Vintage Watch Accuracy

Thread: Vintage Watch Accuracy

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  1. #1
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Question Vintage Watch Accuracy

    I've heard several different answers to this question. I recently purchased a watch from a 'watchmaker' that's currently running a minute behind everyday. I spoke to the person I bought the watch from and they said this is accurate for the specific watch. Being a higher end watch I would expect the variance to be much less. I have several other watches that gain/lose no more then 30 seconds per day. Being a relative newbie to vintage watches, I would assume that after a full servicing it's possible to have a vintage movement fall with the original specifications for that movement. Am I incorrect in my assumption. I've read several posts here and else where and I can't seem to get a clear answer.
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  2. #2
    Member Popoki Nui's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Was the watch recently serviced properly? What watch/movement?
    A minute slow per day sounds a bit much.

    Some of my vintages run in the +/- 20 second or so a day, but my Eternas, Omega, UG, Tudor and Bucherer are all within COSC specs or just a little outside, and only two are [originally] chronometre-rated. Even my 33yr old Orient is running at about -15/day and it's never been serviced in it's life.
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  3. #3
    Member MACz13's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    If the piece is mechanically sound and is, as you say, 'higher end', then there is no reason it should be so inaccurate.

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  5. #4
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by MACz13 View Post
    If the piece is mechanically sound and is, as you say, 'higher end', then there is no reason it should be so inaccurate.
    I didn't think so, but the dealer is saying different. They want me to return the watch for a refund. I guess I am going to take it to my watchmaker as I do like the watch. At the least I know not to buy from them again.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

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  6. #5
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Popoki Nui View Post
    Was the watch recently serviced properly? What watch/movement?
    A minute slow per day sounds a bit much.

    Some of my vintages run in the +/- 20 second or so a day, but my Eternas, Omega, UG, Tudor and Bucherer are all within COSC specs or just a little outside, and only two are [originally] chronometre-rated. Even my 33yr old Orient is running at about -15/day and it's never been serviced in it's life.
    It's a 1950's Tudor Oysterdate. It loses a minimum one minute per day. I am kind of annoyed that the dealer wont own up to the fact that they are in the wrong.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

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  7. #6
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    A minute per day error is about as much as I will tolerate on a watch older than I am... But some watches cost more to get down to that rate or better than I am willing to sacrifice... so I put up with them.

    I have very few watches that meet COSC specs in all 6 positions. Most will easily meet it in only one position... but that doesn't really count now does it?
    "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!

  8. #7
    Member Popoki Nui's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by emmanuelgoldstein View Post
    It's a 1950's Tudor Oysterdate. It loses a minimum one minute per day. I am kind of annoyed that the dealer wont own up to the fact that they are in the wrong.
    I would be too. That's crazy. That Tudor -with proper servicing- is capable of MUCH better accuracy than that. My 1952 Tudor Oyster manual wind only gains ~10 sec/day. Different movement, I know, but still.....

    Get it serviced/adjusted, and then pay the seller a little visit and show the fool what it's capable of.
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Popoki Nui View Post
    That Tudor -with proper servicing- is capable of MUCH better accuracy than that.
    +1 - it should be within 10 to 15 seconds a day at worst. I have a couple 40+ year old Longines and Omegas that are within COSC specs including a 1960 Seamaster caliber 591 that averages +3 seconds a day. I agree you should find a better watchmaker. I would second Eeeb's limit of 1 minute a day but only if it's a very old (read: 60 years or more) watch. I'd be happier with less than 30 seconds a day though.

  10. #9
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Hi emmanuelgoldstein,

    keep in mind that what we call today vintage or more striking old became
    out of fashion some or many decades ago. And the best what could have
    happened to such a watch is that it was dropped in a drawer and nobody
    cared for its future. If such a watch is digged out today, often cleaning
    and lubricating brings it back to original performance - an accurate watch
    though.

    But not all watches (even not the majority) shared this fortune. Many were
    kept running by tinkers until they became simply trash, because nobody
    wanted to invest in a proper watchmaker job for such a watch. If digged
    out today, often a further tinker gets it runnung long enough for a sale,
    and you can almost never expect to get it back to initial performance with
    reasonable effort. These items don't justify the designation timepiece,
    they are just pieces.

    So if your watch doesn't run precisely, you first should have it tested it on
    a timing machine, to destinguish whether it belongs to the first (lucky)
    group or (more likely) to the second. If it still runs steadily in all positions,
    the daily error can be easily corrected, and a simple service will make it an
    accurate watch for many decades.

    If the oscillation frequency is erratically dithering, better return it. You can
    expect repair cost never covered by the value of the watch after repair.

    The summary: Not 30s deviation per day ist the problem: It can be easily
    corrected. A watch in good condirin will keep the correction for a long
    time, but a damaged watch will change the speed probably already the
    next day.

    I just started to collect watch desasters on this page:
    http://www.ranfft.de/uhr/info-problem-e.html
    Nobody except a watchmaker would believe them, and therefore I
    document them with accompanying photos. Visiting the page(s) now and
    then will give you an imagination what you can expect from an old watch.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  11. #10
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Watch Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by ulackfocus View Post
    +1 - it should be within 10 to 15 seconds a day at worst. I have a couple 40+ year old Longines and Omegas that are within COSC specs including a 1960 Seamaster caliber 591 that averages +3 seconds a day. I agree you should find a better watchmaker. I would second Eeeb's limit of 1 minute a day but only if it's a very old (read: 60 years or more) watch. I'd be happier with less than 30 seconds a day though.
    It's not my personal watchmaker. It's one that was recommended to me for vintage sales. I knew he was incorrect in stating that a vintage watch won't run near manufacturers specs after a servicing. However, I wanted to see if others shared my opinion or my head was off in the clouds. All of my other watches run less then 30 seconds a day. It's only this one that has been causing me grief. I should return the watch for a refund, but I like it to much. I am most likely going to take it to my watchmaker and have him take care of it.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

    -- John Maynard Keynes

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