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Thread: Tissot SEASTAR worthy of a restoration?

  1. #1
    Master
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    Tissot SEASTAR worthy of a restoration?

    This watch has sentimental value to my wife and my sister in law as it was their father's watch.
    It will be kept regardless but I'm thinking of trying to get it restored for them.
    Currently it is showing no signs of working, any thoughts/recommendations on giving it a new lease of life?






  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    Dial looks reasonably OK, might improve a little by cleaning but uf not its still OK. Hands will benefit from careful cleaning and reluming carefully. Movement will needfully servicing, the rotor can be a problem on these and parts availability isnít great so hopefully its not too badly worn. A new glass is straightforward to fit, hopefully a new seal in the crown will get it waterproof againor possibly a replacement.

    The case is a tricky one, my guess is that it was originally a brushed or grained finish. which could be restored, or it could be left as it is if you prefer.

    The watch can be made to look nice and sharp, very wearable, with decent timekeeping and a degree of water resistance.

  3. #3
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    Paul has pretty much covered it. I've worked on quite a few of these to teach myself the basics of watch repair and in my (albeit limited) experience they tidy up very nicely. The movements are generally well made and I do have several in pieces to use as donors so if you find you need any parts, give me a shout. If it's a 2481 this was also used by Omega in a few of their watches at the time, as their cal.1481. The cases are solid stainless so polish up very nicely. I agree with Paul that it was probably originally a brushed finish but that would be more tricky to restore to original standard. The crystal is acrylic so will polish very easily with PolyWatch or can be replaced at very little cost. It's a shame the dial looks to have some small stains but a very gentle clean by someone who knows what they are doing may help. It's hard to tell from the photo but some of those marks may also be shadows from marks on the crystal. The mesh bracelet isn't original but seems to suit the watch quite nicely. An ultrasonic clean or a scrub with warm soapy water will do this wonders but these watches also look great on a nice brown leather strap, in my opinion.

    So yes, given the sentimental value, I'd say it would be worth some restoration. A service from an independent may cost close to the value of the watch (or more if you go to town on the case) but would keep it working well for many years yet and get it looking great.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    That's a lovely watch. My father never wore one - if he had it would be worth so much more than money to me.

    If it were me, I'd have it serviced and cleaned by someone who knows what they're doing but I'd leave all the wear on the case. Dial and hands? Maybe clean them, maybe not, but the lume looks fine. I'd want to be looking at a watch that my father had worn every day, battle scars and all, not the sparkly new watch he would have seen in the show window. I can see why someone else might want it looking good - why not ask your wife and sister-in-law what they'd like?

    If you want it to look perfect, STS. They have the lapping machine that will make the case look immaculate. They also took over Tissot's service parts when IIRC Tissot stopped servicing watches themselves in the UK. I know they had NOS parts for Tissot Naviagators but I went down the route of keeping mine completely original. If they have NOS dial and hands you could always have the case lapped, NOS dial and hands fitted and keep the original dial and hands for if anyone wants to change their mind in the future. Worth a call to STS to find out your options?
    "A man of little significance"

  5. #5
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    absolutely worth restoring whether the value is more or less than the restoration price, i restored my late mother in laws watch for my wife, an old tag heuer. it cost around £360 and the watch is probably worth no more than than. however it was worth every penny and my wife wears it on special occasions

  6. #6
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    Many thanks fellas for taking the time to reply with your thoughts, much appreciated
    I think the girls would be chuffed if I could get it up and running again, not too fussed about getting case fully refurbed
    I'll have a think on which path to take but I'll definitely be getting it up and running again
    cheers

  7. #7
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Absolutely worth considering, given the sentimental value.

    Unbeknownst to my wife, I had Paul Walker (Post #2) restore her late fathers 1950s Favre- Leuba. He did a fantastic job on it, she was over the moon and now wears it for best.

