EXPERT ADVICE

Pros & Cons: Buying New vs. Vintage Rolex Watches


Just to warn everyone up front, this article concerns my personal opinions on buying and collecting Rolex watches. Whether one likes it or not, one cannot deny that Rolex still gets more attention from watch consumers than any other watch brand. I respect Rolex for what it is able to accomplish (producing high-quality watches in large numbers for reasonable prices) and I own and have owned my share of Rolex watches, both vintage and new.

My opinion on this subject changes once in a while, I must admit. Once, I even wrote an article on why I don’t collect vintage Rolex watches, yet now I seem to be “stuck” with only vintage Rolex watches in my modest collection. However, I remain strongly opinionated about vintage Rolex. In this article I will tell you exactly why, and why it might be safer (and perhaps just as much fun) to buy a brand-new model.

Let me start by telling you why I love vintage Rolex watches. Like most other vintage watches (from other brands), a Rolex sports watch from the 1960s or ’70s has an aura of adventure; the wear on the case and bracelet show that the watches had something of a rough life; the things that the watch witnessed might have been awesome. The fun with vintage Rolex watches is that because there are so many of them around, you can usually find the exact “configuration” that suits your personal taste. For example, I don’t like the ones with the old tritium markers that have turned a mustard yellow color; I prefer them slightly off-white. I also don’t like spider-web dials (cracked paint) and prefer them to be all-matte with big, round hour markers. And I would rather have a watch that had decent servicing throughout the decades than a watch that still has its original crown, seals and crystal. But I know that there are dozens of people who prefer just the opposite.

I’ve learned that a lot about buying and collecting vintage Rolex has to do with aesthetics. There is little interest in the mechanical movement; people generally trust it to be good. (It is a Rolex, for crying out loud.) Many collectors tend to be more interested in a nice-looking dial, or matching pair of hands, than to making sure the movement is all nice and fresh. Nothing wrong with that, of course, and these movements are fairly easy to service, but I always make sure that the watch is in perfect technical working order as well.

Rolex GMT-Master - vintage
Rolex GMT-Master, Reference 1675, as some of the vintage-Rolex collectors love to see them: patina on the dial, dark patina on the luminous markers and hands, faded bezel.
Rolex GMT-Master - vintage
Rolex GMT-Master, Reference 6542. Bakelite bezel with colors still intact, clean-looking dial and slightly discolored tritium on the dial and hands (as the author prefers them)

Now, the other side of the story is that there is a lot of fraud going on in the vintage Rolex scene. As with all transactions in which serious money is involved — whether it be classic cars, paintings, real estate, even adopting babies — there are always those who want to cheat and scam other people who wish to own a certain commodity (in this case, a watch). There are dealers who claim to have million-dollar businesses selling vintage Rolexes, who claim to be able to supply whatever model you need or whichever is in demand at that moment. Be very careful of those types of dealers. I’d advise you to seek out a guy who trades vintage Rolexes as a hobby (or a passion), rather than to enter a store that has dozens of vintage Rolex watches that are labeled “exclusive” and carry crazy price tags.

“Exclusivity” is another important issue. Most Rolexes are not exclusive, in terms of numbers, to start with, even vintage Rolexes. Rolex has always been a watch manufacturer with a high production capacity. Collectors have made them “exclusive” because of their needs for certain models with specific signs of aging or specific wording on the dial. In truth, if you have unlimited resources, you can buy just about any vintage Rolex there is (with exceptions, of course, such as prototypes or models that had a specific professional purpose). You want a Paul Newman Daytona? No problem, as long as you can show the money. The only thing that makes a vintage Rolex “exclusive” is its price tag, to be honest. There are watches from other brands out there that are much harder to get, and perhaps also more technically interesting, but let’s face it. The demand for vintage Rolex watches is incomparable.

