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UG Aero-Compax bezel removal

3276 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  brenguy

I've been directed here from the Pilot/Miltary forum to see if Dennis, the moderator of this forum (or anybody else of course), can answer my question. How do I remove the bezel from this watch and what tool can/should be used?

Thank you.

Kind Regards


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HI Michael,
Thanks for showing us that rare and beautiful piece! :-!
Here's my modern version...

This watch came with a highly polished finish on the bezel. I removed the bezel and gave it a satin finish.
Disclaimer: I am not a watchmaker, nor have I ever taken a class in watchmaking. I've learned what I know from trial and error, fiddling with my watches over the last couple decades, and doing research on the forums.
That being said...I first remove the bracelet from between the lower lugs. Then, for protection, I place bits of masking tape on the two lower lugs and on the case between the lugs. Then it's simply a matter of placing a small, strong knife blade firmly between the case and bezel and applying a small twisting motion....a small pocket knife blade works well.
When removing the bezel, do so over a clean surface and watch for any small parts that may fall free...Sometimes there is a small lever-spring (in Rolex and in my modern UG). Also pay close attention to how the bezel lined up with the watch case, just in case it needs to go back on the watch a certain way (usually doesn't matter, though). When it's time to replace the bezel, make sure the little spring (if involved) is properly in place, put the bezel on the watch, and press firmly with the thumbs until it clicks into position.
I have had great luck performing this on a few watches. It all depends on how brave you are to attempt it on such a rare vintage piece.
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Dennis' method is the standard method for removing bezels. As advised, watch for parts coming loose. A neat trick is to use low-tack masking tape to tape around the bezel loosely onto the case (apart from where you are prying it off), which will catch any bits flying off.
Thank you both.

It is my Dad's watch purchased new in '67 that he used professionally as a navigator.

I also received a couple of responses saying "are you sure you want to try that on that watch" so now I'm starting to think maybe I can mask it carefully enough to get rid of some scratches on the acrylic right near the bezel. I thought removing it would be fairly risk free as I didn't want to damage the screen-printing or get gunk under the bezel.

Thanks again
Oh yes, I think that will be much easier for you. Just mask off the bezel, then polish the acrylic. I like the product "Polywatch" for my crystals. Post more pics when you get the chance. That's a classic 24 hour watch and we don't see many of them, let alone in such nice condition.
Was your dad a ship's navigator or aviator?
He was a navigator with the Royal New Zealand Air force and then with Qantas until 1977. He was part of the flight crew on 747's which until '76-'77 used to navigate the old way. Some people are surprised that 747's had a navigator in their early days.

The watch has a Venus 178 movement and I just had it completely overhauled. I like mechanical movements and bought myself a Seiko MarineMaster with a 8L35 auto for my 40th (I'm the same age as the Aero-Compax) but am looking for a new mechanical 24 hr watch for myself some time soon. I like the look of the Glycine Airman models.
Hey, we're the same age :)
Hang out on this forum a bit, and check Andre's excellent 24 Hour site (linked above in the Sticky post). There are some really nice 24 hour watches out there. There are quite a few Airman models to choose from today. It really is a high point in the history of 24 hour watches.
I've just looked at your signature and see you have the Glycine Airman Special 2 LE. That is one of the ones I like along with the Airman 9 (chrono) and Airman double 24. Will check out the link. Thanks for your help.

Kind Regards

The Special II is, well, "special". Try to grab one while they're still available. I know they're all gone from Glycine and in various dealers' hands.
The D24 is also becomeing rare.
As for the Airman 9...If you're thinking about getting an Airman chronograph you might want to wait a month or two and see what Glycine releases this year at the Basel Watch Show...Rumor has it a new Airman Chronograph might appear :).
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