Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by djolemag »

There is something magical in old movements. From my point of view, I am always delighted with precise fitting and tolerance of each part of vintage movement. Everything fits perfectly, each part is made in sort of hand made process, without cnc. Some old watchmaker-master spent many hours on that particular movement and did a really good job. That is the fact which impress me enourmosly. If you consider cortebert or hamilton, as Yoda said somewhere on forum, it is watchmaker's wet dream...
So, having such engine in my watch is privilege and I don't take too much care if it has some dent on bridges, some imperfections etc, they are really the soul of that movement. Same as vintage dial, noone will try to make it as new if it has traces of age...
Generally, molnia is very decent movement, especially old 3602A with CdG. I have few perfect pieces, running like brand new and I don't see any god reason to consider them worse than cortebert/rlx 61x movements. Their price difference is also different story but I don't care. Jonestly, I am just waiting for good idea to come to my mind where to fit them, in what build...
To conclude, I wouldnt change their bridges for no reason.
Also, have about 20+ molnia 3602, most of them running nice, somecstill waiting for me and time to be serviced. All of them have rough russian finish and I don't like that finish... Perhaps I would refinish them but will not make them rolex for sure...
To conclude, each HF build is unique, it is handmade and has a price accordingly. Similar as pocket to wristwatch conversion, those are handmade pieces, so they deserve some respect...
Making business with high prices of replica bridges is not the way, at least for me. I enjoy to make a build, have it, carry it and maybe finally sell it to raise funds for new build, but will not make a business of it. It has to stay a hobby, not a manufacture...
Just my two cents

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Sandwich »

@thelonedoc

Fair enough. I am not entirely sure where to draw the line.

I guess there are 2 issues here. One is making bridges that could be used to counterfeit, like the 616 bridges (and they HAVE been used for that). I think this crosses a line. If that’s not the intent they could be clearly marked somewhere as repro, like on the back. Second is the tastefulness of taking a movement and modifying it for looks. That I admit is entirely a matter of preference. I have a strong opinion on that but realize others may differ.

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Lionelmon »

I'm with you on that one, Sandwich. Looks are important to me too.

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by civic4982 »

Sandwich wrote:Maybe my opinion here will be unpopular but I think this and the 616 “conversions” are what give this hobby a bad name. The former are pretty much bordering on counterfeiting and these latter are a sad attempt at making a very cheap movement look like a quality one. Personally I wouldn’t pay $600 for a “converted” molijna movement because it is still a $50 with a few thin plates replaced that are purely for cosmetics with the same lacking quality. I wouldn’t pay $100. Honestly I wouldn’t pay $600 for a “converted” 616 because it is a $250 movement still, and perhaps lesser quality because it doesn’t have its original precision manufactured bridges. The quality is probably lower, in the name of appearance.

There is cosmetics of the case, dial, and hands, and paying homage to the originals to capture the essence of the style. There I can understand trying to replicate the original. But, making the engine of the watch try to resemble an original is totally different imo. Gen watches were about function, and form followed function with closed casebacks. Trying to make a movement look like a gen movement is either counterfeiting or a sad imitation with no regard for function in the original spirit of vintage watches. Why not just paste a photo of an original 618 on top of the Molnija; that’s the same cheap movement either way isn’t it? A 616 is a quality movement that is cousin to the 618 and from the same era, worthy in its own right as a vintage representative of the era. Why screw around with it just to get it to look like something it isn’t and destroy its 70 year old originality?

To me, this is why many outside the community look down on HF, for bad taste if not bad intent.
I’m with you on the issue of bad taste.

To take a Molnija movement and fabricate a $600+ movement just simply to say “Rolex” seems like a rather silly if not distasteful endeavor.

Your “photo” recommendation reminds me of the glued on plates made by Replica makers in the past. That’s pretty equivalent to the end result here but without the hassle of a whole complete service of the movement and an overhaul for these movements.

As any who have touched the parts created by the Chilean before, there is much modification and plenty of poor low level construction that resulted in expensive and lengthy watchmaker work.

Spend $350 on plates only to expect to spend hours and hours of modifications from a watchmaker to actually have them work. One can ask any with experience over the years of these “products.” Unfortunately the only reasonable option then appears to be to send your movement into the seller and have him be unreliable with communications and disappear with your goods and money for years.

The “low price point” shows perhaps the value incentive here. These plates turn a $100 Russian molnija into a $600 fake Swiss Rolex when the old $350 Swiss Cortebert movements were turned into $2500 Rolex movements. Maybe that’s a value proposition to some?

Given the past banning of this seller as well as a soiled reputation it is very concerning that moderators have allowed this self-advertising guised as discussion to continue for 3 days with the only mention from a mod that it’s a “great project”. Seems like it’s moderator supported to me and that’s rather alarming.


