1953 JLC restoration?

Thread: 1953 JLC restoration?

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  1. #1
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    1953 JLC restoration?

    I have an old JLC from 1953 or earlier which I inherited, but it is in a bit of a sorry state. I've attached a picture. It loses 2 minutes a day, the case is scratched and the dial is flaking paint/varnish. I wondering if it is restorable and if so who could do a decent job. BTW I'm UK based (South Bedfordshire).

    IMO this is an attractive design, and the gold hands and markings are in good condition though for some reason they look poor in the photo. The small second hand looks a bit wonky though.

    Advice appreciated. Thanks. Leif
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  2. #2
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Hi -
    Get that watch to a decent watchmaker! It is one of THE classic JLC designs from the 1940s/early 1950s: the case design points to Bauhaus influences. Great, timeless design. Certainly needs a trip to the watchmaker for a good cleaning and oiling, as well as timing. You should be able to get excellent results from a JLC watch after taking care of it.

    Seriously, JLC are eminently restorable. Since you're in the UK, you might want to check out one of the folks who sponsor this here web site:

    http://www.satintime.co.uk/

    While I have no experience personally, they do seem to have some seriously satisfied customers.

    JohnF
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  3. #3
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Hello John. Thanks for the comments. Would you recommend I go for dial restoration, by which I mean repainting etc? Or do people prefer to clean an old dial, but leave the wear as a sign of honest ageing?

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  5. #4
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    That is very, very nice. Quite a piece and well worth some expense and effort to improve it. A service of the movement is a must. Bry at Satintime is a good bet, as is Chris Heal in Sussex:

    http://www.chealwatch.co.uk/

    Both have very good reputations.

    I would ask the restorer's advice. The dial looks pretty evenly aged to me, so you could leave it. Bear in mind that an over-restored watch will actually lose value. Both Bry and Chris will give you very sound advice.

    keep us posted - I would love to see the progress of this one.
    Last edited by quoll; December 7th, 2006 at 23:23.

  6. #5
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Hello Quoll.

    Thanks for the info. I'll see what those people say. As an aside I'm more interested in having a nice result than value per se given that it came from a relative, and I like the look of it.

    BTW I don't suppose you or anyone else has experience of these people:

    http://www.watchdoctors.co.uk

    I ask as they are down the road from me, which makes them convenient.

    Leif

  7. #6
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Hi -

    I wouldn't get the dial restored.

    Why?

    Because it is perfectly legible as is.

    Sure, there is some spotting on the face and there is a nice patina at the edge of the dial. But other than that it is in excellent shape.

    When you have work done it, you can ask to see if some of the spotting can be removed, as it may be something as simple running a soft brush on the face of the watch. If the spots are embedded, i.e. at some point the crystal was smashed, say in an accident, and there is debris embedded in the face, then you can't easily remove it.

    I'd leave it as is. Shows the age very, very nicely.

    JohnF
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  8. #7
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    I own four of these beauties from Le Sentier. Three US market LeCoultre and one JLC -- all made during the 1950's.

    All are excellent timekeepers, well within COSC specs by today's standards. No reason to believe that yours would be any different.

    BTW, JLC can restore vintage watches as well. They are expensive, but they do very good work. You may contact them through their website.

    http://www.jaegerlecoutre.com

    Once you have the case and movement number, they can also give you the exact manufacture date of the watch as well.

    Enjoy it,
    gatorcpa

  9. #8
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Thanks again for all of the comments. I've attached another picture which shows the dial more clearly. I'll get some quotes, including (for fun) from JLC. I'll go for a dial clean, rather than a repaint. After all, a repaint can always be done, but not vica versa.
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  10. #9
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    I would go along with John and quoll in recommending that the dial not be restored. I believe that a 50+ year old classic watch should look its age as long as the dial is legible, and this one certainly is. A great piece and thanks for posting it.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  11. #10
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    Re: 1953 JLC restoration?

    Just in case anyone is interested, I asked JLC how much restoration would cost, and they quoted between £1,000 and £2,000 depending on the work required. Wow! It's a tough choice.

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