Posted by Administrator on 10/25/2014 to Resources and How-Tos
We previously used the Timezone grading scale to grade our watches. Although this is the most well-known standard, experience with our clients needs have led us to develop our own, more detailed standard which focuses on aesthetic condition, with both mechanical condition and completeness reported separately. This way our clients can make better assessments based on the factors important to them.
Watch Vault NYC Aesthetic Grading Scale
A pre-owned watch that is indistinguishable from new to the naked eye. May have storage or handling marks visible under magnification. Could also be new factory B-stock
Nearly perfect aesthetic condition. There will be no wear marks visible to the naked eye. Signs of wear may be visible under magnification. There may be strap change or maintenance marks on the caseback. May also refer to a watch that has been freshly restored to almost new aesthetic condition. At wrist-length it will present like a new watch.
Shows very light signs of wear under close inspection. A few, faint wear marks may be visible up close. Dial and hands may have developed an attractive patina. Watch will show wear consistent with a watch worn only a few times by a careful owner. At wrist-length it will present like a watch that has never been worn.
Evidence of use is visible at wrist-length. There may be wear marks on the case and bracelet visible at wrist length, but generally no dings or dents. Dial and hands may have slight signs of degradation, or an uneven patina. Watch will show wear consistent with a special-occasion watch worn by a careful owner. Alternatively, could also be a watch in NEAR MINT or above condition, but has a ding or dent visible at wrist length. An attractive presentation on the wrist.
Evidence of regular use is clearly visible at wrist length. There may be numerous wear marks on the case and bracelet. Watch will show wear consistent with a regularly-worn watch by a careful owner. Alternatively, could also be a watch in EXCELLENT condition, but has a ding or dent visible at wrist length. Presents like a well-taken care of daily driver on the wrist.
Watch Vault NYC does not sell watches below VERY GOOD condition
Note that no pre-owned watch, regardless of how it's graded, is completely free of signs of age or wear. If that is your expectation, we recommend buying a new watch.
Grading Functional Condition
We fully test all of the applicable watch functions, time and date, chronograph, rotating bezel, clasp, diver extension, etc, and note if there are any significant issues worth noting.
Timekeeping is measured with a precision timegrapher. Your own timegrapher results may vary due to factors such as testing position and isochronism (how the precision of a watch changes depending on the state of wind). Precision on your wrist is dependent upon the habits of the wearer and can cause even more variation.
Note that non-COSC ETA movements (the kind used in most Omega watches) have a published maximum variation of +/- 15 to 30 seconds per day, with 5% of a manufactured lot not meeting these performance parameters. This means even a new Omega watch can be up to 30 seconds per day off or more and that's quite normal. A qualified watchmaker can usually adjust the watch to meet Omega tolerances.
Watch bands are measured using a bracelet mandrel. Note that bracelet size includes the watch case.