DIY Movement swap?

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DIY Movement swap?

Post by f_m_leon »

Hello all, very new here (as evidenced by my post count). Had a question that I'm sure is possible, but figured before I spun my wheels too much, I'm sure someone here has the answer.

I've got the C60 Trident Pro 600 with the bronze case. I do like the bronze case, but I feel that a more traditional SS one would make it a little more flexible.

So what I'm wondering is:
1. I'm assuming that a movement can be taken out and put into another CW case. Would I have to purchase the exact 43mm case or would one of the newer 42mm work?

2. Assuming the above is possible, where would a good spot to source a case be? I've tried eBay, but they're all full watches. Don't have access to the buy/sell/trade forums here, so I'll need to get my 5 posts before I can take a look there.

If it matters, I'd take this to a jeweler/watchmaker to do this - I wouldn't try it myself unless it's very easy. I did replace the crystal on my Seiko, so I somewhat know what I'm doing.

Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can offer.
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by exHowfener »

I'm no expert,but if you are going to source a case and pay someone to do the work it might be more sensible/cost effective to sell your bronze watch and buy a SS one. Maybe a few years down the line you could buy a 'dead' watch for the case but with the 60:60 warranty you may not find a case easy to come by.
I can understand putting a replacement movement in a watch you own, that may have some sentimental value but what you propose seems an expensive way of getting a SS watch. I've only had access to 'Sales corner' for a short time but, trust me, it isn't a ready source of cases. Ironically, I think what you are looking for is more likely to be obtained from someone who isn't a watch enthusiast.
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by Paul Drawmer »

It really isn't worth the hassle.

Just buy the watch you want, and sell the Bronze one. It will be the most cost effective way.
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS »

Paul Drawmer wrote:
Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:52 pm
It really isn't worth the hassle.

Just buy the watch you want, and sell the Bronze one. It will be the most cost effective way.
I'd normally suggest the same Paul but isn't the blue dial in the Bronze, unique to that model?

@f_m_leon - in answer to your questions;-

1. Yes; you can switch a movement/dial/hand package into another watch but it will have to be another 43mm Mk2 C60 Trident Pro 600.

2. It is highly unlikely you'll find a 'case only' For Sale on the open market. Spare parts supply for CW watches is controlled by CW; they will not sell you a case, nor will they do any swap for you. I have yet to see a CW watch being sold for 'spares only'.

If you are really committed to following this through, your best bet will be to buy a 2nd watch and switch components between the two, to your pleasing to get the look you want. You can then keep or sell the second watch. This has been done, to varying degrees, in recent times by both @gaf1958 and @Soporsche.

Good luck.

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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by monkeymax »

You will struggle to find a parts only watch - I've been looking for a while with searches in a lot of the usual places with no success. There was one, but the owner had come off his bike with the watch so the glass, bezel and case were all badly scratched/damaged. The movement was apparently fine but - like you - that wasn't what I was after.

As Guy has alluded to, there have been some great movement swaps by a couple of members on here. But generally it seems that requires purchase of a whole other watch to use as the 'donor' watch to then end up with two watches. I'd say that if you play it right on your dial choice of your donor watch, the resultant bronze watch may be quite nice and may sell to recoup some of your costs. (Maybe an ombre dial or solid blue would work well in a bronze watch?)

My first thought was also that it'd be better to buy the watch you want, but if you do do this, please post photos!

Edit: Just realised the ombre dial was a C65 dial, so that wouldn't be an option.
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by Soporsche »

As mentioned by Guy above, I firstly tried it on a C60 300 (quartz) and subsequently a couple of Automatics (but not very expensive ones).

Also to echo the above, you will very likely have to acquire a whole watch for any Christopher Ward case swap, in which case (no pun intended) you probably would have bought the steel cased CW you wanted and a swap wouldn't be required.
I did it for a bit of fun and to create a unique colour scheme, I then sold the other watch (with the leftover case/dial) to contribute to the one I created but it certainly cost me more than a straight purchase.

On the difficulty scale, not very but some decent watch tools were required along with a loupe and some good YouTube tutorials.
One word of caution, dont assume that case sizes are identical in the same model range, just something to check.

Lastly, if you fancy giving it a go, then go for it, its quite a satisfying feeling.

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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by Lavaine »

1) buy a SS C60
2) swap movements/dials. Hands too if you want, but the C60 Bronze hands wouldn't look good in a SS case IMO.
3) sell the new custom C60 Bronze
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by gaf1958 »

I’ve managed to pickup two C60 MkI cases over the years, but have seen none for sale for quite a long time, they’re quite difficult to find.

Most of my CW mods have been from swapping movements sourced from complete watches, but I must agree that the bronze hands in a steel case will look a bit odd. One of the MkI cases I have is unused as it’s a GMT with the 24 hour bezel. Time and patience may yet pay off and I might find a suitable match for it.

Unfortunately... well fortunately in some respects, they’re not like Seikos where parts are readily available and mostly interchangeable to do all sorts of mods. It may be decades (or never) before CW is in a position like that.
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Re: DIY Movement swap?

Post by MarkingTime »

What ever you do, don't assume that a quartz case will be a direct swap for an auto case of the same watch type.
As has been mentioned, buy a second SS watch that you feel the dial would look ok with a bronze case and do the necessary swap.
The thing is, there was a dark blue C60 Pro that would be almost exactly what you are looking for anyway.
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