V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?
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  1. #1
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    Question V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Hi all,

    I have a vintage Memovox by JLC that I picked up that my watchmaker believes to be completely original and unrestored, however at the 12 oclock position on the dial you'll find a little notch in the shape of a V. I know for some people this always means a restored dial, but is it possible some vintage watches by JLC for instance could have been made this way at the factory?

    The dial in question:



    The rest of the photos if you're interested in the vintage beauty: Memovox pictures by freejus - Photobucket


    Here's a restoration thread from a member who bought a watch that was obviously never restored, and yet the dial had the same curious V-notch: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f2/jlc-memovox-given-new-life-long-230701.html

    Another resto: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/gratuitous-jlc-memovox-pics-482525.html

    Some other Memovox dials that look unrestored but have the same notch:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/17/21...3512af78_o.jpg
    vintage LeCoultre 814 watch, dial memovox 2 | eBay


    vintage LeCoultre 814 watch, dial memovox | eBay

    Any thoughts are welcome, thanks!
    Last edited by iplayreelnice; October 14th, 2011 at 04:06.

  2. #2
    Vint. Forum Co-Moderator Mirius's Avatar
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Later Roamer dials sometimes have a v notch at three, so no I don't think you can make any assumptions that a v notch is a redial. Of course if the manufacturer dials didn't have one, then it's a whole new ball game - so another piece of trivial that you would need to know. Oddly enough I don't seem to have a photo of a Roamer with a notched dial so perhaps they are rarer than I thought!
    Last edited by Mirius; October 14th, 2011 at 10:16.


  3. #3
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Normally the cut on the dial at 12 or 3 o'clock is synonymous of reprinting but there are some dial makers that use to adopt this technique of centering.....Please show us the back of the dial and some macros of the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo.......we can see which one is the maker and if it's original not re-printed.....
    Last edited by Britishshortair; October 14th, 2011 at 20:15.

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  5. #4
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Certainly conventional wisdom is 'that a notch indicates a redial', as the other responses have stated this is however NOT always true. I have seen it myself.

    Just decided this was worth emphasizing - as 'conventional' wisdom should always be applied with caution.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this particular one plays out.

  6. #5
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Thanks so far fellas. Don't have a photo of the back of the dial and can't get one. The watch is at a watchmaker who took these photos for me. He thinks the watch dial is original, but I just want to be 100% sure.

    Here's a macro though, you can magnify this pic: http://i.imgur.com/6lU2v.jpg

  7. #6
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    The 1200 notch is often a sign for a refinished dial, and in this case I'm afraid it is true.

    I think the refinishing job is decent, however the printing is not of the semi-embossed quality or sharpness that one usually sees on JLC dials of this period. The printing of the minute markers on the chapter ring is not as fine as usually found and if you look at the lume dots (another sign - when this watch was made the dots would have been radium and well degraded by now) you will discover that the dots are not equidiustant between the printed markers and applied markers.

    One way to tell usually, apart from the 1200 notch, is whether or not the markers have been re-fitted using adhesive. This can be seen at the back of the dial. Its rare in redials for the refinisher to painstakingly refit eveach rivett.

    Another point worthy of your thoughts is that sometimes watch vendors pick up a Le Coultre made for the US and refinish the dial in the Jaeger Le Coultre livery. This is because it the JLC branded memovoxes are at a higher price point generally than the Le Coutre sibling.

    But you have an attractive looking piece that should be enjoyed. The only real issue is whether the money you paid represents reasonable value.

    Regards

    Desmond

  8. #7
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Quote Originally Posted by iplayreelnice View Post
    Thanks so far fellas. Don't have a photo of the back of the dial and can't get one. The watch is at a watchmaker who took these photos for me. He thinks the watch dial is original, but I just want to be 100% sure.

    Here's a macro though, you can magnify this pic: http://i.imgur.com/6lU2v.jpg
    Without a back shot I can't be 100% sure but I can say that in my opinion this dial is original. The base "brossage-brushing" looks original and the logo is perfectly pad printed with the correct fonts (look the two loops of J and E) that are practically impossible to reprint with perfection due to the different quality of the cliché in re-prints. The Radium dots are original in my opinion. The applied indexes are untouched , in reprinting it's necessary to take them out and put them back. Always centering is not perfect (mainly with curved indexes) and tools are leaving scratches on them . Another consideration is that the centering cut is necessary in this kind of dials......Your watchmaker is right.....For Italian readers I suggest to read my article about dials at Antica Orologeria Zamberlan - Quadranti: tecnica ed arte ; another for the two main manufacturers Antica Orologeria Zamberlan - I "cadraniers" Stern e Flueckiger : la storia ........
    Last edited by Britishshortair; October 15th, 2011 at 13:59.
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  9. #8
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    I agree with Britishshorthair (I have one at home by the way!) and can share from our dial refinish business;
    The dial is definitely 100% original and I do not even have doubts about it.

    By the way a marker at the 12 in the V shape is normally a FACTORY machine made, quick alignment method and not a refinisher.
    Refinishers will normally leave a sharp cut at the 3 position, that includes but not limited to, us and International Dial Co in USA.
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  10. #9
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    The 100% conflicting yet extremely confident answers are hilarious. I have no idea what to believe now lol. Everybody's an expert I guess. My head hurts.

  11. #10
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: V-notch in dials on vintage watches...always a redial/refinish?

    Excellent articles. Google translate works well enough. Article 1 translated. Article 2 translated. Thanks!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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