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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What can I expect from my vintage Swiss auto wind watches if I have them overhauled by a professional? I expect to pay $200-400 each for a thorough overhaul of two good watches.

One is a Tissot Seastar Seven (1970) and the other an Omega (1964-65; I think it's a DeVille but not Seamaster).
Both run very fast, gaining several hours over the course of a day. The Tissot also has a stem problem; pulling it out doesn't let me set the time. So they both need professional attention if I'm to wear them.

I'm considering selling some other valuables to cover the cost - but what can I expect over the coming decades if I do this?
I certainly can't afford or justify to have that work done frequently.
I likely would wear one or the other, 1-2 days a week, in clean and dry environments. I won't beat them up.
I don't expect to keep them on a winder.
In that usage pattern, can I expect them to go years before needing major service again? Decades?
Minor service (light cleaning and regulation) shouldn't be a real concern, if needed every five or so years. But major service - I don't want to be paying that bill very often.

If decades of use is reasonably likely, I can see having the work done. If not, I'm afraid I'll need to leave them tucked away.

What do you think? How long between major service under that kind of light use?

Thanks in advance.
 

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No guarantee when it comes to anything mechanical. Past history would tell us that once brought back into condition the new parts should last quite a long time, but as we know once these watches get old something else goes out of wackos, just like a car once it crosses the 100,000 mile mark.

What exactly is getting done for the price you are expecting to pay? Is it a full diagnosis and rebuild or just repair what's broken, clean and oil and back to you. If these watches were never serviced before it could need more work than expected.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No guarantee when it comes to anything mechanical. Past history would tell us that once brought back into condition the new parts should last quite a long time, but as we know once these watches get old something else goes out of wackos, just like a car once it crosses the 100,000 mile mark.

What exactly is getting done for the price you are expecting to pay? Is it a full diagnosis and rebuild or just repair what's broken, clean and oil and back to you. If these watches were never serviced before it could need more work than expected.

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Thanks. My question is, assuming I have a full service done, what should I expect from the watch going forward?
I suppose that anything less than full service would increase the likelihood that it will need service again, sooner rather than later.

I haven't yet spoken with the shop about these two watches. My estimate of several hundred $ is from a phone conversation I had with him some time ago. I guess I'd better speak with him again...
 

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There's not enough information provided here. And estimates are only estimates. Some parts aren't available for vintage pieces.

I'm guessing with no photos provided, no provenance, no purchase history, no length of ownership, no condition report, etc., that your Tissot is "maybe" worth in the repair range you stated. Not sure about the Deville.

If you love 'em get them up and running.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
There's not enough information provided here. And estimates are only estimates. Some parts aren't available for vintage pieces.

I'm guessing with no photos provided, no provenance, no purchase history, no length of ownership, no condition report, etc., that your Tissot is "maybe" worth in the repair range you stated. Not sure about the Deville.

If you love 'em get them up and running.
The Omega was a gift to me from my grandfather in '65, probably actually selected and purchased by my dad. I fully expect my father bought the Tissot for his own use in '70; we found it among his things after he passed. That same year he and my grandfather bought a Longines as a gift for my younger brother - it was a match to my Omega gift. Dad frequented the high end jewelers on NYC's Fifth Avenue when gift shopping. I can see someone had the Tissot open before I got it. Scratch on case back, leading out of one of the notches in the ss screw back.

I'll have to have a good repair person look at them. The shop I was going to go to, has gotten out of the repair business. He's a watch collector and has morphed his shop into buying and selling only.
 

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Since these are both family pieces, I'd definitely have both serviced. Absent pictures, I'd tell them to hold off on any cosmetic work and just focus on getting them running accurately. Parts should be available for both.

The key will be to find a good watchmaker. Don't take it to a jewelry store or mall kiosk. Do you have anyone in mind?

As for cost, you'll spend a few hundred to several hundred each, but both should then be wearable. Recommendation is to service around every 5 years, but you can probably go longer (there's some debate on this, but many people go much longer between services).

Let's see some pictures!
 

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The watcmaker should solve all your watches ills at the first service. After that it's just a case of having them done on a regular basis, regardless of how much wear they get. Every 7 years seems abot right to me.
 

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Before you spend any money on them, if they are both running very fast, they are probably both magnetized, likely from the same source--check other threads here on how to demagnetize your watch--very easy to do (I have a demagnetizer I got from the bay for $15 which works great, but there are other solutions as well). If, after that, they are still running fast, THEN, looking into having them serviced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Before you spend any money on them, if they are both running very fast, they are probably both magnetized, likely from the same source--check other threads here on how to demagnetize your watch--very easy to do (I have a demagnetizer I got from the bay for $15 which works great, but there are other solutions as well). If, after that, they are still running fast, THEN, looking into having them serviced.
Hmmm. Interesting. The watches were never kept together, so if magnetized, it would be by different sources.

I thought watches running very fast is caused by dirt in the escapement? The explanation was that the dirt/grime causes the mechanism to move a shorter distance before "tripping" to reverse the balance wheel motion - thus a shorter cycle which completes in a shorter time.
 

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Most likely it's in need of some TLC, but they could be magnetized. Find the right watch maker and let him or her take care of it. Irregardless of its magnetic state they still need attention. Considering their provenance I'd do I'm both no matter the cost.

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