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Omega Seamaster Automatic Vintage Watch (WR0608)

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  • #16
    Can't believe we're not all over this

    Lack of apparent interest could suggest that as a culture, fakes scammers counterfeits rip-offs frauds imposters... junk in general are nowadays 'all ok' then
    Harlan
    Timekeeper Watch Club
    Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

    Comment


    • Pauloz
      Pauloz commented
      Editing a comment
      Not really OK with it at all. I guess some people are sick of fighting a never ending battle to stop it. It would certainly help if the likes of Trade Me were on board but they really don’t care as long as they get their cut.

  • #17
    Hi Don when looking for a dial , I will expect blemishes for age, look for font discrepancies, minute marker distance from edge , rust covered with paint. I have tried to highlight 2 places which I thought were a sign of repaint Click image for larger version

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    • #18
      Originally posted by harlansmart View Post
      Can't believe we're not all over this

      Lack of apparent interest could suggest that as a culture, fakes scammers counterfeits rip-offs frauds imposters... junk in general are nowadays 'all ok' then
      Not from me - been following this thread with great interest - just don't feel I have much to offer, other than what's been said already. As an exercise in caution it's invaluable. Like many of us I suppose, I really like vintage watches, but unless it's a grab-it-quick, less than a hundy or so, I'm never quite sure it's worth the risk.

      I've seen lately quite a lot of interest in vintage Omegas, as well as others, but Omega clearly taking pole-position, especially in the young, hipster crowd. You only have to have a quick squizz on Youtube and then try searching on Ebay to see. I think (and just my feeling here) that >50% of the new market for these simply don't care - they just want something on the wrist that says " vintage Omega - how cool am I? "
      If I think of something witty, I'll be sure to write it here.

      Comment


      • #19
        Originally posted by ibrar View Post
        Hi Don when looking for a dial , I will expect blemishes for age, look for font discrepancies, minute marker distance from edge , rust covered with paint. I have tried to highlight 2 places which I thought were a sign of repaint Click image for larger version

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        Thank you, ibrar, for taking the time to get back to me on the question I posed, and I’ll actually comment on your answer later today, so please check back later. However, I want to address the post immediately above from Neil ‘sjb’ first, as it relates to Harlan’s post (#16) yesterday.

        A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

        Comment


        • #20
          Originally posted by sjb View Post

          Not from me - been following this thread with great interest - just don't feel I have much to offer, other than what's been said already. As an exercise in caution it's invaluable...
          Really appreciate that you’ve joined the thread, Neil , and yeah, um I’ve heard that from a few people now, ...don’t feel I have much to offer.”. It could be the underlying reason for what Harlan observed. But allow me to share my perspective as you are relatively new (as for older members, guys, I really expected you all to know this already… ). I walked into this room, i.e. opened this topic, bringing value and offering to share it. I’m not seeking value, though I almost always find it when others engage me—think of a teacher walking into a classroom.

          The way useful ideas are disseminated in a forum or group discussion like this, as opposed to a presentation or lecture, is that it relies heavily on participation. Forums are not just a place for those who have something to contribute—they are a place that calls for participation. By this I mean things like asking questions (everyone has them, including myself), answering questions (“I don’t know” can be an answer too ), or showing agreement/disagreement by, for example, relating that to one’s past watch buying experience, or another running auction somewhere (we can’t see you nodding from our side of the screen after all ). Also, TKNZ is rather small, just like the “NZ” in the name, and we don’t have thousands of members like Watchuseek or SCWF, where even if 90% don’t participate, there are still hundreds left that do. For us, there may only be 30 people following a thread, so if 90% don’t participate, three people makes a lousy party.

          So, I think that’s what Harlan was eluding to.


          Originally posted by sjb View Post

          ...unless it's a grab-it-quick, less than a hundy or so, I'm never quite sure it's worth the risk.
          ...

