How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?
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  1. #1
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    How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Hey guys,

    What are the indicators that a vintage watch is salvageable? I saw a seiko Presmatic that looks fine on the outside, only that it isn't working. It looks splendid though. I saw that some of you bought vintage watches despite it being "spoilt" at the point of purchase and managed to get it working again. Or is this a hit-and-miss thing; that is, not every purchase might be salvageable!

  2. #2
    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mickxa2 View Post
    Hey guys,

    What are the indicators that a vintage watch is salvageable? I saw a seiko Presmatic that looks fine on the outside, only that it isn't working. It looks splendid though. I saw that some of you bought vintage watches despite it being "spoilt" at the point of purchase and managed to get it working again. Or is this a hit-and-miss thing; that is, not every purchase might be salvageable!
    It could be somthing simple like it's just stuck but it could be all worn down so it's so hard to say. Just because a watch isn't working doesn't mean it's more broken then a watch that is working.

    In the end it's you choice if it's worth the risk and if you got the money to lose. I have made some bad buys but I try do limit the money I spend so as not feel to bad and the good buys outway the bad ones.
    Last edited by Shum; July 18th, 2013 at 08:52.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Ah right, I get what you mean man. From where I am, it costs about 3 Subway sandwiches or about 5 McDonald's meals, haha so it isn't that bad. Just wondering how much it's gonna be when I send it for repairs/servicing.

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  5. #4
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Hi
    Good but tough question
    Everything is salvageable but at a price.
    I have bought pieces, I thought would be easily repairable, and they were not.
    Now I only buy pieces that work OR only need a clean i.e Balance staff, wheel and spring are all good.

    Regards
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  6. #5
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Its always a risk buying a non-working watch. It could need a simple service; or there could be damage which requires a lot of work and new parts. Sometimes parts are not readily available - and most watchmakers, frankly, don't want the hassle of tracking down difficult to find parts with the possibility of finding further problems as the work progresses.

    I avoid watches which aren't running - but there are folks in here who can do the work themselves who have had some terrific bargains.
    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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    Member Shum's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mickxa2 View Post
    Ah right, I get what you mean man. From where I am, it costs about 3 Subway sandwiches or about 5 McDonald's meals, haha so it isn't that bad. Just wondering how much it's gonna be when I send it for repairs/servicing.
    That doesn't sound expensive and you can alway buy the watch and then take it to a watchmaker and see what they say. If it will cost to much you could resell the watch for what you gave for it.

    In general Seiko made high quality watches so there is a good chance it's just alright and only in need of minor repairs.

  8. #7
    Member bspargo's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Hi, it is a gamble. I made some mistakes when i first started collecting a couple of years back. One watch cost me only $30 AUD, but service was $120, and it was for an election wristwatch where i just happened to like the dial (basic low-grade movement inside). Over time i've managed to learn enough to service and fix some basic issues myself, and i actually buy broken watches that i like solely for practice purposes.
    If i know i'm going to need to get the watch serviced i factor in $100 AUD above the cost price. But prices vary depending where you go. So if the watch costs $30 (incl postage) on ebay say, then you need to be comfortable paying $130 for it, otherwise you'll buy it and it will collect dust until your no-doubt expanding interest in horology leads you to buy a screwdriver set and a loupe :)

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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Hi gentlemen, thank you for your prompt replies. You have certainly got me thinking. Turns out the seller is way more informed than me and he's a nice chap. He said that the seiko requires a total overhaul in spite of the photos showing that it looks promising. He said he knows the watch if working, costs a lot more but isn't sure that there's a watch smith out there who can procure the parts and repair it cheaply. Sigh, perhaps it's back to a seiko 5 after all!

  10. #9
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    There is a general consensus that Seikos will run and run and so owners rarely get them serviced. Eventually they stop running, but this is because they are then so worn out it isn't possible to run any more - once this happens they are often past economic repair.


  11. #10
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: How do you tell if a watch is salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirius View Post
    There is a general consensus that Seikos will run and run and so owners rarely get them serviced. Eventually they stop running, but this is because they are then so worn out it isn't possible to run any more - once this happens they are often past economic repair.
    Correct.

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