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Vintage Rolex Buyer’s Guide

Rolex - Vintage 19. 09. 2016, durch Dan

If you want to learn to buy vintage Rolex safely start with studying my complete Vintage Rolex Buyer’s Guide!

I noticed yet again that even seasoned collectors still ask me on a regular basis the obvious advise about originality of vintage Rolex. In a constantly developing market, where fine and honest quality has gone mad during the auctions price-wise, I wanted to add for you a basic guidance to determine the originality of a vintage Rolex and make it better understandable for any watch collector who is serious about his hobby. The main question I always ask myself to determine originality is what has been done to the watch during it’s life:

Wear wise, service wise and dealer wise.

To complete my earlier RPR post: A brief introduction into the world of vintage Rolex and Patek Philippe collecting  I now like to add my vintage Rolex Buyers Guidance to determine original vintage Rolex – or any kind of vintage watch brand in general. After I’ve spend like 25 years looking at a watch face, case and movement, analyzing what has happened to it (was it changed with original parts? restored? serviced with later parts?) during its life, comparing & discussing them on specialized watch forums like VRF, I think it’s now become time to share some of my experience. I will further develop and update this post in the near future but felt like starting to share the most necessary information already with you. I want to discuss the following important steps:

  • So what does “all original mean in the watchword?
  • What is  “Catalogue style”?
  • Why is the “matching all over patina” so important?
  • What do I mean with the highly important „moisture meter” cq “condition meter” ? –> Check: “The Evolution of Rolex Luminous”
  • Analyzing the untouched case polish, hallmarks and movement.
  • What I mean with period correct swapped parts.
  • Explaining true tropical dials.
  • Warning for fake – counterfeit parts. –> Check: “High quality Fake vintage Rolex dials”
  • Analyzing some examples
  • Provenance of your watch.
  • Conclusion and useful links.

Below you see a original ‘iced” plastic crystal on a early Rolex Explorer that chanced transparency due to the radium dust…