artistmike, thank you for your interest in my sorry little tale, "unfortunate" hardly covers it!
In December 2012 I sent my Eterna, which I have owned for more than forty years, to a watch repairer who advertised that, among other watch makes, he serviced Eternas. He also stated that he could restore the dial as new. Well, there was very little wrong with the dial - if anything - but I thought that a clean-up and perhaps a touch-up here and there wouldn’t go amiss. I think the man I sent it to must have had health problems, as, over seven months later, in July ’13, I received the watch back; this is what it looked like!
As you can imagine I was pretty devastated, but blamed myself for my ignorance. I did not realise that “restore as new” meant repaint a completely new dial – in this case a very different dial.
I put the watch at the back of a drawer and tried to forget about it.
In about September last year, I rediscovered the watch and decided to do some internet research. I found a company who looked as if they did quality work. I sent an email and they requested that I send the dial and hands. I did so and also sent a photo of the watch as it should be.
They informed me that, unfortunately, they did not have a template, but could have one made up. Rightly or wrongly I opted to pay for the template to be made. I had gone this far and in any case the watch with its botched redial was of no interest to me.
So, to cut a long story short, I paid £420.00 for the complete job: template, dial and hands. I have to say, as far as the second redialer’s work is concerned, I cannot fault it. But of course as you have said, the watch is devalued as a result. I do not necessarily blame the original redialer for the totally different dial he sent me – but why he didn’t point out that there was absolutely no need for a redial – is beyond me.
I think, of all the mistakes I have made over the years, this is one of the most regrettable.
I am intrigued by your suggestion that the original dial could still be in existence. I will have to contact the original redialer.