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Tom-HK

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About Tom-HK

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  1. Tom-HK

    Chinese v Swiss

    I lived in southern China for four years and in Hong Kong for eight years. I know some thoroughly lovely people from China. I have met some passionate watch collectors and I have acquired a couple of fairly nice Chinese watches. I still count a few acquaintences from those days amongst my closest friends. I also have experience of poverty, corruption, communism, IP theft, censorship, and a decades-long propaganda campaign that has been largely successful in re-writing China's history (at least, for the domestic audience). And it is not just isolated examples here and there. Once you live there, you soon come to realise that the corruption is deep and widespread. It is absolutely everywhere, from getting visas and driving licences to getting planning permission and paying taxes. Oh, the tales I could tell! China has a long and rich history and the Chinese people are generally quite lovely and welcoming. The Communist Party, on the other hand, is probably one of the worst amongst the world's corrupt authoritarian regimes. I have permanent Hong Kong residence status, but I cannot imagine that I would ever go back, now, to the city I was once happy to call 'home'. Sorry for the politics on a watch forum, however since this post has now probably put me on a 'watch list', there is at least a tentative connexion to the topic.
  2. Well done. I think this increases the chances of the eBay listing being a genuine watch. But if you can buy a new one (albeit with slight cosmetic differences) for £164, then I think a second hand one for £280 is probably a bit too much.
  3. Also, when considering the seller, it may be worth noting that whilst the Nivada seller and the seller of the Maurice Lacroix appear to have 100% positive feedback, you will notice that almost all of their feedback comes from private listings. Page after page of them. There is not necessarily anything wrong with this. Perhaps they sell a lot of porn, or something. But compare this to other watch sellers on eBay who also have 100% positive feedback. I just looked at the first few that I came across and all their feedback came from public listings that are far less susceptible to shill bidding and feedback boosting. Two sellers, offering extraordinarily dodgy-looking watches, with all the usual red flags of 'very rare' and 'highly sought after by collectors', along with reputations built up almost entirely by private sales. And the prices! A genuine Maurice Lacroix of the same type (going back to your other thread, now) with all original parts and in good condition has recently sold at auction for barely half of what this guy is asking for his very odd-looking version. And whilst quartz Nivadas seem to range from under £50 to nearly £300, this particular one sits very close to the top of that price range for a completely unknown model with (probably) a cheap movement and from a seller with questionable feedback. Stay away. There are far safer options.
  4. Nivada, as a Swiss brand, collapsed decades ago, as a casulaty of the quartz revolution, and the name was bought by a Mexican company that continued to produce fairly low-cost models predominantly for the South American market, as I understand it. The name also appears to have been licenced to a Korean watch brand for a time. Nivada has been in the (watch) news, recently, as the name has now been licenced to the Montrichard Group and they are just now starting to release a new range of mechanical models using ETA ebauches. If you have a quartz Nivada produced any time from about 1980 to 2020, then it was produced while the brand was under Mexican ownership and possibly whilst the name was licenced to a Korean company. Does this mean anything? Not in iteslf, no. If it is a genuine Nivada watch and it says 'Swiss quartz' on the dial then it almost certainly still contains a Swiss-made Ronda or an ETA quartz movement. Nivada used to be fairly well respected, as a maker of mechanical (and even early electric) watches, and some vintage models can sell for thousands. This particular watch, however, carries that ever-troubling eBay description of 'very rare'. Sometimes, when you cannot find any information on a watch at all, this is because it was never part of regular, genuine production run. I can find nothing resembling this watch anywhere except that one eBay posting. That bothers me a fair bit. In fact, I am racking my brains to try and think what ETA quartz movements have that particular dial layout. Maybe it's a Ronda 706.B? That sells for about £25. If it's a Ronda 706.B then the factory rate would be -10/+20 seconds per month. I know the eBay seller says that it is 'acurate to the second', but he doesn't specify over what time period so that's pretty meaningless.
