Not sure I like the look of this ? Cal1001

Not sure I like the look of this ? Cal1001Here are some scans of a watch that has come to my attention.Unless its bad photography,some of the components do not look like polished steel - could be a bad angle and the seller is not knowledgible enough to say one way,or the other.The watch dates from 1955.I had considered that someone may have substituted JLC parts/818 cal ? - but even they are polished on their movements any comments,or explainations ?

Dr StrangeloveNot sure I like the look of this ? Cal1001
The parts that look bad are the non-rhodium plated ones.
08/03/2009 - 01:23
Most of the movement is rhodium-plated. Rhodium is very non-reactive and can be expected not to tarnish. The parts that are normally made of black-polished steel are not plated. I gather that the steel is more reactive than rhodium, and apparently something to which the steel reacted got inside the case. I don't think there has been a substitution of parts. At least as to the fourth (?) wheel cock  and the hairspring-attaching thing (collet?), I'm pretty sure there is no JLC equivalent. Anyhow, that's the way it looks to me. Anyone else?
Re: The parts that look bad are the non-rhodium plated ones.HELP !
08/03/2009 - 21:08
Thanks mkvc - thanks for your input - I guess I am also asking and this is to other members also - is this common,or an uncommon practice - are the parts genuine (VC) - I assume so,or they would not fit  -  and does this in anyway affect the functionality of the watch - should I be concerned,will it affect value etc - its just something I have never seen on numerous scans of the caliber been sold. Thanks Dr Strangelove
The movement is marked with the Geneva Hallmark...
08/03/2009 - 21:25
yet the center wheel is not jeweled, which I understand to be a violation of one of the 12 criteria. Something smells fishy. Also, there are a lot of steel parts which are not visible and are functional (winding and motion (keyless) works/pinions) and I would assume that they are just as corroded as the screws and escape wheel cap. Stay away from this watch! Bill
Re: The movement is marked with the Geneva Hallmark...
08/05/2009 - 06:44
Hi Bill:  I'm no watchsmith, but the center wheel is part of the motion works, right?  I believe the GS requires jewelled settings only on the escapement and going train, as described on Vacheron's website. As I said, I'm no watchsmith so may have this all wrong . Also, regarding the black polished parts, Alex did an excellent write-up on movement finishes click here to see the post.  What isn't explained is the purpose, which I always understood to be originally for corrosion-resistance (as opposed to bluing, which was to harden the metal).  Nowadays, both finishes appear to be decorative given the quality of metal alloys used.  I strongly suspect the finish of this vintage piece could be restored at the factory.
The going train...
08/05/2009 - 07:31
Hi Dean: I understand the "going train" to refer to the center, thrid, and fourth wheels, which trasfer power from the mainspring to the escapement. I'm hoping Alex will clarify this for us after consulting with one of VC's watchmakers. The "motion works," the display of the minute and hour hand, are driven by the center wheel. I would think that this movement could be restored, but the cost would be prohibitive. As I said, I'm also worried about the condition of parts that we can't see from these photographs. Bill