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Thread: Independent inspection for vintage rolex

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    Default Independent inspection for vintage rolex

    What is the best way to undergo an independent and professional verification on a vintage sports rolex? Specifically, I would like to know the followings:
    1) Whether all the parts (dial, movement, case, insert, hands, bracelet etc) are genuine rolex parts;

    2) Whether the dial had been repainted or relumed?

    3) Are the hands original to the particular watch model? Were the hands relumed, repainted or assembled from different rolex watches?

    4) Are the dial, case and bracelet period-correct for the specific vintage model?

    Does RSC provide a good and professional assessment? Or should I visit second hand shops for verification service?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I would do the following:

    1) buy only from very established vendors; that would also mean you probably pay more, but the premium will still be worth it.
    2) send in to RSC for authentication
    3) take close up and detailed pictures, put up on VRF and humbly seek guidance from the members there.

    Ender
    "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence,
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    over 600 is clearly the work of an ancient Sumerian demon or some sh*t
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    I would do the following:

    1) buy only from very established vendors; that would also mean you probably pay more, but the premium will still be worth it.
    2) send in to RSC for authentication
    3) take close up and detailed pictures, put up on VRF and humbly seek guidance from the members there.

    Ender
    Thanks Ender. Appreciate your advice. *smile*

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    personally i would not go to RSC for vintage pieces authentication. i look for third party rolex watch technician. however, not all third party rolex technicians are into vintages.

    1) as mentioned by Ender, post clear pictures on forums to seek advice.

    2) depending on what models you are looking for, if a dial has been relume, it would not match say the pearl on the bezel. as for repainted, it is still very hard to tell unless you have another one in the same era for comparison, then again different dials age differently due to owners' care and weather conditions also affect.

    3) refer to 2 for relume. and for hands either forum or third party watch technicians. as for the lume, can check against the pearl. usually they age together.

    4) case and bracelet have serial numbers and codes which you can check in various websites indicating their production period.

    there are more than just dial condition, hands original, lume, period matching case and bracelet.

    lastly, dealing with vintage watch has a steep learning curve.

    i have decided to stay from vintages with a ten feet pole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabondme View Post
    1) Whether all the parts (dial, movement, case, insert, hands, bracelet etc) are genuine rolex parts;

    2) Whether the dial had been repainted or relumed?

    3) Are the hands original to the particular watch model? Were the hands relumed, repainted or assembled from different rolex watches?

    4) Are the dial, case and bracelet period-correct for the specific vintage model?

    Does RSC provide a good and professional assessment? Or should I visit second hand shops for verification service?

    Thanks in advance!
    if you have issues with your account, click here for self help and read forum rules here. 90% of your answers can be found in Forum FAQ

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    disclaimer : all opinions expressed are personal

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    Quote Originally Posted by triton View Post
    personally i would not go to RSC for vintage pieces authentication. i look for third party rolex watch technician. however, not all third party rolex technicians are into vintages.

    1) as mentioned by Ender, post clear pictures on forums to seek advice.

    2) depending on what models you are looking for, if a dial has been relume, it would not match say the pearl on the bezel. as for repainted, it is still very hard to tell unless you have another one in the same era for comparison, then again different dials age differently due to owners' care and weather conditions also affect.

    3) refer to 2 for relume. and for hands either forum or third party watch technicians. as for the lume, can check against the pearl. usually they age together.

    4) case and bracelet have serial numbers and codes which you can check in various websites indicating their production period.

    there are more than just dial condition, hands original, lume, period matching case and bracelet.

    lastly, dealing with vintage watch has a steep learning curve.

    i have decided to stay from vintages with a ten feet pole.
    It is really challenging getting into the vintage world. The worst part is, it is not easy to examine many pieces to gain experience. This "lack of actual field work" makes vintage collecting a very scary and potentially expensive experience.

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    that is why i stay away with a ten feet pole.

    personally, i would suggest that looking into say the 16610/16570/14060/etc currently as they are more readily available.

    also they have been discontinued for say couple of years and hence in 10-15 years, these may end up replacing the current vintages like 5513/16800/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabondme View Post
    It is really challenging getting into the vintage world. The worst part is, it is not easy to examine many pieces to gain experience. This "lack of actual field work" makes vintage collecting a very scary and potentially expensive experience.
    if you have issues with your account, click here for self help and read forum rules here. 90% of your answers can be found in Forum FAQ

    i DO NOT respond to any pm regarding account issues

    kindly email with
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    4. state what you were trying to do and what the system prevented you to do


    if you receive no response in pm or email, it means your answers can be found in the Forum FAQ here

    your kind understanding is very much appreciated.

    disclaimer : all opinions expressed are personal

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    Quote Originally Posted by triton View Post
    that is why i stay away with a ten feet pole.