          That’s a great starting point, and the fact is that it is never worth the risk, until you truly know how to properly calculate that risk. I’d go even further to say that, at whatever price point—be it a hundy or half of thatnever buy junk. I don’t have a large watch collection, and in fact, my partner has more watches than I do. We don’t own $10k or $20k watches, and actually, most of our watches are below $1k—we don't derive our joy with watches that way. The thing, though, is that every single piece in our boxes is authentic, genuine, and a quality specimen—we don’t own junk nor allow one to sit in our collection.

          For you yourself, as an upcoming watch enthusiast/collector, there is another reason, apart from tainting your watch collection, to never risk buying anything inauthentic . Over the coming years, you will build a reputation and earn the respect within our small watch community, and you never want to be in the position of having to get rid of a piece of junk, an non-genuine or Franken vintage. You never want to have to set or use a “secondary” TradeMe account to sell off your mistake, and you never want to battle your conscience in engaging in such activities.

          Junk comes at all different price points, not just under a hundred. On the contrary, you can find absolute treasures on TM sometimes, if you take the time to learn how to. A number of years ago, I was fortunate to win this 1950s Baume Automatic with a Felsa “Bidynator” movement inside…









          ...and no, it wasn’t through asking the seller “Buy Now?”, but because no one else bid when the auction ended . I paid $35 at the time, and a year later, I sold the watch overseas for around NZ$600.


          Originally posted by sjb View Post
          ...
          I've seen lately quite a lot of interest in vintage Omegas, as well as others, but Omega clearly taking pole-position, especially in the young, hipster crowd. You only have to have a quick squizz on Youtube and then try searching on Ebay to see. I think (and just my feeling here) that >50% of the new market for these simply don't care - they just want something on the wrist that says " vintage Omega - how cool am I? "
          ...
          Yes, I do see that a lot, and I'd up that percentage to >80%. The whole trend is fueled by our current "be seen" social media culture that orientate people towards greater need to seek external validation. Anyway, fashion tends to come and go, but we here on this forum, whether Baby-boomers, Millennials, and those in between like myself, are hopefully in it for the long term, and thus gaining vision into the market is paramount.
          Last edited by Don; 27-02-18, 11:11.
          A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

          Comment


          • #21
            All great points, Don, and re-referring to Harlan's comment about non-participation, which is why i chimed in. I'm very appreciative of threads like these where knowledge and experience is shared, and whether you're been collecting watches for 1 year or 50 years, you'd probably learn something new (and maybe save yourself a lot of hassle and money). It is exactly the reason I opted to join the TKNZ forum instead of lurking.

            If the recent popularity of these pieces drives prices up, it will almost certainly also drive the unscrupulous to fleece the unwary.
            If I think of something witty, I'll be sure to write it here.

            Comment


            • #22
              A great thread here, and all the more relevant to me because I've been in the market for an older Seamaster. Perhaps I'm one of the hipster wannabes referred to above... ;-) Or perhaps there's something timeless about the style.

              First, I'd like to thank the senior members for their advice. There are countless examples of frankenwatches, counterfeits, poor restorations, and more out there - some intentional, others by ignorance. I'm a brand ambassador and would never encourage the purchase of such items. I've been close to falling into the trap before, and it's forums like this that have taught me otherwise.

              Second, I have been meaning to jump in to contribute but am somewhat hamstrung by my lack of experience in second hand watches. That's not an excuse for keeping silent, but I have been watching and listening, and I think there's comfort to be had in knowing others are doing the same.

              With that said, my approach to second hand watches follows pretty much the same sequence:

              1. Investigate the seller - sometimes an easy first task. Is reputation/feedback good, what is their history, what is their history for these types of goods in particular?

              2. Investigate the item - including:
              a. Have appropriate photos been provided? Do they accord with the description given?
              b. Is there a description and photo of the movement and caseback? Is the movement a a match to the model? Does the movement look to have been 'restored' or polished?
              c. Find details of the model and movement. Compare the info from a legitimate historical source with the watch being sold - is it a match? Does anything seem off? Are the photos the same?
              d. Ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. I will personally never buy from a seller who gets cagey about an answer or doesn't seem to want to help. I have recently had both aggressive and vague responses regarding my questions about re-dials, hands, and caseback. I won't ever apologise for asking polite and genuine questions aimed at determining the legitimacy of a product.

