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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Original version of this post was posted by Ty Maitland to SCWF and is stored in their database here:

http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index.php?mod=103&action=1&id=1140376570

Ty Maitland said:
I've been collecting 6139-6xxx's for a good while now and their somewhat the foundation of my collection. It never has been easy to find them in good condition. Lately, it's even worse, their being frankened and butchered to death ( or life ) just to get them sold.


There's been a few how to buys lately for other models so I thought I'd see if I can make one for the 6139. A quick scan through ebay shows there's a need for something!


These are all original dials which came in several versions for the 6139-600x and 6139-603x's.















This is a prime example of what to not buy...... incorrect inner bezel, incorrect crown, incorrect hands and lots of mold on the indices.... a big sign of moisture entry.






So here we go.. signs to look for if you're buying a 6139-6xxx



The DIAL

As of yet, there doesn't seem to be any redials, fake dial or reproduction dials. Which ever you prefer
It's surprising because the 6139's are quite popular. I think though, there sunburst dials are a bit harder to copy than your basic black diver dial.

Not that this happens often but, dials are known to be dipped in a solution to bring back the color. If you see a dial that just looks too shiny and/or oily... proceed with caution.



The CASE

These watches came with a brushed finish on the top of their case and polished everywhere else. The brushed finish is all in one direction and should be even. Its pretty hard to mimic the factory finish unless you know what you're doing so, it's not hard to spot a botch job. The edges of the case should be sharp and square. If their some what rounded, it's a good sign the case has been polished. That may not be a big deal to some but, if you want all original watch out for that.


polished case




correct brushed finish

see how the corners are square and the brushed follows the case ( in one direction )





The HANDS

All the 6139-600x's came with a RED hands except for the 6139-6030/6032 which came with ORANGE hands. Other models do have other colors. Black, yellow and white

The second hand is smooth across the top from tip to tip. You'll see some that have a silver head on the hand where it mounts to the post. This is an aftermarket second hand.

The minute counter hand should have a TEAR DROP shape to it and be red or orange


The OUTER BEZEL

Many you see will be faded or scratched pretty bad. Until recently, you were stuck with what you got as far as the insert. Now, there's a guy on ebay selling stick on inserts for the 6139-600x bezel. The 6139's insert isn't replaceable like most diver bezel inserts.



Who ever made them didn't do too bad of a job but, the color is off and it doesn't have the anodized look the original does. I haven't noticed these on any watches yet but, their around so keep your eye out for them.


Sticker insert






Correct bezel




The INNER CHAPTER RING

Commonly found to be faded, these chapter rings ( bezel ) are plastic. They have teeth underneath them that catch on a gear mounted to the stem. This is what turns the chapter ring when you rotate the crown.

If in a sale description it says the chapter ring does not turn or is stiff, that's a big sign there could be problems. Either the wrong stem has been installed in it, it has the correct stem but, the gear is missing, teeth have been stripped on the chapter ring

If it's not turning smoothly, it's possible the tension ring under the crystal is missing. With it gone, there's too much pressure on the chapter ring from the crystal and it won't turn well.

A rule of thumb when looking at the colors. If going by the original catalog pictures, a yellow dial will have a yellow chapter ring and a black dial, a black chapter ring. There is question whether a black chapter came with a yellow dial. Some claim to have original that came that way,

It's very possible but, that's not shown in any catalog pictures. Black chapter rings are more common than the yellows so a lot of times. The watches yellow ring has faded so bad, a black is put in its place.


THE CROWN

Lately this seems to be one of the biggest problems with 6139's on ebay. Original stems aren't available anymore but, there are after market crowns.

The original crowns have a dimple in the middle of them, their thin in width and fit flush to the case. It's usually easy to spot a wrong crown because of how far out it sits out from the case. Wrong and after market crowns are typically thick in width and have more space between the ridges on the crown.

