Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe
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Thread: Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

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  1. #1
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    Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

    Vintage Blancpains have caught my eye. I have found a really nice looking one I am interested in from a very reputable seller. Pictures:
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    Unfortunately, the seller sent me some pictures with the caseback off and to my untrained eye, the movement seems really scratched up. Maybe this is normal if the watch has been serviced in the past (it dates to c. 1955, and presumably has been serviced a few times, though the seller has no records in this regard). My question is, is this excessive damage to the movement? Should it look like this or am I overreacting? Does scratching like this indicate shoddy service and possible problems with the watch down the road? The seller represents it is keeping good time, but, of course, makes no warranty. Does/should a movement in this condition demand a discount?
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    To hell with our detractors.

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    Re: Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

    I've certainly seen worse (and better). Bear in mind that those were very much tool watches in their day and would have been serviced as needed to keep them running. They certainly weren't returned to the maker for lots of unnecessary new parts every 3 - 5 years just to keep them looking nice!

    While we'd all like it if every watch repairer ever had taken pains to avoid cosmetic damage, it's not always the case - certainly not over the 60-odd year history of a piece like that!

    I guess the bottom line is that I wouldn't worry unduly from what those pictures show as long as the seller is warranting that it's working properly - and not just "running well for its age"!!!!
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    Re: Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

    Just the kind of input I was hoping for. Thanks very much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Horner View Post
    I've certainly seen worse (and better). Bear in mind that those were very much tool watches in their day and would have been serviced as needed to keep them running. They certainly weren't returned to the maker for lots of unnecessary new parts every 3 - 5 years just to keep them looking nice!

    While we'd all like it if every watch repairer ever had taken pains to avoid cosmetic damage, it's not always the case - certainly not over the 60-odd year history of a piece like that!

    I guess the bottom line is that I wouldn't worry unduly from what those pictures show as long as the seller is warranting that it's working properly - and not just "running well for its age"!!!!
    To hell with our detractors.

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    Re: Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

    Try to pin him down on the "keeping good time". He probably won't be willing to claim seconds a day, but if he won't be pinned down to better than a minute or so then take his "good time" claim with a large bag of salt. In good running order it should still be capable of a reliable 20 sec or so, preferably better.

    Although, bear in mind that the important part of timekeeping is consistency rather than actual figures - a watch that's running perfectly but badly regulated could be showing a completely consistent + 5min 3 sec a day gain, whereas one that's giving -25 seconds one day and +25 the next will average out ok but has a problem!
    Last edited by Joe Horner; February 20th, 2015 at 23:51.

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    Member jpm7791's Avatar
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    Re: Scratched up movement in nice watch? Vintage Blancpain Bathyscaphe

    Good advice. Thanks for the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Horner View Post
    Try to pin him down on the "keeping good time". He probably won't be willing to claim seconds a day, but if he won't be pinned down to better than a minute or so then take his "good time" claim with a large bag of salt. In good running order it should still be capable of a reliable 20 sec or so, preferably better.

    Although, bear in mind that the important part of timekeeping is consistency rather than actual figures - a watch that's running perfectly but badly regulated could be showing a completely consistent + 5min 3 sec a day gain, whereas one that's giving -25 seconds one day and +25 the next will average out ok but has a problem!
    To hell with our detractors.

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