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Question for watch guys

hopkins_student

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I've seen a lot of beautiful Omega watches from the 1950s on Ebay. Some of them go for between $200 and $400 and would work wonderfully as a nice leather strap watch to wear for dressier occasions, as opposed to my stainless steel Bulova that I wear everyday. Would any of you watch aficionados strongly advise against purchasing a fifty year old Omega at this price?

What is likely to be wrong with a fifty year old watch? Can these possible problems be fixed, and at about what cost? Thank you for your help.
 

TCN

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The 50's were one of many golden periods for Omega in my opinion. They were producing quality watches with wonderfully robust and even detailed movements. If you want to spend a bit more, or take on a so-called "project" watch, look for an Omega Constellation from the 50's, especially with the "pie-pan" dial (you'll know it when you see it). Omega offered this early incarnation of the Constellation in SS, gold/ss, gold, and even rose gold, and they were certified chronometers. Another less expensive option would be a Seamaster automatic from the 50's. In stainless, it is the essence of simplicity with a workhorse movement. I have a stainless Seamaster from the mid-50's that I paid $90 for at an auction, spent about $200 restoring, slapped an alligator band on, and it gets as many compliments as my vintage Rolex Oyster. Besides, Omegas are for industrialists, and Rolexes are for whores and movie stars
(Isn't that the old line about Ferraris vs. Maseratis?
). An old watch can have problems, sure, but if they are checked over and taken care of (and actually, I would go as far as saying that a vintage Omega doesn't need much care), they will last a very very long time. Some of the detail in these vintage movements makes some big name modern movements look like the watchmaker filed the parts with his feet. Good luck, go for it, the problems can always be fixed and usually not for a ton of money. Soend a little time on the Timezone forums both before and after you buy.
 

William Massena

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TCN gave you an excellent report on the Omega. will second his advise about a constellation pie-pan. They are absolutely worth the premium. Most of these watches bought on Ebay will require an overhaul which may double your cost depending on condition. I would also follow TCN advise about checking watch forum such as www.timezone.com , www.equationoftime.com . You will find expertise there and also check the sales corner where you might be able to buy a watch directly from a collector at a good price without the hassle of Ebay. William
 

ernest

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My more than 40 years old Omega in pink gold. It is fast of 5 minutes per day but I think just needs a cleaning.
 

TCN

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Beautiful watch Ernest.
 

imageWIS

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TCN gave you an excellent report on the Omega. will second his advise about a constellation pie-pan. They are absolutely worth the premium. Most of these watches bought on Ebay will require an overhaul which may double your cost depending on condition. I would also follow TCN advise about checking watch forum such as www.timezone.com , www.equationoftime.com . You will find expertise there and also check the sales corner where you might be able to buy a watch directly from a collector at a good price without the hassle of Ebay. William
I would stay away from RGM's site: www.equationoftime.com. I had a bad experience with them, and I don't wish the same experience on anyone else, so buyers beware. That said, I would suggest that you go to the local bookstore and see if there are any books on watch collecting...perhaps you might get lucky and find something on Omegas. If not, I recall a general yearly book (its name escapes me) that encompasses per-owned watches and their current market prices (like a Kelley Black Book of watches). I have seen copies of it on sale at Borders before, but I am fairly sure that other bookstores carry it as well. Jon.
 

imageWIS

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The 50's were one of many golden periods for Omega in my opinion. They were producing quality watches with wonderfully robust and even detailed movements. If you want to spend a bit more, or take on a so-called "project" watch, look for an Omega Constellation from the 50's, especially with the "pie-pan" dial (you'll know it when you see it). Omega offered this early incarnation of the Constellation in SS, gold/ss, gold, and even rose gold, and they were certified chronometers. Another less expensive option would be a Seamaster automatic from the 50's. In stainless, it is the essence of simplicity with a workhorse movement. I have a stainless Seamaster from the mid-50's that I paid $90 for at an auction, spent about $200 restoring, slapped an alligator band on, and it gets as many compliments as my vintage Rolex Oyster. Besides, Omegas are for industrialists, and Rolexes are for whores and movie stars
(Isn't that the old line about Ferraris vs. Maseratis?
). An old watch can have problems, sure, but if they are checked over and taken care of (and actually, I would go as far as saying that a vintage Omega doesn't need much care), they will last a very very long time. Some of the detail in these vintage movements makes some big name modern movements look like the watchmaker filed the parts with his feet. Good luck, go for it, the problems can always be fixed and usually not for a ton of money. Soend a little time on the Timezone forums both before and after you buy.
Then for whom are Pateks for?
Jon.
 

