What you wish you knew

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Nookster
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Re: What you wish you knew

#11 Post by Nookster » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 am

Buy what appeals to you. If you only want solid gold, collect those. If you want gold filled, buy ones with no wear or brassing. Sometimes hard to do.

Be patient if you missed one you wanted, another one will show up.

Some people only collect pre WWII, some collect only round or tanks, some only solid gold, some only enamel dials.

Buy what you like, not what others like.

Enjoy!!
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HamiltonDeco
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Re: What you wish you knew

#12 Post by HamiltonDeco » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:38 am

I agree that you should buy what you like and enjoy! Don't exclude gold-fill watches either--just be patient. I started with gold-fill on a limited budget and found several with small "faults" like scratched crystals, tiny case dings, loose stems, and other issues that had been tucked away with original box and papers for decades. A simple COA and a part or two made them almost NOS. I wear them sparingly, but proudly. What's wrong with a pristine Lee or Perry--nothing! Have fun!

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watchdoc#1
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Re: What you wish you knew

#13 Post by watchdoc#1 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:00 am

According to CNBC, jobs to steer clear of.....
Watch Repairers

Employment change between 2016 and 2026: 29.7 percent decrease
.

And you thought it was bad now.
I used to be known as "watchdoc" now I'm watchdoc#1. Check me out under the members list. :roll:

pangolin
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Re: What you wish you knew

#14 Post by pangolin » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:16 am

Maybe as a profession....but isn’t it taking off as a hobby?

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Re: What you wish you knew

#15 Post by pangolin » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:21 am

What I am finding hard is choosing an approach to collecting. I want them ALL!!

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Paleotime
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Re: What you wish you knew

#16 Post by Paleotime » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:56 am

LOL...that fades with time. At least it did for me. A direction in a collection can happen pretty organically based on those watches you choose to buy. For example, my eye was always most easily drawn to the designs of the 1920s/1930s. After a few purchases - that refined itself to a couple of brands (Bulova and Elgin) that mixed quality with availability and a price point/level of risk that was acceptable (to me). Learning to service and repair my own watches reinforced the brand loyalty by building my largest inventory of parts in those brands.

My advice - Jump in. You can do quite a bit of collecting for small money and minimal risk.
"Percentage players die broke too..." - Fast Eddie in the Hustler

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JackW
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Re: What you wish you knew

#17 Post by JackW » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:44 am

pangolin wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:38 am
Case wear is unrepairable?
Depends.... two factors are skill and tools. The two approaches are adding gold via torch and solder -or- using a laser welder. That is the easy part. Re-shaping the area one has added metal to with file and emery paper and then polishing while not removing gold from the areas around the repair is hard. You can do more damage easily with a polishing wheel then what might have been present to begin with. Some attempt to polish a case that has brassing by plating over it. I see that as like sweeping dirt under a rug.

I shy away from goldfilled cases in all that I collect. I do have them in my collection; in fact I'm wearing one at the moment. See below, and this one needed the lugs repaired. I want to wear the watches I obtain and just simply wearing a goldfill watch is doing damage to it, imo. Same with other watches, but it is a matter of the accumulated damage. For goldfill it is happening slowly but I see it as permanent. I'm fairly confident that most of the wear I see in a goldfill case happened in the 1st decade of its life. Most people only had one watch and they would wear the heck out of it. For stainless steel cases, it takes longer to show the wear; decades rather than years. Same for karat gold cases, but they can be more easily repaired. By that I mean compared to the other case materials. So, I stick to solid metal cases.... with my budget this is either stainless steel or sterling. All the gold watches I have were obtained via dumb luck.

To the point of the OP's original question of "what had I wished I'd known early on?" I'd place more value in what has been previously written and published in books and articles about quality watches to collect and not just relying on what I read on the interwebs. Don't get me wrong, there is lots of great info on the web; I try to add to it. Sometimes I'm wrong... and so are other people. Not everone admits it. But the wealth of info on dead trees is still far greater and it is why I think I now have an advantage over the average online collector. The NAWCC has a whole library. I'm amassing my own that is a mix of repair techniques/proceedures and info on watch brands.

Also... if you are ever at a show and the watch in your hand has a phenomenal and ridiculously low price.... do not hand it back to the seller or anyone next to you while you wrap up your negotiations. I did this once and the person next to me asked, rather innocently if they could "see the watch." I handed it over, they threw the $150 at the seller and walked off. And that is how I lost a solid 14k Omega Seamaster bumper-wind auto.
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All I know is based on hard work & writing by others. I can only aspire to augment this body of knowledge. If I am wrong it is because of my own failings. -me
"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." - Newton

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HandyDan
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Re: What you wish you knew

#18 Post by HandyDan » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:40 am

The"wisdom" that I've gained over the past decade from this forum and from my own experiences is a culmination of what you've heard already.

