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What to do with this solid gold Omega classic men's manual wrist watch?

  1. Lyn T

    Lyn T Nov 7, 2018

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    Hi!
    I'm new to this forum and would love your advice as to what to do with this beautiful vintage Omega watch (D6634.) I know it's out of style--even as a woman's watch--so I'm assuming that only a collector would want it...but that's why I'm here...to ask and learn.

    The watch was given to my father by a Swiss business associate in either 1959 or 1960, while my family was living in France. He never wore it, but gave it to my mother who wore it as her dress watch until she died in 1983. I inherited the watch and began wearing it to work in the late 1980's. I started having problems with it, however, so a jeweler suggested that I replace the mechanical movement with a battery operated quartz one. He warned me that it would affect the value of the watch, so he saved all the original workings for me. (He must have replaced the dial as well, because the new one says "quartz" on it.) I have the original parts (even the hands) but I don't have the old crystal or dial.

    I wore the watch for about twenty years, but then only occasionally after that. The last time I retrieved it from my jewelry box, I discovered the crown was missing! I found a site on line (www.OttoFrei.com) that sells Omega replacement crowns for model # 6634, but unfortunately, they are out of the solid gold crowns and do not expect to get more. The person I spoke to suggested that I either get a stainless crown and have it dipped in gold, or contact an Omega service center. I called the Omega service center in NYC and was told they could not get the part. He said I'd need to send the watch to NJ for a complete service. I don't see the point in doing that until I'm ready to sell it, and then at that point, I'd have the original mechanical parts re-installed.

    Surprisingly, I found an identical watch listed on eBay in very poor non-working condition for $1,256.00.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mens-Vinta...Watch-w-14K-Yellow-Gold-Bracelet/232927078745[​IMG]

    I contacted the seller and asked him if he'd be willing to sell me the crown. He said he'd try to negotiate that with the buyer if he sold it for scrap. (The watch weighs 42.9 grams without the dial and mechanical parts, so it at least has some value as scrap gold at $23 per gram.)

    1. My first question: should I hold on to the watch, hoping that it may come into fashion again and increase in value, or should I sell it? I am retired now and rarely wear gold jewelry--I'll probably be long gone before this watch becomes fashionable again! I'm pretty sure my sons wouldn't want to bother with it.

    2. If I sell it, should I send it in to Omega, have them replace the quartz movement with the original mechanical one, service it and order a new crown? I'm just wondering how much the replacement dial (that says "quartz") would detract from its value.

    3. Would the cost of repairing it be worthwhile? Could anyone guess how much the repair might cost or how much this watch might be worth?

    3. If I decide to sell it as is, could another crown work, or would I have to get the exact model number replacement? (I'm assuming a jeweler wouldn't be able to get the part for me.)

    Thanks for your help!

    Lynette
     
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  2. calalum

    calalum Nov 7, 2018

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    Sorry to be blunt, but all of that sounds like a lot of effort and money for a piece that is likely not worth very much, with or without the original parts.
     
  3. Lyn T

    Lyn T Nov 7, 2018

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    That's pretty much what I was thinking. Though the one on eBay is listed at $1,256, it's in terrible shape...and may never sell! I know a jeweler who would at least buy it from me for 85% of scrap gold value...and he could also find out what it might be worth....
     
  4. Dan S

    Dan S Nov 7, 2018

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    Unfortunately, the dial is the face of the watch, and without the original dial, no collector would want the watch. The value is only in the gold and as parts.
     
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  5. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Nov 7, 2018

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    The watch no longer has any collector value and buying a new crown is just wasting money. I suspect your missing dial is still there, under a layer of paint and ink applied by the watchmaker.

    I think your best bet is to part the watch out and sell the gold for the best price you can get, then sell the two movements on eBay.
     
    Davidt likes this.
  6. Edward53

    Edward53 Nov 8, 2018

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    Seconded and you should be able to get more than 85% scrap value from a bullion dealer. If you don't want to be bothered with that, at least tell the jeweller you want 90%!
     
  7. Lyn T

    Lyn T Nov 8, 2018

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    Yes, it's odd that the jeweler would return the old movement to me, but not the old dial -- if, in fact, he did replace it. It was a long time ago, but I only remember him telling me that he cleaned the dial, as it was just a bit dirty around the edges. And surely the new dial would have been expensive--it has raised gold "numbers" on it--so I'd remember that expense. I don't even know how he would have been able find a dial exactly the same size as the original after thirty years -- but why does it have the word "QUARTZ" on it? That wouldn't have been on the original, right?

    My neighbor's brother owns a jewelry store and I just bought a new setting for my diamond there. He's on vacation, but when he gets back, I'll have him take a look at it. He could probably tell me if the dial has been painted replaced.

