Help me decide a vintage dress watch

Thread: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

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  1. #1
    Member Will's Avatar
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    Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Hi guys,

    Finally decided to get a vintage dress watch... Can you guys help me around?

    - 36mm or more
    - $1000 budget
    - Prefer Heuer, Omega, Rolex, JLC, Glashutte, IWC....
    - Gold with black straps (inspired by ulackfocus )

    tks
    Will (-.-")

    2008: Omega Speedmaster pro 3572.50
    2008: Denissov Barracuda 31681 L.E. (088/500)
    2008: British Army W10 Smiths Military (Age: 1940-1969)
    2008: Leandri Italia auto/date by Locman
    2009: Philip Stein Sports Chrono
    2010: Vintage IWC c.89
    2010: Rolex Sub 16610LV (M series)
    2010: Vintage JLC k.882

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Why thank you sir! It's good to know my "enabler" status is confirmed.

    I think you might have trouble finding a Rolex, JLC, or IWC in gold for under $1000. Those didn't make very many plated or capped watches, almost all were solid gold. The few that are gold capped will be above that limit. If you want to go stainless, you could probably find an IWC caliber 89 in very nice shape for under $1000. I sold mine last year for $700-ish and vowed to replace it with a gold model in the near future. Rolex Date & DateJust models in stainless do sell a couple hundred above your limit too. The only JLC you may get lucky on is a caliber 885 from the late 60's or early 70's with either 2 or 3 hands. The price of gold has driven them up over $1000 now though. I used to see them for $700 - $900 all the time on eBay.

    Glashütte would be a problem because the quality wasn't great. After WWII they were located behind the Iron Curtain. The company that you know today for top end watches is not anything like the one during the Cold War. Same thing with Lange. I don't know too much about these East German brands so it would be best to wait for a more informed opinion of them.

    Heuer made mostly chronographs, and they usually will be over the budget also. Once in a blue moon a basic 3 hand pops up but the risk of a franken is very high.

    Now with Omega you'll have lots of options. You can grab a gold plated De Ville from the late 60's to early 80's for a song. I've seen them on the sales forums (one here not too long ago) for $200 - $350 in excellent shape. Take a look at this member's listing - it's a very nice watch for what he's asking:

    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...ghlight=geneve

    A gold capped Seamaster or Constellation will run $350 - $800 depending on the model and caliber inside. Solid gold, however, has increased in price to over budget just like all the others talked about above. A couple years ago I grabbed an 18ct 1960 Seamaster caliber 591 for $781 and put $400 into a complete overhaul, NOS Omega single keeper strap, and a Ω logo buckle. They sell well above that price now. DEFINITELY be wary of frankens!


    Okay, I know you expected this: how about Longines? If they aren't your thing that's okay, but you have a ton of options even in solid gold within the target budget.

    Here's one like a watch I have with a caliber 370, but not quite mint:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_1416wt_941

    The non-diamond version looks like this 23Z manual wind, which went for a nice price considering it's condition:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...t_10141wt_1167

    This caliber 505 isn't technically an in-house Longines movement, but it was based on the Record 195x (which Longines owned at the time):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_500wt_1182

    Anyway, you may want to consider Hamilton also. There are a few 60's solid gold watches you can grab for $500-ish and they're very well made also. Good luck, and remember to ask here BEFORE you buy!

  3. #3
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    JLC for under $1000

    Quote Originally Posted by ulackfocus View Post
    I think you might have trouble finding a Rolex, JLC, or IWC in gold for under $1000. Those didn't make very many plated or capped watches, almost all were solid gold. The few that are gold capped will be above that limit. If you want to go stainless, you could probably find an IWC caliber 89 in very nice shape for under $1000. I sold mine last year for $700-ish and vowed to replace it with a gold model in the near future. Rolex Date & DateJust models in stainless do sell a couple hundred above your limit too. The only JLC you may get lucky on is a caliber 885 from the late 60's or early 70's with either 2 or 3 hands. The price of gold has driven them up over $1000 now though. I used to see them for $700 - $900 all the time on eBay.
    I think I saw a solid gold JLC (might have been LeCoultre) sell for $700 recently on ebay. I only did a super quick glance but it looked legit to me.

