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Thread: original papers or original recent service papers ( what would you prefer ? )

  1. #1
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    original papers or original recent service papers ( what would you prefer ? )

    So hereís a question , what would be more important to you , if you were buying a semi vintage Rolex watch ?

    Would you prefer it came in the original box ( letís say old and tatty ) and itís original papers

    Or

    None of the above but a recent Rolex service ( letís say within the last 2-3 years ) with a service case

    Only asking as there are obviously pros and cons with both scenarios and was wondering how most people on the forum view this


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  2. #2
    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.

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    Journeyman Halitosis's Avatar
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    original papers or original recent service papers ( what would you prefer ? )

    Iíd rather the service papers (and the soft felt case that you get these days). These will save on future service costs for 10+ years, while the original box and papers are only considered if re-selling.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.
    The thing is , when you are buying a 25 year old watch , a recent service ( from Rolex ) means that all the parts whether old or new parts are at least all Rolex original , is that correct ?

    Whereas an old watch with original papers that has no proof of a recent service with Rolex could potentially have aftermarket and/or non original parts including its movement


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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.
    I agree. This gives you the option of having both. Also being able to date a watch and know where and who bought a watch if the invoice/receipt is present is something I would value.

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    Service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.

    I have always preferred a recent Rolex service on any vintage I have bought over the years, just gives you peace of mind that it has been given a full service from Rolex with any parts used from their stock.

    For many, original papers are essential but also have a monetary value when selling later as a complete set but personally I have never quite understood that fascination or maybe obsession from collectors regards complete full set.

    Full service papers gets my thumbs up.

  7. #7
    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    The thing is , when you are buying a 25 year old watch , a recent service ( from Rolex ) means that all the parts whether old or new parts are at least all Rolex original , is that correct ?

    Whereas an old watch with original papers that has no proof of a recent service with Rolex could potentially have aftermarket and/or non original parts including its movement


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    How do you know the watch has not been modified since the service? Unless you are buying from someone you trust you will take the watch to RSC and have it opened and checked anyho, if for nothing then to negotiate the price down due to issues. If a watch was serviced by Rolex it was probably also polished, lot of people strive for not polished/refinished watches, I have seen what some RSCs do (especially UK it seems to me) with wide non factory chamfers that literally ruin the case for collectors or for anyone wanting a watch in close to original condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    How do you know the watch has not been modified since the service? Unless you are buying from someone you trust you will take the watch to RSC and have it opened and checked anyho, if for nothing then to negotiate the price down due to issues. If a watch was serviced by Rolex it was probably also polished, lot of people strive for not polished/refinished watches, I have seen what some RSCs do (especially UK it seems to me) with wide non factory chamfers that literally ruin the case for collectors or for anyone wanting a watch in close to original condition.
    Well if it was recently serviced by Rolex , itís very unlikely that it has been modified within the last 2 years by someone that has gone through the hassle and expense of a service with Rolex . Based on that logic , Iíd be more concerned with a watch that is 25 years old and has original papers but no service papers at all , the chances of that having been modified with aftermarket parts are increased considerably


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    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    Well if it was recently serviced by Rolex , itís very unlikely that it has been modified within the last 2 years by someone that has gone through the hassle and expense of a service with Rolex . Based on that logic , Iíd be more concerned with a watch that is 25 years old and has original papers but no service papers at all , the chances of that having been modified with aftermarket parts are increased considerably


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    That is true, but it is not a packet of peanuts, you will be going for RSC for these kind of reasons anyway no ?

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    Polishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    How do you know the watch has not been modified since the service? Unless you are buying from someone you trust you will take the watch to RSC and have it opened and checked anyho, if for nothing then to negotiate the price down due to issues. If a watch was serviced by Rolex it was probably also polished, lot of people strive for not polished/refinished watches, I have seen what some RSCs do (especially UK it seems to me) with wide non factory chamfers that literally ruin the case for collectors or for anyone wanting a watch in close to original condition.
    Good call on the polishing issue. See this more and more with vintage but even the five digit models were over polishing is ruining cases and even crown guards almost disappearing due to polishing techniques used not just by Rolex but in house AD service departments. With the amount of money now being asked by sellers for vintage and some five digit references, an over polished case and crown guards are just a no go for myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flasher View Post
    Good call on the polishing issue. See this more and more with vintage but even the five digit models were over polishing is ruining cases and even crown guards almost disappearing due to polishing techniques used not just by Rolex but in house AD service departments. With the amount of money now being asked by sellers for vintage and some five digit references, an over polished case and crown guards are just a no go for myself.
    I think everyone and their granpa got themselves a lapping machine and are experts at cutting factory chamfers...NOT.



    Also you are forgetting one important thing, lot of people do not use RSC for anything remotely vintage as the watches end up polished without consent or having tritium parts replaced with luminova, google a bit on Rolexforums and you will read some appalling stories.
    Last edited by Exiztence; 28th August 2019 at 09:07.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flasher View Post
    Good call on the polishing issue. See this more and more with vintage but even the five digit models were over polishing is ruining cases and even crown guards almost disappearing due to polishing techniques used not just by Rolex but in house AD service departments. With the amount of money now being asked by sellers for vintage and some five digit references, an over polished case and crown guards are just a no go for myself.
    Thatís true but canít you ask Rolex not to polish the watch during service ?


