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Thread: Mid 1950s Omega Value?

  1. #1
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Mid 1950s Omega Value?

    This caught my eye yesterday but I think I’m out of touch on prices. It’s apparently from 1955, boxed (green box), no papers, appears gold capped on the lugs (not sure about the bezel) and generally in good order - others may disagree. I wasn't sure about the dial font tbh - how good or otherwise was it 60 years ago? Does anyone have an up to date price suggestion?

    Sorry about the pics. It was quite tricky in the light and on my phone.

    Thanks.





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    Last edited by dejjl; 9th September 2019 at 16:24.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Quite a few on ebay and selling for maybe £350 up to £750

    looks to be an "ordinary" Constellation - it looks an average condition watch - so at the lower end of the above range

  3. #3
    Master Mark020's Avatar
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    Unfortunately a bad redial....

  4. #4
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    Unless it's the angle of the watch, but the lettering looks alittle squw wif to me. Or is that normal.

  5. #5
    Grand Master
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    Dial has been refinished with incorrect font, A very mediocre example in my opinion. Crown's wrong too.

    Prices are strong for the best examples.....but this isn`t one of them.

  6. #6
    Master Mark020's Avatar
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    +1. Correct arrowheads do command serious pricing

  7. #7
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    I have often thought about a pie pan but I donít know about too much about vintage omegas.

    Is there a good book with pictures, models and reference numbers that doesnít cost a fortune? Ebay is a bit of a minefield

  8. #8
    Master
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    Step away from the watch.

  9. #9
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    As pointed out by others not a great example

    Lugs appear to have come in for a very heavy polish ! Could be the angle on the photo

    I don't know of any books that concern the Constellation only. There is a great blog by Desmond that will keep you reading for days , before I purchased mine this was where I learnt the most

  10. #10
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    I would not be buying that due to the all too obvious redial, if nothing else.

    I like stepped lugs but they remind me of the Tissot Visodate. I don't know anything about 50s Omegas. Did they actually have stepped lugs?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo12 View Post
    As pointed out by others not a great example

    Lugs appear to have come in for a very heavy polish ! Could be the angle on the photo

    I don't know of any books that concern the Constellation only. There is a great blog by Desmond that will keep you reading for days , before I purchased mine this was where I learnt the most
    Thanks robbo - Iíll take a look

  12. #12
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Thanks all. Iím very grateful for forum expertise.

  13. #13
    Looks to be a 2852, Iíve one in steel and a gold capped. How much was it?

  14. #14
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    Hopefully very very cheap but something tells me it was not !

  15. #15
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    Having spent a lot on a constellation and then find out it's a redial and ask nicely and get immediately money back.
    That's - as previous said - a dire redial.
    The M Oand gap need to line up - prefectly.
    Look at 12 oclock - the line is off the minute track - that would never happen for a factory watch.

    I think 90% of constellations are little bit touched - but I might be wrong. Seems real hard to get a good honest one.

  16. #16
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    The back case would also never ever have "constellation" written around the side. and the stars look real odd.

  17. #17
    Master dejjl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robbo12 View Post
    Hopefully very very cheap but something tells me it was not !
    Youíre right. North of a grand.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by wallyuk View Post
    The back case would also never ever have "constellation" written around the side. and the stars look real odd.
    Where is your knowledge coming from. The Constellation and waterproof engraving around the outside of the case back is normal for this reference.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    I would not be buying that due to the all too obvious redial, if nothing else.
    No such thing as a ‘redial’, redial is what you do with a phone.

    A dial is either refinished, restored, or replaced. The term ‘redial’ is somewhat ambiguous and often used in a disparaging manner by folks who don’t really know much about watches, they repeat what they read on the internet.

    Watch dials get refinished or replaced for a reason, usually because they’re knackered and look a mess, it’s not a cheap option. In recent years an obsession with ‘originality’ has been nurtured by the internet, whilst we all like to see original items in good condition there’s been a trend towards placing ‘originality’ on a pedestal and decrying anything that’s obviously been restored.

    In this case, the font of the word ‘Constellation’ is completely wrong and spoils the dial. However, if this had been done correctly the watch would’ve been far more credible, the purists would still poo-poo it for having a refinished dial but to the buyers with a more pragmatic approach it would've been well worth considering.

    Very few Omegas of this age will meet true ‘collectors grade’ criteria, the ones that do will always command a premium price. Taking a more pragmatic view, it makes sense to accept some compromise and give yourself a much wider choice provided the prices are realistic.
    Last edited by walkerwek1958; 9th September 2019 at 22:22.