    Although I agree that another at that price would be hard to find.

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  5. #4
    Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Hi Ulackfocus.... tks for all the info you provided, u have summarised everything... :)

    I did a quick search and found this...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/LECOULTRE-JUMBO-...item3eff8c0614

    Actually I love the memovox line but I dont really have any luck with the bidding war...
    Will (-.-")

    2008: Omega Speedmaster pro 3572.50
    2008: Denissov Barracuda 31681 L.E. (088/500)
    2008: British Army W10 Smiths Military (Age: 1940-1969)
    2008: Leandri Italia auto/date by Locman
    2009: Philip Stein Sports Chrono
    2010: Vintage IWC c.89
    2010: Rolex Sub 16610LV (M series)
    2010: Vintage JLC k.882

  6. #5
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    I did a quick search and found this...

    http://cgi.ebay.com/LECOULTRE-JUMBO-...item3eff8c0614

    Actually I love the memovox line but I dont really have any luck with the bidding war...
    Um, forget a Memovox - either the LeCoultre or JLC version. Even the beat up ones sell for over $1000.... more like $1200. The nice ones go for $1500 and up (way up). I know because I've been looking at them for a long time.

  7. #6
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Will, I've wanted to recommend some of the watches I've seen, but the way I read your specifications, you want a vintage upscale watch whose current incarnation hasn't been down scaled, so to speak. I've thought Certina, Longines, Modavo and Hamilton, all suffer from the downscale phenomenon. Have you considered Zenith?

  8. #7
    Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Quote Originally Posted by nsmike View Post
    Will, I've wanted to recommend some of the watches I've seen, but the way I read your specifications, you want a vintage upscale watch whose current incarnation hasn't been down scaled, so to speak. I've thought Certina, Longines, Modavo and Hamilton, all suffer from the downscale phenomenon. Have you considered Zenith?
    Hi Mike, zenith is a good brand... I like.. Haa. Tks

    Ulackfocus, how much will u pay for a jumbo memovox?
    Will (-.-")

    2008: Omega Speedmaster pro 3572.50
    2008: Denissov Barracuda 31681 L.E. (088/500)
    2008: British Army W10 Smiths Military (Age: 1940-1969)
    2008: Leandri Italia auto/date by Locman
    2009: Philip Stein Sports Chrono
    2010: Vintage IWC c.89
    2010: Rolex Sub 16610LV (M series)
    2010: Vintage JLC k.882

  9. #8
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    Ulackfocus, how much will u pay for a jumbo memovox?
    I'm actually more interested in the manual wind calibers 489 or 814 from the 50's. Case reference 3150 or 3159 in solid gold are 35 mm in diameter. The bumpers 815 and 825 came a little later and were usually 37 mm in diameter. I wouldn't mind a reference E855, and the E860 at 38 mm has an interesting dial with Roman numerals at 6, 9, and 12 with the date at 3. Later into the 60's and 70's came the full rotor 916's and they got a little funky.

    A beat-up one would be my preference. Since the reference 2285 came out so well after Le Sentier did the renovation I'd love to send another watch their way. It's like getting a new one when they return it, but it takes nearly a year. For a beat up one I would expect to pay $1000 - $1600 depending on the model. Good shape stainless or 80 micron plated versions sell for $1300 - $2300, again depending on the model and condition.

  10. #9
    Member Will's Avatar
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    How much will u pay for the memovox I posted earlier?
    Will (-.-")

    2008: Omega Speedmaster pro 3572.50
    2008: Denissov Barracuda 31681 L.E. (088/500)
    2008: British Army W10 Smiths Military (Age: 1940-1969)
    2008: Leandri Italia auto/date by Locman
    2009: Philip Stein Sports Chrono
    2010: Vintage IWC c.89
    2010: Rolex Sub 16610LV (M series)
    2010: Vintage JLC k.882

  11. #10
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    Re: Help me decide a vintage dress watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Will View Post
    How much will u pay for the memovox I posted earlier?
    That sold for about the right price. It's a gold filled case, not solid gold. It's also a LeCoultre and not a Jaeger LeCoultre - there's a difference.

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