Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

Thread: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    This is a tale of woe, posted here so that others won't get ripped off in the same way as I did.

    I bought a FL Sea Chief from one of the Indian sellers on ebay. It wasn't very expensive at £27.55 shipped, so I wasn't expecting very much. Despite this, the seller still managed to disappoint.

    Here's a screendump of the sellers advert :

    Attachment 737479

    Firstly, the seller tells porkies.
    I paid for the item on the 18th April. On 13th May I emailed the seller asking where the watch was. On 14th of May, I got the following reply from the seller:
    "hi sir your watch despatch on 25th of april as our despatch time is 5 working days and it takes 2to 4 weeks to recieved ,i will give complete postal details tomrow thansk".
    The watch arrived on 24th of May, postmarked, wait for it 14th May.

    How naughty.

    Here's an odd thing. At the top of the ebay listing GENUINE VINTAGE FAVRE LEUBA GENEVE SEA CHIEF WINDING SWISS WRIST WATCH | eBay delivery time is quoted as 15-27 days, that's the ebay field that the seller fills in about delivery. Yet in the text of the ad. Sareemaster states dispatch is 5 days and delivery is 4 weeks. I believe that 27 days is the maximum ebay allow a seller, yet Sareemaster is quoting 33 days. My watch actually took 36 days to arrive.

    So what? Well, the deadline for raising a dispute with your seller is 45 days from payment. Given that it only took 10 days from the time of posting to the time of receipt, you have to wonder whether Sareemaster is deliberately limiting the amount of time his customers get to raise a dispute through ebay. If you'd like to know why he might want to do that, read on.

    Here are some pictures of what actually arrived :
    Attachment 737519Attachment 737520Attachment 737521Attachment 737522

    Well at first glance it looks OK. But closer inspection shows that the restoration job is shoddy.

    The placement of the hour marker blocks is hapahazard at best. They're not regularly placed, they don't sit in a circle and some of them are skewed. Expand the first picture and you'll see what I mean. I've placed a grid over the picture to show where the markers should be.

    The chapter ring minute markers don't align with 12 o clock. It's actually loose. If you tap the dial, the chapter ring spins around.

    Despite what the sellers advert says, the winder is not signed - I knew this already from the sellers pics.

    The hands are bent, but clearly original. I think they're right for a Sea Chief. I think they've been bent to clear the haphazardly placed hour markers.

    The case and caseback are interesting. Perhaps a Favre Leuba expert could enlighten me. I think they're fake.
    Firstly the caseback is marked water resistant, yet there are no seals anywhere, winder, acrylic or case back.
    Secondly, the case back marking isn't centrally placed. I don't believe that a watchmaker deveolping their own innovative movements could screw this up - therefore I'm thinking fake, but I'm happy to be corrected.
    The case was advertised as "Steel well polished." It's steel, brushed.

    I'm happy that this is an original FL253. It's a twinpower, from the colouring of the bridges, it's not a mish mash of parts. Looks unmolested.
    However, It lost 5 minutes in the first 12 hours and stopped. I took it to my local watch repairer for a peek. And that was the point that I realised I'd been scammed.

    Despite what the seller says, this watch doesn't appear to have ever been serviced. My watch repairer got it going again and this time it's fast by 10 minutes an hour.

    The bearing at the bottom of the balance staff is knackered. The keen eyed amoung you may (not) spot the retaining spring on the balance staff upper inca-bloc bearing. It's completely missing.

    The hairspring is sitting at a crazy angle, and is decidedly off centre.

    My watch repairer did not look at the rest of the movement, he didn't need to, it's pretty obvious from what he's shown me that the watch is long past the point of no return.

    Now if you've read this far, you're probably wondering if my expectations were realistic. Well I expected a frankenwatch. I expected +/- 2 mins a day. I expected the hour markers and the chapter ring to line up.

    More fool me - don't make the same mistake yourselves.

    But the story does not end there. After my experiences with the watch, I left the seller (Sareemaster in case you need reminding) negative feedback. He wasn't very pleased.

    To stop this being the worlds longest post, I'm going to stop here...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    And continue here !

    From Sareemaster on May 30th...

    "Dear vealmike,

    hi sir i am ready to refund you full amount back if you wish to revise the feedback there is non need to ship the watch back also what you advice please reply we will immdiate refund you thansk

    - sareemaster"

    OK, perhaps I'm doing him a dis-service! Although by now the watch had stopped.

