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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked this up at a thrift store this morning. It's dirty, and missing crown and stem. Not sure if it's supposed to have pushers or not. Trying to figure out if it's worth trying to restore to some kind of running condition. Any advice appreciated. Pictures make it look much worse condition than it actually is.

hbface.jpg
hbmovement.jpg
hbside.jpg

What do you think? Worth investing in?
Thanks!

db
 
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YES!
 

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Yes. A Helbros triple date moon-phase sells in good condition for well north of $500. Plus0they a definitely cool to wear. I'm sorry I sold my Zodiac a few yrs. back. I can't even touch another one for close to what I paid 6years ago. Great find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback!
Here's a better pic of the face.

hbface2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish... but i did donate $15 to them. :)

There were a couple other watch corpses alongside it, like a late 60's Mido, but they all looked too far gone, missing markers, hands, crowns, stems, crystals. This looked like it had the most potential.
 

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once the crystal is replaced it will look a helluva lot better. As for the crown and stem...can't imagine this would be very hard to source. In fact-the Helbros movement looks a lot like my Zodiac movement and may be the same. Its a pretty manual movement imho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
once the crystal is replaced it will look a helluva lot better. As for the crown and stem...can't imagine this would be very hard to source. In fact-the Helbros movement looks a lot like my Zodiac movement and may be the same. Its a pretty manual movement imho.
That's heartening to hear. Finding a stem has me worried. I think it's a ETA 1100 but I'm not sure. Maybe somebody can verify?
 

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So, dogbitter... How do you intend to restore it? I mean, parts for an ETA 1100, or even a donor movement, are not hard to find at all. The case will undoubtedly need a rather extensive polishing, but what seems to be the problem here is the dial and hands. Hands are corroded, the date markers gone, the moon-phase disc has faded(or is that just dirt?), and I don't know the extent of the mechanical damage to the dial, as the shadows cast by the cracks in the crystal can hardly be distinguished from damage to the coat of paint on the dial. So... a hunt for a NOS dial, or a redial? Because in this case dial cleaning will be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that this piece has a lot of potential- which is unfortunately directly proportional to the amount of work that will have to be done on this one. But since you've bought it for 15 bucks, it's worth every penny you'll spend on restoring it. That said- good luck:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, dogbitter... How do you intend to restore it? I mean, parts for an ETA 1100, or even a donor movement, are not hard to find at all. The case will undoubtedly need a rather extensive polishing, but what seems to be the problem here is the dial and hands. Hands are corroded, the date markers gone, the moon-phase disc has faded(or is that just dirt?), and I don't know the extent of the mechanical damage to the dial, as the shadows cast by the cracks in the crystal can hardly be distinguished from damage to the coat of paint on the dial. So... a hunt for a NOS dial, or a redial? Because in this case dial cleaning will be as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that this piece has a lot of potential- which is unfortunately directly proportional to the amount of work that will have to be done on this one. But since you've bought it for 15 bucks, it's worth every penny you'll spend on restoring it. That said- good luck:)
That is the question, isn't it? Well.. I'll definitely have the movement repaired and serviced. The case is in surprising good condition for its age. If I could locate a good quality replacement dial, I'd certainly consider it. The current dial does have a surplus of patina and I don't have much faith that the dial could be cleaned without destroying a good portion of it's appeal. I guess I have a long time project watch to pour some $$ into.
 
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That is the question, isn't it? Well.. I'll definitely have the movement repaired and serviced. The case is in surprising good condition for its age. If I could locate a good quality replacement dial, I'd certainly consider it. The current dial does have a surplus of patina and I don't have much faith that the dial could be cleaned without destroying a good portion of it's appeal. I guess I have a long time project watch to pour some $$ into.
Keep the original dial. Thats the whole beauty of it imho. I think 80-90% of what we are seeing is the crazed and scratched plastic crystal. Is the dial faded? Sure. But isn't that what most of us love about vintage? I think you should find a watchmaker that can handle sourcing (or has) a crown/stem who can break the movement down clean it up and gently polish the case and leave the hands and dial alone. It may cost less then you might imagine if there are no hidden surprises. These triple date MP were ubiquitous in the late 40s-50s. Kind of like the ultimate 'statement' watch for the up and coming guy on the go. Not top-tier but still classy and techno-cool for its time. The prices of these Swiss triples has pretty much triple itself in the past 10yrs. Most of these could be had for <$100 back in 2008. But no longer. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Keep the original dial. Thats the whole beauty of it imho. I think 80-90% of what we are seeing is the crazed and scratched plastic crystal. Is the dial faded? Sure. But isn't that what most of us love about vintage? I think you should find a watchmaker that can handle sourcing (or has) a crown/stem who can break the movement down clean it up and gently polish the case and leave the hands and dial alone. It may cost less then you might imagine if there are no hidden surprises. These triple date MP were ubiquitous in the late 40s-50s. Kind of like the ultimate 'statement' watch for the up and coming guy on the go. Not top-tier but still classy and techno-cool for its time. The prices of these Swiss triples has pretty much triple itself in the past 10yrs. Most of these could be had for <$100 back in 2008. But no longer. Good luck.
Yep.. that's the plan. The dial is pretty rough, but I don't really mind-- to me, it's a sign that it has had a life well-lived. I'm definitely gonna get it restored mechanically and wear it if all goes well.

Thanks for the info and feedback.
 

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This a familiar watch...... https://www.watchuseek.com/f6/vintage-helbros-triple-date-moonphase-giveaway-2002650.html
After throwing a few hundred dollars away, I gave up. It's in Denmark being tinkered with by Magura. I only wish I had given it to him earlier.......
Finding parts for the ETA 1100 are the least of your problems. Unless the triple date moonphase module is working perfectly, you'll have a very hard time finding parts(I hate to use the word impossible) for that. There is no commonality for these modules between brands, they're not ETA parts. Be warned, this is a $300 watch that's easy to spend $500 on. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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