4000 series surface finish disappointment

  1. BillyBOD

    BillyBOD Aug 9, 2018

    Posts
    6
    Likes
    0
    Hello All.
    I bought my mid size WF 1212/KO watch new in 1996/7.
    I was recently diagnosed as not being very well, so I decided to treat myself to getting my sentimental TAG fully serviced. I did buy another secondhand to tide me over.
    I quote from the service info:
    During a Complete Service:
    The movement is inspected and disassembled. Individual movement parts, case and bracelet are ultrasonically cleaned. Worn movement components are replaced as necessary including the battery. Case & bracelet polished (best possible)
    The movement is systematically re-assembled and re-oiled using different types of specialised lubricants. The sealing gaskets listed are replaced. The watch is then subjected to timing and water resistance testing with an additional power reserve test for automatic watches, Final quality control inspection. If further work is required we will advise.

    It was ready for collection (I went via local dealer) after 8 weeks but I was terribly disappointed in the condition it came back in. The original polished finish had been removed to become a dull matt finish.
    I rang Customer services giving the repair number and expressed concern about the finish. I was told that it had been "microblasted" to return it to its original finish. When I said it was originally polished I was advised that this model had only been sold with this microblasted finish and that it had become polished from years of being worn (sic).
    The link that "Mr Biver" very kindly provided along with re-directions to correct forum (whoops!) declares in the 1997 catalogue -056: "strength of sapphire-blasted steel, contrast of polished steel." The one I bought secondhand is polished.
    Can anyone please advise as I'm distracted by trying to stay alive rather than having to distress myself over what may seem to be a trivial matter of finish?
    Kind regards
    Bill
     
  2. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 9, 2018

    Posts
    3,990
    Likes
    3,321
    I have seen these 4000s on eBay, where people have had the cases bead-blasted to try and restore them to the original finish so I suspect this may be true... maybe the one you bought second hand has been polished, maybe people who have bought these pre-owned thought the rough finish was 'wrong' and thought they were putting them back to how they should be? But then again, I've seen plenty of 4000s that didn't have this finish but which looked 'original', so I don't really know...
     
  3. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 9, 2018

    Posts
    5,575
    Likes
    8,925
    I do have one of these, and I would have described the finish as microblasted. I wonder if the reference to "polished" finishes referred to the two-tone gold plate model?

    There are some macros of my watch here...can't really see any polished finishes:
    https://www.calibre11.com/tag-heuer-4000-review/
     
  4. Gambba

    Gambba Aug 9, 2018

    Posts
    556
    Likes
    619
    Yep definitely a matte finish to these and not polished. It was the first Tag I ever handled and belonged to my brother-in-law and remembered it always because of its finish, and even though it was over 20 years ago, certainly was not polished.
     
  5. BillyBOD

    BillyBOD Aug 10, 2018

    Posts
    6
    Likes
    0
    Thank you for your replies. Mine was polished from new but I never thought to photograph it before sending it back to Duval House as I didn't even consider it necessary unfortunately. I'll try and find some photos of me wearing it but these are unlikely to be of sufficient resolution as they are of me or the car. I'm at a complete loss how anyone's wrist can "polish" it all over, including between the links.
    There are minute traces of the original finish left where the microblasting was not as thorough. I'll get a young person to photograph it and the one I recently bought for comparison and post on here next week. I'm so annoyed with myself for not taking a before photo. Somewhat ironic in my work as a contracts engineer!
    Have a good weekend all.
    Kind regards
    Bill
     
  6. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 10, 2018

    Posts
    3,990
    Likes
    3,321
    Thinking about it I tried on a 4000 in a jewellers once, it had a white dial and the case was two tone, I'm sure the finish on that was polished, albeit it was kind of 'different' to normal steel.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. BillyBOD

    BillyBOD Aug 14, 2018

    Posts
    6
    Likes
    0
    As promised, Bill. P1040881.JPG
     
  8. Aquagraph

    Aquagraph Aug 14, 2018

    Posts
    3,990
    Likes
    3,321
    Yeah, that looks more like the one I tried, the steel is kind of 'darker'...
     
  9. BillyBOD

    BillyBOD Aug 14, 2018

    Posts
    6
    Likes
    0
    I was told that it had been "microblasted" to return it to its original finish. When I said it was originally polished I was advised that this model had only been sold with this microblasted finish and that it had become polished from years of being worn (sic).

    It is matt rather than polished but having looked at the clasp on the polished one, only the outer surface is polished, the internal and more importantly, the part against the wrist, is still still matt as original. So, it begs the question of the "adviser", that if mine had been originally matt as she declared, becoming only polished from wear, how come the clasp against my wrist is still matt whilst the rest of the strap has become miraculously polished?!!!

    Regards

    Bill
     
  10. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 14, 2018

    Posts
    5,575
    Likes
    8,925
    I'd agree that the watch on the right has the "usual" 4000 finish
     
  11. Gambba

    Gambba Aug 15, 2018

    Posts
    556
    Likes
    619
    Yep I’d agree on that as well. I’d certainly never t be classing it as polished though.