To restore a Prim Sport Gen I
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Thread: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

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  1. #1
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    To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    I've never been into diver watches until recently. The Prim Sport Gen I (c. 1968) was the gateway piece for me, and I bought one after the seller agreed to a substantial discount. The flat cylindrical feel, sharp lugs, and 37.5 mm diameter are really working for me. The bezel and case have some deterioration, and the hands have some rust on it. I haven't opened it up yet, but there aren't any readily observable issues with the movement from the pics. When it arrived, part of the lume on one of the hands broke off, and I noticed the bezel is fixed. Unless I'm mistaken, it should rotate. While I'm no diver and have no intention of taking it in the water, it is disappointing. Here you go:

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    My approach so far as I start collecting has been to let the originality flourish in all its elegant weariness and age. I think this watch is just fine after a straightforward servicing, no? Also, one of my main reasons for targeting it is because of its historical context with the Prague Spring.

    However, I've inquired with Elton, the company who produces them, on their restoration services. I could replace the bezel, case with an SS one, and even include an exhibition case back, as well as replace the crown and hands. They would also service it, and have everything done so there's an internal consistency in look. It would be much more than what I paid for it, but at this point, I'm not in it for enhancing its exchange value. I've seen these watches restored by them, and I think they look incredibly enticing.

    So, I'm wrestling with the question, to restore or not to restore. Can originality be honored by having the company who produced the watch do the restoring and replacing? Isn't there a value in switching a chrome-plated beat-up case with stainless steel? On the other hand, am I defeating the purpose of looking for vintage watches, especially when the watch is fine as-is, at least imo? Or am I really merely placating my wife, who doesn't understand why I would want anything that looks old in the first place?

    Any thoughts you can share would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by OPChagall; September 12th, 2017 at 21:44.

  2. #2
    Member v8chrono's Avatar
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    The cost of the restore would far outstrip the value of the watch, any replacement parts would also detract from it's originality. I suggest wearing it as is and look around for another watch with a SS case, better movement etc. There is a recent thread on here which makes suggestions as to other vintage divers.
    badbackdan likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    You like it for the way it looks (which is part of its 50 years history), and not for what it can, or can't, do, so my vote would be for "not".

    Regards.

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  5. #4
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    I don't see the point in replacing major pieces of the original watch, like the case, with non-original service parts, unless the watch is completely unusable. As mentioned above, I think you should wear it as it is, and use your money to buy another watch.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
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  6. #5
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    I suppose it was a simple question after all, but for some reason, something was tugging at me to try something else. Balaton, I appreciate your sentiment, which comes across in your posts on each of your watches.

    Yes, I did see the recent thread on vintage divers. I'm also indulging on a very long and still living thread on folks showing their vintage divers on Uhrforum here. I think WUS had such a thread in the past but it may have died out a few years ago.
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  7. #6
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    IMO, don't. If there be a need, get the bezel sorted out, but that's that.

    If you really want to get a like-new Prim diver in a steel case, just buy a completely knackered specimen, and sent that to the manufacturer. This one is pretty bloody far from knackered. Has it seen better days? Yes. Is it an "overhaul material" sort of wreck? No.
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  8. #7
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    Re: To restore a Prim Sport Gen I

    So far, it looks unanimous. Thanks for the advice.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A using Tapatalk

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