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Thread: To Restore or Not? That is the Question.

  1. #1
    Higher Entity Jeannie's Avatar
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    To Restore or Not? That is the Question.

    I showed a picture of the 1560 movement in my dad's DJ in this thread here:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...4-Calibre-1560

    I wanted to wear it regularly and use it as intended so I had a full restoration done by Bob Ridley a few years ago. This meant replacing worn parts with newer versions which ultimately impacted the integrity of the movement as a vintage piece. For instance, those pretty red reverser wheels weren't available when the watch was made and yet they are what it has now. I also had it polished and the acrylic crystal replaced (with acrylic again).

    For me, this was the right decision. However there are others who feel strongly that vintage watches should be kept as vintage as possible. So...where do you land on the question?

    Jeannie

  2. #2
    I don't think it is about should or shouldn't. A watch is something you own, and it's yours to do as you wish with. I do not believe that you are charged with its preservation. In cases like this it depends what you want the watch to be. I recently inherited my dad's watch and elected to have it polished and serviced and the glass replaced, but left the dial and hands untouched to preserve it as my dad's watch.

    I used to ride Vespas, and a similar question often presented itself to people. Keep it original and preserve its history, or make it stop, handle and go better to suit modern traffic...?

    My answer? Whatever works for you.
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  4. #3
    Member scottjc's Avatar
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    As a collector of vintage watches I don't believe that they should be kept strictly vintage when it comes to repair/restoration but they should be kept as authentic as possible.
    You have done what felt right to you and, ultimately, that is what matters.
    Enjoy your Dad's watch and wear it in good health.
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    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    I think watches need to be serviced. Parts may be replaced, also the crystal, as long as they are factory original parts.
    As for the dial and hands, I prefer them original. I have seen vintage Rolexes that were half of the usual price, because a service dial was in there. Also the case should not be polished too much, as far as I'm concerned.

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  7. #5
    I think you should do what it takes to keep the watch running properly. It's not like a Datejust is a super-rare, historically significant museum piece. I'd rather let Rolex do their stuff and have a reliable, useable piece than preserve something in amber or let it grind itself to death.

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  9. #6
    Happily unadjusted 😜 popoki nui's Avatar
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    I faced the same dilemma with my dad's 7804 Tudor. As others have said above, I too feel that a watch should be worn, but restored only as much as necessary to achieve that. In my case, the movement needed no new parts, but the watch dial badly needed refinishing, and the crystal and dial needed replacing. Fortunately, my watchmaker was even able to reuse the original crown.
    Better, I feel, to have a restored, functioning watch to wear than a dead one gathering dust in a drawer.

    ~Sherry.
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  10. #7
    Always depends on the state of the watch.

    At one end of the spectrum is a watch which was a daily worn experienced watch. At the other end of the spectrum is a NOS virgin. It would be sacrilege to destroy the originality of a NOS virgin by just opening the case. A well experienced watch will never be a museum piece, unless for example Jacques Cousteau wore it, so it makes sense to keep it in usable condition, especially if you intend to wear it. Of course what constitutes usable condition is a matter of preference.

    Just bought a PloProf 600 with a replacement dial and hands. The original dial is also coming with the watch



    I'm glad the seller replaced the dial and hands...

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  12. #8
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray916MN View Post
    Always depends on the state of the watch.

    At one end of the spectrum is a watch which was a daily worn experienced watch. At the other end of the spectrum is a NOS virgin. It would be sacrilege to destroy the originality of a NOS virgin by just opening the case. A well experienced watch will never be a museum piece, unless for example Jacques Cousteau wore it, so it makes sense to keep it in usable condition, especially if you intend to wear it. Of course what constitutes usable condition is a matter of preference.

    Just bought a PloProf 600 with a replacement dial and hands. The original dial is also coming with the watch



    I'm glad the seller replaced the dial and hands...
    I can understand that you are glad, but it is also quite cool you still have the original dial with the watch!
    I'm a bit strange with respect to vintage watches. This is one of most beautiful subs I ever had in my hands, in my eyes:

    If it were mine, I would try to find/make a matching bezel pearl for it though

  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    I can understand that you are glad, but it is also quite cool you still have the original dial with the watch!
    ,,,,,
    What's funny is although I get some comfort from getting and keeping original parts like the PloProf dial, I've come to feel like they just take space. It is not like I'm ever going to put the dial back on the watch.

  14. #10
    MultiModerator Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray916MN View Post
    What's funny is although I get some comfort from getting and keeping original parts like the PloProf dial, I've come to feel like they just take space. It is not like I'm ever going to put the dial back on the watch.
    I case you never plan to sell them, I can imagine. But if I could choose between two watches, where one still had the original dial included in the package, I would not hesitate about which one to buy

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