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Thread: Rolex Seadweller 16600 - advice sought

  1. #1
    Master
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    Rolex Seadweller 16600 - advice sought

    Hi...

    My watch is currently with Jon Vincent for service and replacement of crown, tube, oscillating weight and mainspring - all well and good and less expensive than I had feared. It is in what I would call good condition for its age, with only minor scratches and marks to the case and general wear and tear marks and scratches to the bracelet.

    Jon has offered me a "Case and Bracelet Refurbishment - Removes Surface Scratches (Polish/Satin Finish)" and describe the process as "We then move on to the case and bracelet (if the watch has one) which is cleaned and refurbished if requested. We use various polishing, cutting and grinding wheels to remove any small dints, scratches and imperfections where possible, bringing the watch as close to new condition as possible."

    The cost of the refurbishment is £199.98 - I've got the money saved and thinks that's quite probably a good price, so it's not the cost that's the issue... just a simple question... Would you have the watch refinished or do you think it better leave it unpolished?

    Pleased to hear
    Rob

  2. #2
    Master
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    Leave it as it is- if you wear it you will scratch it again. Eventually you will run out of metal to polish away to remove scratches.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    You’re going to get divided answers!
    Some like them to be left alone but personally I’d refinish it if it was mine.
    If it was vintage then I’d be inclined to leave it alone, if you change your mind it can always be done at any point it in the future.

  4. #4
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    Definitely opt for just a movement service. Leave case polishing, as Phil said it will just get more scratches with wear.

  5. #5
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    Not sure of the year... 2002 comes to mind for some reason.... I was initially thinking to leave it as is.. it's an honest 'occasional wearer' that hasn't been polished so far and if I ever sell it I was thinking that a future owner would prefer to make the decision for themselves. But there again it might be nice to have as 'as new' watch... but would I be paranoid that I would bang it against a door handle like I did with with my Sinn?? Decisions.... decisions....

    Rob

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    Not sure of the year... 2002 comes to mind for some reason.... I was initially thinking to leave it as is.. it's an honest 'occasional wearer' that hasn't been polished so far and if I ever sell it I was thinking that a future owner would prefer to make the decision for themselves. But there again it might be nice to have as 'as new' watch... but would I be paranoid that I would bang it against a door handle like I did with with my Sinn?? Decisions.... decisions....

    Rob
    A dedicated WIS will want it with scratches and all. A normal person will like it to look like the day it was originally sold.

    So the answer is - - - are you a WIS or a normal person.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    A dedicated WIS will want it with scratches and all. A normal person will like it to look like the day it was originally sold.

    So the answer is - - - are you a WIS or a normal person.
    Dunno if I'm actually a WIS... But I've been on here for 13 years so it's quite likely! And would a normal person be looking to buy a Seadweller? I think normal people would be looking at a Datejust, Explorer or Sub before a Seadweller.

    The more I think about it the more I'm inclined to leave it as is.

    Rob

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    Dunno if I'm actually a WIS... But I've been on here for 13 years so it's quite likely! And would a normal person be looking to buy a Seadweller? I think normal people would be looking at a Datejust, Explorer or Sub before a Seadweller.

    The more I think about it the more I'm inclined to leave it as is.

    Rob
    Of the two decisions, only 1 is reversible.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    Dunno if I'm actually a WIS... But I've been on here for 13 years so it's quite likely! And would a normal person be looking to buy a Seadweller? I think normal people would be looking at a Datejust, Explorer or Sub before a Seadweller.

    The more I think about it the more I'm inclined to leave it as is.

    Rob
    I bought my 1655 a few years ago and put it in for a service the day after. I told the AD to have it done to make it look as it did back in 1980.

    Much to my surprise he told me to leave it as it was and even his colleague waded in to say the same.

    So today I have a watch that only gains 2 seconds over 28 days and looks more worn out than what I do.

    I know I probably took the right decision but I often wonder if I did.

    This is a question without a real answer.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Sounds like great value cosmetic refurb, esp if done well.

    But if it's effectively a daily, would the pristeen condition put you off wearing it?

