Lamentations

I made an off-hand comment in a post by @ermant .  If we weren't a little touched we wouldn't care about little imperfections that accrue to our watches.  I do feel his pain.

However, there are unique problems once you buy watches that are forty, fifty or sixty years out of warranty:  the complaints of the vintage collector. You knew what you were getting into. You knew that parts were rare and expensive and the watches were going to require constant care. You dove in anyway.

I have four watches at two watchmakers (3 and 1).  I usually never have more than two.  I have five that absolutely have to go, but must wait their turn.  I have five broken crystals, one frozen movement, one that won't set, a bad date gear, and few that just need cleaning and oiling.  I need three batteries.  A reputable strap company sent me the wrong sizes.  (I will keep them, I can use them.)  A previous watchmaker put the wrong crystal on a piece and it bugs me.  (I have it sourced, but it can wait.)  

So, let's hear the lamentations and travails of you vintage collectors. All those with their perfect Grand Seikos need to hear what the future holds for them.

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I've heard horror stories about vintage watches, but I didn't know it was actually so extreme =D
Yeah, vintage is definitely not for the faint of heart such as yours truly. Though vintage does appeal to me in terms of design, that's why I'm always a sucker for vintage reissues.

Thanks for sharing the firsthand experience! Makes me feel a bit better 😀

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A more recent problem with my gold filled Elgin from 1934: the lug holes are worn through. I'm worried someday what's left of the lugs will snap off. Hopefully I can find someone to fill up the holes with gold and re-drill. 😖

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My first "serious watch" was a Zodiac Sea Wolf that I bought in the mid 70's. Everyday wearer for 20 years in every condition you can think of. Beach,golf,blizzard of 78. It went missing for a couple years and resurfaced straight into retirement. I looked at it a couple years ago and decided I wanted to wear it again so I had a restoration done due to it's "decomposing state" I had the dial and bezel replaced with original Zodiac parts and the movement serviced. All else stayed the same. Beauty had become a beast and is now a beauty (to me) again. I'm a fan of the well worn look but this one was a little too far gone. It looks great now but the original case still has every scratch and nick I put there over 40+ years. That's a good thing.

Before:

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After

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Also a 1970 Bulova Accutron Space view that looks good from the front

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But not so much from the back

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This I can easily live with.

The only way to save a watch from the ravages of time is to never wear them and leave them , untouched, in their box.

You can make them look better, but they'll hopefully only look brand new once.