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Thread: Vietnam vets?

  1. #1

    Default Vietnam vets?

    Here's a bunch of Viet vets recently liberated from the Phnom Penh Hilton. Unfortunately none of them look likely to return to full health. Given the widespread occurrence of " facsimiles" in S.E. Asia I'd be suspicious but I don't think any of these look faked - I could be wrong. I'm going to auction them - either as a bunch or individually. I wonder if anyone would be interested for either restoration or spares? If so I could give a heads up when I list them. Anyone spot anything interesting here?
    Roy

    (what a PIA it is linking to photobucket. Repeats images seemingly at random... delete, do one at a time, preview...)
    In fact it's all but unusable. Reloading the site causes it to freeze.




    I gave up. Photobucket is useless.

  2. #2

    Default Here they are

    Via a hosting site that sorta works.


    Bulova_Bl_D_1_viet_4060012


    Bulova_Bl_D_2_viet_4060013


    Bulova_Bl_D_2_viet_4060014


    Elgin_1_viet_4060004


    Elgin_1_viet_4060005


    Elgin_15_J_1_viet_4060022


    Elgin_15_J_1_viet_4060023


    Longines_viet_4060001


    Longines_viet_4060002


    Tissot_Bl_D_1_viet_4060015


    Tissot_Bl_D_1_viet_4060016


    Tissot_Bl_D_1_viet_4060017


    Waltham_17_J_1_viet_4060006


    Waltham_17_J_1_viet_4060007


    Waltham_17_J_1_viet_4060024


    Waltham_17_J_1_viet_4060025


    Watham_17_J_1_viet_4060018


    Watham_17_J_1_viet_4060019


    Watham_17_J_2_viet_4060020


    Watham_17_J_2_viet_4060021


    Bulova15_J_1_viet_4060009


    Bulova15_J_1_viet_4060010


    Bulova_1123_viet_4060026


    Bulova_Bl_D_1_viet_4060011

  3. #3
    Moderator Syrte's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi, what makes you say they're Vietnam vets?
    As far as I can tell the Waltham and Elgin are WWII, and the Bulova A17A is a 1950s watch - the A17 is known as "Korean war" era, issued 1952-1953-1956 to the air force IIRC.
    Cheers,
    S

  4. #4

    Default

    Because they have been lurking in a filing cabinet in Pnomh Penh for a very long time. The source (not a local but someone a friend of mine has known for many years) was pretty sure that was where they originated. And I guess it's not impossible that some of them had been around before they arrived in SE Asia. They're probably scrap but I got them with a decent JLC movement for next to nothing.

  5. #5
    Moderator Syrte's Avatar
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    Vietnam is definitely not where they originated, and they're definitely all much older than vietnam war.
    Most are US WWII issued watches --except for the Bulova A17A which is 1950s, the Tissot which is civilian possibly late 40s early 50s ("Aquasport" means what it means) and the second one you posted not clearly identifiable to me.
    Case back markings "ORD" are WWII US 'ordinance watch".

    On the 11th picture down, the case marked "A11" is from an Air Force watch from 1944 (as marked: AF-44-xxxx).
    But the watch is a franken as this case should house a black sterile dial with a center seconds hacking movement, and not a white branded dial with subseconds movement.

    And a number of them, as you can perhaps see, have pretty crude redials -so for parts only.
    Best regards,
    S

  6. #6
    Senior Member isologue's Avatar
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    Default

    Certainly quite a few hokey dials in there and nothing quite correct to my eyes (apart from the civilian Tissot and a couple of near-misses) but an interesting mishmash of post-WW2 (40s and 50s) US military material. A lot of the cases have late-WW2 era (1944/45 dated) movements but that was OK. I like the sub-seconds Waltham 6/0 D in an ORD CORPS style - but ORD DEPT marked - case. Can anybody date the Longines I wonder? There are anecdotal stories of Bulova A-17A watches being issued into the 1960s, despite the MIL-W-3818B having been introduced by then, but I don't know about the rest.
    Regards,
    Martin (isologue)

  7. #7
    Moderator Syrte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isologue View Post
    Can anybody date the Longines I wonder?
    The Longines movement should be from approx 1946 based on the serial number. The case doesn't look Longines.
    That's a watch I'd find interesting for a project, actually

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Skridlov,
    you got p. m.
    Regards,

  9. #9

    Default

    Hi everyone - and thanks for the comments. Nothing would surprise me coming out of Cambodia having once bought (for 60) a California dial "bubbleback" which was astonishingly convincing - I found it at a recently opened (C 2002) border market in the north which was still being de-mined. The last tourists there were probably the Khmer Rouge.
    The A17A seems to be the most interesting lump. I think I'll probably ebay them in small batches and see what they make - I expect they have some value to someone. I certainly don't need to retain even more dead watches.
    Roy

  10. #10
    Senior Member DaveH's Avatar
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    I got down to Saigon a few times during my 1966-67 tour there. Imagine a giant city that has almost all small houses, French maisons stucco with tile roofs stretching forever. Set in the French wagon wheel format with roundabouts at every major intersection. You knew you were in something very French everywhere you went. Go to any small building and restaurant and you could sit on the roof and dine out in the open. The city was so large that it went on for miles. At the mid day several million people would prepare the afternoon meal and you could smell this incredible smell of burning wood, camphor and the smell of BBQ. Looking out from your noodles it was a smoky smooth wonderful smell. Very few really large cities smelled good, Saigon smelled great. These watches were probably down in Cholon the Chinese slum in Saigon. These things have been coming out for 50 years. French, Viet, Aussie, and Koreans all lost or gave up their watches over decades. Even US airforce during the French war. All of them did Saigon and Cholon for the whores, booze and food. The Viets are wonderful beautiful moral people, The people who sell watches are Chinese criminals.

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