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Sunday 5 June 2011

Don't try this @ home! Rolex faded bezel insert.

Fun with bleach...
I enjoy the benefits of the 16800 but still yearned for the retro look of the 1680.
Maybe this could partly be achieved by adding a faded bezel?
So, after much googling I discovered there's a lot of differing opinion out there about replacing the original bezel insert with a faded one.
Hmmmm, this sort of moral highground only makes me more determined :-)
So after sourcing a genuine original insert in a rough state, with matching scrapes and scratches etc.,
relatively cheaply, I decided to have a go at fading it myself.
I'm pretty pleased with the results and it gives a much more casual, washed out look for me.
It's actually turned out a kind of blue/grey colour.
This is how I did it in around an hour start to finish -
(note, sorry but I accept no responsibility if you're mad enough to copy me and it goes badly wrong for you :-))
Firstly I submerged the bezel insert completely in a small amount of household bleach and rough sea salt (no scientific reason why - just made me think of the sun and the sea :-)) for around 10 minutes.
After rinsing completely under a running tap I then wiped it gently with some kitchen paper, removing the lacquered/gloss finish.
It was then dropped into some fresh bleach/salt mix, face down, twice for around 10-15 minutes each time, rinsing again in between.
The only reason I did it twice was to check the results out of the solution - I had it face down, remember...
There's lots of info out there on youtube etc for swapping a bezel insert over so I won't bore you with that but it's a 2 minute job, best performed with the bracelet removed as I discovered last night.
The object of this excerise wasn't to trick anyone into believing it was a tool watch that had worked for nearly 30 years in the sun drenched Indian Ocean, merely to change the look for my own personal taste :-)
I actually don't think the sun and sea could naturally have done the same job on this particular insert in 100 years or more anyway!
Any good? Or, have I commited the ultimate faux-pas?
To be honest I don't care as it's just for fun and no good condition bezels were harmed in the making of this modification :-)

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