newbie seeking advice

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  1. #1
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    Confused newbie seeking advice

    I've been lurking for a while soaking up the collective wisdom and have recently started my quest for a WWI trench watch. I'm following a few auctions on the bay but of course the one I'm most smitten with is the one that gives me the greatest reservations. The primary red flag for me is that the seller is in India, but I figure I'll let the experts tell me if and how quickly to run away from this one:


    A VERY RARE SOLID SILVER CASE FAVRE LEUBA TRENCH WATCH - eBay (item 320635806634 end time Jan-04-11 07:30:35 PST)

    Thanks in advance for the education I'm about to receive!

  2. #2
    Member JohnnyMonkey's Avatar
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    Hi & welcome to the forum

    I don't know anything much about trench watches, altho I do have my eye on one at the moment, but something you 'may' have picked up on here is a phrase 'buy the seller' first......ie, how does their feedback look, quality of description & photo's etc etc!!

    There are some dodgy redial watches coming out of India, but they're usually 50's/60's/70's stuff, so this guy could be the real deal.....altho he has two negs, but a lot of watches are bought on ebay by people with no clue about what they're looking at, so if it looks nice and shiny, has a 'nice dial' and works, they give good feedback

    The first thing I noticed about your FL watch was that the text on the dial doesn't look quite straight, and I'm doubtfull it left the factory like that, so is it a redial?? Hmmm, not sure, as the lettering doesn't seem that even and matched either, ie, the A's & E's look different for starters, but maybe that's how it was back then, and he does mention in other listings when watches have been 'refinished' and not on this one, so maybe this one's ok?!!

    The mov't looks right for the period, as far as I know?!!

    Hopefully, a few better trained eyes in this dept will be along soon to give more advice
    Last edited by JohnnyMonkey; December 31st, 2010 at 02:20.

  3. #3
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    Interesting. The writing on the dial seems to slope slightly to the right - as JohnnyMonkey says - but it may have always been like that. The regulator is way over to 'slow' - which isn't too reassuring. Yet the movement looks pretty clean. If there are problems with the movement, it may be hard to source parts for. The case is by Borgel which makes it more desirable. The movement has FLC in an oval - a mark I'm not familiar with - but then watch companies seemed to frequently change their logos, so its probably the original movement. It would be a risk. The seller has 2 customers - out of c.80 - who have received non-functioning watches and who have not been satisfied. If faulty, and if the seller agreed, you would have to stand the shipping costs both ways plus a 20% 'restocking fee'. I like it; but I would be wary. Await other opinions.
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects."

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    Please don't PM me to ask for a valuation - I won't attempt one.

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  5. #4
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    If you look at the seller's history, he seems to sell a LOT of Favre Leuba watches...11 in the last twelve months. Wouldn't have thought they'd be that plentiful.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  6. #5
    Member Marrick's Avatar
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    India was a major market for Favre-Leuba.
    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.

  7. #6
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    The first thing that struck me was the case size 30mm, I know vintage watches were smaller but unless you're starting a collection to keep in the box it really isn't practical to wear. I wear all of my watches in rotation and I made the mistake of buying a 30mm Rolex that I just couldn't bring myself to wear, for my early vintage I try to keep it 34mm or larger. Some watches wear larger by virtue of a smaller case edge and larger dial but this is the opposite and I think it would wear smaller than a 30mm. It is a great little watch except for the above mentioned dial print and it may be a repaint. The sellers feedback rating is certainly a red flag but the price does certainly seem reasonable unless snipers are waiting to pounce at the auctions end, amazing prices increases at the end of some auctions. Jim

  8. #7
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    Thanks for all the feedback!

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    If you look at the seller's history, he seems to sell a LOT of Favre Leuba watches...11 in the last twelve months. Wouldn't have thought they'd be that plentiful.
    The fact that he only had 11 in the last year was somewhat reassuring to me as most of the Indian sellers have 11+ in every color of the rainbow listed simultaneously

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondjim View Post
    The first thing that struck me was the case size 30mm, I know vintage watches were smaller but unless you're starting a collection to keep in the box it really isn't practical to wear. I wear all of my watches in rotation and I made the mistake of buying a 30mm Rolex that I just couldn't bring myself to wear
    One advantage to being a woman collector is that the 30mm won't be as small on my wrist....wanna talk about that Rolex?

    It's that Borgel case that Marrick noted that is the real draw for me on this one....guess i'll keep and eye on it and only pull the trigger if the price stays reasonable. If I do end up with it I'll post follow-up pics!

  9. #8
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    I see you are located in San Francisco.Check out the NAWCC in the bay area there is chapter 5 that meets every other month in San Leandro they have a mart were members sell there watches you mite find a trench watch.Then there is the antique fair at the old Alameda Naval Air station held first sunday of the month thats were I found my first trench watch with a cool Pershing Dial you can find them were you can see them and handle them before buying them.

  10. #9
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    Re: newbie seeking advice

    Thanks for the tips! My last trip to Alameda was pre watch obsession so I'll definitely head back!

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