General questions on vintage watches from a novice
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  1. #1
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    General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Hello,

    I've recently wanted to get my hands on a dressier/classier watch(I only own a SKX007 right now). Something that is clean, looks best paired with a nice leather strap, and cheap. Based on these things, I've started to look into vintage watches and I see very handsome highend watches like Omegas going for $100-$200.

    Seems too good to be true. Is there any information that someone should be equipped with before making a bid on these watches on ebay? I just love the look of some of these watches, patina and all. To be honest, the aesthetics is what attracts me to them, keeping good enough time would be just fine with me. Is it possible to snatch up a decent working vintage Omega for around $100 or so on ebay?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Hi and welcome.

    Omega are very sought after watches, and nice, genuine, examples seldom sell for that the lower end of that price range. Because they are strong sellers, ebay is a bit of a minefield as unscrupulous dealers cobble together watches from various sources and 'tart them up' to sell to the unwary. There are more dodgy Omegas posted in here than any other brand.

    As a novice, I would recommend that you look at other brands as well - there are many fine vintage watches which sell for a lot less than Omegas.
    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.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Realistically, no. In the first place, most watches you find on ebay require service before being used, or they'll probably grind to a halt inside of a year. That can run you upwards of $150, depending on the watch and the watchmaker, So make sure you factor that into your calculations.

    Second of all, well-known marques like Omega, Rolex et al tend to attract opportunistic sellers who assemble watches out of a mish-mash of various parts, only some of which are even true omega/rolex parts. Assuming that the watch isn't just a flat-out forgery (although on ebay, they're usually more careful then that).

    The thing to remember is that ebay watches are being viewed by millions of people, so if the price on such a desired item seems unusually low, you have to wonder what everyone else knows that you don’t.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    I would second the advice of Marrick there. If aesthetics are your primary driver then you need to stay away from the premium brands unless you are prepared to dig much deeper into your wallet. There are any number of other watch brands out there who will give you everything you want for much less.

    Please factor a service into any watch you buy - this can be more than the cost of the watch.
    Medphred likes this.


  6. #5
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    The thing to remember is that ebay watches are being viewed by millions of people, so if the price on such a desired item seems unusually low, you have to wonder what everyone else knows that you don’t.
    +1 a million times! Too many people are looking for bargain prices on premium brands for easy deals to go unmissed.


  7. #6
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Hi there,

    Firstly, there are plenty of threads following similar lines... 2 I found from doing a quick search:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/tip...es-537900.html

    and

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f295/ti...ch-122415.html

    Generally, I would be very wary of looking to buy a vintage Omega... as you say, many are too good to be true... especially in the $100-$200 price bracket.

    That is not to say there are not bargains to be had.... you just need to do a lot of research!

    I would strongly recommend posting a pic or 2 of any Omegas you plan buy on here FIRST, BEFORE BIDDING! there are some very good eagle eyed folk on here, that can spot a fake/redial/franken.

    However, if you choose to go it alone...

    • if its too good to be true - mint condition 1960s Omega selling at $100 - it is, 99.9% of the time!
    • Movement photos are your friend! they can give a huge insight into the originality/condition of the watch! Omega movements also have clear information on them - caliber numbers and serial numbers... which can be checked!
    • Omega also normally have a case serial number... googling these can normally quickly find similar looking omegas for comparison!
    • Even with a photo of a movement and case serial number... there are many frankens out there (collection of parts put together).... so you have to research any watch you want to buy... especially if you dont know what you are looking at!
    • Search the omega forum (and here) for ones you like... and get yourself familiar with the case shapes, dial styles/fonts, hand types, movements.... etc... do your research!
    • Unknown service history/non runners may result in you spending 2x, 3x... the cost, as parts/servicing is not cheap for Omegas.
    • I would be wary of buying from certain countries... not to say you cant get a dud in the US or here in the Uk....

    I still think it might prove to be madness to make your first vintage purchase an Omega, if you are shopping on Ebay!

    As such... have a look at the last few WURW threads... there are plenty of top quality, stunning looking watches out there, that dont have the cost/risk of buying an Omega!

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/wru...-a-670871.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/vin...uw-656156.html
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/her...uw-642174.html


    Im sure others can give additional/revised advice....

    Good luck!

    Marc

    - Edit - by the time I wrote this... 3 others had replied... all with good advice!
    Last edited by Sparcster; April 25th, 2012 at 14:42.
    Mirius and redcow like this.
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

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  8. #7
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Quote Originally Posted by NakedWrist View Post
    Hello,

    I've recently wanted to get my hands on a dressier/classier watch(I only own a SKX007 right now). Something that is clean, looks best paired with a nice leather strap, and cheap. Based on these things, I've started to look into vintage watches and I see very handsome highend watches like Omegas going for $100-$200.

    Seems too good to be true. Is there any information that someone should be equipped with before making a bid on these watches on ebay? I just love the look of some of these watches, patina and all. To be honest, the aesthetics is what attracts me to them, keeping good enough time would be just fine with me. Is it possible to snatch up a decent working vintage Omega for around $100 or so on ebay?

    Thank you!
    In a word "NO".

    One must remember two things with vintage: Service and Authenticity

    Service gets to condition. You can buy a watch in any condition and, with enough money put to service, make it into a good condition watch. But quickly the level of money required can exceed the price of a watch in good condition. Service is expensive. I always assume a COA service will be needed unless I trust the vendor. And I trust no vendor of $100 Omegas on eBay.

    Since good service is so expensive, vendors will often assemble watches from what they have on hand - which is much cheaper if there are any real problems with a watch.

    As a consequence you get 'frankens' -- Frankenstein watches assembled from body parts of other watches. While they may, or may not (more likely) work properly, they are not watches ever made by Omega and are generally considered not collectible.

    That is why $100 Omegas exist and are not good buys even at that price.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  9. #8
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Hi there,

    Quote Originally Posted by NakedWrist View Post
    Seems too good to be true.
    Just my short summary: YES

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    Grill G likes this.

  10. #9
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Wow thank you for all your help everyone! I've gone through the links that were posted and I'm overwhelmed with all the information.

    As a learning experience, can I get some advice on these watches I've found that if I didn't know any better I'd bid on?

    Omega - $250
    1949 OMEGA STAINLESS STEEL CASE 18K BEZEL CLASSIC DIAL CALIBER 360 | eBay

    Benrus - $128
    Nice Vintage BENRUS Selfwinding S.S Men's Watch w/ Bubble Back | eBay

    These two look very nice, both running, seller seems to have good rating, consistent markings on case back-dial-movement.

  11. #10
    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: General questions on vintage watches from a novice

    Hi there,

    Before reading the description. i would have told you the Omega had been redialed and would have had concerns about the 'polished' case.

    The seller is honest and does describe works carried out.

    The Omega looks 'nice'..... and im sure 99% of people would think so.... personally, the refinished dial, polished case, worn(ish) looking movement, mish mash of 'gold bezel' and s/s case... would put me off!

    Benrus... looks more of an honest vintage watch. but im no benrus expert - nor am i an Omega expert....
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Twitter: quickpicmarc

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