Relatively new collector looking for general advice

Thread: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

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  1. #1
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    Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Hello, members!

    I am a relatively new collector, and I have some general questions and requests for advice. I have always been fascinated by watches, my whole life - but only recently have I acquired the means to really collect them. My interest had faded but was rekindled when I received a sizable collection of watches that my father left me. Most of them were uninteresting, low quality, everyday timepieces - but a few stood out. Pictures and descriptions of them are below.

    Ultimately what I am looking for is some advice on timepieces to be on the lookout for - things that would be a good value, not *too* expensive (I am still new at this after all, be gentle!) and suit my personal style. I don't believe in collecting for the sake of collecting - I want to cherish and wear every piece I own (with the exception of some of these inherited pieces, which while they may not suit me personally, are too sentimental to get rid of). My stylistic preferences are pretty basic - I like large watches, contrasting dials (black faces are best, white and red hands) - and my color scheme of choice is silver/black. Leather and metal bracelets are both fine. I prefer chronographs, and a date complication is a huge plus. I also tend to like more vintage styles - 60's-80's. Swiss movements, too - I have a very seasoned Horologist friend who will heckle me to no end if I fail to live up to his movement expectations

    I hope someone has some good suggestions for me! I know I am actively seeking an Omega Speedmaster, preferably with a date window, and an Accutron Spaceview.

    Thanks in advance!

    Here are my photos:

    A Lanco of some sort, the case is gold and the crystal is a bit scuffed but it could easily be polished up. I don't know anything about this one either

    Breitling Chronomat, 808 - 18k gold case

    Nivada Grenchen Aquamatic, 14k gold case. I don't know much about this one so any info would be much appreciated!

    A 1930's-era Bulova. The dial is tarnished but the case is gold-filled, and the movement is very clean and running strong. More info would be appreciated on this too.

    Finally, a Seiko quartz that I think represents my aesthetic very well. I know it's not a particularly fancy piece but I think it looks great.

    I also have another Lanco chronograph that is in for repair right now (the stem came disconnected) so I will upload a picture of that when it comes back. There's also a Seiko 5 I received as a gift but was running fast, so it is in for repair as well.
    Attached Images Attached Images









    Last edited by jawn101; January 26th, 2010 at 02:30. Reason: Fix pictures

  2. #2
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jawn101 View Post
    Hello, members!


    Ultimately what I am looking for is some advice on timepieces to be on the lookout for - things that would be a good value, not *too* expensive (I am still new at this after all, be gentle!) and suit my personal style. I don't believe in collecting for the sake of collecting - I want to cherish and wear every piece I own (with the exception of some of these inherited pieces, which while they may not suit me personally, are too sentimental to get rid of). My stylistic preferences are pretty basic - I like large watches, contrasting dials (black faces are best, white and red hands) - and my color scheme of choice is silver/black. Leather and metal bracelets are both fine. I prefer chronographs, and a date complication is a huge plus. I also tend to like more vintage styles - 60's-80's. Swiss movements, too - I have a very seasoned Horologist friend who will heckle me to no end if I fail to live up to his movement expectations
    So what, to you makes something a "good value" and what do you consider "too expensive"? What would make you "cherish" a watch if not sentiment? Historical significance (eg. Speedmaster Moon), technology (eg. Seiko 6139 - first vertical clutch chronograph), model significance (eg. Oyster, Seamaster), popular culture (Seiko H558 "Arnold" from the terminator or Bond Seamaster)?

    Are you only looking for mechanical or are electric or quartz acceptable?

  3. #3
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Ray - thanks for the reply. A good value to me would be a watch that would run reliably and fit my style without costing too much - and as for my assessment of expensiveness, well - I suppose it would depend. I am waffling on a Speedmaster I had my eye on that was about $1800, but in large part that is because I want to be sure I have asked all the right questions first. I don't want to seem cheap but at the same time I want to try and learn a lot before I break the bank.

    And you're right - the adulation of an object would be 100% based on sentimental value. But with items I acquire myself, I have to develop my own sentimental attachment. The ones in my collection right now came with pre-fab sentimental value because they belonged to my father and in some cases my grandfather, and thus are not mine in my mind, they belong to my family and its history.

