Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?
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Thread: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

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  1. #1
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    Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Hi all.

    I have a 67 Speedmaster that was bought with a replacement case fitted, but also came with the original case, glass and pushers.

    This is the watch as it is now.

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    And this is the original case.

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    To my inexperienced eye, it looks a bit ratty and over polished.

    Does the case look salvageable, and if it is, do you think it's worth putting it back on the watch?

    Thanks for your expertise and opinions.

    David
    ...

    CURRENT:

    Omega Speedmaster 1967, Alpina 10 compressor 1966, Tag Heuer Carrera CV2010, Grand Seiko SBGA031 diver, Magrette Moana Pacific Diver – Classic, Steinhart Aviation GMT, Breitling Aerospace – Repetition Minutes, Seiko 6309-7040, Lemania 38mm vintage chrono, Orfina vintage chrono, HKED Bund, Prometheus Poseidon, CW C60 Vintage 43mm, Bremont S301, Steinhart Ocean One Ceramic, Eterna Kontiki Bronze LE. Seiko 7548-7000. (I need to sell something at some point).

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Is the original case by HF? If so, the rather blunt edges between areas of contrast polishing are actually nothing strange. If a CB, then yes, that would mean that someone had it polished.

    Theoretically, the Omega service does restore cases, and if you provide them with precise, written instructions on what to do and what not to do, they should get it right (80% chance that they will).

    I'd suggest asking Al Archer in the Omega forum here on WUS about that - as a watchmaker working mainly on Omegas, he might be able to think of a way of risk-free case restoration options.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by mkws View Post
    Is the original case by HF? If so, the rather blunt edges between areas of contrast polishing are actually nothing strange. If a CB, then yes, that would mean that someone had it polished.

    Theoretically, the Omega service does restore cases, and if you provide them with precise, written instructions on what to do and what not to do, they should get it right (80% chance that they will).

    I'd suggest asking Al Archer in the Omega forum here on WUS about that - as a watchmaker working mainly on Omegas, he might be able to think of a way of risk-free case restoration options.
    Thanks for the info. After a bit of research, I've realized that the inner case is stamped HF.

    I'll ping Al Archer to see what he thinks too.

    Cheers!
    ...

    CURRENT:

    Omega Speedmaster 1967, Alpina 10 compressor 1966, Tag Heuer Carrera CV2010, Grand Seiko SBGA031 diver, Magrette Moana Pacific Diver – Classic, Steinhart Aviation GMT, Breitling Aerospace – Repetition Minutes, Seiko 6309-7040, Lemania 38mm vintage chrono, Orfina vintage chrono, HKED Bund, Prometheus Poseidon, CW C60 Vintage 43mm, Bremont S301, Steinhart Ocean One Ceramic, Eterna Kontiki Bronze LE. Seiko 7548-7000. (I need to sell something at some point).

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  5. #4
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    What does the groove where the case back seal look like? Any pitting or loss of the outer rim? Without knowing specifically why the case was replaced it's difficult to say if it can be used again, and partly the depends on what you want. If you insist that the watch passes pressure testing, then it may not be useable, but if you don't care about that (or should I say care about it less than originality of the watch, as most collectors do) then it should be fine.

    I suspect that the case was replaced when it was sent to Omega for service. In my experience, Omega will opt to replace a case they feel is suspect, even when the case is really fine. I've had people send me Speedmasters because Omega refused to service without replacing the cases, and in the end they passed pressure testing fine.

    In a service center environment, the priority is getting things done as quickly as possible, so rather than take time to do any real restoration, they opt for a replacement.

    Cheers, Al
    mkws, badbackdan and busmatt like this.

  6. #5
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archer View Post
    What does the groove where the case back seal look like? Any pitting or loss of the outer rim? Without knowing specifically why the case was replaced it's difficult to say if it can be used again, and partly the depends on what you want. If you insist that the watch passes pressure testing, then it may not be useable, but if you don't care about that (or should I say care about it less than originality of the watch, as most collectors do) then it should be fine.

