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  • Omega Refurb - vintage Double C Constellation

    I inherited my father's gold Constellation (a 1968 Genta design Double C).

    It was looking a bit worn and, knowing my father, I knew it would not have been properly serviced for decades, if ever. I sent it to Nairns in Auckland, who looked at it and advised that it was too old for them to work on and it would need to take a trip to Omega in Switzerland for a quote.

    It duly did that and I was quoted NZ$3,500 or thereabouts. Whilst that is a lot of money, the watch has huge sentimental value as well as being a rather nice piece in it's own right, so I gave them the go ahead.

    It took about 7 months for the watch to return. All I can say is "wow". This is what they did:

    1) Strip down to the last screw
    2) Clean
    3) Inspect movement parts individually and discard all worn parts
    4) Completely refurbish the (solid gold) dial, replace onyx hour markers
    5) Replace all work movement parts and re-assemble, lube and test the movement
    6) Replace the hands
    7) Refurbish the gold bracelet
    8) Repair the gold clasp (esp where the pin holes had worn oval over time!)
    9) Polish all the dings and dents out and return the case, back and bracelet to as new condition
    10) Replace the 'glass' (actually plastic) with NOS original
    11) Replace the crown with NOS original (father had somehow lost the original and had some parts bin crown attached at some time)
    12) Re-case with new seals
    13) Test movement, regulate etc
    14) Return to NZ in nice Omega travel case

    So the moral is that having the professionals do the job is well worth the cost if the watch has sufficient value. Expensive, but they really do do a fantastic job and the watch now looks and runs much the same as it would have done on the day my father bought it all those years ago.

  • #2
    Hi and welcome Kiwimac :thumbup: $3500 is a lot of money and I for one am glad that you are happy with the results of the work done on your fathers watch. It is, after all, your watch to do with as you please. I can't help thinking though that the watches history and character have been diluted somewhat, after the dial has been refurbished, hands and markers replaced and the whole thing polished to as new condition. Still it should now last your lifetime as well and you can pass it on when the time comes. 8-) Any pics
    Preparation and planning prevent piss poor performance

    Comment


    • #3
      Would love to see some before and after pics if you took any mate, sounds like they did a fine job on revitalising your dads watch.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

      Comment


      • #4
        I debated whether the work would ruin the history, but to be honest Dad's poor attention to maintenance had resulted in (so Omega advised) the following litany of woes:

        "The watch has had moisture entry. The dial has been glued down. The dial lacquer is flaking on the side. The dial is stained. The hands are discoloured. The case is dented and scratched. The bracelet is badly worn at both ends however the bracelet has been soldered to the case by a third party so there will be no intervention to this part of the bracelet and can remain as is. The clasp needs restoring. This is not a water resistant model. The dial restoration is necessary.

        We would like to draw your attention to the fact that restoring a dial involves numerous individual stages that require painstaking and delicate work by our specialists. Furthermore, the result depends directly on the state of the dial and will therefore tend to its original look. If necessary, the luminescent material Super-LumiNova® may be added/replaced. Therefore the original look of certain transfers relating to the luminescent material can vary

        - Complete Maintenance Service (Overhaul)
        - Restoration of the dial
        - Restoration of the clasp which includes: Polishing and Replacement of the pin (clasp or scale)
        - New set of hands
        - New crown
        - New glass
        - Replace extensive movement parts"

        Given that, it seemed to me that the watch would probably cease to function fairly soon and become a gold paperweight if I did not do the work...!

        Interestingly the original parts replaced were returned in a small bag, so if anyone really wants to make it as it was...!

        I can't work out how to post images in the reply...!

        Comment


        • #5
          Now even more intrigued to see photos of restoration work!


          Live long and prosper.

          Comment


          • #6
            Definitely sounds like you've rescued this watch from the brink Love to see some photo's. Especially some before and after examples as Skody has suggested :thumbup:
            Preparation and planning prevent piss poor performance

            Comment


            • #7
              Kiwimac,

              Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your Omega story with us. To be honest, I and many reading your story wish that you had found us sooner.




