Original vintage or reissue?

I'm not talking about a specific watch, just generally speaking, would you/do you choose the original or the reissue and why? Is it purely down to availability or cost?

I ask as I've been looking into vintage poljots recently and discovered what a minefield it is for frankenwatches and fake/unoriginal dials. I know nothing of vintage watch collecting, so maybe it's a common problem across the board. There are plenty of reissues of the famous poljot designs however these can cost more than the originals... but at least with the new reissue you know what you're getting?

Do reissues have the same heritage appeal as the originals? 

Curious to know others opinions. 

(No pictures are mine. I wish!)

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I guess it depends on the reissue and the brand. Not all brand reissues will carry equal heritage, and some will butcher the originals.  I just got the Bulova Devil Diver 96B350, which, in my opinion, is much nicer than the original, even with the movement limitations.

Regarding Poljot, I’m wearing one today. No clue about the ref# or any details on it, except that it was given to my dad after the 1980 olimpics, so it is an original. Found some others on Ebay, but 1 out of 3 turned out to be a frankenwatch, which is basically a donor now. It is a gamble really, and you should have a good watchmaker, to service them accordingly and maybe to clear any questions you may have on specific vintage pieces.

Remember, regardless of the cost of the watch, you are the one that sets its value.

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Funnily enough i have both the reissue watches in your pictures.

so i guess im in camp reissue!

I do really want the vintage version to.

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I'm not really an authenticity nerd, so if a reissue is decently faithful (absolutely don't bump up the case size!), I'm fine with that. Of course if you value the history, I don't think one would bother with reissues. I'm not usually a person to own things as conversation pieces, but were I to do so, it had better be a damn near exact replica and not some stage prop with numerous variances.

I'm of two opinions where original authenticity is dicey. Either stop caring altogether, because who cares and stop pretending there is something magic about it all, or call it quits on the lost cause and abandon that pursuit.

Of course if originals are actually around at reasonable prices, I'm in no way scared of not-new items unless there is some notorious fragility or irreparability involved. Vintage has more charm.

I'm torn on reissues, as they are simultaneously cool and lame for the same reasons of virginity, accessibility, and that whiff of authenticity and heritage.

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A reissue is another poke at a dead horse for more money thinking because it cost more, it's worth it. Bring back New Coke!!!

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Vintage 9 times out of 10, the 1 being if I plan to dive (etc.) with it.  I know I could get it pressure tested and freshened up, but I'm lazy.

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I’m a vintage guy… so… At the risk of sounding like a broken record the heart says original, but the head says reissue in most cases. Why? Maintenance and repair. Stuck with an ageing watch with a limited lifespan, and little chance of repair, it’s going to hurt. This is, of course, unless the original is still serviceable after all this time, but that will eventually start to diminish after a while for many brands.

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I usually prefer a well done reissue over a vintage original. I also prefer to drive a new car over a used or antique model. The main reason is I know the history of the item. I don't trust that a used item hasn't been abused, damaged, or neglected by a careless previous owner. New items usually benefit from improved materials and technological advancements, and are covered by a warranty. This can avoid a lot of aggravation, especially when dealing with a machine built with many delicate moving parts. I can always admire pictures and videos featuring the original vintage pieces, while my reissue reliably ticks away, still covered by a warranty.

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Depends on the price differential for me as well as some of the material and mechanical differences. To use the Timex Marlin as an example, the reissue is stainless steel instead of brass and the movement is a Seagull movement with jewels instead of the old Timex jewel-less movements. So, I think I’d go with a reissue if I found it for $150 or less over a vintage for $100 give or take $20. But if I happened upon a working vintage one in great shape at a garage sale for $40 or less, I’d likely grab it. However, I have also considered learning to service and repair the old Timex movements and if I do that’d change everything.

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I would evaluate on a case by case basis. All things being equal, though, I would prefer an original vintage.

Factors that could push me to the reissue would include difficult (i.e. lack of parts) or expensive serviceability of the old movement, tiny vintage sizing, lack of options in an acceptable condition, vintage pricing is way higher, crappy vintage bracelets.

There’s more but that’s all I can come up with now.

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Vintage watches are an acquired taste. They need a lot of TLC and most are far more fragile than any reissue and require a specialist in vintage watches to properly service. They're fun to wear around the house but for the real world I'll take a reissue. In some cases its nice to have one of each for certain models.

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foghorn

Vintage watches are an acquired taste. They need a lot of TLC and most are far more fragile than any reissue and require a specialist in vintage watches to properly service. They're fun to wear around the house but for the real world I'll take a reissue. In some cases its nice to have one of each for certain models.

Well… as someone who wears his vintage pieces outside I understand the sentiment, but a watch is for the wearing.  Again, if you know you can get it serviced and repaired without having to resort to major cannibalism and buying the factory, go for it.

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I am ambivalent about reissues. I think that for tool watch purposes, especially divers, it would be better to get modern technology and a warranty. I like old Bulova. New Bulova reimagining their old catalog isn't for me.  I am sure that they are fine watches.

Regarding Poljot and the like, if you want authentic you must embrace imperfections.  Just like HMT in India, there is a whole industry that will redial and rework anything into a Big Zero and sell it to you.  If you live outside the former Soviet bloc it you can't find pristine pieces. But there is still quality out there, especially after 1980 or so.  I have two Starts from the 1950's coming. They look beat and bleached.  It is always good to compare something for sale to examples. This collection is amazing:  https://mroatman.wixsite.com/watches-of-the-ussr .  I have been able to avoid mismatched bezels, handsets, and dials (especially on Vostok) and be able to see what they should look like compared to what is being offered.  Keep in mind that some of the mismatching may have occurred at the factory originally.

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Henrik

Funnily enough i have both the reissue watches in your pictures.

so i guess im in camp reissue!

I do really want the vintage version to.

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So, out of interest, what makes you want the original also? 

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Rarias

I guess it depends on the reissue and the brand. Not all brand reissues will carry equal heritage, and some will butcher the originals.  I just got the Bulova Devil Diver 96B350, which, in my opinion, is much nicer than the original, even with the movement limitations.

Regarding Poljot, I’m wearing one today. No clue about the ref# or any details on it, except that it was given to my dad after the 1980 olimpics, so it is an original. Found some others on Ebay, but 1 out of 3 turned out to be a frankenwatch, which is basically a donor now. It is a gamble really, and you should have a good watchmaker, to service them accordingly and maybe to clear any questions you may have on specific vintage pieces.

Remember, regardless of the cost of the watch, you are the one that sets its value.

I'm really falling for old poljot designs and I'm loving nerding out on all the different movements 🧐

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chronotriggered

I’m a vintage guy… so… At the risk of sounding like a broken record the heart says original, but the head says reissue in most cases. Why? Maintenance and repair. Stuck with an ageing watch with a limited lifespan, and little chance of repair, it’s going to hurt. This is, of course, unless the original is still serviceable after all this time, but that will eventually start to diminish after a while for many brands.

This I think is the crux of the matter for me. How much life does this 50 year old watch have left and how much money am I willing to sink into it to maintain it? 🤔