So, in the end, if you want to buy a vintage Rolex timepiece, make sure you know your budget and know exactly what you want. If you – like me – don’t care too much about the position of the wording on the dial, how yellow the patina will be, or how faded the bezel should be, you are fairly safe. In any case, make sure you “buy the seller,” which means that you should be able to trust the seller in order to make the purchase. It is impossible to know everything about vintage Rolex watches, but you should feel comfortable with the watch that the seller is offering you. If he says it is fine and you did a plausibility check, you should be able to take his word for it. Some sellers offer your cash back if anything appears to be incorrect after the purchase. Make sure to do a check on the good guys out there by using the online vintage Rolex communities. However, always try to think logically when you are looking at a vintage Rolex for sale. Do not lose your head over it. If it doesn’t feel good, then don’t pull the trigger.

Let’s now shift the focus to the other side of the spectrum, discussing the merits and pitfalls of new and modern Rolexes.

You might already know that buying vintage Rolex watches can be — how can I put this mildly — scary shit. If you “just” want a good watch and don’t want to get dragged into the quest for that perfect vintage Rolex, you might want to consider buying a new Rolex instead.

A lot of people — mainly watch enthusiasts — will tell you that buying a new Rolex is “boring” and that you can purchase other interesting watches for the same price or less. This may be true, but please bear in mind what’s important to you.  If you want a watch that will last a lifetime (or two) and that does not depreciate too much (usually the opposite will be true, if you are patient enough), then a modern Rolex might be a good choice.

Although the Rolex company is as tightly closed as its own Oyster cases when it comes to providing information, the general assumption is that it produces close to a million watches per year. The lucky few who have been inside the Rolex production facilities have reported on an impressive number of automated processes there that are unlikely to make mistakes that humans would make. All watches are still assembled by hand, of course. And the high quality that Rolex is able to maintain on such a high production number of watches is truly incredible.

It is no secret that a lot of people did complain about the lack of innovation at Rolex up until a few years ago. At the time, Rolex still used the clasp that looked as if it was made from soda-can material, the relatively small (40 mm) case diameters for its sports watches and the same movements it had been using for decades. In the last few years, however, Rolex has introduced more innovations and changes than it did in the previous four decades. Rolex upgraded its bracelets by adding new clasps that have a super-easy system for (micro)adjustment, started using ceramics for its bezels, tweaked its movements with the new Parachrom hairspring, and even made its watches appear bigger. “Appeared?” Yes. For instance, the latest Sea-Dweller 116600 and GMT-Master II 116719BLRO with Pepsi bezel are still 40 mm in diameter, but appear larger because of the dimensions of their lugs.

Rolex Sea-Dweller
Rolex GMT-Master II Batman

Another point some watch enthusiasts like to raise is that Rolex watches are outrageously expensive. I beg to differ, actually. Rolex watches were never cheap to start with, so everything is relative, but there are a few things you need to consider.

A new Rolex Submariner has a price tag of just over $8,500. On the pre-owned market you can find this watch for around $7,000, in good condition, approximately 1-2 years old. I will leave the bargaining at an official Rolex retailer up to you. My point is that the depreciation is only small compared to – basically – that of every other brand in this price category. You can have an awesome $8,000 watch from any other brand, even with some interesting complications in there, but will it keep its value? Since you are visiting this website, I’d assume you also know how to find your way to the online watch markets that carry all sorts of watches. Take a look at what is left of the list price on many of these other watches after a couple of years. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that Rolex has an excellent service department. A total overhaul of your Rolex watch is expensive, but when you get it back it will look as it did the day you unwrapped it for the first time.

Rolex Explorer 2 - nautical rope background
Rolex Yacht-Master II

My personal experience with Rolex’s Geneva service center is that I actually had to double-check to see if they didn’t replace the case of my Sea-Dweller 16600 when I got it back from an overhaul (they didn’t). I could not believe my eyes. It took them about six weeks, which is quite stunning compared to other watch companies. I have watches from other brands whose servicing took much longer, sometimes up to six months even for something as relatively simple as adjusting the movement. It’s been my experience that many watch manufacturers forget about you as soon as you buy something from them and would rather spend their money on celebrity “ambassadors” or expensive marketing campaigns, but it seems that Rolex actually cares a lot about the after-sales service.