              So the moral is that having the professionals do the job is well worth the cost if the watch has sufficient value. Expensive, but they really do do a fantastic job and the watch now looks and runs much the same as it would have done on the day my father bought it all those years ago.

              The moral is one that you will later learn after some time with us on this forum… and it is best that you reach the conclusion yourself.

              I too have a watch that my father gave me, a significant one also because it was the first that he had ever owned, bought on his very first pay check. Not only that, he wore that watch as his one and only from the late-1960s through all of the 70s, taking it everywhere he was—to work, on his travels, even gardening at home. Many of my childhood photos with him show his trusty watch.

              Although the movement has been overhauled multiple times, the case and glass are scratched, dented, and dinged, with one of the lug slightly bent. The dial shows some moisture intrusion, developing a patina of sort, luminous material all darkened if not gone. The original bracelet has long broke off, and in its place for many years, he wore it on an incorrect bracelet from another watch.

              We all have different belief and values, but personally, for my father’s watch, I would never go beyond just cleaning it and servicing it. Every scratch, every dent and ding, every single bent and twisted part was him living his life. Every sign of wear, any indication of neglect were reflections and memories of the greater priority that he had in providing for us, in loving us. A scratch might be from when he fixed my bicycle. Another scratch from when he was planting flowers in the garden for my mum.

              Those marks, big and small, that he left on his watch are like the foot prints he left on the sand—and though those prints were not perfect nor always straight, they were the very thing that made that particular patch of sand different from any other. I will never polish out those marks he left, because they are the only thing that made this watch he gave me different from all the other identical watches that left the factory. He gave me one of the few objects that bore witness to his life.

              You are new to watches, and it shows, so I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you. However, I am disappointed and even angered at two parties involved, who were clearly in a more experience position than you to make recommendations that would be in your best interest. First is Nairns for their thoughtless suggestion to refer you to Omega. But moreover, I am disgusted to read the assessment that Omega gave you. Instead of recommending you to wise course of action, they took advantage of your emotional attachment to your father’s watch. It makes me nausea to see such greed to take money from unknowing customers when they know full well what is really in your best interest.

              I wish you had come here to TKNZ sooner...I really do.
              A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

              Comment


              • #8

                Kiwimac,

                Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your Omega story with us. To be honest, I and many reading your story wish that you had found us sooner.




                So the moral is that having the professionals do the job is well worth the cost if the watch has sufficient value. Expensive, but they really do do a fantastic job and the watch now looks and runs much the same as it would have done on the day my father bought it all those years ago.

                The moral is one that you will later learn after some time with us on this forum… and it is best that you reach the conclusion yourself.

                I too have a watch that my father gave me, a significant one also because it was the first that he had ever owned, bought on his very first pay check. Not only that, he wore that watch as his one and only from the late-1960s through all of the 70s, taking it everywhere he was—to work, on his travels, even gardening at home. Many of my childhood photos with him show his trusty watch.

                Although the movement has been overhauled multiple times, the case and glass are scratched, dented, and dinged, with one of the lug slightly bent. The dial shows some moisture intrusion, developing a patina of sort, luminous material all darkened if not gone. The original bracelet has long broke off, and in its place for many years, he wore it on an incorrect bracelet from another watch.

                We all have different belief and values, but personally, for my father’s watch, I would never go beyond just cleaning it and servicing it. Every scratch, every dent and ding, every single bent and twisted part was him living his life. Every sign of wear, any indication of neglect were reflections and memories of the greater priority that he had in providing for us, in loving us. A scratch might be from when he fixed my bicycle. Another scratch from when he was planting flowers in the garden for my mum.

                Those marks, big and small, that he left on his watch are like the foot prints he left on the sand—and though those prints were not perfect nor always straight, they were the very thing that made that particular patch of sand different from any other. I will never polish out those marks he left, because they are the only thing that made this watch he gave me different from all the other identical watches that left the factory. He gave me one of the few objects that bore witness to his life.

