Vintagetraderonline - Joke Seller of the Year?

It's a reasonable assumption to make that a watch seller with over 700 auction sales would have a fair idea if they were flogging a Frankenwatch. What's more, with the amount of information on Omega Constellations available on the web, there is absolutely no excuse for a seasoned trader to market an abomination and use the words 'original', 'all-genuine' and 'authentic' a total of five times when describing a watch that is anything but original, authentic and all-genuine. It makes you question, does it not, whether the seller is 'all-genuine' and 'authentic'?

This eBay auction 300288312949, staged by Vintagetraderonline, would be laughable if it weren't for a gormless few and a bevy of neophytes out there who would believe the unmitigated hype surrounding this Franken C-Shape Constellation and bid on it.

Over-polished to within an inch of its life, the watch has a ring-in Pie Pan dial that, contrary to the assertion of the seller, could not live up to the description of having been "professionally" refinished at all. Let's make it perfectly clear - the Omega C-Shaped Constellation never came with a Pie Pan dial, and the restoration job is below average.

Calibre 562 movements never, repeat never, powered C-Shaped Constellations. While some 562s (albeit very few in numbers) were chronometers , they powered Seamaster Chronometers and it has now been established that 562s did not power Constellation models. I suspect either the rotor bridge of an oridinary non-chronometer 562 has been replaced by a properly stamped chronometer bridge or there has been a train bridge replacement. The movement, dial and case is "put-together" as they say, and in no way can this piece of crud invite words like "all-genuine" etc.

The auction is a private auction where the names of bidders are not shown and I would strongly recommend that buyers avoid private auctions at all costs because they can mask shill bidding.
The seller claims, "We are reputable vintage watch traders. We love what we do and take pride in our work. Our customers' complete satisfaction is of utmost importance to us." .........Oh Really!!!!!!!!!
Click here for an essay on REAL Constellation C-Shape models.

POSTSCRIPT: This listing has now been withdrawn

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  1. Anonymous9:44 am

    Hi Desmond,

    The gold time markers with the silver hands seems a bit odd to me. Is this yet another abomination?



  2. Sure is Mark.

    And stick hands on a pie pan are as compatible as the proverbial teats on a bull eh?



  3. Calendar disc doesn't seem to be lined up terribly well either even if we presume the time displayed is 10:12 PM - perhaps the date pawl is a little out of phase and starting to advance prematurely?

    Note too the printed index markers missing at the metal markers and the seconds hand that overreaches by a wide margin. Hands seem to have been well-used and abused before being salvaged.

    I can't make up my mind about the bracelet. End pieces don't seem to fit terribly well but that could be an artifact of abusive polishing on the case/lugs. Don't recall offhand having seen any of this type, but the "819" markings seem approximately consistent with Omega's marking patterns.

  4. gatorcpa7:26 am

    Looks like you've done your work well Des!

    The eBay link is no longer active, so I can't post a comment on the watch in question.

    Take care,

  5. Hi Rryan and Gator.

    Yes those end pieces come in two sizes and the 19mm ones fit the C-Shape. This one looked as though its end pieces were 18mm. Good spot re the calendar disc.

    Gator, the job seems to have been done eh? It was just too much of a doozy to avoid commenting on it.



  6. Anonymous10:13 pm

    Oh noes, i was going to buy that one.... hahahaha

    Good work as usual desmond :)

  7. Anonymous4:36 am

    This particular "frankenwatch" listing had already been noticed and reported by eBay's EMR program members and was under review by Trust & Safety for removal.

    eBay has been aggressively targeting/removing the counterfeits and frankenwatches listed on its site by unscrupulous sellers. While no effort can be expected to catch every single bad auction, its has made a significant dent in the problem. Literally thousands of bad auctions are being removed each week and many repeat offenders are being suspended from the site.

    Kudos to eBay and its EMR members for the effort.

  8. That's Good. And any effort made by eBay to clean up the underbelly of its on-line auction marketplace deserves acknowledgement and praise.

    It is also gratifying to know that eBay is now agressively and proactively dealing with the counterfeit watch trade, which, today, is a bread and butter activity for organised crime, particularly Asian triads.

    I dont knock eBay for the actions of its rogue sellers, but one must note that it's taken time, enormous pressure (and probably litigation) for eBay to move away from its ultra-capitalist "We're just a market" goonery and recognise that there is a moral and, increasingly, a legal obligation to ensure fairness, equity and a lack of criminality in what is a global marketplace.

    We only have to look at the poison that has spread from Wall Street and the American financial system to know that loosely regulated and irresponsibly policed markets can bring the world to its knees.

    And so it's only fair that if eBay wants to rake in its billions from auctions, Paypal and associated businesses then it has to show the world that it both regulates and polices its now global marketplace to ensure that it operates for the "good of the good" and doesnt turn a blind eye towards, or offer protection to, the skulduggery and criminality that always happens in Laissez-Faire markets.

    I only wonder when Google, that loudly self-proclaimed good corporate citizen, will begin to develop sophisticated algorithms to weed out the counterfeit watch trade. The funny thing is that its on-line business operating system doesn't allow for demands by publishers to remove advertising of counterfeit advertising. Maybe the pressure should now be put on Google to more effectively self-regulate too?



  9. Anonymous2:45 pm

    So, with the interest of trying to learn, am I correct in thinking that this is a "franken" due to the 562 not powering Constellations and the incorrect case as well?



    1. Yes, in short. Its a franken the reason that it is a cal 562 and does not have the signature rotor bridge parts that should have stamped 'Adjusted to 5 (Five) Positions and Temperature).

      As you suggest, it is also a franken because the case is a 167.005 and is meant specifically for the dateless calibre 551 and not one of the 56x series of movements

      The lugs have been grain finished incorrectly, and because I can't see any pics of the case body in a side view I cannot confirm my suspicion that the case body could be a Chinese fake.



  10. Anonymous10:07 pm

    As I am looking thought 10-15 watches a day, the information you have shared is truly invaluable. It's a pity that businesses would present timepieces such as the above and represent them as "all original". Thank you for sharing your hobby with us.