Servicing vintage watches, of course, is a totally different issue. Parts might not be available anymore, new spare parts can mess up the value of your highly sought-after vintage watch, price quotes can be as high as those for a modern watch, and so on.

Whatever modern Rolex you will choose, it will be a quality watch. The chance that something will be wrong with it is very small, and the possible resale value (though there are no guarantees) is another incentive. My pick would be between the new Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 mentioned earlier or the Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR.  What would be your pick? Please share with us.

Merken

Merken

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47 Responses to “Pros & Cons: Buying New vs. Vintage Rolex Watches”

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  1. Sylvio F. Bertoli

    The Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 ref. 116600 for me is JUST PERFECT. A watch for any occasion. Goes will with a tuxedo or a swimming suit. Discreete, robustbut elegant, simetrical, and with a size that fits most wrists . If I had to chose only one watch to wear for the rest of my life, that would be it. If my Big Red 6263 were a little big bigger I would be in doubt.

    Reply
  2. Kimberly Lubow

    Can you tell me something about the Rolex Explorer KLUBOW0513? Thanks.

    Reply
  3. Leonard Cabral

    I am a watch collector with some of the major brands antique and new.

    My opinion about Rolex is they are a top quality watch but compared to most of the other major brands …..they are over priced….but of course….for what one pays…. they are in the “Best Class.”

    Most people that buy Rolex don’t even know what they are buying…but will pay an arm and a leg for the prestige they represent…….even though they have the latest in materials and one of a kind assembly techniques……..

    Regarding Rolex Vintage Watches……there are some good collectables… but most….I wouldn’t pay the price they are asking……..unless… “one of a kind” ….for the quality your getting for the time period compared to what one can get with the latest as new……taking into account that in that time period it could be classified as “Best.” anyways…….

    For Rolex Servicing……it is good… but getting your watch back in brand new condition isn’t always the case.
    If one has a case with deep scratches…they won’t be able to buff it all out…but it will always come back better than when it was sent in though and the price can be high depending on the watch…..

    I have some watches… some plus twenty years old that are in unused condition…so I can’t understand a watch like a Rolex having to be buffed……unless by accident?
    A friend of mine has a Rolex Daytona 18Kt Rose that is so scratched (watch and bracelet) and is used every day as a regular….(works on his vintage cars with it)…. I don’t even think that his watch could be brought back to new at a reasonable price!….but you never know being gold…….

    In my opinion again…the only Rolex Collectables that are worth collecting are Rolex “precious metal/stone” and “Limited Models.” ……..
    Rolex Stainless Watches are not an investment but depreciate unless they are a “Limited Model”….and in unused condition….in which one can get there money back that was paid and possibly a premium…but it all depends…..Rolex Stainless are great for every day…….the Precious Metal Rolex mark easily……..

    Your review was good……Leonard

    Reply
  4. Lou Fraser

    I agree with your sentiments. Far too often I read that brick and mortar jewelry/watch retailers don’t even know they have fraudulent Rolex for sale. Additionally, I have never and will never purchase a watch advertised by a ‘celebrity ambassador’!

    Reply
  5. Robert

    I had my Rolex years that passed more than a decade ago. There were Subs and a GMT, plus a Tudor Date+Day California dial. Now I have none, turned toward Breitling (partly B01) and IWC (for the time being all 7750-s). Might get a Rolex at some time again. In this case the SD4K, The Yacht-Master 40 mm (dial color undecided but blue is the fav) and a semi-vintage TOG might come into consideration. If some time a 40 mm steel Daytona came with count-up turning bezel like the Sub or Yacht-Master, quick-adjust clasp of the Sub and day-date feature (just to reach the 7750 in function :) ) I’d sell all my watches + one of my kidneys… I’m sure this will not come in my lifetime so my kidney is still safe on its place.