                You are new to watches, and it shows, so I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you. However, I am disappointed and even angered at two parties involved, who were clearly in a more experience position than you to make recommendations that would be in your best interest. First is Nairns for their thoughtless suggestion to refer you to Omega. But moreover, I am disgusted to read the assessment that Omega gave you. Instead of recommending you to wise course of action, they took advantage of your emotional attachment to your father’s watch. It makes me nausea to see such greed to take money from unknowing customers when they know full well what is really in your best interest.

                I wish you had come here to TKNZ sooner...I really do.


                Don, thank you so much again for your words of wisdom..
                Tony Lewis
                New Zealand

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kiwimac,

                  Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your Omega story with us. To be honest, I and many reading your story wish that you had found us sooner.




                  So the moral is that having the professionals do the job is well worth the cost if the watch has sufficient value. Expensive, but they really do do a fantastic job and the watch now looks and runs much the same as it would have done on the day my father bought it all those years ago.

                  The moral is one that you will later learn after some time with us on this forum… and it is best that you reach the conclusion yourself.

                  I too have a watch that my father gave me, a significant one also because it was the first that he had ever owned, bought on his very first pay check. Not only that, he wore that watch as his one and only from the late-1960s through all of the 70s, taking it everywhere he was—to work, on his travels, even gardening at home. Many of my childhood photos with him show his trusty watch.

                  Although the movement has been overhauled multiple times, the case and glass are scratched, dented, and dinged, with one of the lug slightly bent. The dial shows some moisture intrusion, developing a patina of sort, luminous material all darkened if not gone. The original bracelet has long broke off, and in its place for many years, he wore it on an incorrect bracelet from another watch.

                  We all have different belief and values, but personally, for my father’s watch, I would never go beyond just cleaning it and servicing it. Every scratch, every dent and ding, every single bent and twisted part was him living his life. Every sign of wear, any indication of neglect were reflections and memories of the greater priority that he had in providing for us, in loving us. A scratch might be from when he fixed my bicycle. Another scratch from when he was planting flowers in the garden for my mum.

                  Those marks, big and small, that he left on his watch are like the foot prints he left on the sand—and though those prints were not perfect nor always straight, they were the very thing that made that particular patch of sand different from any other. I will never polish out those marks he left, because they are the only thing that made this watch he gave me different from all the other identical watches that left the factory. He gave me one of the few objects that bore witness to his life.

                  You are new to watches, and it shows, so I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you. However, I am disappointed and even angered at two parties involved, who were clearly in a more experience position than you to make recommendations that would be in your best interest. First is Nairns for their thoughtless suggestion to refer you to Omega. But moreover, I am disgusted to read the assessment that Omega gave you. Instead of recommending you to wise course of action, they took advantage of your emotional attachment to your father’s watch. It makes me nausea to see such greed to take money from unknowing customers when they know full well what is really in your best interest.

                  I wish you had come here to TKNZ sooner...I really do.
                  So true Don, since I started reading on the forum ,I have read your posts and comments( also on some watches on sale on TM) with great interest . ( I am actually reading through few of your and other senior members post slowly)The way you look at the Watch inspired me to know more about watches, now I can imagine why people say Watch should speak/ sing to you. Reading such wise posts from experienced members make me feel good that I joined the forum and time well worth spending for some one who want to enjoy his watch on his wrist


                  Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    So true Don, since I started reading on the forum ,I have read your posts and comments( also on some watches on sale on TM) with great interest . ( I am actually reading through few of your and other senior members post slowly)The way you look at the Watch inspired me to know more about watches, now I can imagine why people say Watch should speak/ sing to you. Reading such wise posts from experienced members make me feel good that I joined the forum and time well worth spending for some one who want to enjoy his watch on his wrist


