|The largest independent, non-commercial, consumer-oriented resource on the Internet for owners, collectors and enthusiasts of fine wristwatches. Online since 1998.|
Vintage Heuer Discussion Forum
The place for discussing 1930-1985 Heuer wristwatches, chronographs and dash-mounted timepieces. Online since May 2003.
Ok, I screwed up...but hopefully this will be a lesson for other collectors out there [long story].
First let me say, this is a small community. A community built on trust and honor. I have been collecting for over 35 years, and in this time, I’ve met many friends. Friends that I trust and admire. Friends that don’t put financial gain over doing what is right. Friends that have helped many times over the years, sharing their knowledge, sharing parts even sending me an extremely hard to find part and asking for nothing in return. Friends I trust like my family. Over the years Ive also met many honorable dealers...dealers who's word is as good as gold.
We are a very anal group, stressing out over the smallest of details. Over the years finding parts for our beloved watches has become very difficult...it is to a point where if a part shows up for sale online, you must commit to it within the first 5 minutes of it posting or it will be gone instantly. Fortunately for the most part we can trust our fellow collectors and members of this forum to be honest and respectful, and to keep their words. We all make mistakes...it's what we do after we make a mistake that separates us.
So here is my story...
I own a Heuer Autavia “Rindt”...its a great example, but as with many 50 year old watches its not perfect. Over the years the crown and crystal were replaced with service parts, the chrono sweep hand was also replaced with a service part and the lume in the hands have aged black.
Then one morning I wake up to find the impossible her on ChronoTrader...a complete set of all the parts on my watch that could be “upgraded”. Making my beloved Rindt perfect. I check the seller, a long time member. So without hesitation I immediately send him an email and purchase the parts. They take about a month to arrive as the seller is on the other side of the globe and between sending payment, working out insured shipping options and delays in US customs (which added nearly $1,000USD to my cost- ouch!), the parts finally arrive.
Here is where I screwed up...I trusted someone. A long time member of this forum. Someone who regularly sells parts and watches. Someone who should know better. Someone who has been doing this long enough, that he shouldn’t be describing parts inaccurately. Someone who should be smart enough to immediately recognize his mistake and rectify it.
But I really screwed up here, because I didn’t take the time to verify that the parts were what they were represented to be. Furthermore, since the seller has been doing this for so long, I just sent the parts straight to my watchmaker without closely inspecting them. Yea, what a fool...I really screwed up big time.
Well, 3 months later my watchmaker finally gets to my watch and calls to deliver the bad news... “These parts are not for your Autavia”.
“What? That’s impossible” I respond...” they came from a reputable source. You must be mistaken.” I quickly glance back at the images from the seller and his descriptions and tell my watchmaker to install them. He then says its impossible to install the crystal, it is “32.1mm OD and the correct size is 32.5mm so it can’t be used.
Next mistake- never tell a watchmaker he doesn’t know what he is talking about...sadly he was correct.
I then closely examine the all of my correspondence with the seller along with his photos and compare them to photos of other Rindts and my heart sinks. Its now clear, these parts are not correct...the differences are subtle but obvious in hindsight.
It seems that I just grossly overpaid for the wrong Autavia parts...these parts are for a 2446C, not a Rindt. I could have bought a really nice complete 2446C watch for what I paid for a few parts...Yes I am a idiot!
No worries...the seller is honorable. He will look at his photos and recognize he also made a mistake and make this right.
Be careful out there. It’s the wild west and some sellers are only interested in profit. Shame on them.
I guess I can just write this off as a very expensive lesson...part of my education. It’s less than a semester at my local university, and I probably learned more than I would have at a real school.
“A fool and his money will soon part”
Yes, I am that fool.
some details and the sellers photo.
The sellers description:
FS: Vintage Heuer Autavia 2446 3rd Executions parts
for sale Vintage original Heuer Autavia 2446 3rd Execution ,Bezel,glass,hands and Crown with stem ;
-hands New Old stock with tritium
Tell me what you think...the first issue is the crystal;
Seller stated the crystal was removed from "his Rindt". The diameter of the crystal he shipped is 32.1mm OD...wont fit on my 32.5mm Autavia case, not sure how it fit his.
the second issue are the hands;
Seller stated in his ad that the hands were "New Old Stock" original 3rd execution Autavia Rindt hands...yet when I informed him that the hands I received were not for a 2446 Rindt, but rather a 2446C he stated that it was impossible as he "removed them from his Rindt". Now maybe he doesnt understand the term "New Old Stock"...if they were indeed New Old Stock, how did they get on his Rindt? and why do the look so aged? Maybe I am confused, I always thought "NOS" meant new old stock...or stock that was never used or installed on a watch...hence the term new.
The hands in the photo look mint...but upon closer inspection under a loupe, its clear these were removed from a used watch. Im not sure how anyone could claim these were new old stock...certainly not a dealer who sells parts on a daily basis.
Im not going to name names, so please dont ask. The seller knows who he is.
There you have it...be careful out there.