What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

Thread: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

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  1. #1
    Member Paradigm's Avatar
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    What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Occasionally when I have a moment off I browse eBay. Recently I've stumbled upon several 'vintage' high end watches. They tend to be converted pocket watches from 1900-1950 with very little background information. Now even this isn't too odd, but the frequency brands like Breguet, Patek and VC tend to turn up, makes me suspect something fishy.

    Since I don't want to accuse any sellers of offering fake or dubious items I'll post an image:

    They tend to start at $0,99. I've seen most go for $500-$2000. I have a tough time believing that Breguets from that era would show up that frequently and for such a risky low price. Either someone has found a tremendous load of pocket watches from A+ brands and decided to convert them all into watches (there's 2-3 regular sellers), or someone with bad intentions decided to capitalise on niche market watch brands.

    I apologise if this has been discussed already. Also if these watches are genuine (I'm no vintage expert by any means), I apologise for insinuating any foul play. But with the immense counterfeit market out there, it's better to be safe than sorry.

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Pocket watches (even prestige brands) can be pretty cheap. Sometimes they are just movements taken from a gold case which has been melted down. Then they are made into a Frankenwristwatch. They may not be fakes, but they certainly didn't start out as a wristwatch either.
    These watches commonly have no shock, dust or water protection so you'd have to be pretty careful wearing them as a wristwatch.

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

  3. #3
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    The other night I saw a similar watch on Ebay but with an Omega dial.....starting price of $250....almost ending....no bids.

    Definitely looked like a frankenwatch.

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  5. #4
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Yes, lots of them around.
    I feel sorry for unsuspecting people buying a virtually worthless piece of crap, in many cases for big money.

    I have myself contacting the various Internet based auction companies, but without any sucess.
    I think the auctioneers should maybe check out an item if they have been warned, but they do not care!

  6. #5
    Member casiophile's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    You can pretty much take it as a given that - if you see a 'vintage' or 'military' watch, say around 1920/30's, with the second hand at 9 o'clock, a pristine dial and case, and the seller is from the Ukraine - you can pretty much be assured that it's a frankenwatch.

  7. #6
    Member TheBluePrince's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    As said already, they're all old PW's movements in new custom cases. Most have awful redials on but some seem to have the original makers dial which is better at least.

  8. #7
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    A PW is not meant to be worn against the skin. Most of these "creations" have just lugs added to the PW case, so the caseback is on a hinge.
    Total zero dust and humidity protection.
    I can imagine how the movement looks like after a couple of months on a sweaty wrist.

  9. #8
    Member carpevicis's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    A PW is not meant to be worn against the skin. Most of these "creations" have just lugs added to the PW case, so the caseback is on a hinge.
    Total zero dust and humidity protection.
    I can imagine how the movement looks like after a couple of months on a sweaty wrist.
    Historically speaking, isn't that how the wristwatch came about? During WWI, there was a need for quick access to what time it was, and watchmakers adapted pocket watches first by creating leather straps that held the pocket watch, and later by soldering on wire lugs for a strap. I"m sure most of the watches on ebay are not these originals, but is it safe to say that they do exist?

  10. #9
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Quote Originally Posted by carpevicis View Post
    Historically speaking, isn't that how the wristwatch came about? During WWI, there was a need for quick access to what time it was, and watchmakers adapted pocket watches first by creating leather straps that held the pocket watch, and later by soldering on wire lugs for a strap.
    Correct - I owned a wire lug conversion 1908 Elgin. Sweet watch, and stupid of me to sell it.

    Quote Originally Posted by carpevicis View Post
    I"m sure most of the watches on ebay are not these originals, but is it safe to say that they do exist?
    Also correct - these watches do exist but 99.9% of the stuff on eBay is trash. Every time I see a thread asking to authenticate one of these things it turns out to be a franken or worse.

  11. #10
    Member carpevicis's Avatar
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    Re: What's up with all these 'vintage' high end watches?

    Man, that 1908 Elgin would be sweet to have! What did you replace it with?

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