                    Thank you, ibrar ...Yes, when I first stated out as a watch enthusiast, I was only interested in the watches themselves. However, that fascination transcended into an interest in the connection between people and their watches, or the Watch as you put it.
                    A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I debated whether the work would ruin the history, but to be honest Dad's poor attention to maintenance had resulted in (so Omega advised) the following litany of woes:

                      "The watch has had moisture entry. The dial has been glued down. The dial lacquer is flaking on the side. The dial is stained. The hands are discoloured. The case is dented and scratched. The bracelet is badly worn at both ends however the bracelet has been soldered to the case by a third party so there will be no intervention to this part of the bracelet and can remain as is. The clasp needs restoring. This is not a water resistant model. The dial restoration is necessary.

                      We would like to draw your attention to the fact that restoring a dial involves numerous individual stages that require painstaking and delicate work by our specialists. Furthermore, the result depends directly on the state of the dial and will therefore tend to its original look. If necessary, the luminescent material Super-LumiNova may be added/replaced. Therefore the original look of certain transfers relating to the luminescent material can vary

                      - Complete Maintenance Service (Overhaul)
                      - Restoration of the dial
                      - Restoration of the clasp which includes: Polishing and Replacement of the pin (clasp or scale)
                      - New set of hands
                      - New crown
                      - New glass
                      - Replace extensive movement parts"

                      Given that, it seemed to me that the watch would probably cease to function fairly soon and become a gold paperweight if I did not do the work...!

                      Interestingly the original parts replaced were returned in a small bag, so if anyone really wants to make it as it was...!

                      I can't work out how to post images in the reply...!
                      It sounds to me like you did the right thing for what you personally wanted. Watches with nostalgia value that is personal rather than just historical are intrinsic to the owner. You now have a great functioning timepiece that you can wear rather than a piece of junk. I inherited a 1959 Rolex Precision from my grandfather that I have kept original but it was well looked after by both him and my father. I also inherited a 1969 Speedmaster from my father which I love. It had a bad scratch on the glass that drove me nuts. Personally I don't care what the event was that caused the scratch while my father had it, I'm not that sentimental so I had it replaced and now love it even more. The Omega is yours, you'll never sell it so it's monetary value is irrelevant. Enjoy it and take better care of it than your dad did!

                      Sent from my SGP512 using Tapatalk


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Kiwimac,

                        Welcome to the forum, and thank you for sharing your Omega story with us. To be honest, I and many reading your story wish that you had found us sooner.




                        So the moral is that having the professionals do the job is well worth the cost if the watch has sufficient value. Expensive, but they really do do a fantastic job and the watch now looks and runs much the same as it would have done on the day my father bought it all those years ago.

                        The moral is one that you will later learn after some time with us on this forum… and it is best that you reach the conclusion yourself.

                        I too have a watch that my father gave me, a significant one also because it was the first that he had ever owned, bought on his very first pay check. Not only that, he wore that watch as his one and only from the late-1960s through all of the 70s, taking it everywhere he was—to work, on his travels, even gardening at home. Many of my childhood photos with him show his trusty watch.

                        Although the movement has been overhauled multiple times, the case and glass are scratched, dented, and dinged, with one of the lug slightly bent. The dial shows some moisture intrusion, developing a patina of sort, luminous material all darkened if not gone. The original bracelet has long broke off, and in its place for many years, he wore it on an incorrect bracelet from another watch.

                        We all have different belief and values, but personally, for my father’s watch, I would never go beyond just cleaning it and servicing it. Every scratch, every dent and ding, every single bent and twisted part was him living his life. Every sign of wear, any indication of neglect were reflections and memories of the greater priority that he had in providing for us, in loving us. A scratch might be from when he fixed my bicycle. Another scratch from when he was planting flowers in the garden for my mum.

                        Those marks, big and small, that he left on his watch are like the foot prints he left on the sand—and though those prints were not perfect nor always straight, they were the very thing that made that particular patch of sand different from any other. I will never polish out those marks he left, because they are the only thing that made this watch he gave me different from all the other identical watches that left the factory. He gave me one of the few objects that bore witness to his life.

