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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am hesitant of the online world and am trying to prepare as best I can. I am trying to not go crazy so I am holding myself at least on ebay to a bakers dozen.

Buren Automatic
Omega Seamaster Automatic (White dial)
A Vintage Bumper - suggested brand would be nice
Vintage Westlox
Vintage Regina
Gruen Precision Auto
Vintage moon phase - suggested brand would be nice
Vintage Roamer Auto
Vintage Zodiac
1950's Hamilton Auto
Smiths TY 5 jewels
1930's Longines
1950's Harvel

I choose these for various reasons one being clean and simple looks. All would be pre 1960's. My budget is max $45 per watch before repairs. Please any cautionary tales would be well received.
 

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You can't go wrong with most of your list, as a vintage bumper, may I suggest a Cyma? The only thing I wouldn't bother with, personally is the Westclox. Let us know when the list becomes tripled, should happen in the first week or so.....
 

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Go for it!

My experience is that you'll have a very tough time getting a Buren Auto, Omega Seamaster, or vintage moonphase under $45. I'm surprised you aren't shooting for a Hamilton 770, as these are plentiful at very reasonable rates and considered to be the best movement ever built by Hamilton and by some to be the best American made movement period.

I also might shoot a little higher in price, so what you get makes more sense to sink the work into. If you want to keep to your price target you might do better going after manual winds. There is little love for manuals these days and some very good buys to be had.
 

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I think for the Omega, you could kill 2 birds with one stone by getting an Omega Seamaster Bumper. The thing is like Ray said is that you'll have a hard time finding some of these for $45. I saw the bumper movement, dial and hands of an Omega go for $45, a low price for a bumper would probably be $100-$150
 

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ebay is designed to make bidders go 'crazy' so be as cautious as possible in the beginning. However-that said you are too low for: almost any omega let alone a SM, 99% of vintage moonphases, Zodiacs, Smiths and Longines as well. These kinds of prices for vintage just dont exist any longer unless your talking a total piece of junk. Or-sadly-a ladies watch. There are bargains on ebay but im not sure this is a reasonable limit
 

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I'm not sure I understand the pattern or logic behind your plan. You seem to have chosen a group of random brands, then set an arbitrary number that will cause you to miss out on most of them unless they're junkers. It's very generic too - which Omega automatic? Which of any of them for that matter? It's better to start with knowing you like a ________ (fill in brand) ________ (fill in style), then narrow it down to more specific models or calibers.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I created the list with this in mind. The time period and the look of the watch first then the movements, I like automatics. There need not be logic because it is all in fun. I am generic with the omega auto because I am unsure of what I will find. If something catches my eye I can take a day to research it and make a judgment. What is wrong with "junkers" it could be somebody that is uninterested in w2atches and just wants to be rid of it. There are plenty of people here that got something and were surprised that it was easily fixable. As far as my price limit goes it is a starter price to test the waters of the online shopping process. I understand there is a lot to learn but that is the fun.
 

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"whats wrong with a junker? Nothing if you a) need it for parts or b) can strip out and service yourself. There are many vintage watches you could get for $45 and be lucky enough to have them be in reasonable conditon But there are too many vintage collectors on bay looking for bargains for you to get most of whats on your list. 5 yrs ago? Maybe. But obviously there is no harm in trying. Whatever floats your boat.....

[ here is an example of your strategy from my own archive of ebay 'mistakes' Four years ago I won a 1970 Seiko Bellmatic in supoosedly 'minty' condition from an Philipine seller. ( the kind notorious for Seiko frankens-something I didnt know at that time) .The watch came and worked for a month. Then it sat waiting for me to find someone willing to service it. fast forward to last week...I found the guy and he did confirm that the case/dial/hands.etc were all minty NOS looking but the movement had pretty much been "GLUED" together and completely a mess. Estimate was more than the price I could get a very fine example for now on bay. I decided to pay him only because even though i could probably get another bellmatic in good shape for less,{e.g.$180}-I'm still chancing that new seller knowingly or unknowingly has something covered up that will cause problems. So-the upside is I finally get a bellmatic thats NOS on the outside and totally overhauled inside but the downside is it cost too much. A little more than watch is actually actually worth ($180 +initial $55= $235 for a $200 watch) But I did it to wear it-not sell so I'll be happy in the long run {also-poor watchmaker found way more trouble than he first thought and probably took a hit himself. He had to rebuild some hard-to-source parts that were actually glued, not soldered in place}. Moral? The initial $55 bargain was .....NO BARGAIN! ]
 

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Hi watch origins,

you'll win the award for the luckiest man in the world if you get just 50% from your list for
$45 each in acceptable shape.