    Reply
  6. The sea dweller for sure.
    I’m a avid diver. I dive now with a Oris Aqua Depth Gauge. Works great and is one 10th the price.

    Reply
  7. Jake Wade

    I have been trying to find out just why a Rolex Submariner SS that is over 10 years old is worth more than the same watch brand new that is £6250. I am going to treat myself and I have my name down with a Certified Rolex Dealer but the wait is 6 months(!!!!) Still am being very patient. Thank you Robert-Jan Broer for the information. My battered but much loved Seiko will make do till the 6 months are up.

    Reply
  8. Hi I have a Rolex almost 100! Years old… It was my mum’s.. I’m 35 and only ever recall in that time the winder being replaced… The face is original as I believe the hands are also… It has had a new solid Gold band added ( not original) but as far as I know it’s quite close to original… And for its age quite cosmetically good too… I had hoped to hold onto it for my girls… But due to health reasons, being a single mum the financial side has been hard… It’s All I have of my mum really and the only thing of value… I feel I recall mum statin g she had it valued a 15000 .. yet you look at some on eBay going for 2 thousand approx… I also have another watch a collector dated also to the 1920s although not sure of make as the face has been quite obviously replaced though questionable as to whether the band might actually be an original and also if Swiss origins .. all the makers marks are still obvious… . I know the Rolex was one of the Olympic productions as that is also engraved ( I know this doesn’t mean much) I’
    I currently live in Australia and its very hard to find serious dealers in this niche butt thought if someone understood the background to it and its importance someone might be able to help me find out more about my watch / watches to value them and direct mebto findingba buyer other then eBay?

    Reply
  9. Earl Schwebel

    what are your thoughts for a first time purchase of a Rolex Datejust, steel and gold jubilee bracelet. Will it maintain its value over time? thanks

    Reply
  10. Toni Ryan

    I have a Tudor Rolex, circa 1973, but the Rolex dealers just turn their nose up on me ever being able to get this special sentimental watch repaired ! It will not keep time properly, but has been a great watch, all these years. Where can I find a place to have it repaired? In the mean time they finally sold me another Rolex, but I would still like my faithful ” Tudor” back to working for me. Thank you for any help or suggestions , Sincerely, Toni Ryan

    Reply
    • Theresa Coombs

      All you have to do is contact one of the main Rolex customer service centers in NYC, NY or the one in Texas, Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I believe. The mail address for the one in NY is: R Company, 665 5th Avenue, New York, New York, 10022, phone (212) 759-8309. They have instructions on their website for timepiece service at Rolex.com. The service is expensive…just like the watches themselves. If you wish to preserve the vintage value of the watch and save money on the service at the same time, you can choose not to replace your sapphire crystal. As long as the crystal is not scratched and you can still read the watch hands clearly, that will save you some money on the service. There is a multi-year warranty on the service and it is now possible to purchase long term maintenance plans for Rolex timepieces. Kept serviced, they will last for multiple generations into the future. Both my husband and I sailed for years and were very hard on our own Rolex watches; their customer service is very good and the turnaround was very fast. Good luck and Happy Holidays. Theresa

      Reply
  11. Thank you for the review. I am buying my 3rd and possibly my last Rolex. I considered the NEW Datejust 41 in all steel, but its not out yet and I don’t know when it will be. The DJ II looks too boxy IMHO. I then remembered how comfortable my 1983-84 two tone DJ was, so I am torn between that and a Submariner. Its sounds weird but while I prefer a date, I find myself attracted to the sub no date, for reasons of heritage and elegance. I am therefore trying to decide between the DJ 36mm, Sub date and Sub no date. IMO and quite frankly there is so much greed, treachery and disgust out there when it comes to used Rolex dealers, there is simply NO FREAKIN WAY I will EVER buy a used Rolex again. EVER. And if you want a friend buy a dog! Added to this I insist on a mint and 100% original timepiece and you can NEVER really know what you are getting used.