                        You are new to watches, and it shows, so I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you. However, I am disappointed and even angered at two parties involved, who were clearly in a more experience position than you to make recommendations that would be in your best interest. First is Nairns for their thoughtless suggestion to refer you to Omega. But moreover, I am disgusted to read the assessment that Omega gave you. Instead of recommending you to wise course of action, they took advantage of your emotional attachment to your father’s watch. It makes me nausea to see such greed to take money from unknowing customers when they know full well what is really in your best interest.

                        I wish you had come here to TKNZ sooner...I really do.
                        But you are passing judgement on him Don, you are transferring your values onto him as they pertain to watches. While you may value originality and all that goes with it over restoration it doesn't mean others do. Would you apply the same thinking to a house that was a treasured family home but falling down around your ears. If it was me I would restore the house rather than live in it dilapidated. In this case he has had the watch restored by the very manufacturer that made it and for him that has increased its personal value. The cost is irrelevant if he can afford it as the value of the piece is intrinsic to him. Personally I value originality totally if I am buying a vintage investment piece or one that has historical significance. But I have no sentimental attachment to those watches, their history is not intertwined with mine before the point in time that they came into my possession.

                        Sent from my SGP512 using Tapatalk


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sometimes, a watch is just a watch.


                          Live long and prosper.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ...I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you.....

                            But you are passing judgement on him Don, you are transferring your values onto him as they pertain to watches. While you may value originality and all that goes with it over restoration it doesn't mean others do. Would you apply the same thinking to a house that was a treasured family home but falling down around your ears. If it was me I would restore the house rather than live in it dilapidated. In this case he has had the watch restored by the very manufacturer that made it and for him that has increased its personal value. The cost is irrelevant if he can afford it as the value of the piece is intrinsic to him. Personally I value originality totally if I am buying a vintage investment piece or one that has historical significance. But I have no sentimental attachment to those watches, their history is not intertwined with mine before the point in time that they came into my possession.



                            Hi bagster8660 and welcome to the Timekeeper forum. I see that you joined up in January and I’m thrilled that this topic stirs you enough to come out of lurking mode—well done! :thumbup: We look forward to you putting this enthusiasm in the many issues that we face in the watch collecting world.

                            Firstly, I want to apologize if my post above has caused the OP or yourself to be upset or offended. Those that know me know that I am rather direct and straight forward, and yes, my above post could perhaps be taken the wrong way, especially if one fails to read my last paragraph carefully. If you did read it carefully and you’re still thinking I’m out to get the OP, then you must be new to watches too. And no, this is the wrong forum to be dropping words like “Rolex” and “Omega” in your first forum post and thinking that we would be impressed—we’re not.

                            Let me repeat again: I don’t for a moment pass judgement on the OP, whom I do not know in person.

                            Please allow me to explain to you in the way that you can better understand, and I’m not even going to go into the fact that house restoration increases its value while watch refurbishing does the opposite. Let me explain using the “treasured family home” analogy, which you kindly supplied.

                            You own a house that you treasure, but after decades of neglect, it is now dilapidated, in disrepair, and getting worse by the day. You don’t know anything about houses, house repair, nor renovation. You just know that your house was built 50 years ago in New Zealand, but by a construction company based in England who no longer operates here. You went to the local repairman—let’s call him Mr Naanbread—to ask for advice.

                            Mr Naanbread has no interest in helping you because your house is too old, and he makes a living repairing more modern dwellings. Though he knows of others who may be able to help you, he couldn’t be bothered and simply told you to contact the construction company in England who originally built your home. Naanbread said that you might have to ship your house to England for the work to be done! You trust Mr Naanbread, and as you know little about houses, you fail to see how ridiculous the idea actually is. So, you write to the English building company.