By not having the correct stem, sometimes the day/date can't be set and the hands aren't able to be moved. There's a specific method in reinstalling the stems in these watches. If not done correctly, there's a high probability of internal damage.


THE GASKETS

All the 6139-600x's have 5 gaskets. Each button has one, the crown stem, the case back and the crystal. All are readily available except for the crystal gasket. Typically, there's nothing wrong with it. It's all the other gaskets that are imperative to replace. Even then with a 30 year old watch, you shouldn't expect too much water resistance out of it. At least you can wash your hands without worry. Unless mentioned in the sale, you can almost bet the original gaskets are still in it and need replacing.



Many times you will see in the description that the buttons won't come back out or are very sticky feeling. The most common problem here is the o-ring gaskets on the buttons. By replacing them and adding some silicon typically solves this problem.


THE CASE BACK

The 6139-6xxx's came with 2 versions on case back ( pictured below ). The back with the circle and more writing is the older style.






If pictured take a good look at where the case back attaches to the case. Any corrosion to the threads or case can be a big problem. Water resistance is out of the question if the pitting is too bad. Also look for writing inside the case back. That will at least tell you it's been worked on before.

THE MOVEMENT

There are very few qualified watchmakers that work on these movements. It's getting to where no one is accepting a chrono movement to be serviced. It may be 30 years old but, still a very complicated movement and a pain in the butt to work on. Parts are harder and harder to find and most of the time, it takes mutilating another movement to get parts.


If you manage to find a decent watch and plan to have it serviced, you better look into whom and where will do it before you buy. The cost is going up with those who will work on them. A typical service starts at $150.00


Signs on a movement that tell you to stay away

White corrosion anywhere in site. Pitting in the case or on the weight itself. Pay attention to the weight as many times they are very pitted and corroded but, sanded down to remove the corrosion. You'll still be able to see the pitting in the metal though. I don't think a real watchmaker would ever just sand the weight. Corrosion is like rust and once it's in the metal, it's not coming out.


A couple common problems with these 6139 movements are

The second hand not resetting to zero, the day/date is not able to be changed and the buttons don't reset the second and minute hands they way they should.



1. A second hand not resetting could be several things. The hand was not reinstalled correctly ( it needs to be remove an aligned correctly ), it has the wrong second hand, the tube on the hand was split when replacing the hand ( only a replacement can fix this ) or there's an internal failure of the return mechanism ( service required )



2. There are 3 or more reasons the day/date may not be working correctly. Wrong stem, stem insert incorrectly ( remove and reinsert ), internal damage ( service required ) The correct stem will enable you to push the crown in 2 clicks. The first will change the date and the second will change the day.

3. Typically you won't see the incorrect buttons in a 6139. Not many others will fit.

The main reason for sticky buttons is bad, dried out gaskets and wabi ( funk ) build up. Most of the time, you can clean it out, replace the gaskets, add some silicon then their smooth as butta. The thing to be very aware of is a return spring that's attached to the movement. It puts the tension on the button to return to its position. That spring is on both buttons. If either is missing, you're in trouble. You need another beater to use as parts to get some from.


THE BRACELET

The 6139-6xxx came with 2 different bracelets. One is a OYSTER and the other a FISHBONE

The OYSTER is the most common that you'll see. Be careful when buying that 6139. 9 times out of 10 the bracelet is missing most of its removable links. This makes them only able to fit a 6" to 7" wrists, sometimes smaller. Finding an all original OYSTER or FISHBONE with all their links is close to impossible.

Oyster style



Fishbone style




one last shot of all the parts in a 6139-600x except for breaking down the movement





Not being a watchmaker, it's very possible I left out a thing or 2 but, this really does pretty much cover the basics. I hope this is able to help those who aren't sure what their getting into



Ty Maitland

Feb. 2006
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Seiko 6139 Chrographs Catalog Scans 2...

