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Thread: Old v New Rolex.

  1. #1
    Master
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    Old v New Rolex.

    My wife and I went to a restaurant up in the Spanish hills yesterday for a late lunch. It was one of those long and lazy lunches typical of Spain, not the usual rush you get in England.

    Anyway whilst indulging in the meal and chatting to the wife I noticed some chap on another table wearing a Subdate and for the first time ever there was another chap on another table also wearing a Subdate. The difference however was one was wearing a newish model, probably a 116610 which was all shiny and new and looked imposing whilst the other was obviously wearing the previous 5 digit generation and it looked a bit less garish.

    I spent a few minutes glancing at one watch and then the other and just felt that the older watch looked more like what a watch should look like. It just blended on the wrist whereas the new one was visually dominant.

    It made me think that Rolex got it right those years ago and what a pity they did not put the new improved mechanisms into the old bodies.

    Is it me or are the latest Rolex just a bit too loud ?

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    It's not just you. The modern collection is too brash for my liking. This is where the BB58 has stepped up to the mark.

    I've got a 5513 and a 1016, they're both 'just right' in my opinion. The only issue being that their inflated value makes me wonder what else I could have with the money invested in them!

  3. #3
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    My wife and I went to a restaurant up in the Spanish hills yesterday for a late lunch. It was one of those long and lazy lunches typical of Spain, not the usual rush you get in England.

    Anyway whilst indulging in the meal and chatting to the wife I noticed some chap on another table wearing a Subdate and for the first time ever there was another chap on another table also wearing a Subdate.
    That's why I sold my SMP 2254 got fed up of seeing them everywhere. Subs are two a penny in London, just look around on the tube. There's loads of brands that make far more unique models. The sub for me is like a BMW, look good but too common.

  4. #4
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    Precisely why I got into vintage, tried the modern Rolex first and soon realised they were not for me, difficult to sound sensible when discussing their merits with someone who hasnít tried one but the staggering price escalation over the past few years bears testament to this. I can certainly appreciate the merits of a new model when a bit of bling is required, I have one myself, but permanent bling rapidly wears thin, unless you are that way inclined.

  5. #5
    I bought a new Sub 116610, kept it a few weeks and sold it and went back to a 16610, I just couldn't get on with the square case and it being so much wider than the bracelet, no doubt it's better made, the bracelet is a massive step up in quality and I really like the ceramic bezel too, they've just completely ruined the case shape in my opinion.

  6. #6
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    Vintage watches especially with patina look as if they have a story to tell. They echo lots of shared experience good and bad. But we all have to start somewhere and the scarcity of tobacco dialed Subs and Speedys is pushing lots of peope out of the market.

    Are watches like cars and the manufacturers go maxi like the mark xxx VW Golf. We have just bought a 2018 ND mk4 MX5 its the same weight and close dimensions to the Mk 1 , maybe watch manufacturers could learn from going back to the original as Mick states above

  7. #7
    Master
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    I've owned vintage and modern Rolex and in all honesty I prefer the newer stock as they just feel like they are of a better quality.

    Fair enough they do appear more brash but isn't that just Rolex keeping up with what the market wants?

  8. #8
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    I have owned both and sold both for different reasons(old one felt cheap with crap bracelet and new one looked too blingey)

    Don't like either and much prefer other models in the Rolex range.

  9. #9
    I donít think they are particularly Ďblingí Ė after all, itís still just a 40mm black dial dive watch, largely in brushed steel. Not exactly Hublot.

    However, itís true that two of the newer elements are admittedly very shiny (ceramic bezel insert vs. aluminium; gloss dial vs. matt) and make up a large proportion of what everyone sees. The use of ceramic is becoming ever more common across all brands, but I think itís more for its properties as a material (or for marketing), rather than the side-effect of being shiny.

    Rolexís aversion to using AR treatment on the outside of the crystal just compounds matters, but thatís not a new thing.

    Apart from that, youíre mainly talking some slightly larger lugs, crown guards & indices, which arenít exactly ostentatious.