    Reply
  12. Brijesh

    Good to read this honest article. I will stick to buying new Rolex watches with the latest developments.The new -2 +2 seconds rating makes the entire collection an even more compelling choice. My personal favourites – the 2016 Daytona with white dial and black bezel,the green dialled Submariner and the stunning anniversary Day date 40 in rose gold. And I’m still enjoying my datejust 36 with blue dial acquired 15 years ago.

    Reply
  13. John Mac Morgan

    Regarding your article about buying a new or collecting a used Rolex was quite good. My father and his brother are responsible for my watch collecting. I wasn’t sure what a Rolex was but I saw one on Sean Connery’s wrist in Dr. No back in the 60s and decided to eventually get one. My first opportunity was in Germany, 1967. I was stationed in Giessen and saw a new Submariner at the PX. It was priced at $125.00 which was about $25.00 more then I had at the time. I elected to buy instead an Omega Speedmaster 321 which I still have and just had serviced. My first Rolex came in 1978 when I purchased a GMT which again, I still have. Over the years I’ve picked up 3 more Rolex, an Explorer (unfortunately lost, stolen, or maybe misplaced and waiting to be found) a Ladies Date just which I gave to my wife although she no longer wears it (too small) and a mid-size SS model, oyster band, not sure of the model. Over the years I’ve purchased a couple more Speedmasters, new and used, a couple of really nice Tudors, a Submariner and a “big block” (hate the description) pre-Tiger chrono, both new. The chronometer had to go back to Torneau in NYC twice before they could get to run more then a couple of hours. The Submariner has never been a problem. I also acquired a Zenith a while back after reading it’s El Primero movement was used by Rolex. It looks vaguely like a Daytona, screw down pushers and crown, oyster type bracelet, and keeps good time.
    This past December I passed my 70th year and my dear wife surprised me with a new Explorer! In a way I would like to start selling some of the collection. Some will go to my son and others will go to my grandson.
    In closing, here’s a tale. About 10 years ago a fellow employee at the car dealership I worked for showed up with a couple of watches he wanted to sell. The prices were way off the mark which should have sparked my concern, but I bought them anyway- a Sea Dweller and an Omega Seamaster. Both turned out to be fake but good ones at that. He got the Sea Dweller back but the fake Omega I gave to my son. Be careful out there. It’s a rough world if you don’t know what you’re doing.
    John Mac Morgan

    Reply
  14. Jerryb

    I’ve been wearing the Gmt II batman for 2 months. I like it because the blue ceramic changes color in different light so as to give the watch a different look on occasion. Subtle but beautiful. Not boring.

    Reply
  15. Eric ROLLAND

    100 % D’accord avec le fait qu’une Rolex est faite pour être portée et vivre vos aventures avec vous. La mienne, une Submariner Or et Acier fond noir, de 1992 ne m’a pas quitté d’une seule journée depuis le jour de son achat, sans jamais laisser la place à aucune autre montre (excepté lors de sa révision récente qui a durée 3 semaines). Elle est donc allé au nord, sur le cercle polaire en Finlande, vers l’Est, en Chine, vers l’Ouest, en Californie, au Sud, jusqu’à Mayotte, au sommet du Mont Blanc et jusqu’à un peu plus de 30 mètres de profondeur en apnée. Elle a cuisiné, jardiné, bricolé, dansé, navigué, volé, couru, marché, nagé, skié, bronzé, eu chaud, eu froid, Et elle est toujours là, aussi belle que fidèle. Sa valeur est devenue inestimable.

