failsafe ORIGINAL dials

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by Jon Hanson, Jun 12, 2009.

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  1. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    #1 Jon Hanson, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
    For the last 20 years there has been a rash of American pocket watch dial SWITCHING. This occurs because of condition fanatics seeking perfection, watch upgraders, and fast buck artists who either switch original dials around ruining originality, replace damaged dials (minor to severe) with FAKE dials (made yesterday), or use decal dials to cover up hairlined dials to "make ugly watches saleable," as per Roy Ehrhardt who created the dial decal.

    For those who despise FAKERY, SWITCHING and the ruination of the original movement/watch the failsafe route to original watch collecting might be to collect European watches, specifically English watches which either have movement serial numbers on the dial or beautiful chamlieve gold or silver dials, named or numbered that were made specifically for the specific watch movement. Althought some FAKE silver champlieve dials have been made, these are usually recognizeable on or off the movement (at least the fakery is minimal and is too costly for less rare movements). SWITCHING such dials is extremely difficult, cases even more so due to size, period, hallmarks and winding holes.

    So, one falsafe route to collecting straight pocket watxhes might be to go the European route--less SWITCHING and easily recogonizeable FAKES! Certainly, like anything else, one must also do their homework to learn the finer points o collecting!
     
  2. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    Years ago, I acquired a very nice Hamilton 950B in a near perfect original case, and with a good (not perfect) melamine dial (S# S 10xxx). I later came into possession of a NOS, double-sunk enamel dial marked Hamilton 23 jewels, Railway Special. So the 950B now proudly wears the porcelain dial. (I still have the melamine dial). Have I done a major dis-service to watch collecting? Not in my view. Have I significantly detracted from the originality of the watch? Not significantly in my view. Do I feel guilty for "adulterating" the 950B. Not in the least! Were I to sell the watch (fat chance!), I'd put the melamine dial back on if the purchaser was fanatic about originality. Matter of fact, the melamine dial would go back on before the watch was offered for sale!

    According to "Zip" Zimmerla, the porcelain dial was discontinued in favor of the melamine dial circa 1949. According to the serial number list I checked, my 950B was made about 1951. Have I ruined the 950B. You be the judge!
     

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  3. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    For a common RR watch you have not, nor has the correct type of dial been altered for this watch. It this makes you happy, GREAT; but you have upgraded your watch and this is great for the pocketbook! BUT NOTE, I have seen many 950b watches with the completely absurd Hamilton dial switch.

    RR collectors routinely SWITCH; however, many dealers SWITCH incorrect period RR dials or non DSs when the norm is for a DS.

    Personally, I do not collect RRs; RRs have had TREMENDOUS quantities of watches parted out and switched--many of the common as dirt 992Bs have been switched around to the point of absurdity and some folks (like terry H) now track what is correct or not and assist collectors.

    I hope your melamine is original as these are now being FAKED!

    Lastly, this does not pertain to my point of COMPLETE originality, as in matching numbered Eng. dials and mov'ts.

    Good luck!
     

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