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What The Heck Is A "Franken" Watch?

47475 Views 59 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  DocJekl
HI All,
I have read the word here and on other forums. I have never seen a definition. I suspect I have a Franken Speedy Pro. But I don't really know what is meant by "Franken". It doesn't sound like a compliment.

Thanks, Sparky
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If I ever decided to sell it, I still have the original parts from the 2254.50 and it could be reverted.

Which I believe, also applies to the OP. He did say he kept the original dial, and parts didnt he?. So-While he now has a modified or customized SpM-if the time came that he ever wanted to sell- all he would have to do is tell the "tale" even though its a bit complicated.

So-without getting too semantic about "franken" I'm going to say I think this OPs watch falls into the "exceptions to the franken rules" category. (You know? The 'Official' handbook of rules for Omega Forum terminology. I'm betting one exists-somewhere.). But still-OP (oh-and note to the op-it took me a year to figure out what 'op' stood for and I didn't want to ask-so: OP="original poster{of this thread}" is right about "franken" not sounding much like a "complimentary" term. And I always thought of the term as referring more to the unscrupulous (or less likely: the innocently unaware) seller who sold a watch as "authentic" AND "original" when in fact it was not.

But-even if the op's watch does fit the same description of a watch that could be called a 'franken' he has the story, the parts, and some proof and isnt that what a good collector is looking for? A reasonable explanation for why a watch is not in its original state? [As for effect on value? I couldnt say in a case like this.?] He has some of the orig. parts which is good, I suppose. At least its better than a 'franken' with NO explanation to what happened to it, its original parts, etc. For this reason alone-the fact that he can explain and prove, to an extent, what the history of his watch is-it should have a label less pejorative than 'franken'. Though, beats me what that term would be?

Unless 'franken' isnt always as bad or as demeaning a term as I'm imagining:think:

Perhaps I'm linking it forever to the first time I understood what it meant when the very first "100% original/authentic" SM I won on ebay turned out to be a 'franken'. It was before I signed up here @ WUS and I dont remember the watch site but the forum 'master' was a guy named Zach-who basically savaged the SM:-| along with my 1904 re-cased pocket watch. I resold** the SM 120 on ebay for a small loss because I described it as an "exc.cond. SM refurbished with authentic Omega parts at some time unknown to seller, re-dialed...etc etc" [Note-I did NOT use the term franken back then as I wasn't even sure if it was "real" watch terminology. This was back in 2006 and I stayed away from Omega's(until my WUS join date-an hour afer I bought a near mint 100% -for real-for real-SM1040 and came here to ask what I just bought. And its been a true education ever since.

**As proof of the value of WUS-knowing NOW what I didnt know then I should NEVER have resold that 'franken' SM 120-despite the trashing it got from Zac on whatever that forum was. Even with 'wrong' redial and a supposedly wrong or even non-Omega bezel-It still had the case ref# of some SM (think it was it was pointed out the mediocre re-dial should have had 'automatic' on it because there was an cal. 565 inside.(or maybe it was the wrong cal?) So-like I said-If I'd of kept this 'franken' {which in 2006 were 1/8th the price they go for now} I'd at the least have a perfectly good cal. 565 and the case of a SM to try and build upon. I could have sourced the 'proper' dial BEFORE the prices skyrocketed! PLUS-told the hands were incorrect which was true- they were mint and I could be using them right now in my SpM auto 1140 to replace the worn ones in there now.

SO-to OP-if your really interested in knowledge about Omega-vintage or new-stick around. Its amazing what you can pick up in a year or less.--Now -because I suppose there's no other way to put it but -I tend towards cheapness and remain willing to take chances bidding on vintage ebay Omegas under-say-$400usd -"Frankens' are always an 'issue'.-At least now I know when a watch is likely to have some 'franken' about it. And because of WUS and the 'franken' issue-I have learned to chance it only with watches that are just as likely to be 100% authentic as they may be 'franken'-.[And I guess I am also claiming, in saying this, that there are degrees to 'frankeness'. I like to think the watches I'm gambling on-will only have a part or two replaced and not be a complete and total mish-mosh of parts. So there are 'frankens' and there are FRANKENS'-i submit. Though technically-one could argue its a bit like being a "little bit pregnant" :rodekaart]

So far I've been pleasantly surprised once, Stunned once(totally 100% and in much better cond. than photos) and a 3rd time I got what I expected-no more-no less-a 'mostly' orig. connie with some parts of a cal. 565 in it.

And I still say the real excitment in Omega world is going to be in the vintage market over the next coming few years. With Omegas plan already in implementation to overtake Rolex at best and at least position itself as a strictly luxury only brand for the 'haves only' and no longer the "work-hard and can haves some day". Knowing about 'Frankens' will be absolutely crucial to any serious collector/used buyer and no longer just with pie-pans, upper-end SMs and the like.

Sorry I ranted on and on-but then whats new?:oops:

p.s.- While i'm rolling along here- and -we're on forum terms: I still don;t know what it means when posters in the sales f. advertise their watches and then constantly follow the orig. post with: "bump",. Bump, bump bump. What on earth is "BUMP"?:think: (where I come from a price bump is a rise -so that doesnt make much sense.):thanks
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Hi All,
Thanks for all the replies. I think I do have a much better idea of the meaning of "Franken". I By the way, I love the word frankin. It is so imaginative.

As for my situation, I kept all the pieces so my Speedy could be restored to its original state, grainy, yellowed, disfunctional lume and all. Would it then be declared a reincarnated franken watch? ;-) But, I don't mind it being referred to as frankin-because, honestly, I love term so much. However, I really don't like the negative baggage of the term.