Here are some picture links to Ikuo Tokunaga's High resolution pictures of vintage catalog pics of Japan market model (JP) and a general export model (GE) (sorry no specific US model listings) of the 6139 Chronograph's of the 1970's. Please click on the pictures for larger scans:









 

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6139-600X Variation Review

This is a review of the variations found in the 6139-600X series of watches. Hopefully this will add to the other reviews already posted and answer some questions you may have about the different variations available. I'm no expert and may leave some information out or be incorrect about my observations so please bear with me. I've compiled this information over the last year and some if it is based on my own personal observations as a collector. Before we get started I'd like to give thanks to three kind hearted individuals, Ken Setser, Lew Brown, and Jonathan aka Swedefreak for their patience with all my many questions over the last year, their help with bringing several of my watches back to life and for tools and tips for doing the basics myself. I'm sure I might have left several others out but my thanks goes out to them too. Without this forum and the SCWF I could'nt have learned all I have in the last year. My watch is off to all those with helpful hints, tips, and knowlege who frequent these forums to help others out with this hobby!


Model Numbers

Lets start off with the various model numbers. 6139-600X models have basically four different possibilities that I'm aware of. 6139-6005 + 6139-6009 are USA models while 6139-6000 + 6139-6002 are non-USA models. They are all basically the same watch with a blue + red non rotating outer tachometer bezel and a yellow or black rotating inner bezel with 0 to 60 minute time increments. Any other color inner bezel other then the two mentioned have been faded by UV rays.

In order: 6139-6000, 6139-6002, and 6139-6005. {6139-6009 photo not my in database}



Case Variations


Next up is the case. There are two style of cases. The first is the early case with a notch cut out above the crown. This case was used in the first year of production which was 1969 through early 1970. Sometime in 1970 this notch was eliminated and through the end of production which I believe was 1978 all the cases are the same.

March 1970 notched case


1971 case without notch



Dials + Case backs

The most popular sunburst dials come in three different colors. Yellow, blue, and silver. I'm not sure the silver dial version was truly a Seiko option or a dial switched from another watch in the 6139 series as I have yet to see any 6139-600X silver dial versions in any Seiko Catalogs. If anyone is aware of a silver dial 6139-600X in a Seiko catalog please bring it to my attention. Out of the three different colors their are two if not three different variations of each color. I have yet to see a silver "proof" dial although I believe one exists. The early dial used in the first year of production reads Water70mProof centered on the left side of the dial at the 9 o'clock position. These watches also read water proof on the case back. From what I can tell the "Proof" watches were in production until February 1970 according to the watch in the photo below. In March of 1970 the script changed to read Water70mResist along with the case back according to two of the watches in my collection. The last dial had no script at all in the 9 o'clock position of the dial but water resistant remained on the case back. I'm not sure of the exact date this dial went into production but I believe it was in late 1972 or early 1973.

Proof dial from 1970


Resist dial from 1971


Plain dial from 1973



Bracelets

The 6139-600x series of watches had three different styles of bracelets. The straight oyster, the tapered oyster, or the stelux president style. From what I can gather the straight oyster was used from 1969 up until about 1975 at which time they redesigned it to taper out where it meets the lugs of the watch case. The tapered oyster bracelet was used from 1975 until the end of production. I don't have any dates concerning the stelux president style bracelet.

Straight and tapered oyster side by side.


Stelux president style.


Straight oyster.


Tapered oyster


Unanswered questions:

Does anyone know what year and month 6139-600X dials switched from Resist dials to plain dials?

Does anyone know if a 6139-600X Silver "proof" dial exists? Although I beleive they do I have yet to see one.

Does any one have a catalog photo of a 6139-600X silver dial?

Does anyone know the exact month and year the oyster bracelet switched from the straight design to the tapered design?

Does anyone have any dates concerning the stelux president style bracelet?


