How much does "original" matter to you?
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  1. #1
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    How much does "original" matter to you?

    I've been looking at a couple of 1920's era Gruen watches, specifically the quadron models, that I really like. However, on a couple of them the radium lume has been been replaced with an updated super luminova paste.

    Even if it's well done, does that negatively affect the price? To be clear I am not a collector/trying to preserve this watch; I like the idea of keeping a nearly-100 year old watch running and in use as long as it can go, not preserving it in its original condition. That being said, it's not like I want a complete frankenwatch, either. The price on this one is around $750 to $800; though other unrestored versions have gone for less. Any information would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Many things affect price.

    Photos are needed so that we can judge condition, originality, and the quality of the re-lume. For example, if the dial has been poorly refinished in the past, then the re-lume won't' matter, but the value will be greatly diminished.

    And please indicate whether you are talking about solid gold (14k, 18k?) or gold filled. Unless it is gold, that price sounds pretty outrageous.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  3. #3
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Name:  1928 quadron 157.jpg
Views: 37
Size:  166.6 KB
    Name:  quadron 157 2.jpg
Views: 37
Size:  71.8 KB

    Both of these are from a seller named empressissi, who says everything is original, except for the redone lume. Case is 14k gold-filled.

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  5. #4
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    I just had a look at their offer.

    When I see something like this:
    https://empress.cc/collections/omega...ss-watch-n6269

    ...my blood begins to boil. Not only did they have it badly repainted, they also patted themselves on the back and said "good job" to themselves in the description. Yikes!

    The only thing I can say is: run like hell from this dealer, and don't look back. And that's exactly what I'd advise you to do.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  6. #5
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    I just had a look at their offer.

    When I see something like this:
    https://empress.cc/collections/omega...ss-watch-n6269

    ...my blood begins to boil. Not only did they have it badly repainted, they also patted themselves on the back and said "good job" to themselves in the description. Yikes!

    The only thing I can say is: run like hell from this dealer, and don't look back. And that's exactly what I'd advise you to do.
    I appreciate the advice. I'm not too familiar with vintage watches though; can you explain a little bit about why the paint job is poor? The only thing I could see being off is the indices on the seconds subdial, as its format obviously looks painted; the texture on it seems to show up pretty well otherwise, at least from their pictures.
    Last edited by Sullivanjt; May 12th, 2019 at 20:56. Reason: Make meaning of sentence clearer.

  7. #6
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sullivanjt View Post
    I appreciate the advice. I'm not too familiar with vintage watches though; can you explain a little bit about why the paint job is poor? The only thing I could see being off is the indices on the seconds subdial, as its format obviously looks painted; the texture on it seems to show up pretty well otherwise, at least from their pictures.
    Look at the Omega font. It is incorrectly aligned in relation to the logo (off-centre, to the right), and the lettering is beyond sloppy.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  8. #7
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    I agree that the Omega is a truly horrendous re-dial, so you definitely want to be careful with a seller like this. Regarding the Gruen, I think they've done an ok job with the lume. There seems to be some damage to the gold-plate on the upper left lug, so you should try to get good photos from all angles.

    I suspect that the asking price is multiples of what it is worth.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  9. #8
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    And their redial streak seems to go on and on...

    This one's particularly awful:
    https://empress.cc/collections/longi...-classic-watch
    Not only do they do the "Calatrava Houdini", but also this "professional restoration" of theirs has resulted in a fantasy dial - given that the hands are lumed, the numerals should be too...which means that's NOT how it originally looked. The font is rubbish, and the paint job on the numerals has been done by an orangutan, apparently.

    Then there's this, which is a redial, and thus the Turler signature is fake...
    https://empress.cc/collections/vinta...-vintage-watch

    Another "ballpoint pen restoration" job...
    https://empress.cc/collections/longi...-vintage-watch

    Another rubbish redial...
    https://empress.cc/collections/omega...s-watch-3797-4

    And another one...Note how the font is at an angle in relation to the logo, the blotchy letters, and the even more blotchy and uneven seconds subdial...
    https://empress.cc/collections/omega...s-watch-3797-4

    I'd find some more there, only after seeing these, I may vomit.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    (...)but that's what mankind is like: they only prize what they no longer possess.
    Erich Maria Remarque

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  10. #9
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Interesting when you click on their "Contact" tab.

    Regards.
    Dan S and Benjamin Barrera like this.

  11. #10
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    Re: How much does "original" matter to you?

    Thank you all for the advice. After looking through the links you sent and the descriptions, I'm beginning to see what you're talking about. I still like the Gruen for what it is, but if I do still pursue a deal it'll be at a much lower price. I'll ask the seller for more pictures of the watch and the movement as well.

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