                            The English builder read what you wanted to do, and if they had taken your best interest into consideration, they would give you the painfully obvious advice. But nope, the greedy English contractor told you instead to put your crumbling house on a ship and send it to England. You trust the contractor—after all, they were the company that manufactured your home. It, of course, doesn’t occur to you that none of the people who actually worked on your specific dwelling, five decades years ago, actually works there anymore. Neither does it occur to you that this building company no longer makes the “machines” that built your house, but instead buys these machines from a factory called ETA.

                            Once your dilapidated house arrived in England, the building contractor decided that, instead of saving what they can, be it the worn-out brick wall or that fireplace, knowing its sentimental value to you, they would just tear the whole house down and rebuilt it from the ground up. It was what you told them to do, after all, and to these greedy people, your best interest is not that important, as long as they can make money. Besides, they can just charge you heaps for it, because you’re invested emotionally. Finally, after paying an exorbitant price of the rebuild, the house is shipped back to NZ.

                            You are very happy about the outcome. It looks great, and heck, you hate that old brickwork they knocked down anyway—good riddance! Everything was great until you decided to join a local online forum of builders, renovators, and DIY enthusiasts. You tell them about your house, and you expected them to congratulate you.

                            Upon hearing their responses, you get upset when someone suggested that 1) all the work that was required could have been done by skilled builders and tradesman here in NZ, just as well as the English did, 2) it did not necessitate the whole house to be demolished and many parts could have been left as is, fully functional and safe, and 3) money should have been spent elsewhere, even if you have a mountain of cash…

                            Stepping back into watches now, here are the truths behind what I am saying.

                            1. No one is saying that the OP’s watch should not be fully overhauled. The movement needed a full disassembly, its parts cleaned. The case needed ultra-sonic cleaning. Worn movement parts, including worn jewels needed to be replaced, re-assembled, oiled, adjusted, regulated, and new crystal, gaskets and seals may be needed.

                            2. The overhaul can be carried competently and sometimes with extraordinary skill, right here in New Zealand. Parts for vintage Omega movements can be easily ordered from independent stockist—no one gets them from Omega (did you know that?). The dial and hands can be kept as they are after a light cleaning. Unlike houses, it will not further deteriorate, will not constitute a danger, and will still function perfectly.

                            3. Omega in Switzerland does not have advantage over our Kiwi watchmakers to do the job. Do you think that ETA movements used in modern Omega are anything even resembling the vintage in-house Omega movements? Do you think there are watchmakers working at Omega now that actually worked on their production line half a century ago? Do you think Omega actually makes all of the watches they market now? You comment “restored by the very manufacturer that made it and for him” raises red flags that this information is new to you.

                            4. The ultimate decision on how the OP’s father watch is restored is up to him—it’s his watch, his money, as you say. But do you think that he should have been given a choice in making that decision with full knowledge of the consequences of any given path? Do you think that, if he had joined our community before getting the restoration done, he may have arrived at a different conclusion? True, he may have gone ahead and send the watch to Omega regardless, but he would have done so with full knowledge of the choices and consequences. He would have made an “informed” decision. This is important in all areas of life, don’t you think?

                            5. The OP was ill-informed about the choices and options that were available to him, but it was not totally his fault. He went to Nairn’s, whom he thought he could trust to give him good advice. Had Nairn’s referred him to a skilled watchmaker, which Nairn’s knew full well is the route that nearly every customer would benefit from, the story would end differently. Had Omega told the OP that it was best to find a watchmaker in New Zealand who could service the watch, and that even watches in their own museum are left in their original condition, not restored, the story would also end different.

                            6. Thanks to the irresponsible advice from Nairn’s and the lack of thoughtfulness and failure to take the customer’s best interest on part of Omega, the story ended the way it did.

                            I repeat again so that you fully understand what I mean. The fault is not with the OP, but with Nairn’s and Omega. Whether it is one’s fault to misplace one’s trust is for each to decide for him or herself.
                            A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ...I don’t for a moment pass judgement on you.....

