Would you pay to redo this 18-year-old Portugieser Panda IW371411 ?

Oct 21, 2021,16:14 PM

I am looking for expert opinions. 

I recently purchased a year 2004 IW371411 Portugieser Panda dial. AFAIK, it has never been overhauled, so I took it to the IWC service center. According to IWC, the watch suffered a strong impact at some time in its life, which distorted/warped the dial. The dial MUST be replaced. IWC said that if I do NOT agree to replace the dial, they will NOT overhaul the watch. The watch runs +7 sec per day. IWC said that the angle of the balance wheel has been compromised by the impact, so the watch's timing can neither be improved nor guaranteed as long as the warped dial remains. 

IWC sent me a pic of the replacement dial (below on the left). It is slightly different from the original on the right. The new one appears to have "applied" numbers rather than "painted" numbers, and of course, it is shiny white. 

Overhaul=$677 (including polishing and new hands)
New dial=$510
Chrono pushers=$123

Plus, IWC suggested replacing the sapphire crystal ($228) + inner dial ($114) too. (I should just buy a new watch!!)

Is it worth $1,310 to sacrifice original parts and have a "made-over watch" that is in good condition?
Or, should I save my money and continue to wear the watch "as is" and  take my chances? 

Also, IWC wants to polish the case to make it look "new" again. Yes, do it? or No, decline? 
I am thinking of declining because polishing removes metal, and the watch to me, doesn't look beat up. 

I am at a loss about spending money to own in essence an older but redone, made-over watch. 
On the other hand, it might be worth it to have an "old watch" in good condition. 

I would appreciate some expert advice. Thanks. 


  login to reply

Comments: view entire thread



 By: blau : October 21st, 2021-16:33
If you want to preserve the possibility of selling the watch one day (as I, at least, tend to do) you'll probably need to get it overhauled, because that's a pretty extensive list of bruises that you'd *have* to disclose to prospective buyers. And it's go... 

My Omega experiences disagree...

 By: MikiJ : October 21st, 2021-17:04
With all due respect I know for a fact that once you go down this complete makeover road the value of your watch goes down the road road in addition to all the money to make it a completely "renewed" watch. If it was my watch and there was some significan... 

I think dials are the same

 By: VinnieD : October 21st, 2021-16:45
IWC embosses the numerals then paints them in a silver colour, making it difficult to say whether they are painted or applied. My experience is look for a talented independent watchmaker who understands the quality of vintage items. I would def. not polis... 

I can make one comment on "received a strong impact"

 By: cazalea : October 21st, 2021-17:00
I have serviced a number of Rolexes, and once got a watch that had flown out of the owner's coat pocket onto the locker room floor, which shattered the crystal. When we finished servicing the movement, we couldn't get the new round sapphire crystal into t... 


 By: MikiJ : October 21st, 2021-18:29

How much does +7 sec/day bother you?

 By: India Whiskey Charlie : October 21st, 2021-17:35
I've owned a couple dozen IWC's over the years and they all ran 8-10 sec/day. Some were serviced by IWC and came back running the same way. If this was my watch, I would have it checked out by an experienced watchmaker as Douglas suggested but only if it ... 

Beautiful watch but sorry to hear about the diagnosis! Out of curiosity, does anyone know how the warped dial relates to the off angle of the balance wheel and why a new dial might fix that issue?

 By: Fastwong : October 21st, 2021-20:07
IMHO, unless the watch has sentimental value such that you don't want to replace it and it is an everyday watch so accuracy is important to you, I would do nothing and if/when it stops take it to an indy to get it running again. If the impact really was s... 

$1300 for a chrono service

 By: roundel : October 21st, 2021-21:23
Including new pushers and dial seems pretty fair. I agree that both dials are embossed and painted too. That said, the crooked balance staff sounds like shock protection just needs to be disassembled, cleaned, lubed, and reassembled. All steps I’d expect ... 

a lot of different things - movement, case, dial ...

 By: only5402 : October 22nd, 2021-05:04
every watchmaker has experience with this movement - no problem the case we can not judge - for shure IWC knows how to do this in the best way (a lot of person don't know how to do correctly!) the dial we can not judge - no picture, that shows the problem... 

Thanks for reinforcing my own conclusion!!

 By: Moka-Tiger (Ron) : October 22nd, 2021-14:21
I am the OP and I really appreciate everyone's comments. S ince you all confirmed my own suspicions, I advised IWC to cancel the overhaul request. I was very hesitant to "throw money down the drain" on this nice-looking watch. I assume it has hardly any (...