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For many of us who restore or revive old, unloved watches, finding NOS parts or suitable donors is the greatest challenge. Aftermarket replacements are usually a last resort or the result of refusing to pay the premiums some parts demand.

About six months ago, when I restored my first 6139-6002, I intended to replace the bezel insert and I ordered one from an eBay seller. I received it and threw it in the parts bin because I ended up reusing the original. Last week, when I started restoring another 6139, which had a much more faded insert, I reluctantly decided to use the insert -- until I took it out of the package. That's when I noticed just how different it was from the original, despite the seller's photo suggesting that they were indeed very close.



Whether it was a fluke or a simple manufacturing error, it reminds me of three important things: [1] not every person who produces AM parts will take pride in their product, and as a result, [2] you get what you pay for, so [3] don't wait six months to check the quality of the items you buy. :grin:
 

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What I can never understand with some of these after market parts, they go to a fair amount of trouble and expense to produce the parts which in fairness are often quite reasonable but they fall down on that final bit of detail like in this case (shaking my head :) ).

A good example are the 6105 hands, the H/M VERY good but the second hand awful, so close, same with some of the dials etc etc.

The good thing is it helps us identify the difference.
 

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What I can never understand with some of these after market parts, they go to a fair amount of trouble and expense to produce the parts which in fairness are often quite reasonable but they fall down on that final bit of detail like in this case (shaking my head :) ).

A good example are the 6105 hands, the H/M VERY good but the second hand awful, so close, same with some of the dials etc etc.

The good thing is it helps us identify the difference.
couldn't agree more, some of the AM parts out there are SHOCKING! Luckily the one AM dial & insert I have on my very first 6309 is reasonable.
 

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couldn't agree more, some of the AM parts out there are SHOCKING! Luckily the one AM dial & insert I have on my very first 6309 is reasonable.
I thought some of the aftermarket parts are designed and manufactured to be close to OEM parts at a glance, but intentionally show minor/delicate differences so that the OEM, eg. Seiko, would not be able to sue them because they are indeed different. Or simply with trade marks omitted.

On the other hand, some aftermarket parts are made to be identical to OEM parts by looks, for the obvious reason to cheat, as most of them have inferior quality (cost less to make).

And, some aftermarket parts do help us in different ways - such as hard to find OEM parts(6217 hands is one example), or better quality than OEM parts(6139 bracelets, skx007 SEL, sapphire crystals, etc...). Not to mention those fancy modding parts.

They do serve different purposes. We just need to be careful about what we are looking at. And asking questions in this forum is definitely the way to go. I am actually very grateful having been here and have learnt more than I can actually use :)

Vincent
 
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