    Everyone is different, and will have their preferences, but I wouldnít let what anyone else is wearing affect my view of something I chose for myself.

  10. #10
    Well I canít see much difference between them from 5 foot away never mind any further - personally, Iíd have either - I have a preference for the old rattly bracelets, but love the adjustable clasps on the new watches.
    It's just a matter of time...

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    Well I canít see much difference between them from 5 foot away never mind any further - personally, Iíd have either - I have a preference for the old rattly bracelets, but love the adjustable clasps on the new watches.
    My arms not 5 foot long :) so I'll take a 5 digit or older.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Seamaster73's Avatar
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    Rolex jumped the shark with the switch to ceramic.

    16610 is the high water mark.

  13. #13
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Old, merely an opinion of course but they've gone from subtle and classy to lumpy and blingy, but if that's what the market dictates then so be it.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  14. #14
    Yes older stuff for me!

    The new stuff is just sterile/soulless bit like modern cars!

    I also have tried a few modern Rolex but they go quicker than they came!

    Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if we was all the same it would be a very boring world.

  15. #15
    Too loud for me too.

    I prefer the Maxi dial but the shift to the bigger case represented a fundamental change in philosophy. Until then form had followed function pretty strictly but with the new case it seemed to be done merely to follow fashion. And for a company as successful as Rolex, their choice to leave the lug width unchanged on the sports models seems bizarrely penny-pinching (I refuse to believe anyone in their design department actually thought the new proportions an improvement).

  16. #16
    Craftsman WhopperSenior's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of both new and old references, but they could be from a different brand entirely. I like both for different reasons and would one day like to have a birth year GMT.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer View Post
    Apart from that, youíre mainly talking some slightly larger lugs, crown guards & indices, which arenít exactly ostentatious.
    The OP is not alone and to me these details do make all the difference. Most of the range lost its charm over the years as it attempted to upsize and become more obviously Ďluxuriousí. The changes can all be justified as technical improvements but the lean, understated cool was gone. You can see why they did it, itís hard to charge £5k for a watch with fuzzy blobs of lume on a matte dial, surely white gold surrounds are an improvement, and yet the old maxi dials and 1016s just have something. Itís the same story with the lugs, the attempt to make the watches look bigger without actually changing the size of the dials just looks like steroid abuse. There are some signs of improvement, like the black and white dialled Oyster Perpetual 39s where theyíve made a larger take on an understatedclassic without ruining the proportions, though even there I wish theyíd stopped at 38mm. But as Iíve said before, few decide to buy a Rolex because they want something understated.

  18. #18
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    I have both 5 and 6 digit reference Submariners and like them both, for different reasons. As far as other steel models such as Explorer, Explorer II and GMT Master(II) I prefer the old, rather than the current models.

  19. #19
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    Having owned an older Sub then ceramic GMT and Sub I prefer the new Sub. The quality feels better and the bezel isn't too "blingy" in everyday wear.

    I think the Sub has updated well over the years, particularly in contrast to other brands.

    By contrast I didn't like the ceramic bezel on the GMT. That did feel too "blingy". Although I did appreciate the quality, particularly in the bracelet. I sold it and bought the Tudor GMT and a couple of SINN (which will be passed on to my two boys when they turn 18).

    I don't get the Batman or the new pepsi at all...

    Then again, and apropos nothing, a mate was showing me his Hublot the other day. It was awfully garish.

    Each to their own.

    Carry on...

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  20. #20
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    I agree the steroid cases have not aged well, but I think Rolex are aware.

    The new 36mm datejusts have almost exactly the same case as the old 162XX models, slim lugs and all.

    The 126710 gmt is said to have a slightly different case but its hard to see.

    So with any luck the basel 2019 submariner reveal will be a further slimmed down case...
    Not that it matters cause noone will be able to buy one anyway...

  21. #21
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    I am a fan of Rolex, new and old. Love the aging of the old ones, but I do like the look of the enlarged case on the modern references, even on my small wrist.

