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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some xtals and have two options, jonathan's (as sold by spencer) or oem. both are priced about the same, with the difference being shipping and timing of my getting them...not a big deal. what I am concerned about are two things:

1) are the nos oem xtals that are being sold still structurally sound with regards to pressure testing, today? I know a lot of the older nos rolex xtals used to show some crazing and would not pressure test. these were the older bigger bubble tropic crystals and so rolex manufactured a flatter, less attractive xtal to take the place of the original design (think 5512, 5513 and 1665 xtals as examples if you're familiar with those models).

2) while jonathan's xtals are essentially new, are they as good as new oem with regards to pressure testing and water "resistance?" are they truly 1 to 1? I've never purchased one; so, I have no experience with them.

thanks in advance.

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Craftsman
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Knowing Jonathan I'm sure they were of good quality but if I can choose between an original crystal or a copy I'll choose the original every time.
 

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I can't comment on the structural integrity of Spencer's crystals but I've bought three and fitted one so far (the other two will be fitted during service). The quality of the crystals is great to the naked eye and the one I've fitted looks great and fit well. Service from Spencer's wife who runs the crystal sales side of things was very good.
While I would prefer NOS, I'll happily fit a good AM crystal when NOS is not available or the price differential is too great to justify for the particular watch in question.


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Since I have business involvement with Jonathan's crystal manufacturer (now Spencer's) I can chime in on this.

Seiko oem mineral crystals and Jonathan's reproduction mineral crystals are both 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. there's generally a .5 Moh deviation from production batches.
A sapphire crystal rates about 8.5 Mohs, but they lack deflection strength so they're more prone to shattering under pressure. This is why you don't see Seiko offering sapphires in their 300m & 1000m prospex series.

Also, Jonathan's crystals were manufactured as exact 1:1 replicas of the original Seiko crystals. the size, thickness and angle grinds are all exactly as found in a oem seiko crystal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Knowing Jonathan I'm sure they were of good quality but if I can choose between an original crystal or a copy I'll choose the original every time.
that's my choice also, but that's why I asked question #1. are the nos oem xtals you see for sale these days from the '70s still structurally sound? maybe i'll try some of each...! :grin:

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for the replies guys. that's what I need my hot tub time machine for! watches! ................ and stock purchases to fund the watches!!

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I've always had the impression that vintage crystals are already brittle, but not really sure. Just comparing them to gaskets I guess.
 
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