I can tell you that my Speedy is both better looking and more functional than it was when I bought it. Love that applied Omega symbol. And it still looks like a genuine Speedmaster "Moonwatch". Oh, and it also works well too. I have to admit it is a bit of a sham but a very good one.

I probably said this before in too many words but: I don't see why anyone would refer to your watch as a 'franken' (of course-your correct-if you tried to sell it as 100% auth/orig w/o disclosing what has been dome to it then-I suppose-a buyer could accuse you a selling them a 'franken'

But that would be totally absurd. What you have-or what you did is what 100s of speedy owners would LOVE to have done to their worn out old watches. Read some of the threads where guys say "back from the spa..." which is a euphemism for: they just spent between $700 and $2000usd to have their watches redialed , new hands, and all the things your watch has done. I seriously doubt that any spm sent off to Bienne CH to be refurbished at $1000 would be advertised as a 'franken' speedy anywhere watches like this are sold. Plus-with all the original bits and pcs? I bet you probably have what a LOT of guys would consider better than an original spm. After all-the refurbishng already has been done-with proof,(the parts) your story and what they now pretentiously refer to in used watch parlance (like vint. wines) as provenance. Proof of the watches 'story' can make it worth a bit more rather than much less-like a 'franken' would be.(

But- I'm not a speedy nut. Am I wrong? It sure seems like common sense.
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Oh if you insist!

Rolex Oyster Case, Omega 601 movement, MkII dial, Omega Dyanamic minute and hour hands, Omega 300 second hand, Grand Seiko Strap. When you want to build your personal perfect hand wind watch you have to go Franken.

When someone unwisely tells you it wouldn't last five minutes in the real world, you have to test it properly!

As used by tombraiders!

Mind you, I have to confess that El's SMP PO looks even better and is a work of daring genius.
Is that Petra and Galilee? Looks like but cant say for sure? Sorry-dont mean to pry-just curious

Second-that is a VERY cool watch you got there. It has given me a good idea {and some confidence} of what my SS Date-Just would look like with a beefy shiny black strap which is something I have been tempted to do for a while but hesitate because the oyster band is such an integral component to an otherwise dull watch. Weird how the lugs look so much longer than I can picture w/o removing band and the black/SS looks great.) So-what on earth inspired you? And is there a reason the cal. 601 has a rotor/other parts that look so much like the cal1040 rotor/mvnt? At first I thought this was a sly joke but its too serious and nice looking to be funny.(I swear I saw a pict of a rotor movmnt that looked like a 1040. But I just read 'hand wound' so I don't know whose picture I'm referring to now-sorry)

So-why am I posting yet again???

!!!o| Your 'Omlex'. Its reminding me of and giving me ideas to find/post photos of my '76/'72 Triton-another wondrous fusion-though of two classic British twins. If an 'omlex isnt a joke-(i mean-sometimes things do fly over my head:think:) But if it isnt-I think I'm going to have to break my own pledge to boycott 'what ______ owners drive...' threads.

Then-I'd also have to dig out this extra ( beat up, no crystal and 'bent' fluted bzl) rlx day-date case I was given (with NO plans what-so-ever for). And without the skills to build my own fused watch-I dont even know what Om movement would be appropriate for a 39mm oyster? But-After I accomplish all this and am satisfied I will then find old pics and- post my '76/'72 'Triton Comboville- (the principle thinking--was that the superior Bonneville engine placed in superior handling/stability Norton "isotonic" frame) significantly reduced vibration at high speeds which was definitely a plus {especially if you know pre-80s British twins} in the days when rear brakes were still shoes and ...heaps of different non-watch related reasons.)

But WOW! How cool would that be? Riding down a country lane with two British twins fused between your legs and two fused Swiss mechanicals strapped to your arm? Its kind of like the 'Ultimate in excess thrills and luxe- except ..... well not quite. But definitely interesting and fun.:)

Anyway-the below photo isnt exactly what my Triton looked like. Mine was white, built my own version od seat, ( different/not as pretty). Also- didnt have cafe racing tank either (which was pretty much one of the main reasons to fuse: racing)-so you can get a better idea of how much uglier of a hybrid mine was. But I thought it was gorgeous. And surprisingly easy to figure out ways to retrofit almost any parts from either of the two bikes. [if only my fingers could handle watch movmnt parts like cycle parts:-|] And while a '73 Norton 850 was by far the craziest and most dangerous bike fun I ever owned**-I did have a blast on the Triton for its short life-span.

**i'm thinking about all the young guys here with their new POs , Speedies, and SMs that have Ducati's, Suzukis, Buells,etc---Bikes that would literally BLOW the Norton away today. I suppose its cliche but just like I love the old Omegas-there is something about putting your trust in a '72 Laverda 750 or a '73 Norton 850 (bored out to 900 with racing Magnito ...), shoe brakes on the rear, 90mph, 70s technology...Man was it thrilling. But I wasnt a speed junkie at heart. Then I had baby girl #1. Sold out I guess? Sold 'em all and eventually settled on vintage BMWs (the 'volvo' of road bikes)

I'm sure your omlex will hold up for a lifetime w/o threatening it either.

(and so...Is the omlex a 'project' watch of your own design? or a custom pc. you had done for your own pleasure? Was it a challenge? (as in VERY difficult to build or: "bet you couldnt make a watch like...?) Not sure why at first glance I thought you were joking? Maybe because I owned that Triton and I can't tell you how many US biker guys thought I was joking at the time I rode it and how it was just-or only one 'crackpots' {me} goofy project bike . If only ...:roll:)

Again- Nice watch. And here's somebody else's-not my- Triton:
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