ernest

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(TCN @ 08 July 2004, 11:49) The 50's were one of many golden periods for Omega in my opinion. Â They were producing quality watches with wonderfully robust and even detailed movements. Â If you want to spend a bit more, or take on a so-called "project" watch, look for an Omega Constellation from the 50's, especially with the "pie-pan" dial (you'll know it when you see it). Â Omega offered this early incarnation of the Constellation in SS, gold/ss, gold, and even rose gold, and they were certified chronometers. Another less expensive option would be a Seamaster automatic from the 50's. Â In stainless, it is the essence of simplicity with a workhorse movement. Â I have a stainless Seamaster from the mid-50's that I paid $90 for at an auction, spent about $200 restoring, slapped an alligator band on, and it gets as many compliments as my vintage Rolex Oyster. Â Besides, Omegas are for industrialists, and Rolexes are for whores and movie stars Â
 (Isn't that the old line about Ferraris vs. Maseratis? Â
 ). An old watch can have problems, sure, but if they are checked over and taken care of (and actually, I would go as far as saying that a vintage Omega doesn't need much care), they will last a very very long time.  Some of the detail in these vintage movements makes some big name modern movements look like the watchmaker filed the parts with his feet.  Good luck, go for it, the problems can always be fixed and usually not for a ton of money.  Soend a little time on the Timezone forums both before and after you buy.
Then for whom are Pateks for?
Jon.
For me as I have the golden ellipse.
 

shoefan

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Then for whom are Pateks for? Jon.
The discerning. (Of course, I happen to own one --Calatrava 4802/200--, so perhaps I'm a bit biased&#33
)
 

imageWIS

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Then for whom are Pateks for? Jon.
The discerning. (Of course, I happen to own one --Calatrava 4802/200--, so perhaps I'm a bit biased&#33
)
Good Answer.
I have a few PP's, but today I am not sporting one...just have my beater on (Breitling Colt Ocean auto, black dial, SS/SS). Jon.
 

TCN

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Originally Posted by shoefan,09 July 2004, 11:14
Then for whom are Pateks for? Jon.
The discerning. (Of course, I happen to own one --Calatrava 4802/200--, so perhaps I'm a bit biased&#33
)
Good Answer.
I have a few PP's, but today I am not sporting one...just have my beater on (Breitling Colt Ocean auto, black dial, SS/SS). Jon.

Good answer indeed . . . depending on the number of complications, I suppose the "idle rich" could be substituted as well.
I love Pateks, just a very different level of watch than a Rolex or Omega. How do you like your Colt Ocean? I have a friend who's very smitten with their looks, and seems to have stumbled across a great deal on one. He was asking me about them today, and I had to plead ignorance.
 

William Massena

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ImageWIS
I would stay away from RGM's site: www.equationoftime.com. I had a bad experience with them, and I don't wish the same experience on anyone else, so buyers beware.
Actually, I simply made a recommendation to ask question on that forum and not to buy from RGM. I am sorry if that was not clear ImageWIS
That said, I would suggest that you go to the local bookstore and see if there are any books on watch collecting...perhaps you might get lucky and find something on Omegas. If not, I recall a general yearly book (its name escapes me) that encompasses per-owned watches and their current market prices (like a Kelley Black Book of watches). I have seen copies of it on sale at Borders before, but I am fairly sure that other bookstores carry it as well. Â
I have a feeling that ImageWIS is recommending "Complete Price Guide to Watches (Complete Price Guide to Watches, 23rd Ed)" by Cocksey Shugart which is the only annual book in English that mentions vintage wristwatches. I would tell you to STAY AWAY from that book which not only has incorrect info but also really bad BW pictures  and wrong prices. This book is absolutely useless.  The only book I can think about Omega in English is  "Omega designs" by Kreuzer. It covers most of Omega famous designs such as Speedmaster & Seamaster, and will not be of much help. The better books about Omega are in Japanese or French. Unfortunately, I am not much of an expert, but I urge you not to buy a watch on Ebay before first acquiring a certain knowledge about that specific watch and I strongly believe that visiting  watch discussion forums (not buying just reading) will be the fastest and  cheapest way for an education. Watches are not clothes and require a certain level of knowledge in order not to make mistakes that could cost you plenty. William
 

kabert

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Ernest, that is a gorgeous watch pictured above. I've got a recent vintage Omega seamaster as my daily watch, but seeing that beaut makes me want to see what can be found on EBay.
 

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