Bring a Brain XXVIII

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Bring a Brain XXVIII

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » September 19th 2018, 1:22pm

Welcome, lads and lasses, to the newest instalment in your favourite watchdog/comedy series! As always, shortcomings and outright fails in various listings will be unmasked, for your education and entertainment. In this episode, among other issues, we'll see masters of movement identification at work! Lads and lasses, this is your Bring a Brain!

First up, our favourite Usual Suspects!

Let's have a look at the most spectacular movement identification fail in this instalment. Oh, and for what it's worth: someone has spent 63 pieces of paper with Ben Franklin's face on them, for a watch with a misidentified movement.

Here at HODINKEE, we love vintage Heuer chronographs...

Oh, undoubtedly. You just can't identify what they have under the bonnet.

Caliber: Valjoux manual-winding caliber 22

Yeah...right. Right? Nope. Tell me, have you ever seen a Valjoux 22? Well, if not, then after looking at the movement in this Heuer, I can only arrive at the conclusion that you never did.

Here's the movement which you, dear Shop staff, think is a Valjoux 22. Have I got news for you... It's not a Valjoux, let alone the cal. 22

Nothing here matches the cal. 22. Not the column wheel, not the balance cock, not the clutch bridge, not the chronograph bridge, not even the base calibre under the chrono works!

For comparison, this is the 22:

So, if not the Valjoux 22, what's the movement in that Heuer? The members here undoubtedly know well the make of it. The movement in your Heuer, dear Shop staff, has been made by Landeron. It appears to be something of a link between the monopusher cal. 13 and the later cal. 39, however a short lookup does show two-pusher specimens of the 13, which is exactly what this movement is.

Looks familiar?

It's not common, however the balance cock shape should in the first place have suggested just where to look for answers.

Let's move to another watch, and another movement ID fail.
Caliber: Rolex self-winding caliber 1570

Great Scott, I thought that after the numerous times I've remarked this particular fail, it won't come back. But here it is, making its great comeback. I can't say it more clearly than I did before...hmmm...what to do now? Wait,I know! Fiddling with the font! Since you chaps love to write the name of your site in capital letters, maybe this will work:

Yeah, well, hope this works, although maybe that's just me being optimistic in spite of logic and past experiences suggesting, that giving up on reforming the irreformable is the way to go. But I simply have enough faith in people not to give up so early.

Let's have a look at another Heuer:

There's hardly anything to link this case to EPSA. Compressor and Compressor 2 cases indeed had a press-in back, but a cross-hatched crown alone (what makes you think it cannot be, say, a replacement?) is hardly enough to declare a case a Compressor, especially in the absence of any EPSA markings and patent numbers for either the 1st generation Compressor or Compressor 2. Gasketed press-in backs were and are in use since the 1930s and the Omega Naiad, and in the 1950s, more brands started using the design. I'm not saying that this isn't a Compressor, but there's very little - if anything at all - to identify it as that.

Now, let's move to an ordinary example of good old fleecing:
This is such a beautiful piece at an approachable price point; if you don't already collect pocket watches, this could be a great start

Whether it's beautiful or not is an entirely subjective matter. I, for one, consider it boring, but that's irrelevant. But an "approachable price point?" Ummm, nope. There's way better stuff to be found for less. "Way better" meaning, obviously, way better than a 1960s PW made long after the heyday of PWs, featuring a rather basic wristwatch movement inside. If I were to start collecting pocket watches, hell take me if that'd be my first choice, let alone something I'd recommend to anyone as a good starting point for their first PW.

Now that we're done with the Usual Suspects, let's move on to another venue, which I find far more ridiculous. What can I say about Theo & Harris? Jon Snow of GoT may well know nothing, but T&H specializes in knowing even less, yet on their YouTube channel, they pose even more. Why's that so annoying? Perhaps because after all the posers I've seen, I'm somewhat used to a better kind of that unsavoury species.

For one, you'd think that with an inventory chock full of Datejusts, they could as much as identify the movements in them. But no, here - and in many other respects - they fall far behind even the H-Shop.

Save the missing movement ID, just look at that worn crown and the stretched bracelet. The listing description should make it to the pantheon of classics of panegyrical claptrap about watches in mediocre condition. By the way, the date disk looks rather suspicious. The photo has been apparently taken at the same angle as in this listing (which, by the way, also has no information as to either the year or the calibre number):

Yikes. No good. Let's move to another venue.

Lads and lasses, bow before the King of Cape Cod, VintageCaliber!

3300 euro is a lot of money. And it's far too much for this:

The dial damage is hardly of the visually pleasing kind. Throw in a replacement (incorrect one, I might add) seconds hand and a refinished case, and the whole package becomes even more ridiculous.

Speaking of ridiculous...

Original hands (repainted) with original radium lume

You'd think the lume was removed before repainting... That's because it most likely was. The way I see it, it's probably a rather well-tinted non-luminescent base, with some radium thrown into the mix to make the Geiger counter react to it. I've seen that sort of relumes done before, and they're of that terrifying kind which is almost impossible to tell. If not for the fact of hands being repainted, this would be one of them. But there, one thing's off, and the next thing you know is that there's a lot more to it than just one issue.
Oh, and yet another reworked case. Chaps, knock it off with the Cape Cods, please...

That's it for this instalment. Hope you fine fellows have enjoyed it, and as always: Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
You cannot explain away a wantonly immoral act, because you think that it is connected to some higher purpose.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
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