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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought this vintage watch about 20 years ago on eBay for my wife. It has since spent most of its life in a drawer.

Fast forward to this morning, she cleaned out said drawer and we rediscovered the old thing. A gentle shake and it sprang to life and has been keeping good time all day. It's kind of an interesting piece but let down a bit by a dirty/moldy dial and scratched and worn crystal (this is why it ended up in the drawer). I'll take some Polywatch to the crystal, but in the opinion of the experts around here, is there any hope for cleaning or refurbishing the dial?








 

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Sadly vintage women's watches are usually all but worthless. Of course the big recognizable names may still command reasonable prices, but generic swiss pieces are not worthy (in my opinion)of putting money into.

I've picked up dozens for a $1 each at various flea markets and garage sales. I'm just not sure the money or time to refurbish is going to be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've picked up dozens for a $1 each at various flea markets and garage sales. I'm just not sure the money or time to refurbish is going to be worth it.
That's kind of what I expected to hear but just to put a figure on it would say $100-$150 get any results or would it require more? That's probably my limit on this thing.
 

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Without any info to the contrary, I'm presuming that you may want to keep the watch.

That should clean up quite nicely without too much effort or cost. Once you have the crystal sorted it will already look much better and the dial with the nice patina shouldn't need more than a light cleaning - you want to retain some of the vintage look imo. A light hand polish on the case and bezel should brighten in up too. You could also use a special sharp point pen to redo the markings on the bezel.

Good luck with that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Without any info to the contrary, I'm presuming that you may want to keep the watch.

That should clean up quite nicely without too much effort or cost. Once you have the crystal sorted it will already look much better and the dial with the nice patina shouldn't need more than a light cleaning - you want to retain some of the vintage look imo. A light hand polish on the case and bezel should brighten in up too. You could also use a special sharp point pen to redo the markings on the bezel.

Good luck with that one.
Thanks. Yes I do like the hands and I respect the way it's operating so well after decades of neglect. I may try doing things myself on this one. It beats more decades of neglect.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here are two examples of this Ardath square diver on eBay, nearly identical, (different second hands and added date magnifier) and in better condition overall than my wife's example. But it Now of $450 and $475 respectively. Not necessarily a great indicator of value but both are listed by experienced watch sellers and I do think the watch may be a cut above the average ladies' Timex.

 

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List price means absolutely nothing... ever, and less than that on eBay. :)

There's one that sold for $69 on May 8th with 12 bids (item 162499614214) but that buyer was either a shill or got cold feet so on the 10th it was sold for $$24.99 as Buy it Now (item 162511641544).

I'm only assuming the first sale was a shill because the sales price discrepancy was so large between the two.

Note that I'm not claiming to know what yours is worth, just pointing out that list price is meaningless.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
List price means absolutely nothing... ever, and less than that on eBay. :)

There's one that sold for $69 on May 8th with 12 bids (item 162499614214) but that buyer was either a shill or got cold feet so on the 10th it was sold for $$24.99 as Buy it Now (item 162511641544).

I'm only assuming the first sale was a shill because the sales price discrepancy was so large between the two.

Note that I'm not claiming to know what yours is worth, just pointing out that list price is meaningless.
Well as I said, not that it's a great indicator of value. As a longtime eBay member and occasional seller I understand eBay, the good and the bad.

I disagree that is literally meaningless though, I think a reputable seller with nearly a thousand transactions, all positive feedback and primarily all mid to higher end watch sales has an educated guess on value, albeit with a hopeful Buy It Now price.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stephen, what's your method for finding past transactions using their item numbers?

I wasn't getting the results you got and now i'm curious. :-( What am I missing... besides some 1980s brain cells.)
 

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I disagree that is literally meaningless though, I think a reputable seller with nearly a thousand transactions, all positive feedback and primarily all mid to higher end watch sales has an educated guess on value, albeit with a hopeful Buy It Now price.
I guess I should qualify "meaningless" a bit better or maybe just go with "unreliable" instead.

An experienced seller could be dead-on, or off by miles... and we've all seen both.

Only actual sales prices show what any market is willing to bear. They're not perfect either, especially in a thinly traded commodity, but they're still more "reliable" than ask, as a general rule.
 

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Stephen, what's your method for finding past transactions using their item numbers?

I wasn't getting the results you got and now i'm curious. :-( What am I missing... besides some 1980s brain cells.)
I can't say as I recall the exact terms I searched for. eBay, like all search engines is fickle and trying with and without the "Include description" check-box enabled is always worth at least one search as well.

Plus, it's not unheard of to run the same search on eBay a few minutes apart and receive different results..... that's an issue with eBay, not with you.

As for using the item number to actually find the listing, sometimes you can just search (but remember this is a Sold listing so you have to choose that check-box) and other times you have to use the "Advanced" search option and then also use the search button at the bottom of the advanced search page.

It's absurd by I just tested with item 162511641544 and was able to alternatively have it succeed and also fail with no real predicable consistency whatsoever.

A great example of how and why Monopoly power allows for **** service that would never survive this many years in a competitive marketplace.... which is not to say eBay would be out of business, just that competition wouldn't allow them to still be so mind-numbingly incompetent when it comes to such simple details.




As for quoting the actual item number, it's on the listing, but usually easier to find in the browser address bar.
 
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