restore or leave original?

View Poll Results: restore or leave original?

Voters
8. This poll is closed
  • Fully restore case, face, crystal, movement, etc., to "as-new" condition

    0 0%
  • service movement, polish crystal & relume only

    0 0%
  • service movement only & enjoy as-is

    8 100.00%
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Thread: restore or leave original?

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  1. #1
    Member Genebe's Avatar
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    restore or leave original?

    I'm curious to know what the consensus is when it comes to refreshing a vintage timepiece. I'm a car guy, and I see the trend there moving towards mechanical refreshing while keeping the rest untouched. As the saying goes, "it's only original paint once".

    I have a interesting and historically significant watch that I was considering sending to a specialist for a full restoration. Case polish, face cleaning & touch-up, relume, etc.
    I've seen some very nice vintage watches (mostly Rolex) that look like new, and the result is that they... look new. To a collector, which would be more appealing?

    My current plan is to have the movement serviced, along with polishing the crystal to take out the light scratches. I'm torn on relume. The vintage lume looks nice in the daylight, and definitely old. However, it just doesn't have much glow anymore. Should I have that done? As for the rest, I could always have that done later. But I think the originality has more appeal right now.

    Thoughts?


    (scroll down for photos & description)
    Last edited by Genebe; October 14th, 2012 at 22:34. Reason: added photos & poll

  2. #2
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    Serviced movement, cleaned dial, polished crystal.
    As you say, you can always do the rest later on.

  3. #3
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    I will stay away from relume, prob a movement service, change the gaskets, polish/replace the crystal.

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  5. #4
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    Depending on how vintage it is, the relume might make it look strange. If an older piece glows even in daylight it look a bit out of place.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  6. #5
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    Generally anything that moves away from original lowers collector interest and probably value. That said, a rebuild by the manufacturer can give you a new watch for a fraction of the cost. That is the only type of total restoration I'd consider for a vintage watch and it would have to be for one I intended to keep as an heirloom.
    For the most part in Vintage we don't recommend much beyond mechanical restoration and new crystal if needed. An old watch should look it and as long as the dial is legible, all is well.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  7. #6
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    a too much patined dial is a sign of bad care from the previous owner, I value a total restoration on each vintage piece I have bought
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  8. #7
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    Pics please?

  9. #8
    Member Genebe's Avatar
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    Pics, as requsted.









    It's not an outrageously expensive watch, but the history on this one is neat. It was bought new in '68, aboard the USS Yorktown, on the day of the Apollo 8 launch, by a Naval pilot involved in the capsule recovery. The watch was engraved to reflect the historic event.

    Luckily I have all the papers, accessories, and both inner & outer box. Pretty good for a 45-year-old watch!
    brandon\ and various121 like this.

  10. #9
    Member Drop of a Hat's Avatar
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    Don't touch it. Get it serviced and thats it.

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    Janne likes this.

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  11. #10
    Member mleok's Avatar
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    Re: restore or leave original?

    The dial looks like it's it pretty decent shape, and I would definitely avoid the relume. A movement service would be the most I would do, but where does one find someone to service a tuning fork movement?


    Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119J; Vacheron Constantin Overseas; Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Duo; Rolex Submariner 114060; Omega Seamaster 300; Montblanc Heritage Dual Time; Tudor Black Bay.

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