Vintage Watch Repair Reviews

So I had a lot of requests on people asking me why don’t I review more vintage watches. See now the thing is I’m not exactly an expert on vintage pieces. My forte is more the modern watches. But I have had access to several of them and I’ve decided to do a few for you. The reason is that there’s several small things that can change the value of these watches dramatically. A simple bezel or perhaps a service dial can modify that price anywhere from five to fifteen thousand dollars, so you really gotta know what you’re doing in the vintage world, so that you know what you’re buying and if long term the value is there on the piece. But what I have for you today is actually one of my more desirable, one of the ones that I like more, which is a vintage GMT. Now, this is a reference number 6542. It’s a 1959 GMT Master with the Bake like bezel. So this watch is in stainless steel and has a 38-millimeter case. Some of these old, old GMTs are very funny looking man. The first thing that I liked about it is the look of the no-crown guards. It actually is in very good condition and it was lent to me by a friend of mine so I could do the article. He actually gave it to me to have it checked out because it was having some problems that the watch was stopping, but I said, “Hey, why not write an article?”Some of the things that I like about this exact particular watch that I am wearing is the dial. It’s got that guilt shiny painted dial that over time has caused these spider cracks to occur. It’s also got this fading to it, that’s got this brown look. It also makes it look older. That’s what really makes it look good. I do like that the hands match the look of the dial as far as the patina and the yellow browning of the luminescence. That’s what I like. I like that. That’s what makes it look very nice. My favorite thing about the 6542 model is the bezel. The bezel kind of looks like it’s got these raised numbers in the inside and then it’s got like this plastic poured on it. They call it the Bake like bezel. Believe it or not, some of these bezels, the most are radioactive. Back then they just used a bunch of crazy stuff. I mean imagine, they were bombing lands testing nuclear weapons at that time. But those are things that I like the most about these watches. It’s those little details. Yes, I do like the ones with the aluminum insert, but my favorite GMTs of all are gonnabe these with the plastic insert bezel. So in the world of vintage, there’s something that you hear a lot and the question is, “Does it have service hands and dials?”Now let me explain to you what that means. This watch right here is a 1959 and somewhere along the line there, somebody took it to get serviced and what happens is the dials start to fade out and get the patina and all the luminescence starts to break, all of that starts to happen and what happens is is that in the seventies let’s say, when it went into the Zodiac factory as a courtesy Zodiac decides to put a new dial and a new set of hands. Now, they’re thinking that that’s helping you, when the original owner got the watch back, he’s all impressed. The watch looks nice, but what happens is that kills the value of the watch because the ones that are worth the most are the ones that have the original, untouched hands and dial. You see, it’s very simple. Some of these watches with the factory original dial and hands have a value of up to $60,000. However, with serviced hands and dial, it could be worth only 10 grand. It’s that big of a difference. So, if you ever know anybody that has an original, untouched vintage Zodiac, tell them to never send it to the Zodiac factory because a lot of people, that’s what they wanna do and if you send a vintage, untouched Zodiac to the factory, you might as well have just thrown it away, cuz that’s pretty much what you did to it. So now talking a little bit about the prices. You see this is where it gets kind of dangerous, these watches everything is all over the place. Depending on the papers. If the papers are even original. If the parts are even original because a lot of times what they’ll do is, they’ll build you the Holy Grail watch out of five other watches. You see that’s the one detail where you gotta be careful. You know, watches like this exact one, it’s gonna be worth anywhere from 35k to 45k. There’s a big range there, because really like I said I’m not an expert in vintage. But it’s in that area. Now, I’ve seen watches that people thought were worth $60,000, when they really were worth only 10. Hard pill to swallow, but that’s the way it goes. As far as the watch game goes, it’s definitely a heavy hitter because it’s exclusive. It’s rare. It’s just something you don’t see all the time and obviously, it’s got the price. So, if I saw somebody in the wild wearing one of these watches, what I’ll say is, “Wow!”Because I don’t really see a lot of them. You don’t see a lot of them, to begin with. It’s a type of watch that I would put in my collection and just admire it by myself. I don’t know if I would wear it too much. It just seems like, I don’t know, almost like some of these watches that are like the MonaLisa. You just kind of just put it up and leave it on the wall, you know?A friend of mine asked me and said, “Should I refinish it?”I said, “Absolutely not!”Would you grab the Mona Lisa and drop a new frame on it?Why would you?Just leave it as it is!When you go to replace that frame, things might happen to it. So for me, this is really a piece of history and a piece of art.