Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

Thread: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

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  1. #1
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    Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    So I'm in a bit of a dilema. I recently purchased this E. Gubelin men's watch, and had high hopes that perhaps there was a high quality movement inside. The watch itself is beautiful; I especially like the lugs. I took it in to a watchmaker to have it opened up and to take a look at the black "smudge" on the dial, hoping that it was surface dirt that could easily be removed. He did the old spit shine, being very careful not to damage anything on the factory dial, but the smudge didn't budge. If you look closely, you can see that there's actually a scratch through to the base metal in the middle of the mark.

    The seller's pictures weren't the best, so it was tough to make out the dial imperfections. Now I have to make a decision: I can still return the watch and get my money back, or I can keep it and have it serviced to get it back in working condition (right now it doesn't tick). Between the dial, the under-whelming movement, and the cost to get it serviced, I'm thinking that I over payed and ought to return it.

    What do y'all think?

    FYI, I paid low to mid $300s. Money's a little tight these days, but I was hoping to keep it as a nice dress watch and have a decent little investment if I ever decided to sell it after getting it running and restoring the case and crystal a bit.

    Here's the details about the watch:
    Moeris 10 1/2 caliber 16 jewel movement, which can be found in WWII era junker watches for cheap on the bay.

    Inside case back stamped "ACIER INXOYDABLE", back of case stamped "2769930". No Gubelin mark on the movement, and no number on the movement.

    The stainless case has some pitting and oxidation, but could probably be cleaned up without going too crazy on the polishing to keep the vintage look.

    Pics follow:
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  2. #2
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    The case is 35mm in diameter without the crown.
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    Last edited by Marrick; October 13th, 2011 at 08:45. Reason: Consolidation

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    You are obviously not happy with the watch, and by the time you've had it serviced it will have turned out to be very expensive. If you can get a refund I reckon you probably should.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

    Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)


    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    ... and don't buy a watch as an "investment"

    PS - that's a nice watch from a little known brand. You didn't mention whether it was sold as working or as-is.
    My new sig -----

    Over the years I've collected all sorts of movements and "project" watches ... mainly inexpensive vintage pieces.

    These days I've widened my gaze to include modern pieces (including quartz with analog or analog + digital displays) but with those I'm generally looking for models in solid steel cases.

  6. #5
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    To be honest, my take on this is that you bought it thinking that you knew more about the watch than the seller. You were hoping to buy something under it's real value - if I'm wrong about that I apologise. I don't think that it's the sellers fault that your gamble didn't pay off and I don't think he should be refunding you because you overpaid against what it was really worth, especially considering that you've had your watchmaker take it apart.


  7. #6
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    Re: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    Mirius, you're right that I was hoping to buy the watch under its true value. It's not like I, as buyer, or the seller were trying to pull a fast one, though. The seller correctly advertised that some Gubelin watches from the same era had fine movements made by the likes of IWC and Patek. He hadn't wanted to hassle with taking it to a watchmaker to get the case opened to find out, so there were no movement pictures available. The seller did advertise, though, that there wasn't any oxidation on the dial, and that the dial was in good shape. Closer inspection of the dial showed that, unfortunately, not to be the case. If I decide to return it, it won't be because I didn't find an IWC movement in it, it would be because the marks on the center of the dial bug me and don't appear to be something that could be easily cleaned up.

    bjohnson, it was sold "as is," and the buyer never represented that the watch was running, just that the dial was clean, and offered a return period.

    Thanks to all of you for weighing in.

  8. #7
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    Re: Beautiful Little E. Gubelin... but should I keep it?

    Hi woodwkr2,

    Quote Originally Posted by woodwkr2 View Post
    The seller correctly advertised that some Gubelin watches from the same era had fine movements made by the likes of IWC and Patek. He hadn't wanted to hassle with taking it to a watchmaker to get the case opened........
    Sorry to say: The seller likely found precisely the buyer he intended. You were pretty brave to buy the watch, hoping to find any but average quality under the bonnet. Gübelin as a jeweller of course sold also top grade brands, and even added his signature on such watches. But without manufacturer signature the watches are just average movements in cases above average. You can at least be sure never to get a plated case frron Gübelin. Gold top and steel back means almost always plated top, but Gübelin belonged (and still belongs) to the few combining a solid gold top with a steel back.

    Anyway, my personal experience with "can't open back" is either trash like here
    Ranfft Watches, Troubles
    or even worse like here
    Ranfft Watches, Troubles

    And refering the value: Some days ago I sold this movement for 29 bucks



    Good running condition, visually near new.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
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    Last edited by Roland Ranfft; October 13th, 2011 at 19:51.

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