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Thread: Should I restore it?

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  1. #11
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by quoll View Post
    Cape Cod cloth is a metal polishing cloth. It will bring up shine and remove surface scratches, but won't give you a completely new appearance. You can find it on ebay. A Professional polish at a watchmaker could bring the case up like new, though I agree with the suggestion above that if you do go that route you ask the watchmaker not to go 'all the way' so that some imperfections are left.

    A chapter ring is a small metal insert that covers the gap between the dial and the crystal. You may or may not have one in that watch. (I suspect not.)

    I polished this stainless steel 50s Roamer with a Cape Cod cloth. It looks clean and shiny but some dings, etc. are left. It also has a chapter ring, which you can see in the photo. Your watch is of course much more desirable than this one.

    Why is the Omega more desirable, your´s looks excellent?

    Regards
    Gagarin

  2. #12
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Hi -

    Partially a matter of taste, of course, but horologically speaking, all other things being (relatively) equal, an Omega is of higher horological quality than a Roamer. Of course, it also depends on what you mean by desirable, which can mean all sorts of things. I just got my first Cyma this evening, a watch that I have been desiring, but I went a tad over my budget to do so, because I desired to get that particular one.

    Not that Roamers aren't great watches: they are, and indeed are perhaps even a better buy for the money, but there is a reason why Omega is such a success (besides the marketing): they make really, really, really good watches that if properly maintained and cared for, offer literally decades of very accurate time-keeping. The Omega will also keep its value better than a Roamer (again, all things being equal), since it is at the end of the day a higher-quality watch.

    And actually his Roamer looks to be much, much cleaner than the Omega. Of course, we haven't seen the insides of either, so that's a bit of a toss-up as to which is the better of the two: if his calibre is wonderfully clean, taken care of and beautifully regulated and the Omega is crufty and sloppily assembled, with little attention paid to time-keeping, then the Roamer is the much more desireable of the two; that's why I keep on repeating "all other things being equal."

    And it is, of course, also a matter of personal taste. I am still approaching Omega watches with trepidation and confusion, as I know too little about them to be able to see if one is faked or not, or if it is a frankenwatch. I've got my eye on a couple of different models , largely from the 1950s, but also from the 1930s, and finding the right one that hasn't been fiddled with or over-restored (I've seen too many "NOS" watches that have obviously had major, major restorations to trust any old seller) is, for me, a challenge.

    Maybe next year...

    JohnF
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  3. #13
    Member quoll's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by gagarin View Post
    Why is the Omega more desirable, your´s looks excellent?

    Regards
    It's a good question. I suppose I am referring to 'collectability' or 'the number of people that want one', both of which will equate to value for a good example. Omega is a brand that many more people value and there are more collectors of old Omegas than of Roamers. Of the old Omegas, the 50s bumper automatic with those thick lugs is one that Omega collectors like, with good reason as it is a handsome watch.

    Roamers were always a rung below Omega - they were never a luxury or near luxury brand, but a mid-market watch, I happen to like them because of their styling (usually) and their history, but one of the attractions is that they are cheaper than Omegas for a roughly equivalent watch - because there is less demand for them. A vintage Omega will usually have a higher quality movement too, though that is not always the case.

    I also agree with John's last point - I really don't know enough about vintage Omegas to sure of not getting one that has been poorly restored or 'frankened' (assembled out of other dead watches). There are a lot about, precisely because of their popularity and high prices.

    That particular Roamer dates from 1958 and does have a very nice clean MST 420 movement - Roamer's first automatic I think.

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  5. #14
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by quoll View Post
    It's a good question. I suppose I am referring to 'collectability' or 'the number of people that want one', both of which will equate to value for a good example. Omega is a brand that many more people value and there are more collectors of old Omegas than of Roamers. Of the old Omegas, the 50s bumper automatic with those thick lugs is one that Omega collectors like, with good reason as it is a handsome watch.

    Roamers were always a rung below Omega - they were never a luxury or near luxury brand, but a mid-market watch, I happen to like them because of their styling (usually) and their history, but one of the attractions is that they are cheaper than Omegas for a roughly equivalent watch - because there is less demand for them. A vintage Omega will usually have a higher quality movement too, though that is not always the case.

    I also agree with John's last point - I really don't know enough about vintage Omegas to sure of not getting one that has been poorly restored or 'frankened' (assembled out of other dead watches). There are a lot about, precisely because of their popularity and high prices.

