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Watch Grading

Many of the watches that you encounter for sale on the internet are pre-owned.  Look carefully at the descriptions of the piece you are considering, and review the website for terms and conditions, and / or disclaimers before you make your final selection.  A reputable watch vendor will CLEARLY tell you that they are selling pre-owned (used, not factory new) pieces and offer you a "grading" of the wear or imperfections apparent on the watch.  Specific descriptions should be as complete and detailed as possible to give you a realistic idea of an item and its specific state of preservation.   Most items offered for sale show some signs of use, expect that your purchase will have some "character".

There are several grading scales that are in use.  Shown here are examples of two grading scales.  These are presented here to allow you to become familiar with the terminology and to enhance your recognition of these terms.  Obviously, the more detailed the scale used, the more confident you may be that the piece you purchase will be in line with your expectations. 

Use these as EXAMPLES ONLY, you will not find either of these scales exactly are they are shown here ! 

Example Grading Scale 1

LIKE NEW:     - In virtually new condition. Except for modern wrist watches, items are rarely found in this condition.
EXCELLENT:   - In much better than average condition with virtually no significant flaws.
VERY GOOD:  - Shows some signs of use but in better than average condition.
                         Restorations, if any, are of high quality and not obvious.
GOOD:          - In average condition with signs of use consistent with its age. Restorations may be obvious.
FAIR:            - In worse than average condition. May be poorly restored or not restored at all.

Generally the age of a watch has a bearing on the rating of its condition. For example, modern wrist watches must meet a higher standard than 17th century pocket watches. Also, the older the watch, the greater the variance in timekeeping ability.
Unless noted otherwise:
o All watches, clocks and movements are in good running order consistent with their age and original design.
o There has not been any obvious restoration work.
o Every item is original and no major parts have been replaced.
o Enamel dials and cases are fragile, and damages are often repaired. Such restorations, although usually beautifully done and not evident, will be noted in the descriptions. Enamel restorations are usually done with "soft" enamel which is not resistant to solvents, so appropriate care should be exercised.


Example Grading Scale 2

New Old Stock        - NOS, Never worn, the case may show some minor storage marks. Overall watch = 98-100%
Mint                       - Close to NOS. Worn but shows very little wear. No brassing on gold filled cases,
                                although minor scratches may be present.  Dials are free of imperfections or scratches.
                                New redials are shown as mint. Overall watch = 95%+.
Near Mint               - Worn with some minor wear. No brassing on gold filled cases, scratches are present although
                                not unattractive. Dials are clean but may show slight discoloration. Overall watch = 90%+.
Excellent                - Shows slight normal wear. Slight brassing on back of gold filled cases or lug bottoms.
                                 Dials may show minor imperfections and discoloration. Overall watch = 80%+.
Very Good              - Shows normal wear. Brassing on back and minor brassing on top of gold filled watches.
                                 Dials may show stains or scratches or heavy discoloration. Overall watch = 70%+.
Good/Average        - Shows heavier than average wear. Brassing and possible dents or dings.
                                 Dials unattractive. Overall watch = 50%+.
Fair/Below Average - Some damage or other serious problems.  Functional as a holding case only.
                                 Not collectable except in a very rare item. Dials unattractive or discolored to the
                                 point where it should be refinished.

             Unless otherwise noted:
             - All watches, clocks and movements are in good running order.
             - There has not been any obvious restoration work.
             - Every item is original and no major parts have been replaced.

Use these as EXAMPLES ONLY, you will not find either of these scales exactly are they are shown here ! 

Bottom Line :  If you are purchasing a pre-owned watch, you must be satisfied with the vendor's description and grading of the piece, never buy a pre-owned watch that does not have an accompanying description / grading !



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