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    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    Thatís true but canít you ask Rolex not to polish the watch during service ?


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    I know about 2 watch colleagues that had their watches polished even though they expressed they did not want it so. Rolex will polish as a part of service, unless you have it on the handover protocol that the watch will not be polished I would be very hesitant, in both cases the watches were unpolished, so basically not only did they pay the Rolex service, the service dimished the value of the watch on top of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    Thatís true but canít you ask Rolex not to polish the watch during service ?


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    Yes. In fact I've been in St James a couple of times and heard customers bringing their watches in for service being asked whether they are happy for the watch to be serviced without prompt ie they proactively offer the choice. Usually this leads to the slightly mystified customer's response of "well, yes, of course... why? Shouldn't I?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    That’s true but can’t you ask Rolex not to polish the watch during service ?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    I know about 2 watch colleagues that had their watches polished even though they expressed they did not want it so. Rolex will polish as a part of service, unless you have it on the handover protocol that the watch will not be polished I would be very hesitant, in both cases the watches were unpolished, so basically not only did they pay the Rolex service, the service dimished the value of the watch on top of it.
    But I do believe the above is possible! What reception ask and what information gets to the watchmakers is potentially two different things :)

    I took a 5513 into an independent with RSC service centre on site and wrote my request for no polishing on the service slip, then sent an email, then rang to check they'd received the email, then nervously waited. Came back unmolested much to my relief, but I have heard similar stories to the above.

  16. #16
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    Back on topic, I'd be going for BOTH if the watch was 25 years old (not too difficult, I don't think?), and recent RSC service if older as the papers add a disproportionate amount to the initial outlay, and I'd prefer a working watch that I don't need to worry about with no papers, especially as the service also strongly implies authenticity. Some collectors do value the full set- i almost prefer not having to worry about storing boxes and papers so don't subscribe to that, but understand those who do.

    Frankly I'd be very happy with one or the other if the watch was 35+ years though!

  17. #17
    Grand Master
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    Personally, a recent Rolex service.
    There comes a point with vintage Rolex where original papers don't necessarily mean jack schitt.
    Mick will be along at some point to tell you all about the forgery of original papers.
    I will tell you that the worry these days is not forged papers, but the polishing and re-engraving of serials to match original papers purchased elsewhere. This is something I'm seeing increasingly and its quite alarming.

    FWIW I trust that SD implicitly because I know where its been ;-)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    How do you know the watch has not been modified since the service? Unless you are buying from someone you trust you will take the watch to RSC and have it opened and checked anyho, if for nothing then to negotiate the price down due to issues. If a watch was serviced by Rolex it was probably also polished, lot of people strive for not polished/refinished watches, I have seen what some RSCs do (especially UK it seems to me) with wide non factory chamfers that literally ruin the case for collectors or for anyone wanting a watch in close to original condition.
    Quote Originally Posted by charlies View Post
    Well if it was recently serviced by Rolex , it’s very unlikely that it has been modified within the last 2 years by someone that has gone through the hassle and expense of a service with Rolex . Based on that logic , I’d be more concerned with a watch that is 25 years old and has original papers but no service papers at all , the chances of that having been modified with aftermarket parts are increased considerably

    Any Rolex service papers are a snapshot of a watch's condition on they day they are issued*, nothing more (much like a car's MOT). Anything could happen once the watch has been collected: accidental damage, someone opening the case-back & affecting WR, changing the bezel insert, dial or hands for non-originals or, indeed, changing out the whole movement for something else...

    ...but, but, but it's got Rolex service papers from six months ago!

    *The warranty aspect is a different matter, of course.
    Last edited by jwg663; 28th August 2019 at 11:15. Reason: Not just Rolex, of course!
    ______

    ​Jim.

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    Craftsman Exiztence's Avatar
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    To be fair, service papers I had with Seadweller I bought had also documentation including photos, but majority dont, or the seller wont disclose them if he say printed extra Tiffany Co. on it :D

    - - - Updated - - -

    To be fair, service papers I had with Seadweller I bought had also documentation including photos, but majority dont, or the seller wont disclose them if he say printed extra Tiffany Co. on it :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.
    Oh yes you can, it's dead easy and if you spend a decent bit of money, not even Rolex could tell the difference between a fake document and the genuine item.

    Printing fake documentation is a flourishing industry and has been so since from the 1970s.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    Oh yes you can, it's dead easy and if you spend a decent bit of money, not even Rolex could tell the difference between a fake document and the genuine item.

    Printing fake documentation is a flourishing industry and has been so since from the 1970s.
    I am sorry I was not aware we were delving into fakery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    I am sorry I was not aware we were delving into fakery.
    The question was original papers or recent service papers.

    The simple point I was making is that forging original papers is a prevalent industry. There is a good chance that the original papers with that 1995 Sub that you recently bought is a genuine watch with fake original papers and you paid a premium for it.