                              But you are passing judgement on him Don, you are transferring your values onto him as they pertain to watches. While you may value originality and all that goes with it over restoration it doesn't mean others do. Would you apply the same thinking to a house that was a treasured family home but falling down around your ears. If it was me I would restore the house rather than live in it dilapidated. In this case he has had the watch restored by the very manufacturer that made it and for him that has increased its personal value. The cost is irrelevant if he can afford it as the value of the piece is intrinsic to him. Personally I value originality totally if I am buying a vintage investment piece or one that has historical significance. But I have no sentimental attachment to those watches, their history is not intertwined with mine before the point in time that they came into my possession.



                              Hi bagster8660 and welcome to the Timekeeper forum. I see that you joined up in January and I’m thrilled that this topic stirs you enough to come out of lurking mode—well done! We look forward to you putting this enthusiasm in the many issues that we face in the watch collecting world.

                              Firstly, I want to apologize if my post above has caused the OP or yourself to be upset or offended. Those that know me know that I am rather direct and straight forward, and yes, my above post could perhaps be taken the wrong way, especially if one fails to read my last paragraph carefully. If you did read it carefully and you’re still thinking I’m out to get the OP, then you must be new to watches too. And no, this is the wrong forum to be dropping words like “Rolex” and “Omega” in your first forum post and thinking that we would be impressed—we’re not.

                              Let me repeat again: I don’t for a moment pass judgement on the OP, whom I do not know in person.

                              Please allow me to explain to you in the way that you can better understand, and I’m not even going to go into the fact that house restoration increases its value while watch refurbishing does the opposite. Let me explain using the “treasured family home” analogy, which you kindly supplied.

                              You own a house that you treasure, but after decades of neglect, it is now dilapidated, in disrepair, and getting worse by the day. You don’t know anything about houses, house repair, nor renovation. You just know that your house was built 50 years ago in New Zealand, but by a construction company based in England who no longer operates here. You went to the local repairman—let’s call him Mr Naanbread—to ask for advice.

                              Mr Naanbread has no interest in helping you because your house is too old, and he makes a living repairing more modern dwellings. Though he knows of others who may be able to help you, he couldn’t be bothered and simply told you to contact the construction company in England who originally built your home. Naanbread said that you might have to ship your house to England for the work to be done! You trust Mr Naanbread, and as you know little about houses, you fail to see how ridiculous the idea actually is. So, you write to the English building company.

                              The English builder read what you wanted to do, and if they had taken your best interest into consideration, they would give you the painfully obvious advice. But nope, the greedy English contractor told you instead to put your crumbling house on a ship and send it to England. You trust the contractor—after all, they were the company that manufactured your home. It, of course, doesn’t occur to you that none of the people who actually worked on your specific dwelling, five decades years ago, actually works there anymore. Neither does it occur to you that this building company no longer makes the “machines” that built your house, but instead buys these machines from a factory called ETA.

                              Once your dilapidated house arrived in England, the building contractor decided that, instead of saving what they can, be it the worn-out brick wall or that fireplace, knowing its sentimental value to you, they would just tear the whole house down and rebuilt it from the ground up. It was what you told them to do, after all, and to these greedy people, your best interest is not that important, as long as they can make money. Besides, they can just charge you heaps for it, because you’re invested emotionally. Finally, after paying an exorbitant price of the rebuild, the house is shipped back to NZ.

                              You are very happy about the outcome. It looks great, and heck, you hate that old brickwork they knocked down anyway—good riddance! Everything was great until you decided to join a local online forum of builders, renovators, and DIY enthusiasts. You tell them about your house, and you expected them to congratulate you.

                              Upon hearing their responses, you get upset when someone suggested that 1) all the work that was required could have been done by skilled builders and tradesman here in NZ, just as well as the English did, 2) it did not necessitate the whole house to be demolished and many parts could have been left as is, fully functional and safe, and 3) money should have been spent elsewhere, even if you have a mountain of cash…

                              Stepping back into watches now, here are the truths behind what I am saying.