    Will you be annoyed when you inevitably dink it and spoil that new look again?

    Is there something comforting in not having to be too anxious about your watch?

    After a service, shouldn't you be looking down on something that's visually rejuvenated?

    I think only you can be sure of your answers to those questions.

    I'd be in a bind myself over what to do.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefmcd View Post
    Sounds like great value cosmetic refurb, esp if done well.

    But if it's effectively a daily, would the pristeen condition put you off wearing it?

    Will you be annoyed when you inevitably dink it and spoil that new look again?

    Is there something comforting in not having to be too anxious about your watch?

    After a service, shouldn't you be looking down on something that's visually rejuvenated?

    I think only you can be sure of your answers to those questions.

    I'd be in a bind myself over what to do.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk
    The strange thing is that this would not be a problem if WISs did not insist on 100% originality and take pride in wearing a beaten up looking watch.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    The strange thing is that this would not be a problem if WISs did not insist on 100% originality and take pride in wearing a beaten up looking watch.
    It's not just watches, the attitude to originality, wear and patina has pervaded all 'precious things' whether it be antiques, furniture, cars etc.

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Master
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    Every scratch is a memory!

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    scratches are part and parcel of ownership and wearing. I wouldn't polish them out.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Personally, I am not a fan of patina and compromised utility (so watches that are no longer fit for purpose) but would only ever let the RSC polish any of my watches. If I was in your shoes i would leave it unpolished for now but would have the watch serviced and polished by the RSC next time it is due. The SD is great reference so hope you continue to enjoy your watch for many years to come.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil h View Post
    Leave it as it is- if you wear it you will scratch it again. Eventually you will run out of metal to polish away to remove scratches.
    “Run out of metal “ ?

    Never read anything so daft for a long time.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    “Run out of metal “ ?

    Never read anything so daft for a long time.
    How come?

    Those “polishing, cutting and grinding wheels” are abrasives, and removing metal is what they are designed to do. If you do that for long enough and/or hard enough there really will be no metal left.

    There are plenty of threads here discussing watches that have been polished, and where fine detail (and in some cases much more) has been removed as a result - Subs with narrow lugs, rounded crown guards etc.

    To the OP - Personally I’d leave the case as is; the only person the scratches bother at the moment is you, whereas if you have it polished then that might well bother those who come after you, should you ever decide to move the watch on.

  18. #18
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    My red has probably been refinished at some point.
    The white dial (which was originally a red) :( has been serviced and refinished by Rolex every time since the 70’s.
    It was robbed of it’s dial, hands, insert and half its case!

  19. #19
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    “Run out of metal “ ?

    Never read anything so daft for a long time.
    You think metal supply for polishing and grinding is infinite? I have seen many overpolished watches which have been ruined by taking too much material off the lugs.

    To the OP: leave the watch original, thank me later.
    Who not knows how to hit the male on the hat should not hit at all.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Loupe View Post
    My red has probably been refinished at some point.
    The white dial (which was originally a red) :( has been serviced and refinished by Rolex every time since the 70’s.
    It was robbed of it’s dial, hands, insert and half its case!
    Don't know much about Rolex but seems big difference in crown guards!

    (unless it's the photo)

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    You think metal supply for polishing and grinding is infinite? I have seen many overpolished watches which have been ruined by taking too much material off the lugs.

    To the OP: leave the watch original, thank me later.


    Had my Sub nearly 20 years from new , been refinished once by Rolex in that time and a good job was done as I expected , on that basis can you explain to me how long the watch is expected to last before and I quote “ it runs out of metal “

  22. #22
    Master raptor's Avatar
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    Do what pleases you
    A prudent watchmaker will never overpolish
    First is the stickers then the marks now will be the metal and then only safes will enjoy watches and people wont wear them

  23. #23
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    Had my Sub nearly 20 years from new , been refinished once by Rolex in that time and a good job was done as I expected , on that basis can you explain to me how long the watch is expected to last before and I quote “ it runs out of metal “
    It depends on the scratches. The deeper they are, the more metal is taken away. Kind of logic, eh?
    Who not knows how to hit the male on the hat should not hit at all.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    It depends on the scratches. The deeper they are, the more metal is taken away. Kind of logic, eh?



