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Saying good bye to an old friend.

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Saying good bye to an old friend.

Old 13th Aug 2020, 09:14
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Saying good bye to an old friend.

About forty years ago I bought MrsVJ a fancy gold watch in Oxford Street. Fancy gold strap and all. It cost about 400 pounds which was a lot of money in those days! After about eighteen months it stopped and we took it back to the shop.

“Ah yes,” said the salesperson looking down his nose art us. “It needs servicing, it should be serviced every year. We’ll send it away and it will be back in eight or nine weeks. It will cost about a hundred pounds including courier.”

I could not believe that anyone was supposed to pay so much for a watch they would miss for eight or nine weeks every year, not to mention the cost of the servicing, and resolved never to buy that make again nor spend so much on a timepiece.!

Fourteen years ago I needed a watch. I like clear numbers and a second hand but none of the fancy mini dials, stopwatch or phases of the moon etc. MrsVJ bought me a nice Seiko while she was in Thailand. Self winding, day and date. About a hundred and forty dollars worth. It ran fine until a few weeks ago when it started stopping just occasionally. It also gained up to a minute a day, I think because I forget to take it off when I am using a sabre saw. Takes a bit of a pounding and I could see through the back that the regulator lever had moved to +.

We took it to the local dealer. It has to be sent away, seven weeks and a hundred and seventy dollars. Well after fourteen years that’s not so bad. Thing is though, a nice new watch only costs a hundred and sixty dollars. It’s electronic, (I miss the satisfaction of wearing a fine, classic piece of engineering.) Permanently accurate to within 1.3 seconds a day and has a nice clear dial. MrsVJ bought it for me for our anniversary. (You have no idea what that is going to cost me!)

I love my new watch but there is something sad when it costs as much to service a watch as to buy a new one and unlike MrsVJ’s car it does not get sold on for someone else to enjoy.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 10:10
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A routine service on a Rolex is about £400.
Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 10:21
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I bought my Rolex in 2004. It was a superb timekeeper, accurate to about a minute a week. I wore it for over ten years before it started to lose time. I had a adjustable thingy to take off the back and I adjusted it so it was fine for another few months and then it stopped and I could not get it started again.

I binned it. One couldn't complain for 200 yuan; £17 at the time.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 10:22
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Had a full service, repair to the shaft that drives the second hand and a new crystal fitted to my Rolex at the end of last year. The bill came to just under £800, far more than I paid for the watch about 40 years ago.

Flip side is that I sold my Omega Seamaster, that cost me £20 originally, a couple of years ago, for more than we paid for our first house back in 1986. Quite why that particular model (1969, military issue) fetched such a high price I don't know, but it seems these things are rather collectible.

My every day watch is still a 1984 Seiko 7A28-7120, that keeps amazingly good time. It's been serviced once, by me, a few years ago, and had a new crystal pressed in at that time, plus new seals and circlips on the pushers, but otherwise has just been used as an everyday watch since I got it in 1984.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 10:43
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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Originally Posted by ChrisVJ View Post
“Ah yes,” said the salesperson looking down his nose art us. “It needs servicing.
We took it to the local dealer. It has to be sent away, seven weeks and a hundred and seventy dollars. Well after fourteen years that’s not so bad............... (I miss the satisfaction of wearing a fine, classic piece of engineering).
.
You would not expect a Rolls Royce car to run like a sewing machine for years and years if it were never serviced and never had the oil changed. Mechanical things need to be kept clean internally and have regular servicing. For something like a mechanical wrist watch that runs on very low forces, any dust or ageing of the lubricants in the bearings and cogs will affect its performance.


