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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. So I have long loved the look of the vintage Omega Seamaster 300 Diver 165.024, but buying vintage is out of my price range and I'd want to take it into the drink (swimming, not diving) and when I travel to SE Asia, where the humidity is killer. So a WatchCo/Frankenwatch version seems logical. After all, I like old design better than a modern Planet Ocean (and I love the PO) so why not buy what makes me truly happy?

I know this forum's (and Omega Forum's) very own Archer is highly trusted at putting these together and I think I'd like to go for it, but know very little about the movements, what to look for and of course, how much to spend. That means I would be appreciative of advice.

552, 563 or 565, they all seem fine to me. Date or no-date, both look super cool in my eyes, though no-date may have a slight edge for symmetry.

Am I right that a 563 or 565 with black date over white can have that replaced with white date over black? That's just an insert, correct? If so, what is the cost?

What is a reasonable price for a movement that is in good condition? Here is a 552 currently on eBay at $158 with 1 day to go.
RARE Vintage Omega Automatic Cal 552 Men

To me it looks like a good candidate, but how much to bid for it?

The seller for this cal. 552 claims it is very good condition and has perfect feedback after selling a lot of watch parts and movements. But it's $350 Buy It Now. Too high?
Omega Cal 552 Automatic | eBay

Finally, I may have jumped the gun but I bid on this cal. 565 Geneve from 1970. How high should I go?
Beautiful RARE Dial Omega Automatic Geneve with Date CAL565 Ref 166 070 YEAR1970 | eBay

I'm assuming all of the above are the correct type and fit for the SM300 case.

Forgive my newbieness, but I want to learn and make the right decision. When all is said and done and this watch is finished and on my wrist it will be the most expensive luxury item I have ever purchased for myself. Not long ago I bought a two-toned Seamaster Pro 200m Pre-Bond so I have the bug. The sickness. The affliction. :-d

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the watch that is the topic of this thread...
Watchco_mesh.jpg
 

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Before you buy a movement get the dial. The no date dials for the 552 dried up for awhile, not sure how available they are now. You don't want to buy the movement and then not have a dial available.

FWIW I paid around $300 for a 1967 Omega Geneve with a 552 a couple of years ago from fleabay. The watch was pretty unremarkable but the movement looked good, it was running (badly) and had no corrosion or scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was looking for that thread and just couldn't find it so thank you. Ill give it a careful read.

Patience is key. I am going to take my time and not overbid now that i am starting to understand what a 552 or 565 should run me. In the meantime I will start saving for the case and once i have the cash snag one. God forbid they increase in price even more. From $775 to $1300 in three years. Ouch.
 

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Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 11.36.34 AM.jpg

I built a date and a 2 no date models, but ultimately sold all three. It was fun sourcing the parts, etc. but I ended up changing the dial and hands of a 2201.50 planet ocean to get what I was looking for (vintage look of sword hands/ big triangle dial with a modern case / movement that I felt comfortable using on a daily basis)

Anyway, these may be obvious, but here are a few things I learned:
-The date movement will work will a non date dial and the modern 166.0324 case. (The original 60's seamaster ref. case 166.024 was for the non date model and was slightly thinner than the 166.0024 case for the date models.)

-The date dial has C1 white super luminova, whereas the non date dial and proper sword hands have the yellow/green C3

-cousinsuk and ofrei sell the Cal. 565 date disks Most parts for this watch are slightly cheaper with cousinsuk

-I found most movements needed a service regardless of an ebay sellers description. Unless they have papers from a recent service, I would buy one knowing most likely it would need some parts / maintenance.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Anyway, these may be obvious, but here are a few things I learned:
-The date movement will work will a non date dial and the modern 166.0324 case. (The original 60's seamaster ref. case 166.024 was for the non date model and was slightly thinner than the 166.0024 case for the date models.)

-The date dial has C1 white super luminova, whereas the non date dial and proper sword hands have the yellow/green C3

-cousinsuk and ofrei sell the Cal. 565 date disks Most parts for this watch are slightly cheaper with cousinsuk

-I found most movements needed a service regardless of an ebay sellers description. Unless they have papers from a recent service, I would buy one knowing most likely it would need some parts / maintenance.
gt0279a, thanks for the reply. So it looks like if I want all matching super-lume I need to go 552 and no date.

Of course I just learned Omega is raising prices. Again. I may just missed the window on this. I can get a pretty good used 45mm Plant Ocean for just over 3 grand. Send it out for a full servicing and we're at $3,500 to $3,600.00. And it would look brand spanking new.

So if the costs on a Franken-built SM300 goes up to the point where we are nearing 3 grand, is it worth it?

This build would be a major purchase for me. My largest ever luxury expense. The divorce has hurt, fellas. It's hurt the wallet. o| But having survived it all I decided that I would buy the two time pieces I have long wanted...

I recently acquired my near mint two-toned Omega Seamaster Pro 200m Pre-Bond...
Omega300_huge.jpg

Bleeping sweet! Love it. But it's a dress watch.

So now I need my daily wearable work piece. The watch I can take into the salty abrasiveness of the ocean or the horrific humidity of Vietnam (I'm there every other year). The Planet Ocean has been my Holy Grail since I saw Casino Royal, but about a year ago I started to look at the vintage SM300's and realized that I like them even more. It's the best looking Diver mankind has seen. IMHO, of course.

I'd buy the damned case for the SM300 right now if my bank account could handle it, but after splitting with the wife I swore that never again would I allow my savings account to reach zero. :-!

EDIT: As I was typing this post I recalled I have some poster tubes filled with 80's and early 90's movie one-sheets, including (I think) the recalled Pulp Fiction teaser poster (featuring Uma Thurman smoking Lucky Strikes). Just checked eBay and it goes for 2 grand! You better believe I am going to check those tubes tonight and hope I still have it because I'll sell it in a heartbeat and problem solved. Of course... with my luck I'll have lost it (Or my ex gf from years back will have taken it. She was a huge PF fan).
 

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You might want to contact archer. He has an omega account and can order all the parts at very reasonable prices (compared to the bay). You'd have to supply movement and pay for labor....plus I heard he is back logged at the moment... Still I would start by contacting him. He is a very professional and generally responds very quickly
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You might want to contact archer. He has an omega account and can order all the parts at very reasonable prices (compared to the bay). You'd have to supply movement and pay for labor....plus I heard he is back logged at the moment... Still I would start by contacting him. He is a very professional and generally responds very quickly
Yes, sir. Archer is the man. I am already in contact with him, but for movements i need to do my own research. Archer is a busy gent so it wouldn't be right to take up his time. :)
 
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