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03.12.2016, 22:36 #1
Ruminations on Ceramic Bezels, using Delran, and a Titanium Ring
I noticed in the latest Rolex Magazine number 6 that there is a difference between the Submariner ceramic bezel and the GMT bezels. After examining this schematic of the Submariner bezel, as well as a GMT schematic, I noticed that there is a washer between the ceramic insert and the rotating bezel on the Submariner that is not resident on the GMT bezel assembly.
Notice in the above US patent documents, that part #5 acts as the Delran snap ring that holds the bezel to the crystal securing ring/bezel and there is an absence of a supporting ring between the bezel insert and the rotating bezel.
For fear of being flamed, or spreading some sort of conspiracy theory, but perhaps the absence of a supporting ring is why we see more broken ceramic GMT bezel inserts over any other Rolex model. I’ve noticed (anecdotally) on my Extreme Rolex - Ouch page that I see more GMT bezel issues than with Rolex dive watches. Rolex unveiled the ceramic bezel insert with the GMT back in 2005. My thinking is that the design change we see with the Submariner, DSSD, and Sea Dweller ceramic bezels with the additional insert was because of premature failures.
I asked my Rolex certified watchmaker whether there is any logic to my theory, as well as why there is a nylon/Delran ring that holds ceramic bezels in place. I always thought it was odd for Rolex to use a plastic pressure ring to secure an expensive ceramic bezel assembly akin to a Delran bearing used in ETA 7750 chronograph movements.
My watchmaker indicated that back in the pre-ceramic days that there were issues with pulling off a rotating bezel without pulling off the entire bezel assembly that held the crystal to the watch case. The stainless pressure ring that held the crystal in place would stretch over time and in some instances, would pop off when the bezel was extracted like in the images below.
Rolex addressed this issue on its modern ceramic bezels by utilizing a Delran ring that would snap when the bezel was removed, and replaced by a Rolex certified watchmaker upon reassembly. Additionally, Rolex replaced the stainless ring with a less stretch prone titanium pressure ring that holds the crystal and the rotating bezel in place.
These are just thoughts and observations on design differences and I am not suggesting that ceramic GMT’s are inferior in any way. These are just observations from someone who notices these details.
Rolex Experiences & Information www.minus4plus6.com
04.12.2016, 04:42 #2
At least in this forum I do not see evidence of many ceramic GMT bezel failures.Gruss,
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