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Hello. After much reading and deliberation, I've decided that I'd like to add to my (very small) collection and take the plunge on a vintage El Primero. I love the watch and the history ("first" auto chronograph, movement was used by other makers, and was "saved" by Charles Vermot). While I love the new revival and anniversary pieces, the chance to own one of the originals (or close to it) is too much to pass up. I fully understand and accept the challenges that come with a vintage watch and I will deal with the consequences.

There are currently two El Primero A385s listed on ebay from 2 reputable sellers (>700 positive reviews and many watches sold). I'm always blown away by the expert knowledge of the members here, and would greatly appreciate insights into both of these watches. Judging from the pictures, are there any yellow/red flags that jump out? Does there seem to be a material difference between the 2 watches? Both seem well-kept, and I've communicated with the sellers to learn more. I notice some differences but I lack a trained eye. Both watches have been recently serviced and the sellers do appear to be sincere people who care about watches, but prior history is unknown (and therefore the main risk).

This is the first watch.
Watch 1 - front.jpg
Watch 1 - back.jpg


This is the second watch:
Watch 2 - front.jpg
Watch 2 - back.jpg

Thank you in advance! If I've broken etiquette by posting these photos, please let me know and I'll delete this post immediately. I just wanted to make sure I did my full research before making a purchase.
 

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Bth are nice. The first one looks a little better, for the case condition and hands and crown.

As for the second one: the crown is definitely not original, and the chrono seconds hand is probably a service hand (lume looks new).

However as for the movement it is difficult to tell, and the second one may be in better condition. The first one is definitely missing a screw in the center of the rotor.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, Sempervivens! That's very insightful! I tried to look closely at the watches and noticed that the centers of the rotors were different colors, but I didn't notice that one of the screws was missing! I will ask the seller about this. Thanks again!


Bth are nice. The first one looks a little better, for the case condition and hands and crown.

As for the second one: the crown is definitely not original, and the chrono seconds hand is probably a service hand (lume looks new).

However as for the movement it is difficult to tell, and the second one may be in better condition. The first one is definitely missing a screw in the center of the rotor.

Good luck!
 
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