  5. This one has a different dial colour and so the last few digits of the model number are different from the one you specified, but the movement will be the same: https://www.chrono24.com/mauricelacroix/les-classiques-day-date-herrenuhr-neu-ovp--id2473100.htm
  6. Well, you're in luck. These watches don't appear to be from the 1970s. The first two are very much 21st century creations. I am less sure about the third watch but certainly not 1970s. The first of these watches has an ETA 955.132, which is, apparently, a pretty decent movement. It isn't thermocompensated so you can expect pretty ordinary levels of accuracy, but at least it is modern enough that you won't really have to worry about battery leakage or wear-and-tear. I cannot find a movement number for the second watch, but I see that this watch is of even more modern production than the first one, so much the same thing applies. Expect a decent movement with unremarkable levels of accuracy. The third watch is a bit more of a mystery. The watch looks a bit older, but I don't know of any manufacturer making moonphase quartz watches in the 1970s. The calibre, 737-701, is described on eBay as being 'very rare' and 'highly sought after by watch collectors'. As we know, 'very rare' on eBay can mean anything from 'so rubbish they quickly stopped making it' to 'incredibly common but I hope you won't know any better'. And if it really was 'highly sought after by watch collectors' then there would probably be more mentions of it on the Internet. As a collector of rare and interesting quartz watches, myself, I can honestly say I have never heard of it. Indeed, the one that I now see on eBay sets alarm bells ringing for all sorts of reasons. Here is an example that shows what the dial and case back ought to look like: https://veryimportantlot.com/en/lot/view/maurice-lacroix-armbanduhr-mit-mondphase-u-datum-29977
  7. Contact the seller and ask for a shot of the movement. I have plenty of quartz watches from the 1970s and they are all still going strong, but there are risks of battery leakage and corrosion so I would always ask to see the movement if possible. Not everyone has the necessary tools to take the back off, though. A good, clear view of the movement will tell us lots, but whatever the factory spec of the watch may have been, it likely won't perform like that after 40 years. The good news is that quartz movements from that era were designed to be repaired and many (if not most) would come with trimmer capacitors. So, as long as the watch is still running, then if it is off-spec there is a decent chance that a good clean and careful rate trim could bring it back to factory timing. That being said, replacement parts for 40 year old quartz movements can be hard to come by and expensive to fabricate, so if the movement is not in good condition then, well, it really depends on how special a movement they put in there, but you can cross that bridge when (and if) you come to it. Long story short, it couldn't hurt to try asking the seller for a movement shot.
  8. I had my father's old Omega Seamaster serviced for him as a Christmas present. He had bought the watch as a young man and it had a lot of significance for him. Besides the service I also had the dial restored, including replacing the tritium with Superluminova and, well, basically making it look like a new watch. £800. I had my own 1975 Seamaster with a prototype movement serviced. Full strip down and analysis of an incredibly rare prototype that was as much a mystery to Omega as it was to me. They did a lot of experimentation on the watch to find out exactly how it worked and which modern replacement bits would fit. £50.
  9. It's -25 dial up, -25 when worn, and -11 dial down. Thoughts? Sorry there's not better data on it. I am just interested in what sort of thing might potentially have happened during the hand resetting procedure, but if the list is too long and the data too unhelpful, then I guess there's not much point in speculating.
  10. Ok, so what may have gone wrong in the adjusting of the hands to send the watch from -13 to -25 seconds per day? Thisis a worn measurement using a tracking app. My timing machine is set up for quartz watches and I haven't got the microphone necessary to make it work for mechanical watches. I don't imagine I will be able to improve the rate, given how cack-handed I am, but I am interested, from a technical point of view, to understand the mechanics of what may have gone wrong. I thought I was careful to avoid touching the balance wheel, but I suppose anything near the edge of the movement may have been touched when I put the movement in the holder. Could pushing too hard on the hands cause the rate to slow?
