First, let’s define a restored dial: that is a dial that has been re-coated, repainted, re-plated or one that has markers and other details replaced. By now, you’ve probably heard that they should be avoided at all costs, but there are some exceptions.
When the watch has not been cared for properly, and the dial has been seriously damaged, the only way it could be used again is to restore it. When purchasing a vintage watch, there is certainly nothing wrong with a refinished dial, if:
– the restoration was done by a professional
– the restoration is disclosed by the dealer
– the watch is not particularly rare, historical, or a “holy grail”
That said, many collectors still avoid refinished dials because:
– A restored dial may appear to be cleaner and more functional but all-original watches always fetch more at auction.
– Collectors see these watches as part of history and much of that is reflected in the dial. Stripping its original dial away means erasing that past.
– And simply, there are so-called independent dial refinishers who simply don’t care about restoring a watch properly.
If you’d like to avoid the last scenario, here’s what you should watch out for: