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A bit of a gamble that... paid off?

  1. J_pilot Jul 3, 2023

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    Hi all - wanted to share a pickup from a recent online auction. It's an early French-cased 30CH dating to ~1948. I found the watch out of Poland, pictures were OK but not great, and seemed more or less "correct" to me based on other examples from the same era. It had obvious moisture damage to the dial and some serious fading and missing print around the perimeter scale, and a pretty dirty movement, but I found the dial quite attractive.

    The next afternoon I threw in a bid shortly before close from my desk at work, thinking that if I somehow were to win, I could justify it as an easy flip. I was surprised when the hammer fell at <5k, and I was the (lucky?) winner. I immediately returned to the pictures wondering if I'd missed something in my casual examination the night prior, but paid up and held my breath.

    So, long story short, the watch came in earlier today and kind of took my breath away. The known issues were there, of course, but I am totally blown away by the presence of this piece, and am not sure it will be so easy of a flip after all...

    Anyhow, wanted to share here with the experts to get a general consensus on whether I'm missing some "Achilles heel" with this piece, or if it was just a decent pickup at a decent price. Also curious what folks think of the crown. The plating/fill seems a little worn and I'm curious if you think it's worth trying to chase a replacement or leaving as-is. Finally, if you have any suggestions re. a good strap pairing (18mm fixed lug), or a competent watchmaker for the movement (should I decide to keep it) please let me know!

    Juergen

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  2. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Jul 3, 2023

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    Nice catch! No "Achilles' heel" in my view. I also find the dial attractive, and its a classic pairing with that style of French case. It is difficult to tell, but the crown looks like the correct style only heavily worn. I don't think it looks so bad. Looking closely at the minute hand, I think that it may be a replacement. The shape is a little more alpha than feuille, and the tip looks somewhat blunt as if it has been cut to length. Again, I don't think it looks so bad. Here are some potential strap options: https://en.accurate-form.jp/collections/open-ended
     
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  3. J_pilot Jul 4, 2023

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    Thank you for the input! I think you're absolutely right on the minute hand - shape is very atypical and that definitely looks like a clip to me. Comparing to some other examples of the same dial/handset combo, they all have a much more feuille shape (although length appears more variable?). Pics for posterity. While less than ideal, it's not a dealbreaker for me - glass half full: "The added angularity plays nicely with the counterbalance on the running seconds" - LOL

    Thanks as always to DirtyDozen12, you are a true wealth of knowledge. Also greatly appreciate the strap recommendations, I was not familiar with this maker.
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  4. khmt2 Jul 4, 2023

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    Second pic is my piece - the tip of my minute hand is gone, hence the difference in length.

     
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  5. J_pilot Jul 4, 2023

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    Ahh - ok thank you for clarifying. Lovely example, btw!
     
  6. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Jul 4, 2023

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    My pleasure! I think you got a great watch.

    While I do not have personal experience with this watchmaker, I know that he has serviced many vintage chronographs: https://artofthewatch.com/
     
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  7. Tony C. Ωf Jury member Jul 4, 2023

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  8. J_pilot Jul 4, 2023

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    Anoth
    Another very nice example! The crowns definitely are similar although the knurling on mine doesn't wrap around to the top face as yours does. Finding either style in better shape will be a journey, if my initial searches are any inidication!
     
  9. J_pilot Jul 4, 2023

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