    Simon

  8. #8
    Grand Master
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    In most watches like this the movement parts are OK and very few parts are needed. Thereís always a risk that somethingís broken and needs replacing but if thatís the case it shouldn't be too hard to source second- hand parts or NOS. The movement will be a 2461 or the older 784, both are v. similar.

    Refinishing cases splits opinion, it has become somewhat discredited due to poor standards of work that caused many old watches to be spoiled. On a worn example it can be difficult to work out what the original finish looked like, that does pose a challenge.

    I favour reluming hands because the original lume often goes black and discoloured at the edges, this isnít a good look and replacing the lume is a better alternative, there are ways and means of making the lume look aged and original so the end result works well with a dial thatís showing signs of age.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post
    Absolutely worth considering, given the sentimental value.

    Unbeknownst to my wife, I had Paul Walker (Post #2) restore her late fathers 1950s Favre- Leuba. He did a fantastic job on it, she was over the moon and now wears it for best.

    Simon
    Thanks for that Simon,
    I'll definitely be going ahead with some form of restoration, Paul's inbox appears to be full at the moment, I'll try and get in touch
    cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    In most watches like this the movement parts are OK and very few parts are needed. Thereís always a risk that somethingís broken and needs replacing but if thatís the case it shouldn't be too hard to source second- hand parts or NOS. The movement will be a 2461 or the older 784, both are v. similar.

    Refinishing cases splits opinion, it has become somewhat discredited due to poor standards of work that caused many old watches to be spoiled. On a worn example it can be difficult to work out what the original finish looked like, that does pose a challenge.

    I favour reluming hands because the original lume often goes black and discoloured at the edges, this isnít a good look and replacing the lume is a better alternative, there are ways and means of making the lume look aged and original so the end result works well with a dial thatís showing signs of age.
    Thanks for the info/advice Paul, I tried to PM you but your inbox appears to be full
    regards
    Ian

  11. #11
    get it an overhaul and in case anyone in the family would be interested to use it sometimes later.

  12. #12
    Grand Master
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    Here's one I prepared earlier



    Thought the watch looked familiar, I worked one one of these a couple of years back and took a picture or two, can`t recall who I did it for but it was someone on TZ.

    This watch looks identical to me, the top of the case had a linear light grained finish and the sides were polished. That's a straightforward job to refinish, nice edge to work to, no bevels which make life difficult.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Here's one I prepared earlier



    Thought the watch looked familiar, I worked one one of these a couple of years back and took a picture or two, can`t recall who I did it for but it was someone on TZ.

    This watch looks identical to me, the top of the case had a linear light grained finish and the sides were polished. That's a straightforward job to refinish, nice edge to work to, no bevels which make life difficult.
    You did mine Paul - it's still running beautifully :)

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Here's one I prepared earlier



    Thought the watch looked familiar, I worked one one of these a couple of years back and took a picture or two, can`t recall who I did it for but it was someone on TZ.

    This watch looks identical to me, the top of the case had a linear light grained finish and the sides were polished. That's a straightforward job to refinish, nice edge to work to, no bevels which make life difficult.
    I suspect youíve just talked yourself into another job, Paul!

    Simon

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post
    I suspect youíve just talked yourself into another job, Paul!

    Simon
    He certainly has

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonRA View Post
    You did mine Paul - it's still running beautifully :)

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    That's a stunning watch. What is the case diameter?

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Here's one I prepared earlier



    Thought the watch looked familiar, I worked one one of these a couple of years back and took a picture or two, can`t recall who I did it for but it was someone on TZ.

    This watch looks identical to me, the top of the case had a linear light grained finish and the sides were polished. That's a straightforward job to refinish, nice edge to work to, no bevels which make life difficult.
    what a lovely watch, great work

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbyf View Post
    That's a stunning watch. What is the case diameter?