    But the vintage prices are running like mad. In a local auction yesterday, a 1977 1680 watch only was sold at the same prices as a brand new unused full set Hulk. The way the inflation is hitting the vintage market, I dont see a 1680 coming my way anytime soon!

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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    The OP is not alone and to me these details do make all the difference.
    Fair enough, and the lugs are infamously a very marmite thing - to each their own.

    Personally, I tend to look at watches as a whole and value the technical improvements much more than the look/feel of the older models.

    Happily, these things last decades, so everyone can make their own choice.

    Whilst I do agree itís bigger & brighter than its predecessors, I still donít think of the Submariner in its base model as an Ďin your faceí watch. Quite apart from the legions of look-a-like Ďhomagesí and the fakes, itís a reasonably common watch, that hasnít changed that drastically over the years. They take as much flak online for being dull & conservative. Contrast with the wave-effect ceramic dials, brighter colour schemes & fussier part-polished bracelets of the current Seamasters, or with something like the glossier Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or an over-sized Panerai.

    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    But as Iíve said before, few decide to buy a Rolex because they want something understated.
    I tend to think that anyone buying a SS Rolex Submariner to make a statement is relying more upon the brand/crown logo, or the iconic design, to communicate something, rather than the actual package itself. If someone wants to draw attention to their wrist & wealth, there are many larger & more garish options.

  23. #23
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    No doubt, moving to the newer designs has badly damaged sales.

  24. #24
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    I agree that in pictures, the super case lugs do make the bracelet look skinny but on wrist it is not noticeable. I also think that the current 40mm pro ss range are not as blingy in real life as one might think. I've been wearing my BLNR for a few weeks now and nobody has noticed it. I do wish the current GMTs had brushed bracelets as the pcls are scratch magnets but the improvements in movement, bracelets, superlative timing spec and 5 year warranty is enough to justify new vs. old. I absolutely would not pay over RRP though.

  25. #25
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    No interest in older, vintage models. It is the newer references for me all the way. Same with cars - not into classics either

  26. #26
    Master numberjack's Avatar
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    The old new perfect Rolex.



  27. #27
    I'm not sure we're even talking vintage, even a Sub from just 11 years ago was a more balanced and well rounded design even if the quality is not on par with whats produced now

    The SD4K was as close to a perfect blend of old & new for me but I foolishly sold it

  28. #28
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    No doubt, moving to the newer designs has badly damaged sales.
    Ha! Yes they do seem to know their market but I reserve the right to prefer their earlier work. Itís a bit like preferring pre-Vegas Elvis, or the Rolling Stones before they got to the 80s stadium rock stage. Even Jim Morrisson got a bit chubby in the end, and so has the Sub. I think Rolex themselves are gradually coming round to this point of view, they can hardly have failed to notice the interest in their vintage models (even if itís partly addressed via Tudor). Itís the reason the Daytona got a black bezel again.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    No doubt, moving to the newer designs has badly damaged sales.
    Can you evidence this please?

    I like and wear both so am pretty neutral.

  30. #30
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    The more I look at the maxi case the more I think itís too blocky and big looking. With the trend seeming to go back to smaller watches I wonder if Rolex will return to the old case style.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    I bought a new Sub 116610, kept it a few weeks and sold it and went back to a 16610, I just couldn't get on with the square case and it being so much wider than the bracelet, no doubt it's better made, the bracelet is a massive step up in quality and I really like the ceramic bezel too, they've just completely ruined the case shape in my opinion.
    +1
    The case shape is my only issue with the new models.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberjack View Post
    The old new perfect Rolex.


    Too thick... nearly perfect

  33. #33
    Grand Master
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    Definitely prefer the skinnier cases on the older models, the fat lugs don`t do it for me, particularly on the Sub. Viewed objectively, the newer models are better in several areas, but note 'better' enough to justify buying one for me. Exceptions to this rule are the 36mm models, the fatter cases looked OK on those.

    Paul

  34. #34
    Master Neely8's Avatar
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    I think thatís why Iím a big fan of the Explorer. I love the 5 digit models apart from the tinny bracelets.
    The 214270 keeps the narrow lugs but has solid links and clasp.

