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  1. M'Bob

    M'Bob Apr 27, 2015

    5,531 vs. the viewing public.

    I was speaking to an art restorer, and mentioned that with watch collecting, most prefer original parts over replacements, all things being equal. But what if all things are not equal? I know it's on a sliding scale for each individual collector, but when does that DON bezel look so tired that the newer iteration just brings the whole aesthetics of the watch up a notch?

    He made the point that with art, one of the highest ideals is bringing back a damaged piece to it's originally intended presentation. And, the quest is to use as original materials as possible. HOWEVER, in lieu of that, the closest materials to the original will be used, and here's the reason: the enjoyment of the piece, by the greatest number of people, seems to be the goal, rather than to leave it as is.

    So, if you're walking around with a tattered Speedy that you like because all the parts are original, what do you think about the person you show it to, who thinks, hmm, that's a pretty banged-up watch. But, had you replaced that bezel, those sad Tritium lost-hands, and gave the case a gentle polish, that person might say, "Hey, what a great-looking watch for being 40 years old."

    It's like those barn-find cars: do we really love the 30 year-old dirt, and don't we all appreciate them more when they are spiffed up a bit?

    Anyway, may be apples to oranges to the art and car world, but what is that magic point for you balancing originality vs. aesthetics?

  2. Buckeyes#1

    Buckeyes#1 Things come with instructions? Apr 27, 2015

    Art and watches are very different in my opinion.
    Wear on a piece of art can obscure the intention of the artist. It's beauty can be lost. Not so with a watch.
    Watches are like guitars. You would never refinish a 50's or 60's Stratocaster, or replace its parts with new. You want them as original as possible. All of those nicks and imperfections tell a story. Same with watches.
  3. RLC

    RLC Apr 27, 2015

    A bit of a different take with my 43yr old Seamaster....I was very pleased with what the seller did to bring it back to "as new".
    Now it's up to me to do my own platina-izing. ;)

    As far as cars go....I would never 'restore' our Families as bought 53 Ford Victoria.......:cool:

  4. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Apr 27, 2015

    I agree completely - the use of art is in it's viewing, where things that are not art have other purposes, whether they be watches , guitars, etc. Also, art is more for public consumption, where the watch is not (aside from us geeks looking at photos on watch forums), so for my watches, there is no viewing public like there is for art. I don't care what someone I might show the watch to thinks about it's condition - what is important is what I think about it.

    I keep saying this in discussions about what Omega will do with a vintage watch, but here even more so than with art, the owner of the watch is the one who should decide what gets done. Whatever is right for the owner is right.

    And I have had art restored in the past so have gone through that process. I was very happy that the damage was repaired, because as Buckeyes#1 has said, it restored the intent of the artist, and also preserved it so it would last into the future and not deteriorate further. I've done the same having old documents conserved. When watch companies start seeing their massed produced products as art, they are taking themselves too seriously IMO.

    Cheers, Al
    Buckeyes#1, m84, Hijak and 2 others like this.
  5. lillatroll

    lillatroll Apr 27, 2015

    I could not buy a redial. Personally I like watches that need as little spit and polish as possible but still look good for their age. I wouldn't buy a watch that looked like a total mess either, so something in the middle for me.
  6. m84

    m84 Apr 27, 2015

    Besides the discussion of watches etc being considered art or not (which is another thing altogether), I think what Al has said about what is right for the owner is right, is the main thing here.

    Personally I've always like vintage in general. I like things that have stood the test of time and aged gracefully, and I also like that in watches. But that's me!
    For example, on a much simpler level, I have this old denim shirt that used to belong to my father and has a hole right in front near the buttons, and I wear it despite the hole. In fact, I wear it because of that hole and its age, memories etc... People step up and say 'oh you got a whole there' and I just reply 'yes I know!' and some may think it looks shabby or whatever, but I like it and have no problem wearing it. I could stitch it up but to be honest, that has never crossed my mind until now! :p

    I guess what i'm trying to say is that it comes down to the individual first, then to the nature of the object in question, if it should or not be restored or whatever...