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Thread: Rolex: A Different Approach

  1. #1

    Rolex: A Different Approach

    I've been a member quite a long time but don't post often. However, I really enjoy the forum and it has taught me so much. I have a collection of around 38 watches (I know - too many - soon to be reduced) but always came back to my sea-dweller 16600 when undecided what to wear. A bit like Tony (LTF) mentioned in his recent SOTC post. I particularly liked his description of the 16600 - the best of the best which I think sums up that watch perfectly.

    It's a full set F serial and I'm always wary wearing it because of condition and the fact I have all the bits and bobs. Subconsciously I always want to keep it good but realise this goes against my instincts of wearing to enjoy. So, I finally decided I wanted a rolex to wear as a daily and to enjoy without fear or favour. After much thought and research I decided on the Submariner Date Ceramic as I felt a bit of modernity would also compliment my old school SD.

    Like many on here I have looked with bewilderment on the hoops you have to jump through to obtain a new SS Sports Rolex. In any case, even if I did jump through those hoops and ended up with a new one I would not wear it as I want to. This got me thinking - what if I can buy a loose watch from a bricks and mortar seller that was very well worn, a price that reflected this, maybe throw in a trade deal to help and then I could wear and enjoy the hell out of it before it needed the inevitable service (at which point my OCD would potentially kick-in about babying it afterwards but I hope I will be a changed man!!).

    It so happens the stars aligned and all the boxes were ticked with David Summerfield in the Metro Centre, Gateshead although he also sells on Chrono 24. I dealt with Tom who is the owner's son and a deal was struck for a very well worn SubC date, that has been polished (not very well) but which satisfied my quest for a Sub to wear and enjoy without a care in the world. Tom is a great guy to deal with and a true WIS so we chatted for ages too about watches in general. I've encouraged him to participate in TZ so here's hoping he will. I always try to buy the seller and this case I'm glad I did.

    The watch is a G serial (2010 although apparently this serial appeared a bit later too - perhaps the forum experts can chime in) although the bracelet is stamped for 2011+. Tom said his source for the watch described it as a 2013 piece so this well could be true. In any case it runs consistently at -2s per day so it may have been serviced independently - it has not been though the Rolex service centre (this has been checked). If it has never been serviced then -2s per day is pretty excellent for a well worn timepiece and testament again to the robustness and accuracy of the 3135 movement. Incidentally, my SD runs at +5s per day!!!

    Anyway, just thought I would add another perspective to the so called Rolex Madness - buying a well worn, loose example at the lower end of pricing to enjoy 100%. This will include a family holiday next month so I'm really looking forward to wearing something really nice that I can use as a one watch without a care in the world. For context, I normally take 3 on holiday - wife thinks I'm mad but perfectly normal around here

    Some pics (poor - sorry). While a well worn watch - it still looks really good - a testament to Rolex Build quality. Some damage has been done though - someone has whacked something very hard as the crown has taken some punishment along with the glass (small chip and scratch).









  2. #2
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Refreshing approach and probably the sane way to enjoy Rolex these days.

    If I ever return to the ownership of one, it will be similar to this.
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  3. #3
    Cheers Chris - I do feel a bit liberated!

  4. #4
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    A Sub to be used as a genuine tool watch...in this day and age! Who would have thought it?!

    I must confess from your description I thought it was going to be hacked to pieces, but that looks good. Congratulations.

    Your thread serves as a nice counterpoint to so much of the rather tiresome preciousness surrounding the Rolex brand on this forum.

    Simon

  5. #5
    Master mycroft's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that your latent OCD didn't necessitate lining up the bezel, though!

    Simon

  6. #6
    Good and interesting post but please align the bezel.

  7. #7
    Should have! Was timing something else at the time!

  8. #8
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    Quite understand your feelings on being able to enjoy this fully.

    That said, I also predict that with a service, lap & skilled polish out would come back nearly as new.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Good on you, I would love a cheap head only sub. Hard to find these days though.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    Quite understand your feelings on being able to enjoy this fully.

    That said, I also predict that with a service, lap & skilled polish out would come back nearly as new.
    Quite agree - I'm sure once Rolex have worked their magic it would be back to its former glory. It generally looks good but once you have the loupe out you can see the wear and tear.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    Good idea, much easier to wear a watch when it's already taken a few scratches.
    Tom's a great guy, I often go into the store and he was recently on the look out for a 14060 for me. I keep meaning to pop in to take a look at the 16610LV he has on Chrono24.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Cinch View Post
    Good idea, much easier to wear a watch when it's already taken a few scratches.
    Tom's a great guy, I often go into the store and he was recently on the look out for a 14060 for me. I keep meaning to pop in to take a look at the 16610LV he has on Chrono24.
    Very impressed with Tom - knows his stuff which gave me a lot of confidence. A fellow enthusiast too who patiently answered all my questions.

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushroon View Post
    Very impressed with Tom - knows his stuff which gave me a lot of confidence. A fellow enthusiast too who patiently answered all my questions.
    He does and he's a really friendly guy. He always tells me about his first Pepsi GMT which I think his other half has now.

  14. #14
    Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Wearing your watches is the right thing to do, I wear mine practically all the time now because every day you donít wear it is one day less that you can wear it and you may as well enjoy it while you can.

    It always amuses me that most of the wtbs want immaculate examples with all boxes and papers. That to me says that itís not for wearing!

  15. #15
    Apprentice
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    Good on you!! Must be a liberating feeling. Iím tempted to do the same.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    Wearing your watches is the right thing to do, I wear mine practically all the time now because every day you donít wear it is one day less that you can wear it and you may as well enjoy it while you can.