              I've also seen inaccurate responses pointing to other ebay or auction listings which suffer the same faults as the item in question. It's important to find a solid baseline for comparison.

              e. Revert to the forums. The question may have been asked before, and if not - why not ask it now?

              Thanks again to those more wise and experienced in these matters.

              Comment


              • #23
                Enjoying this thread and the thought process the more wiser than I use to authenticate .

                The first thing I do if considering a vintage or any watch is research the seller.
                This tells me if it is worth progressing with any research into the watch on offer.

                It doesn't matter an iota to me how many boxes get ticked on the watch if the Seller has a shite reputation .
                ALWAYS BUY THE SELLER.

                Over the years on a few watch forums I've built up contacts who I know and trust to be open and honest ,
                about the watches they have on offer ,
                An example was the Vintage Omega that now resides on Deerworriers wrist .
                Knew the seller very well and trusted him unconditionally .
                Did only basic research on the Omega , but knew he was offering the real deal and it was a winner.
                The same here on TKNZ .
                Years of dealing and communicating has built huge trust / friendships and I have no problem dealing with members here.


                Trading sites are different and thats when the real research work must begin .
                Thats when you have to follow the processes that the experienced guys here are using.
                If in doubt use the "Authenticate Me" thread, but don't be idle and expect everyone else to do the work for you.
                Make an effort and state your concerns .
                Occasionally I will email or PM a more experienced member on a watch authentication , But only if I am a serious contender for the watch in question.
                Their time is valuable and not something I take for granted .

                I may have wandered slightly off topic here ... Sorry Don




                Rest easy Matty , My best Mate and Son

                Comment


                • #24
                  Thank you, Suavio and Pete ‘pedro44’ above . Pete has been with us for a long time, and I for one know that his advice comes from years of personal experience hunting in the wild. Suavio is generous to sharing his strategy. I’ll address both posts later tonight, but first I must attend to ibrar’s post #17, responding to my question to him earlier.


                  Originally posted by ibrar View Post
                  Hi Don when looking for a dial , I will expect blemishes for age, look for font discrepancies, minute marker distance from edge , rust covered with paint. I have tried to highlight 2 places which I thought were a sign of repaint Click image for larger version  Name:	omega.jpg Views:	1 Size:	77.0 KB ID:	39509

                  ibrar, thank you for your effort in pointing these out, and yes, those telltale aspects can be very helpful. Most—I would say 95%—of informed potential buyers do these, and they get by very well most of the time. So, I’d like you to still look for those, but I’m still going mess with your mind and ask you to try thinking the other way around! Haha... Why, you may ask?

                  Certain aspects of your approach relies on one’s familiarity with an original unaltered specimen, for instance, to assess the font discrepancies, one would really need to know what an authentic one looks like. Sometimes, this can be difficult because 1) Omega font dial scripting had changes during the period one is examining, and 2) if the dial has in fact been repainted, we cannot be sure which “original” to compare it to. This common approach also relies on spotting “errors” in the way in which the refurbishment was done. This is a fair enough factor to assist in authenticating, as most of these refinished dials are done under budget constraints and limitation in time, i.e. the repair person could have spent twice the effort and time to do a better job, but the watch would not be able to sell at twice the price, so they do only what’s needed to fool most people.

                  However, if you think for a moment that, if you were competing in sports or growing a business, it not enough to just rely solely on your opponent or competitor erring or making a mistake so you can win. Sooner or later, you will be faced with an opponent that makes fewer mistakes than you do, then things can go downhill for you. Here are some images I grabbed from eBay to show some redialed vintage Omega. The first three are quite obvious, to even novice watch hunters:









                  This sort of redone watches normally originate from South or Southeast Asia, i.e. places like India and The Philippines, though the watches above are currently being sold out of the UK. I do not believe that the cases nor dials are Omega, only the movements, so these really belong in the bin!