:thanks

Links with additional information submitted by other members of this forum and the SCWF

Water proof verses water resistant:
https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=209700
 

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Re: 6139-600X Variation Review updated info

Swedefreak and others elaborate further on some of the points raised (his back and forth with Cobrajet is worth the read):

http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/thread/1248486865/6139-600X+variations

Swedefreak said:
Not to roil the waters as this is an excellent post for the most part, but a couple of points---

The bracelet referred to as an "oyster" is not. It is an "H" pattern link which is quite different, made by Stelux (as were all Seiko bracelets) and used by Seiko on at least a couple dozen models in the 1970s. Some of the other versions have somewhat shorter "H" links and will not interchange.

As an aside, Stelux made this bracelet in identical dimensions and proportions for several other watch manufactures.

Also, Stelux made three distinct versions of the "H". The one for non-Western Hemisphere sale was a bit more robust, had a different buckle pattern and buckle cap. These were signed by Stelux on one folding member of the buckle. The "H" link more familiar to we in North and South America is a bit thinner and the buckle fold is not signed, only the cap. On post-1974 6139s this one sprouted the flared ends.

The other bracelet is neither a "president" nor a "fishbone" but something between. Also for non Western sales, this is found on many 6139-600Xs that came back with our military personnel who served in the Far East, and is signed by Stelux on the fold.

The silver-dialed variant is 6139-6013 and, I believe some 6139-6032s.

What is commonly referred to as an "inner (rotating) bezel" is called by Seiko an indicator ring. These actually came in four colors:

White-from the very earliest versions and why these watches are called "pepsi": red, white and blue
Yellow-matches the yellow dial
Midnight Blue-matches the blue dial
Black-found in later versions, see below

The white are very hard to come by and are most definitely not faded nor do these discolor with age or UV. They were originally used with both yellow and blue dials. The white is a layer of paint on a yellow indicator with a black numeric imprint.

The yellow (and blue) were introduced, most likely, to better harmonize with the dials. These have black numerals imprinted directly on the yellow plastic. These fade to a greyish pale yellow but not to white, ever.

The blue (as the yellow) compliments the dial and its silver numerals are, again, imprinted directly on the blue plastic. These will fade to a light grey, never white, and are far more prone to this degradation than the yellow.

The black are the solution to the blue's issues. Again, a silver imprint on black plastic that does not fade.

White, yellow and faded blue 6139-600X indicators:



 

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The Original version of this post was posted by Ty Maitland to SCWF and is stored in their database here:

http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index.php?mod=103&action=1&id=1140376570
Dear Isthmus, enjoyed your article thanks. Can you inform me if I can use a 6139 movement off a cheap seiko on e bay to replace one in my 6139-6002 model
that has come into my possesion with water ingress?
I have obtained a new dial,glass and hands but need a working movement.
Is there another movement that fits into the 6002 case?
Best wishes, Allan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Dear Isthmus, enjoyed your article thanks. Can you inform me if I can use a 6139 movement off a cheap seiko on e bay to replace one in my 6139-6002 model
that has come into my possesion with water ingress?
I have obtained a new dial,glass and hands but need a working movement.
Is there another movement that fits into the 6002 case?
Best wishes, Allan
Absolutely, you can use a donor 6139 movement from a donor watch to replace yours. Do consider talking to Ken setser. He might have a movement (used) he could sell you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not exactly. It is a piece assembled from pieces of different 6139 models. more specifically, the dial and the hands are from a helmet (see pictures above). the bracelet is not original to any 6139's that I'm aware of. It could very well be aftermarket.
 

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I read all these posts several times.

They are very helpful in trying to determine if a watch is original.
But my problem is that i cannot decide if the crown on this watch is original or aftermarket::-s

http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...3289&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_10574wt_1165

Will some of you connoisseur please have a brief glimps at this watch and help me determine what it is.
I guess aftermarket,
but the seller claims that it is original:oops:.

The crown on the following watch is (i think) original.

