Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

Thread: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

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  1. #1
    Member parrotandpitbull's Avatar
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    Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    Hey Folks, A short story:
    A while ago I bought a Swiss Sandoz with an advertised Swiss movement. According to WUS members who saw the ebay listing, the movement was in fact 2 (french ) movements melded together. I buy Primarily for looks, but after it was pointed out even a mechanical dummy like me could see it. The watch is a beautiful iridescent two tone, With chinese markers, very sleek. Ive posted its pic at least twice for 2 reasons. The crux of this post is that this Franken movement keeps precision time. Who ever the watch maker he did a fantastic job of putting 2 disparate parts together and created a fine Watch. Other than the fact its a rough wind its great. I wear it every day it seems. So I guess Some Frankenstein tales can have a happy ending.
    P&P

  2. #2
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    Well, Dr. Frankenstein could have put in a quartz movement and increased it's accuracy tenfold!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    That's an important point, P&P. Franken's get dumped on a lot, but its not (necessarily) because anyone thinks the watch is less of a watch. The problem isn't the watch but what the watch is presented (and sold) as. Someone cobbling together bits and pieces of Omegas and selling the result as a genuine Omega watch probably isn't attempting to put together a quality watch. Our ire is thus raised not because it's made from multiple parts, but because its done poorly and for the purposes of turning a quick coin at the expense of the inexperienced.

    That's vastly different then if a qualified watchmaker sources parts from various sources to repair a customers watch, especially if it happened back before anyone actually cared about "collectibility".

    But we still get annoyed when the resulting product is misrepresented.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

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  5. #4
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    Re: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    You need to put things into context. The watch was probably put together years ago in Red China. For a while after the Cultural Revolution watches were scarce, and repair parts unavailable. Some talented watch maker made the best of things by assembling a working watch from some broken ones. I don't really consider them Frankens but parts watches. I reserve the term Franken for when there is an intent to deceive.

  6. #5
    Member parrotandpitbull's Avatar
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    Re: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    'In a way the dealer misrepresented as, he said "Swiss Movement" and insisted it was after I directed him to WUS. But I agree. I dont think he was knowledgeable and it was sold in good faith. nsmile is right its a parts watch. Interesting thought on Red Chinese early watches. Does any one know or best saved for Chinese forum? Could have had a baad outcome. In this case Very Good! P&P

  7. #6
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Praise for Watchmakers and Franken makers

    Quote Originally Posted by parrotandpitbull View Post
    'In a way the dealer misrepresented as, he said "Swiss Movement" and insisted it was after I directed him to WUS. But I agree. I dont think he was knowledgeable and it was sold in good faith. nsmile is right its a parts watch. Interesting thought on Red Chinese early watches. Does any one know or best saved for Chinese forum? Could have had a baad outcome. In this case Very Good! P&P
    Pre-revolution, the watch industry was concentrated in Shanghai; about 200 small enterprises making cases and dials, and importing movements. In the chaos of the early post-Revolution years the parts imports dried up. In 1955 the Shanghai watch industry was nationalised and work started on local production using locally made and bought-in Swiss tooling. Similar pilot projects started in other parts of China. By 1960 all of what are now the 'old firms' were up and running making fully-jewelled jewelled-lever watches in (primarily) all-steel cases.

    Swiss and French watches continued to be imported in small numbers in the 1960s and 70s. Complete watches, not parts as far as I know. The style of such watches generally did not stand out significantly from the local watches. Simple baton indices were the norm, occasional arabics, but Chinese numbering was pretty much unheard of. After all, why would you want an imported watch if it was trying to look more local than the local product?

    As regards early 1950s import-parts watches, it's a mixed bag. Basically anything goes, but generally the movement quality was good, local plated-brass cases were fairly rough. Dials were a mix of imitation European dials (sometimes with meaningless inscriptions that vaguely resemble the Roman alphabet) and local brands signed in Chinese. I don't recall ever seeing any that were numbered in Chinese, so I suspect that was not considered a desirable option in mainland China.

    I don't know if any of that helps.
    Chascomm
    Moderator, Russian Watches & Chinese Mechanical Watches Forums
    (no, I am not going to list all my watches here)

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