This one is electronic, solar powered, checks itself with the radio time signal transmitted from Rugby, has a perpetual calendar and cost about £120. (A Casio Wave ceptor (sic)):-


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Old 13th Aug 2020, 10:51
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VP959
I have had 2nr Rolex Submariners the first arriving in 1987, the second in 1997, when the first went back for servicing and Rolex / Jewellers lost it in the post, and a poor copy was returned. Following a pleasant interview with a Rolex UK manager a new replacement was handed over, and a non disclosure letter signed, which I am breaking by telling you this, but I suspect that is time expired.
Servicing costs always seem to run to about £1k with face and glass, though they often say a new bracelet is required as it is scratched. I then point out I do not own another watch and I wear it all the time except when sleeping at night, and do all chores with it on, like gardening drains etc. Indeed they changed the bezel during last service as there was a spot on it from Caustic soda burn ! I know that some people really love watches but for me it is just a good tool, and I do not mind paying the service costs every 10 years or so, and they do come back in very good condition. Interestingly I noted the box which I have for the one lost by Rolex / Jewellers is worth around £200 on e-bay !
Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 11:23
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Used to have watch (s) but kept damaging the face. Took to wearing them turned round to be on the inside of my wrist and voila no damage. However since mobiles became the norm not bothered with watch. Wife keeps wanting to buy me one...why?
esp now retired the time is not what runs my day.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 11:36
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Used to have a Breitling. Bought in Dubai and eventually sold for more than I bought it for after about 15 years. Just didn’t go with anything I wear these days.

I now have a variety of different £50-150 watches of different designs (Storm etc) and colours which I change daily as required.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 12:29
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I've never really understood the point of spending thousands on a watch. Better build quality than £50 digital, yes. But they're not like cars.
Driving and owning a cheap car can be a significantly worse experience than driving a top of the range one.
Looking at what time it is on an expensive watch is the same as looking at the time on a cheaper one. You don't get a better time, or a more luxurious time displayed.
It will most likely be more durable, but is this actually worth the hundreds or thousands paid?
I suppose, as with most things, it depends on what you want a watch to say about you, and how much disposable income is available.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 12:37
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
You would not expect a Rolls Royce car to run like a sewing machine for years and years if it were never serviced and never had the oil changed. Mechanical things need to be kept clean internally and have regular servicing. For something like a mechanical wrist watch that runs on very low forces, any dust or ageing of the lubricants in the bearings and cogs will affect its performance.


This one is electronic, solar powered, checks itself with the radio time signal transmitted from Rugby, has a perpetual calendar and cost about £120. (A Casio Wave ceptor (sic)):-


Snap! Excellent piece of kit!



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Old 13th Aug 2020, 12:43
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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An official Rolex service centre has to return a watch to original specification if they service it so anything non standard gets pulled off and replaced. Rolex prices have increased in excess of inflation for many years and are maintained artificially high, similar to diamonds, though this means you probably won't lose if you decide to sell later on.

I bought my Casio G shock about 13 years ago and it's still running, maintenance consisted of a battery change and a new outer case bought for a few $ on ebay. Does the same job at a fraction of the price, more rugged and no one's going to mug me for it.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 12:46
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Originally Posted by Blues&twos View Post
I've never really understood the point of spending thousands on a watch. Better build quality than £50 digital, yes. But they're not like cars.
Driving and owning a cheap car can be a significantly worse experience than driving a top of the range one.
Looking at what time it is on an expensive watch is the same as looking at the time on a cheaper one. You don't get a better time, or a more luxurious time displayed.
It will most likely be more durable, but is this actually worth the hundreds or thousands paid?
I suppose, as with most things, it depends on what you want a watch to say about you, and how much disposable income is available.
TBH, I haven't, either. I bought the Rolex second hand, thinking it was a fake, and it was only when I took it in to get it regulated that I found out that it was a genuine Oyster. The Omega that I paid £20, I sold for many thousands as soon as I discovered it was collectible, and I don't miss it. It was a very heavy and clunky thing to wear, so I rarely ever bothered with it. The Seiko isn't worth enough to worry about, so gets used as my every day watch, but now sits on a leather strap, rather than the nylon ones it was designed for. Still my favourite watch, as it just does what it's supposed to do, tell the time accurately, and has a nice and easy to see face. My only complaint is that, after 36 years the promethium-147 luminous markings are no longer any good, the promethium has long since decayed into samarium, so no longer illuminates the hands and face at all.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 14:39
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When I used to fly.. I loved my Citizen Wing Man. Could not live without it.

