Sunday, March 1, 2015

An Engagement Present

I bought Michael a vintage Longines watch last summer as an engagement present.  I probably delved into the world of vintage watches a little too prematurely though, because it was only after I purchased it that I started wondering about the authenticity of the item.  The dealer was also incredibly shady. 

But the watch was so beautiful, and I knew it was exactly the kind of watch that he would love.  I threw caution to the wind and against my better judgment, plunked down cold hard cash for the lovely thing.
It arrived in good shape (to our novice and non-expert eyes), however, the glass of the watch (the covering in layman's terms) was not properly fastened and seemed to be nothing more than a plastic cap.  We wanted to fix it with a proper acrylic or sapphire glass.

Over the course of the next six months, we had quite a bit of administrative hullabaloo to deal with.  I had already brought the watch to the Longines service center in Quarry Bay, they had shipped it all the way to their Switzerland headquarters for inspection… the Hong Kong team claimed they could not replace the glass.  The Switzerland team claimed the watch would need service that would exceed what I paid for the watch.  They refused to replace the glass without doing a complete overhaul of the entire watch.

One nice thing that came out of the whole process was that the museum curator at Longines (yes, how very Swiss of them) was able to verify and authenticate the watch, so that we have a certificate of authenticity for it.

However, we still worried about how we would ever get the glass replaced…reams of correspondence and phone calls were exchanged in the ensuing months.  The watch returned to Hong Kong after its four month journey with the glass still not repaired.  I did more research and decided to contact another vintage watch repair service in Hong Kong…

At that point the process went much more smoothly.  After a week, I went to pick up the watch and voila, now, not only do we have the watch, Michael is finally wearing it!

It is a 19 jewel hand wind 9k Longines vintage watch made in 1959.  There is an inscription on the back that says "Mr. E. J. Jones, 14 April 1959 to mark 32 years service, the British Petroleum Group." Fun right?  I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say this is Michael's favorite piece of jewelry (never mind that this is practically his only piece of jewelry)….

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