                  But what if you come across something like this:






                  Yes, the dial above has been repainted, as stated by the seller. Work like these usually come from a country who really knows how to make mobile phones, getting very good in the last decade at making cars, and their pop culture is today rocking many parts of the world… South Korea... It would be hard, even for me, to look at only the dial and hands, nothing else, and tell that they are inauthentic. If we were only to rely on the presence of mistakes and blemishes, refurbished numbers like these would run rings around us.

                  So, what might get us a better outcome?

                  For this, I’d like you to take some time to examine carefully the photos I posted of my Baume Automatic above (https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...9519#post39519). Then carefully scrutinize these pictures below of one of my vintage Omega Constellation, a DeLuxe Pie Pan (Ref. CK 2852) that I owned some years ago. Both the Constellation and the Baume were manufactured in the same year, which is actually just a few years prior to that of the Seamaster of the topic.











                  Now look carefully again at the Seamaster on TM, from which I have zoomed in on the image, and in the second image, I have used an image editor to equalize the luminosity, so we can see the details easier.







                  Hope you’re still with me, ibrar, because here is another question for you, and the question is…

                  What is it that both my Constellation and Baume have in common that the Seamaster doesn’t?

                  I’m hinting at a feeling, an impression—one word that can suitably reflect the Constellation and the Baume (further hint: this word starts with “C”) but can’t be used with the Seamaster
                  I know this is a bit cryptic but you might just know what I’m getting at.
                  Last edited by Don; 27-02-18, 17:59.
                  A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                  Comment


                  • Sarbie
                    Sarbie commented
                    Editing a comment
                    i wish i found this thread earlier, enjoying the sleuthy nature greatly and learning alot

                • #25
                  Originally posted by Suavio View Post
                  ...I have been meaning to jump in to contribute but am somewhat hamstrung by my lack of experience in second hand watches. That's not an excuse for keeping silent, but I have been watching and listening, and I think there's comfort to be had in knowing others are doing the same.
                  .
                  Suavio, I’m glad that you’ve decided to join the thread, and as I’ve mentioned before, participation is always appreciated. Even if someone is still in the early stages of learning, articulating their idea in writing can help them to better understand their own thoughts, leading to formulation of their own vintage buying strategy.


                  Originally posted by Suavio View Post
                  With that said, my approach to second hand watches follows pretty much the same sequence:

                  1. Investigate the seller - sometimes an easy first task. Is reputation/feedback good, what is their history, what is their history for these types of goods in particular?
                  I’m in full agreement and I’ve said this earlier, and will say it again. Many people overlook the importance of who they are buying from, caring only about the goods that are on offer. If one thinks about it, a seller’s honest and trustworthiness underscores everything about the offer—their proven integrity is the only guarantee that 1) the condition is close to that being described, 2) the watch is functioning as claimed, 3) services or repair were actually carried out as claimed, 4) photos are not stolen from elsewhere, and 5) they are in legal possession of the item being offered. There are, however, additional considerations that you may like to consider adding to your seller assessment process, and since Pete ‘pedro44’ (Post #23) has made “Buying the Seller” a key mantra to his approach, I’ll address it in a separate post.


                  Originally posted by Suavio View Post
                  2. Investigate the item - including:
                  a. Have appropriate photos been provided? Do they accord with the description given?
                  b. Is there a description and photo of the movement and caseback? Is the movement a a match to the model? Does the movement look to have been 'restored' or polished?
                  c. Find details of the model and movement. Compare the info from a legitimate historical source with the watch being sold - is it a match? Does anything seem off? Are the photos the same?
                  Your Step 2 is prudent, well worth considering for anyone out there that feel they need a solid strategy in considering vintage purchasing. On Page 1, Post #12 (https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...9458#post39458), your Step 2 can be considered a crucial part of my“know the watch model”, or “know the watch” for short. In its entirety, know the watch includes being aware of the history of the model, variants that exists, Reference or Model number, period of production, possible types of movements, case, dial, bracelet, and market value. Your method seems to also favour physical evidence, or what is shown, over what is claimed, and this echoes what I noted previously—unless you can reasonably measure the trustworthiness and honesty of the seller through trade history and past feedback, ignore what you are told, and instead relying only on what you are shown.