Then I got my Ď retirement Ď job . Driving trains .

And since 1906 ( I kid you not), the Railway I work for has provided all drivers with watches.

Its a Lourus. Probably costs them about 10 dollars a watch as they must by hundreds of them. ( when the battery goes flat .. we just get issued a new one).

The watch works perfectly.. keeps perfect time.. waterproof to 150m.

its a requirement I wear it at work, I can wear 5 watches if I want .. when on the rails I need to be wearing my Lorus.

i donít know if this is thread drift or not.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 14:57
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I rather like my Longines. It looks good and tells the time. Classic white face with Roman numerals.
However, it was about UKP300+ when I bought it. To replace it would cost about UKP1000. - in HKG. or 3000 in UK. Or £20 in Petaling St.
I don't wear it in places with v high humidity, it doesn't like it. That is what the Sekonda Classic is for . (UKP 20 in a half-price sale)
That is inflation!
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 15:02
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Originally Posted by Blues&twos View Post
I've never really understood the point of spending thousands on a watch. Better build quality than £50 digital, yes. But they're not like cars.
Driving and owning a cheap car can be a significantly worse experience than driving a top of the range one.
Looking at what time it is on an expensive watch is the same as looking at the time on a cheaper one. You don't get a better time, or a more luxurious time displayed.
It will most likely be more durable, but is this actually worth the hundreds or thousands paid?
I suppose, as with most things, it depends on what you want a watch to say about you, and how much disposable income is available.
Blues and Twos
I tend to buy classic things which do not date so much, and indeed have shoes that are older than some of our friends kids which just get sent back to be resoled etc when required, so not a clothes horse or fashion hound as such. I am not sure why some people collect watches, but to be honest people collect all sorts of things. I have a very good friend in the UK who has an extensive and quite beautifully built model railway, which he keeps extremely quiet about for fear of ridicule, which I think is wrong. He says its almost like buying top shelf magazines when he picks up some railway magazine !
Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 15:10
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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As an example of watch price inflation, it's hard to beat what happened with the Omega Seamaster I used to own. I'd been issued with it around 1976, when doing some sea trials, and after I'd ruined my own watch getting seawater in it. I handed it back in to the stores when I no longer needed it, then a while later there was a sealed bid sale of surplus stuff. I put bids in for a lot of stuff, including cutlery, glasses, some furniture and the watch. My bid of £20 was the only one for the watch, so it ended up in my ownership. More than three decades later, we were watching Antiques Roadshow one Sunday evening, and someone had a very similar watch valued at around £20,000. I took some photos of mine, sent them to Bonham's, who asked for the paperwork I had, which I sent them copies of. The gave it a pre-auction estimate of between £28,000 and £30,000. I decided not to sell it at auction, as the fees charged seemed exorbitant, and sold it to a private collector. Pretty remarkable to have an increase in value of over 1,000 times in about 35 years, though.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 15:54
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VP959
Yes it is crazy, my Sub 2 is worth for replacement purposes 7 times what I originally paid for it, and if I had worked for Comex their original Sea Dwellers are close £200k, which frankly is nuts for a somewhat elderly and no doubt abused watch.
Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 16:30
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Agree with comments about not spending thousands on a Rolex. Mine was a gift, but it's an excellent time keeper and I do enjoy wearing it. Perhaps a little less though after getting the bill for cleaning it.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 17:05
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One of the better holiday gifts my in laws bought me was a dodgy Rolex from Turkey. Far from being a mahoosive wrist clock it's a fairly plain faced, slim cased thing with a plain black strap. If it wasn't for the daft Rolex motif it'd be perfect.
Stopped after a month or two though.
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Old 13th Aug 2020, 17:44
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The local custom authorities have many Rolex watches with double size watch faces from being squashed
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