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Posted: 3/21/2006 4:19:30 PM EDT
While visiting an old family friend this weekend, he gave me his early 1970's model Rolex Submariner. I couldn't believe it. I have been admiring it for years, and he knew it. He is about 65 and told me that it doesn't mean anything to him anymore. I tried the obligatory "I can't take that", but he insisted. I have never been given a gift like this and it really meant alot to me. Overall the watch is in fine working condition, but it has a few flaws that I would like to take care of. The luminous dot at the top of the bezel fell out about 15 years ago and has never been replaced. The clasp on the band is not as tight as it should be. The crystal has some scratches, but not that noticeable. The luminous hour marking look faded or dirty. The band is scratched in some places. The watch is in great shape to be thirty years old, but I would like to restore it. Do any of you guys have any experience having rolexes worked on. I am sure that it is going to cost me quite a bit. I also need to have it opened and cleaned. Any info that you guys can pass on is greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:34:28 PM EDT
I think Rolex has only two service centers in the US: one in New York and one in Dallas. There are a lot of folks that will claim that they can work on a Rolex, but I think all authorized dealers send their work to one of these two places. I would not let a place work on it that says, "Yes, we work on Rolex watches." Submariners cost about $4500 now, so I would take it to an authorized dealer and have them send it off. I would not let anyone work on it "in house, " but I will admit that my knowledge is limited.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:35:59 PM EDT
I would only go through an authorized Rolex dealer who is gonna probably send it to a factory authorized repair site where it is totally gone over. Some places do it on site, but I'd want mine sent to New York. A cleaning is going to cost about $400ish. The luminous dot and the clasp would probably be fixed.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:38:44 PM EDT
nevermind the watch now, sounds like your friend is having some troubles. He sounds depressed and possibly suicidal. You better ask him whats up.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:43:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gaspain:
nevermind the watch now, sounds like your friend is having some troubles. He sounds depressed and possibly suicidal. You better ask him whats up.




He is not depressed or suicidal to the best of my knowledge. He is just rich and doesn't care about the watch anymore. He hasn't worn it in years, and he knows that it always meant alot to me. I have told him for the last 20 years that I like his watch and hope that I can get one someday. I appreciate your concern, but I really think he was just being nice to me.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:44:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sarge38624:

Originally Posted By gaspain:
nevermind the watch now, sounds like your friend is having some troubles. He sounds depressed and possibly suicidal. You better ask him whats up.




He is not depressed or suicidal to the best of my knowledge. He is just rich and doesn't care about the watch anymore. He hasn't worn it in years, and he knows that it always meant alot to me. I have told him for the last 20 years that I like his watch and hope that I can get one someday. I appreciate your concern, but I really think he was just being nice to me.



in that case, you owe him
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 4:55:56 PM EDT
I have a submariner with the gold and stainless band- has the blue face. I love my Rolex. Expect to pay $350- maybe more if you need a new face.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:24:14 PM EDT
To have it gone through with new seals and a new crystal will be around $650.. You can find non rolex repair shops that are reputable and safe but you must be careful. I trust my jeweler and he is not an authorized dealer but has 2 watch makers and has serviced my wifes gold ZRolex Tudor twice.

Bob
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:29:22 PM EDT
My (smartass) $.02

Do you ask AR15 questions on watch forums? Probably not.

So its probably equally as productive to ask a Rolex question on a gun forum. Sure, some of us can help you, but a watch forum would be a much better place.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:35:30 PM EDT
Bump for ARFCOMM recommended fine watch threads...
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:38:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By crazyquik:
My (smartass) $.02

Do you ask AR15 questions on watch forums? Probably not.

So its probably equally as productive to ask a Rolex question on a gun forum. Sure, some of us can help you, but a watch forum would be a much better place.



