Marts and gold scrappers

Discussion in 'Member News and Views' started by musicguy, Sep 16, 2018.

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  1. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Yesterday I was at a Mart of one of the 3 chapters that I belong to. Two
    people down from my own table was a gold scrapper with a scale right in front of them.
    It's not hidden in any way(and I'm not saying they should hide it)
    The person had a large pile of Gold Filled pocket watch cases on the scale that someone was scrapping.
    I know it's inevitable that cases are going to be scrapped, and I do understand that.
    What I don't like is that it's at a NAWCC mart. I didn't say anything to the
    organizers because if it's acceptable to them, then I don't want to make
    waves. But, my son who was with me expressed disappointment when he saw
    all those usable watch cases being scrapped, and I didn't feel good
    about it either. You can find scrappers and gold buyers on every corner
    these days so I think people should scrap these somewhere else
    that is not sanctioned by the NAWCC.

    Rob
     
  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    Hi Rob, I do agree with you. Lynching and Stocks come to mind when on this subject!!! Regards Ray
     
  3. sprio

    sprio Registered User
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    Sounds like a violation of section A.3 of the Member's Code, which states: Members shall support the collection and preservation of horological items and knowledge, not engage in activities that encourage the loss of these to posterity, and shall take reasonable and proper care of all horological items in their possession.
     
  4. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    As you know, Music Guy, I experienced that multiple times at the local chapter I used to go to and haven't been back as the only activity these days at those marts, other than myself buying stuff from others, was others buying gold filled cases just for the scrap after they profess they are watchmakers while there is no watch material worth a spit at their tables. They are out early to see what is displayed and then make the rounds later in the mart when they think you will sell just to make a few bucks, they do not pay anything near true value. I think they should get the heave ho from the marts.
     
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  5. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Richie the person who had the cases to scrap is someone you do know and
    he did exactly what you said above.
    This isn't the same chapter I originally met you at, but it's the same exact person. The other
    person who pays for a table and has the scale is someone I don't
    think you know. So it's multiple people.

    I would just like the "powers that be" send out a letter to all chapters
    and ask them not to have scrappers there with scales. Only
    there for that reason.


    Rob
     
  6. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    I think I know who you are talking about, Nyet
     
  7. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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  8. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    I have to tell you a little story about when I went to the Birmingham Clocks and Watches Fair about 10 years ago.

    I saw on a table a gold-cased Roskell watch which interested me. I took my scale out of my pocket and put it on the table, which produced the following conversation:

    Seller: You can't weight it, I don't sell watches for scrap.
    Me: But I need to know what the gold in the case is worth.
    Seller: The price has nothing to do with the gold value.
    Me: That's fine, I'll offer you £200 for the watch.
    Seller: £200 :???: The gold is worth more than that!
     
  9. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    The 2 NAWCC long term & loyal members, Bill Beams & Irv Baird, who I have attended shows with for over 20+ are good people and this thread is a disservice to them.

    They also buy 4-6 tables per show which is full of nice GF & Gold cases that are to nice to melt.

    Complaints like this usually come from newer members who see this activity going on but don't bother to ask questions or look closely at the goods being sold.

    They also buy old batteries,silver, etc.
     
  10. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #10 musicguy, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    That was rude

    Jim before you tell me I'm doing a disservice, you don't know that I didn't
    ask questions. The person who buys gold cases at the show that
    I'm talking about DOES NOT sell gold cases at the mart they scrap them. They told me
    that this is what they do for a living(this is their job). The other person who also buys gold cases
    does not sell them either. The scrapper is a nice person I've talked to them
    many times their table was next to mine. But they are 100% scrapers.
    The other scrapper is not a nice person and always tries to take advantage of sellers.

    Your friends Bill Beams & Irv Baird are different from the people I'm talking about.


    Rob
     
  11. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rob,

    Did you examine the cases in question? If so, could you tell if they were buffed to such a high degree that it would be very hard to determine if they would turn to bass in a month or so,after the polishing wears off? What appears to you to be a nice case, is most likely polished to the max.

    It wouldn't make sense to scrap good case when they will sell for more than scrap to anyone who wants a nice case.

