Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it
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Thread: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

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  1. #1
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    Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    Hi all,

    I've inherited this beaten up Leonidas chronograph from my late grandfather. The time still works, but not the chronograph. Anyway, it's surprisingly hard to find any information about the Leonidas brand online. There is no such a thing as a model catalog, information about the movements, etc. I was hoping to find some people in this forum that could shed some light on it.

    I'd love to know, for example, what movement does this watch use (by visual inspection, it looks to me like a Valjoux 22, but I know nothing about movements, so I am probably wrong). Or when was it made (my guess is in the 50s).

    I love the watch and I want to start wearing it, so I went to a watch restoration specialist and he gave me a budget of at least 1200€ for restoring it to (almost) its original condition. That would include restoring the dial, the case, everything. After reading about watch restorations online, I understand that this lowers the value of the watch, but I don't plan to ever sell it because its sentimental value to me. So I guess my question is, would you do a full restoration? Can I consider it the "same" watch after such a full restoration?

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    Thanks for your comments!
    JOSE G likes this.

  2. #2
    Member gophishin's Avatar
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    First of all, that's a very cool watch, and it's great it has sentimental value to you. Can you see any engraving beneath the balance wheel? The movement number should be marked there. To me, it doesn't look like the dial is in too bad of shape, though I suspect it might have been redone in the past. It looks like a lot of the scratches and yellowing are in the crystal, I would just replace the crystal, have the movement cleaned, oiled, adjusted, and get the gunk off the pushers, crown, case, etc., and enjoy it in as close of condition has your Grandfather did.

  3. #3
    Member odd_and_vintage_fan's Avatar
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    I'll second gophishin on minimizing the amount of restoration done. I have a few of my late grandfather's watches and all I did to the one I wear (a simple Timex quartz with date) is put a new battery in it and give the plastic crystal a once-over with polywatch polish. I like the scratches on the crystal and the worn off finish on the crown, and have no interest in replacing either. It would feel like erasing history, but that's my opinion.

    I agree that yours will benefit from a clean/oil/adjust and a new crystal. Considering it's a manual wind movement, a new crown might also help out if you're planning on daily wear. Enjoy it!
    sergimm likes this.

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  5. #4
    Member JP71624's Avatar
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    Does indeed look like a Valjoux 22!

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
    "Time flies when you're throwing watches."
    What has a man profited, if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? Mt16:26
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  6. #5
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    It's a lovely watch.

    1. Leave the dial alone - it's fine.
    2. Change the crystal - it needs it.
    3. Leave the case alone - it's history.
    4. Get a new strap - it needs it.
    5. Find a decent watchmaker and spend something closer to €300 getting the movement serviced - it needs it.

    It doesn't need a full restoration. Somebody had good intentions - I hope - but I think they were misguided. The watch is worth more the way it is than it would be if you had it 'restored.' And that's NOT taking into account the family connection, which makes it beyond valuation. Sorry, just one passionate opinion here…

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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it


  8. #7
    RLC
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    They are only original ONCE......as little cosmetic 'improvement' as possible, Habitant nailed it.

    Bob
    Habitant, anzac1957 and marks55 like this.
    Instead of going to "Starbucks"…I make my own Coffee at home, yell out my name rong, then light a five dollar bill on fire. 👍


  9. #8
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    Re: Inherited a Leonidas and want to know more about it

    The dial is ok, but as you want to keep the watch you must to do whatever make you happy because you are not thinking about selling it. Leonidas was a good brand that made very good military watches (look for Leonidas Bunewehr online) , Heuer bought the company and the Brand disappeared.

    Regards
    Cesar
    ww.relojblog.com

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