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Jeremy Harris

Tudor Prince Oysterdate info?

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First of all, I'm new to this forum, and new to watch collecting in general.  A friend is into restoring Seiko quartz watches and was kind enough to replace the crystal, clean the pushers and generally tidy up my everyday watch, a Seiko 7A28-7120 that I was issued with in 1984, and then acquired when it was officially written off in 1997.  He saw me wearing my old 1968 Omega Seamaster 300 when I went to collect my restored Seiko, and suggested it might be quite collectable, and that led to me meeting a very nice and helpful collector, and ultimately to the sale of the Omega, primarily as I never liked it much (it's too large and heavy IMHO) and also because I've always wanted to have some spare cash to get my old Tudor Prince Oysterdate restored.

The Tudor Prince Oysterdate has had a rough life.  I bought from a hard-up colleague for £20 in Singapore back around 1974, thinking it was a fake Rolex, and I took no care of it at all.  The clasp broke and was very roughly repaired, and then  I broke the crystal - banged it on a pillar in a pub in Falmouth some time around around 1976/7.  Since then it's been stored away in a box with some other old, broken watches, including a solid gold Cyma that was an 18th birthday present to me from my Godfather (and which I also broke in the early 1970s!).

Now I have had the time to look at the Tudor carefully, and do some research on the internet, I'm semi-convinced that it is not a fake and may well be genuine, although I would be the first to say that my knowledge of watches is next to nowt!  My hope is that someone here may be able to shed some light on my watch, and whether it is worth getting repaired or not.  I appreciate that it is going to be very expensive to get repaired, but it does at least run and keep good time, although the second hand no longer moves, and may have been damaged when  the crystal broke all those years ago.  The face has also suffered a bit, and seems to have gone a sort of browny yellow, perhaps because it's been stored away in a cardboard box for around 40 years or so.

Here are the photos:

Face.jpg

Rear.jpg

Watch_and_bracelet.jpg

 

The model number marked on the case is 7956 and the case serial number is 409104.  The only markings on the bracelet than I can find are 67 stamped into both the pieces closest to the watch lugs.  The diameter of the watch (excluding the crown) is 31mm and the distance between the lugs is 17mm.  I think it may date from around 1963/4, and that the bracelet may have been added later, as I believe that the "67" refers to 1967.

I would appreciate any advice that anyone can give, or recommendations for someone who may be able to restore it (as long as such recommendations are within the forum rules).

 

 

 

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That dial looks grand, having it stored away for so long has helped it not age as much as others. I’m no expert, but the riveted bracelets went out of fashion at some point, so that could help date it. Of course, the case model number and serial could be looked up by Rolex and yield more specific info about date of manufacture. :yes: 

Welcome to the forum ... great first post! 

Edited by Chromejob
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Thanks very much for the warm welcome, I'm pleased you think the dial looks OK, I was a bit concerned about the colour, to be honest.  I did look up the case serial number, and that seems to give a date of between 1963 and 1964, as far as I can tell.  I believe that Tudor case serial numbers are different to Rolex case serial numbers, even though the case has all the appearance of being a normal Rolex Oyster case, but I'm not at all an expert, and am going on what I've read on this forum and others in the main.

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That makes it a birth year watch for me. I wonder what one would run me.... (Don't answer, Scott! I have no funds at the moment to even dream about it! :swoon: )

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Thanks again.  I've been looking around for a repairer and found one or two on line that seem as if they may be able to do the work, including one who appears to be Rolex qualified.  My main concern is whether or not the knock that broke the crystal has damaged the the parts that drive the second hand, as that just spins around freely and doesn't seem to be connected to anything.  I can't see any obvious damage from the front, as the back has never been off as long as I've owned the watch, as I don't have whatever special tool is needed to get the back off an Oyster case.  I've just checked it and it's still running and keeping good time, though, so I'm guessing that most of the movement must me working OK.

I definitely want to get this repaired now, but it's beyond my very limited skills.  My first ever watch repair was only a week ago, and that was just cleaning my late Father's 1969 Rotary, fitting a new battery and being amazed that it ran and kept good time.  I did buy some tools to get the back off, plus a set of decent watchmakers screwdrivers and loupe.  However, it's one thing to work on a watch that has little monetary value and that has been sat in a box in a loft since 1972 (the year he died) and quite another to work on one like this Tudor, which I suspect could be worth somewhere around £800 to £1000 when repaired and put back into good working order.  I think I will build my watch repair skills slowly, on less expensive watches, and leave this one to a professional.

The solid gold Cyma I mentioned in the first post may well be my next repair job.  That's a 1956 model (according to the Edinburgh hall mark inside the gold case) and was damaged when the front of the watch literally dropped off, taking the movement with it (the back is solid gold with the lugs integrated to it, so the movement comes out the front).  The balance wheel shaft broke and took out the jewel that supports the broken end at the top, but the dial and the rest of the movement looks to be unmarked.  By luck I found another Cyma R.458 movement that is very close in serial number to mine, for sale very cheaply, with a rubbish face and hands, but it apparently tries to run, then stops  I've taken the risk and bought it in the hope I can use it for spares.  The photos of it show that the balance wheel looks to be in good condition and it looks as if I can just swap the whole balance wheel assembly over for the one in my movement and perhaps get it running.  If I get it running I then need to find a new crystal for it and learn how to fit it, as it seems to be secured by a gold bezel ring that clips to the case and holds the watch together.  If I do tackle the Cyma  I'll try and take some photos and post them in a new thread, although I've found that it's not easy to get good watch photographs, even with a reasonably decent camera.

Off to try and get some quotes to repair the Tudor now, hopefully the repair cost won't exceed the value!

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