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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I am new here, I am from Italy and as I was born in 1958 I would like to find a nice (not too expensive) 1958 watch (that I can wear everyday). I like "sport" models more than very classic models and I prefer white metal (stainless steel) to yellow (gold). It should have a black dial. Any advice? Thanks in advance.
Raul
 

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I agree with Valtyr on this, although looking for any watch from a specific year may be quite frustrating. I know. It's 3 years and I still haven't found a good example from 1954 that I'm happy with!

I wish I could recommend Hamilton. The quality is there, but either the styles may be too "classic" for what you want, or the sporty models that do exist are selling for very high amounts of money. And both Waltham and Elgin may too pedestrian.
 

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Bulova put a date code on their watches that allow you to determine the year of manufacture, which is not always possible with other brands.
 

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Gruen and Benrus are 2 of my favorites but unless it is inscribed on the caseback they will be near impossible to date. Bulova on the other hand as GeneJockey suggests is much easier, take a look at the caseback and look for "L8" stamped on it.

Omega and Longines can also be dated but require contacting offices in Switzerland and giving them the serial number, the pic below is the reply I got from Longines regarding my grandfather watch.

 

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Welcome Raul! I think GeneJockey made an excellent suggestion with Bulova. The L8 is marked somewhere on the outside of the case for easy identification and Bulova did have some nice options for you to choose from in that time period.

Omega and Longines can also be dated but require contacting offices in Switzerland and giving them the serial number
I can date both brands with decent accuracy. An Omega from 1958 will have a serial number on the movement between 16,000,000 and 16,699,999. A Longines from 1958 will have a serial number on the movement between 10,543,665 and 10,885,914. The real problem will be finding a black dialed sport watch from either brand. The obvious choice with Omega would be a Ranchero model but they won't be cheap. They're selling for a couple thousand and up in good condition. You'd be in the same with Longines - the Legend Diver was introduced that year with the caliber 19AS and they cost as much or more than the Ranchero. Those are the two stand-out models from both brands.

It is possible to find black waffle dialed Omega Seamasters with one of the caliber 50x series inside for about $500 - $800 depending on condition but we're still way over what's considered "not too expensive".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe I used the word "sport" a bit inappropiately and this can confuse things.
I don't mean that I necessarily look for a really sportish watch (like a diving or explorer type watch), but I meant that I don't want the classic watch with a thin yellow gold case and a golden or white dial.
I prefer white metal for the case (but I don't dislike a light golden color like a 10k), and a black dial (or also an insolite non-black dial). Hamilton (also electric) could be an option, but I don't know how reliable those old calibres are (I read that the 500 was a bit "temperamental") for today's every day use. About Hamilton, for example, I like the Titan with black dial, even though it's golden, for it's nice case/lugs shape and dial.
About prices, consider up to a $500-600 price range.
Can you put some pics of the black dial models you were referring to when quoting Gruen, Benrus, Bulova, Longines, Hamilton, etc?
Thanks
 

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I don't think that any of the Hamilton Electrics are "long term wearers". The 500 is the better movement in that as long as the battery is changed regularly (12 months ish) and the watch is serviced every 3 or so years it should be more than reliable enough for casual wear. They're all 50 year old electric watches that aren't really mean't to be worn every day. I wear my 3 (Spectra, Victor and Sealectric) about once every 2 weeks or so.

If you chose one of the Hamilton automatics from the 50's then you'll get a reasonably stylish, very affordable and reliable wristwatch that you can wear every day. the Black dial watches can be found in the catalogues in the Hamilton Forum under 1958. If you want to have a quick perusal of the American Black dial thread in the American Forum then you'll see them in living colour (which the catalogues unfortunately can't do).

cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks SeanO,
with "regular wear" I mean wearing it also for a few day in a row, and not only once in a month o several months. I have some other watches (5 rolex from the 70's and a new Hamilton Ventura) so this new watch would be alternate with others, and not the only watch I wear.
As you are also a moderator of the Hamilton forum, what are fair and honest prices for a nice condition (running, keeping time and possibly serviced) electric (titan?) or automatic (like the K-202 or K-407) 50's Hamilton?
I like also the pacer with black dial, but I fear its price is decisely higher.
Thanks
 

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Raul,

you can get lucky on EBAY and snap up a Titan for anywhere between 100 and 200 dollars. At this price you would expect to have to send it to Rene Rondeau or someone who specialises in electrics for a service and clean up. This would cost anywhere from 300 dollars up depending on whether anything needs replacing.

The K series autos you can pick up for between 100 and 200 dollars. A really good 407 would be 250ish.

A Pacer (black dial) would set you back 600 minimum with no guarantee (as per the Titan). You pay for case condition with the Pacer not the condition of the Dial (which can be refurbished). The case can display wear and damage at the point and at the spot where the jeweller opens the case. Do not pay this amount of money for something that has been re-plated. As i posted previously you can probably expect to pay a tiny amount more for the 500 rather than the 505 but not a significant amount.

If you are interested in the Electric as a collector, Rene's book is a must purchase (from Rene's website).

happy hunting and don't forget to post when you acquire something.

cheers,

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks SeanO. So it's too bad that I didn't see on time the ebay auction that ended yesterday at $355 for a nice black Titan serviced by Rene in 2008!
A question about date. If I buy a Titan will I be sure it will be from 1958? It is only on 1958 catalog, and as far as I read it was released at the end of 1957.
Are there reliable serial numbers for Hamilton watch that can help finding a 1958 piece?
Thanks
 

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Rene is the best source of information relating to the serial numbers of the electrics. he's a regular poster here (hamiltonelectric) or you can attempt to contact him at his web address.

cheers,
 
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