Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips
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  1. #1
    Member mkws's Avatar
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    Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    This is just the perfect example of why auction houses are hardly any safer than the most ordinary sources of vintage watches, and how being careless by blindly trusting the expertise of said auction houses can cost one a fortune.

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/2913...uckling.66523/

    The term "authenticity laundering" used by the author of the thread in the link should definitely become a permanent part of the watch collectors' jargon.

    This particular frankenwatch was resold a substantial number of times in the last few years, getting more and more frankenised with every next owner (and seller).

    KUDOS to the Omegaforums member, whose investigation has unmasked a "highly rare" (as the "experts" at Shillips called it) frankenwatch sold for $56 000.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
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    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Impressive research.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  3. #3
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    Impressive research.
    Indeed, the author of that thread had a good eye, and did a truly great research/investigative work. Most FAP-issued Omegas were Speedmasters (and some Rancheros), and the SM300 FAP specimens surface rarely enough to trigger (justified) suspicions.
    I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it.
    Edgar Allan Poe

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
    George Orwell

    Villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well-camouflaged.
    Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    For any inquiries regarding vintage Doxa watches, please read the highlighted text in my vintage Doxa thread. Sorry, but I will not respond to PMs on the matter.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    The dial and bezel make it a fine looking watch. I don't see anything wrong with putting elements from different watches together - giving new life to them and often a worthy face for a nice movement. I find the term frankenwatch is a snobbish pejorative; marriage watch is a more gentle term. The problem lies in passing it off as an original - sounds like fraud in this case - and one's subjective aesthetic take on the look and the match of the elements.

  6. #5
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by bpjacobs View Post
    The dial and bezel make it a fine looking watch. I don't see anything wrong with putting elements from different watches together - giving new life to them and often a worthy face for a nice movement. I find the term frankenwatch is a snobbish pejorative; marriage watch is a more gentle term. The problem lies in passing it off as an original - sounds like fraud in this case - and one's subjective aesthetic take on the look and the match of the elements.
    thats exactly why the term is frankenwatch
    Chaos is my focus

  7. #6
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by bpjacobs View Post
    The dial and bezel make it a fine looking watch. I don't see anything wrong with putting elements from different watches together - giving new life to them and often a worthy face for a nice movement. I find the term frankenwatch is a snobbish pejorative; marriage watch is a more gentle term. The problem lies in passing it off as an original - sounds like fraud in this case - and one's subjective aesthetic take on the look and the match of the elements.
    To the contrary: the term 'frankenwatch' is rather much too leniently put. The term marriage is pure nonsense, unless you take it as an aggravation of franken...

    You can play around with and combine anything you like, from a collectors point of view, it's simply trash.

    Different strokes for different folks. I know people who drive a Porsche with a $10 watch on their wrist and there are others, barely able to pay for their monthly ticket, who have been mugged in the subway for their (genuine) Omega Constellation.
    Last edited by Border-Reiver; November 17th, 2017 at 12:07.
    mkws and busmatt like this.

  8. #7
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    In my opinion, the term "frankenwatch" carries an appropriate level of negativity, sufficient to warn novices that such watches are not desirable to collectors.
    -- Dan (formerly known as @badbackdan)
    ------- @oldwatchdan on Instagram -------

  9. #8
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    My thoughts on the terms Original, Restored, and Franken.......

    Original - A watch that was serviced at all times with appropriate factory parts but all of the outward cosmetics left unmodified. The dial never touched up. Hands aged and not replaced. Crown worn. Case has sharp edges, where applicable, and does have signs of use. In other words you want original or mint in box. When the movement was serviced only genuine factory parts were used, not scavenged.

    Restored - Dial and hands possibly replaced but with appropriate factory original ones. Case sympathetically cleaned and polished without the loss of edges. Movement fully serviced with only original parts or replaced with period correct movement with a serial of the same year. But the watch would have to be so trashed at some point for that to happen...just about every part of the watch is available as original in some form so a replacement of the movement would be so extreme (watch was in a fire and the only thing that survived was the case).

    Franken - Can or does have the following....Dial replaced with a redial. Bezel replaced with a non factory bezel or insert. Movement pieced together from other movements or is not age or cal appropriate for the watch. Case not correct for the model. Incorrect or new hands on an obvious old watch.

    The only part of the entire idea of a franken having a redial is not to try and restore the dial to as it was when new but rather to mark a dial as it was not marked originally. You can have a restored watch with a refinished dial but it must be disclosed to anyone you sell it to. I understand that a factory original dial may not be possible and any original dial of the type would be hard to source in a good condition.

    But a franken is taking a watch to make it appear better than it is or to appear as something it is not. A franken is the step above a fake but could be considered a fake if it was something put together out of random parts to make it look like a very rare watch then trying to be passed as such.

    The watch in the other forum went some transformation. It is between the worlds of franken and restored. Non original bezel. Talk of the rotors being changed...possibly the entire movement. Dial being refinished or swapped. You see the history of it.

    The real part of the issue is how it was represented as being "Original".

    To me there are 2 differences...