The original crowns have a dimple in the middle of them, their thin in width and fit flush to the case. It's usually easy to spot a wrong crown because of how far out it sits out from the case. Wrong and after market crowns are typically thick in width and have more space between the ridges on the crown

http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...55852&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_3580wt_1165
 

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I read all these posts several times.

They are very helpful in trying to determine if a watch is original.
But my problem is that i cannot decide if the crown on this watch is original or aftermarket::-s

http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...3289&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_10574wt_1165

Will some of you connoisseur please have a brief glimps at this watch and help me determine what it is.
I guess aftermarket,
but the seller claims that it is original:oops:.

The crown on the following watch is (i think) original.

The original crowns have a dimple in the middle of them, their thin in width and fit flush to the case. It's usually easy to spot a wrong crown because of how far out it sits out from the case. Wrong and after market crowns are typically thick in width and have more space between the ridges on the crown

http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...55852&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_3580wt_1165
The crown could be original, but it is definitely not a watch produced in 3/69.

3/69 production is the first month of production for these watches and only JDM models were produced. The case crown notch (early production feature), may be contrived, as it doesn't look quite right to me. The watch doesn't have the correct movement (should be 6139A 21jewels) day wheel (should be Kanji), dial (should be Proof) or sweep hand (should have silver center) for a watch produced in 3/69.
 

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Re: 6139-600X Variation Review updated info

I read all these posts several times.

They are very helpful in trying to determine if a watch is original.
But my problem is that i cannot decide if the crown on this watch is original or aftermarket::-s

http://cgi.ebay.nl/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...3289&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_10574wt_1165

Will some of you connoisseur please have a brief glimps at this watch and help me determine what it is.
I guess aftermarket,
but the seller claims that it is original:oops:.
 

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Greetings board. Please excuse any faux pas as this is my first post.

Cleaning out my drawers. I have an original Seiko 6139 with the older style back, most of the original links - fishbone style. (I thought I had the remaining links, but couldn't find them. But they might still be around.) Also have the original box (I think) and do have the original instruction book! The book rates a 9 1/2 or 10 out of 10.

The watch keeps good time, but doesn't hold its wind. So I assume it needs a good cleaning. Also, the stop watch doesn't work properly. The buttons don't want to do anything when you push them, and they don't like to pop out either.

Only thing I can see wrong is the the tip of the arrow on the internal bezel has lost its tip so it looks more like a small square than an arrow. But it rotates freely and seems perfect. I think I may have taken the back off once, but had the good sense not to touch anything inside. So it should be 100%, 30 year old original.

Not as bright and shinny as brand new, but I would rate it like a 92 to 95 out of 100.

Any idea what this is worth?

Have probably had this for 30 + years. My father bought this for me a long time ago. If I remember correctly he actually bought it either in Japan or most likely Hong Kong.

I'm just wondering. Didn't really want to sell it, although...

THANK YOU for your assistance. This looks like a very nice board.

Best regards,

John
 

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The Original version of this post was posted by Ty Maitland to SCWF and is stored in their database here:

http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index.php?mod=103&action=1&id=1140376570
Hi, my name is Carlo and I'm Italian.

First of all, very sorry for my english. I think my writting it's not so good and clear.

Unfortuntely I've read the post about Seiko 6139 just after 1 week I've bought 6139 you can find here

http://cgi.ebay.it/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260557200152&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

After reading the post I can suppose my watch is completely fake! The bracelet is not original, probably the dial and also the bezel are not original.

What do you think?

Where is possible to find a good 6139? In e-bay I think the majorithy are not original....

Many thanks

Carletto
 

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I've really appreciated this guide - it was helpful. Rather than buy a Phillipines special, I waited to find one in the country, hopefully from an estate, and I found one! $100 total, free shipping. It was from an estate, looked to be totally original. SN# 462758, June of '74. Case in original polish, bezel unworn, 70's tropical strap, broken. I'd know more when it came in, but I had a good feel about it.

It came just in time for us to head out to do errands, so I had to tear myself away from a newly-opened box. Wasn't packed that well, but whatever. It got here.





