Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tudor Oyster Hand-Wound, Circa 1960

This is how the watch looked when I first got it. The crystal had scratches and stains on it. And notice the crown tube? It's totally stripped, meaning that the crown wouldn't screw down securely.

 More crud on the caseback. It looked like mud. Or at least, I hoped it was mud. Either way, I wasn't going to attempt removing it myself.

And here's how I got it back. It took my watchmaker just under three months to fix this. Most of that time was spent waiting for parts to arrive from overseas. The case-back was cleaned up and polished;

Here's what I like about Tudor watches. The case-backs are engraved, stating that the case is manufactured by Rolex. Funny how Rolex models themselves don't have anything engraved on the back. Shame, really. The whole 'Oyster' designation is something that Rolex has always used to signify that their cases are watertight. Like an Oyster.

The new crown tube and winding crown. Notice that it's a crown manufactured by Rolex with their five-pointed crown logo;

The textured dial, which was in outstanding condition with no blemishes, pitting or water damage. Rare for a watch of this age. The applied hour markers are all clean. The hands still retain their original, faded tritium inserts. I think I'll leave them that way unless I can source new replacements for them. Otherwise, they look just fine as they are;

Timekeeping-wise, I think this watch loses about one minute per day, but I'll worry about it at its next service. Although, it is a 60 year-old wristwatch, after all. Being a hand-wound watch with no date function, it should be relatively straightforward to service.

A light tan-coloured fake croco strap works nicely against the silver dial and makes a change from darker brown or black, which I tend to have on my other vintage pieces.


  1. very nice! Is this a regular watchmaker you have been to before? That was quite a job, I don't know anything about that world, having used throwaway watches for so long. How much should i pay for a cleaning on my Seamaster?

    1. NA, I have used this watchmaker twice so far. He does good work and he prefers to work on vintage Omegas. However, I have yet to find a watchmaker who does fantastic work and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. This guy's work is very good, but his case polishing was a little too aggressive. Still, I was very happy with his work. Regarding your Seamaster, you should be able to find a watchmaker in your neck of the woods. Cost of servicing your '50s vintage will be anywhere between $120 to, say, $400, depending on what the watch needs. Best thing to do is find a repairer who will quote you somewhere around $250 to $300. At any rate, get a sense of them. You'll know if you're dealing with somebody who is charging too much. But I still think around $250 would be a reasonable price to pay.
      Good luck. It's a fine watch you have, and I think it's worth preserving, since it'll last for many decades if properly looked after.

  2. I'm going to show my ignorance in this topic here, but the first thing that came to mind when I read the title of this post was, "crikey! Did he wound his hand opening an oyster at a Tudor-style clam chowder shop?" Silly me.

    That's a very nice watch! I like the before and after shots; even when it was that dirty it had a very nice, elegant look to it. I'm very glad it was possible to fix it, and with original parts to boot! I agree, that one's definitely a keeper. Congratulations!

    1. Hi Miguel, I figured the title of the post would be enough to make sense to watch collectors, but I did think that it would sound a little cryptic to everybody else.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Scott, it was a real lucky find.