    Iíve handled a BB58 and itís a great modern option if youíd normally gravitate towards the 5 digit Subs.

  35. #35
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberjack View Post
    The old new perfect Rolex.



    It would be with a slimmer case and superdome crystal. But then it would be 1665

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  36. #36
    Master -Ally-'s Avatar
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    Old = nicer cases
    New = nicer bracelets
    New = better movements

    Each to their own.

  37. #37
    I too am very averse to the thicker lugs on the 6-digit Subs and GMTs. Which is just as well as the prices and availability are not ideal! The OP 39 has nice slim lugs and is very elegant, so I got one of those with a blue dial as my "modern" Rolex. Meanwhile, the Tudor BB 58 looks more like a Rolex Sub than a Rolex Sub.

  38. #38
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    Iím in the minority here but I prefer the newer ceramic era models. Iíd go as far as saying that I actually disliked Rolex prior to that as I didnít consider any of their watches desirable to me when I first got in to watches. Something about the pre maxi dials and case dimensions that I just didnít like.

    Iíve got a subc and yes the bezel is shiny, but well balanced against the mainly brushed steel finish. I donít feel it is blingy at all, particularly compared to contemporary watches from many other brands.

    Iím not a fan of the pclís on sports model oyster bracelet, but the I havenít got any of those so not a problem.

    I definitely like a much wider cross section of the Rolex range now compared to say 10 yrs ago, so their marketing and more recent design evolution has worked on me at least!

  39. #39
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Old, merely an opinion of course but they've gone from subtle and classy to lumpy and blingy, but if that's what the market dictates then so be it.
    Is it what the market dictates or is it what Rolex dictates?

    Rolex are excellent at marketing and at the end of the day we can only buy what they make available.

  40. #40
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    As an everyday wearable watch the 116610 is a much better watch, just the bracelet alone is miles better not to mention everything else, the 16610 has it place but as an occasional watch

    Sent from my CLT-L29 using Tapatalk

  41. #41
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    I wore the original LV for 9 years and have worn the ceramic for the last 5.
    Both are fabulous watches with pros and cons.


  42. #42
    surprised no one has machined the old style lugs on a new sub case,that would be a winner

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter2704 View Post
    surprised no one has machined the old style lugs on a new sub case,that would be a winner
    That would be over polished and a big no no around here 😄

  44. #44
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    Iím in the slim lugs camp ... they just seem to flow better with the bracelet.

  45. #45
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    Chance to post a pic of the 16610 . Last of the classic shaped subs.

    Having said that, I donít mind the look of the modern ones either but I think Rolex will taper down the lugs and crown guards a tad for the next iteration if not next year then 2020.

  46. #46
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    Chance to post a pic of a classic 5513 maxi, probably why I like them so much!


  47. #47
    i'd be a vintage guy but can't justify the current prices of a 5513 or 1016 to myself. i recently bought a modern explorer 1 and i have to admit they are better built now than they've ever been. with the improved bracelet it feels bulletproof, and lumed arabics are also a refinement over white gold. seems to me this one will be a future classic.

  48. #48
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    Always wanted one of these (16760 Fat lady) but prices have well and truly put me out of the running, so much better looking and classy than any modern ceramic sports Rolex - to me of course..


  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    . Itís the same story with the lugs, the attempt to make the watches look bigger without actually changing the size of the dials just looks like steroid abuse.
    That made me snigger. A few years ago in VRF a poster put the original and new Milgauss models said by side, and described the latter as a instance of horological obesity.

    I prefer four-digit models, not only for the case but also the dials. Matte is less shouty to my eyes and then thereís the gentle ageing of the lume. I have tried to like the post-1016 Explorer but I canít quite do it. Hereís mine:

    free screenshot




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  50. #50
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Can you evidence this please?
    .
    I thought he was being sarcastic. Long waiting lists, overheated secondary market...not signs of a brand thatís struggling.


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