    1) A enthusiast\collector buying a watch then trying their best to restore it out of respect and liking of the watch. Family pieces come to mind.
    2) A dealer who takes a piece and does everything under the sun to a watch to try and increase the value of it to make a profit

    The first person would be proud to disclose what they did to help the watch and it shows a respect for the collecting of watches. The second person has everything to gain to lie and say the watch is "original condition". Remember that they did it to make a profit and telling a true collector with money that they basically pieced it together to sell it for more does not get the money flowing. The auction house had everything to gain by nondisclosure. The seller had everything to gain by nondisclosure.

    The negative light is in the presentation and reasons for modification of the watch. Had the watch been restored by a collector and presented on the forum here as a piece they were working to bring back to its former glory....it would have some giving suggestions on how to get it even closer to original. We all love watches here and respect originality but also respect the efforts of people trying to preserve or restore a watch long neglected.

  10. #9
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    My thoughts on the terms Original, Restored, and Franken.......

    Original - A watch that was serviced at all times with appropriate factory parts but all of the outward cosmetics left unmodified. The dial never touched up. Hands aged and not replaced. Crown worn. Case has sharp edges, where applicable, and does have signs of use. In other words you want original or mint in box. When the movement was serviced only genuine factory parts were used, not scavenged.

    Restored - Dial and hands possibly replaced but with appropriate factory original ones. Case sympathetically cleaned and polished without the loss of edges. Movement fully serviced with only original parts or replaced with period correct movement with a serial of the same year. But the watch would have to be so trashed at some point for that to happen...just about every part of the watch is available as original in some form so a replacement of the movement would be so extreme (watch was in a fire and the only thing that survived was the case).

    Franken - Can or does have the following....Dial replaced with a redial. Bezel replaced with a non factory bezel or insert. Movement pieced together from other movements or is not age or cal appropriate for the watch. Case not correct for the model. Incorrect or new hands on an obvious old watch.

    The only part of the entire idea of a franken having a redial is not to try and restore the dial to as it was when new but rather to mark a dial as it was not marked originally. You can have a restored watch with a refinished dial but it must be disclosed to anyone you sell it to. I understand that a factory original dial may not be possible and any original dial of the type would be hard to source in a good condition.

    But a franken is taking a watch to make it appear better than it is or to appear as something it is not. A franken is the step above a fake but could be considered a fake if it was something put together out of random parts to make it look like a very rare watch then trying to be passed as such.

    The watch in the other forum went some transformation. It is between the worlds of franken and restored. Non original bezel. Talk of the rotors being changed...possibly the entire movement. Dial being refinished or swapped. You see the history of it.

    The real part of the issue is how it was represented as being "Original".

    To me there are 2 differences...

    1) A enthusiast\collector buying a watch then trying their best to restore it out of respect and liking of the watch. Family pieces come to mind.
    2) A dealer who takes a piece and does everything under the sun to a watch to try and increase the value of it to make a profit

    The first person would be proud to disclose what they did to help the watch and it shows a respect for the collecting of watches. The second person has everything to gain to lie and say the watch is "original condition". Remember that they did it to make a profit and telling a true collector with money that they basically pieced it together to sell it for more does not get the money flowing. The auction house had everything to gain by nondisclosure. The seller had everything to gain by nondisclosure.

    The negative light is in the presentation and reasons for modification of the watch. Had the watch been restored by a collector and presented on the forum here as a piece they were working to bring back to its former glory....it would have some giving suggestions on how to get it even closer to original. We all love watches here and respect originality but also respect the efforts of people trying to preserve or restore a watch long neglected.
    Your last paragraph says it all; respectful restoration to give a tatty, old watch a new lease of life deserves support.

  11. #10
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    Re: Seamaster 300 FAP Frankenwatch Sold At Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by bpjacobs View Post
    Your last paragraph says it all; respectful restoration to give a tatty, old watch a new lease of life deserves support.
    "Respectful Restoration" not "Restoration to pass off as original to hike up a price".

    Look at it this way.....you are looking at a vintage car. It was a rust pile when the deal got it for $50 out of a field. He fabricated parts from oil drums (Cuba style), pieced together an engine. The frame was the only thing that was original though. Interior looks good but not exactly right. It runs fine, looks good. Then turns to you and says its "Original and well preserved" $50,000 please. Was the car sympathetically restored because the dealer liked it and respects car collectors or did he do it to make bucks off of a unsuspecting buyer?

    Sure the car looks good.....Lots of franken watches look good....but that does not make them restored and the intention was not honorable. When you go to sell that car you will find out that it is not worth the $50k you paid for it but rather $15k. Car still looks good right? But the dealer said it was "Original and well preserved" so that makes it ok then and they should give you at least $50k for it too? The point is, if you like the looks of the watch and are buying it just because you like the way it looks....why not buy an original watch that looks similar rather than lay out a ton of cash on a rare watch if the value of it means nothing to you.

    Watch looks good....for something that was misrepresented with a sketchy history. If all a watch is is just a watch, then you are not looking at it from the view of a collector. History, originality, character, etc.....these are just as important. Otherwise a 100% fake is ok as well because....it is just a watch and looks good.

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