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  1. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 16, 2016

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    I guess this question can apply to any vintage watch, but since I primarily been collecting omegas, I decided to post it here.
    I have been collecting for several years and have always been taught to look for original unpolished cases, original dial and hands and preferably original lume. Basically just the way the watch has come out of the factory that year. I have been noticing now more than ever a lot of vintage pieces that look like they came out of the factory yesterday. The dials and hands looking pristine. How is it possible for a 30 or even 50 year old watch to have no patina and no wear? In many of the cases all the parts are original, and the most likely explanation is that a watch has a service dial or hands or both. If that is true, does it make the watch less desirable to a collector? Also is it possible for these watches to be in such mint shape without having service parts?
     
  2. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jul 16, 2016

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    Vintage dress watches that were worn once in a while by the owners or the 25 year gold watch that was never worn.
    Years ago it was common to have a everyday watch and a dress watch that was worn once in a blue moon or the that's too good to wear/ use syndrome like my parents had :D on some things.

    I would say there are more watches that are all original than service replacements.
     
  3. Finrod Felagund

    Finrod Felagund Jul 16, 2016

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    You have the "safe queens" that spend a lifetime in a safe of its owner and also the "NOS" (New Old Stock) watches that spend their lifetime in the drawer of a watch making shop.

    I personnaly like NOS watches as I feel buying a brand new watch from another time, often older than I am... but many collectors do prefer a watch with patina and sign of wear.
     
  4. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 16, 2016

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    But even if the watch spent 20 years in a drawer, would it not still develop some patina?
     
  5. marturx

    marturx Jul 16, 2016

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    Patina is inflicted by exterior/ environmental factors like humidity, temperature and light

    If you store the watch in a dry, cool and dark place, patina won't be inflicted, unless the watch does that to itself, like watches with radium dials. Most of us, I think, have heard about radium burnt dials
     
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  6. Finrod Felagund

    Finrod Felagund Jul 16, 2016

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    Indee, I do have a NOS silver dial that has some yellow/green reflection because of it.
     
  7. ConElPueblo

    ConElPueblo Jul 16, 2016

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  8. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jul 16, 2016

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    Like new IWC, yet a more than 30 years old. image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

    Have to thank @Gavin and @ulackfocus for keeping it so nice for me
     
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  9. Interstatetime

    Interstatetime Jul 16, 2016

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    Can't really tell from your photos...but how sure are you that the original looking finish on this IWC is...well...original? Polished nicks and scratches are a tell. Again...not sure from your pictures but there are parts of the finish that look re-done to me...in the pictures.

    JohnC
     
  10. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Jul 16, 2016

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    life in a drawer.... since 1893. enamel dials and gold cases age especially well.
    P1000461.JPG P1000463.JPG
     
    Edited Jul 16, 2016
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  11. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 16, 2016

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    Yes. Enamel dials keep very well. Beautiful pocket watch.
     
  12. François Pépin

    François Pépin Jul 16, 2016

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    I do not think email realy get patina, does not it?
    Very nice watch! Do you have any pic of the movement?
     
  13. Fritz

    Fritz genuflects before the mighty quartzophobe Jul 16, 2016

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    Nope, enamel never seems to age, if it gets a bit dirty you can clean it with a swab and a drop of alcohol but since the dial is basically glass it really is ageless.

    typical American ladies watch of that era.... fantastic case.... shite movement!

    P1000470.JPG
     
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  14. dragoman

    dragoman Jul 16, 2016

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    Pristine watches without service parts?

    Santa coming back to town every year without parents helping him a bit?

    Don't disturb the kid inside!
     
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  15. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 16, 2016

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    Well. As a follow up why is service parts regarded not desirable. If omega takes a vintage watch and replaces old worn parts with nos service parts, how is it different than finding a watch that sat in a drawer for 40 yrs?
     
  16. mondodec

    mondodec Editor Constellation Collectors Blog Jul 16, 2016

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    Factory original watches, if and when it can be proved, do have greater cache, however a watch kept up to factory specifications with an original dial (as opposed to some of the service replacements we see of, say, early Speedies or indeed some poorer quality Constellation service dials) and maintained in top condition is what most collectors aim for. Condition and factory spec's are generally king, except when an old retailer falls off his perch, and a pristine, never worn example is found at the back of the safe. Then, it's every man for himself.

    There is an argument that in chronometer grade watches replacement parts may be not of the same grade and hence the watch loses its chronometer identity (rather than status) but it would take high magnification and more than a measure of pedantry for that to make any difference in the market.

    If you're talking about Omega service in Bienne, that's another thing altogether. Omega will replace parts 'nearest to' the originals, hence we see not all that spectacular redials and, for example, rotor and train bridges with incorrect stamped signatures on the movement. Then you talking about an officially sanctioned Frankenwatch that aint worth a fig to a serious collector.

    Cheers

    Desmond

     
  17. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 17, 2016

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    I see. Thank you for the explanaion. I had no idea Omega in Bienne does that. I always assumed they had a hoard of original parts that they would use.
    So say one purchase three identical watches. One has a pristine dial, the other has mint hands, and the third has a mint case. Then you put a watch together and it becomes a complete mint piece. Would this still be considered a desirable collector watch? I dont see how one would be able to tell it apart from a factory original.
     
  18. mondodec

    mondodec Editor Constellation Collectors Blog Jul 17, 2016

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    Correct. Note the difference between factory specs and factory original.

    If it meets factory specifications and all parts are specified for that model then no-one would ever know. So while factory original is the pipe dream, meeting factory specifications is what it's all about.

    The only thing that would prove a watch is factory original is provenance, proper documentation and other forms of proof that would show the watch never reached the retail market.
     
  19. Davudvl

    Davudvl Jul 17, 2016

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    Got it. Thanx for clarification.
     
  20. STANDY

    STANDY schizophrenic pizza orderer and watch collector Jul 17, 2016

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    There is a lot of watches that are in pristine condition for a watch that left the factory 30 or 50 years ago that have not been touched other than servicing. These are the ones most collectors get excited about when they come up for sale. These are the ones you pay top dollar and over for.