Re-cased pocket watches

Thread: Re-cased pocket watches

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  1. #1
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    Re-cased pocket watches

    I don't know to which extend this has been discussed here before, but a quick search didn't really show any results.

    Lately I have come across a lot of re-cased vintage pocket watches on ebay. Most of these vendors are in eastern Europe and some in Germany. Some of them look poorly done while others actually look decent. Especially if you are in the market for a watch with a larger diameter (47mm to 48mm). Many use movements from vintage Omegas, A. Lange, etc.

    Obviously these watches are not "real", because they have been modified beyond their initial intention.

    Was just wondering what the general consensus is about these "custom" watches.

    I didn't include any links to live ebay auctions since I believe that this is not allowed in this forum.

  2. #2
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    Quote Originally Posted by chronotrader View Post
    I don't know to which extend this has been discussed here before, but a quick search didn't really show any results.

    Lately I have come across a lot of re-cased vintage pocket watches on ebay. Most of these vendors are in eastern Europe and some in Germany. Some of them look poorly done while others actually look decent. Especially if you are in the market for a watch with a larger diameter (47mm to 48mm). Many use movements from vintage Omegas, A. Lange, etc.

    Obviously these watches are not "real", because they have been modified beyond their initial intention.

    Was just wondering what the general consensus is about these "custom" watches.

    I didn't include any links to live ebay auctions since I believe that this is not allowed in this forum.
    I would say the general consensus is to stay away from these sellers. Many of these vendors are in the Ukraine and Bulgaria. They are selling these frankenwatches and calling them originals. It's been discussed many times here.
    “Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent”

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  3. #3
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    I absolutely agree that they are Frankenwatches. I hope nobody believes that they are authentic vintage watches.

    It just sparked an idea of converting my grandfather's pocketwatch into something wearable for me. It would have to be done in a professional way with a solid case. As long as I keep the original pocketwatch case and just "borrow" the movement and put it into a new classy case no harm should be done.

    I would never buy from anybody on ebay that keeps their feedback private. Just one of my principles.

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  5. #4
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    Quote Originally Posted by chronotrader View Post
    I absolutely agree that they are Frankenwatches. I hope nobody believes that they are authentic vintage watches.

    It just sparked an idea of converting my grandfather's pocketwatch into something wearable for me. It would have to be done in a professional way with a solid case. As long as I keep the original pocketwatch case and just "borrow" the movement and put it into a new classy case no harm should be done.

    I would never buy from anybody on ebay that keeps their feedback private. Just one of my principles.
    Sorry I read your post incorrectly. Personally I would rather keep the pocket watch as it was. You can easily find a PW fob that fits nicely on your belt. I have several pocket watches and I enjoy wearing them with a suit to work, or with jeans on the weekend.
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    Member kcgunesq's Avatar
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    I say if you like the watch and understand what you are getting (and not getting), buy it if you like. Its your money. At least you are preserving one or more historical watch components, even if they are being used in "creative" fashions.

    One could even argue that this is nothing more than recycling. They've taken something with little or no commercial value and found a new use for it.

  7. #6
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    Remember you are getting a wristwatch that was designed as a pocket watch - no shock, dust or water protection and probably a glass crystal. Adjustments were probably made for running in a pocket, not on the wrist. Maybe the recase was of an open face movement so the dial has the small second hand at the 9 position, or the winding stem at 12.
    Personally I think you are better off with a modern wristwatch or if you want a vintage wristwatch, get one that started life that way.
    I've got a couple of my grandfathers' pocket watches - big honking 18S models. I'd never in a million years convert them to a wristwatch as the youngest one I have is 109 years old. They spend their golden years in a glass case.
    Here's another thread:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=379494
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; April 8th, 2010 at 01:21.

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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald View Post
    Remember you are getting a wristwatch that was designed as a pocket watch - no shock, dust or water protection and probably a glass crystal. Adjustments were probably made for running in a pocket, not on the wrist. Maybe the recase was of an open face movement so the dial has the small second hand at the 9 position, or the winding stem at 12.
    Personally I think you are better off with a modern wristwatch or if you want a vintage wristwatch, get one that started life that way.
    I've got a couple of my grandfathers' pocket watches - big honking 18S models. I'd never in a million years convert them to a wristwatch as the youngest one I have is 109 years old. They spend their golden years in a glass case.
    Here's another thread:
    https://forums.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=379494
    That's where I currently keep my grandfather's pocket watches. Thanks for the helpful link.

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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    At the moment there are several of those Monsters for sale at a Scandinavian Auction house. I contacted the A.house with my concerns, i.e. incorrect description, new "manufacture", rubbish text on the casebacks and dial and generally misleading text in the Catalogue.
    Despite 2 emails, all I got was that the movements are genuine and that the Expert (!??) they use thinks those conversions are possibly Vintage.

    Personaly, I would never convert a PW to a WW, as this is a sure and easy way to destroy the movement.
    Another reason apart from the ones mentioned by previous posters is, that the pocket watches have absolutely no seal between the hinged caseback and case, and the natural humidity (perspiration) will penetrate easily through the gap and get to the movement.

  10. #9
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    While I wouldn't take the movement out of a correct pocket watch, I'm sure there are plenty of old movements available out there. I think re-casing an old pocket watch movement into a new wristwatch case is better than simply tossing the movement out. Some of those old movements are really beautiful and I'd rather see them reused than simply scrapped.

  11. #10
    Member mikeukrainetz's Avatar
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    Re: Re-cased pocket watches

    Ive purchased one of these strange breed watches off the bay full well knowing what I was receiving. Plain for interest sake. I liked it and still do.
    As its been stated if you like whats been done great. Also as its been said there are tons of old PW movements on the bay and elsewhere for that matter that are being sold without cases since a lot of them have at one point or another been melted down or sold for scrap. This is a great use for them.
    Personally I am a big fan of this conversion provided its stated as such in any sale and only when the size is kept to a 12s or smaller movement. 16s or larger winds up being one huge monstrosity of a wrist watch.
    The only distaste I harbour for the sellers of these items is the obvious falsification of history or authenticity.


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