The figures are simple: If you ever have to decide between a watch for $45 and another for
$145, you'll pay already more then $100 for the parts needed to bring the $45 item to the
shape of the $145 item. Just one detail: If the "patina" of the dial drives tears into your
eyes, you either pay $100 and more for a good redial or must accept Mumbai painting. And if
you need the help of a qualified watchmaker, the $45 item will become an economical desaster.

My simple experience: The most expensive sample of a particular model is almost always
the cheapest approach.

Anyway, lets go into details:

Buren Automatic: Take a Hamilton (see below).
Omega Seamaster Automatic (White dial): White dial from Mumbai source?
A Vintage Bumper - suggested brand would be nice: The Harwood is THE bumper.
Vintage Westclox: Most aren't far from dead.
Vintage Regina: Propably no problem with $45
Gruen Precision Auto: Take a bumper, and miss out the expensive Harwood above.
Vintage moon phase - suggested brand would be nice: Look after a Felsa 693, nothing is more underestimated.
Vintage Roamer Auto: Look for a 44 jewel sample. But attention "44" is also a model name.
Vintage Zodiac: Astrographic for $45?
1950's Hamilton Auto: I guess there are none before 1960, Hamilton bought Buren to get access to automatics.
Smiths TY 5 jewels: Hard to find any in acceptable shape, even on ebay.uk
1930's Longines: No chance for more than trash for $45
1950's Harvel: Probably no problem with $45

Before placing the first bid, browse the web for experiences, especially forums like this one.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow. There is one thing I forgot to mention I occasionally trade for these watches in my line of work. This works in the real world but in the online world you have made an excellent point. The only one I can not dispute is the Omega. The only one I ever saw was on a client's wrist. And Sadly finding a Westlox that is not fit for the parts drawer is bother some at best.
 

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Hi watch origins,

you'll win the award for the luckiest man in the world if you get just 50% from your list for
$45 each in acceptable shape.
+1 I've been buying vintages for years on eBay and agree with Roland.
You can however, find deals primarily with those auctions that aren't described properly or have terrible pictures, but this takes a little courage and homework to pull off.
Buy It Nows are good too if you can get to them soon enough after they are posted.
 

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Hi watch origins,

oops, just forgot my current advertising block :roll:

Recently I bougt a Westclox just to fill this gap in my achive:
bidfun-db Westclox_11_5_AUT: Westclox 11.5'''Automatic



It was pretty cheap because not running. But not running is no issue for archive photos,
an so I picked it up. Apparently the hairspring hooked up short after delivery, and so it
passed the decades without signs of wear or aging. After unhooking the spring it ran pretty
accurate for a pin lever.

Actually, such lucky strikes happen, but unfortunately not often.

If you don't mind that this Westclox comes from the German Westclox production, started
in 1960, and therefore is no very typical item, you can meet it the next days in my site.
And although mint, as a pin lever it will match your 45 bucks limit.

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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Roland Ranfft; said:
Hi watch origins,


1930's Longines: No chance for more than trash for $45


Regards, Roland Ranfft
I got mine for about $70. I'm not shure about the age but it's not really trash... I like it. Now it's on it's way to Longines CH. Let's see what they say about it.

355377d1291047535t-my-new-longines-here-give-me-your-opinions-img00502-20101129-1559-jpg.jpg 355378d1291047535t-my-new-longines-here-give-me-your-opinions-img00504-20101129-1600-jpg.jpg 355376d1291047535t-my-new-longines-here-give-me-your-opinions-img00501-20101129-1559-jpg.jpg 355379d1291047420t-my-new-longines-here-give-me-your-opinions-img00494-20101129-1547-1-jpg.jpg 355381d1291047570t-my-new-longines-here-give-me-your-opinions-img00499-20101129-1557-jpg.jpg

Pictures of the movement here
Maybe Dr. Ranfft could give some info on it.
 

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Hi tintasuja,
I got mine for about $70
No contradiction:
1) $70 is well above $45.
2) Your watch was made 1955, and there are some 10 times as many Longines' from the 50s than from the 30s out there, and most manual wind models of this time have the calibre 23Z.

Anyway, $70 was a bargain for this watch if it is properly running.
But what can you expect from the 30s for $45?

Regards, Roland Ranfft
 

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I agree, I am afraid.

If you halve your list, and consequently double your budget to $90 per watch, you will be in better shape. You will still need to be lucky and patient however - but there are bargains to be had out there :-!
 

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I agree, I am afraid.

If you halve your list, and consequently double your budget to $90 per watch, you will be in better shape. You will still need to be lucky and patient however - but there are bargains to be had out there :-!
a much better strategy for an ebay beginner with hopes in the vintage watch dept.
 

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lol...
This just shows how much they know at watch stores. The watchmaker there told that it was a 30s model!
Lets see what Longines says...
 
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