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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there folks - this is my first post in the Tissot forum, as I've just purchased my first Tissot (makes sense, right?)

I just won an auction for what appears to be a nice vintage Seastar at a reasonable price. I tried to do a little research but am drawing some blanks. It was sold as NOS, but I'm a wee bit concerned as the case shape seems uncommon and I don't spy the "Swiss Made" mark on the dial.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for some info? Or at least point out if this is a bad fake? Cheers! :-!









Cheers,
Scott
 

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Scott, take your movement number over to Ranfft, good place to start.
I'd guess early 70's from the shape and dial. Looks original - nobody fakes these and the dial looks like a Tissot dial from that time period, redialers would not put the 516 in red. You don't see many because those bracelets break and most people just toss the watch rather than pay for repair (usually not cheap).
It looks to be in great shape - congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I'd never run across ranfft before - I'll spend some time looking around on there.
 

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Hi Scott,

Welcome to the Tissot forum...

I just won an auction for what appears to be a nice vintage Seastar at a reasonable price. I tried to do a little research but am drawing some blanks. It was sold as NOS, but I'm a wee bit concerned as the case shape seems uncommon and I don't spy the "Swiss Made" mark on the dial.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for some info? Or at least point out if this is a bad fake? Cheers! :-!
If it is any consolation, I think you were right to be intrigued. I would also hazard a guess that this originated from Hong Kong?

Clues
I think the first observation should be the Chapter ring (the white sidewall). If this was New Old Stock (NOS) straight from the factory - why would it be misaligned? the markers should align exactly with the indices but they don't. This hints at the fact the case has been opened and the dial/ring removed/replaced and not checked.

Yes - you were right to notice the absence of the words "Swiss Made" - which it should have at the base of the dial (6 o'clock). Given that the lume on the hands would almost certainly be Tritium in the 70's it was almost mandatory that this would be signalled with a T-Swiss Made-T on the dial. While we are on text - in the 70's (as now) Tissot was proud of the models that had automatic movements and the word "Automatic" almost always would appear on the dial.

The hands are another give away. On all watches with dark blue dials - it is only natural that Tissot use white hands. What do we see here? Black hands on a dark blue dial. As a general rule, if the minute hand does not reach the minute hairs (too short) you have non-original hands/dial.

The floating "diving board" indices were a feature of the 1970's PR 516. Part of the fun was that the minute hand would pass underneath the indices. This dial appears to have applied indices, stuck to the dial - an you confirm one way or the other?

Finally, the boxed-T logo [T] you have to admit does not look well applied or professional. You would have to question that a little. A redial is the logical answer.

Considering possibilities
To me - the case design looks like the 1970 Sideral. As you will see from the advertising material below this would align well with the case shape, the bracelet, the black hands and the automatic movement. My guess is that a more interesting "Sporty" PR 516 (re-)dial, chapter ring and metal caseback (replacing fiberglass) has been added to up the appeal and price.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ah ha. Well, at least I wondered. I haven't paid for the auction yet - at least that buys me some protection.
 

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Hi SRBakker.

While I hate to disagree with the always excellent analysis of User_Refined. I'm not sure the authenticity of this watch is quite so cut and dried.

As the photos below (taken from several sources on the www including WUS) show, the applied indices and dial shape (with the slope at the edge) are consistent with this case and bracelet combination. The hour and minute hands also seem consistent. The second hand is consistent with other PR516s of the time, but not with these examples. However, the second hands with the round end or protruding end seems to vary from watch to watch.

It is possible that the issues that point to the dial being repainted could simply be a result of distortion in the photo from the crystal.

Before you get into a fight with the seller, you could perhaps ask for some really good photos of the dial. While it probably isn't NOS (given the off centre chapter ring), if the dial is actually original then the watch in good condition is a nice find and I'd be very happy to have it.

Cheers,
Tristan




 

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Well done Tristan,

Great work there...

As the photos below (taken from several sources on the www including WUS) show, the applied indices and dial shape (with the slope at the edge) are consistent with this case and bracelet combination. The hour and minute hands also seem consistent. The second hand is consistent with other PR516s of the time, but not with these examples. However, the second hands with the round end or protruding end seems to vary from watch to watch.
One of the most infuriating things about Tissot, particularly in the 70's - 80's is their cross-use of parts between different models and their ability to accept/encourage inconsistency from year to year. I think there is a good example in Tritto's two pictures where the "Automatic" on the dial disappears. - this could be:
* because one of the two watches does not have an automatic movement
* because they just didn't print "Automatic" on the dial one year.

It may be the case with the second hand that:
* one year they used the (no counter weight) second hands left over from the Sideral models on the PR 516?
* every year they used the standard counter weight second hand (as in both Tritto's pics)?
* it was the single thing that was replaced - leading to the chapter ring being dislodged?

I have always thought that the parts of the watch are genuine (as with DonF's initial assessment) there just may have been some flux in the configuration. The key thing remains that the case has been opened, the dial removed (for some reason), a strong indication that the second hand may have been replaced and the reassembly has been conducted in a less than precise manner (evidenced by the miss-aligned chapter ring). While this may be no big deal - it might take the N out of NOS.
 
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