  20. #20
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    I think I had better sit in the corner, facing the wall and step away from the keyboard.

    The watch I spent £1200 on (quite similar) was labelled as "original dial" hence I was in a stronger position of - er no it's not.
    I made a rash mistake, please can I have my money back, pretty please and it all worked out OK in the end.
    Be very polite, precise, succinct and accept advice.

  21. #21
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    In some cases itís obvious that a dial has been refinished (not Ďredialled!) , but a really good refinish thatís been done many years ago and has now aged is far more difficult to spot. Sometimes the only way to tell whatís gone on is to remove the dial and inspect it very carefully. A seller may claim that a dialís original when in truth he doesnít really know.

    Last year I bought a mid- 60s Seamaster Deville with one of the cleanest dials Iíve ever seen, so clean that I suspect itís been replaced by a correct new replacement at some point. This couldíve happened 20-30 years ago and the watch has hardly been used, we just donít know the history of these watches and sometimes it pays to step back and enjoy them for what they are.

    Iím currently wearing a mid-60s Constellation with an original black dial, At least I think itís original but despite inspecting it very carefully whilst restoring the watch Iím still not certain, it shows signs of very light ageing but it does look a bit sharp considering its age. I donít really care, the watch is a stunning example thatís been refinished correctly by me to a high standard, Iím v. pleased with it and if someone wishes to pick fault with it after becoming an internet expert thatís fine.

  22. #22
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    No such thing as a Ďredialí, redial is what you do with a phone.

    A dial is either refinished, restored, or replaced. The term Ďredialí is somewhat ambiguous and often used in a disparaging manner by folks who donít really know much about watches, they repeat what they read on the internet.
    Oh come on, don't be so pedantic. And less of the wholly unnecessary patronising please. I do not "repeat" what I read on the Internet but I most certainly do learn from personal experience, from personal observation, and from what I read and see on the Internet.

    One of the things I have learned from a decade's collecting is that there most certainly is such a thing as what we commonly call a "redial" and you know it perfectly well: The word "redial" is very a common and perfectly adequate, descriptive and appropriate term to refer to a dial that has been repainted or restored -- usually noticeably badly, like this one. Good redials (or "refinishes" or "restorations" to use your preferred words) tend not to get noticed at all by most people. I don't know why you are taking exception to the word "redial" when it is so common, so descriptive, and so adequate, and is a word that covers both refinishes and restorations.

    As you say, a dial could be refinished or restored but, as I observe above, both of those are what we commonly call "redial". It often doesn't actually matter which one it was (how do you define them, by the way?): It only matters that it happened and that it is either good or bad as people aesthetically and technically perceive it. I left out "replaced" from the previous sentence as this can be different depending on the nature and quality of the replacement; a replacement is not necessarily perceived as a redial.

    Anyway: This watch has had a bad redial. That's the truth of it. Whether it was "restored" (badly) or "refinished" is pretty much irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Watch dials get refinished or replaced for a reason, usually because theyíre knackered and look a mess, itís not a cheap option. In recent years an obsession with Ďoriginalityí has been nurtured by the internet, whilst we all like to see original items in good condition thereís been a trend towards placing Ďoriginalityí on a pedestal and decrying anything thatís obviously been restored.
    All true in general but not necessarily overly relevant to the issue of this particular watch or my (entirely correct, normal and appropriate) use of the word "redial".

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    In this case, the font of the word ĎConstellationí is completely wrong and spoils the dial. However, if this had been done correctly the watch wouldíve been far more credible, the purists would still poo-poo it for having a refinished dial but to the buyers with a more pragmatic approach it would've been well worth considering.
    For me, it's (a) the incredibly wonky and misplaced minute markers (the dial restorer didn't even get the markers to line up with the cross hairs), (b) the squiggly hand writing for the dial text, and (c) the very unevenly re-applied Omega logo that put me off.

    I'm certainly no purist but I would reject this watch out of hand for its overall noticeably poor redial, quite apart from the incorrectly handwritten "Constellation". And yes, "redial" is a perfectly good, perfectly descriptive, perfectly adequate, perfectly appropriate word. Yes, "refinished" or "restored" are more precise than "redial", and I fully accept that, but that doesn't make "redial" and less appropriate or useful in real world practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Very few Omegas of this age will meet true Ďcollectors gradeí criteria, the ones that do will always command a premium price. Taking a more pragmatic view, it makes sense to accept some compromise and give yourself a much wider choice provided the prices are realistic.
    I agree with you on this. One must compromise to some extent but the redial on this (yes, I will continue to use the general and adequate word for a refinished or restored dial) is so bad that, for me, the compromise required would be too great. Personally I prefer vintage watches that have some patina (but of course not too much).

