Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's
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  1. #1
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    Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    Hello,

    I won an eBay bid for a vintage Piaget 18k gold plated chronograph ($1250). I would appreciate if someone could shed some light on whether this is likely an authentic Piaget from the 50's or a fake?
    If someone can identify the movement or provide any additional information, please let me know! Thank you!

    Description by Ebay seller:
    Age: 1950's.
    Gender: Men's.
    Dial: clear tone. Refinished.
    Case diameter: 38mm approx. (without the crown) and 46mm from lugs to lugs.
    Case: gold plated, signed "Piaget".
    Glass: acrylic crystal.
    Crown: without logo.
    Movement: swiss, hand-winding, chronograph.
    Bracelet: leather, unsed.
    Condition: good working condition.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    Bid a lot on stuff you're unsure of?

  3. #3
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    Welcome for WuS, and I apologize in advance for the opinion I am about to give you.

    Frankly, I am not very familiar with Piaget and I don't really consider them to be an "important" maker of chronographs. Maybe I am ignorant about the brand, but in my experience they don't have very high visibility amongst serious vintage chronograph collectors. I think of them more in the specialized context of watches as jewelry, very thin dress watches, ladies watches, or watches with diamond bezels. I'm happy to be corrected about this, and I suspect that they do have some good models.

    Anyway, just looking at the photos from the perspective of a vintage chronograph collector, I would conclude that this is an entry level (i.e. low-end) chronograph, with a plated case (most likely re-plated), refinished dial, mismatched hands, and a workmanlike (but entry-level) Landeron 48 movement (or something similar). The engravings on the bridge look extremely suspicious to me, especially the "SWISS MADE"; I doubt they were engraved by a high-end watch manufacturer. Overall, at best I think this is an aesthetically attractive watch that was assembled to appeal to an inexperienced buyer by someone who got hold of a Piaget case. Given all of the issues, I would not consider it to be a truly collectible chronograph, and I would seriously consider the possibility that it is a fake, or at least a frankenwatch. Either way, I don't think it's worth half of what you paid for it. Sorry to be a killjoy, but I wanted to be very honest with you in case you are considering a return.

    Edit: I see that the seller is in Chile and takes returns.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/BIG-SIZE-PI...p2047675.l2557
    Last edited by badbackdan; December 6th, 2017 at 14:52.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    Thanks for the quick reply! I appreciate your honest opinion on this. This was actually a winning bid by a friend of mine who isn't an expert in vintage watches, but he had thought this was a good buy. So, I am just here trying to help him get more information on whether it is at least authentic. As he just won the bid, he did not pay for the item yet, so perhaps he can contact the seller to cancel the winning bid, but I'm not sure if the seller will allow this. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    Welcome for WuS, and I apologize in advance for the opinion I am about to give you.

    Frankly, I am not very familiar with Piaget and I don't really consider them to be an "important" maker of chronographs. Maybe I am ignorant about the brand, but in my experience they don't have very high visibility amongst serious vintage watch collectors. I think of them more in the specialized context of watches as jewelry, very thin dress watches, ladies watches, or watches with diamond bezels. I'm happy to be corrected about this, and I suspect that they do have some good models.

    Anyway, just looking at the photos from the perspective of a vintage chronograph collector, I would conclude that this is an entry level (i.e. low-end) chronograph, with a plated case (most likely re-plated), refinished dial, mismatched hands, and a workmanlike (but entry-level) Landeron 48 movement (or something similar). The engravings on the bridge look extremely suspicious to me, especially the "SWISS MADE"; I doubt they were engraved by a high-end watch manufacturer. Overall, at best I think this is essentially an aesthetically attractive watch that was assembled to appeal to an inexperienced buyer by someone who got hold of a Piaget case. Given all of the issues, I would not consider it to be a truly collectible chronograph, and I would seriously consider the possibility that it is a fake, or at least a frankenwatch. Either way, I don't think it's worth half of what you paid for it. Sorry to be a killjoy, but I wanted to be very honest with you in case you are considering a return.

    Edit: I see that the seller is in Chile and takes returns.

  6. #5
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    Winning an auction on eBay constitutes entry into a contract, and I am not about to advise anyone to break a contract. Research should be performed before bidding. That said, if your friend is having second thoughts, he should discuss his concerns honestly with the seller and perhaps the two of them can come to an agreement that saves time, money, and trouble for both of them.

    Edit: Let me add that it might be worthwhile to wait a bit for other opinions. The members of this forum comprise a great deal of experience in the aggregate, and perhaps there is something unusual or special about this particular model that I am unaware of.
    Last edited by badbackdan; December 6th, 2017 at 06:33.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    as far as I know Piaget didn't produce chronographs in the 1940s or 1950s - and if they had, they clearly wouldn't use mass-market entry level lever chronograph calibers or rather poor plated base metal cases.
    watch is pure fantasy, as fake as they get.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    risu...Hello. I do not know this watch, so my comments are simply an Opinion: this movement certainly seems to be a lower-grade item...from all that I have heard / seen of Piaget over many years, I find it VERY difficult to imagine / believe that this is one of their's...i'e., it is a 'make-believe' Piaget. Not real. Not real at all. Sincerely, Michael.
    badbackdan likes this.

  9. #8
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    The letters PIAGET engraved on the movement seem to be done by a teenager and at first glance it is a franken watch like a lot of watches coming from South America
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  10. #9
    Member marks55's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    It's been a while, but I would almost swear we've seen this watch on this forum before....
    " I like Chiken farming and old clock " --- Anon

  11. #10
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    Re: Looking for authentication for vintage Piaget chronograph from 1950's

    For a start, it should be pointed out that Piaget were a pretty "ordinary" maker before the 1950s - they didn't even make any of their own movements before then. They started with the Cals. 9P (manual) and 12P (microrotor automatic) around that time and didn't make their own chronograph movements until the first decade of the new milennium.

    As far as that watch is concerned, there is no doubt that it is a fake. The engraving on the movement would be completely substandard even for a maker of pin lever watches, for a make such as Piaget (even as they were then), it is unthinkable. The movement finissage is also not even poor, it is nonexistent above the level that the raw movement left the factory in Landeron. When faking a watch, the easist thing to do is slap a new name on the dial and it is not too much more difficult to etch a name into a case or movement part where previously there was nothing there. R.I.P.*!

    Hartmut Richter


    *Return If Possible!!!
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