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:
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.