    You are also looking over the fact that these people are NAWCC members in good standing and there are NOT specific rule against it.

    If you want a cause to complain about take on the STEAMPUNK issue, however I will warn you in advance, that it will be almost impossible to prove that they are breaking up good clocks or watches.

    Your other recourse would be to file an ethics complaint, Good Luck
     
  12. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I'm not sure why you are fighting with me, you were not there
    and don't even know these people. I posted here because
    it bothered me. I'm sorry that you disagree.

    Rob
     
  13. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rob,
    I am not fighting with you.

    I am making the argument to point out the obvious, that Gold filled or Gold cases that are worn out can be scrapped without a attitude like you have.

    Look at it like recycling. You didn't answer my questions but rather take offense that everyone doesn't agree with your complaint.

    I am sorry but that is not the ways things work. You have stated your opinion and when an opinion that differs with your is presented you take offense and call me rude
    .
    Why would me asking you if you really examined the cases and knew for sure they were good cases be considered rude.

    There are usually several sides to a discussion and you seem offended if presented with a opposing point
     
  14. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    I didn't answer the question because I decided not to continue fighting
    about this with you. You were not there. You have a strong opinion on this in the same way that I do(on the other side).
    I do respect your opinion. I'm not sure when you say, " but rather take offense that everyone doesn't agree with your complaint"
    because you are the only one so far in this thread who has disagreed. There are people in this
    exact same thread who have met some of these people and they know
    what I'm talking about.

    I wasn't offended with an opposing point, I was offended in the way you said it.
    See post #10


    Rob
     
  15. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rob,
    Your opening post has several conflicting statements in it.

    If you had a pile of worn out cases to scrap wouldn't it be more convenient to get rid of them there, rather than mail them or drive across town?

    Do you know for sure if they were usable? Did you examine them? Could you tell if they were buffed up to look good?



    This is the real dilemma. It is sanctioned by the NAWCC, so you do have an avenue to appeal to.


    Also, my point was you didn't really know if the cases were good or not and I said, why would they do that when they could easily sell for more than GF scrap.
     
  16. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    (said in a nice way) we can't even agree on what you consider conflicting statements.;)

    lets leave it at that. :)


    Rob
     
  17. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rob,
    I pointed your conflicting statements in post 15.

    In summary you are complaining about scrappers and especially them being present in a NAWCC mart but you say,


    musicguy said:
    I know it's inevitable that cases are going to be scrapped, and I do understand that.
     
  18. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    The old meets the new or the new meets the old.
     
  19. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #19 musicguy, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Lot's of things are inevitable Jim. That doesn't mean
    I agree with it, or condone it.

    I'll say it in a more direct manner, I don't believe that the National Association
    of Watch and Clock Collectors
    , Inc should be directly involved in the destruction of any horological
    items.

    I do believe that any individual should be able to do whatever they want with
    what they own(as long as it's within the law).

    EDIT.....If this puts me in a small minority here then I'm not going to
    hang around much longer.




    Rob
     
  20. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

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    A Case scrapped is a Case lost forever; Gold Plated Cases can be, if a rare Case be re-plated. American Cases; there are plenty of them around so it is not much of a problem, but Verge and Fusee Cases are custom made to fit the movement. Regards Ray
     
  21. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rob,
    I see your point However, You have not address the questions I have asked you several times about the condition of the item being scrapped.

    Until you can verify that this person is scrapping perfectly good cases, you don't have a point.

    I have pointed out several times about checking these for wear because most will buff them up to hide the wear, so you see a pile of cases being scrapped and may be jumping the conclusion that they are good cases.
    ??
     
  22. Keith R...

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    They should be banned from Marts.

    Keith R...
     
  23. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Obviously you don't believe me(and that's OK), but I did say in the first post in this thread the answer to your question
    that I believed that they were usable cases. I was about 2 feet away from them and the
    scrapper handled them one at a time. I do understand that what I may consider usable might be junk to someone else who has different expectations . But these were not junk.
    But in the end, I think we have a fundamental difference in opinion. As I said
    above I don't believe that the NAWCC should be involved in the destruction of
    any horological items. Not to mention all the movements that were taken out of them.