                              1. No one is saying that the OP’s watch should not be fully overhauled. The movement needed a full disassembly, its parts cleaned. The case needed ultra-sonic cleaning. Worn movement parts, including worn jewels needed to be replaced, re-assembled, oiled, adjusted, regulated, and new crystal, gaskets and seals may be needed.

                              2. The overhaul can be carried competently and sometimes with extraordinary skill, right here in New Zealand. Parts for vintage Omega movements can be easily ordered from independent stockist—no one gets them from Omega (did you know that?). The dial and hands can be kept as they are after a light cleaning. Unlike houses, it will not further deteriorate, will not constitute a danger, and will still function perfectly.

                              3. Omega in Switzerland does not have advantage over our Kiwi watchmakers to do the job. Do you think that ETA movements used in modern Omega are anything even resembling the vintage in-house Omega movements? Do you think there are watchmakers working at Omega now that actually worked on their production line half a century ago? Do you think Omega actually makes all of the watches they market now? You comment “restored by the very manufacturer that made it and for him” raises red flags that this information is new to you.

                              4. The ultimate decision on how the OP’s father watch is restored is up to him—it’s his watch, his money, as you say. But do you think that he should have been given a choice in making that decision with full knowledge of the consequences of any given path? Do you think that, if he had joined our community before getting the restoration done, he may have arrived at a different conclusion? True, he may have gone ahead and send the watch to Omega regardless, but he would have done so with full knowledge of the choices and consequences. He would have made an “informed” decision. This is important in all areas of life, don’t you think?

                              5. The OP was ill-informed about the choices and options that were available to him, but it was not totally his fault. He went to Nairn’s, whom he thought he could trust to give him good advice. Had Nairn’s referred him to a skilled watchmaker, which Nairn’s knew full well is the route that nearly every customer would benefit from, the story would end differently. Had Omega told the OP that it was best to find a watchmaker in New Zealand who could service the watch, and that even watches in their own museum are left in their original condition, not restored, the story would also end different.

                              6. Thanks to the irresponsible advice from Nairn’s and the lack of thoughtfulness and failure to take the customer’s best interest on part of Omega, the story ended the way it did.

                              I repeat again so that you fully understand what I mean. The fault is not with the OP, but with Nairn’s and Omega. Whether it is one’s fault to misplace one’s trust is for each to decide for him or herself.
                              Hi Don

                              Thanks for taking a chunk of your day to respond. Just to clear up a couple of things; I am not 'lurking' on the site, I joined because I enjoy reading what others have to say who love their watches and to browse the classified's. I'm sure you didn't intend to use the term sarcastically.

                              Secondly, my mentioning of the two watches was not intended to be name dropping, just a fact of my circumstance. I'm sorry if you took it as name dropping. I have many cheaper watches that I prefer to wear over the two brands that I mentioned. In fact I find Rolex's in general to be a bit 'yawn' as you kindly put it, not in regards to craftsmanship but image. By the way, I was new to watches as we all were at some stage. In my case that was about 1985; later than many but earlier than many others. While I am interested in horology I by no means consider myself an expert. It is an interest, not an obsession or an occupation.

                              I do agree with you regarding Nairn's, they should have given him options rather than flicking him straight on to Omega. I don't know if they have people there who were with the company 40 or 50 years ago, but does it matter? I am betting they have people who worked under those people and who have the expertise to do the job.

                              You comment re devaluing the watch only applies if you view it as a commodity. The owner is not intending to sell it so that is irrelevant and the 'value' is purely intrinsic.

                              I appreciate people who speak directly Don, though you do tend to lapse into condescension and sarcasm on occasion which could be off putting to people new to the forum who would benefit from your undoubted expertise and wisdom ( and I do mean that sincerely!).

                              At the end of the day the guy is happy with his watch and thats the main thing we surely must agree on.


                              Sent from my SGP512 using Tapatalk


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