Vintage Premium Franken Build ; Is that worthy?

by DTIME International on 14 October 2018

Hi guys, welcome back to our blog section....


Talking about watches will not going to be end line, there are so many thoughts filling the industry, every parts of the mechanical watches are presumably long to be discussed. Far from those techincal topics, "genuine vs replica" also has been never ending story to talked about, from price, perfection, version, factories etc. Replica recently getting better and better on replicating genuine, but there are some models that can not be replicated properly by replica factory. Those models are usually vintage models such as : Tudor Submariner Snowflakes, Old vintage submariner 5512, 5513, old vintage GMT 1675, and many other vintage models. 

There are some factories making some vintage models like daytona paul newman, vintage explorer and some other vintage. But those are far from perfection from the aging and details perfections. Some people willing to accept as it is, as the price is also make sense to the quality. But most of the vintage lovers are not happy with that and willing to spend more than thousands dollars to build a premium franken build to make it close to vintage quality with some genuine after market parts, and some of them willing to spend more money to buy genuine movement to support that build.





  • The first reason is scarcity. To find some particular vintage model in the market is very hard
  • The price is the other reason. Because some vintage watches especially from rolex are extremely expensive, as you can see below :

From those above prices, vintage freaks willing to pay $2K up to $10K to build such a perfect vintage watches match to genuine.





  • In order to build premium vintage watches, we can't use factory made replica main parts such as case, dial, or bracelet. Because the quality is not good, and the shape, thickness and finishes are not the same with genuine.
  • We will use genuine after market case/dial or a gen specs replacement case / dials / bracelet made by some well known maker like : Yuki, Cartel, Athaya, and MQ Vietnam. Those replacement part are 100% fit to genuine parts and movement. All details are correct as it should be. Even replacement case made by those maker can cost you between $700 - $1,500.
  • Oftenly use genuine after market parts like hands, dial, tube, crown and crystal. This is obviously expensive too.
  • Some of people willing to pay $4K rolex calibre genuine aftermarket movement to support their vintage build.
  • Manual aging process. To make it looks old, modder need to make aged finish on the hands, dial, case and bracelet. And it is 100% hand made.
  • Manual assembling and testing. We are not talking about mass production. Every piece of premium vintage build are 100% hand made job. 







  • It depends on how you see it. Physically it is no doubt, no one can spot physical premium build compare to genuine vintage.
  • Compare to genuine vintage price as i mentioned above, it is still reasonable price with such perfection
  • If you are the person who not really into vintage, you better stay and accept flaws made by replica factories.
  • This kinda build really pointed to someone really understand the vintage watches, the perspective, price and history of the watch itself. Obviously someone also have a "fat bold" pocket to spend the money
  • 2-3 month building periods is not short period to wait. So it need to be total understanding that building this kinda project is not easy. Parts need to be collected and some parts need to wait to fullfil. After that is aging, assembling and testing. So it is not a quick scheme watches.