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404 Club


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@AndyHull and I have been chatting, and we think it's time to formalize the 404 Club. 404 is the HTTP standard response code returned when a file (page) is requested and not found. You've probably seen the "404 Not Found" page a few times in your internetting adventures. Turns out though, watches can be found for such a tiny sum! Some surprisingly nice ones even!

Every currency doesn't have the same buying power though. Fortunately, the Dollar to Pound conversion at the moment works out to about $5.00, and the 500 response code means there's an internal server error... Not quite poetic, but at least it's on theme. Similarly, Euro to Pound works out to €4.50. 450 is specific to Microsoft and means "Blocked by Windows Parental Controls" ... So you guys behave!

So the way this works is you buy a watch for your currency/error code plus reasonable shipping (I've been saying $10 max unless I really like the watch, in which case I'll stretch to $15; the point is to avoid those $1 buy $200 shipping scams), fix it up for as little as possible, then add it to your personal collection, sell it off to pay for the next one, gift it to a friend, hang it around your neck as a tribute to Flavor Flav, or whatever else strikes your fancy! Somewhere in there though, post a picture of it here!

Edited by spectre6000
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My first 404 Club member to arrive:

IMG_1836.thumb.JPG.8827f515c7e4cd7d509267c29f898b19.JPGIMG_1835.thumb.JPG.4257a351fbd768c9b3a8adb6f3df858f.JPG

Purchase price: $3.93 out of the Czech Republic. I haven't put it on the timegrapher yet, and the amplitude is obviously low, but it runs! Fully jeweled Swiss movement!

I have 7 watches in transit that collectively came in under the 500 limit. All NOS, silver plated (I assume), and with fully jeweled French movements. I also won auctions for two watches out of Germany well under the limit, but Coronavirus craziness surprised the seller and I with shipping that was NOT OK, so they were cancelled. Bummer.

Edited by spectre6000
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Think this should just about qualify?.. this job lot of 6 'dead' Accurist movements + 1 case was £12.85 including postage (so less than £4.04 with $10 postage for the whole 6), 4 of them were ETA 2390s, 3 of which I have killed now... but one I have got running well enough that I built it back into the case that was also in the lot and it has been running with reasonable accuracy (within +30s/day dial up, better than that if worn) for a couple of weeks now. I used the most patina'd of the dials as I kind of like it and jazzed it up with a bright orange second hand. Since it is my first 'saved' watch since starting this hobby I intend to keep it! I haven't done anything yet with the 2 other movements, but since I don't have another case it will be tough to rescue them fully!

AccuristB.jpg

IMG_20200607_205658.jpg

IMG_20200607_212219.jpg

Watches.jpg

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OK... I was feeling pretty proud of my Valory... You guys both took that to school... Patina for the win! Hardcore character bombs!

But come on Andy... You've got more! Don't hold out on us!

Edited by spectre6000
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42 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

But come on Andy... You've got more! Don't hold out on us!

Quite a lot of them have already been posted on WRT at some stage, but I have no shame, so I'll post them again. :D

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Hopefully this little lot will provide a bit of inspiration. Quite a few of them required some work, most needed a thorough cleaning,  and almost all of them needed servicing, but this shouldn't be a bar to looking through the penny lots on ebay. A good number of them needed little more than a new crystal, a new strap, or even just a new battery. There are some unique and interesting pieces to be had for 404 or less, or to put it another way, less than a rather ordinary cup of coffee in the local coffee shop.

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Edited by AndyHull
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Inspiring stuff Andy! Hope to pick up some more to have a go at, I'm on the look out on ebay constantly, but don't see very much going sub £5, most stuff has a starting price higher than that :(. Hopefully post lockdown I'll be able to get out to some flea markets and fairs again.

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On 7/6/2020 at 3:57 PM, spectre6000 said:

@AndyHull and I have been chatting, and we think it's time to formalize the 404 Club. 404 is the HTTP standard response code returned when a file (page) is requested and not found. You've probably seen the "404 Not Found" page a few times in your internetting adventures. Turns out though, watches can be found for such a tiny sum! Some surprisingly nice ones even!

Every currency doesn't have the same buying power though. Fortunately, the Dollar to Pound conversion at the moment works out to about $5.00, and the 500 response code means there's an internal server error... Not quite poetic, but at least it's on theme. Similarly, Euro to Pound works out to €4.50. 450 is specific to Microsoft and means "Blocked by Windows Parental Controls" ... So you guys behave!

