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Omega Seamaster 300, caliber 552, circa 1965

  1. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Nov 29, 2019

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    This is a restoration I did about 3 years ago and posted at another web site. I have reworked the posting and thought it should be here.

    Now there are some purists out there who might say don’t touch the watch, and sourcing original period parts is almost impossible these days, but it had to be done!

    - the watch arrived with a non movable bezel. The bezel luminous had turned a nice deep rust brown but was it rust or age that turned it brown? I will let you be the judge ;-)

    - crystal was really scratched up.

    - hands had been BADLY resumed.

    - case back was deeply attacked by pliers.

    - dial lume completely oxidized.

    - the hermetic case did its job and as a result the movement was in perfect un-oxidized condition

    So other than a watch movement service what to do? Well it is for me so I secured the following:

    - New stock bezel, bezel retaining spring, three bearing springs, three sapphire bearings, case back. New bracelet and crown. Of course all new gaskets.

    The dial was sent for a redial however, it turns out that only the lume was in bad condition. A new process was applied to the dial and the lume was removed leaving the dial in its original condition. Only the lume has been replaced, not the silk screened script or indices . Turns out that the Seamaster dial of the period, as with other high end dials were not painted black. They were chemically treated to become black wherever the font screening was not applied. Black paint of the time suffered from UV degradation and pealed, sort of like K cars from the 80’s!

    So on the dial what you see is the original black dial which is re-lumed in an antique luminova with the hands lumed to match.

    All original case parts were kept. The crystal was polished using 600 grit, 1200 grit and 2400 grit wet dry ()using wet soap solution) finished with a plastic polish and is original. The hands were polished and there was corrosion therefore I nickle plated and polished them before lume was added to match the dial.

    So to the pictures:

    Before picture as it arrived ($400 USd):

    [​IMG]

    The bezel required pliers and a flat case knife to remove! It was not salvageable but I still have it.

    [​IMG]

    The new bezel unfortunately it does not come with an aged patina, but beggars can’t be choosers and this was all that was available:

    [​IMG]

    Case with bezel removed, note the notched rust. This is actually the remnants of the bezel retaining spring which rust welded the bezel to the case:

    [​IMG]

    Once the bezel was removed I de-rusted mechanically and with chemicals; exposing the three holes used for the springs and sapphire bearings. The holes were drilled out and only one spring was found:

    [​IMG]

    New springs and sapphire bearings:

    [​IMG]

    New bezel retaining spring:

    [​IMG]

    Case was resurfaced by hand trying to maintain the sharp edges. Not all the nicks were removed as that would have involved too much material being removed. The object was to make the watch look 50 years old but cared for:

    [​IMG]

    Case back with plier marks:

    [​IMG]

    I tried to resurface the original case back but ended up securing a NOS replacement:

    [​IMG]

    Movement removed showing luminous oxidization and badly lumed hands:

    [​IMG]

    Hands showing corrosion and bad water based lumpy lume:

    [​IMG]

    All the new parts:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the crystal after polishing, the omega symbol is there and the scratches are dust on the crystal. It is perfect and being a Seamaster 300 it was very thick allowing for a good resurfacing and polishing:

    [​IMG]

    The case restored and awaiting for the movement:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And now the before and after:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Please ignore the Seiko placard ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So there you go, I finally got a Seamaster 300 on my wrist!

    Hope you enjoy

    Geoff
     
    Edited Nov 30, 2019
  2. Davidt

    Davidt Nov 29, 2019

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    Looks great. The dial is a huge improvement.

    Personally I'd get the original caseback back on there asap, along with the bezel but that's personal preference.
     
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  3. Toishome

    Toishome Nov 29, 2019

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    How did the dial turn out like that? Is that a different dial? You did not mention anything about the dial unless I missed it::confused2::
     
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  4. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Nov 29, 2019

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    Okay, the bezel is totally wrecked, it was welded to the case by the retaining spring. The stainless portion was rusted through and unrepairable. The plastic covering the lume was cracked in 5 places. I still have it, but there is no retaining groove for the spring to reside in as it rusted away.

    The case back has been retained is resides in the original display box. It can be replaced at any time but I prefer to wear the new one as it was deformed by some idiot and a pair of pliers, this insures better water resistance.

