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Is it reasonable to ask for a photo of the movement?

  1. Dug Dec 3, 2022

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    In my continuing pursuit of a Speedmaster 3520.50, Mark 40, one of the problems I come across is in finding that most listings do not provide a view of the movement.
    On enquring some say they they don't have the equipment or ability to open the case, even though they have sold hundreds of watches!
    I do ask for an accuracy figure but from what I've learnt, essentially on here, is that this isn't a definitive indicator of the health of the movement?
    Cutting through my usual waffle what I'm asking is, is it reasonable to ask for an image of the movement and should I exclude those listings without?
    Grateful as ever, folks, for any advice, and to OF.
     
  2. X350 XJR Vintage Omega Aficionado Dec 3, 2022

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    Reasonable is very subjective.

    Having bought and sold literally thousands of watches, my favorite maxim is "buy the seller".
     
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  3. Spruce Sunburst dial fan Dec 3, 2022

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    I always like to see a photo of the movement although I’m the first to admit that I don’t necessarily know what I’m looking at or for - really, just if it looks cared for.

    I generally make an exception if it’s a monocoque watch.
     
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  4. WestCoastTime Dec 3, 2022

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    Reasonable for the buyer to ask, yes. Whether the seller regards it as reasonable will vary by case. Not every seller is a watch specialist, & if widget #1001 is on sale just the same as widget #1002, then they may not have any interest in investing extra time & effort for what to them is a commodity that will find a buyer on its own.
     
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  5. perks713 Dec 3, 2022

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    I think it’s reasonable to ask. I also think it’s reasonable for a seller not to want to have the watch opened. Not everyone has access to decent watchmakers.
     
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  6. p4ul “WATERRROOP” to 50m Dec 3, 2022

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    It is reasonable to ask, if the answer is no then factor in a service and decide.
    Maybe a 20 year old watch?service anyway??
     
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  7. Gefa Dec 3, 2022

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    Of course it's reasonable to have a look on the movement of a watch before buying/selling it.... Mostly it's not a mysterie to open a case.... otherwise the seller should ask a watchmaker ;)
     
  8. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 3, 2022

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    Buy the seller.
     
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  9. Vercingetorix Premium Member Dec 3, 2022

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    Mk40 has a one time use gasket. Unreasonable to ask for a movement picture. I’m betting more watches were ruined/scratched by amateurs opening watches than people getting scammed by fake movements.
     
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  10. janice&fred Dec 3, 2022

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    For me buying, having cut my teeth on the mean streets of NYC's frantic pace of watch dealings, I don't try to see inside a watch I'm buying as it wastes valuable time and breaks the rhythm of the deal. I know it's geographical as well as cultural but anyone on 47th st or in the Chelsea markets who needs to look inside a watch while considering purchasing is considered a novice or even worse a tire kicker. Same goes for Philippine cities as well as Kowloon. I depend on my experience to know if the watch is genuine with a short cursory look. Of course I'm talking boots on the ground as that's 99% of my buys, and goes without saying I'm paying way short money. I factor in my head what a service is going to cost before I offer money, and if the watch already runs decently then I consider it a bonus.

    Selling is a different story for me. If a member here wants to see pictures of the movement it's fine, so long as it's a screw back case as I shy away from opening anything snap back. I lack the expertise.
     
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  11. Gefa Dec 3, 2022

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    ... Not always a seller knows which movement is in his watch and how does it looks like... how should he know that without opening the watch and have a look inside ;)
     
  12. padders Oooo subtitles! Dec 3, 2022

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    I am fairly confident in saying that there is no cheap Chinese triple date chrono movement that could be dropped into a fake mk40 so if your concerns are on that score than I’d say you don’t need to see the movement no. If it’s more of a concern about condition then maybe.
     
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  13. Dan S Dec 3, 2022

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    It depends. Sometimes you get to see inside and sometimes you don't. And even if you see the movement, there can be major issues that you can't recognize. No matter what you do, you'll make some good buys and some bad buys. Yes, you can increase your odds by buying from a great seller, but even the best sellers might not always realize that their watch has an issue. The best way to get a great watch is to buy 5 good ones, keep the best and sell the others.
     
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  14. Larry S Color Commentator for the Hyperbole. Dec 3, 2022

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    I’m not bad with a case knife, or pin tool. Anything else that can’t be opened with the Ball, I didn’t buy any of my watches from charlatans so we’ll have to chat. I really don’t want to bother my watchmaker with requests like that. I’m also reluctant frankly to open up a serviced watch. Again, I was a “buy the seller guy”.
     
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  15. janice&fred Dec 3, 2022

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    I couldn't agree more in most cases when buying online. Boots on the ground buying is a different matter. For me I never pay any attention to what a seller is saying except for the number. Everything else is white noise. All I hear is "blah blah blah blah $750 blah blah blah. That's the way I was taught to buy. I don't get distracted by whatever comes out of a seller's mouth during an in-person deal. I let the watch do the talking. I buy the watch :D
     
  16. padders Oooo subtitles! Dec 3, 2022

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    I disagree with this. Of course you need to filter seller bs but the bottom line isn’t the only factor and were you to focus on that to the exclusion of all else you’ll buy sone crappy watches. The cheapest isn’t always the best. William of SP101 is a good example of this. He buys the whole package, not just the low hanging cheaply priced fruit
     
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  17. janice&fred Dec 3, 2022

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    Sure you're right, if one is a novice. Who says I exclude all else? I examine the watch in my hand and that's all I need to do, then the "bottom line" as you put it is all I need from the seller. Nothing he says matters to me at all. If I sometimes buy some crappy watches it's because I wanted those crappy watches for some reason, not because I got hoodwinked. I know what I'm doing when I buy. I'm also talking about how I buy. You can stick to what works best for you. However, when was the last time you bought a 1675 for $450, about half the value of the bracelet? For me that was a few months ago. I had about 2 minutes to make the deal. Sometimes one has to "shoot first, ask questions later".
     
  18. gbesq Dec 3, 2022

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    I think that it’s reasonable to ask and i always provide a movement photo or two of watches that I’m selling. That being said, the best advice to which buyers should always adhere is “buy the seller.” I’ve purchased some excellent watches without movement photos from sellers whom I had vetted and trusted. Do your research and if the proposed transaction doesn’t feel right, don’t proceed.
     
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  19. janice&fred Dec 3, 2022

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    Again, you are speaking of primarily online buying, or perhaps an established brick and mortar business. What do you do when at a huge flea market and you're staring down at a case of watches from an unknown vendor who talks like a carnival barker? Listen to what he tells you, or go with what you know? This is my point in my posts. I'm a boots on the ground guy. :D
     
  20. gbesq Dec 3, 2022

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    Absolutely agree with you under those circumstances, Fred.
     
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