INITIAL REPORT:

Both buttons stuck when pushed but functions worked, inner bezel didn't turn, day wheel misaligned. Crystal heavily scratched, but watch externally in pretty OK condition. Never polished - it looked dead stock. Tropical band clearly had been on the watch forever - rubber was stiff and polished looking - old.

OPEN 'ER UP!

Did a quick external cleaning to get out any grot I could. Reinforced the initial impression of originality and a short, hard working life. Someone wore this pretty much every day, without much thought or care until the strap broke, then they put it away. The best new so far? Not a bit of corrosion, anywhere. Nothing. No moisture ever got into this watch.

Spun the back off, and was greeted with a very very clean-looking movement (to the naked eye - with a loupe it wasn't quite so clean subjectsmiley03!), with a balance wheel happily spinning away. Everything looked a little loose. No jeweler's marks inside the case back. Pulled the stem, pushed in the pushers and pulled the retaining ring, pushers popped out. Flipped it over onto my palm, and immediately noticed that the face was loose. Everything was loose. I did a quick tighten up, and in checking found that pretty much every screw I could reach was loose, at least a bit. The face retaining screws were three-four turns out of tight! There are a few weird things - the back seal looks home-made, and the stem is missing it's spring and the gear for the bezel. Thankfully the bezel teeth are in perfect shape - no wear at all. Back to the stem: It sort of works, but that's all. It will actuate the day/date, but not all the time. Date every time, day only now and then. Beyond that, I'm certain that the entire watch needs to be completely cleaned and to get everything checked.

Face is shiny and bright, hands look good. There are a few specks on the face that I couldn't get to move with a light brush, so I left them. If they aren't going to move with light action, they won't move in daily wear. Movement kept rolling the entire time I was











I threw on a vintage Baldwin stainless steel band to replace the old rubber tropic for now - I'm going to get the correct H-type ASAP, but first I sent Jonathan (Swedefreak) a list of the parts I'd know I'd need immediately; stem parts, seals, crystal.

CONCLUSION:

This is a one-owner watch that was a daily wearer for the majority of its working life. Towards the end of that working life it had some jack-assery done to it in the form of incorrect seals and lost parts off of the stem (bezel gear and spring). It was probably never really serviced (no jeweler's marks inside, remember?) and everything loosened up and bound up to the point that when the tropical band finally broke, it was probably a blessing as this prevented any further loosening or wear to occur. I'm glad I got it when I did!

Now to find a tech who can give this thing a run-through! Thanks for reading!

 

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Fantastic information guys!

I am after an original replacement stem for my 6139 pepsi. Anyone know where i can source one? I have been told to keep away from the SE Asian ones as they have no spring on the stem...anyone is there is truth to this or what to consequences are?

Cheers
 

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The Original version of this post was posted by Ty Maitland to SCWF and is stored in their database here:

SCWF Mirror : What to look for when buying a 6139-600x >>>>> (Ty, 2006-02-19, message 1140376570)
The HANDS

All the 6139-600x's came with a RED hands except for the 6139-6030/6032 which came with ORANGE hands. Other models do have other colors. Black, yellow and white

Seiko Service Centers would repalce the hands on a watch when it came in for service. I own an original that was given to me by my father on his return from Vietnam thru Japan. The watch has been sent to Seiko Factory Service Centers twice. It originally had RED second hands but when it came back the first time it had ORANGE, the 2nd time it was serviced they replaced the ORANGE hands with Yellow.
 

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Can anyone elaborate on the aftermarket replacement crystals that have been popping up recently for the 6139 pepsi? I have an all original that my dad purchased in 71. The crystal is toast on it. On a whim, I purchased one of the "NOS" mineral crystals that Sophon is advertising on e-bay. I thought it was worth the shot. From what I've read, these crystals are near impossible to find original. Has anyone had any experience with the aftermarket variant?
 
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