Should I restore it?

Thread: Should I restore it?

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

    I friend of mine had this in his drawer and told me I could have it because he already had a watch ( nike runners watch) I tried to persuade him to keep it since it was his grandfathers but to no avail.

    I changed the crystal and had to change the crown to non original when I had it serviced. Now I consdider it a good watch for every day use and it works both casual and to formal wear, I really like the almost minimalistic feel - if you wake me up in the middle of the night and tell me to think watch it will look something like this.

    Problem is that its a bit yellow now and have small spots on the dial. Furthermore it could do with a polish of the case but problem is my wife and even my watchmaker thinks I shouldn´t do anything about it - it should look a little old since it is. Other thing is that I could by a decent Strela instead for the money it would cost.

    So what do you think?

    It looks better in real life than on my crappy photos

    Regards
    Erik
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    Gagarin

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

    Hi -

    Getting a watch restored depends on the watch (duh).

    I view it this way: I would restore a watch if by doing so I can make the watch usable once more. I'm talking dials that are otherwise virtually illegible, or chromed cases that look like they are rotting away, or movements that are erratic and don't even really tell the time any more.

    But the patina that you are talking about isn't that: it's an old watch.

    There are other reasons for restoring a watch, such as improving resale value on a very rare watch or for sentimental reasons.

    Other than that, I'd leave it alone. You can more often do more damage to the face of a watch by trying to restore it - been there, done that! - and I think doing anything more than a gentle, gentle cleaning and removal of dust and perhaps fingerprints is all that anyone should do.

    Again, just my 2 cents...

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

    I'm with John on the dial - that is in way too good shape to touch. Just looks nicely aged to me. How bad was the original crown? That looks like a genuine Omega replacement in the photo so it certainly 'fits'.

    I probably would look at the case if it was me. It isn't too bad and would probably come up with a good 'Cape Codding', which I would do with the watch disassembled. That discolouration around the dial edge may just be from corrosion on the chapter ring (if there is one - hard to tell from the photo), which will also come off easily enough once you have it in pieces.

    A lovely watch well worth keeping, but I wouldn't go as far as a full restoration. I'm no expert on Omegas but I'd guess that dates from the 50s.

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    It's a lovely 1950s Omega and if you want to polish the case that's no problem. Its dial is in fine shape and (in my view) a dial should never be restored unless it's unreadable. Aging just adds character to a great watch.
    Personally I'd just enjoy it as is.

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

  6. #5
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by quoll View Post
    I'm with John on the dial - that is in way too good shape to touch. Just looks nicely aged to me. How bad was the original crown? That looks like a genuine Omega replacement in the photo so it certainly 'fits'.

    I probably would look at the case if it was me. It isn't too bad and would probably come up with a good 'Cape Codding', which I would do with the watch disassembled. That discolouration around the dial edge may just be from corrosion on the chapter ring (if there is one - hard to tell from the photo), which will also come off easily enough once you have it in pieces.

    A lovely watch well worth keeping, but I wouldn't go as far as a full restoration. I'm no expert on Omegas but I'd guess that dates from the 50s.
    What on earth is a Cape Coding or a chapter ring?

    Regards Erik
    Gagarin

  7. #6
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    It's a lovely 1950s Omega and if you want to polish the case that's no problem. Its dial is in fine shape and (in my view) a dial should never be restored unless it's unreadable. Aging just adds character to a great watch.
    Personally I'd just enjoy it as is.
    My watchmaker who specializes in old watches agrees with you when it comes to restoring the dial - he looked at me like I was from outer space:-D when I asked about cleaning the dial.

    Polishing the case, can you do that on your own, don´t you have to dismember the watch first?

    Regards
    Erik

    ps I really loved the dial color until someone told me it was white from the beginning.
    Gagarin

  8. #7
    Member zambo's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Hi gagarin

    Looks like an early Omega "bumper" automatic - makes a "bump feeling" when the automatic mechanism is winding itself thru movement of your arm, etc.

    This is a very desirable watch for a vintage Omega collector in my opinion. And the patina on that watch is excellent - totally agree with the others, leave the dial and think of the world it has 'seen' as it wandered around on the owners wrist for half a century (you'd be a bit aged too!).

    The case you can get professionally polished (but leave a few of the dings in it - all part of it's history) whilst you get it serviced and lubed. Then assuming you get it serviced every five years or so, you can wear if for another 50 years!

    Good watch to be given by someone who is obviously a real friend!

    Wear it in good health - cheers

    Richard
    Last edited by zambo; December 2nd, 2006 at 00:22.

  9. #8
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    I had the case of an 1893 Elgin polished up when it was cleaned and lubricated by my watchmaker.
    It had become blackened over 100 years or so. That's the extent of polishing I've had done on any watches I own.
    Redialing a watch generally makes it less desirable to a collector who prefers the original condition. It's the same as any other antique.

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

  10. #9
    Member quoll's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by gagarin View Post
    What on earth is a Cape Coding or a chapter ring?

    Regards Erik
    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.


  11. #10
    Member gagarin's Avatar
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    Re: Should I restore it?

    Quote Originally Posted by zambo View Post
    Hi gagarin

    Looks like an early Omega "bumper" automatic - makes a "bump feeling" when the automatic mechanism is winding itself thru movement of your arm, etc.

    This is a very desirable watch for a vintage Omega collector in my opinion. And the patina on that watch is excellent - totally agree with the others, leave the dial and think of the world it has 'seen' as it wandered around on the owners wrist for half a century (you'd be a bit aged too!).

    The case you can get professionally polished (but leave a few of the dings in it - all part of it's history) whilst you get it serviced and lubed. Then assuming you get it serviced every five years or so, you can wear if for another 50 years!

    Good watch to be given by someone who is obviously a real friend!

    Wear it in good health - cheers

    Richard
    Makes me real glad that you think it´s a desirable watch, I thought it was a very ordinary fifties timekeeper.

    Funny thing is that before I had it serviced it just lay in a box and I really lusted for a Longines heritage watch which looked very much the same. The price, though, was steep and they don´t have in house movements anymore so now I have an Omega in the same design with Omega made movement for a fraction of the price it would have costed to buy the new Longines.

    And the wear and tear.....after this thread I´m beginning to like them

    Regards Erik

    Ps I´ll have to buy my friend a great dinner
    Gagarin

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