    Rob
     
  24. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I once had a really nice little 14 size Waltham in a gold case that I needed to sell. I offered it at about 15 meetings over the course of more than 2 years. No one was interested in a small watch and I could not sell it. Finally I took it to a very big flea market in PA where a gold dealer was always set up and had a reputation for fair prices.

    In order to determine what the gold content of the hunting case was, he had to cut out the lift springs which, of course, destroyed the case. It really broke my heart to see that happen to the case and I never really got over it. However, he paid me almost double the price I had been trying to sell the watch for.

    As the years passed, I eventually got to liking those 14 size Am'n grade movements with the screw in stem and have wished I still had that watch.

    On the other hand, gold is a commodity and jewelers routinely melt and purify gold to use in their work. Everything is in a position to be sacrificed for something else that deserves to benefit. I sometimes reread O'Henry's "Gift of the Magi" to remind myself of this.

    Some may remember that the NAWCC once had a rule banning gold scrappers and some others from our mart rooms. The policy was divisive and not really effective. In my opinion, policing of legal but objectionable behavior is not a good idea. No one owns the definition of objectionable. Just as no one knows how bad an example needs to be to still be protected as a horological artifact.

    If you say that people may not scrap items you feel should be protected, are you willing to purchase them from those people to protect them? If you are not willing to purchase them, then are you saying that they are required to own and store those items forever?

    I think some of us may make the mistake of conveying human sensibilities to these inanimate objects.I know that I catch myself doing that from time to time. That presents itself when we talk about objects having goals and ambitions.
     
  25. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Everyone, to defend Rob, these guys who buy these cases buy good cases and pay way below value and try to bundle a bunch together and give you a low ball price, I have dealt with them and consider them as nothing more than scavengers. I learned a valuable lesson from them, don't let your guard down or they will pile so much stuff up that they try to sneak a few good watches from your stuff under the pile. Their table has rusty, dusty parts only, nothing of any value.
     
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  26. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #26 musicguy, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    No Tom, that's not what I am saying in any way(I can't say that strong enough) and I never said that here.
    There are gold buyers everywhere these
    days and if someone wants to sell their gold cases or anything they want that is gold
    it's their prerogative(scrap whatever you want). I personally don't have to though(and I don't judge individuals who do).
    As I said above, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc should not need to be
    a facilitator in the destruction of any horological items.
    What does the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors stand for?

    I'm done here


    Rob
     
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  27. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Rob, I hope you understand that the word "you" in what I wrote was not directed at any one person. The reason I used "you" instead of "one" is that I have gotten feedback that I am much too formal in my speech here.

    The "you" in that was as much me as anyone else. The point is how does one find a balance between what he feels about the cultural value of items in poor condition. If you believe, as I do that some of these items have no future value as horological artifacts and may therefore be scrapped, we need to come up with something that causes as little distress as we can.

    For me that decision comes down to policing our venues vs. ignoring those whose business practices we dislike. When we are talking about how different people feel differently about an activity, I do not like the idea of the majority making rules to discipline the minority. I have no problem with comments like, "Gee I wish you would not do that, it makes me uncomfortable to see those things bound for destruction." If enough people feel the same way, it becomes the "group norm" and the offenses will at least become less common. If the person is really stubborn, they will still stop coming when it is clear that none of the other members want to do business with them.

    When you start banning people for behavior you do not like, there is no real end to that process. Banning their behavior but not them is pretty much the same to me.

    I am truly sorry if I offended you. I really think this is an important topic to discuss and understand one another's positions.
     
  28. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Super Moderator
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    Rob, for what it is worth, I agree with what you have said here about this scrapping business. The NAWCC should have nothing to do with it.
     
  29. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    OK, Rob, I believe your above statement sums up the disagreement.

    My thoughts are this: You can not judge a pile of cases on a table from 2 feet away.

    This is why I stated 3 or 4 times the fact that people buff up cases to sell to the unwary that are worn out.

    You never looked at them but believe that they we "good" cases??

