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Thread: Invicta 8926ob to Black Bay Homage

  1. #1
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Invicta 8926ob to Black Bay Homage

    Thought I'd record my successes and failures with this mod here in its own thread.

    I'd owned the Invicta for about a year and enjoyed its company very much, it made my mind up about the style and I recently purchased a Steinhart Ocean 1
    The Steinhart is a huge jump in quality and made the Invicta a little redundant but resale wouldn't have been very cost effective.
    I have admired the Tudor Black Bay for a while, but the price tag is still out of reach for me and a few off the shelf homages don't quite tick all the boxes.
    So I decided to try to mod the Invicta into a Black Bay.
    Both the Invicta and the Black bay have their origins in the Rolex submariner, but there are a lot of subtle differences so its not a straightforward bezel change and voila!
    The idea has been done a few times before and I took lots of advice and inspiration for different options from several previous success stories.
    the first few posts will pop up quite quickly as I've previously posted these in the MWC thread, but they'll get lost there pretty quickly so here they are on their own.

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  3. #2
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Part 1, Low dome crystal

    Heres the Starting Point, Invicta 8926ob
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    The Invicta has a 'flame fusion' flat glass, 30x2.5mm with a date cyclops, the end point dial doesn't have the date so the cyclops was going anyway but I decided on a low dome mineral glass, I chose one 2mm thick as I wanted to get rid of the step up from the bezel

    Bracelet removed and in the case clamp
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    Back Off and Stem removed, release pointed out, was easily tracked down online.
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    Movement protected from dust in a spare case.
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    I bought some nylon crystal press dies a few weeks ago that won't scratch the glass
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    The old "Flame fusion" glass was easily removed with firm thumb pressure, not as scary as I thought.
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    Selected appropriate size presses to reinstall,
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    I used the tool this time to ensure even pressure applied. no sealant at though, it's going to be in and out a bit before I finish.
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    The result is just what I wanted, I had intended to stop here and wait for the new bezel, so I tried out the look on a Nato
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    So far So good
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Churchy; Jun 8, 2015 at 09:49 PM.

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  5. #3
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Invicta 8926ob to Black Bay Homage

    Removing and refinishing the bezel

    Not being noted for my patience I soon decided to proceed a little further
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    The Finish on the Invicta bezel is polished and quite smooth as if it worn down by the polishing process, I wanted a sharper detail and a brushed look.

    Strap off now to get the bezel off, I'd read a lot of bad stories about removing this bezel.
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    I first tried to give the bezel a little nudge off to one side, this has been a good method for me in the past as it allows few tenths of a mil extra gap to allow the bezel to pop off.
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    No luck I tried the next method, even pressure round the edge.
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    Still nothing, I decided to take the plunge and remove the insert.
    While I had the blades inserted under the bezel I got a plastic toothpick and ran it side to side under the insert, gently applying upward pressure, it's held in only by some double sided tape and lifted quite easily.

    It then became clear why there has been so much difficulty.
    the thin retaining spring alternates between a groove in the bezel and a grove in the case and runs round 70% of the circumference, only a chance fluke of getting just the right sector where there was no spring would result in any chance of the bezel coming off.
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    (NB: this shot was taken after the bezel was refitted)

    Once the retaining spring is removed the bezel just lifts off, the 'click' spring pops out at the same time. there is some minor damage to the inner edge of the bezel but nothing serious.
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    The smooth polished finish is hard to see in this picture, sorry.
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    I mounted the bezel on a drill chuck, just pushed fitted round some masking tape.
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    A couple off spins with a scotchbrite pad lightly rubbing the surface removes the shine, and a rat tail file adds some definition to the fluting, the result is satisfactory, but I may do some further finishing.
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    Last edited by Churchy; Jun 10, 2015 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #4
    Great write-up so far! Looking forward to the rest of the mods!
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  7. #5
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Invicta 8926ob to Black Bay Homage

    The Original path at this point was to fit the new bezel and 'live' with the watch for a short while before getting the new dial and hand set.
    After pricing up the cost of the dial and hand set I wanted I had a change of heart, I didn't want to pay out only to make a hash of the case and have no watch to put them in.
    To get closer to a Black Bay I needed to get rid of two things, the crown guards, and the Invicta logo, time to get the power tools out.

    First thing to do was remove the Rotor. I don't want the watch running when I come to fit the hands so auto winding is a no-no.


    All stripped down and parts bagged up safe and sound.


    The crown tube came out far easier than I'd expected.
    The crown tube I new from other peoples write ups is just press fitted,
    I made a plastic shim to fit round the tube thread and just screwed the crown in, there was no drama it just screwed itself out. once it had cone a couple of mm it was easily removed.


    My starting point, The crown guards are going to take some work.


    The end links are on as a guide, I want to reduce the length of the lugs by about 1 mm to align them with the strap end links.


    Basic shaping complete. Mainly with a rough hand file. The Invicta logo is no more, I made a quick pencil line template to ensure the guard side ends up a similar shape.


    Crown Guards gone, It this stage I wish I had a better workshop, a decent vice at least. I nearly lost a fingertip at one point.


    First stage polish with a dremel and a flap wheel reveals a couple of deeper scuffs where my grip slipped.


    Second polish with 1500 grade wet'n'dry paper, a good 3 hours work to get here, but I'm happy with the results, still a little way to go though.
    Time to order the dial and hands.
    Last edited by Churchy; Jun 10, 2015 at 08:33 PM.

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  9. #6
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Love the DIY threads, Churchy!

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    Member pepperami's Avatar
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    Nice one Churchy...subscribing to this thread...

  11. #8
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Invicta 8926ob to Black Bay Homage

    Its been a good news bad news morning on the Mod front,

    Everything was looking good, the case is nearly there and I last night I made a slight change to the Crown, putting a small shoulder on the inside edge to allow extra clearance for the bezel and make the crown seem narrower.
    I've seen this on another BB mod and it's very effective.
    I did a quick reassemble. put the bracelet back on and I think I need just a little tweak to the lugs to bring them perfectly in line with the end links.
    Then just a little more polishing and that will be good.


    The New bezel arrived this morning so I did a quick test fit to see what the effect would be
    That's when the bad thing happened.
    I snapped the stem right at the point it joins to the crown
    I think what happened is I didn't fix the stem tube in place when i test fitted the modified crown. I needed to take it out again as theres more polishing to do.
    I forgot about the back pressure from the screw down crown and as I was pushing the Insert into place, the crown and tube popped out and I caught it with my thumb "snap"
    Now the stem and the Crown are useless, I think I have replacements sourced but its a delay and cost I could have done without.
    Really annoyed at myself.

    Anyway the bezel looks good, so thats not so bad, its a press fit and quite a tight one at that so its not in flush at this point.


    Sorry about the shadow, My head was still buzzing about the broken crown. But this picture does show off the new fluting on the bezel nicely.
    Last edited by Churchy; Jun 8, 2015 at 09:50 PM.

  12. #9
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Very cool. Great post.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  13. #10
    MWC vet, still collecting Churchy's Avatar
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    Just a quick teaser.
    I have on the way the Dagaz BB tribute dial and handset, which are a direct fit for the NH35 movement, as well as the replacement crown and stem.
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