                  Having a fixed sequence or strategy like you have here can over time build confidence, as long as you pay close attention to two important conditions… 1) you need to be consistent and have discipline, as it’s very easy to convince yourself that this or that step can be skipped when that too-good-to-pass-up watch comes calling, and 2) you need to know when to calibrate, as the field is not always black-and-white, and you may find that many things we discuss in this thread will help you to adjust your approach when needed.

                  One additional pointer, Suavio, if I may ...Most vintage collectors/enthusiasts also employ similar inspection techniques that you have outlined, and for them, it works well most of the time. However, it is a reactive approach—they see a watch and they go crazy Googling to research it. I would like for you and others here to be less reactive, and have a more prepared mind, i.e. the kind fortune tends to favour.

                  An analogy… say if you have never been to Melbourne, and have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit this city for three days, what would you do? ...One way would be to just fly there, take a random tram or train, getting off where ever looks nice to you, then do whatever activity is available at that randomly chosen place. Repeat for another two days then fly back… only to then realize, through reading or talking to others, that there are so many places in Melbourne that you would like to see, should have seen, but didn’t, because you didn’t know about them when you were there… Or you could spend a bit of time before leaving NZ reading a Lonely Planet guidebook, read some travel magazine articles on Melbourne, and ask friends who have lived or visited the place. Decide what interests you most and what you can fit into three days, execute the plan, along with a back-up Plan B if things don’t work out. Because you’ve read the background information and history of each place you visit, you have a much greater appreciation and ultimately fulfilling experience.

                  The first scenario is reactive, going with whatever hits your fancy first, and trying your best to run with it. The second approach is with a prepared mind, which is how I recommend approaching vintage Omega—spend time to know the landscape before venturing out to explore.


                  Originally posted by Suavio View Post
                  d. Ask questions and pay close attention to the answers. I will personally never buy from a seller who gets cagey about an answer or doesn't seem to want to help. I have recently had both aggressive and vague responses regarding my questions about re-dials, hands, and caseback. I won't ever apologise for asking polite and genuine questions aimed at determining the legitimacy of a product.

                  I've also seen inaccurate responses pointing to other ebay or auction listings which suffer the same faults as the item in question. It's important to find a solid baseline for comparison.
                  Good stuff, and it’s terrific that you are leveraging on an ability that doesn’t require a lot of knowledge or experience with watches—judging human nature. It’s funny what you mention, now that I think about it, funny because you would think everyone in society acts with self-interest in mind. People generally show consideration for others in hope, or with the expectation, that the favour will be returned. So, self-interest should actually result in behaviours that builds a reputation for honesty, or should show a willingness to enter into commitments, as this is what holds society together.

                  I normally avoid dealing with people who don’t understand this concept—and there are many out there.

                  One thing about asking questions, Suavio. You can ask questions, but be careful about how you interpret the answers, in particular, issues relating to Provenance. What I'd like to say is "never rely on provenance"... Are you the first owner? Where did you buy it? Did you buy it in New Zealand? How long have you owed it? Why are you selling it?

                  The answers to these questions can be useful for reference to future servicing needs and for greater appreciation of the watch’s journey to you… but they are useless questions for the purpose of authenticating—if you really must know for your own record, ask the seller after you’ve bought the item. I see these all the time on TradeMe, and what the potential buyer is really saying is “I don’t know anything about watches, but is it genuine?”…they might as well ask, “Is it real?”, to which the answer will always be “yes” (the dishonest seller would just lie—what did you expect?)… In asking a provenance question, you are telling a cunning unscrupulous seller that you are a prime target for their deception—don’t be surprised if they look you up and contact you directly to sell the fake watch.

                  Instead of engaging in these, ignore claims of provenance and just concentrate on the object you are looking to buy—the watch. Provenance is the easiest circumstantial evidence to fabricate. Short of it being a stolen good—in which case the seller would again lie to you anyway—how a watch gets to where it is now is unimportant. Just consider the watch and ignore all other noises.


                  Originally posted by Suavio View Post
                  e. Revert to the forums. The question may have been asked before, and if not - why not ask it now?
                  Wise move!


