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  1. #1
    Airman First Class
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    Hand alignment and acceptable tolerance

    It seems that my hour hand is 5 minutes ahead of where it should be, or maybe better said that my minute hand is 5 minutes slow. Knowing that these are mechanical watches, and the world is not perfect, is this within normal tolerance levels?

    Little history on this watch:
    - bought new at AD - retailer noticed a flaw in the first one and sent it back without me having much say (they did the right thing) - took 2 weeks to get a new one
    - second watch passed AD inspection, but a few days later when the 20th rolled around I noticed significant misalignment in the date window, also noticed the crown was crooked
    * Sent it for service #1 - 6 weeks *
    - crown came back straight and date alignment looked good. After a few days it occurred to me the dial no longer said "Military Type". For whatever reason the service center swapped my dial and didn't put back the correct one.
    * Sent it for service #2 - 6 weeks *
    - watch comes back with the correct dial and the date window looks good, but not as perfect as when they had the wrong dial on the watch, but at this point good enough.
    - few weeks later driving home from work, 6pm and I notice my hour hand is off. Not by much, but it's enough to annoy me. If I set counterclockwise it makes it worse, all pics here were set clockwise to reduce the error as much as possible. Not gear slack like my Panerai, even compared to old images of the watch before service I can see the hand is in a different position than it used to be.

    I am learning to live with this, but getting tired of sending this watch in- the date, crown, and wrong dial were all things that I could not live with; this hands thing, meh... I might be able to look past it in the spirit of "it reminds me of the flawed world we live in", or some BS like that. I feel like it's annoying to look at because I know it is there, but after some searching online it seems that owners of other brands experience this; many times they send it for correction, and other times it's acknowledged to be extremely common in mechanical watches. Of all my watches this is the only one that is off. I thought my Panerai 112 was but then I played with the crown and it turned out to be gear slack, and with the Panerai I don't care as much- not sure if it's because it's less noticeable with the type of hands it has, or because it's five years older.

    With the fat hands on the BR03 it is probably hard to spot it, and maybe within perfectly good tolerance levels (it did pass service center QC, fwiw). For now my plan is to wear it at least a few more months and see if it bothers me less over time, some hours it doesn't look bad at all, and it's always close enough that I still know what time it is. Just curious what the general opinion is on hand alignment and acceptable tolerances.
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    Last edited by J_Dubbs; 09-03-2014 at 16:29.

  2. #2
    Senior Airman sean.scott's Avatar
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    Those are definitely off and should be easily correctable by adjusting the hands. That would drive me crazy!
    BR 01-92 Carbon Fiber Phantom LTD/500
    BR 03 Red Radar LTD/250
    BR 03-90 Grande Date & Réserve de Marche
    BR 03-92 Military Type Green Ceramic
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  3. #3
    Airman First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean.scott View Post
    Those are definitely off and should be easily correctable by adjusting the hands. That would drive me crazy!
    Lol,

    Okay, I feel way less insane now that you chimed in with that. Yes, it's driving me crazy, clearly because I posted all these images. I hate sending this thing in again but having a hard time looking past this.

  4. #4
    Senior Airman sean.scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Dubbs View Post
    Lol,

    Okay, I feel way less insane now that you chimed in with that. Yes, it's driving me crazy, clearly because I posted all these images. I hate sending this thing in again but having a hard time looking past this.
    I would try to reach out to a higher district or regional manager. Having spent good money on a brand new watch, I'd expect to wear it, not spend more time out at service than on the wrist. This would be a good opportunity for B&R to show they're a customer centric brand and go above and beyond to get this taken care of. Get it fixed quicker than another 6 weeks and maybe throw in a flight bag or a few pilot notebooks for your time.
    Last edited by sean.scott; 09-04-2014 at 02:18.
    BR 01-92 Carbon Fiber Phantom LTD/500
    BR 03 Red Radar LTD/250
    BR 03-90 Grande Date & Réserve de Marche
    BR 03-92 Military Type Green Ceramic
    BR 03-94 Orange LTD/250
    Military M1 by Sinn
    Pilot B by Sinn - For Sale
    Space 3 White Dial - For Sale

    http://bellrosswiki.com | http://blog.bellrosswiki.com | instagram @BellRossWiki

  5. #5
    Airman First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Dubbs View Post
    Lol,

    Okay, I feel way less insane now that you chimed in with that. Yes, it's driving me crazy, clearly because I posted all these images. I hate sending this thing in again but having a hard time looking past this.
    That's a good suggestion, seeing I own four of their watches I would hope they take notice, not sure how to get the contact info but I will try. It really sucks because I love the watch, but the flaws are almost not excusable, especially when it came back with the wrong dial! My AD has been extremely helpful, and even their watchmaker found the alignment to be annoying, but when they are in the middle BR won't talk to me, so for me to get updated directly I need to send it myself (apparently). I almost sent it in through the AD over the weekend but I held off, planning to Fed Ex it tomorrow. Worst part about it is sending it back in I'm worried it will come back with some other crazy glitch, seems to always be something and usually takes a few days or weeks for me to notice it, hopefully third time's a charm.
    Last edited by J_Dubbs; 09-04-2014 at 03:47.