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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by thelonedoc »

I don't see how engraving a movement to make it appear era correct for aesthetic purposes is any worse than machining a patented watch case for the sake of making an accurate hommage of a vintage watch.

It is all about the intent.

Sandwhich, your past contributions are legendary and deserve respect, and I dont think you would appretiate someone suggesting that you are a counterfeiter or a scam artist. What's the old saying about people who live in glass houses? Let's try to keep things in perspective here.

If anyone worth their salt takes a look at Jorge's plates they can tell by the machining patterns, etc that they are not original. This hobby is about having fun, not about scamming people. Jorge has been a huge contributor to the catalogue masterpieces churned out by this community. (And so have his critics.)

I think this debate has more to do with people's harboured grudges than it has to do with the project itself, or even the existence of conversion plates or the engraving of movements.

Everyone knows that not everyone is happy with Jorge, he still has every right to continue contributing to the hobby. He served his time and wears the badge of "bandito" for something that I still feel is highly debatable. What more do you want? Blah blah blah buyer beware. We get it. Lets all get over the jilted lover stage and move on.

I really can't beleive that this is starting up again...

The project may truly be cost prohibitive and not worth proceeding with, but that is for the community to decide based on their own wants and needs.

Buy a molnija conversion or don't. Discuss it, great. But save the flame war and hate mail for your own threads.

Mods, you guys have to do something before this gets bad again. This was a legitimate thread and a civilized discussion until the flaming started up again.
Last edited by thelonedoc on November 24th, 2019, 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Sandwich »

To clarify: I have no grudge with Chileantiques. But I think there is a difference between someone doing small runs of items for fun and someone selling illegally trademarked items on a large scale. I worry about the risk it poses for the forum. Like I said, many may disagree with me and that’s fine. I just wanted to put this viewpoint out there.

PS I don’t think I’ve flamed anyone. I am posing questions and giving opinions about the hobby but making no personal judgments or attacks.

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Ciccio »

No grudge here either but, if someone finds a buyer who’ll pay $600 for a molnja with new plates I have a bridge over in Brooklyn I think he’d really love to buy as well.


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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Mellons »

Sandwich wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 4:45 pm
To clarify: I have no grudge with Chileantiques. But I think there is a difference between someone doing small runs of items for fun and someone selling illegally trademarked items on a large scale. I worry about the risk it poses for the forum. Like I said, many may disagree with me and that’s fine. I just wanted to put this viewpoint out there.

PS I don’t think I’ve flamed anyone. I am posing questions and giving opinions about the hobby but making no personal judgments or attacks.

No flaming at all, very good questions and valued input.

Generally we try and be as supportive as possible with members projects, even large scale ones. Most people involved here are enthusiasts, and are not into manufacturing on large scale. I would say 99.9% of disputes involve delays as we are all amateurs.

I would say most older members here can spot a build at 100 yards, and the knowledge we have here is immense and a great aid to other fora looking to spot scammers etc. A number of us are very active in this regard. VDB builds would not last 10 minutes if posted up now.
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http://www.homage-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=27

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by TimemiT »

I want to simply point out, and I am respectful of debate and all positions on this. If we are to deem a manufactured and engraved part as "illegal" .. we may as well all take apart 90% of our homage watches, dials, hands, crown guards, buckles, casebacks with any references that is T.M. .. and toss them in the trash. Don't mean to get biblical here ... but he who is without sin, cast the first RP dial! :D

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Re: Prototye Molnija/molnia with 618 Shape Bridges

Post by Mellons »

TimemiT wrote:
November 23rd, 2019, 5:19 pm
I want to simply point out, and I am respectful of debate and all positions on this. If we are to deem a manufactured and engraved part as "illegal" .. we may as well all take apart 90% of our homage watches, dials, hands, crown guards, buckles, casebacks with any references that is T.M. .. and toss them in the trash. Don't mean to get biblical here ... but he who is without sin, cast the first RP dial! :D
This is also a good point. A while back on old HF a member Troy set up to manufacture very accurate 3 piece dials, some with vintage text. The (relatively large) project ended up in some difficulty due to the original posters personal circumstances. Another active old HF member, Amperes, now prominent on other fora was instrumental in getting the dials completed and all orders filled- as far as we are aware everyone who placed an order got their dials etc. Although I haven't handled one of these dials, they were very good quality and finish. However, still not a patch on an original, and nor were they intended to be.
Sandwich wrote:
November 22nd, 2019, 10:48 pm
Why screw around with it just to get it to look like something it isn’t and destroy its 70 year old originality?
Personally, I prefer the original unmolested movement- all the benefits, sound etc with none of the cost. The early mollys with CDG are superb, and inexpensive. What would be very useful would be a shock protection mod (if possible) for these early ones. My own personal preference for a homage is one that is completely sterile, but accurate insofar as possible to spirit of the original- if that makes any sense?
"Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black."

http://www.homage-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=27

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