I would summarize it as I'd rather have a small collection of exquisite models than a large collection of run of the mill models. The same is true with real estate - I'd rather have a small house in an awesome location than a large house in a so-so location.

Solid gold, stainless steel or gold filled - doesn't matter to me as long as it's pristine and interesting to me. For example, I have all of the Hamilton WWII military watches (except the Canteen) and even though many of them look the same, each is a little different and special to me.

It's also important to remember that the cost to restore and maintain a garden variety watch is the same as the cost to maintain a $5,000 watch. Unless you're running a museum, fewer is more.

Unless, of course, the thrill of the hunt is what interests you. Then the sky is the limit... find all the CLDs, find all the asymmetrics, find all the models starting with R, find all the Explorer series...
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GreenBayStamps
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Re: What you wish you knew

#19 Post by GreenBayStamps » Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:50 pm

HandyDan wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:40 am
The"wisdom" that I've gained over the past decade from this forum and from my own experiences is a culmination of what you've heard already.

Unless, of course, the thrill of the hunt is what interests you. Then the sky is the limit... find all the CLDs, find all the asymmetrics, find all the models starting with R, find all the Explorer series...
You did not warn me Dan, "that was just the start with the "cld's" It is amazing how your focus can change.

I would say define yourself and don't become a HOARDER! :lol: One pristine watch is better than any number watches that have seen their better days... and you will be proud of it as time goes on!
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Nookster
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Re: What you wish you knew

#20 Post by Nookster » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:07 pm

pangolin wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:21 am
What I am finding hard is choosing an approach to collecting. I want them ALL!!
I did get them all (tanks). It was fun run. Here is how it works though....

You get a Barrel in white gold fill, plain bezel, luminous dial. Sweet, I got ONE now. Cool no? Then you say, I need one in yellow gold fill. Sweet I get it and I am done, oh wait, I need one in green gold fill. Great I got all three with luminous dials of each color with a plain bezel. Wait, I need those in solid gold to complete all the plain bezels, Now I have 6 in gold fill and solid gold. Then you say wait, I need those in solid and filled with an engraved bezel. Awesome, you get those 6. Then you say to yourself, they made the engraved bezel with a motif pattern and you're done. You go those 6 and you're done. Wait, they made a ribbon type engraved bezel too, (three different types of engraved Barrel bezels). And there you see what I have been doing for 40+ years. Then when you sit down and show your friends all 24 models in all white, yellow and green in solid and gold fill and all the different bezels (6 with gold fill and solid gold plain bezels, 6 in solid gold and gold fill engraved bezels, 6 in solid gold and gold fill ribbon engraved bezels, 6 with engraved motif bezels), and then you're on EBay and a Tiffany 18K pops up and you say when does it end? It doesn't.

When I bought the Gregory, it completed my years of collecting to get them all. It was the only watch I was missing. Sure there is a platinum Oval floating around with a friend of mine, but I won't own it, but the passion was real and was a blast. Met a bunch of great people, made some enemy's, but I pushed on. The thing is, you think you have them all, then you buy a plain and simple Brockton and realize they made it with two dial variations, so you wait 10 years to find that one, you buy it, you over pay, but you can say "I own it."

I have a dear friend that collects Hamilton's, one of each in solid gold only, white and yellow. He does not care which dial it has. Just wants one of each. He has them all, he is missing the Gregory. I knew he would never find one, so I went to see him and said Merry Christmas, he said it's March. I said here is your Gregory you have been looking for. It was the watch that completed two collectors dream of having them all. The smile on his face said it all, paying it foward

Then when it's all said and done, you look at your collection and say how did I get here? here is how. It's a passion, a love for one watch brand, "Hamilton," the greatest American Watch ever made, no doubt it. Best movements, best cases and were mad made to last. I never regretted it. I set out to do it, I did it and have made some long lasting personal friends (Bryan, Fred, Greg H, Randy, Will, Dr. T, Ed & Jim). Then these is those I have never met, but talk to (Susan, Dan, Norm (deceased) & Tom) and consider friends, not acquaintances. The hunt was the most fun part. When I bought the Gregory, it was on Ebay, for sale for scrap on a scale, I saw it, I looked at the photo (it looks like a Dorsey), saw what it was and got it for only a few hundred bucks on a buy it now. Honestly, I would have paid the guy $3,500 to get it. It was the unicorn to me, it didn't exist.



Engraved bezels. The one dial top right is not known to anyone, but it's cool.
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