    How many watches have you polished till there is no metal left ?

    Thought not.

    I rest my case , pardon the pun.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    Had my Sub nearly 20 years from new , been refinished once by Rolex in that time and a good job was done as I expected , on that basis can you explain to me how long the watch is expected to last before and I quote “ it runs out of metal “
    My pic shows how much metal can and will be removed by Rolex servicing and refinishing over circa 40 years with standard service intervals.

  26. #26
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    I know this article is talking about the extremes, and its hardly likely in the OPs case, but it shows what can happen eventually.
    As somebody said to me years ago, they are only original once.
    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-it-reco...thats-polished
    Cheers..
    Jase

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    How many watches have you polished till there is no metal left ?

    Thought not.

    I rest my case , pardon the pun.
    I don’t think there is an argument to be had here. ‘No metal left’ is a figure of speech, not meant to be taken literally.
    There is no question that repeated polishing ( the need for which will depend on usage) can take its toll and can affect desirability is n future.

  28. #28
    Master
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    More importantly, you should leave it with an authorized Rolex watchmaker who uses authentic Rolex parts... which the price mentioned obviously does not include.

  29. #29
    Journeyman DaveA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    “Run out of metal “ ?
    Me old Nan would polish her brass every Sunday night while watching Stars on Sunday for all her married life - Never once saw one fall apart in her hands.

    That said, I have seen some very worn watches and bracelets .. although, I suspect more from just being worn daily.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Me old Nan would polish her brass every Sunday night while watching Stars on Sunday for all her married life - Never once saw one fall apart in her hands.

    That said, I have seen some very worn watches and bracelets .. although, I suspect more from just being worn daily.
    Yeah, but Rolex 904 steel is like putty compared to brass.... ;-)

    Sent from my CLT-L09 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
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    Every mark and dent tells a story. I'd leave as is and then if you do ever sell, leave it to the new owner to decide. If they want it as new they should factor that into the cost of purchase.

    As others have said, you cant go back from the refurb, however light. Keep the charm and uniqueness imo.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkR View Post
    Every mark and dent tells a story. I'd leave as is and then if you do ever sell, leave it to the new owner to decide. If they want it as new they should factor that into the cost of purchase.

    As others have said, you cant go back from the refurb, however light. Keep the charm and uniqueness imo.
    As much as it grates, ^^^^^ this is probably the best advice.

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    Hi...

    My watch is currently with Jon Vincent for service and replacement of crown, tube, oscillating weight and mainspring - all well and good and less expensive than I had feared. It is in what I would call good condition for its age, with only minor scratches and marks to the case and general wear and tear marks and scratches to the bracelet.

    Jon has offered me a "Case and Bracelet Refurbishment - Removes Surface Scratches (Polish/Satin Finish)" and describe the process as "We then move on to the case and bracelet (if the watch has one) which is cleaned and refurbished if requested. We use various polishing, cutting and grinding wheels to remove any small dints, scratches and imperfections where possible, bringing the watch as close to new condition as possible."

    The cost of the refurbishment is £199.98 - I've got the money saved and thinks that's quite probably a good price, so it's not the cost that's the issue... just a simple question... Would you have the watch refinished or do you think it better leave it unpolished?

    Pleased to hear
    Rob
    Do they use genuine Rolex parts?

  34. #34
    Master
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    I would leave as is to be honest but if I was getting it done then it would be from a place with the Rolex lapping machine.
    Not really sure I get the misty eyed"every scratch tells a story stuff".Ive got plenty scratches on my watches and can only really recall the incidents where there was serious damage to the thing.The smaller ones tell me sod all.

  35. #35
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Never understood the every scratch tells a story logic. If it was a classic car you'd get it back looking as pristine as possibly without compromising it. Same with watches imo. Half the fun of the service is having it come back looking better than it left. The other half is peeling off the stickers again.

    I also wouldn't want to go somewhere which isn't Rolex or Rolex accredited as the lapping machine isn't to be underestimated. Watchworks in Bristol is meant to be very good and has the machine.