So the way this works is you buy a watch for your currency/error code plus reasonable shipping (I've been saying $10 max unless I really like the watch, in which case I'll stretch to $15; the point is to avoid those $1 buy $200 shipping scams), fix it up for as little as possible, then add it to your personal collection, sell it off to pay for the next one, gift it to a friend, hang it around your neck as a tribute to Flavor Flav, or whatever else strikes your fancy! Somewhere in there though, post a picture of it here!

So basically buy the nastiest rat rod basket case you can find for the cheapest, get it running and post on the 404? Is that how I understand it?

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On 7/6/2020 at 4:55 PM, Pauly said:

Think this should just about qualify?.. this job lot of 6 'dead' Accurist movements + 1 case was £12.85 including postage (so less than £4.04 with $10 postage for the whole 6), 4 of them were ETA 2390s, 3 of which I have killed now... but one I have got running well enough that I built it back into the case that was also in the lot and it has been running with reasonable accuracy (within +30s/day dial up, better than that if worn) for a couple of weeks now. I used the most patina'd of the dials as I kind of like it and jazzed it up with a bright orange second hand. Since it is my first 'saved' watch since starting this hobby I intend to keep it! I haven't done anything yet with the 2 other movements, but since I don't have another case it will be tough to rescue them fully!

AccuristB.jpg

IMG_20200607_205658.jpg

IMG_20200607_212219.jpg

Watches.jpg

"The Dead Accurist Society."

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4 hours ago, MechanicMike said:

So basically buy the nastiest rat rod basket case you can find for the cheapest, get it running and post on the 404? Is that how I understand it?

So long as it comes in within the fiscal constraints, you can post whatever you like.

If you are luck enough to score a pristine watch for that money, then you have literally "won a watch", but yes, the majority of stuff in this price bracket needs a little TLC, so the transformation from ratty old clunker to shiny new ticker is certainly a major part of  the "reward" for this particular strange obsession.

I have picked up a couple of brand new in box items that just needed a battery (a sad inditement of our throw away culture), so not all of the 404 club crew needed the full fumigate and lubricate treatment.

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9 hours ago, MechanicMike said:

So basically buy the nastiest rat rod basket case you can find for the cheapest, get it running and post on the 404? Is that how I understand it?

That's hilarious! When I saw Pauly's Accurist (BadAccurist?) and Andy's Voyager (clever nickname not found), "rat rod" is exactly what came to mind. I even went so far as to write up a brief explainer for the non-American niche car enthusiast population (which I imagine is the vast majority), and then stopped because it got too nerdy in the wrong realm and I was afraid it might come across as insulting (NOT an insult). I had to CMD+F the page to make sure I didn't misremember not posting it. Those two watches are liquid inspiration! Possibly the coolest watches I've seen on this forum so far.

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Well, damn! So far, I've scored 10 watches on eBay in the 404 bracket. Two ended up being cancelled before they shipped because of extreme pandemic shipping costs, and 7 have been lost in the mail! My biggest issue playing the 404 game isn't finding watches that qualify, it's getting them here once they're bought and paid for! What the hell????

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17 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

Well, damn! So far, I've scored 10 watches on eBay in the 404 bracket. Two ended up being cancelled before they shipped because of extreme pandemic shipping costs, and 7 have been lost in the mail! My biggest issue playing the 404 game isn't finding watches that qualify, it's getting them here once they're bought and paid for! What the hell????

I've never had a 'no show'. Not sure why you are having such bad luck. :wacko:

Edited by AndyHull
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22 minutes ago, spectre6000 said:

To be fair, the seven were a lot, but still.

I've had a few lots that took a while to arrive. The black dialled Cyrillic Slava came from Kramatorsk, Ukraine, and took about a month. Other items have come from France, Germany and Belgium. The postage on these items is fairly modest, but that is reflected in the delivery times I guess.

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The auction was won back in May, and the tracking number has expired in both countries. The eBay expected arrival date window opened over a month ago, and will be a month expired sometime in the next few days. I contacted the seller once the origin post tracking number went dark to see if he could poke anyone on that side for information, and refunded the purchase rather than mess with it (can't say I blame him for $8 or whatever). Prior to him doing that, I opened an inquiry with the USPS, and I have so far received two "we're working on it" automated emails. 

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On 7/13/2020 at 10:48 AM, spectre6000 said:

Well, damn! So far, I've scored 10 watches on eBay in the 404 bracket. Two ended up being cancelled before they shipped because of extreme pandemic shipping costs, and 7 have been lost in the mail! My biggest issue playing the 404 game isn't finding watches that qualify, it's getting them here once they're bought and paid for! What the hell????

Yeah been having a bit-o-trouble with getting stuff here also.  The flu still acting as opposing force to everything still?

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