Omega, Watch Talks

Vintage Speedmasters = Classic Cars

I’d had my ‘bargain’ Speedy fully serviced and now I finally got it back!

Majority of my readers will probably recognise the beautiful Speedmaster I bought a while ago. It was one of the ‘unbelievable’ online bargains. However, when I properly tested it, I discovered plethora of different faults with it. I was ready to send it back to the seller, however we came to an agreement that he will refund me a few hundred pounds, so I can cover servicing costs. It was a little gamble, because when it comes to vintage watches, especially Speedmasters, which can and in fact, are a bit fragile. I had no idea what it would cost me to have everything fixed properly.

However, I was so excited about buying a classic Speedmaster, I didn’t care much about costs. Despite, this watch running quite well, it needed a few parts and the most obvious flaw was 12-hour counter (6 o’clock), which was not resetting to its original, 12 o’clock position. When the watch was inspected by professional watchmakers, I was advised the movement would require a full service (dismantling all parts, cleaning and re-lubricating them) + replacing the faulty part.

Besides, overhauling the whole movement, I had all the dust and old dirt removed from around the glass, dial and the case. As the glass was badly scratched, I decided to have it replaced with a new one. Bear in mind that original Speedmasters feature a plexiglass, called ‘Hesalite’ glass, which is basically a domed piece of plastic. It is prone to collecting various scratches. One of the advisories I received was polishing, however as the watch is from 70s I am not bothered about perfect look. Historical blemishes, scratches add character to the watch, so they’re staying with me for now! 

I am so glad to have this stunner back! The worst part of buying this timepiece was that I knew I will need to send it off to be properly overhauled, before I can enjoy it on my wrist. Roughly, the whole process took a few weeks, due to massive delays from Omega on movement parts. As far as I remember, the bill I had to pay was just under £500. Luckily, I can say that it was all covered by the refund I received from the seller of this watch. 

What I want to tell you today is that whenever you buy a watch online from someone, please do assume the worst the case scenario, when negotiating a deal. With vintage watches, it’s extremely easily to overlook the underlying problems that you will stumble upon after a while. 

Be careful for any replaced parts – like this Speedmaster that has a later bezel fitted or a chronograph hand replaced. Make sure the bracelet is original – there are plenty of after-market ones out there. As for the ticking heart of a vintage watch. Always assume it needs a service. Try to obtain a rough quote for servicing, prior to bidding or negotiating a deal. In my case, I managed to get a partial refund for a watch, after I received the watch from the seller. It was sufficient enough to cover the whole bill. 

After all, all you want is to have a great watch that makes you smile for as long as you own it and enjoy on a wrist.

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