                  A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                  Comment


                  • #26
                    Originally posted by Don View Post
                    4) photos are not stolen from elsewhere,
                    A great point this one - and one I discovered very recently. You can see in this very sub-forum I asked the community for some advice regarding a lady's Rolex (something I probably would never consider buying in such a fashion, but something my dear wifey was asking for).

                    Whilst searching around - and I did extensive searches for a couple of days, I came across a nice looking model, in what seemed very good condition in my price range. It was an ebay seller, with good feedback (99.8%). Feedback from ebay is only calculated on the previous 12 months though, so that is always something to ponder. In order to further investigate the watch; check numbers, calibre, model etc, I came across a listing selling the exact same watch, and it was the very same images. That was enough to remove that particular item from the list! Google Image really is your friend here.
                    If I think of something witty, I'll be sure to write it here.

                    Comment


                    • #27
                      Originally posted by pedro44 View Post
                      ...

                      The first thing I do if considering a vintage or any watch is research the seller.
                      This tells me if it is worth progressing with any research into the watch on offer.

                      It doesn't matter an iota to me how many boxes get ticked on the watch if the Seller has a shite reputation .
                      ALWAYS BUY THE SELLER.

                      Over the years on a few watch forums I've built up contacts who I know and trust to be open and honest ,
                      about the watches they have on offer ,
                      ...
                      Years of dealing and communicating has built huge trust / friendships and I have no problem dealing with members here.


                      Trading sites are different and thats when the real research work must begin .
                      Thats when you have to follow the processes that the experienced guys here are using.
                      ...
                      I may have wandered slightly off topic here ... Sorry Don
                      I couldn’t see where you went off topic, Pete—read through your remarks a few times already

                      pedro44 joined the Timekeeper watch hunter-gatherer family in 2009, the year we started, and I knew him before that. He’s a man who is not afraid to get his hands dirty, and that’s reflected in his adventure in watches. Yet, he steers clear of dirty dealers, and made Buying the Seller his primary guiding principle… made me stop to think for a moment there.

                      I agree with everything he said, and identify with the importance of building connections and a network of reliable sources. Longevity in this game is not really about the proliferation of love or passion, but about knowing who to trust. In the used and vintage markets, establishing basis for trust cannot be overemphasized. In nearly three decades of my own personal journey in watches, approximately 75% of the watches I have acquired were bought used, with over 200 of those being vintages at the time of purchase. Apart from New Zealand, my watches have come from 24 countries around world—USA and Canada, 10 countries in Europe including the UK, Australia, and 10 countries in Asia.

                      There is little to add to Pete’s post, but I’d like to address a question posed by those new to the used watch market—how does one buy the seller? ...This query is not as straight forward as it sounds, and a large degree of subjectivity and personal value are involved. In some ways, it is a limitation for a lot of people, because, you see, qualities of honesty, authenticity, integrity, and goodwill tend to be invisible to those who lack them. Those who do not have these virtues tend to see them as stupidity"why won’t you do something to your advantage if you know you’ll get away with it?"

                      This last point, I have come to conclude after going through countless TradeMe transaction histories and feedback. When you come across a trader with catastrophic Red-face-ridden feedback—the kind you wonder why TM still allows them to be on—and you examine the kind of members this person tend to buy and sell to, one thing stands out. Most people who have transacted with this person also have poor feedback. Don’t take it from me—I invite you to see for yourself... While I realize that most TradeMe members with poor feedback score are not dishonest people with no integrity—most Red faces are the results of poor communication skills—what can be perceived from their actions comes across the same as if they had ill intentions to begin with.

                      Think about that.

                      To conclude this post, I’d like to share with you how I gauge the seller, i.e. how I buy the seller. For simplicity, let’s take the TM platform as an example, and I’ll break it down into portions.


                      Listing Title / Name of Item
                      I look for honesty, understanding that there can be an element of attention-grabbing (e.g. including the word “Rolex” in a vintage Tudor auction) though it should generally be an accurate description.

