Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

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A dial is, arguably the most significant aspect of a watch’s appearance. In spite of the quality of the mechanism or its quality for timekeeping If the dial appears damaged or cracked, it will make the watch look less than professional, worn-out or worn out and certainly reduces its value.

Often Collectors are put off by the flaking and discoloured dials on other than original Omega Constellations. Many shy away from such omega watches because of the general belief water is the most important reason for dial degrading. It is believed that dials with discoloration are a good outward clue of a possible rusty movement and should be avoided.

Another reason could be the explanation for dial discolouration that requires the unsuspecting buyer to take a closer look at watches with dials that are discoloured.

Sun damage is another cause of damage to paint, and sun damage is a common cause of water damage to the dial paint in a variety of cases.

A beautiful movement with no water damage is possible to lay beneath, and this sort of damage to the finish, while not good for collectors of original watches, is ideal for restoration. But even experienced buyers must be cautious when buying watches with badly worn-out dials. You have to be aware of whether the dial has been damaged from sun or moisture.

So, the first thing that needs to be done in the event of spotting an Omega with a discolored dial is to look under the bonnet with a jewellers loup. A clean, rust free movement is easy to identify, and should the seals on the case have held up well, there’ll appear to be no rusty spots on the non-copperized parts of the movement and no corrosion of the case, particularly in the seam between the caseback and the case.

If the watch has stood up well to the elements and its history of use, you have two options: Purchase and restore (or have restored) or continue your quest to find an antique Omega with the original dial. If you choose to go down the restoration option then you can have the watch sent for inspection at Omega in Bienne, wait for quite some time before you receive your watch with a brand-new factory dial.

In the case of Pie Pan Constellations, however, it’s believed that Omega has run out of dials from the factory and is planning to replace the old Pie Pan dials with convex Constellation dials from the same period. With the increased likelihood of not being able to locate an authentic Pie Pan dial, you may choose to opt for a re-dial.

If you decide to change the dial, what are letting yourself in for? If you can source an outstanding re-dialer – they are few and far between – then a dial refinished in a way that is identical to the original dial will definitely make a watch look more appealing.

Butfrom the viewpoint of collecting original Omegas it won’t increase the value of the watch – there is an exception and we’ll review that in the future. From a vintage collectors point of view, a finished dial diminishes the value of an item when compared to one with an original intact dial that may have a lovely patina.

What’s the reason? It’s because dials that are refinished are not in the same class as the original factory ones. Refinished dials often don’t last as long , and they aren’t as durable as original dials. The dials of factory models may have baked-on, anodised and other manufacturing finishes, such as clear coatings on both the dial and the markers to stop the process of aging.

Refinished dials often have paint, have ink stamped script, and are finished to lesser quality and longevity. They could mark more easily and don’t usually contain the level of detail of the originals.

Furthermore, a lot of original dials have markers connected to the dial however, in a lot of refinished dials that I have seen the markers are placed on the back of the dial rather than soldered (for the reason that soldering can damage the paint on a re-dial) Sometimes, it is the case that the glue gets so heavy on the back of the dial that it is a problem with the functioning of the watch, especially on models with dates.

A bad re-dial with inaccurate information could lead to the value of your watch crashing faster than a souffle if it’s placed in a fridge! It’s safe to say there are a lot more slap-dash or incompetent finishing houses than top-quality re-dialers. If you happen on someone, be sure to treat him like royalty.

Now, to the exception that was mentioned earlier. Because of the globalisation of the market for vintage watches and availability of stocks the masses have the opportunity to buy Omega watches. A new market has emerged in the vintage watch market for watches from the past that appear as if they were brand new. This market is driven mostly by newcomers. I have witnessed this by a steady stream of emails from these individuals and, to them”look” is very crucial, and ‘patina’ as well as the originality are often ignored. These buyers will pay big prices for fashion and wearability So you’ll see often high prices being paid for watches that have been refinished.

I imagine though that many newcomers to collecting, if they’re serious about collecting, will eventually achieve a higher degree of collecting sophistication and will become more attracted to the finer details of uniqueness, detail, richness of patina and other characteristics of collectibility.

Because of the diminsihing quantity of new-old-stock Omega dials, especially Pie Pan Constellations and the other early models Re-dialling is increasingly the norm. But, from a standpoint of collecting, re-dialling ought to be considered a viable option when you are left with no other choices.

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