  36. #36
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    It's not a classic car it's a watch, it's something you wear and interact with every day.

    Also, as it turns out, the more sought after classic cars are the ones with patina and a visual history. The number of barn finds that are auctioned unrestored for a much higher price is staggering.

    But maybe I am weird, the bangs and knocks on my watch are just a journal of my wearing it and bonding with it. Not that I recall every incident, more that over time it becomes more 'mine' with each dent ;)

  37. #37
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    I would rather someone's else's SD in mint than mine all battered but I know everyone isn't the same. I don't care about the knocks but given the choice I would choose pristine every time but not at the sacrifice of service dial etc.

  38. #38
    Master
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    I think another problem is that some Rolex look alright with a few scratches whilst others look awful.

    I would think that Yachtmasters, Skydwellers, Daytonas and Gold Daydates look better when immaculate.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster73 View Post
    How many watches have you polished till there is no metal left ?

    Thought not.

    I rest my case , pardon the pun.
    As Rajen has said it was obviously a figure of speech.

    It is entirely possible to alter the appearance of a watch to its detriment by overpolishing.

    This is fairly common knowledge.

    That said, a spruce-up at servicing isn't nearly as great a trauma as some imagine it to be and, in the case of deep gouges, there are techniques that actually replace metal as opposed to remove it.
    The skill of the man working on the watch also plays no small part.

  40. #40
    Grand Master
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    I had my SD serviced last year and that's all I'd have done tbh.If you want your watch to always look new!,then buy it new and put it straight into a safe taking it out once every few years with white gloves to admire,otherwise do what I do,wear it,enjoy it,just don't abuse it.

    Never do get these people when looking for a "used" watch,and in some cases vintage it being "mint".I think it's unreasonable to expect anything otherthan a safe queen to be anything otherthan mint,so just enjoy that lived in used as it should look........

    Service it,leave the case IMO.........but opinions many you will have.


  41. #41
    I'll be having one of mine serviced by Rolex very soon - it will have everything done, and I'll be having it put on a new bracelet too - the only things not being done are the case/caseback, bezel/insert, dial and hands. It's in pretty great condition already, but I want it mint.
    It's just a matter of time...

  42. #42
    Craftsman
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    My 16600 would need servicing soon, and although the case has some scratches and small dings, I have already decided not to refinish it. Scratches will reappear, so there is no really a point. As others have said, if you want your watch always mint, just don't wear it.

    I will tell Rolex SC to refinish the bracelet though.

    Sent from my SM-G975F using TZ-UK mobile app

  43. #43
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    If the scratches bother you then get it polished. However accept the fact that it will get scratched again hence it could be a waste of money, unless it's purely a safe queen.

    If you are thinking about resale value don't get it polished leave option of a refurbishment to the new over.

    At the end of the day it's your choice.

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


  44. #44
    Master
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    Many thanks to all. I decided not to have the polishing done.

    Rob

  45. #45
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ODP View Post
    Do they use genuine Rolex parts?
    For what they are charging me I bloody well hope so! :-)

    Rob

  46. #46
    However I do not believe they are Rolex approved/certified - therefore unless I am wrong they won't be genuine Rolex parts.

    They list their brand approvals on their home page, and no Rolex...

    https://jvwatchmakers.com/
    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    For what they are charging me I bloody well hope so! :-)

    Rob
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  47. #47
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barryboy View Post
    For what they are charging me I bloody well hope so! :-)

    Rob

    They wont be for 199£. That's a pittance tbh.

  48. #48
    Grand Master Raffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 744ER View Post
    They wont be for 199£. That's a pittance tbh.
    That was for the refurbishment - I don't think he mentioned the price of the service.
    Who not knows how to hit the male on the hat should not hit at all.

  49. #49
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raffe View Post
    That was for the refurbishment - I don't think he mentioned the price of the service.
    Ah, that makes more sense then!

    Still, I would ask them to confirm they use OEM Rolex parts, and not the generic stuff from eBay or cousins....

  50. #50
    I doubt see how they could access Rolex parts without being an approved service agent...

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