                      Seller’s Trade History and Feedback Score
                      I look for integrity. From past sales, are they their words? ...While everyone gets positive feedback on their ease of dealing, fast posting, etc, does their past conduct point to a person who strive to build a reputation for honesty? I avoid entering into a business transaction with a party who either doesn't value their reputation, or have no reputation to lose. I look especially for others’ indications of the seller’s goodwill, their helpfulness, and good faith.

                      Item Description
                      I look again for honesty—are they open and straight forward? ...Can I sense that, through their description, they are trying to help potential buyers make an informed decision? Is the seller clearly stating the current running condition, in a meaningful manner beyond “shook and it ran—not sure for how long”? Is the seller disclosing any immediate or near-future repairs that will be needed?

                      These have nothing to do with having a good heart or anything like that—it is about protecting their self-interest and avoiding buyers making a mistake in their decision and jeopardizing the transaction. I prefer to deal with people who actively protects their self-interest in this manner. Vintage watches, whether mechanical or battery-powered, are certainly not for everyone, in the same way that owning a classic car is not for everyone. Personally, I prefer watch listings that, in some small way, vet the buyer, rather than claim everyone should buy the item.


                      Accompanying Photos
                      I again look for honesty, and indications that the seller has good faith. The latter can be observed from whether current photos of the actual watch are used, and whether all apparent imperfections are shown, or have they been obscured? Clear images can be a clue to whether the seller has goodwill and is helpful in the potential buyers’ decision-making process, which ultimately protects the seller’s self-interest.
                      Last edited by Don; 28-02-18, 12:19.
                      A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                      Comment


                      • #28
                        Originally posted by sjb View Post

                        ...
                        Whilst searching around - and I did extensive searches for a couple of days, I came across a nice looking model, in what seemed very good condition in my price range. It was an ebay seller, with good feedback (99.8%). Feedback from ebay is only calculated on the previous 12 months though, so that is always something to ponder. In order to further investigate the watch; check numbers, calibre, model etc, I came across a listing selling the exact same watch, and it was the very same images. That was enough to remove that particular item from the list! ...
                        Thank you for your story, sjb. I'm embarrassed to say that I too had a similar experience in my early days on eBay, over a decade ago... and it was deeper down the hole than you went, and I actually bought the watch—a used Longines chronograph—just hadn't paid for it despite the seller sending an invoice. While gathering further information on the model, I found the listing photos being used by a watch store's website in the same country as the seller resides. Suspicious, I made an overseas call to owner of the physical store, explaining the situation, and was told they had no knowledge of this watch being listed for sale elsewhere. I got eBay involved, cancelled the purchase, and was saved by the skin of my teeth.

                        On this matter of the difficulty in assessing sellers, I have some thoughts I'd like to share regarding certain types of “seemingly reliable” or “seemingly trustworthy” sellers.

                        We here at Timekeeper NZ advocate the adage “Buy the seller”, and recommend that our members always research the seller before buying a watch. I would like to discuss a few cases where it is not so straight forward, and seemingly good 100% positive-feedback sellers may not all be what they seem. For clarity, I divide these sellers into three archetypes: The Conman, The Unknowing Victim, and The Crooked WIS.

                        The Conman can be a professional fraudster or an opportunist, and both can operate domestically or across international borders. This type of individual sells their fraudulent goods from a 100% or near-100% feedback account that they themselves have created over time by selling low-value, reliable non-watch products, often accompanied by low price and great customer service. Some sell watch-related products like spring bars or some low-failure-rate watch accessory, and do this well to get good feedback from buyers. Everything is conducted legitimately until the accounts records a high number of transactions (500 or more), then the scam would start, and many high-end watches would be put on sale and sold all at once.

                        The victims see a high feedback score accompanied by a solid seller’s history and are falsely reassured into buying the high-end baits. The Conman operated for many years on eBay until buyer protection mechanism were put in place, but loopholes are still exploited to this day. Some Conmen use a pre-existing 100%-feedback account that they gained access to, with and without the account owner’s consent. They then sell their fakes through such an account before making a getaway and leaving damage to both the victim and the account used.

