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Old 1 December 2010, 05:30 AM   #1
Tools
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Clear Case-back, Thomas Preik New Generation Review

Thomas Preik is a Master Watchmaker located in Germany. He has carved out a niche in the Horological Community with his custom manufactured Clear Case-backs.

We reviewed and installed his First Generation case-back last year here: This year Thomas has developed an exciting New Generation case-back that looks almost factory direct. This new case-back uses a standard 29.5mm Rolex case-back socket. Let's get the advertised specs out of the way:
- High quality Stainless Steel construction
- Sapphire Crystal
- Guaranteed Waterproof and acid proof
- Same height as original

Well, let's spend some time looking over this New Generation case-back and see if the advertised claims hold up.

For our review we have acquired an example that fits the Sub, GMT, Exp II, and a few others... He also has case-backs that will fit a variety of other models. Check out all his offerings here: http://www.customwatchconcepts.com/

Here is the one we will be using:

Copy1ofIMG_0005.jpg

Copy2ofIMG_0001.jpg

Fit and finish are excellent. The sapphire crystal is press fit into the case-back from it's face using a composite gasket. You can see the gasket around the edge of the crystal. This fitment is quite secure and is the same as that used to fit the sapphire crystal on the front of your watch..

Looking at the face we can see the ridges that mate perfectly with the Rolex case-back socket:
- Sapphire thickness - .035"/.900mm
- Sapphire diameter -- 1.025"/26.04mm
- Overall diameter ---- 1.38"/35.05mm
IMG_0007.jpg
Flipping the case-back on it's back, we can see the generous lip that the crystal and gasket fits up against. This lip keeps the crystal where it belongs and prevents any pressure from pressing it in further protecting the movement from damage. Crystal thickness is similar to the dial crystal and so it should be able to hold up to the same surface/atmospheric pressures that the watch encounters.

Copy2ofIMG_0004.jpg

Thomas advertises that it is the same "height" as an original case-back.. We found this to be true when compared with the Sub case-back. When comparing it with the slightly smaller GMT case-back, you can see that it is slightly less than a half mm taller. On the wrist, this is unnoticeable for this model.
IMG_0009.jpg

As mentioned, one of the exciting aspects of this New Generation design is it's use of the standard socket for installation and removal. I use an LG Openall case back tool (see the first gen review for use of this tool). Installation is straightforward and simple to do by any watchmaker.. The standard LG 29.5mm Rolex Socket was used.

IMG_0010.jpg

Here is what the final installation looks like on a Sub-c 116610. Measurements of the thickness of the Sub with an original case-back is .505"/12.83mm , and the measurement with the Preik case-back measured the same:

Copy2ofIMG_0003.jpg

This example is destined for a GMT 16710. Installation was easy and fit was perfect. A pressure check showed the clear case-back to be as watertight as the original steel back. Claims of acid proof were not tested....

After installation and pressure test, which it easily passed:
caseback.jpg


Clear case-backs aren't for everybody. However, if you want to show off that Rolex movement, and you want a bit of customization, this one comes highly recommended..

Thomas on-line sales site: http://www.customwatchconcepts.com/

Neither TRF nor the author have any affiliation with Mr. Preik or his enterprise. This review is for the enjoyment of, and information to, the members of TRF..
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Old 1 December 2010, 05:44 AM   #2
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Old 1 December 2010, 05:44 AM   #3
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Old 1 December 2010, 05:48 AM   #4
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Excellent review, thanks for sharing Larry.

Definitely worth considering.
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Old 1 December 2010, 05:52 AM   #5
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Excellent writeup and pictures Larry. Looks like a great option.
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:04 AM   #6
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Thank you. Very interesting AND very tempting. Although I think it would be prudent to wait until the watch is out of warranty- wouldn't this void a warranty?
Cheers.
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:09 AM   #7
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'Guaranteed waterproof'? No watch is waterproof.
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watchteacher View Post
'Guaranteed waterproof'? No watch is waterproof.
True but as tools showed the watch pressure tests to the original specs, and given that the watchmaker is German it is possible he doesn't get the exact nuance of the wording in English. Would you prefer "garanteed water resistant"? Waterproof was a term used commonly not that long ago( ok maybe 35-40 years ago) so perhaps that is the term he is used to.