  6. #6
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    Hopefully this gets fixed and everything is completely straightened out! Totally understand your pain. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Airman First Class
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    Got it back today, everything looks good.
    BRs Golden Heritage Automatic (for her)
    BR01-96 Grande Date
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  8. #8
    Airman Basic chilipepper's Avatar
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    Great new's is it still looking good?

  9. #9
    Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
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    It wasn't too long!

    BR126 Sport Héritage GMT & Flyback
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilipepper View Post
    Great new's is it still looking good?
    Looks good, certainly within acceptable level. I do notice the hour hand seems ever so slightly bent upwards, none of the hands touch and it is certainly within tolerance. It also looks like the hour hand might have been damaged a tiny bit, on the edge of the circle where it pivots from, but normal humans would need a loupe to see it (I just rely on my super-special OCD powers). My guess is the same hands were put on an off 3 times and it's par for the course. The alignment is good and that was the big issue, everything else requires such a close inspection that I can look past it. In the physical world nothing is truly perfect, and those who think otherwise probably need magnification to recognize it. For me it usually takes a few weeks to draw out imperfections, and then a month to look past them. I don't own a loupe or an extreme macro lens, and the amount of concentration needed to see these things with a naked eye exceeds normal use.
    Last edited by J_Dubbs; 10-07-2014 at 19:47.
    BRs Golden Heritage Automatic (for her)
    BR01-96 Grande Date
    BR03-92 Military Type (green ceramic)
    Space 1
    AIRSPEED

    IG: @jazzypantsyeah

  11. #11
    Staff Sergeant
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    Good news and a great ceramic.......
    01/94 Carbon Fiber .......................Limited Edition
    01/94 Carbon Fiber Phantom .......Limited Edition
    01/92 Flight Instrument Horizon...Limited Edition
    01/92 Ceramic
    WW1-97 Reserve de Marche

  12. #12
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    I figured I'd post images to illustrate what I thought I noticed, key word on some of this being "thought". Again, not sending it in as this stuff is basically not noticeable in natural lighting.

    I'm thinking the hand looking like it points upward slightly might be an optical illusion, because it is white and fat on one end it may appear slightly higher while in reality it's straight. There's definitely a mark on the edge where the hour hand was placed on the post, which I'm fine with at this point, and for all I know that might have always been there. For whatever reason it just looks like that minute hand is pointed upwards, but the angle photographed almost proves it's straight (I think). It's mainly when I glance at it from a distance the end of the hour hand seems lifted higher off the dial, but I think my eye is attracted to the bright color and fatter size of the end. With the way it angles back to a tip I think it makes sense how there might be a slight illusion happening, or maybe there is a bend so darn slight that I'm confused by it; either way I think I just need to get used to it! It's probably my favorite watch out of the whole bunch, hardly a doubt about that, and because of the service history I can't help but have a higher level of scrutiny.

    My BR01-96 has the decorated hands and it doesn't have the same effect. Hands on that watch look very flat and gain no additional attention when I glance. On the 01-96 the hand spacing/stacking is a bit different too, hour and minute are together tight at the bottom of the post with the seconds hand higher up and angled (ever so slightly) downwards. Those things all seem like intentional decisions related to the design, but maybe they aren't. The 03 has very even spacing on the hour, min, and sec hands.






    The watchmaker fixed the watch, the extra scrutiny is something I'd probably need a doctor for
    I guess it's tough not to put it under the brightest light I can find. I feel like the first time something goes for service you tend to inspect it closer than if it were new, and this went out 3 times so you can imagine how much I examine it now. Suffice it to say, I think it looks good, and there are always trade offs in any surgery.



    Edit 10/22: I can now conclude the minutes and seconds hands are both bent or angled away from the dial, ever so slightly. Over the past few weeks I have compared it to other watches and have used many different types of lighting (shadows) and photography to evaluate it. I also think the seconds hand may have been like that before, based on old photos and the curve of the shadow, and I also think other BR03 models may have the same thing going on based on some pics I've found online. Super subtle, it's very slight and certainly not intentional, doubtful most people would ever notice it; for example my wife can't see it, but she looks for 5 seconds before making a conclusion lol. I know a lot of watches will bend hands toward the dial, this is particularly frustrating because they are angled away from it. In any case my plan is to look past it.
    Last edited by J_Dubbs; 10-22-2014 at 19:46.
    BRs Golden Heritage Automatic (for her)
    BR01-96 Grande Date
    BR03-92 Military Type (green ceramic)
    Space 1
    AIRSPEED

    IG: @jazzypantsyeah

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