New movement in an old watch?

Thread: New movement in an old watch?

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  1. #1
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    New movement in an old watch?

    I have a ~1990 Cartier in for service right now, and the watchmaker at the local Cartier boutique has indicated that rather than try to fix the problem (running ~2 minutes a day fast, and the movement is pretty well dried up is what I am told) he recommends replacing the entire movement with the up-to-date calibre. Old movement was a Piaget 9P2, new movement a 430MC from Cartier which I understand is actually the same as a Piaget 430P, or at least one is based on the other (still unclear to me).

    My question: am I committing some grave sin, damaging resale value by going ahead with this service? This is only a secondary concern for me, as the watch has considerable sentimental value to me and I have no plans on selling anytime soon. But never say never, and i wonder if the watch is doomed to suffer an ignoble death at auction in 4 or 40 or 140 years because of the movement replacement I'm contemplating today.

    So, for a mid-range dress watch like this, is it no big deal to have new movement installed, or does replacing the original movement make a major difference to resale value?

    Cheers!

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    Last edited by EnochRoot; June 26th, 2014 at 20:41.

  2. #2
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    Re: New movement in an old watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by EnochRoot View Post
    I have a ~1990 Cartier in for service right now, and the watchmaker has indicated that rather than try to fix the problem (running ~2 minutes a day fast, and the movement is pretty well dried up is what I am told) he recommends replacing the entire movement with the up-to-date calibre. Old movement was a Piaget 9P2, new movement a 430MC from Cartier which I understand is actually the same as a Piaget 430P, or at least one is based on the other (still unclear to me).

    My question: am I committing some grave sin, damaging resale value by going ahead with this service? This is only a secondary concern for me, as the watch has considerable sentimental value to me and I have no plans on selling anytime soon. But never say never, and i wonder if the watch is doomed to suffer an ignoble death at auction in 4 or 40 or 140 years because of the movement replacement I'm contemplating today.

    So, for a mid-range dress watch like this, is it no big deal to have new movement installed, or does replacing the original movement make a major difference to resale value?

    Cheers!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	etupaqep.jpg 
Views:	275 
Size:	46.6 KB 
ID:	1542121

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	u6yqa4u4.jpg 
Views:	244 
Size:	39.7 KB 
ID:	1542126
    I'd check the value of your watch and then ask another watch maker. If it was mine I'd try to keep it original.
    "Some day I'm going to buy a real wristwatch"

    "When I only had one watch I always knew what time it was, but now I'm no longer sure"

  3. #3
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    Re: New movement in an old watch?

    Not sure what a "dried up movement" means and why it would be fatal but I would have to see what the cost would be either way.
    If he is quoting you less for the new movement then I see no problem -PROVIDED THAT HE RETURN THE ORIGINAL MOVEMENT TO YOU. Then, when Christies is auctioning it in a few years you can pop the old movement in the old gal and reap maximum coinage.

    Another way of looking at it is -sentimentally speaking - the original movement is the one that has been on your wrist these past 24 years and you may want to continue that relationship. Everything has a price of course but, again, if the differential is not that much more I'd personally prefer the original.
    Last edited by Donf; June 26th, 2014 at 21:26.
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