    Reply
  16. Michael

    This past month was my first Rolex Sub Mariner purchase, words could not express that I finally was treating myself to something that I always wanted. I went to my local watch shop in Garden City, New York and the shop had a used Rolex model 168000 for sale. The price was reasonable and I might add that the watch was in excellent shape. After a few days I noticed that the watch stopped and I did the usual calibration to get it started and going, no problem. Then it stopped again, then the spring on the crown did not work. I brought it back it was a no questions asked transaction. They located another Sub, same model that was about the same, flawless. Brought it home and started to adjust it and it had a little play or what some might call slack in fine tuning the minutes…I say this to say that I’m taking my watch back again and will purchase a brand new Sub. Its modern looking and from I hear there has been a number of enhancements made to an already classic watch.

    Reply
    • Michael, I would blame the dealer. However, this happens quite often here in Europe as well.
      You can never be sure if the “cleaned, regulated, tested” things really happened. For them it´s fast business, especially with Rolex. Prices are high, people are looking for those watches, therefore a lot of watchdealers don´t do anything but clean the watches and claim that it is “refurbished”. It is really hard to trust them and to find a reliable watchdealer.

      Reply
  17. Johnson McGee

    These watches look really nice. I’ve been wanting one for a while now. Furthermore, my current watch is broken. What sort of watches are your favorite? I bet that I might be able to find one on Ebay.

    Reply
  18. Sam Harris

    I very much need a reliable watch repair outfit in Manhattan. Please help.

    Reply
  19. Radman

    Robert,

    An interesting article….What is your opinion of the Sky Dweller? This watch, released in 2012, is one of Rolex’s most sophisticated watches to date and has some pretty unique features. Do you think this watch will have the resale longevity as other classic Rolex’s such as the Submariner? My only concern is that its priced very close to mid-level Patek and Lange and I wonder if this is going to hurt it resale value.

    Thx

    Reply
  20. I just been through this myself. I’ve been collecting vintage watches (mostly Omega) for a few years now and it was time for something different. I had always wistfully looked at Rolex, and having both a wedding and a 40th birthday coming up, and with getting a watch instead of a ring for my marriage(!) it was the perfect opportunity.
    Lots of head-scratching ensued – vintage or new?
    In the end, for me, it came down to this; a vintage Rolex is only a vintage Rolex because it’s been in someone’s life, it has lived it with them, grown with them and earned it’s scars and stripes. I bought new so mine can earn with me – I’m making my own vintage!
    Thanks for the article :-)

    Reply
  21. ROWEN T. YOLO, M.D.

    Greetings Mr. Robert-Jan Broer. This is absolutely a most scholarly review that you don’t read in ordinary commercial Rolex books or even perhaps in watch magazines available in the market. I must congratulate your erudite write-up. Definitely, this will serve as a guide for those who cherish collecting vintage Rolex watches, and perhaps as a benchmark for those who would like to invest in securing vintage vs. modern versions vs. FAKE imitations of these classical models.

    Curiously, of note though is regarding the Rolex GMT-Master, Reference 6542. with Bakelite bezel. This version comes without the protective horns. Was this deliberately removed from this version? Your thoughts please? Thank you for this fascinating article indeed.

    Reply
  22. Virginia Simmons

    Hello, Robert,

    This is a great article!

    My 20th wedding anniversary is coming up and I plan a special watch purchase. I am obsessed with watches (men’s, not women’s), especially if they have a history. I also want to buy something that might one day be considered unique in some way. Whatever I buy, it will not ever be traded or sold, as it will have great sentimental value.

    I have been conflicted re: Omega speedy vs a Rolex. I would likely go for a vintage 1968 145.012 with the 321 movement, or one with the first 861 movement, if I went this route. I will say that 9300 you mentioned is beautiful.

    However, I can’t seem to take my eyes off of the Rolex watches. I always thought I would buy a Submariner, but wow, that blue/black bezel GMT Master II is beautiful. I also like that this is the first year they have it–gives it some extra interest. I get tired of seeing Submariner’s everywhere.

    I also considered a vintage Submariner, but as you said, this can be scary. There is a reputable dealer here in Boston that I trust, but there is a part of me that wants the assurance of a new watch that I take care of and know everything about, that I can give one of my kids one day.

