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What is your ‘Patina Threshold’

  1. Anthony Lane Mar 4, 2022

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    When considering a purchase of a vintage specimen, what is your threshold for patination?

    How much is too much for you? What’s acceptable?

    In the past I’ve really valued condition overall, especially with regards to lume and case condition (scratches are fine, I hate polishing).

    However, as I venture into different areas of collecting I’ve seemingly adjusted my threshold or tolerance. I enjoy the wabi sabi of a timepiece. Patina shows character and suggests that a timepiece was used—but sometimes abused. But don’t subscribe to the notion that a premium should be placed on patina.

    Here’s a potentially new acquisition I’m looking at that might be just a bit too far gone, however, I’ll probably convince myself that it’s not that bad and still end up with it anyhow.

    76C3BB3F-1F15-4306-8D9D-8D4036C0D56C.jpeg

    Curious to see examples of heavy patina pieces that you own. Or some that you’re considering or have ultimately passed on because it was just a bit too much.
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2022
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  2. JwRosenthal Mar 4, 2022

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    Some love it, I can’t do it. I can take case scratches and even some dings and bruises, but dials and lume need to be as clean possible. I would rather pay a serious premium for a clean example over one with dial damage.
    This is on my threshold.
    B7F9C780-E825-4BE2-8390-9D5C7E9FD5F3.jpeg
     
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  3. gbesq Mar 4, 2022

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    My threshold is low. If there are spots, fungus, or uneven coloration, that’s less attractive to me. Examples from my collection:
    GOOD:
    4D7A078A-F20D-4162-8A2A-14B59BED0134.jpeg
    GOOD:
    1B2056A6-2150-4150-A6AA-672F4FA914D8.jpeg
    GOOD:
    upload_2022-3-4_19-20-12.jpeg
    NOT SO GOOD (ALTHOUGH NOT UNATTRACTIVE AND IT SOLD QUICKLY WHEN I LISTED IT)
    0449E660-7DA4-4601-9FCC-AE36B0BF8EBD.jpeg
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2022
  4. stonestone Mar 4, 2022

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    I saw this piece on a Sotheby’s auction site. The photo was pretty awful. The spots on the dial looked like acne. But something about it appealed to me, and I put in a lowball price thinking what the hell. I ended up winning, and when the piece arrived was delighted to find that the spots were far less obvious than in the photo I saw. They are still there, but definitely below my patina threshold.
     
    E9FD7431-0734-496C-B5D5-F924BB781D15.jpeg
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  5. SkunkPrince Mar 4, 2022

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    True patina, like dial lacquer yellowing, I can cope with. Actual damage, no thanks.
     
  6. Vitezi Mar 4, 2022

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    I draw the line at legibility. Lots of vintage watches retain gently aged dials, but if the numeral lume has degraded to a point where the time is unreadable at a glance, I move on. Here's an example:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. TimeODanaos Mar 4, 2022

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    We all draw the line in different places, and you'll do you - nice perennial topic though. I tend to be a stickler for condition, and the downside is I pass on a lot, and pay quite a premium sometimes - result, not that many watches overall, and I don't have many patina examples for you. Here are two that do show some age on their dials, but they were already well into the "must-have" zone on other grounds - at that point, I probably put the bar somewhere similar to the guys posting above.
    74.JPG

    Very very occasionally, I see dial damage that appears to add some interest and (crucially) reduces the price a fair bit. I personally cannot get my head around the idea that I (or any buyer) should pay extra for the privilege of acquiring a damaged dial, even when it's weirdly appealing. I also would not buy a piece that I didn't already like - imo, a mediocre watch doesn't become a good one just with patina.

    Here's the only one with the right triangle of nice watch, low price, accidentally nice dial damage that I'm currently likely to wear - I like it, but I have no real idea why!
    29.jpg
    Edit: bottom lug width since expertly corrected, so now matches top lugs, strap, and original spec. :thumbsup:
     
    Edited Mar 29, 2022
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  8. stonestone Mar 4, 2022

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    Another example: I bought this Ed White from an Italian dealer a few years back. This watch would exceed the patina threshold for many. The dial is pretty shot, and both the lume and the paint on the hour markers are essentially gone. But it all comes together to produce a unique character that I find attractive.
     
