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Hi All,

Just a general question on Smiths for watch experts

( I am not selling i have just bought a couple of these watch was just interested )

Smiths Deluxe & Astral Watches pricing seems all over the place.

I know the price it what ever someone is willing to pay, on Ebay Smiths Deluxe Made in England

£100 and £400 (Working )As spare or repair,

Astral seems to go for less £25 - £100 (Working )Also as spare or repair.

Smiths Vintage Watch site £500 £1000

I haven't spotted any fully serviced Smith Deluxe or Astral watches on Ebay, Serviced Smiths watch do they command a higher price or sell for the same as above as as the are running £100 - £400.

Thanks

Paul
 

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Since all mechanical watch needs to cleaned and serviced regularly to prevent them from running badly (or worse), anyone who buys a vintage mechanical watch is well advised to assume that they'll need to do that. Rates for that vary from place to place, time to time, and watchmaker to watchmaker, so how much of a "premium" a buyer is going to put on that will also be variable, right from the outset. The guy who uses a Rolex AD to service his vintage watches at $3-600 a pop will care more then someone who like, who services his own watches regardless of any previous claims of service.

Also, there are no really clear rules as to what constitutes "Fully Serviced". For some people, that means they opened the back, blew it out with compressed air and sprayed Jig-A-Loo on it. A <REAL> "fully serviced" involves completely dismantling the entire watch, cleaning the pieces, visually inspecting them under magnification and replacing defective pieces, carefully reassembling them while applying the 3-6 different types of oils and lubes in specific places, and testing to ensure that they're working free of restraint and within proper tolerances.

The latter, as you can imagine, doesn't happen a lot with vintage watches being resold on ebay, and few of us here would trust that it does unless we had a relatively long relationship with the eBay vendor making the claim.
 

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When it's sold as a donor of parts, or "for repairs", you can safely assume that the movement's a mess. When buying a vintage piece, it doesn't matter if the seller says that it's been serviced. It's safest to assume, that it's a load of bollocks. After you make a purchase- on eBay, at a fleamarket, or anywhere else- have the watch serviced properly.
Smiths are great watches, but a thousand quid? No. Just no. 400-500 quid "as spares or for repairs" I also find pretty much unacceptable. 500 for something that doesn't bloody work? No, thank you. 400 quid? That's still a "NO" to me. What could I buy for 400...let me think... Oh yes. Three very decent Zenith watches at a fleamarket.
 

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. . . I haven't spotted any fully serviced Smith Deluxe or Astral watches on Ebay, Serviced Smiths watch do they command a higher price or sell for the same as above as as the are running £100 - £400. Thanks Paul
Unless I have personal knowledge of the watchmaker who performed the service, the exact scope of it, when the work was performed and how the watch has been used subsequent to that work - I discount any claims pertaining to it.

Since all mechanical watch needs to cleaned and serviced regularly to prevent them from running badly (or worse), anyone who buys a vintage mechanical watch is well advised to assume that they'll need to do that. Rates for that vary from place to place, time to time, and watchmaker to watchmaker, so how much of a "premium" a buyer is going to put on that will also be variable, right from the outset. The guy who uses a Rolex AD to service his vintage watches at $3-600 a pop will care more then someone who like, who services his own watches regardless of any previous claims of service. Also, there are no really clear rules as to what constitutes "Fully Serviced". For some people, that means they opened the back, blew it out with compressed air and sprayed Jig-A-Loo on it. A <REAL> "fully serviced" involves completely dismantling the entire watch, cleaning the pieces, visually inspecting them under magnification and replacing defective pieces, carefully reassembling them while applying the 3-6 different types of oils and lubes in specific places, and testing to ensure that they're working free of restraint and within proper tolerances. The latter, as you can imagine, doesn't happen a lot with vintage watches being resold on ebay, and few of us here would trust that it does unless we had a relatively long relationship with the eBay vendor making the claim.
concur

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Estate watches, thrift store finds, bricks/n/sticks auction items, yard sale material and the similar stuff - which have not passed through the hands of a trader or tinkerer - are an interesting lot. You'll often find a broken pivot, a missing stem, a cracked crystal, etc. but a significant portion of the time simple cleaning and lubrication will restore functionality. Water resistance might require a tube or a crown or a gasket or a crystal or more than one of the previous items. Aesthetics is more complicated. You can hunt for years for a dial with the right patina or the hands with appropriate oxidation. I continue to be amazed at how quickly some will abandon really neat watches that need only minor adjustment or a single inexpensive part or cleaning and lubrication. Case in point: A grandson brings in a recently inherited American pocket watch that was meticulously clean save for a couple of fibers enmeshed in the escape wheel. Five minutes later he's handed back an heirloom that is running very nicely. And it's amazing how often this happens with pocket watches since people love to view the works. Or the watch ran great when it was placed in the drawer forty years ago. Removal of the gased out lubricants and replacement with modern systhethics and it runs pretty much like it did then.

Consider building the cost of COA into any purchase of a watch that is or is soon to be outside the terms of its original warranty.
 
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