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Hi I also posted this on the main forum but it may be more appropriate here.

I am curious to hear opinions on this patina-ed dial on a 1960s chronograph. I know patina can be sometimes viewed as a good thing on a watch that is 50+ years old, and sometimes a bad thing.

Would you say this is a nice example of a patina dial? Or a watch to avoid?

Would the patina add to value or take away from it in this case?

Thanks!
 

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Can you take a photo straight on that's in focus? I think the patina looks fine but it's hard to tell from the photos.
 

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I would say that any patina lowers the value compared to an original watch in perfect top condition. The trouble is that such watches are extremely rare and most of the really good looking ones are redials - which lowers the value even more and much more than mild to moderate patina. As for that dial, the patina looks almost as perfect as one can get for a patinated dial: even, not really noticeable and doesn't distract from the main features (name, subdials, markers, etc.).

Hartmut Richter
 

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An overall even patina is more desirable than that type of spotting/pitting. So the condition of this dial would not be considered a positive in terms of value or collectibility. Beyond that, it is really a matter of taste, and sometimes dials that look very spotted under high magnification look much more even to the naked eye. Personally, I think this one is ok at the right price, and these "poor man's Heuers" have become surprisingly desirable.
 

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It's dial aging. Calling such dial deterioration "patina" always strikes me as trendy hipster jivetalk :). It's deterioration of the original finish, nothing more, nothing less. In this case it looks like it may be in the lacquer layer, but you never know how the paint has been affected also.

Collector's tolerance for dial condition varies. For me any damage to the original finish decreases the desirability. Ideally, I prefer to see a watch as the maker intended it to be and I have to decide what degree of lesser condition I can live with.
 

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How can rust/dirt/decay possibly add value to anything? The watch looks decent, but would obviously be worth a lot more if it was like the day it left the factory.
 

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Yup, if this were a Rolex Explorer or Submariner, people would use twee, upbeat names for the dial flaws---like "spider dial!" (cracked horribly) or "tropical dial!" (stained horribly)---and then double the price.

Otherwise, I think the dial looks good. The watch looks like it has seen a bit of the world.
 

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As said in the public forum, light to heavy patina on a watch dial is killing the value of the watch and is a sign of negligence and carelessness from the previous owner
 

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Yup, if this were a Rolex Explorer or Submariner, people would use twee, upbeat names for the dial flaws---like "spider dial!" (cracked horribly) or "tropical dial!" (stained horribly)---and then double the price.

Otherwise, I think the dial looks good. The watch looks like it has seen a bit of the world.
watches with spider dials don't deserve even to be sold at 20$ because their condition is close to junkpile condition
 

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This thread has become interesting to me; apparently there is quite a range of opinion within this forum about the effects of dial aging. I would have expected people to be more accepting of various types of aging, especially for older watches (e.g. not just from the 1970s). Personally I don't agree that the right type of aging/patina devalues a watch, and it is not just Rolex. It is proper for lume to yellow and for certain color dials to develop an overall hue associated with age. While certain types of damage may result from poor care (e.g. exposure to water or tobacco smoke), unless the watch has been kept in an airtight vault, the dial is likely to show some age.

Edit: I confess that I am also a bit troubled by the fact that we are currently experiencing a deluge of posts glorifying re-dialed watches, and it's hard not to notice a correlation.
 

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An art/design teacher I know often says "things should look like what they are" as a design principle.

So, for me, I would like a 90-year-old wristwatch to look like a 90-year-old watch that was appreciated and taken care of. Cleaner examples are better, but a factory-fresh, NOS look for 90-year-old watches strikes me "things not looking like what they are."

Just my opinion---your watches + your money = not really my business.
 

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Personally I don't agree that the right type of aging/patina devalues a watch
So if you have 2 identical watches, one with the original dial in as-new condition, in the other damaged in a certain way, you would pay the same for them? I don't see the logic in that myself.
 

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So if you have 2 identical watches, one with the original dial in as-new condition, in the other damaged in a certain way, you would pay the same for them? I don't see the logic in that myself.
Yes, absolutely, and it's not just me. The aging of some black dials to a slight brownish color, sometimes with gold specks, is a prominent example, which is special and a sign of the age of the watch, especially when accompanied by properly aged lume on dial and hands. If you want a watch that looks new, buy a new watch. There is a whole thread on this forum on beautiful patina, and I suspect that many people here would pay more for those watches than for the same watch in new condition.
 

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Heh! The old, "Looks great for a 50 (or however many) year old watch". That's seller-speak but, hey, it's an old watch! Whaddaya expect?

I'm more interested in how the the makers intended the watches to look - not how time, nature, and fiddle-fingered manglers may have left them, and don't consider that an old watch need look ragged simply because it's old. I just need to look hard, look long, be discerning, and find vintage watches in condition that satisfies.
 

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I think it is interesting how different collecting areas (and people within each) define the most desirable items.

In furniture, for example, people want stone-cold original items---no refinishing, no modifications, no reupholstering, even no repairs or cleaning, in some cases. They are hard-core.

In cars, people want a glossy, factory-new look, including a functioning engine and transmission---quite the opposite. They bang out dents, replace parts, and all that good stuff.

Our friends in clocks are more like the furniture guys, and many of them prefer not to run their clocks to avoid wear. (Some call their clocks "retired," having earned their rest from decades of loyal service.)

In fine musical instruments, you see both: some want all-original, some want like-new restored .

And in all areas, some people disagree, of course. So I guess we won't settle this issue here.

I do agree that sellers abuse buyers by saying "Hey, it's old, what do you expect!" to minimize major flaws in a vintage watch.
 
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Patina - REAL patina is desirable (to some and prices would dictate) ageing of the dial by the elements light and probably air and not really damage but ageing... EVEN patina the likes of black dials going chocolate "tropical" ...tritium (or compounds therein) turning yellowish can increase the value of the watch dramatically especially the likes of Rolex and Omega ...The elements in these watches are aged not damaged.... The problem these days is every damaged dial by undesirable elements - water, sweat, tobacco smoke etc..are hyped as patina but in fact are just damaged dials....

To the OP - dial spotting is quite common... I'm unsure exactly what causes this phenomena but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder..... Iv'e got some damaged dials but typically these examples have a value that make the dial just a part of something greater... I guess it's just up to the individual but all wear irrespective of desirability is just age/use deterioration desirable or not...
 
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