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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I recently started exploring the world of vintage (or at least) older watches and wanted some guidance around Ebay. I found this seller in UK with excellent feedback that has a bunch of older NOS watches in stock pretty cheap, I was wondering if this was for real

myretrowatches | eBay

Some brands I cannot even find any information about, some do come up..

Vintage Nidor Gents Mechanical Watch 1960s NOS Brand NEW OLD Stock REF 1 | eBay

Vintage Ernest Borel Ladies Automatic Watch NOS NEW OLD Stock Circa 1970s REF 20 | eBay

Vintage Smoke Gents Mechanical Watch 1960s NOS Brand NEW OLD Stock | eBay

What makes me a bit suspicious is that a lot of this seller's watches have almost exact same caseback and many don't have a movement photo...

Thanks!
 

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"Vintage" mechanical watches from the 70's aren't much of an "investment" in my book. The 70's was the start of the quartz crisis, which caused the swiss watch industry to contract rather dramatically. Movements from that era are good, but not particularly sought after or significant from a collectors standpoint. The watchmakers were focused on cost savings rather then innovation.
 

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I think these watches are all new and not old stock so I'd stay away. He reuses the same style cases to many times...

Not all 70-80's watches are bad. I found a Certina sub second from 1981 that looked from the 1950's (even the old logo) with a movement first used in 1960 so some have good old movements. The only bad thing with it is that is uses a snap on case back and a flat plastic crystal and not the much nicer domed one.

Look for 70's Orient watches for they are the real deal and made bling watches befor bling was invented. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think these watches are all new and not old stock so I'd stay away. He reuses the same style cases to many times...

Not all 70-80's watches are bad. I found a Certina sub second from 1981 that looked from the 1950's (even the old logo) with a movement first used in 1960 so some have good movements. The only bad thing with it is that is uses a snap on case back and a flat plastic crystal and not the much nicer domed one.

Look for 70's Orient watches for they are the real deal and made bling watches befor bling was invented. :)
So, you think these are manufactured fakes?

Because I did find some of them elsewhere and movement shots are convincing. There a number of Tissot quartz that I think are genuine as well as others...

The casebacks on "nonames" look a bit similar but who knows who and where made them in the 60s... like that Smoke watch looks identical to some French watches I found for the same era... different logos, same watch
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"Vintage" mechanical watches from the 70's aren't much of an "investment" in my book. The 70's was the start of the quartz crisis, which caused the swiss watch industry to contract rather dramatically. Movements from that era are good, but not particularly sought after or significant from a collectors standpoint. The watchmakers were focused on cost savings rather then innovation.
I am not necessarily looking for investment, just some nice looking watches for short money. Do you think $100 is too much for these "maybe vintage", "maybe Swiss"?
 

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So, you think these are manufactured fakes?

Because I did find some of them elsewhere and movement shots are convincing. There a number of Tissot quartz that I think are genuine as well as others...

The casebacks on "nonames" look a bit similar but who knows who and where made them in the 60s... like that Smoke watch looks identical to some French watches I found for the same era... different logos, same watch
I have seen a lot of never used watches but even they have marks marked by time, and there are a lot of genuine parts floating around and by mixing old with new you have a NOS watch.

I could of course be wrong but it's looks very fishy to me.
 

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So, you think these are manufactured fakes? ...
I do.

Only one movement is pictured but I could find nothing in Dr. Ranfft's archive that matched it. These are the products of the 'entrepreneurial' Chinese watch industry. The maker avoids counterfeiting claims by using made up or non-protected names. The eBay seller is 'stretching the truth'... nah, he is lying. Let's face it. These are made to deceive.
 

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"Vintage" mechanical watches from the 70's aren't much of an "investment" in my book. The 70's was the start of the quartz crisis, which caused the swiss watch industry to contract rather dramatically. Movements from that era are good, but not particularly sought after or significant from a collectors standpoint. The watchmakers were focused on cost savings rather then innovation.
This is an aside to the general thread but I beg to differ.

A while ago I bought a grand piano for my wife. In researching it I found some of the most sought after were the ones made when the companies were distressed (during the great depression of the 30's). At that point the only folks who were still working for the companies were their best workers. The production of this era were from the master craftsmen who were the last to get laid off. I suspect the same was true of the Swiss watch industry in the quartz crisis. No nubies in assembly then...

