What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby koimaster » February 25th 2018, 8:34pm

If you want to buy a vintage watch, eBay is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you can usually find what you’re looking for — even if it’s obscure — and you can usually score it for a decent price. On the other hand, it’s filled to the brim with what’s perceived to be a scourge upon the vintage watch community: the Frankenwatch.

The term ‘Frankenwatch,’ gets thrown around a lot, often as a catchall to describe a watch that isn’t in original condition, or possibly has faked components. But that’s turned it into something of a misnomer. “To me, a Frankenwatch is cobbled together with often real but not necessarily correct parts,” says Nick Pardo, a vintage watch expert at Analog/Shift that specializes in accessibly-priced timepieces. “So you have a dial from one model, hands from another, and built up from random parts.”

Often found through online auction and classified sites like eBay, Frankenwatches persist mainly on the low end of vintage watches. This isn’t to say they aren’t an issue with rare or higher-end watches, but Frankensteined versions of vintage Seiko sports watches and Omega Seamasters, for example, are so common because the watches they’re based on were ubiquitous in the first place. “They aren’t completely modular, but they’re close to modular, so they have a lot of parts that are easy to interchange,” says Pardo. “For example, Omega had the 500-series movements in tons of watches, so any hands that fit those models would work on any other. You can get a movement that fits a case, and then you can get a set of hands that came on any one of those watches over a 30 year period and slap them on there.”

https://gearpatrol.com/2018/02/22/what- ... nkenwatch/
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby conjurer » February 25th 2018, 11:39pm

This article actually made me want to hammer two Cabriole table legs up my fucking ass, at the same time.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby biglove » February 26th 2018, 6:18am

conjurer wrote:This article actually made me want to hammer two Cabriole table legs up my fucking ass, at the same time.



Conjuerer’s “Cabriole Table Leg Score” is the most trusted WL review system. Better than anything Rotten Tomatoes has come up with.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby Mark1 » February 26th 2018, 6:57am

Ukrainian sellers on Ebay sell Frankenwatches for a living. I wouldn't own one myself.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby JAS1125 » February 26th 2018, 7:24am

I took a shot at one Frankenwatch, and the owner was up front about it.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby TemerityB » February 26th 2018, 7:48am

biglove wrote:
conjurer wrote:This article actually made me want to hammer two Cabriole table legs up my fucking ass, at the same time.



Conjuerer’s “Cabriole Table Leg Score” is the most trusted WL review system. Better than anything Rotten Tomatoes has come up with.


And a whole lot funnier.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby Falstaff » February 26th 2018, 10:36am

"Is it okay to own one?" Own whatever the fuck you like. You certainly don't have to answer to me about it.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby TemerityB » February 26th 2018, 2:04pm

I honestly believe the term "Frankenwatch" was born in the 1970s in the NYC Diamond District, where (in some cases, not all) "new" watches of unexplainable provenance are sold from behind ginormous glass cases by a wealth of pushy shysters who love to call you "my friend" while offering "good deal, good deal." The area is also home to unscrupulous gray dealers who will willingly, if asked, swap dials and movements right there in-house if a customer asks for something they don't have, such as a Rolex with a particular dial. Not everybody is a fucking crook in the DD, don't get me wrong, but there's enough of them there - mixed with a buying environment that's as pleasurable as a root canal without anesthesia - that I don't get near the whole district in general. I like saving a buck as much as the next guy, but please.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby bobbee » February 26th 2018, 2:31pm

I believe the frankens using old pocket watch movements in modern wrist watch cases can look extremely beautiful, and make use of an outdated and fairly useless movement.
The common Ukrainian models seen on eBay pretending to be something else aren't frankens, but out and out fakes.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » February 26th 2018, 7:41pm

I've seen some "salvage" projects at WUS F11, often including wristwatch movement/dial combos "orphaned" due to their cases having been melted down for the gold long ago, with new cases. If someone does that just for themselves, then it's OK.

Pocket watch movements in wristwatch cases - OK, as long as the original pocket watch has not been vandalised with the sole purpose of making a wristwatch out of it.
Selling conversions (often with fake dials) and recased pieces big is fucking disgusting.
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Re: What Is a ‘Frankenwatch,’ and Is It Okay to Own One?

Postby TemerityB » February 26th 2018, 9:46pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:I've seen some "salvage" projects at WUS F11, often including wristwatch movement/dial combos "orphaned" due to their cases having been melted down for the gold long ago, with new cases. If someone does that just for themselves, then it's OK.

Pocket watch movements in wristwatch cases - OK, as long as the original pocket watch has not been vandalised with the sole purpose of making a wristwatch out of it.
Selling conversions (often with fake dials) and recased pieces big is fucking disgusting.


Pretty much sums it all up. Well expressed.
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