wanting a vintage Omega Seamaster, what should I be looking for?
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Thread: wanting a vintage Omega Seamaster, what should I be looking for?

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  1. #1
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    wanting a vintage Omega Seamaster, what should I be looking for?

    Cheers Vintage thread!

    Been trolling the 'Bay for a vintage Seamaster, but I'm not sure what I should be looking for. They seem to be in various degrees of decay, but that's fine — I'd rather have something with a fair amount of character that still works. If this is the case, is an automatic a safer bet, or should I go with a quartz? Also, are there still plenty of fakes to sift through in watches from the early '70s? Would love to get some general pointers from the veterans on what to look for and what to avoid. Thanks!

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    My two cents...

    I stay away from re-done dials. Just my personal preference. I don't mind a little yellowing if it is all consistent, but no "pitting". BTW, seller will try to convince you that pitting of a case or dial is a "patina"... nope, it's rust.

    This dial has what I call a patina:
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    the color has darkened, but not rusting or pitting yet. After that, I guess I would say just collect what you like. I used to only collect heavy lug cases like above, and only automatics, but lately I have been enjoying some manual winds also.

    Ron

  3. #3
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    Re: My two cents...

    The Omega sub forum on here is very helpfull.
    Having recently bought my first 'vintage' seamaster here is what I would advise. (and I know many will not agree with me , but this is my input anyway!)

    1) The mid 60's cal 5xx seem to be the best regarded mechanism. Plenty of parts available and a very good reliable mechanism
    2) The purists advise on avoiding a repainted dial. I would agree with this, but some people reckon that if you are not a collector then you may be happy with a good quality repainted or replaced dial.
    3) Factor in the cost of a service in your budget. No matter what the seller says, you will want to get it serviced locally to be confident.
    4) Get pictures of the inside of the watch and of the back of the case. This will give you the model number that you can check on the Omega database to ensure that the mechanism matches the case and strap etc.
    5) Go for a watch with the original strap (if going for a metal bracelet).
    6) Before buying post some pictures on the Omega fake busters sub forum, those guys can spot a fake/frankenstein watch from 50 paces.
    7) Buy from someone who has a good history of selling watches.
    8) Personally I was more comfortable with buying a vintage watch from within my own market (The EU). I would not be comfortable buying a watch from a far away location like asia or china as returns could be difficult. But this is personal preference.
    9) Avoid buying a watch from a country that is very humid. There is water in that there air that can age and damage the watch over time.
    10) Avoid a watch that has any major issue like serious scratches on the bracelet or needs a replaced crystal. Also if something does not seem right to you, or a bit of a gamble - dont be afraid to walk away.
    10) Enjoy the process of shopping around and make sure you get the model you want, one that makes you tick if you pardon the pun.
    dinexus and texasgunrunner like this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: My two cents...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger Happy View Post
    1) The mid 60's cal 5xx seem to be the best regarded mechanism. Plenty of parts available and a very good reliable mechanism
    2) The purists advise on avoiding a repainted dial. I would agree with this, but some people reckon that if you are not a collector then you may be happy with a good quality repainted or replaced dial.
    3) Factor in the cost of a service in your budget. No matter what the seller says, you will want to get it serviced locally to be confident.
    4) Get pictures of the inside of the watch and of the back of the case. This will give you the model number that you can check on the Omega database to ensure that the mechanism matches the case and strap etc.
    5) Go for a watch with the original strap (if going for a metal bracelet).
    6) Before buying post some pictures on the Omega fake busters sub forum, those guys can spot a fake/frankenstein watch from 50 paces.
    7) Buy from someone who has a good history of selling watches.
    8) Personally I was more comfortable with buying a vintage watch from within my own market (The EU). I would not be comfortable buying a watch from a far away location like asia or china as returns could be difficult. But this is personal preference.
    9) Avoid buying a watch from a country that is very humid. There is water in that there air that can age and damage the watch over time.
    10) Avoid a watch that has any major issue like serious scratches on the bracelet or needs a replaced crystal. Also if something does not seem right to you, or a bit of a gamble - dont be afraid to walk away.
    10) Enjoy the process of shopping around and make sure you get the model you want, one that makes you tick if you pardon the pun.
    This is EXCELLENT information - thank you! Especially the bits on the movement, as well as cross-referencing with the Omega database. Looks like I'll be diving a bit deeper down the rabbit hole now!

  6. #5
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    Re: My two cents...

    You can never go wrong with an automatic. Personally I really like the 75* movements.

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    Re: My two cents...

    Is the 601 caliber wide regarded as serviceable and reliable?

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    Re: My two cents...

    If you are getting an original bracelet make sure it is big enough for you. I have a cal.565 Seamaster with a bead of rice bracelet (late 60s)... So many watches on ebay have had many of the removable links removed. I would have been very unhappy if I had paid extra to get the nice bracelet only to find i had to replace it to ever wear the watch. I think the one I got has most of the links (fits my 7.5 inch wrist). I would not mind one more link, but I have been looking all over to get one for the last 4 months and have not found one that I could get yet. I have tried to bid on whole bands just to get one link, and only once have I seen an individual link on ebay, but it was gold filled and would not match my bracelet.

    I am wearing this watch as I type, I guess it fits more like I wear my watches with a leather strap, not really tight, but i would usually wear a bracelet a little looser.

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