  11. The hands are all pointing in the correct places. I used tweezers and a screwdriver to gently lift here and press there until I could rotate all the hands completely around the dial (by turning the crown) without their touching each other. I have wound the watch and am leaving it dial up for a day to see if the problem is solved. Next project - the click on my ST1901 seems to have slipped or the spring has broken. Either way, there appears to be one heck of a disassembly required just to get to the click. Ah, the joys of lockdown.
  12. I am not having much luck with my SKX009. I got it (new) on-line and it was dead on arrival. Seiko replaced the movement under warranty. And then, shortly after the warranty window expired, I noticed the watch was losing huge amounts of time and at quite random intervals. Closer inspection revealed that the hands were touching at about the 4.30 part of the dial, causing them to stop until a movement of the wrist prompted them to restart. I have a reasonable set of watch tools but I haven't got any hand-setting tools. I have a hand puller, though, so I could remove the hands. Should I invest in a hand-setting tool for this job or could I do it with some tweezers and screwdrivers?
  13. Well this is a first, for me. Most watch snobs I have come across turn their noses up at Tag. Anyway, Seiko is a great brand with a longer heritage than Rolex. And unlike Breitling and Tag, all Seikos have in-house movements. Seiko were pioneers in dive watches (look up why it is that Seiko dive watches don't need Helium escape valves) and in auto winding technologies (look into their 'magic lever'). They were the first to bring a quartz watch to market and during the quartz revolution in the 70s and 80s they were toe to toe with Rolex, Omega, Girard Perregaux and others in developing new approaches to high accuracy timepieces, with their Twin Quartz, Twin Mode Quartz, high frequency and thermistor technologies. This ultimately led to their 9F calibre quartz movement which is amongst the best in the world and deserves reading about as a separate exercise. Most of their watches (especially at the lower end) are not manufactured in Japan, these days, but Seiko is generally one of the most vertically integrated watch brands out there, for a long time producing far more of its own components (such as jewels, screws and hairsprings) than even Rolex (Rolex have upped their game a bit, lately). Seiko ébauches are not as highly regarded as ETA ébauches, but they power a great many models for a great many brands. And let's not forget, movement-wise, that it was because of Seiko's repeated success at the chronometric competitions in Switzerland that the Swiss eventually decided to ban non-Swiss companies from taking part. There is nothing to turn your nose up at, when it comes to Seiko. Having said that, the only Astron I would get would be the 1969 35SQ. If you want a GPS watch then I assure you that Citizen has far better GPS technology than Seiko. Citizen GPS watches acquire the signal far faster in all conditions and far more reliably indoors. They are also accurate to 5 seconds per month without sync, so they need to auto sync only once per week as opposed to once per day with the Seiko. Seiko's Astron movement has made progress over the years and is now better able to adjust for location than it was, but it's still not up to the standard of Citizen's offering.
  14. I have owned four Grand Seikos - two Spring Drives and two Quartz. The SBGV009 was my favourite watch ever. They were also amongst my priciest watches and when times got hard and push came to shove, my Grand Seikos sold very quickly whilst no-one would offer me a decent price for my Omega Seamaster, so I still have that. Some of the GS styles aren't quite to my liking but some (especially the historic references) really hit the mark for me. And their level of craftsmanship is unrivalled at the price point. I have compared a Rolex Explorer with a similarly priced GS, side by side, under a 30x loupe and while I definitely have the Explorer on my list of watches to buy, no-one can deny that the GS just blows the Swiss brand away in terms of finishing. Multi-faceted markers and polishing on surfaces that most people wouldn't even see. In fact, my SBGV009 was the only watch that I have ever sold for more money than I bought it for new. That can't be said for most GS, I'm afraid, and generally they don't hold their value particularly well. I always get a 20% discount off the sticker price at the AD and then reckon on the watch losing another 20% immediately upon leaving the shop.
  15. Ok, I have just Googled this model and I see it is a chronograph, so the seconds hand has its own motor and it is not a single gear train as I had assumed, above. This makes the relative timing of the hands less problematic but it still leaves us with a loose, worn or damaged wheel in the gear train as being the most likely cause for this problem.
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