One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

Thread: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

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  1. #1
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Besides the inherent quality and history of so many watch brands manufactured years ago, there is also one factor that tends to even be more important - the human element - that a watch was part of someone's life for a few years or a lifetime. That the watch was a cherished possession handed down, given for years of service, bought on a lark, given as gift, or even won in a card game.

    Last year I picked up a very nice Eternamatic Birks Challenger, circa 1951.
    One the back was inscribed "Norbert W. Schratz, Aluminum Securities Limited, 1960". I bought from a Canadian seller, and I knew that the large jewelry chain, Birks, sold branded Eterna watches.






    Given how unusual the name was, I did a Google search and came up with not only a name, but a face and a little history. Company is long-gone, but his war records and photo were posted. How cool was that? I posted something about my watch up here on WUS.

    Jump ahead to a few weeks ago, when I get this email from WUS:

    "Hello: I was just told by my sister that my father Norbert Schratz's war records were available on line, and while Googling I came across your reference to my father's watch! I'd love to hear the story behind it if you happen to know. Norbert was born in Pittsburgh and worked his whole life for Alcan in Montreal, retiring from there around 1980. He got another watch at that time I think. He died a couple of years ago. I don't know anything about the watch you have, but I'm glad it's in good hands. Cheers.
    Paul Schratz, Vancouver, B.C."

    We had a nice discussion and I tried to research where the watch came from before me, but nothing is really known as to how it may have left his hands (card game? ).
    I offered to sell the watch back to the family for what I paid for it and the offer still stands.

    This incident made my day!
    "My grail showed up today"

  2. #2
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsnak View Post
    Besides the inherent quality and history of so many watch brands manufactured years ago, there is also one factor that tends to even be more important - the human element - that a watch was part of someone's life for a few years or a lifetime.

    B I N G O!

    You get it! e

  3. #3
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Very good story!

    You just never know what you might be picking up!

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  5. #4
    Member vintageguy's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    as a friend said when he saw my vintage (ca. 1942) watch:"think of all the history that watch has seen."

  6. #5
    Member LouS's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by mrsnak View Post
    I offered to sell the watch back to the family for what I paid for it and the offer still stands.
    !
    That is class.

  7. #6
    Member Tony C.'s Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Excellent story, and a terrific dial!

  8. #7
    G-Shock & Sales Moderator DragonJade's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Great story. Don't you love it when history comes alive?

    Get your WUS badge now from the WUS store.
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  9. #8
    Member exomoons's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by LouS View Post
    That is class.
    +1, and I would've buy it back in a heart beat if it was once my father's.
    The more I know, the more I know how little I know.

  10. #9
    Member Paleotime's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    I would've buy it back in a heart beat if it was once my father's
    No kidding. I am always amazed at what people will sell, often for almost no money. You see it on watches all the time - engraved with names, occassions like graduations, wedding, christmas - family connections sold online for ten bucks...

    I think the family re-discovering this watch is pretty incredible. Imagine the odds.

  11. #10
    Member mrsnak's Avatar
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    Re: One of the reasons I collect vintage watches

    Quote Originally Posted by exomoons View Post
    +1, and I would've buy it back in a heart beat if it was once my father's.
    I was a little surprised they din't ask for a price, but maybe they already had ton of stuff from him. They also could be older with no heirs and just not feel the need to have it.
    "My grail showed up today"

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