Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

Thread: Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

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  1. #1
    Member watch origins's Avatar
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    Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

    I have a theory that when I but these watches that seem to be unknown and in the let's face they are cheep less than $25 cheep. I'm having these watches fixed and reading about your repair stories, the watches that are lacking a quality brand name despite a quality movement are far more likely to be tossed in a box and forgotten about when they have a little trouble. If you buy a twenty dollar watch in today's market chances you will ware it everyday in the shop, gardening, swimming and any manner of daily activities. It is generally not worth getting fixed and in a box it goes. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by watch origins; January 21st, 2011 at 03:12.

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

    You have to put 'cheaper' in context...a watch that is "cheaper" now wouldn't necessarily have been "cheaper" when it was first produced. One of the sad ironies of pocket watches, for instance, is that many decent quality watches are for sale for nearly the same actual price they sold for when they were new. Considering that a $40 watch in 1908 would be equivalent to several thousand dollars in todays money, you can see why vintage can be a heck of a bargain!

    In terms of originality, it occurs to me that many of the watches that are "cheap" these days (thinking of the hundreds of little brands that no longer exist) is that a watch that was "mid" grade back in the 40's and 50's would probably have been repaired if it was broken, (because repairs weren't all that expensive back then compared to the price of a new watch), and those repairs would likely have involved after-market parts (because no one though or cared about "originality" back then any more then you would if you needed to replace something on your car). But if it was an "expensive" watch, you might have been more inclined to go back to the authorized dealer to have it fixed properly.

    So in that sense, your best shot is higher-end watches from smaller defunct companies.
    Last edited by AbslomRob; January 21st, 2011 at 18:14.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member Niccolo's Avatar
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    Re: Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

    Vintage Russian watches are very cheap, but there are lots of frankens, and even outright fakes where the movement and case are Chinese, and the dial is a fantasy dial with a well known Russian brand name.
    Cataratas do Iguaçu, Brazil => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9KyiwSscdo

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  5. #4
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
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    Re: Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

    One of our fellow students knows a guy who does that with his Rolexes. When the watch gets to be a few years old, he tosses it in a drawer and forgets about it. He either gets a new model or his wife buys him one. Our student was trying to get him to consider getting the watch serviced, but he couldn't be bothered.

  6. #5
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: Is it more likley for cheper pieces to mean that it is more likely to be original?

    Quote Originally Posted by watch origins View Post
    I have a theory that when I but these watches that seem to be unknown and in the let's face they are cheep less than $25 cheep. I'm having these watches fixed and reading about your repair stories, the watches that are lacking a quality brand name despite a quality movement are far more likely to be tossed in a box and forgotten about when they have a little trouble. If you buy a twenty dollar watch in today's market chances you will ware it everyday in the shop, gardening, swimming and any manner of daily activities. It is generally not worth getting fixed and in a box it goes. Any thoughts?
    OK here goes. You need to put yourself back in the 1950's. You've spent maybe $50 (which is equivalent to several hundred to a thousand dollars today) on what you think is a "decent" quality Swiss watch. It starts running fast, slow or even stops altogether. You take it a jeweler's shop with a watchmaker on duty (far more common then than now).

    The watchmaker says it's going to cost $15 to $20 to overhaul the watch as it takes as much labor to repair your old watch as a newer high-grade Omega or Rolex. You think, "...am I better off spending $20 on this old watch knowing it will break again in a few years, or spend $100 on something better that will last longer...". So, you buy a new watch and the old one goes in a box. The jeweler has sold a watch, the watchmaker makes a sales commission and everyone walks away happy.

    Same concept is true today with vintage watches. for example, Omega will repair most older watches with factory new parts, but it is relatively expensive. Like in the '50's, the cost to Omega is the same whether it is a basic steel 30mm manual-wind or 18K highest quality observatory competition chronometer. It will cost a minimum of $500 for Omega's work, but you will have the equivalent of a new watch with a two-year warranty.

    What seems ridiculous for repairing a $300 watch (at today's market), looks cheap when fixing a watch worth $3,000-$5,000. The dollars are different, but the economic concepts are the same.

    Take care,
    gatorcpa

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