    The dial is original:

    _____________

    “The dial was sent for a redial however, it turns out that only the lume was in bad condition. A new process was applied to the dial and the lume was removed leaving the dial in its original condition. Only the lume has been replaced, not the silk screened script or indices . Turns out that the Seamaster dial of the period, as with other high end dials were not painted black. They were chemically treated to become black wherever the font screening was not applied. Black paint of the time suffered from UV degradation and pealed, sort of like K cars from the 80’s!”

    “So on the dial what you see is the original black dial which is re-lumed in an antique luminova with the hands lumed to match.”

    ______________

    Part of the description before the pictures.

    Cheers
     
  5. Toishome

    Toishome Nov 29, 2019

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    Sorry I missed that :unsure: Dial looks great now :thumbsup:
     
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  6. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Nov 29, 2019

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    No problem! I was really pleased that I got to keep the original dial and only had to have the lume replaced.
     
  7. jaguar11

    jaguar11 Nov 30, 2019

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    Looks great. I can't help wonder however what it would look like with the original bezel which I have a liking for. Wear in good health.
     
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  8. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Nov 30, 2019

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    Unfortunately the original bezel was welded to the case by the rusted retaining spring. I agree the bezel in place now is to “new looking”, ie, no patina. The original bezel is unusable from a physical standpoint. I soaked the case for 2 weeks in rust remover to try and remove it without damaging it or the case. I had to resort to a case knife and my attempt to pry it off without deforming it was futile. In fact the inner lip that the retaining spring sits in is rotted away.

    Still have it but it cannot be salvaged.

    The notched rust is actually the combined rust from the bezel retaining spring and the bezel lip that the spring resides in holding the bezel to the case:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a photo of the relationship of new bezel and retaining spring. The spring and notches in the bezel were rotted and the bezel would never have worked in place again.

    [​IMG]
     
    Edited Nov 30, 2019
  9. S.H.

    S.H. Nov 30, 2019

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    The NOS parts you speak of are rather new service parts, right? Because I'm looking at barcodes :D

    I'd still keep the original back if the threads and lip are not rotten away, gouging may be laser welded. Maybe try to find an original bezel, they pop in the FS section from time to time... it will be much more satisfying to have an even "patina" all over.

    Lots of work on this one!:thumbsup:
     
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  10. rob#1

    rob#1 Nov 30, 2019

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    Great job, looks very nice, well done :thumbsup:. I’d use the bezel as a key ring...
     
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  11. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Nov 30, 2019

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    I agree and an aged bezel would be appropriate and look nicer. Yes, should have mentioned that the parts are new stock not new old stock. I do try to restore original parts and then source NOS parts but sometimes new parts are required. The original case back is still with the watch, you can see it in photo of the new parts, it is the lower case back. It is just not on it at the moment but will stay with the watch. The font and sea monster are slightly different sizes between the original and the new stock.
     
  12. wagudc

    wagudc Nov 30, 2019

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    Wow, nice work resurrecting this beauty!
     
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  13. Archer

    Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Nov 30, 2019

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    Dates codes are clearly visible on some - oldest I can see is 2010, and newest is 2013. So on the bracelet package, the "03.13" is for the 3rd week of 2013.

    Calling new parts "NOS" seems to be a holdover from Watchco's marketing methods...

    Cheers, Al
     
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  14. Wooden_spoon

    Wooden_spoon Nov 30, 2019

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    Wow nice work. Congrats
     
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  15. steveb73

    steveb73 Nov 30, 2019

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    Looks great! Really enjoyed the before and after photos.
     
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  16. chronoboy64

    chronoboy64 Nov 30, 2019

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    Very nice looking SM 300 now, great job and wear in good health :thumbsup:
     
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  17. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Wants to be in the club! Dec 1, 2019

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    Curious why you didn’t just change the crystal? New seals better and as far as I know, looks identical.

    Did you get a new crown gasket into the crown as well?

    Tom
     
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  18. dmgreen11

    dmgreen11 Dec 2, 2019

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    Looks great - lots of work and care went into reviving this one.
     
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  19. madjestikmoose

    madjestikmoose Dec 2, 2019

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    I hope you’re very pleased with yourself - I know I would be! :thumbsup:
     
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  20. 787Geoff

    787Geoff Dec 2, 2019

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    I re-stuffed the original crown with new gasket and silicone grease. The original crystal, after polishing just to see if it could be done, pressure tested perfectly. Since I am not using this as a dive watch, but a daily wearer, the original Omega crystal was just fine.

    Cheers
     
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