    If you feel as you do , then that would have been the time to go over and inspect the cases and offer a price to "SAVE" them and then you have felt much better about the situation.;)
     
  30. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    #31 musicguy, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Jim the person buying these cases is a professional buyer of gold who
    has been doing it for years at this mart and other chapter marts for many many years
    also in their own business of gold buying was not fooled by shined up cases.
    I know you don't believe this but it's true. This is their only job and they are good at it.
    In past marts they bought 4 or 5 solid gold cases from another dealer
    who couldn't sell the watches. Let this go.

    EDIT
    My Mart table was next to theirs last year(in fact we shared a table), I know more than I'm saying
    Big money is being exchanged

    Rob
     
  31. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    #32 Jim Haney, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Rob,
    You have misunderstood my point. You are the unwary because you really don't know the condition of the cases, you are just "assuming" they were good cases.

    The scrapper is not unwary at all, it is his business and he knows what he is paying for worn out cases.

    Your whole tone and purpose of this thread is to condemn the NAWCC for allowing scrappers to rent tables in the mart and to give a black eye to people in business to who buy "SCRAPPED" gold.

    These people who you are trying to condemn are NAWCC members and most likely pay more for tables and business memberships per year than you could pay for in many years.

    So what is the point? We all get it you don't like it , however they every right to do it and you don't and didn't bother to look at the goods you claim were good cases, so how can you possibly be the judge?
     
  32. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Obviously you are mad at me, I'm sorry if I upset you.
    I will drop this subject.


    Rob
     
  33. Jerry Treiman

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    I want to register my support for the opinion that the NAWCC, as an association dedicated to the preservation of horological artifacts, should not provide support to those actively destroying these artifacts. We can't stop them but we needn't condone their activity. Also, as a collector and researcher of American watch cases, I see value in the cases that goes beyond their scrap value. I believe there is much to learn from some cases, even if quite worn. After all, a "watch" is the combination of a movement and a case. The movements that are the focus of so many of us tell only half the story.
     
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  34. Jim Haney

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    Rob,
    There you go again assuming things that are not true,

    I am not mad at you. and I was not rude to you as you stated in an earlier post.

    What does it take to be able to refute your arguments without you being offended.?

    I am just pointing out the assumptions of your statements with the facts.

    You are the one assuming things without verify them.
     
  35. Bryan Eyring

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    I agree with every word that Jim has posted here - it always the bottom feeders and the bargain hunters who are either too cheap or too broke to buy gold watches who whine the loudest.

    Want to see less scrapping? Then put up, and start spending the $$ to preserve these fine items like other serious collectors.

    Otherwise, bite out.
     
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  36. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Jerry,
    I have a pile of completely worn to the brass cases. How much will you pay for them?

    Do you consider a scrapper who buys junk cases a destroyer of Horological artifacts ?

    Looks like you and Rob are trying to label scrappers, who buy junk, as destroyers of Valuable Horological Artifacts ?

    We are not on the same line of thinking or you are trying to make it sound like scrappers would rather scrappe a case than make a profit on it?

    .Who would destroy these items when they could get twice as much for them in original condition?
     
  37. Jerry Treiman

    Jerry Treiman Registered User
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    Are any of them from rare or little-known case makers? Do any of them have unique or uncommon innovations in features or construction that help tell the story of our American casemaking industry? There may be a collector who would be interested in such cases. I am not likely to buy your cases as I do not have a lot of resources, so I focus on the watches and cases that pertain to my interest (well noted in many of my research posts). Preserving one small part of the whole is the best I can do.

    One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. As Tom has pointed out this is a broad gray area. I don’t think that the NAWCC should be party to this process. But, Yes, I have come across some ignorant scrappers who have destroyed important watch cases. I see orphaned movements all the time on eBay that many would have loved to have as a complete watch. We all should be doing our part to spread information on the case makers and what makes some cases relevant. As Bryan points out, too, we collectors need to appreciate the value of the cases more if we want to compete with the scrappers.
     
  38. Bryan Eyring

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    Jerry gets it, he buys gold watches and pays a premium over melt.

    Some of these other guys, especially the newer ones on the American PW Forum, seem to want to do nothing else but talk about how bad the market is, how they should be able to buy watches cheaper, and yammer on about their bargains.