  23. #23
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    In some cases it’s obvious that a dial has been refinished (not ‘redialled!) , but a really good refinish that’s been done many years ago and has now aged is far more difficult to spot. Sometimes the only way to tell what’s gone on is to remove the dial and inspect it very carefully. A seller may claim that a dial’s original when in truth he doesn’t really know.
    I agree (and I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you). But there really is no need to get so hung up on semantics. A refinish is a sort of redial. There really is nothing wrong with the word "redial". It is perfectly adequate to describe a watch that has had its dial altered, redone, repainted, touched up, refinished, restored, or whatever else could be done to a dial.

    Yes, the word "redial" is non-specific but that's fine. It rarely matters as to exactly what was done: It usually only matters about what is noticeable or unnoticeable or what looks good or doesn't look good as things stand today.

    And yes, a redial (I'm still using that word because the exact details of refinish or restore really don't usually matter much in practice from the buyer's perspective) done some time in the past may not be recognisable at all today.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 10th September 2019 at 04:56.

  24. #24
    Master Mark020's Avatar
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    All fonts are off
    Markers are poorly aligned
    Crosshair too fat
    Minute markers too fat...

    So: 100% redial and a bad one.

  25. #25
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    I find it very frustrating when refinished dials get basic details wrong. For me, the killer on this is the 'Constellation' font, it's way off being correct. As ever, there's a reason, folks don`t simply get things wrong because they can`t be bothered. The reason is that the dial refinishers only have a limited set of printing plates/blocks so they have to use what they deem to be closest. I've had this explained to me by a firm who refinish dials, to prepare a new set of plates or whatever is a significant investment so unless the customer wishes to pay several hundred pounds it won't happen.

    The other really frustrating aspect is the very fine sunburst finish that's present in many old watch dials; unless someone knows better I'm not aware of a refinisher who can replicate this. I don`t know how that effect is created initially, my knowledge of the dial manufacturing process is limited, but to me this is the one single aspect that makes a refinished dial less desirable. Contrary to the crusty 'purists' who pronounce on these issues (whilst muttering into their beards), I personally can live with minor differences in font size or even font style in some cases, but the loss of the fine sunburst changes how the dial looks.

    It's very fashionable thesedays to dismiss all refinished dials, with much tutting and sucking of teeth, but if done properly on certain watches they are indiscernible to all but the experts. Some of the criticism reminds me of the 15 year old kids with car posters on their walls who would argue the pros and cons of their favourite..........how many of the watch critics actually own, or have owned, something better? And how many have had to make decisions on the best way forward when restoring a scruffy old watch!

    As for the watch featured here, I doubt it'll be cheap enough to be a feasible project, if it was it would be worth getting the dial refinished to a much better standard and carefully refinishing the case provided the gold hasn`t worn through or any deep dings are present. This would sharpen the watch up and provide something far more acceptable. This version is quite rare and does have appeal, but this example sits in an unhappy position with a badly refinished dial, a scruffy appearance, and an unrealistic price.

  26. #26
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    I find this very interesting and informative. If possible does anyone have what would be considered a decent job and if possible a good job at refinishing a similar dial. Thanks


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  27. #27
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    Just sold on eBay for £730

    looks a tatty old watch to me

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1960s-Vin...53.m1438.l2649

  28. #28
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBROSUS View Post
    I find this very interesting and informative. If possible does anyone have what would be considered a decent job and if possible a good job at refinishing a similar dial. Thanks
    Thing is, genuinely good redials aren't noticeable. Unless you're an expert on a particular watch brand or model, you'll never know or notice.

    In the case of the watch above, it would have helped imo if the Omega logo was actually straight and if the minute markers were consistently and accurately painted/printed.
    Last edited by markrlondon; 11th September 2019 at 17:21.

  29. #29
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    Redials or whatever they are called need re-hands

    at the end of the day, IMHO there is nothing wrong with re-dials, (or whatever they are called), as long as all the other bits are done - it depends if you are a NOS guy or you want the watch as it has become.

    There is a guy in the States who is producing perfect/immaculate/you would never know 5513 dials using the originals which has become very tatty, (sorry I mean't well aged) - which some want - again - it depends what you want - the NOS look or patina, (or whatever you want to call it - or even a spyder dial - when was that "intended" by Rolex).

    There are a lot of old watches out there that are "dead" dial-wise - nothing wrong with bringing them back to life if that is what is wanted

    just my simple opinion and I'm not from India

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