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  • Hello WatchUSeek! We are hosting an Ask Me Anything with Ian Schon of Schon Horology and Schon DSNG beginning on Tuesday, February 23rd at Noon, EST and closing on Thursday, February 25th at Noon EST. If you don't know of him, Ian is a desginer maker and was a senior product designer at IDEO. He is an engineer, designer and machinist who manufacturers his own watches, and also pens! If you've ever wanted to ask a question directly to a one-man watch maker, don't miss out! You can find the AMA here.

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Discussion Starter #1
I think this is my first post to the Vintage forum, but it seems like a good opportunity!

See attached for a few pics of my first vintage purchase. These are the seller's pics as I haven't managed to get a camera to it yet. It's an Omega Seamster De Ville circa 1964/1965. I've had it just over a week and I bought it from a collector on the TZ forum. It's in really good condition and is keeping good time. The inscription on the back of the watch states that it was a gift for 25 years service to a GM employee. Dated 1965.

I'm very pleased with my first vintage purchase (I usually wear a Seamaster Professional). I've already got half an eye on getting a stainless steel vintage next. I think I've truly been bitten by the collecting bug!

I've also posted these pics on the Omega forum. I hope it's OK to post similar posts on two forums. Not sure of the rules, to be honest!
 

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It's a lovely watch and well worth keeping serviced and running well. The 1960s Omegas are some of the finest ones they produced. Thanks for posting.
 

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Hi -

No problem posting twice. :)

The watch is in really nice shape! Please do have it checked in the near future that it's been properly maintained and there aren't any problems to dim your enjoyment. A fine watch does need to be maintained, and unless you know the history, it's always a good idea to have it checked by a qualified watchmaker...

Congrats on such a nice one. :)

JohnF
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments. The watch was serviced by a watch guy about a month ago. I know modern Omega (non-co-axial) watches require servicing every 5 or so years. Is this a good rule of thumb for vintage Omegas, too, or should I have it serviced more frequently?
 

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Great looking Omega! Excellent choice for the first in your collection.
 

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Hi -

A good rule-of-thumb on vintage watches in general is to have the watch serviced and regulated by a competent watchmaker to bring it mechanically up to specs, then you have it serviced based on how much you wear it, what kind of watch it is, and how well protected the calibre inside is.

To understand what I mean, think of it this way: if you wear a watch like this every day in a very dusty and dirty environment, subjecting the watch as well to extremes of temperature and humidity (like flying from New York in the summer with its humidity to Arizona with virtually no humidity, or by going from 65° F humidity-controlled computer server rooms to 100°F outside 5-6 times a day) then you will need to get the watch serviced more often than if you were to wear it 2-3 times a week in a nice clean office kept at 70° F and it's spring outside (or fall...). In the one case, the watch is subjected to extremes of temperature, which will degrade the oils and greases, and given the relative lack of protection, dust will get inside the watch and mix with the oils, forming an abrasive paste instead of providing lubrication.

So it pretty much depends. I get the watches that I regularly wear serviced every 5 years or so: but invariably the watch lets you know that it is time. It'll start losing or gaining time, will become inconsistent, you'll need to wind it more often, that sort of stuff: that all indicates that your watch needs some TLC from your watchmaker.

And "requires" is a flexible term. :) I do a lot of work myself, but also use two watchmakers. Both are master watchmakers, but the one is an expert on vintage watches and when he doesn't have a part, he makes it from scratch. Very, very expensive, but he has resurrected a number of watches that were in great shape except for a broken x, y or z. The other handles standard repairs and regulation very quickly and professionally, and he is the guy I've taken courses from (see the Windecker thread in German watches), and is a lot less expensive. Both say that as long as the watch is keeping time properly and isn't misbehaving, then don't get it serviced unless the watch has been lying around for 10 years unused.

JohnF
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi JohnF. Thanks for a great post - that has really given me a feel for servicing. I'll keep your points in mind.

Up till now, the watch has lost a total of around 45 seconds in a couple of weeks. So that's around 3 seconds a day. I'm guessing that's pretty good going. At the moment I wear the the vintage Omega and a modern Omega on alternate days and I'll probably continue to do that, well, until I get my next one! :)

I've checked with a couple of antique jewellers close to where I live and have got a couple of quotes for servicing. Around £50 for a service (assuming the watch doesn't need replacement parts, etc.
 
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