Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?
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  1. #1
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    Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    This is a 70's-ish Volcain that was bought from (we think) Sears by my late grandmother and given to my uncle for his 16th birthday. For his 18th birthday, she bought him a Honda motorcycle, which he promptly drove under an 18 wheeler and died, while wearing this watch. I would like to restore it and give it to my mother, his sister. I know I can buy a NOS one from ebay for around $200. My questions is; is this one too far gone to mess with, and about how much would you think it would be? It's missing the crystal and the crown would have to be replaced. My main concern is that the back says "Base Metal" so I assume it's a pretty cheap watch to begin with.Name:  P1060207.JPG
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  2. #2
    28A
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    I'd restore it, it's got your family history.

    However..

    He was wearing the watch, when he got run over by a truck? I hope the red stuff all over it isn't what i think it is...
    Nick.

    Divers - June 1977 Seiko 6309-7040 Quartz Hybrid | March 1978 Seiko 7548-700H (Orange Dial) in a 6309-7040 case | February 1972 Seiko 6105-8110 | Seiko 7548 "Tuna" TST | October 1985 Seiko H558-5000 "Arnie" | Scurfa Stainless Steel.

    Chronographs - July 1972 Seiko 6139-6005 (True Pogue).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 28A View Post
    I'd restore it, it's got your family history.

    However..

    He was wearing the watch, when he got run over by a truck? I hope the red stuff all over it isn't what i think it is...
    Goodness no, that is some if the velvet stuff from the box. It's in the original box which is shedding I guess.
    Do i just find a local watch guy that i trust?
    Last edited by lferg; April 20th, 2015 at 02:56.
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    28A
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    Thank god for that! I wasn't sure i kind of thought maybe a box of some sort but i've never seen a watch covered in it like that.

    Yes, find some local watchmakers in your area and when you ring them, ask them what experience they have with mechanical watches and how long they've been in the trade for.

    It took me ringing about 8 - 10 locals before i found my watchmaker who i fully trust with my watches. I originally rung about our 1845 pocket watch but also mentioned ww1 trench watches.. no one had a clue about the trench watches and only one other did pocket watches. Everyone else either said they don't do it, or they send it away to someone. I don't like the idea of the "watchmaker" being a middle man for another watchmaker.

    Just ring around, find someone who seems knowledgeable and doesn't come across like a grumpy old man who hates his life, or a dickhead. I had conversations with both.
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    Nick.

    Divers - June 1977 Seiko 6309-7040 Quartz Hybrid | March 1978 Seiko 7548-700H (Orange Dial) in a 6309-7040 case | February 1972 Seiko 6105-8110 | Seiko 7548 "Tuna" TST | October 1985 Seiko H558-5000 "Arnie" | Scurfa Stainless Steel.

    Chronographs - July 1972 Seiko 6139-6005 (True Pogue).

  6. #5
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    Yes, it's worth repairing. There may be someone here who could recommend a watchmaker near you, but you haven't added your region to your WUS ID, so… don't take it to a jewellers, but seek out an independent watchmaker (who is probably doing the work for the jeweller anyway), as you'll probably have better communication back and forth (as 28A suggests above).

    The bracelet that the watch is on, by the way, looks like one from the brand NSA, who made high quality bracelets for a wide range of prestigious watches. The bracelet alone is highly collectible and a quick search of "NSA watch strap" on eBay will give you a sense of the how sought after they now are.

    I can't say that it will cost you less to service than an NOS one (should do, but I've no idea what state the movement's in), but I doubt you've factored in the bracelet (if I'm right). The watch looks in fairly good shape to me, nothing than can't be sorted out by One Good Man (although I have no idea what's going on inside, of course) and it does have a family connection.

    "Base metal" isn't unusual on watch cases, it usually suggests that the item has been plated. But yours looks like stainless steel, so that's a bit odd and surely only relates to the bezel (I think). But Vulcain is a somewhat collectible brand (see the thread on this forum about 'non Cricket Vulcains,") and I'd suggest that you snoop around for a good watchmaker to get a price. A dive watch crystal, part alone, would be around $20, and a suitable dive watch crown around $15, by the way. Both are simple jobs and would need to be fitted by a watchmaker, as they require special tools, but I thought you'd welcome a sense of some of the costs you're looking at.

    Good luck - avoid d'heads and grumpy old men. I know a cheerful guy in Ohio, if that helps…
    Last edited by Habitant; April 20th, 2015 at 09:09. Reason: more thoughts
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    Here's an eBay listing that might interest you. This guy's prices are always high, so take it with a pinch of salt, a large one.
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    Thanks guys. I'm in Birmingham Al. I've updated my profile to reflect this. All great info, i really appreciate the encouragement here and I'll keep us updated on the progress!
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    I got a quote of $380 to restore. That's movement unseen, I know it still runs but the watchmaker said thats his standard for a vintage calendar. Does that seem a bit steep to anyone?

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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    Have sent PM.

  11. #10
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    Re: Volcain, Is this worth trying to restore?

    After being at the watchmakers for right at 8 months...yes, 8 months (wouldn't recommend this one) This is my late Uncles Vulcain. Not bad, now I just need to decide on a strap.. any suggestions?
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