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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was trying to get a spare acrylic crystal for a pre-owned (only a couple of years old) watch I've just got - just for a spare in case it got damaged. The watch originally sold for ~€500

There's nothing special about the shape of it as far as I can tell , just fairly normal slightly raised/domed, (ie not just domed)

Went to the manufacturer and am quoted €29+vat

Reasonable ?, or can I get replacement that would fit elsewhere?

(I'm just wondering whether they're just sourcing from a general supplier and attaching their own price to it )
 

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Doesn't sound outrageous considering it is the manufacturer's replacement part. However, generic acrylic crystals can be had for $5-10 on ebay, Otto Frei, Esslinger, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, I just hate the idea that is could be a generic crystal and they're just passing it onto me at a vast markup
Yeah I've seen the Otto Frei ones on ebay for $6

Silly question perhaps?, but do (watch) manufacturers generally get a generic crystal or have a bespoke one manufactured for a model ?

It is a homage to a older model that same company did in the 60's, which is why it has the acrylic crystal to start with - to keep it looking authentic
 

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Depends on the watch/crystal. My watchmaker asked/asks from 20 to 25 to 39 Euro incl. tax. The more it is domed the more I have to pay. As far as I know he sources from Flume (only wholesale).
 

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I'd pop the €29 for the right crystal from the manufacturer. I'm sure that you can get a crystal for much less, but my guess is that it would not be the same, and if you want to buy one to have a spare, my guess is that you'd want it to be the same. I recently had a vintage Ulysse Nardin serviced with a crystal replacement, and it was similar, but definitely not the same. Couldn't be helped with a 50 year old watch, but if you have access to the correct replacement part, I'd go that way.
 

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That is a fair price for a crystal that will allow you to retain the look of your watch. An after market crystal will not be the same.
 

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That is a fair price for a crystal that will allow you to retain the look of your watch. An after market crystal will not be the same.
Well, that's his whole question: is the crystal he buys from the manufacturer going to be exactly the same product that is available somewhere out there from a third party? Even the manufacturer has to source things from somewhere, after all.

That said, that sounds like a fair price to me for the security of getting the right part. However, if the manufacturer sells spare crystals, it seems like you could save some money just by waiting to see if you ever actually need it. If there's a reliable source for a replacement out there, then you don't need really need one waiting "just in case."
 

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I think that is reasonable. You could try to save money buy going generic, but if it ends up not looking right, (and you are half OCD like a lot of us here) you might be willing to spend twice that 29 to make it right again. I'd just save yourself the hassle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As the watch is now en-route , you all deserve a picture of the watch in question :)....

A modern day Dugena Tropica

dugenagoldy.jpg

dugena243.jpg

See what I mean about how it could easily be just a generic acrylic - but I'm going with advice given and buying the real deal crystal - august though - wallet's taken a battering lol

(just found out the original owner dude posts on here too from time to time)
 

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I recently had my crystal replaced for £8 fitted, within half an hour. Not from the original mfr... Or perhaps it was! Looks identical, feels identical. The watch is a CWC 1970s chrono remake. I'm glad I didn't send it to Silverman's for the refit. Would have cost much more in time and money, I'm sure.
 
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a) Some brands use “generic” crystals,

b) Some brands use totally proprietary designs.

c) Some brand use crystals very close to “generic” crystals, but actually don’t fit quite right.

CWC is of the third type. “Generic” crystals fit and work properly, but are slightly thinner and do not have the matt tension ring. If you see a generic crystal fitted to a military CWC next to an original one you cannot help but notice the difference, and once you notice the difference, a generic will forever look slightly off...

(b) and (c) are true of just about all plastic crystals, as it is relatively inexpensive to have a run of 300,000 or so plastic crystals run off that are artistically tuned to the case shape. However, after the initial run is gone, it is somewhat expensive to re-tool and do a run of 3,000.
 
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a) Some brands use “generic” crystals,

b) Some brands use totally proprietary designs.

c) Some brand use crystals very close to “generic” crystals, but actually don’t fit quite right.

CWC is of the third type. “Generic” crystals fit and work properly, but are slightly thinner and do not have the matt tension ring. If you see a generic crystal fitted to a military CWC next to an original one you cannot help but notice the difference, and once you notice the difference, a generic will forever look slightly off...

(b) and (c) are true of just about all plastic crystals, as it is relatively inexpensive to have a run of 300,000 or so plastic crystals run off that are artistically tuned to the case shape. However, after the initial run is gone, it is somewhat expensive to re-tool and do a run of 3,000.
I am sitting here with my CWC on my wrist, and the original crystal (complete with the small crack that necessitated its replacement). I can really not tell the difference (apart from the crack of course). The original IS surprisingly thick, and I can't tell how thick the fitted one is, because it's fitted.
 

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If the tension ring is frosted and not shiny, you have an original crystal....
 
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