Of course, not much innovation then either (outside of quartz models). But that is another issue.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see, sneaky... still there are some names that still exist and operate like Tissot and Ernest Borel... oh well, anything too good to be true probably isn't :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On the other hand... ok.

Take a brand new Tissot from AD. $20 Movement is mostly made in China (51% by value in Switzerland, which does not mean much), case, crystal and bracelet are made in China, assembled in Switzerland - bam! $400 price tag.

A possibly remanufactured old swiss movement with some new parts and a case made in China for $100 - is it that bad, comparing?

But I digress, it has nothing to do with vintage nor are we discussing fakes...

Thank yoy for your insight
 

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I have several Certina watches in parts and I can't rebuild them for I know not which case goes with which movement or dial, and I would feel horrible if I was called out for having picked the wrong combination.

I guess we have different views on what is ethical or not, and because the watches I got have natural aging on them I won't get half of what these cheats get. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh no, I never thought it was ethical to claim NOS, that's why I am double-checking... I meant from the buyer perspective. I would never buy those knowing what I do now. But, should the seller tell the truth and market them for what they are (sans the obviously fake dials, of course)... I don't know, beats Skagen if you ask me :)
 

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This is a gray area for in some circumstances there is no other option then to use other parts then the originals but to knowingly cheat people like this seller (my opinion) is just dishonest and is only about the money.

I never look at these auctions as I'm only after old beaten up watches but it's sad to see so many people being conned buy guys like this and boy these watches will swamp the forums in the future. :-(
 

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This is an aside to the general thread but I beg to differ.

A while ago I bought a grand piano for my wife. In researching it I found some of the most sought after were the ones made when the companies were distressed (during the great depression of the 30's). At that point the only folks who were still working for the companies were their best workers. The production of this era were from the master craftsmen who were the last to get laid off. I suspect the same was true of the Swiss watch industry in the quartz crisis. No nubies in assembly then...

Of course, not much innovation then either (outside of quartz models). But that is another issue.
Certainly, if you're looking at the high-end stuff, 70's are as good as any. Better really, because you have all the advantages of modern machines and modern alloys. But if you're looking at regular consumer stuff? Not so much. Look at the evolution of the standard ETA automatics, for example, and you can see how the general quality of the design has been slowly but surely watered down to save costs. I've noticed this in Bulova's from the 70's as well; the movements are still good, but they cut corners in small ways that probably didn't make much of a difference then, but after 40 years of wear and tear they just aren't quite the timekeepers they used to, especially when compared to the more robust models from the 50's and 60's.
 

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I don't know if you guys are familiar with this but there are companies that buy the entire inventories of jewelry stores . I have seen hundreds of these watches at liquidators , many of the same models by manufactures such as Luicent Picard , Juvienia , Belmont etc. They are odd ball pieces that the store owners can't give away (almost)they sit in storage for decades losing value until they are sold almost by weight . I think this guy has tapped into one of these sources .I remember seeing adds for NOS Brietlings in 1999 , they were mostly these big clunky 7734 and cal 12's from the '70's. They were asking $400-600 a piece for them and they weren't moving .
 

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I am not necessarily looking for investment, just some nice looking watches for short money. Do you think $100 is too much for these "maybe vintage", "maybe Swiss"?
For $100 there are a lot of good 70's watches to be had without buying a "maybe" that probably "isn't".

With careful shopping you can get a nice automatic Hamilton for that. I bought a Timex Automatic for nearly nothing.
 

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Funny thing is ..quite a while back I saw the "Smoke" wristwatch on the bay and thought the design was very handsome. I dont wear gold so it was off the radar for me. Just my 2 cents, as I never stopped to think about its veracity. If in fact its a fake, its way too expensive. 3 cents. Good luck on your hunt. For a fine well priced classic 70s watch, like Titoni or Roamer, check Mainland Chinese dealers on ebay. The guy I have dealt with never did me wrong. Others may disagree but if what I said appealed to you, try something like ybl on the bay. A couple of hundred watches at very fair prices. Sorry I cant be more specific, its been a while.....
 
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