Last edited by Danand; 1 December 2010 at 06:17 AM.. Reason: Edit
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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awesome review Larry.
i think the Rolex movement looks great!
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:19 AM   #10
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Btw I can assure you his English is wayyyyy better than my German!
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:29 AM   #11
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Great review as always Larry
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:36 AM   #12
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Excellent!!

Thanks for sharing & I'd certainly do it!
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danand View Post
True but as tools showed the watch pressure tests to the original specs, and given that the watchmaker is German it is possible he doesn't get the exact nuance of the wording in English. Would you prefer "garanteed water resistant"? Waterproof was a term used commonly not that long ago( ok maybe 35-40 years ago) so perhaps that is the term he is used to.
I just ordered one for my two tone blue sub, so I'll test it myself after I install it. For clarity, I just wanted to correct the term; people toss the word waterproof often around. And water resistance is a condition; you can have the watch tested in the morning, knock the watch on its crown an hour later and have it now be not water resistant, or indeed less water resistant.

And the price to me was under $160 to me, the price on the website includes the heavy VAT tax, which doesn't apply to US residents.
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watchteacher View Post
I just ordered one for my two tone blue sub, so I'll test it myself after I install it. For clarity, I just wanted to correct the term; people toss the word waterproof often around. And water resistance is a condition; you can have the watch tested in the morning, knock the watch on its crown an hour later and have it now be not water resistant, or indeed less water resistant.

And the price to me was under $160 to me, the price on the website includes the heavy VAT tax, which doesn't apply to US residents.
You'll have to post a thread later to let us all know how it goes. Is your watch old enough to be out of warranty? Good luck with it. I think it looks like a really nice option.
Just saw that your sub is a Tiffany so I'll assume it's out of warranty!

Last edited by Danand; 1 December 2010 at 06:50 AM.. Reason: Edit
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Old 1 December 2010, 06:56 AM   #15
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It's been a while since I've been on his page, I see he now has one for the 116713. Looks like it's time to mod my GMT.
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Old 1 December 2010, 07:08 AM   #16
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I'm waiting for that toothed 2nd generation to be available for a datejust, then I'm all in!
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Old 1 December 2010, 07:14 AM   #17
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What a great review with very good photographs. I am seriously considering one of these casebacks.
Well done Larry.
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Old 1 December 2010, 07:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danand View Post
Thank you. Very interesting AND very tempting. Although I think it would be prudent to wait until the watch is out of warranty- wouldn't this void a warranty?
Cheers.
'

Why can't one replace with the original caseback prior to any warranty work that may be needed?
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Old 1 December 2010, 07:41 AM   #19
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Very nice. Thorough as always Larry. Thanks for the review.
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Old 1 December 2010, 08:00 AM   #20
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Thanks for the review Larry. Looks good and the price is very appealing. My only reservation is that I take my SD in the ocean/pool all the time.
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Old 1 December 2010, 08:17 AM   #21
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Looks great, thanks for the write up and great pictures!
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Old 1 December 2010, 08:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
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'

Why can't one replace with the original caseback prior to any warranty work that may be needed?
I guess I just get a little paranoid about these sorts of things
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Old 1 December 2010, 08:36 AM   #23
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Picture perfect, Larry. Well done!
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Old 1 December 2010, 09:48 AM   #24
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Looks good, Larry!

As you know, I tried one of his Gen I backs on my EXPII but the dimensions changed the way the watch sat on my wrist so I put the steel back on.



I also ordered one of his display backs for my Omega SMP and he sent me the wrong size (mid-size). Eventually he sent the correct back but the edge-to-edge diameter was .5mm too large which prevented the back from screwing all the way down for a seal. Fortunately my watchmaker was able to machine the edge down and make it fit. (The machining cost me an extra $50.)

I hope someone will install a Gen II on an EXPII and provide measurements for a comparison with the OEM.

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Old 1 December 2010, 09:52 AM   #25
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This is very cool and tempting!
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Old 1 December 2010, 10:06 AM   #26
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Very cool Larry!!! Great review!
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Old 1 December 2010, 10:41 AM   #27
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Very nice. Thanks for sharing Larry....
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Old 1 December 2010, 10:49 AM   #28
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Awesome Larry ..... thank you for sharing!
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Old 1 December 2010, 10:58 AM   #29
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A great post Larry!!
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Old 1 December 2010, 11:47 AM   #30
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Very beautiful, Larry. I want one too!
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