got that rub mark at the center but didn’t give it much thought. I wore a custom made shell cordovan on my GMT and it never rubbed but in hindsight that is only 1mm thick at the top over the spring bar.
    I always thought the use of curved spring bars and contoured rubber straps like the Everest were for vanity or the OCD, but now I get it- there really is no clearance.
     
  19. Scarecrow Boat 5000 Candles in the Wind Jan 18, 2021

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    On the older sub/gmt cases there is plenty of clearance... I don’t know what made Rolex decide to change this for the modern design. There really is no clearance.
     
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  20. Meyrin Jan 19, 2021

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    I usually prefer an Oyster bracelet on a Sub (I´d make an exception for the "James Bond Nato") but I have to admit that looks really, really sharp! Nice job! :D
     
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