Why should he bother? There are more high-end watch guys here than you'd think. Why bother signing up at some unkown watch forum if he can get his answer here?
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:40:32 PM EDT
Like everyone else said, bring it to a certified Rolex dealer and have them send it to Rolex to be fixed.. Thanksfully(knock on wood) I havent had a single problem with my 50th anniv Sub, but if I did that is what I would do.
Good Luck and congrats...
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 5:45:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 8:26:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 8:26:53 PM EDT by gmtmaster]

Originally Posted By skeeters65:
Like everyone else said, bring it to a certified Rolex dealer and have them send it to Rolex to be fixed.. Thanksfully(knock on wood) I havent had a single problem with my 50th anniv Sub, but if I did that is what I would do.
Good Luck and congrats...



Dont take it to an AD and have them send it in unless you want to pay an extra 20 to 30% Send it yourself to NYC, Dallas ( Best for vintage) or Beverly Hills.. All of them are good. You have a vintage Sub.. Have Dallas do a complete svc. on it. IM me if you want more info.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:13:24 PM EDT
Check out the Rolex forum at timezone.com. Here is the FAQ they have on Rolex's. Rolex will refurbish the watch for you but it probabply won't be cheap. But it will far less expensive than buying a new one. In addition to getting the outside refurbished, they will service the movement, which probably hasn't been done in a lone time, based on your description of the watch. It will come back looking brand new.

TZ Rolex FAQ
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:38:07 PM EDT
i have a two-tone sub which is about 8 years old, and a two tone daytona which is about 4 years old, and i've never had a problem with either one (knocking on wood) BUT, i sold my old stainless sub to a guy in Philly who is reputed to be not only an authorized rolex machanic, but very good as well. i had a buddy that had his sent to dallas and it took forever.
Link Posted: 3/21/2006 9:38:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2006 9:42:46 PM EDT by dfariswheel]
I'm a retired Master watchmaker with Rolex experience.

First, as an older watch, it's almost certain that the Tritium dial and hands will need replacing since they will likely no longer glow.

The luminous dot on the bezel may or may not be replaceable. At one time Rolex would only replace the entire bezel.

By now, the watch will need all new case and crown water proofing gaskets to insure there are no leaks.

The movement will need a complete clean and oil.

The band may need to have the clasp replaced, depending on how bad it is, but can likely be repaired.

Your best bet on all this is to send the watch to the New York service center.
BE SURE to clearly specify that you want the watch serviced, the band repaired, the bezel dot replaced, and the dial and hands.

As part of the servicing, Rolex will replace all the gaskets, the crown, if necessary, and clean, oil, and adjust the movement, polish the case, test it's water resistance, and in general refurbish it to near-new condition.

If you want to spend a few more dollars for a worth-while upgrade, request a mineral glass crystal.
Older Rolex's often came with a plastic crystal, and the mineral doesn't scratch up nearly as bad.

All this will cost some money, but you'll have one of the finest watches ever made, back in like new condition.

I DO NOT recommend using a Non-Rolex repair service. Some are great, some are phonies. You usually have no way of knowing which for sure.
With Rolex, you do, and they'll do it RIGHT.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:55:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 3:58:00 AM EDT by gmtmaster]

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
I'm a retired Master watchmaker with Rolex experience.

First, as an older watch, it's almost certain that the Tritium dial and hands will need replacing since they will likely no longer glow.

The luminous dot on the bezel may or may not be replaceable. At one time Rolex would only replace the entire bezel.

By now, the watch will need all new case and crown water proofing gaskets to insure there are no leaks.

The movement will need a complete clean and oil.

The band may need to have the clasp replaced, depending on how bad it is, but can likely be repaired.

Your best bet on all this is to send the watch to the New York service center.
BE SURE to clearly specify that you want the watch serviced, the band repaired, the bezel dot replaced, and the dial and hands.

As part of the servicing, Rolex will replace all the gaskets, the crown, if necessary, and clean, oil, and adjust the movement, polish the case, test it's water resistance, and in general refurbish it to near-new condition.

If you want to spend a few more dollars for a worth-while upgrade, request a mineral glass crystal.
Older Rolex's often came with a plastic crystal, and the mineral doesn't scratch up nearly as bad.