    You raised a very good question in my mind though, as to what makes a watch valuable to me. The Speedmaster Moon is exactly the one I'm most keen on - precisely because of it's history. I grew up with an absolute fascination with all things space and the heritage of that particular watch is too big to ignore. The pop culture references aren't as big a draw for me. I prefer automatic or manual winds to quartz movements. I work in the technology sector and spend my whole day staring at rows and rows of computers, and a complex mechanical watch feels very satisfying to me.

    Jon
    Last edited by jawn101; January 10th, 2010 at 23:41.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray916MN's Avatar
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    So let's say the interest is around historical events.

    Around space, you've got the
    Sturmanskie Sportivnie which is effectively the civilian version of the watch the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin wore. From the western perspective, the Bulova Astronaut might be considered the equivalent as Accutron tuning fork movement clocks were built into the space capsules. The first automatic chronograph worn in space is the Seiko 6139-6000 worn by Colonel Pogue on SpaceLab 4. Of course, you already are smitten by the Omega Speedmaster "Moon".

    The anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl wore an Eterna watch on the raft (Kon-Tiki) he used to prove that
    people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times and in 1957 Eterna introduced a watch to commemorate his trip.
    Universal Geneve introduced the Polerouter to commemorate the first commercial flight over the north pole in 1954.

    The Vulcain Cricket was the first automatic alarm wristwatch and has become somewhat of a traditional watch for U.S. presidents to wear, since introduced in 1947.

    There are also watches associated with Jacques Cousteau (marine explorer) and Richard Byrd (artic explorer).

    Another type of historical connection is the Zodiac killer's purported adoption of the Zodiac symbol which he used as his mark, from his Zodiac watch.

    Due to the historical connection, none of these watches are values (as in cheap under appreciated or undiscovered), but none of them are particularly expensive.

    By the 60s through 80s the historical connection of watches with explorers or adventure disappeared due to the advent of quartz timing, computers and GPS which largely supplanted mechanical watches as navigation and timing devices/calculators.

    In lieu of this, many collectors collect military pieces, like the Zodiac Sea Wolf (a staple of Vietnam era PXs and soldiers), the Eterna Super Kon-Tiki IDF (issued by the Israeli Defense Forces), and Ollech and Wajs, Hamilton, Marathon, Adanac and other watch companies which filled government contracts for timepieces.
    Last edited by Ray916MN; January 11th, 2010 at 01:32. Reason: UG not UN, DOH!

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    The Nivada looks like a 1950s piece, the Lanco maybe from the 1960s. The Bulova can likely be identified from markings on the movement. It would help in all cases to get a photo of the movement. Read our sticky note on Watch ID.
    You might find some threads of interest in our Links and Articles section.
    $1800 is a sum of money that would make most of the Vintage (Ir)regulars blanch. Most of us try to collect on a budget. That's because some of us are older than most of the watches we see here.
    I think it's important to say here that you cannot expect the same sort of shock, dust and water protection with a vintage watch than you would be used to in a modern one. You have to be a bit more careful.
    Chronos and complications can be lovely but they can also be fiddly, hard to fix and parts may be difficult to come by. You'll find that time only watches are much more numerous in the Vintage world.
    And aside from condition. the most important aspect of any vintage watch purchase is the seller.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Thanks to both Rays (I had to look twice to see that there were really two!) for your replies. I have some good ideas to search for now, and as soon as I get a movement holder (already have a wrench) I will get some movement photos!

  8. #7
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Pretty good collection to start with~Cheers!

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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    OK, at some others' request, here are some photos of the movements in the Lanco and the Bulova. I am not comfortable getting the back off the Breitling or the Nivada at this time.


    The Lanco movement, it reads:
    Seventeen 17 Jewels Unadjusted
    Gerimex INC Swiss

    The Bulova movement, which reads:
    Fifteen 15 Jewels Adjusted USA
    Bulova Watch Co 10AN
    Attached Images Attached Images



    Last edited by jawn101; January 26th, 2010 at 02:31. Reason: fix pictures

  10. #9
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    Note the triangle on the Bulova barrel bridge. That means a manufacturing date of either 1935 or 1945. I'd hazard a guess it's 1935.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  11. #10
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    Re: Relatively new collector looking for general advice

    That's amazing, I didn't even notice that there. Thanks for the information!!

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