    So I guess the question is: Omega speedy or Rolex? Old or new? And if Rolex, which model?

    Thanks so much for any advice you can offer.

    Virginia

    Reply
    • dennis

      I too live in the Boston area, and as an avid watch collector my advice
      to you is, going vintage, choose the Omega, lot’s of history, 68-70 speedmaster
      and if you end up going new, definitely Rolex.

      Reply
  23. Great, honest article for those in the market for a watch.
    There should be more people like Robert in the industry saying it as it is.

    Well done.

    Reply
  24. Alex Vargas

    Robert,
    When you said a new Rolex Submariner costs $8,500 was that for the all metal ? I checked at Ben Bridges Jewlers. They sell the two tone blue Submariner for $13,400 plus tax. In your opinion what is the lowest price that I would be able to negotiate with them for the watch
    Thanks

    Alex

    Reply
  25. Alvin Lee

    Hi Robert,
    I just come into a 70’~80″ Rolex Datejust with the Ferrari planking horse logo on its red dial. So what is the story behind and how to appreciate that?
    Al

    Reply
  26. Nathan Blitman

    My 2 model’s will be Rolex sub no date and Rolex dayjust 2 41 mm blue dial. I prefer modern Rolex over vintage.
    Better matirials and more improvements . Extualy I alredy have my Rolex Sub no date just gorgeous in purest form. Very good article.

    Reply
  27. Meir Barac

    I agree. But Rolex is -Rolex and nobody can ignor it. Among my small collection i like my GMT mastdr 2 that “ticks” for 15 years whith no problem. But insted of Daytona” i have Zenith El Primero even whith date…

    Reply
  28. My favourites are the Explorer II (white dial) and the Green Sub (green dial and green bezel, just to be sure). Feels as good waking up as going to a black tie event in one of these.

    Reply
  29. Alex G Clarke

    Robert,

    Great article and it has definitely helped me with my upcoming purchase so I appreciate your comments and opinion…….but I am still torn between the GMT Master II & the Deep Sea D Blue which I am drawn towards.

    What are your thoughts on the Deep Sea D Blue – the practical side of me says the GMT Batman is a much more practical watch as a daily wear but something about the D Blue draws me to it but it is bulky and heavy.

    I love how the GMT Master has developed over the years and the recent upgrades to this ‘new’ model with the advancements in technology are great, but it is the bezel that makes the difference. Simple change with a big impact

    The Deep Sea D Blue mixes it up with the fade and he color scheme but outside of that i nothing has changed internally correct?

    What are your thoughts on both? And he Deep Sea as a daily wearer?

    Everyone – feel free to add comments please. What would you buy?

    Thank you!
    AGC

    Reply
  30. alexgclarke

    Robert,

    Great article and it has definitely helped me with my upcoming purchase so I appreciate your comments and opinion…….but I am still torn between the GMT Master II & the Deep Sea D Blue which I am drawn towards.

    What are your thoughts on the Deep Sea D Blue – the practical side of me says the GMT Batman is a much more practical watch as a daily wear but something about the D Blue draws me to it but it is bulky and heavy.

    I love how the GMT Master has developed over the years and the recent upgrades to this ‘new’ model with the advancements in technology are great, but it is the bezel that makes the difference. Simple change with a big impact

    The Deep Sea D Blue mixes it up with the fade and he color scheme but outside of that i nothing has changed internally correct?

    What are your thoughts on both? And he Deep Sea as a daily wearer?

    Everyone – feel free to add comments please. What would you buy?

    Thank you!
    AGC

    Reply
    • Jon Messer

      I’m with you – were i considering 2 new Rolex option models, the Deep Sea D Blue wins over the all black Dweller and, hands down, the new Blue/Black GMT-II… between the new ceramic bezel & the wonderful blue 24-hour hand, it might be my first choice?