    And yet, some still wonder why the market is in the crapper
    :emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished::emoji_astonished:
     
  39. darrahg

    darrahg Registered User
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    Regardless of a sellers intent, if anyone violates the NAWCC rules, as detailed in the thread above (#3), his(her) name should be submitted to the NAWCC board with explanation and requested that member be banned from future shows. If the NAWCC doesn't stand behind these rules than there is not much that can be done.
     
  40. Jim Haney

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    It is a gray area because who decides if a worn out case is worthy of being saved for horological posterity ?

    The BOD can not ban anyone unless an ethics complaint is filled and investigated and the Ethics committee recommend some action.

    I don't see any way to police this situation and really don't think it is a problem, unless we can find some scrapper who DOES destroy good cases and that is not likely because he can sell good stuff for more than Gold scrap prices.
     
    Bryan Eyring likes this.
  41. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

    Apr 11, 2002
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    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
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    I am in the hobby to preserve. I know many dont feel the way that i do. I know for a fact that profit is what many want, and dont care about preserving horological items. I dont believe or condone this practice at a mart either. Add me to the list of people that dont like this, and feel the NAWCC should not be involved in this either.
     
  42. Cindy PWL

    Cindy PWL New Member

    Sep 18, 2018
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    Hi fellow watch lovers. I'm new. I didn't expect such aggressive posts! Passion is good,but one of you just likes to argue.
    And not very well,at that!
     
    Dick C likes this.
  43. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
    NAWCC Business Donor Sponsor

    Feb 11, 2005
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    Hello Cindy and welcome!
    Don't worry, most of our discussions are not this 'passionate'! This just happens to be one of those topics that pretty much everyone has a strong opinion on.
     
  44. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User

    Feb 28, 2010
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    Yeah Dave, Hanging, Lynching, Stocks and Boiled in Oil. Not really. Regards Ray
     
  45. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

    Jan 12, 2017
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    Hi Cindy

    Welcome to the message board:)


    Rob
     
  46. Cindy PWL

    Cindy PWL New Member

    Sep 18, 2018
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    Thank you!
    I have a lot to learn myself.
     
  47. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
    NAWCC Member Sponsor

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    #48 musicguy, Sep 19, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
    As one of "newer ones" on the American PW Forum(that you might be referring to above)
    I just want to say something positive about bottom feeders, and new collectors(like everyone
    here started out as). I can't say that that the word(bottom feeder) truly defines me, but I do feel great
    about some of the watches that I have purchased that fit that bill.

    These watches were sold to me as non working (in addition to not working some also had missing
    hands, or broken crystals).

    Some were complete watches in cases(that I have had repaired, many recently by Rob Carter
    and other people right here from this Forum)

    Some were non-working movements(that I have re cased and saved cases, many of these cases
    were bought at NAWCC marts and some from Jones & Horan at full price ). I have also had cases themselves repaired.

    I have also bought many watches with plastic crystals that I personally replaced(or had replaced
    by people on this forum) with glass.

    I have purchased correct hands for watches and replaced inappropriate ones(from members here on the
    forum).

    This has given me some of the greatest enjoyment(and learning experience, and education)) in my pocket watch collecting hobby.
    Yes this is bottom feeding and bargain hunting(on purpose) but some of the
    Scarce or uncommon watches(and common ones) that I have had a part of bringing back to full function has given me
    great enjoyment.

    We all play our own part in preserving horological items.



    Rob
     
  48. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
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    I believe the only way scrappers will disappear from the Marts is market related. There will be scrappers working in secret if not in the open, so banning them would not likely prevent the scrapping from happening. But when the table costs more than the revenue received, the practice will end. The solution seems simple enough: don't sell watches or cases to them. But money always rules, and the people selling are selling for revenue, and the people buying to scrap are scrapping for revenue. It does hurt to see old things disappear for good ... but younger people don't seem interested in preserving the past and will continue to sell grandpa's things as long as money can be made. When we open the marts to the public I believe the situation will become worse. We'll see.
     
    RL likes this.
  49. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

    Apr 11, 2002
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    I work at the Veritas Tools machine shop.
    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
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    Why cant the NAWCC just say no scrappers at marts, does not seem so difficult. I know it wont completely stop it, but its a start.
     

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