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Some thoughts......

January 4 2018 at 4:03 PM
Autaviano  (Login Autaviano)
VRF Member
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Response to Not a "tropical" dial

First, Axel, thanks for posting and sharing, welcome to VRF.

We all know that the term tropical is used in a variety of ways by collectors/sellers etc these days. Everyone will have a different take on what a tropical dial means to them, so in a way I disagree Wolfgang but also agree at the same time, just one of those non-definitive terms to use on a piece of this nature, but for the sake of avoiding argument, I do get what you mean. But lets address the OP's initial question.

It appears the dial does have some water damage or moisture/humidity affect which caused a tropic or color change in the dial, also some spidering, lacquer peeling/drying out etc. What has me sort of in question is that there doesn't seem to be continuity in the patina on the dial and the hands. Normally when you see this type of patina on the dial, the hands would show significant oxidation. The radium on the hands would also start to discolor to a dark hue. Also, the paint on the red hour hand appears to be to crisp in color to be original to this watch. The patina on the hands and dial also do not match, so I think as some point they must have been changed, added, relumed or what have you. I also suspect that the dial was relumed, particularly the 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 , 11 markers. It just doesn't appear to look like aged radium to me. I could be wrong and have been wrong in the past, but this is my assessment from the pictures provided by the OP. I would love to see some macro shots if possible.

The bakelite, however cracked, still has some value. I know folks who would snatch this bakelite in a heart beat. Although cracked and discolored, it is still original and that sort of discoloring was typical of these late 50 bakelites. I know folks who have either aftermarket bakelites and even SS 1675 inserts on their 6542s that would be more than happy to mount this sucker on, so there's def. value there. And to be perfectly honest, I've seen much much worse bakelites.

The case at a snapshot, if original, of course we would need to see engravings, font style, caseback engravings, movt etc, appears to be in excellent shape with minimal polish if any. The champhers look fantastic and that of course would also add value. It also appears that the brass bezel is also original, which also holds value.

I think its wonderful that this is in your family, and the "dad owning this for 50 years" stories are my favorite and show that true treasures still exist in the wild. But to put a price tag on this is dependent on a buyer who is drawn to such a piece. I've met collectors who love this type of look on late 50s models and would snatch this up, but I've also seen some similar examples sit for a very long time, 2 examples come to mind from a reputable dealer here on our platform that have been sitting for some time now.

You have an interesting piece here with a neat story. In my humble opinion and respectfully of course, I don't think this is going to be the retirement sale that's going to bring in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but to some folks out there, there is value to be seen here. I would be open to discuss further privately.

None the less, great family piece and best of luck in your navigation to dissolve it, if ever.

Happy '18


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