All this will cost some money, but you'll have one of the finest watches ever made, back in like new condition.

I DO NOT recommend using a Non-Rolex repair service. Some are great, some are phonies. You usually have no way of knowing which for sure.
With Rolex, you do, and they'll do it RIGHT.




You CANNOT replace a plexi crystal with sapphire Cmon a Rolex watch maker should know this.. You compromise water resistance, and it wont even fit correctly... YOU ARE WRONG do not give that kind of advice.. Rolex WILL NOT DO THAT!!!!!!! ( replace plastic for sapphire)

BTW: Its not a mineral crystal..... You should know that too....Rolex never offered a mineral crystal on any model... Mineral scratches.. Sapphire doesnt.. It chips...
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:08:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By crazyquik:
Do you ask AR15 questions on watch forums? Probably not.





Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
I'm a retired Master watchmaker with Rolex experience...



PWN3D!!!

This is why I love ARFCOM.
Even though people hate the term "hive mind."
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:46:50 AM EDT
I just sent my Submer in for repair, new gears and a good cleaning, I could have bought a new ar for what it cost me (around $700) but they are a nice watch to have !
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:46:43 AM EDT
Your face is most likely plexiglass (1978 and below) and the scratches can be buffed out... I would have Rolex replace it with the sapphire one (1979 and above).

Only take it to an Authorized Rolex dealer... and to be honest, I would send the thing back to Rolex, I have seen the local watch guy who works at the Authorized Rolex dealer do some really jacked up things to watches.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:08:18 AM EDT
I've had a Sub since 1977 when I bought it new. It has the acrylic crystal and you cannot substitute the sapphire crystal. The dot that is the luminous hour marker on the rotating bezel is called the "Pearl" and it usually is replaced when the marker insert is replaced. The insert is just a thin, flat ring with numbers which fits inside the rotating bezel face. I just had this watch refurbed by a non Rolex watchmaker and it was polished, new crystal, pearl & bezel insert replaced, and the usual cleaning, waterproofing, etc. It cost about $450, which is about $150 less than the New York service center would charge. Many people say New York is the only place to have them serviced, but I'm sure there are many fine watchmakers who can do the same level of work.

BTW, this watch is now accurate to less than +1 second a day, but usually sits in a watch winder in my safe. I bought myself a new, 18K Sub for Xmas, and it's hard to take off and go back to Stainless. They truly are practically "Bulletproof" and a joy to own and wear.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:04:09 AM EDT
I just had my vintage Sub re-furbed at Rolex NYC. While there is no doubt there are some fine and reputable independent watchmakers out there, over the years I've personally BTDT with 3 different ones with disappointing results.

If you're going for the full re-furb I'm +1 on sending it to NYC. On mine they replaced the hands, face, bezel and crystal, did all the internal stuff already mentioned and buffed up the case. It was less than $500.

Too bad they don't/can't use the Tritium paint anymore. The Luminova paint sucks.

If you've never owned a mechanical watch before be prepared: it will not keep as good time as your G-Shock.

Personally I love mine. It is my EDW: my everyday watch. Shoot, dive, work on cars, whatever. The thing is built like a tank. My advice is don't keep it in a shrine, enjoy it everyday, let it get scratched.

aa
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:30:45 AM EDT
In the past 25 years, I 've sent my Submariner to Rolex(NYC) twice for refurbishment. The watch comes back looking like new. They send you an estimate of the necessary repairs as well as a list of recommended services before they do any work. Contact Rolex directly, DON'T go through a dealer, you'll end up paying almost twice as much.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:32:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AcidGambit:
Your face is most likely plexiglass (1978 and below) and the scratches can be buffed out... I would have Rolex replace it with the sapphire one (1979 and above).




Synthetic sapphire appeared in the mid to late 80s depending on model Rolex WILL NOT change a plastic crystal for sapphire... Absolutely WILL NOT do it...
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