    I suspect that the case was replaced when it was sent to Omega for service. In my experience, Omega will opt to replace a case they feel is suspect, even when the case is really fine. I've had people send me Speedmasters because Omega refused to service without replacing the cases, and in the end they passed pressure testing fine.

    In a service center environment, the priority is getting things done as quickly as possible, so rather than take time to do any real restoration, they opt for a replacement.

    Cheers, Al
    Hi Al

    Thanks for the info.

    Looking at the back of the case, it looks like you might have hit the nail on the head.

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    It seems to be a bit messy.

    That said, I have no interest in going swimming or taking a shower with it on. Do you think it would survive getting caught in the rain for a short time without destroying the movement? If so, I think I'd like to switch it back to original.

    Cheers

    David
    Last edited by dwilliams851; November 9th, 2017 at 13:18.
    ...

    CURRENT:

    Omega Speedmaster 1967, Alpina 10 compressor 1966, Tag Heuer Carrera CV2010, Grand Seiko SBGA031 diver, Magrette Moana Pacific Diver – Classic, Steinhart Aviation GMT, Breitling Aerospace – Repetition Minutes, Seiko 6309-7040, Lemania 38mm vintage chrono, Orfina vintage chrono, HKED Bund, Prometheus Poseidon, CW C60 Vintage 43mm, Bremont S301, Steinhart Ocean One Ceramic, Eterna Kontiki Bronze LE. Seiko 7548-7000. (I need to sell something at some point).

  7. #6
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    wow, the original owner must have had acidic sweat. I've not seen SS pitted like that. I was wondering why a case was needed, but now it's clear.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    dwilliams851...this case IS a bit scary!

    That said: if the threads are good, and the case back mating surface smooth / flat , and the other gaskets refreshed, my GUESS ( please underline twice! ), is that a proper gasket will allow a good seal...a walk in the rain should not = disaster.

    As I assume you realize, there are very many, high-grade mechanical ww's that were never designed to be worn under conditions any other than 'dress'...

    If this were my Omega, I'd clean everything right to the bone ( to use a non-technical watch term...), take a really close look with my trusty Loupe, select a nice, thick gasket --almost certainly non-Omega! ), consider applying a bit of gasket lube, wind it all down snuggly, and consider it Good.

    Oh: I, too, own a Speedmaster Pro, so I'm speaking as a bit of a 'kindred soul'...! Michael.
    Last edited by Michael Maddan; November 11th, 2017 at 11:25.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Hi Michael.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    I think I’ll be spending some time on youtube learning how to properly clean watch parts and hunt down a good gasket.
    Thank you sir!


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    ...

    CURRENT:

    Omega Speedmaster 1967, Alpina 10 compressor 1966, Tag Heuer Carrera CV2010, Grand Seiko SBGA031 diver, Magrette Moana Pacific Diver – Classic, Steinhart Aviation GMT, Breitling Aerospace – Repetition Minutes, Seiko 6309-7040, Lemania 38mm vintage chrono, Orfina vintage chrono, HKED Bund, Prometheus Poseidon, CW C60 Vintage 43mm, Bremont S301, Steinhart Ocean One Ceramic, Eterna Kontiki Bronze LE. Seiko 7548-7000. (I need to sell something at some point).

  10. #9
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    Re: Is this Speedmaster case salvageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwilliams851 View Post
    Hi Michael.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
    I think I’ll be spending some time on youtube learning how to properly clean watch parts and hunt down a good gasket.
    Thank you sir!
    When the case back gasket turns to black goop as this one has (it's quite common), I find that 99% alcohol is the best solvent for removing the residue.

    Once you have it cleaned up you can assess the degree of pitting that is present, but I have seen cases that have quite a lot of pitting in them seal just fine once all the seals have been replaced.

    Sometimes the only way to know if it will seal is to try.

    Cheers, Al

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