    "Dear sareemaster,
    Since I wrote my review, the watch has stopped. I took it to a local watchmaker and he confirms that it has not been serviced for many years.
    Your offer to refund is acceptable to me. I will change my feedback to neutral when paypal payment is received.
    Best regards,
    Mike Veal."

    From Sareemaster on 6th June :
    "Dear vealmike,

    hi sir i am ready to refund you but if you can revise it to positive if you wish replay us we do it immdiate no netural i accept thansk

    - sareemaster"

    Errr, positive feedback? After you lied to me and shipped me a piece of inoperative junk? Not going to happen.

    To Sareemaster 6th June:

    "Dear sareemaster,

    Perhaps I misunderstand you.

    You told me the watch was dispatched on the 24th April.
    I chased you on the 14th May. You repeated the assertion that the watch was dispatched on the 28th April.
    The watch arrived on the 24th May, postmarked 14th May. Dispatch date was 14th May, not 24th April.

    My conclusion: You lied about the dispatch date.

    The watch initially lost 5 minutes per day. It has now stopped. Your advertisment says: "PERFECT RESTORED CONDITION ,CLEANED & ADJUSTED". Having removed the bridge over the balance staff, it's clear that the lower jewelled bearing has worn out. The spring retaining the incablock is missing on upper jeweled bearing. This watch has not beed serviced or adjusted for many years. It doesn't look like it has ever been serviced.

    My conclusion:You lied about the watch being servied and adjusted.

    I'm convinced that the movement is authentic, but not the case. See my review here Incoming: what do you have? (part 2).
    My conclusion: You may have lied about the case being authentic, I'm not 100% sure.

    Finally, the refurbishment work to the face is of very poor quality. The chapter ring is lose and the hour markers are irregularly placed.

    So, despite all this, do you really think you deserve positive feedback?

    And despite the fact that I have proof that you lied to me twice, you'd like me to amend my feedback BEFORE you send a refund?

    I'm sorry, but in the circumstances, I'm not will not do this. I will amend nmy feedback to neutral if and when I recieve a refund, but not before. If feedback is important to you, this is your chance to change a negative to a neutral.

    Kind regards,

    - vealmike"

    I think that put the point over about feedback.
    From Sareemaster 6th June:
    "Dear vealmike,

    hi sir ok i will think about it and inform you thansk

    - sareemaster"

    Since then I've contacted Sareemaster, to ask if he's made his mind up. I also let him know I'd be posting here and in TZ to warn people about the quality of his goods and service.

    My advice is to steer well clear of this guy's products. I'll send him a link to this thread as I'm happy to stand by everything I've written, because I don't tell tales behind peoples backs and because I think he deserves a chance to defend himself if he so chooses.

    Last edited by vealmike; June 15th, 2012 at 18:19.

  3. #3
    Member Tomcat1960's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Nuremberg, Germany

    Re: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    Hmmm - I never buy from India anyway, and I stopped buying from the UK. Why? Because many of the bad Indian items end as UK-items in the 'bay again. This happened to me in two out of three cases - not really an incentive for further purchases. (And, yes, I'm sure you'll discard the sorry remains of the FL, or at least advertise it honestly as "beyond repair" when putting it up for sale again )

    (I must admit, though, that the third case was an outright beautiful watch in really nice condition and perfectly serviced.)

    Best regards
    After all's been said and done, there's a lot more said than done...

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Re: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    Agreed, this indian seller has dozens of watches for sale. If people spot that they've been conned in time to raise a claim, it looks like he refunds, so long as you give him 5* feedback. If you don't spot it - tough.

    Unscrupuluous ebayers will undoubtably resell their junk. Two were sold over the weekend from the UK. The problem is you just don't know thier origin, so they're not worth more than £20 each.

    I won't be selling this watch on. I'll break out the microscope, buy some tools and see how much damage I can do. I've no idea what I'm doing, but it should be an education.

    If anyone has this model of sea king that they can vouch for, please contact me. I do still want one of these.

  5. #5
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    The Hague-Amman-London-Berlin

    Re: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    Moved to the right forum.
    Kind regards

    Instagram @mikestuffler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Stroud, UK

    Re: Favre Leuba Sea Chief from Sareemaster on ebay.

    I've so far had two watches in my hands that sareemaster has sold. Both of them were in terrible condition.

    Have a look at this one: Repair + Service: Tressa Laser Beam / ST96 | Watch Guy

    I've taken it apart and fixed it, and the blog post gives you all the gory details.

    Don't buy from this guy!

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