I have some old watches from my dad, with Japanese quartz movements, which surprised me when, after ages, they started to work after I put new batteries.
Maybe in watches you bought old batteries leaked and made some damage?
I think there is much more cheating when bigger money is involved.
-- Mimi --
Most of the time, when a quartz watch is listed as "don't know if works", it means it doesn't work. Especially for vintage slavas. It's not that hard sticking a battery and see what happens. So the "don't know" part is usually a selling tactic.
I have some really well preserved cosmetically Slava, that I don't know if they work
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