This term is used for watches that preserved its brand-new condition over years. Such a watch shall not any signs of wear or usage. It is acceptable though, to show certain signs of storage (like tiny scratches on the caseback) or certain aging either of the case or the dial. Aging is not connected only with wearing/usage, but also with storage conditions (humidity, temperature contrasts etc.), however the NOS watch is expected to be immaculate.
Original box and papers coming with the watch normally command certain premium in the final value of the watch. However, it should not deceive you – many sets are made with period correct boxes and unstamped/empty papers. Therefore even despite the fact that some boxes are very rare it is important not to overestimate real values of such sets.
Normally this term is used when the watch is listed with a complete set of box, all papers, and all accessories that the watch was originally delivered with by the manufacturer. With some brands (like Rolex) it is easier to prove, with other watches it can still be a set of period correct box/accessories delivered originally with another watch. See Box & Papers paragraph for value understanding.
It means that the complete dial remains untouched and completely original – just like it left the factory years ago. It is presumed, that no retouching, partial restoration or any other job was made except dust cleaning.
It means that luminous plots on the dial or hands originally made of tritium or radium were partially or most likely completely re-applied by watchmaker as a part of restoration process. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the dial is refinished – all the other surfaces may remain untouched.
This term has quite a wide meaning, but we use it in case if the dial has not been refinished completely, but certain parts of it were touched. As an example – a dent on enamel dial may be filled and restored. In this case the dial and biggest part of its’ surface remain untouched. In certain cases watchmakers may succeed in partial restoration to maintain as much of originality as possible.
This terms presume complete restoration of the dial: the dial plate is cleaned and polished to metal surface and then the complete layout/colors/elements are recreated to match the original printing as close as possible. This process requires advanced old-fashioned techniques therefore final quality is crucial for value of the watch. Generally, refinished dials are considered to be less valuable than untouched.
Widely overused term explaining that the case of the watch has never been polished. It happens very very rarely especially with certain models, though it is possible to find New-Old-Stock or very well preserved watch with truly unpolished case. It is important to understand that normally mint and unpolished case should be accompanied with truly mint near-NOS dial/hands/movement.
It means that the case has been refinished maintaining factory finishing specs – we do one of the best polishing jobs on the market and bring watch cases to perfection with all sharp edges and chamfers, correct satin, brushed and high-polished parts.
It means that the movement of the watch has been serviced. Proper service we perform consists of following procedures: 1. Complete disassembly of the watch 2. Chemical, manual and ultra-sound cleaning of all parts 3. Detailing, restoration and repairing (if needed) 4. Assembly 5. Oiling 6. Adjusting 7. Multi-stage testing.
It means that the watch is well-maintained, runs perfectly, keeps the time, though it is unclear when the last service was performed. It is recommended to do full service within a year.
It means that the strap and buckle attached to the watch are not original to this watch and are not made by the same manufacturer. Basically it is high-quality strap of a proper size available separately on the market.
Some of well-known manufacturers managed to keep their production/sales records for decades and even hundreds of years. Nowadays it is possible to contact major watch manufacturers (like Omega, Patek Philippe, IWC etc.) and request archive extract with case/movement serial numbers. Normally, such an extract confirms the date of sale, model of the watch and if the movement and case were born together.
It is always crucial to understand the size of the watch, especially when it comes to vintage watches which are generally considered as too small in comparison with what watch industry offers today. For example, the original Patek Philippe Calatrava introduced in the 1930s was only 31 mm in diameter, while today's classic Calatrava is 39 mm. When you think about 8 mm, it doesn't seem to be a big difference, but believe it is.
In our condition reports we normally disclose three most important parameters as follows: diameter without crown / lug-to-lug length / lug width.
Diameter without crown
It is, so far, the most important measurement to understand the size of a regular round-shaped watch.It helps you to understand proportions and overall look of the watch. It is important to consider width of the bezel and color of the dial, because certain combinations may make the watch look bigger, while some other smaller. It is all very individual, however there is common understanding:
This parameter will help you to understand whether the watch is comfortable for wearing. You should compare lug-to-lug width with the width of your wrist, and if lug-to-lug width is smaller or equal, then this watch shall be comfortable.
This measurement is defining what size of strap you need for the particular watch. Depending on era and manufacturer you can find watches with lug width between 14 mm and 24 mm. Most common sizes are 18 mm and 20 mm.