                        The Unknowing Victim purchased a counterfeit watch unknowingly, as the name implies. This person does not know much about watches, and paid a substantial price for the fake that he/she now owns. The Unknowing Victim is otherwise a good trader with excellent feedback over a large number of sales, and one day decides to sell this “watch”. Though clearly lacking knowledge of watches, this type of seller is often adamant that their item is authentic, based on—you guessed it—circumstantial evidence. May be it came in a box set, or may be, the previous “owner” had convinced The Unknowing Victim of where he originally obtained the watch from, i.e. fabricated provenance.

                        Another mind-boggling circumstantial evidence we often see is how much the seller paid for the watch, i.e. someone conned you into paying a lot for a worthless piece of object and because of this, the object is now worth what you paid for it!? The Unknowing Victim story ends badly in one of two ways. One ending is when the seller is confronted and eventually realizes that his watch is non-genuine and takes the loss. The alternative ending is that the watch is unknowing sold-on to the next Unknowing Victim and the cycle starts all over again.

                        The Crooked WIS is too close to us for comfort. Let me paint a scenario… You have just sold 5 of your best watches and used an “advance” from your trusty credit card to buy a $4000 watch—your personal grail for some time. When it arrived, you took it to your watchmaker to have it regulated, and was told by the watchmaker—as well as two other watchmakers after that—that you have a cobbled-up watch with incorrect dial and movement.

                        You have been scammed, and because of your failure to carefully check the watch and the seller prior to paying, you have no way to return the watch nor get your money back. Besides, the seller is in another country, and has already made off with your funds. You are screwed and this piece of junk is worth $500 at most, $3.5k less than what you paid, and you definitely don’t want to keep it. The right course of action, besides throwing it in the bin, is to offer for sale stating exactly what you know about the watch, else take the watch apart and sell any genuine parts separately as spares. It may bring in less than $500, but at least you got rid of it, and you were honest and acted with integrity.

                        ...Not so the Crooked WIS

                        The Crooked WIS takes one of two courses of action. One is to use a TradeMe account not associated with himself, perhaps even registering another dummy account. Stating that he doesn’t know anything about the watch, sells it with a $2000 reserve and fabricating circumstantial evidence regarding how he got the watch. He even bought a vintage box set from eBay to bolster this charade.

                        The other method of the Crooked WIS is to list the watch for sale under his account, a highly successful one with solid history and top feedback. Instead of admitting what he knows about its inauthentic nature, he cites some obscured highly-debatable piece of writing that hints at the possibility of there been other movement and dial variations to this particular watch, and sets a price of $4k. He stubbornly argues that, because there is a slim possibility of such a watch being produced, his watch must be 100% original—a flawed argument by logic.

                        ...

                        Be very careful that the seller you are dealing with is not one of above archetypes.
                        Last edited by Don; 28-02-18, 13:10.
                        A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

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                        • harlansmart
                          harlansmart commented
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                          Every time you post, I learn a teeny tiny bit but realise in fact how very little actually know!!

                      • #29
                        Originally posted by Don View Post

                        He even bought a vintage box set from eBay to bolster this charade.
                        Box & Papers only really guarantees the box & papers are genuine, and yet I see it as almost always the first question asked by prospective buyers. "Does it come with box & papers", as opposed to "does it have the actual box and papers specific to this particular watch (serial number, model number, date originally sold etc.)" ?

                        That's not to imply that box and papers don't matter - you only have to look at 'full-set' prices. It's just that they shouldn't be used as a barometer of truthfulness of a seller or authenticity of the piece in question. Quite happy to be put in my place on that one if I'm off the mark!

                        Another great post, Don - thanks!

                        If I think of something witty, I'll be sure to write it here.

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                        • #30
                          Fascinating thread this one Don, nice work. I and I'm sure many others appreciate the time and effort that is going into your responses. Just thought I would put a couple of pics up of my Seamaster. It is probably ten years older than the watch in question, but I think it shows (as your Connie does) that the quality is poles apart from the subject watch. Omega were at the top of their game during the 50's and sixties and I think it shows, even 50/60 years on. You've got to love flat A's
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