Buy NOS (new old stock) with confidence from the "Poor Man's" Watch Corner
What are NOS watches? Those are watches that are basically brand new but have not been sold for an usual long time for several reasons. The model might not have met the customer's taste at the time it was released but it might very collectible today. Or the shop had just bought overstock and could not sell them and then kept them in the inventory. Now here is why you can buy NOS watches with confidence from me.
Ten reasons why you can buy with confidence:
I am very fussy about scratches myself. Thus I will check all the NOS watches (as well as the brand new watches on my site) with my Nr. 1 Loupe (10x magnification) before buying them.
In the rare case I do not find a defect in the shop, I will definitely find it when photographing the watches. Under the high resolution of my Nikon Coolpix 995E the slightest imperfections will show.
The exterior inspection includes
checking the case and bracelet for dings and scratches
checking the condition of the crystal, especially important for NOS watches, the inside of the crystal, some vintage watches have "dirt" inside the crystal and especially on black dial watches, there will be a fog like appearance even the crystal has been cleaned.
checking the day or date disk
checking the day of the date change (has to be near 12 o'clock)
checking the alignment of hands at 12 o'clock
I will normally open one watch of a series of NOS watches to take movement pictures and check the condition of the movement. If I am not satisfied, I will open another watch from that series and check the condition.
The next step is to test power reserve and time keeping:
I will fully wind the watches and set the time to the minute. There is no need
to set the watches to the second, most of the older watches are not hackable
and I do not like that "violent" trick of pressing on the crown stem and
turning the time back to "hack" the watch. That is a method you should avoid
also for your inexpensive 7S26 Seiko movements. I know this is a popular trick
for many WIS, but you have to be aware that the cannon pinion of your watch
does not like that treatment at all. Once is OK, but not all the time.
That is the reason why I take multiple shots of the group of watches, so I can easily see timing inconsistencies from the deviation of the second hand position without having to set the watch to the exact second. C.O.S.C. by the way, uses the very same photographic method for their time measurement.
Then I will take a group shot of the watches undergoing time keeping and power reserve test.
Then I will place the watches at a protected location on my book shelf and later take another group shot to see any timing inconsistencies.
Finally, I will observe the watches until they are completely run down to measure their power reserve.
I normally buy from the same shops all the time. Thus the shop owners know me and know that I will bring back a watch that did not pass my testing and since I am a long time customer of those shops (and for most shops most likely the biggest costumer) they will exchange the watches without even asking.
The Timekeeping and Power Reserve measuring in Pictures
First I will fully wind all watches and set the time to the exact hour and minute. I will not set the date on every watch, but will of course make sure it is set to the same time A.M. or P.M. This is for the simple reason that the watch might run down while I am promenading to the post office or otherwise busy. This way I am able to determine the exact time when the watch has stopped. If I would not observe this, a 12 hour measure error could theoretically occur.
All watches are fully wound and the time is set to the exact hour and minute plus A.M./P.M. setting is observed
Then I take a group shot in which all second hands can be easily read (this is a sample picture, my real pictures are 4 times larger)
The watches are now on the bookshelf with the timing list and from time to time I will take another group shot and compare the second hand positions. This is the easiest and best way to find out any timing inconsistencies that would point to movement problems
You can really buy any new or NOS watch from my watch
corner with confidence. I am a very serious watch person. Some of my WIS
buddies made jokes about my Loupe Nr. 1 inspections first, but now, the make
the same tests before buying a watch
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