    That particular Roamer dates from 1958 and does have a very nice clean MST 420 movement - Roamer's first automatic I think.
    I have one seventies roamer searock in gold filling that was left when an old watch maker retired. I love seventies styling and this one was very much Nos but since it wasnt an omega and 70´s watches arent sought after i got it for 50 euros from an auction house. An watch maker who was at the same store said that Roamers are good quality and easy to work on since they were quite common in Sweden before.

    Regards Erik
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    Last edited by gagarin; December 3rd, 2006 at 11:41.
    Gagarin

  6. #15
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Don't touch that dial!

    You might want to consider have the case gently polished and getting some of the scratches removed. A good watchmaker can do this at minimal cost while a general service is being performed.

    The dial is fine as it is. You could have it refinished, but it will not look "as new" and might even look worse. Once re-done, it cannot be reversed to its original state.

    Your example is a nice example of an Omega Bumper Automatic, probably caliber 342, from the mid-1950. Omega keeps an extensive database on their vintage watches, which can be accessed at:

    http://www.omegawatches.com/cu_vinta...php?r=main.php

    You will need to register, but it is free through the Omega site.

    A case reference number, which is engraved inside the case, would help narrow down the database search. Have the watchmaker write down the information when the watch is serviced.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa

  7. #16
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Don't touch that dial!

    Quote Originally Posted by gatorcpa View Post
    You might want to consider have the case gently polished and getting some of the scratches removed. A good watchmaker can do this at minimal cost while a general service is being performed.

    The dial is fine as it is. You could have it refinished, but it will not look "as new" and might even look worse. Once re-done, it cannot be reversed to its original state.

    Your example is a nice example of an Omega Bumper Automatic, probably caliber 342, from the mid-1950. Omega keeps an extensive database on their vintage watches, which can be accessed at:

    http://www.omegawatches.com/cu_vinta...php?r=main.php

    You will need to register, but it is free through the Omega site.

    A case reference number, which is engraved inside the case, would help narrow down the database search. Have the watchmaker write down the information when the watch is serviced.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa
    Thank you for your interest, what can I learn at the database?

    Regards
    Erik
    Gagarin

  8. #17

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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Wow! What a beauty! Don't have it restored, you'll be disapointed. A case or dial should only be restored when you are absolutely positive that the watch will gain from it. A dial restoration or a case polish are irreversible interventions and, should be seriously considered befor ethey are attempted. As a rule of thumb, I won't have a dial redone unless it is paiful to look at and the watch will benefit from it.
    In the case of costly luxury watches, like your Omega, in 99.99999 etc per cent of cases, the watch will actually lose value and a lot of its looks by having it done.
    Yours only seems to have a few spots here and there. I don't personaly consider these distracting, quite the oposite; I think it adds to the personality of the watch. Cape Cod cloth maybe a good idea but, in my opinion, a tiny bit of silver polish applied to the case with a cue tip is probably all it needs, and even then...
    If the dial is a big bother for you, then have a look at new old stocks dials. These occasionaly crop up on ebay and you can have it fited by your watchmaker, but even then, make sure you keep the original dial.
    Watches from that period in that condition are starting to get hard to come by, so I would suggest you keep it as is and enjoy it in its full unrestored glory.
    best regards,
    f.

  9. #18
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by redjackbonney View Post
    Wow! What a beauty! Don't have it restored, you'll be disapointed. A case or dial should only be restored when you are absolutely positive that the watch will gain from it. A dial restoration or a case polish are irreversible interventions and, should be seriously considered befor ethey are attempted. As a rule of thumb, I won't have a dial redone unless it is paiful to look at and the watch will benefit from it.
    In the case of costly luxury watches, like your Omega, in 99.99999 etc per cent of cases, the watch will actually lose value and a lot of its looks by having it done.
    Yours only seems to have a few spots here and there. I don't personaly consider these distracting, quite the oposite; I think it adds to the personality of the watch. Cape Cod cloth maybe a good idea but, in my opinion, a tiny bit of silver polish applied to the case with a cue tip is probably all it needs, and even then...
    If the dial is a big bother for you, then have a look at new old stocks dials. These occasionaly crop up on ebay and you can have it fited by your watchmaker, but even then, make sure you keep the original dial.
    Watches from that period in that condition are starting to get hard to come by, so I would suggest you keep it as is and enjoy it in its full unrestored glory.
    best regards,
    f.
    Get out of here I`m a bit taken by the positive response people has shown this watch so now I really enjoy the dial and will not do anything about it at all. Weird huh?

    And I though this was a ( now I would need a idiomatic english expression but I´m swedish) ordinary, in every other mans drawer watch.

    Regards, and bless ya

    Erik
    Gagarin

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