      That said, I’ve owned a dozen Rolexes, mostly Subs & GMT’s from 2-Tone Blues to black on black, red on black, brown dials, etc. I once had an all pink Cellini with roman markers but, sold it thinking it was too small {hah!}

      And today, I find myself only having one. The first series Yacht-master with Platinum dial & bezel. Between the over-size hands, markers and that sweet contrasting racy red seconds hand, plus the matte luster hue tones coming from an all platinum dial, it well may be the only Rolex I need?

      When you find the one you love above all others, sometimes, it’s all you need!

      That and my favorite Blancpain, JLC, V-C, IWC, Omega, U-N, etc.

      Best of luck picking… Cheers, Jon

      Reply
  31. Ron Jansen

    Being a rookie with just an Oris big crown I decided on a little Christmas splash on a new (hence safe..) 5241/6 – a Cellini in platinum with an ice blue dial (now discontinued?) and pin buckle. I thought it fun to tell the official dealer it was ‘silly Saturday’ (totally made it up..said it follows Black Friday) and haggled £2k off! Time will tell whether this will a future proof investment but I’ll certainly have years of pleasure wearing it!

    A note for all serial killers: my case has the typical ‘D x x x x x x’ stamp at the back; Rolex confirmed only the CASE was manufactured in bulk in 2005 (in line with most websites) but the actual production of the complete watch was in September 2013. Case numbers are clearly NoT a reliable reference on less popular/affordable models…

    Reply
  32. Francois

    Hi Robert I recently bought a vintage Tudor 14k gold capped, the model no 7990/5 circa 1967, can u give me some info on it please. I tried TRF and Watchuseek forum with no luck, I would like to know how rare are this watch, also what band was it released with and what did it cost originally?

    Regards Francois

    Reply
    • Hello Francois,

      The stainless steel models came with a Rolex oyster bracelet (ref 7835 with 261 endpieces) but the gold-capped models…. Later models definitely came on a gold/steel Oyster and gold/steel Jubilee style bracelets, but the 1967 I actually don’t know. Most of the time I see them on leather straps to be honest. Why not contact Tudor and ask them? Let me know if you don’t manage, I have some nice contacts at Tudor. You can mail me at robertjan ( at ) fratellowatches.com.

      Best,
      RJ

      Reply
  33. Wade Krinke

    Agreed! In ’14 I found a couple of 5513s that are 90% original. The fun is in the search, the hunt, and the identification. My focus will be on the movement, not the band.

    Reply
  34. Hormazdiyaar

    Great article. There’s just one difference. I prefer originality on the exterior with the vintage crown in place rather than a newer crown. Of course the interiors and movement should be in pristine working condition. Have many regrets. In 1982 I had traded in my Paul Newman Daytona which gave lots of mechanical trouble and would just keep stopping on my hand for a brand new Rolex Perpetual Date Ref 1500 which was a workhorse.
    Could you please throw some light on the Vintage Rolex Princes in your forthcoming articles.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your nice comment. Well, I always think you have to see it in the right perspective. At the time you were happy to ditch the faulty PN and got a new 1500 OP Date instead. If I would have known everything in advance I probably would have kept a few pieces myself as well but also would have lacked enjoying them in the meanwhile.

      Anyway, I agree with you on the vintage crown a bit. But I won’t loose sleep over a new crown on a vintage watch. Most important thing for me is that it is technically in good condition. I know that there are watchmakers who take the time to ‘rebuild’ the original crown with new seals and stuff (I had mine redone as well) but I prefer the good working condition and water resistance over aesthetics.

      Good point about the Rolex Prince. I have thought about it but you gave me an idea :)

      RJ

      Reply
  35. NITZANI

    Have a 30 year old oyster Rolex … Interested in selling it any advise ?
    Tnx

    Reply
    • Yeah, don’t. ; – ) However, I can’t decide for you of course. You can use one of the on-line forums for watch enthusiasts to sell your watch or use an on-line market platform to sell it. You can also try to trade it for another watch or sell it to a watch dealer, but when you do so, you won’t get the best price for it.

      Reply
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