Friendly word of warning: This is directed to the newbies like me, as I know the vets here already are aware. I prefer understated vintage elegance. Personally, I am not a fan of the big Rolex type dials, but you know what they say about opinions, and I certainly respect the Rolex brand and similar big face quality watches that seem to be the rage. To each his own, as they say. I bought a 1952 vintage Vulcain watch from a respected online dealer. I would rather not say the name of the dealer at this time (if you PM me I will share this info).
The watch is 18K gold and just what I love about the 1950 watches. It has subtle elegance in spades. The hyped ad for the watch promised that the watch had been well serviced, as the seller is a not just a seller, but advertises repair services as well. It promised that the watch kept great time and was as flawless as a 60 year-old watch could be. When I received it, it was truly as described, but within 24 hours I realized it wasn't keeping time, and would stop at the 5:30 mark altogether. Uh oh. I took it to a very well respected watch dealer/repair shop in Orlando. Three days later they call me and tell me this:
The watch had not at all been recently serviced.
The watch had been submerged in water, at least once in its past.
The watch was rusty inside, and the movements were restricted by the rust, hence the stoppage at the 5:30 hour.
The jewels had not been oiled in quite awhile, and the existing oil was gummy.
The repair cost is $395.00
The master watchmaker gave me the following suggestion that I thought I'd pass on to you:
1.) NEVER trust a vintage watch sales description...never.
He had opened up plenty of vintage ebay buys and others (like mine) and NONE had ever been serviced despite their description...none.
2.) NEVER wind a vintage watch upon receiving it from the seller. Get it to a watchmaker you trust immediately for an open guts inspection. Winding a vintage watch that has not been serviced in years may ruin the watch beyond reasonable repair costs.
3.) Insist on a 10 day minimum inspection (from day of receipt) that allows return with a full return if not satisfied. Any seller that balks...run away and consider yourself lucky at having dodged a bullet.
I hope this helps someone. I've certainly learned my lesson. Have a great weekend guys.
Edited by ManCrush - 10/26/12 at 8:37pm