    I have a Robert Morden map hanging up in my hall which I bought off a dealer 30 odd years ago and it looked 100% genuine. A few years later in my professional capacity in dealing with fake documentation, I met an old chap who virtually confessed that he printed several hundred copies of that map and mine was more that likely one of his fakes. The scary thing is that neither he, the art dealer, or even I could say for certain if it is fake or genuine.

    Old paper, old ink and old copper plates make it an undetectable crime. I still have the map hanging up and I have spent hours gawping at it and I am still unsure of its genuineness and I spent years chasing fake print.

  23. #23
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    Could've set my watch by that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Could've set my watch by that.
    To be fair, that's the first one in ages but yes you are right, it's not my problem.

  25. #25
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
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    I donít agree lots of watches have fake papers, yes Iím sure there is a percentage but most owners spending large sums on a watch would generally keep everything that came with it.
    How hard is it to fold everything up and put it inside the original box, it then goes to live in the top of the wardrobe with all the other crap..
    I guess watches that have been around the block could have mislaid sets but low owner watches are more likely to have original boxes/paperwork.


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    Recent service would be my preference.

    Having said that I recently bought a Rolex off SC with no box or papers from a forum stalwart. No reservations. With my transactions my motto is, ‘buy the seller’.

    Ill get get it serviced by Rolex St James at some point if it stays with me long enough. May even source an ‘original box’ at some point and try and build a ‘complete set’ - without ‘original papers’ though.

    Martyn

  27. #27
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    recent service papers, had this with a DJ I bought for my daughter which had no box or papers but had been serviced by Rolex. Within a few weeks there was a problem with the date change at midnight. Back it went to Rolex and a few weeks later returned, all sorted in the plush green pouch :)

  28. #28
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    A proper set of service papers from any manufacturer is an indication of a recent, careful owner.
    A set of original documentation is indication of a careful original owner, and no indication of actual condition now.

    So if they looked the same, then service papers win every time, for me.

    D

  29. #29
    If you already have your own view - why ask the question?
    It's just a matter of time...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    If you already have your own view - why ask the question?
    I was leaning towards having the recent service papers but wanted to get a general view from some who are more experienced than me , to be honest most people have confirmed my view on this .




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  31. #31
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    Iíll add another vote for recent service papers.

  32. #32
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    For me, if similarly priced, I'd always go for papers and get it serviced when it needed it.

  33. #33
    Service papers for me - gives you the peace of mind that A. It's not been messed with B. Its been checked recently against the register
    Whilst original papers are a nice thing to have - if it's a toss up - then i'll have the latest service pouch and cert.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by P4u1 View Post
    For me, if similarly priced, I'd always go for papers and get it serviced when it needed it.
    Assuming both watches were similar condition then this ^^ every time for me. Iíd send to Rolex SC myself and when it came back Iíd have a watch with the original papers/box & a fresh service which Iíd know to be 100% correct.

  35. #35
    Grand Master
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    For me, recent service papers would be preferable, Iím far more concerned about the watch itself than the peripheral stuff that some folks drool over. I recently acquired a 1972 Omega Constellation with the original papers and chronometer certification, nice to have it but after a quick read itíll get stored away and add nothing to the ownership experience.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exiztence View Post
    You can always get the watch serviced and get new service papers, you cannot get new original papers.
    My thoughts exactly

  37. #37
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    Original papers and only service the watch when really necessary. However you can't wear box or papers.....

  38. #38
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    What are original papers worth, money wise, to a package these days?

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Sweepinghand View Post
    Service papers for me - gives you the peace of mind that A. It's not been messed with B. Its been checked recently against the register
    Whilst original papers are a nice thing to have - if it's a toss up - then i'll have the latest service pouch and cert.
    This, every time. Especially if manufacturer service.
    I buy a watch to wear, so would much rather know itís most recent service history than be Interested in what old guff it came with when new.


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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    The question was original papers or recent service papers.

    The simple point I was making is that forging original papers is a prevalent industry. There is a good chance that the original papers with that 1995 Sub that you recently bought is a genuine watch with fake original papers and you paid a premium for it.

    I have a Robert Morden map hanging up in my hall which I bought off a dealer 30 odd years ago and it looked 100% genuine. A few years later in my professional capacity in dealing with fake documentation, I met an old chap who virtually confessed that he printed several hundred copies of that map and mine was more that likely one of his fakes. The scary thing is that neither he, the art dealer, or even I could say for certain if it is fake or genuine.

    Old paper, old ink and old copper plates make it an undetectable crime. I still have the map hanging up and I have spent hours gawping at it and I am still unsure of its genuineness and I spent years chasing fake print.
    Out of curiosity what was your job, did you work for HMRC?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Out of curiosity what was your job, did you work for HMRC?
    Hi

    Fellow members of the forum have indicated that they are fed up of me talking about forged papers, so it's now firmly off the agenda.

    However, feel free to pm me if you so wish. I did not work for HMRC but I worked for Royal Mail and was in charge of the purchase of Stamps.

  42. #42
    Master paneristi372's Avatar
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    I always like the original paperwork. I am a bit of a stickler for full complete sets though.

  43. #43
    Journeyman Curtis's Avatar
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    Recent Service documents everytime

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