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
    Not sure exactly but I think it's around 38mm

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Well after a few weeks away I have the watch back and to answer my own question, Yes it was definitely worthy of a restoration

    Watch was pretty much kaput having extensive water and rust damage. Paul (Walkerwek1958) managed to source a NOS movement and replaced the majority of the parts.
    Case refinished, new crystal, hands cleaned and relumed and dial water spots removed where possible.
    Bracelet looks almost new now but Paul suggested a black leather which suits it well.

    Glad I made the decision to have the work done and it was a nice surprise for my wife and her sister to see their fathers watch (from 1971) running again.

    Before





    After


    Last edited by Tuna1138; 13th April 2021 at 17:51. Reason: Pics added

  20. #20
    Master Omegary's Avatar
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    Congratulations, that's a massive improvement. Paul knows his stuff and has worked his magic yet again.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  21. #21
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    Whoa the case looks brand new!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegary View Post
    Congratulations, that's a massive improvement. Paul knows his stuff and has worked his magic yet again.

    Cheers,
    Gary
    It certainly is, very happy with what Paul has done. It looks like I will be it's custodian for the foreseeable so I'll wear it in rotation with some others and enjoy it

  23. #23
    Grand Master
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    Nice job once again Paul!
    ktmog6uk
    marchingontogether!



  24. #24
    Craftsman Wyvern971's Avatar
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    Looks fantastic, great work there.

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  25. #25
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    What a great result. It's ready to be enjoyed for years to come. Paul did a fantastic job on mine and has done the same for you.

    ATB

    Jon

  26. #26
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    Thatís a fabulous return to former glory, and Iím sure the ladies were delighted!

    Hopefully youíll be able to also get some pleasure from wearing it from time to time.

    It looks like another superb job by Paul.

  27. #27
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    Tissot SEASTAR worthy of a restoration?

    I donít often comment but thatíís a fantastic restoration and a great looking watch. I always enjoy the restoration threads and Ďbefore and afterí pictures.


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    Last edited by Bobbyf; 14th April 2021 at 17:02.

  28. #28
    Grand Master
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    Paul has done an excellent job on that!
    Tissot Seastar was the watch that got me "into" watches. My dad had a dead one with a fallen off seconds hand languishing in a drawer and I used to play with it as a kid.
    If he still had it I would've done the same thing, but I think it was binned in a house move. :(
    A great result for you and a credit to Paul.

  29. #29
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    It does look excellent.

    Well done to the OP and Paul for getting this back into such a lovely condition for the family.

    M
    Breitling Cosmonaute 809 - What's not to like?

  30. #30
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    I think these threads are the best one here. It's great to see the results that a good restoration can yield for an old watch.
    Fantastic job there.

  31. #31
    Master
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    Thanks everyone for the positive comments.
    The restoration was certainly worthwhile.

    I wouldn't usually go for a watch of this style/size but there is something about it that appeals (other than the family tie/sentiment)
    Looks like it will be staying with me rather than going to one of my nephews so I'll definitely be wearing/enjoying it in rotation with my others

  32. #32
    Grand Master
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    I do think Tissot made some fantastic watches in this period.
    ktmog6uk
    marchingontogether!



  33. #33
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    Well worth doing, Tuna! Itís a nice watch, of its time, and very decent quality.

    Nice work by Paul. I think the lume on the hands is just right for the watch too.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk View Post
    I do think Tissot made some fantastic watches in this period.
    Iíve got to agree with this. I picked up a vintage PR516 Chrono a while ago and am surprised by just how wearable and dare I say it, stylish, it is. Threads like this make me think about getting it restored but in my case, I kind of like the history and story each ding and scratch tells. Lovely job on this Seastar though.


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  35. #35
    Master Robertf's Avatar
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    Great restoration well done for going ahead with it. For me the watch looks nicest on the mesh rather than the strap but a lovely thing either way

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertf View Post
    Great restoration well done for going ahead with it. For me the watch looks nicest on the mesh rather than the strap but a lovely thing either way

    Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
    I have to agree Robert, the mesh is back on for now

  37. #37
    That looks great and a lovely story to go with it.

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