    IMG_2285.JPG
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  9. Tubber Mar 4, 2022

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    Depends. This 62MAS is quite far gone but I still like it.
    OF1.jpg

    OF4.jpg

    This is about as far as I would go with an SM300.
    OF1 copy 3.jpg

    This Speedy slowly degraded as I owned it. You don't seem to notice how bad they get over a long period. Might be time for a relume.

    OF1 copy 2.jpg
     
  10. Spruce Sunburst dial fan Mar 5, 2022

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    As a rule, and rules can be broken, I avoid patinated and damaged dials.

    That said, I can live with my three.

    This Seamaster has a faint discolouration hard to capture with my phone camera
    8EA033C7-1B49-4BA9-B3D7-CB5AA9847ED2.jpeg


    I’m not sure why this bumper has a streaked dial
    7228DFE9-E34F-403B-8772-5230B9224BC6.jpeg

    This recently acquired Marvin is spotted, particularly by the date window and between 12-2, but since I regard it as a beater I wear when I don’t want to wear a C cased Constellation when walking London's 'mean streets', I guess it makes the break.

    I’ve noticed that silvered patinated dials (certainly on my 60s watches and particularly on a couple of Certina DS) seem more susceptible to changing.

    67CE5979-96F6-463C-9A06-C518BC726C73.jpeg
     
  11. vibe Mar 5, 2022

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    I like patina and even heavy patina. The no-go for me is a heavily polished case. Even patina with a case that has its original shape is sexy to me.
     
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  12. MtV Mar 5, 2022

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    Looking forward to some of the examples we might see here, nice topic. :)

    To me, it’s less about the degree of patination, but mostly about evenness. A dial can be heavily discolored and really speak to me, but that’s usually not the case when the discoloration is simply a large brown stain around the opening for the tube.

    A couple examples I’ve enjoyed:

    1503376B-9233-40A8-8CFE-E78E60609665.jpeg A96A5AF1-5A42-4550-A4D1-6FA2F2E9EA3D.jpeg 4C50CF1A-77EE-46F9-AA5E-FA473B537024.jpeg
     
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  13. ghce Mar 5, 2022

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    Exactly the same for me, its all about originality first, cosmetics take second place.

    There are many buyers and collectors who like patination giving the authenticity of a life well lived.

    In my particular case I love to see a near perfect dial on a battered case or conversely a near perfect case with a heavily patinered dial or a mix of it all.
     
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  14. Zapatta Mar 5, 2022

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  15. wilderbeast Mar 5, 2022

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    I was very keen on a black dialled Polerouter and I thought this stardust dial not unattractive - and better examples command insane prices these days. I’d say it’s about my limit, though.

    AEDE3E18-0553-49D3-B56D-EEEA3302D70A.jpeg
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2022
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  16. S.H. Mar 5, 2022

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    I usually don't do patina but in some cases I actually prefer the patinated / damaged examples to the pristine ones:

    IMG_20220305_123225.jpg
     
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  17. ghce Mar 5, 2022

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    One of my favourites for patina.

    Owix Eastmaster.jpg
     
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  18. TheGreekPhysique Mar 5, 2022

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    I dont have a threshold per se. Just depends on if I personally find the patina attractive. I do have a problem with people trying to charge premiums for patina though as I still view it as damage and I believe the price should reflect that. IMG_20190219_132406.jpg IMG_20190628_095028.jpg

    These are two that I post pretty frequently on here.
     
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  19. LesXL Mar 5, 2022

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    It's like a good wine, if even and/or original, it is good with age... But some surely can turn into vinager :)

    Mostly I like patina, if I'd like spotless dial, then better buy new I guess.

    Yet, functionality matters... You still need to be able to read time :)

    PXL_20220227_130343490.jpg PXL_20220221_135107666.jpg PXL_20220202_173937025.jpg PXL_20220223_150250777.jpg PXL_20220119_152718536.jpg PXL_20220110_131509990.jpg
     
    Edited Mar 5, 2022
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  20. smoothsecondscom Mar 5, 2022

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    levkov likes this.