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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My grandfather's Felca watch he wore throughout WWII is currently with me (will go to my children in the future) and I am currently trying to decide whether I should have it restored fully/partly or left as it is.

It still runs (quite slowly) and as you can see from the picture shows the signs of action in North Africa all those years ago. Currently I am thinking of having the glass replaced and the movement serviced and leaving it at that, but would welcome any thoughts from you all.

Also if anyone knows anything about the model itself I would love to know more, it is quite difficult to find much about it online. I am interested to know if the band currently on it would be original or something added later?

Thanks and have a good day everyone.
 

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I would have the movement serviced but I would not touch anything else. The way it looks like now shows the history of the watch in all details. And it looks 100% original. Maybe you could polish the crystal, very gently, instead of replacing it?
 

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I am no expert of vintage so I can't comment on your watch. I can only share my own experience.

Year's ago I got my heirloom watch. It was my grandpa's DateJust. I believe it is from 80s, the movement of the DateJust was so old that it didn't have function to adjust the date independently. It have been sitting for a long time so it was kinda nasty with gunk all over in small places. The WG fluted bezel has turn yellow. Bracelet is a bit stretched. The Acrylic crystal has a long crack due to age. Which made the watch hands and markers pitting a bit from Asia's humid weather.

I bring it to RSC for service and of course they want to do a lot more on the watch. Because all the polishing and refinishing is "included" in the package. I did ask the watch maker to remain the watch the way it is. EXCEPT I replaced the crystal. I would like to keep all original but think long and hard, I decided to replace the crystal. For reasons

1) I don't know how available it will be for Rolex acrylic crystal in future.
2) The crystal crack doesn't give the old watch the proper seal. That is why the humidity got in and cause the hand, dial and markers to pit. Which made the watch aging a lot faster. Water seal is another concern.

I think the crystal replacement is a better option for the watch's health. After all, I do still wear this watch. I am not sure if that is also the right choice from vintage collectors. If my action damage the value of the vintage watch, so be it. I aint selling my Heirloom, so its street value means nothing to me.
 

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It really depends on what you plan to do with the watch. If you plan to actually wear it, then I would have it completely serviced, and would definitely replace the crystal, gaskets, seals, and so forth. It is hard to tell how clean the dial is--it actually doesn't look too bad, but difficult to tell through the ancient acrylic (guessing) crystal. It won't be cheap to do a full overhaul, especially if you are also thinking about refinishing the dial--don't know the watch, and for that reason, it may not be the best way to invest your money--again, though, it really depends on what you plan to do with the watch--wear it, or put it in a showcase, or? It likely will have a low resale value even if fully restored, so it has to be something that means something to you, and that you plan to keep in the family.
 

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I would replace the crystal, leave everything else alone and would then create a showcase like an exhibit and have some documents place adjacent in the showcase perhaps outlining the experiences he encountered while wearing the watch in North Africa, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would replace the crystal, leave everything else alone and would then create a showcase like an exhibit and have some documents place adjacent in the showcase perhaps outlining the experiences he encountered while wearing the watch in North Africa, etc.
Thanks for the advice, I think that will be the way I go with it.

My Grandfather was actually a member of the Z Special Unit, which is an early version of the Australian SAS. It's funny to think of these guys fighting with a 29mm Swiss watch, not the G-Shocks of today's soldiers. Hard to believe it would take that sort of a beating.
 

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Thanks for the advice, I think that will be the way I go with it.

My Grandfather was actually a member of the Z Special Unit, which is an early version of the Australian SAS. It's funny to think of these guys fighting with a 29mm Swiss watch, not the G-Shocks of today's soldiers. Hard to believe it would take that sort of a beating.
Wise choice.

Not only did they not have G-Shocks, but they fought w/o night vision googles, heavy, slow weapons, no body armor, didn't travel in Hummers , and a host of other 'inconveniences'. Tough men doing tough man work the tough way.
 

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It really depends on what you plan to do with the watch. If you plan to actually wear it, then I would have it completely serviced, and would definitely replace the crystal, gaskets, seals, and so forth. It is hard to tell how clean the dial is--it actually doesn't look too bad, but difficult to tell through the ancient acrylic (guessing) crystal. It won't be cheap to do a full overhaul, especially if you are also thinking about refinishing the dial--don't know the watch, and for that reason, it may not be the best way to invest your money--again, though, it really depends on what you plan to do with the watch--wear it, or put it in a showcase, or? It likely will have a low resale value even if fully restored, so it has to be something that means something to you, and that you plan to keep in the family.
+1
This is good advice. However there is a case to be made for just leaving it as is if the watch really won't be worn. Leaving it as is will preserve the patina that is part of the story for this heirloom. It's important to remember that 29mm watches really are not in fashion so it may not get much wrist time. No matter what is done all that is known about how the watch was used during and after the war should be documented and kept with the watch for future generations.
 

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Hi All,

My grandfather's Felca watch he wore throughout WWII is currently with me (will go to my children in the future) and I am currently trying to decide whether I should have it restored fully/partly or left as it is.

It still runs (quite slowly) and as you can see from the picture shows the signs of action in North Africa all those years ago. Currently I am thinking of having the glass replaced and the movement serviced and leaving it at that, but would welcome any thoughts from you all.

Also if anyone knows anything about the model itself I would love to know more, it is quite difficult to find much about it online. I am interested to know if the band currently on it would be original or something added later?

Thanks and have a good day everyone.
FELCA was the early name of TITONI today.
Movements used in older time FELCAs, if i'm not wrong, mostly made by Adolph Schild or commonly known as A.S.
Restoration on the movement can be a challenge, compare to the yellowish acrylic glass...
 

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I would have the movement serviced but I would not touch anything else. The way it looks like now shows the history of the watch in all details. And it looks 100% original. Maybe you could polish the crystal, very gently, instead of replacing it?
^This^ My thoughts as well.

The crystal holds the marks of your grandfathers wear, he put those marks there and so are a large part of the history of the watch - personally I would want to try to keep it as original as possible.

However a service won't hurt and as someone else mentioned a gentle polish of the existing crystal.
 

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I would have it restored and pass it on for generations to come. The natural feeling is to keep it untouched undisturbed. However, the watch looks like it could use some TLC.
 

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I would have the movement serviced but I would not touch anything else. The way it looks like now shows the history of the watch in all details. And it looks 100% original. Maybe you could polish the crystal, very gently, instead of replacing it?
+1

I have some experience of this. A pocket watch which my grandfather (a collector of varied nice objects) had at some time acquired and had lounged in a display case for decades arrived in my hands. An ancient piece with a date complication(!), pair cased, the outer case finely repoussé, it’s innards were corroded. A watchmaker was found to restore it to working order and now it’s occasionally wound and allowed to run for a few days - you can hear it tick from the far side of a room!

It happens that this piece is worth more than the cost of its restoration but if the watch has emotional and/or historical value then surely a low value/cost ratio is irrelevant.

An old watch which doesn’t work is just a broken old watch, but one which is in working order has life and for me there is a certain pride in having restored that life to it.
 
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