    personally, i would suggest that looking into say the 16610/16570/14060/etc currently as they are more readily available.

    also they have been discontinued for say couple of years and hence in 10-15 years, these may end up replacing the current vintages like 5513/16800/etc.
    Vintage does have its appeal. The feel and touch of a piece that is as old or even older than I am, yet keeping fantastic time is just absolutely mesmerising. Can't describe but I can't help admiring the craftsmanship and reliability. After so many years, it continues to emit a kind of "sex appeal". Poisonous

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    My answers to your questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabondme View Post
    1) Whether all the parts (dial, movement, case, insert, hands, bracelet etc) are genuine rolex parts;

    Dial - compare against dozens and dozens of close-up, genuine references available online. The rolex coronet is usually the first giveaway as it is very difficult to copy exactly. Movement - we are fortunate that a large number of 3rd party watch service folks here had prior training with rolex before and would instantly be able to verify any genuine rolex movement. Case - the way serial and reference numbers are inscribed vary from period to period but typically have common tells (short middle stroke of E, hooked numeral 1, the unevenness and depth of the stamp, the snake S etc) and again, comparing against tons of available photos online is readily available. Insert - plenty of reference literature about period correct font sizes etc, faded inserts are more difficult to ascertain if they were artificially faded using chemicals or heat etc. Hands - requires a very keen eye, fake hands are actually fairly poor and the glint of the stainless steel is usually too clean/polished and give them away easily. Bracelet - many fakes abound, but the loops at the end of the loopy strokes under the coronet, 1 side overlaps, the other side underlaps. Things like these. The reason why there exists so much written, published literature about vintage rolex is because the most minute details are important and it takes a lot of effort to study and become familiar.

    2) Whether the dial had been repainted or relumed?

    Much more difficult these days with advancements made in (1) actual radium or tritium lume compounds being made available and (2) refined and inexpensive process of colour-matching the patina desired. Actual relume/repainting of plots are much more difficult because rolex always did them perfectly. Hands are very common relume/repaint items.

    3) Are the hands original to the particular watch model? Were the hands relumed, repainted or assembled from different rolex watches?

    Going by periods, late 50s vintage rolex typically had gilt hands that were later replaced by stainless steel hands, which also had different lengths of the hour/minute hands. Too many variations as almost every reference has its own set of unique hands with different lume widths and hand lengths etc to describe here. Also, it is basically impossible to ascertain if a vintage rolex has been assembled from parts or born all original together. Too much material forensics involved and no dealer/seller will entertain your time or interest to do so.

    4) Are the dial, case and bracelet period-correct for the specific vintage model?

    Google is your friend, seriously. There exists so much material online now to pore over that you can spend weeks reading concerning 'period-correct'.

    Does RSC provide a good and professional assessment? Or should I visit second hand shops for verification service?

    Please do not waste your time and money to bear the crowds, wait, and clueless staff (both counter and backroom) at RSC Singapore. They will not verify if a vintage rolex was put together or all original, only if each part on the watch is genuine rolex. Even then, their expertise is so poor and based on 'book-answers' in their parts database for dimensions of various things like bezels, case, hands etc, that for vintage that has worn over the years, they will simply say it has a fake bezel or fake crown etc. Hopeless. You will not necessarily do better at second hand shops as many these days avoid vintage due to these difficulties u mention. Triton suggested VRF and it is an excellent resource and probably the best there is, otherwise TRF is also another widespread, international forum space to post any vintage rolex doubts.

    Thanks in advance!
    Take ur time, and always study hard or ask someone u can trust before u pull the trigger on vintage rolex. It is a very high stakes market these days and duly reflected in their high values.
    Live for Greatness

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    Quote Originally Posted by r4gs View Post
    My answers to your questions:



    Take ur time, and always study hard or ask someone u can trust before u pull the trigger on vintage rolex. It is a very high stakes market these days and duly reflected in their high values.
    Thank you so much! Your comments are all very well-noted and appreciated. You are right that these days, relumed hands seem so common that it is fast becoming acceptable. Relumed or repainted dial is still a big NO NO.

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    Modern pieces will never ever replace the vintages.

    In fact the last modern new piece i bought was in 2012 and its becos i wanted in full solid gold the supercase GMT which wears really hefty. But that was it. I actually have more wrist time with my older solid gold watches

    The look and feel of a vintage (4 digit reference) is simply unbeatable.
    This goes for sports as well as elegance.
    Learn about the history and the heritage and the background.

    DONT WASTE your time and money at RSC when it comes to vintage.
    Just like I also dont waste my time nor money at Stuttgart.

    The simple reason why Rolex Vintages appreciate in value is becos of the depth of research and the growth of collectors worldwide. No other brand of watch in this segment can make that claim except Rolex. Omegas probably comes a far second.

    Anyone who has a vintage Rolex to sell, PM me.
    Thanks

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