    It always amuses me that most of the wtbs want immaculate examples with all boxes and papers. That to me says that itís not for wearing!
    I've noticed that. I think Rolex are a superb brand with values on an upward trajectory but I wanted to get back to some tool watch roots!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft View Post

    Your thread serves as a nice counterpoint to so much of the rather tiresome preciousness surrounding the Rolex brand on this forum.

    Simon
    I agree with this - some people's approach to rolex ownership is rather like queuing for years to get the horological equivalent of a decently-specced BMW 3 series and then either driving it at 29mph on quiet roads -weekends only - or just sticking it permanently in a garage...

  18. #18
    Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushroon View Post
    I've noticed that. I think Rolex are a superb brand with values on an upward trajectory but I wanted to get back to some tool watch roots!
    The question is, what will you do with the 16600 now?

  19. #19
    Master
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    I was expecting much worse from the write up. It looks so much better than my old PAM 49, I dread to think how you would describe that one.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    A great concept...

    Iím not sure why or how it happened but I find the more watches I acquire, the less Iím inclined to wear them??

    I used to wear my two nice watches with abandon, now Iím up to what I would class as eight nice watches I find it more difficult to just throw one on... and I have no real reason for this but I find I wear a cheap beater more and more, what is that all about... maybe less actually is more?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    Craftsman Retep's Avatar
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    This watch is not so bad, was this the worst on the market? I fear in the end you might go baby this one as well...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave+63 View Post
    The question is, what will you do with the 16600 now?
    Good point :-) I need to have a cull down to 20 before I go lower. Itís likely to go.........maybe!

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Retep View Post
    This watch is not so bad, was this the worst on the market? I fear in the end you might go baby this one as well...
    The price point reflected its status. Most on the market appear to be a lot better and have more history. The piece has had a hard life (you can tell up close) but it still looks and feels great - bezel action and glide lock - all top notch. More than anything a testament to the fantastic build quality. The babying dilemma will come once service time arrives!!!

  24. #24
    Craftsman
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    Like the story and approach - although as others have said - I fear it's gonna regress all too soon. Great dealer too

  25. #25
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retep View Post
    This watch is not so bad, was this the worst on the market? I fear in the end you might go baby this one as well...
    Why?

    I have never seriously understood the whole Ďsafe queení or not wearing a watch - why bother?
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  26. #26
    Master
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    Probably where I went wrong owning two Rolex Sub’s over time, full sets each yet too daft too wear except for weddings etc, sold in the end and how I regret it...

  27. #27
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Nice idea and one I should really take on board myself as I do baby my 14060M, but it looks so minty. Stupid!

    I would be tempted to at least get a pressure test done before I start diving in the pool/sea with it though, especially if you don't know the service history. Otherwise, enjoy your holiday

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Nice idea and one I should really take on board myself as I do baby my 14060M, but it looks so minty. Stupid!

    I would be tempted to at least get a pressure test done before I start diving in the pool/sea with it though, especially if you don't know the service history. Otherwise, enjoy your holiday
    Cheers - Tom did the pressure test too so Iím all set.

  29. #29
    Master
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    I like your idea but you have not said what you paid for it. If under 5k then not a bad way of wearing a beater but if above and then it needs a service I would be going down the new route although this is someone who had a really nice Sub beater and sold it for 3.2k only four years ago. Doh

  30. #30
    Master
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    As said above a good idea. I followed a different route by buying a BB Bronze at a fair discount last December. It is now my work beater, which is a high risk environment for a watch, and recreation watch for mountain biking, water sports, and buckling kids into car seats.
    So 2yr warranty, enjoy watching the patina develop, no concerns about dinks or scratches, great chunky toolish feel, and all for 2.5k. To me that is value. Oh also switched to a black NATO with bronze hardware which totally suits it. Kudos to draftsman for the pointer.

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    Craftsman
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    That ceramic bezel looks like new, is there any noticeable wear?

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by mjc1216 View Post
    I like your idea but you have not said what you paid for it. If under 5k then not a bad way of wearing a beater but if above and then it needs a service I would be going down the new route although this is someone who had a really nice Sub beater and sold it for 3.2k only four years ago. Doh
    All Iíll say is the price made sense for its purpose. If I decide to leave the service for another couple of years then it makes even more sense. In ordinary times I would have bought new and not changed my behaviour. In some ways the extraordinary current Rolex situation has made me make this move.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by alphajet View Post
    That ceramic bezel looks like new, is there any noticeable wear?
    Youíll need a loupe but I think whoever thumped it managed to slightly mark the ceramic bezel around the 10 marker. The rest is perfect.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushroon View Post
    ...buying a well worn, loose example at the lower end of pricing to enjoy 100%. This will include a family holiday next month so I'm really looking forward to wearing something really nice that I can use as a one watch without a care in the world.
    Great post, and a very nice watch.

    I think along similar lines to yourself - bought my Sub from new, love & wear it a lot, but rarely outside of the 9-5 of a desk job, cosseted under a shirt cuff.

    My next buy will probably be something like a 'pre-loved' Explorer I or II, that has already picked up a few freeing scars & dinks.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer View Post
    Great post, and a very nice watch.

    I think along similar lines to yourself - bought my Sub from new, love & wear it a lot, but rarely outside of the 9-5 of a desk job, cosseted under a shirt cuff.

    My next buy will probably be something like a 'pre-loved' Explorer I or II, that has already picked up a few freeing scars & dinks.
    Cheers - I can recommend the change of approach. The scars and dinks usually annoy me but this time I feel fine😇 Explorer I or II should be a good choice for what you intend.

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