Thursday, April 11, 2013


GTG are to me a double edge sword. On one edge, you get to see watches you sometimes don't get to see, or get to try out and discuss about watches you like or want to see but don't have the opportunity to see and touch as much as you would like. On the other edge, it allows you (sometimes) to buy the watch you have always wanted.

In a recent GTG, I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to own a watch I have always wanted. Rest they say is history....

The watch, from this lot...

The Ennebi...

One of the things I like about the Ennebi is the amount of engineering that has gone into the watch. This is not a review of the Ennebi, but more about the engineering behind the watch that I found when I decided to mod the watch. Why mod? Well, I always wanted a Destro (left hander) and this was an opportunity to mod the watch into a destro. It does help that the watch uses an ETA 2824-2, which has symmetrical dial feet location facilitating the rotation of the dial by 180 degrees.

The first thing is to look at the Ennebi and how it is built. There was a need to establish if the dial access is from the front or back of the watch and any other issues that one would face doing the mod. Up front, it was decided that it would be a project my watch guy would be involved in. Don't really want to damage the dial and hands....

First was to clean the watch and remove the bezel to see how the watch case is constructed.

It’s great that Ennebi provides the tools required.

I do apologise upfront if this is a tad technical.  You will see from this 'review' why the Ennebi to me is a piece of engineering marvel.

Remove the 3 hexagon socket screws. These screws are positioned 120 degrees apart, providing the minimum number of screws needed to ensure the bezel is held square to the crystal retaining ring.

The bezel, minus the screws. Ready for removal.

Bezel removed. You can see the crystal-retaining ring, fitted to the case. So, the water resistance of the watch is not compromised when the bezel is removed. Great.

The leaf spring. This leaf spring pushes the bezel against the crystal-retaining ring. The 3 hexagon socket screws hold the bezel in-place preventing the bezel from falling off. You can adjust the amount of tension by bending the tabs around the leaf spring.

The bezel.

The inside of the bezel. Note the lack of any lip or any thing to hold or lock the bezel to the crystal-retaining ring. The 12 o'clock marker is staked on the inside of the bezel.

This how the leaf spring sits inside the bezel. One of the holes (3 off) sit on the staked portion of the marker, locking it in place.

So far, I cannot see any access to the dial. Anyway, an inspection of the case provides some details. On the crystal-retaining ring, you will see a track with a number of holes and notches. There are 24 notches and 6 holes. The 24 notches provide the engagement holes for the bezel to achieve its 2.5-minute markings. These notches also provide positive engagement and prevent random rotation of the bezel once you push and turn the bezel to the desired location. The unthreaded portion of the screws rides in the track.

What about the 6 holes? Well, this provided an interesting insight on how the case is constructed. These holes look like inspections holes. At this moment I am guessing that the case is a three-part case and is held together by 6 screws. These inspection holes are to ensure that correct length screws are used and that the ends of the screws are seen on the holes to ensure positive locking. You see the same concept used in planes. Cool....

I have adjusted the leaf spring by bending the tangs outwards and downwards to provide more tension. I have also washed the parts.

The bezel, washed.

The leaf spring inside the bezel, ready for assembly. However I decided against it as I would be removing the case back to look at how we can proceed with the destro mod.

The Ennebi. Totally utilitarian in constructions.

The sides....

The back.

We can see that 6 hexagon screws hold the case back. So the first thing to do is to remove the screws.

The inside of the case back.  Note the extra large gasket. Helps the watch to achieve its rated 100 ATM rating. As for the gunk you see, I am hoping and prying it is not Mr. Bettarini's blood.... 

A small, reliable and robust heart inside a big 47mm titanium case. The ETA 2824-2 is unsigned. Looking at this, does give you an idea of how the crystal-retaining ring is held against the case. We also established that the movement is held in the case by the movement retaining screws. Cool. So we will need to disconnect the winding stem and remove the movement retaining screws. We will also have to remove the 6 screws that hold (we suspect) the crystal-retaining ring.

With the 6 screws removed, the crystal-retaining ring can be removed.

Access to the dial and movement is from the front of the case. We can now proceed with the mod. Well, actually my watch guy can proceed....

The removed winding stem and screws that holds the crystal retaining ring. The newer Ennebi like the Bronze 44 will have 3 gaskets on the winding stem instead of 1 that this Ennebi has.

The case, viewed from the back, without the movement. Lovely. Just look at the amount of engineering that has gone into the design and construction of the watch. The larger holes are for the crystal retaining ring screws while the smaller holes next to it are for the case back screws. Not sure what the 220 is for, maybe case no 220? There are 3 notches on the inside of case. One is for the stem tube and the other two is for the movement retaining screws.

The case viewed from the front. The movement will drop in from the front. Note again the large gasket.

Rotating the dial was a simple job. Once the dial has been rotated 120 degrees, you can just reinstall the dial and lock it in place. Reinstall the hands and we are done. Reverse the process and we have this....

With a new strap, not original. It is from Heroic18. I think it matches the dial colour. 

What have I learnt? There are reasons why some people charge lots for their watches, even though the humble ETA 2824-2 powers it. It is the design and engineering that has gone into the watch that can push the prices up. The Ennebi is one such watch. I can only say at the end of the day, someone’s loss, someone’s gain...

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