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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All - I am getting ready to send off a 1958 Seamaster 2869 for service and restoration. It was given to me by my grandfather who purchased it new, so I have no intention of ever selling it. He wore it throughout his days in the Marine Corps so its seen better days. I am wondering if any of you have sent in vintage pieces like this to Omega for service and if so can you share your thoughts and pictures? I will post the pictures when I get it back here as well so you can see the before and after of mine.

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The watch.

From his grandfather.

The one in the pictures he posted.
I was referring to what specifically of the watch was he looking to get restored as the post is somewhat ambiguous with no mention of particulars ie. movement not working etc. Specifics could perhaps yield better recommendations with different service locations and watchmakers.

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I am wondering if any of you have sent in vintage pieces like this to Omega for service and if so can you share your thoughts and pictures?
My thoughts are that the last place I would send a vintage Omega for servicing, is Omega.

Omega does not respect their vintage watches - they just make them look like brand new watches, and erase the history that the watch has.

If that's what you want, then fine, but in my experience most people eventually come to regret having this sort of thing done.

Cheers, Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was referring to what specifically of the watch was he looking to get restored as the post is somewhat ambiguous with no mention of particulars ie. movement not working etc. Specifics could perhaps yield better recommendations with different service locations and watchmakers.

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The movement is actually functioning fine and its keeping reasonable time. I am looking to have it restored to as close to factory new as possible so I can pass down a functional watch to my kids. As you can see the dial has water damage and some severe cracking, the indices are loose, the crystal is aftermarket and glued on, the crown is a replacement, the watch needs an overhaul. These are just some of the items on the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My thoughts are that the last place I would send a vintage Omega for servicing, is Omega.

Omega does not respect their vintage watches - they just make them look like brand new watches, and erase the history that the watch has.

If that's what you want, then fine, but in my experience most people eventually come to regret having this sort of thing done.

Cheers, Al
Typically I 100% agree with you I have several vintage watches that I would never even consider this type of "restoration". This watch is a little different. I care more about the longevity of the watch than the originality and value, I understand Omega will return all of the parts they remove. In this case, I am looking for a brand new watch back.
 

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Typically I 100% agree with you I have several vintage watches that I would never even consider this type of "restoration". This watch is a little different. I care more about the longevity of the watch than the originality and value, I understand Omega will return all of the parts they remove. In this case, I am looking for a brand new watch back.
Note that as a watchmaker, I care about longevity as well, and that doesn't have to come by sacrificing the originality - it's possible to have both.

Omega will send back the parts that they replace, however in this case since a new dial is not available (I have checked, this dial is discontinued) the dial will be refinished. This is not something that can be reversed - a dial is only original once. The lacquer on your dial is cracked, and there's a chance that the cracked lacquer could be removed, and a new layer of lacquer applied. Replacement Omega crowns are available, as are replacement Omega crystals. If you really wanted, the case could be touched up without it looking like a rounded bar of soap like some shown are...this can be done sympathetically and be just as reliable as Omega's work is.

Again, it's your watch, so it's up to you what you do with it. Not trying to convince you of anything, just offering up that there are alternatives to the butchery that Omega does, should you be so inclined.

Good luck with the watch, whatever you decide.

Cheers, Al
 

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Rolex does the same thing as does most watch houses; their protocol is to match the timepiece to factory spec again. I have had several watches restored by Omega (albeit not from this era) and you can specify exactly what you want done. Omega has never veered from my requests
 

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I can't locate the before, but suffice it to say no comparison - Sent to Bienne, flawless upon return.

 

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Rolex does the same thing as does most watch houses; their protocol is to match the timepiece to factory spec again. I have had several watches restored by Omega (albeit not from this era) and you can specify exactly what you want done. Omega has never veered from my requests
Not really. This is the assumption people often make when they ask for things and get their way, but it's misleading. If you made a request for example not to change the hands, and Omega didn't change them, then they would have left the hands alone anyway.

If there is a part that Omega feels is not up to standard, they will insist it is replaced, or will return the watch without servicing, if you are lucky.

There have been instances of Omega reprinting dials even though they were asked to leave the dial alone. Sending it to Omega is a risk.

Cheers, Al
 

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I can't locate the before, but suffice it to say no comparison - Set to Bienne, flawless upon return.

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have you owned it since new? if not probably don't care about it's originality and personal experience
what Archer is saying is they will return it in their interpretation of correct
another comment was Rolex, my dad bought one in 1959, it was not very reliable and he sent it back often because
every time it came back it was worse, so as Archer says, good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not really. This is the assumption people often make when they ask for things and get their way, but it's misleading. If you made a request for example not to change the hands, and Omega didn't change them, then they would have left the hands alone anyway.

If there is a part that Omega feels is not up to standard, they will insist it is replaced, or will return the watch without servicing, if you are lucky.

There have been instances of Omega reprinting dials even though they were asked to leave the dial alone. Sending it to Omega is a risk.

Cheers, Al
Okay, so, naturally this begs the question. Can you restore it?
 

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Okay, so, naturally this begs the question. Can you restore it?
I didn't post in this thread looking for work. I'm simply trying to make you aware that there are alternatives, and I hate to see people have regrets after going the Omega direction. Watchmakers all over the world work on vintage watches all the time without doing the same damage Omega does. It doesn't have to be me.

At this time I am swamped with work. That's normal, as there are generally not enough watchmakers for all the work that is out there. During this pandemic when service centers are closed, I'm getting more emails than ever before.

Cheers, Al
 

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In the spirit of respectful dialog, I disagree with your hands example .... Omega's policy (I know this as fact) is they always change the hands. Not only do they change them, but the Omega returns them (as well as other parts that were replaced)
Let me state for the record that I'm not giving the highest praises to Omega service as they are lacking in certain areas. Perhaps there are some service centers that are better than others. I live in LA and have a tight "customer relationship" with one of the local Omega boutique's here. I have had 8 restorations (i'm not exaggerating) performed by Omega through this store. They send everything to New Jersey for the work. Not once have I had an issue. On one occasion, I did have an issue when an item was sent to Dallas but it was quickly rectified. I think it's critical that the communication is very clear between the store and they service center.... and by clear I mean VERBAL, not written.
 

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Owning it since new is irrelevant; you either want a watch brought back to factory spec or have it retain some of it's vintage aspects. Everyone has their own personal standards and different experiences. What I'm saying in the simplest of terms is that MY experience with Omega service center (particularly New Jersey) has been overwhelmingly positive; and I have several physical examples that support my position. Each time I have specified exactly what I wanted performed and it was followed to the letter.

For the purpose of this post and ultimately why this site exists is for the exchange of information and collaborative guidance at times. emitrepeek can approach his quest as "fore warned is fore armed" to make his decision comprehensively.
 

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...I agree. My point was that Omega does a great job. There is always debate over whether vintage should be restored to "as-new" or not, which is personal. I have a pocket watch from my grandfather that I restored enough to work, but wanted to leave the rest alone. With regards to the Big Blue, wanted that to be as it rolled off the line. To each his/her own. I guess I'm answering the question - "would you let/trust Omega to restore your watch" - yes, and my experience is that they'd do it perfectly...and guarantee it for a year if my memory serves. Just sharing info - no worries.
 
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