    I also sold a lot of old gold jewelry at his store. They bought some of it as estate jewelry (and paid over scrap) but they bought most of it as scrap, less 15%. I was hoping to get more, but I tried selling some jewelry on eBay. Most of it sold at scrap prices, and when you deduct eBay's 10% and PayPal's 2.9% and add the hassle of shipping and worry...I decided that I'd rather do business with the jeweler!

    I don't think I can bear to sell the parts. It's still a beautiful watch. I know no man would ever wear it, but it makes a lovely women's watch -- and it's solid gold. Over the years I received many, many compliments when it was on my wrist!
     
  8. Canuck

    Canuck Nov 8, 2018

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    The old adage goes that nothing is worth more to anybody else than it is to the owner. From an intrinsic and sentimental point of view, I suggest you keep it and enjoy it. Dispose of it, and in a month or so, you will have neither the watch, or the money.
     
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  9. rcs914

    rcs914 Nov 8, 2018

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    He likely performed what is called a "redial" where they clean up the dial and (poorly) reprint the Omega, and he likely added the "quartz" at that time.

    I wonder if the milanese could be fitted another watch? I know having a bracelet like that made today is incredibly expensive, so it's possible there is value there, but would definitely be a long shot.

    As with everything though it comes down to means. There are many here for whom spending $2-3K to have it fixed up properly wouldn't mean very much, and it would be worth it from a sentimental point of view, even if the watch itself is only worth a fraction of that. But if doing that isn't something you are comfortable with, maybe it's better to just leave it in a drawer for now.
     
  10. ac106

    ac106 Nov 8, 2018

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    I am unfamiliar with that adage.

    As I get older, the idea of keeping things around for sentimental reasons gets more off putting. While there are select objects I will hold on to indefinitely, the idea that everything touched by a family member is sacred and worth keeping just doesn't resonate with me, and I am one of the most nostalgic people you will ever meet.

    If one isn't going to wear this watch regularly than i wholeheartedly endorse selling it. Now, I wouldn't suggest paying a bill with the money but maybe setting it aside to buy something one normally wouldn't. A nominal luxury or experience that one will enjoy more than a broken watch stored in a drawer until one dies and it becomes someone else's conundrum
     
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  11. Canuck

    Canuck Nov 8, 2018

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    Okay! My comments weren’t directed at anyone other than the OP. It was my attempt to contribute to helping them decide what to do. Now we know what you think, but is that important?
     
    Edited Nov 8, 2018
  12. ac106

    ac106 Nov 8, 2018

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    You seem offended by my comment. I’m not quite sure why. Regardless it was not my intent, just providing an alternate view of the situation.
     
  13. bgrisso

    bgrisso Nov 8, 2018

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    if you want to keep it for sentimental value, I would try to source a correct original dial and put it back together with the original movement. It won't be worth the costs in terms of market value, but that might not be the most important thing in this situation.
     
    Lyn T likes this.
  14. Lyn T

    Lyn T Nov 10, 2018

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    Thank you all so much for your input! I have enjoyed reading your honest opinions and suggestions. I have such mixed feelings about this watch. On the one hand, I agree with what ac 106 said. At my age, I am trying to get rid of things, so that when I die, my children won't have to deal with the all stuff I left behind! On the other hand, there is something about this watch, so I'm thinking of doing what bgrisso and Canuck have suggested: fix it and keep it.

    I've been doing some research and checking listings on eBay. The 620 movement wasn't made until 1962, and according to the serial number, the watch I have was made in 1966. I thought it was given to my father while we were living in France, but when we moved to Australia, my father made many return trips to Geneva. The watch must have been given to him during one of those trips.

    I think I should be able to buy a dial with a crown and (non-working) 620 movement on eBay for less than $100. The problem is that I've seen so many differently sized dials! How to make sure I'm getting the right one, other than asking for very specific measurements...? And how to ensure I'm getting a 14 K crown, other than asking, I guess!

    If I got a new crown, I think I'd wear the watch on occasion--and if I can find a dial in decent shape, I'd have a jeweler replace the "repaired" one. I have to say--it still amazes me that the jeweler did what he did all those years ago! He was the one who went on and on about preserving the watch's integrity!! I've examined the dial closely with a loop, and I can't see any paint on the numbers, so my guess is that he cleaned it and then painted the word "QUARTZ" on it!

    I don't think I'd bother having the original movement put back until I'm ready to sell it, or I'll leave specific instructions for my children. If nothing more, I'm guessing gold values will go up, so at least the watch may be worth more in a few years--if not as a collector's item, at least for its weight in gold.

    Final question: Just curious...Why does the watch decrease in value if you replace the dial with one exactly like the original? How would anyone even know that it's not the original?

    Thanks again for your comments!