Vintage or Modern watch? That is the question

Should one buy vintage or modern watches?

Normally Watch people are split into two “kinds” – those that like vintage and those that don’t get the idea of buying a vintage model.
I would say that most watch people start out buying modern watches – and “evolve” into the vintage marked. Probably for some the vintage watches will forever be something that they will never move into – but for other the vintage bug can prove a expensive bug.
I started as a normal watch guy – getting a modern – would not look twice at a “used” watch – let alone a old one !!
That has changed – I got my first vintage Rolex after 4 modern rolex – and after the vintage model I was lost into the Rolex Vintage world.

My first vintage Rolex was the super nice Rolex 5513.
It is difficult to explain this to someone that have not had a vintage rolex in the hand – they do have some history and “DNA” that gives the watch and wearing it something special.

If people have not “tried” a vintage watch – I would suggest to try either a Rolex GMT model 1675 or any “other” vintage watch.
You might be lost into the beautiful world of vintage watches.
And just for information – vintage watches – almost never loose their value.

Rolex COMEX – The story behind the Sea dweller

Having a Rolex Comex is by many collectors the gail watch – I would like one – but they are out of reach for normal watch collectors – their price are > “lots of US$” and still climbing! When I found this web page with stories on both the mil-subs and comex from real life I was very impressed. The site is made by a man that have used mil-subs and comex watches during his working life. I do find it very refreshing to see stories from people that used and still use their watches. And not as a “safe queen” collector. All the respect to him. Check it out – the site has information on Comex and Milsubs and other rolex watches most of us can only dream of.

Comex Submariners history:

  1. 1970-1973 Early Submariners Ref:-5513 with valve.
  2. 1972-1978 Submariners Unique Comex Ref:- 5514 with valve.
  3. 1978-1979 Submariner Ref:- 1680, no valve.
  4. 1982-1986 Submariner Sapphire Ref:-1680 no valve with matt or gloss dial.
  5. 1988-1989 Submariner Sapphire Ref:-16800 no valve gloss dial.
  6. 1988-1989 Submariners Ref: 168000 no valve with gloss dial
  7. 1986-1997 Submariners Ref:-16610 no valve.

Difference between Rolex and Panerai from my view

Don’t get me wrong – I really like Panerai – the daily watch for me is the Pam 25C, and has been for the last 2 years. So I’m the first to understand the “qualities” of Panerai.
There is something about the DNA of Panerai that is difficult to explain. I for one gives Nothing for “people in the news” wearing different brands. It is fun to check out (as any WIS will do) but I will never use my hard earned money on a watch because a “famous” person was seen with this or that watch.

I don’t see the quality of Panerai come anywhere near Rolex in terms of movement, case and craftsmanship. And there is something very professional about the way that Rolex makes there watches, they make a Sea-dweller and now a Deep Sea, they make Milgauss, the New Yacht Master II, and the classic Submariner.

I would rate the two watches like this:
“Craftsmanship” on Panerai and Rolex to (from 1 to 10).
Panerai : 4
Rolex : 9

“Special quality” of the watch(from 1 to 10).
Panerai : 9
Rolex : 7

“Resell value! of the watch (from 1 to 10).
Panerai : 7
Rolex : 8

“Toughness” of the watch(from 1 to 10).
Panerai : 5
Rolex : 9

That’s all – but people can come up with many more areas to compare.

Rolex myths – They still exist

There is and will continue to be many Rolex myths floating around. Some is more special than others..

  • 1) Rolex on top of everest (First)
  • 2) Rolex on the moon (GMT)
  • 3) Rolex on James Bond (Explorer)
  • 4) Rolex Daytona Paul Newmann (Exotic dial)
  • 5) Rolex US Marines (fake? – Is the verdict still out?)
  • 6) Rolex on Che (GMT – where is it NOW)
  • 7) Rolex Steve McQueen (Rolex 1655, Explore II)
  • 8) and many more

Some of these myths that exist
ad 1)
It was not a rolex but a smith watch that was first on the summit with Hilary and Tezing. One thing that I almost certain on is that A rolex was their as the first solo climb to Everest and the first climb without use of extra oxygen – both was done by Reinhold Mesner – and he was know for his Rolex Oyster Quartz watch.

ad 2)
We all know that the Omega Speedmaster is the Moon watch, but there is still some open issues on if a rolex has been on the moon. It is almost sure that rolex has been in space, but the final verdict on if a rolex has been on the moon is still open for talks.

ad 3)
Which was is the REAL James Bond watch- well it is a Rolex, and after the latest information it looks like Ian Flemming had a Explorer himself and that was probably the watch he “gave” James Bond to wear. The next best thing is the rolex watches used in the first movies – Rolex submariner in different models.

But for sure Omega have never been part of James Bond’s outfit…. 😉

ad 4)
Paul Newman has given name to the special Rolex Daytona models with a special dial.
There has been many throughts about Paul Newman wearing that special Rolex daytona in the movie “Winning” – but that have been shoot down – but it is clear that PN does wear the older model of the Rolex Daytona also with exotic dials.

And with the real PN coming to action – it has been proven that PN did have a PN, and that PN is a ultimate Grail watch.

ad 5)
The verdict is still out – but I don’t think any vintage rolex collector would buy that watch. The many things uncertain about this watch and the unknown history makes this watch a don’t do it for the majority of people collecting rolex.

ad 6)
This is a known story – that Che was wearing a rolex GMT model (model 1675) – as seen on many pictures. And the watch should now e in the possession of the USA CIA man (Felix Rodriguez) that was on the place where Che was executed/shoot. No real pictures of the watch exist after it left Che wrist. But the story should be OK.
I for one would love to see the value of this watch when it hits the auction. This watch would I really like – it has one great story connected to it – but the price would be to high for me.

ad 7)
The Rolex Steve McQueen is the Explore II model 1655 – the very special rolex tool watch – made for the speleologist that explores caves and need the extra 24 hour hand to tell if it is night or day. This watch was never a big hit for rolex – and when you view this watch beside other rolex models, you can easy see that this watch is something special for rolex. The dial, the hands, etc. All in all this watch is one of a kind.

But back to the Rolex Steve McQueen – he was never seen with this model – the Rolex I would match with Steve McQueen is the Rolex Submariner 5512.
A icon as well as Steve McQueen.
And the price on the auction for his own 5512 was very high – much higher than expected – but a fair price I would say.

ad 8)
Many other icons exist – the milsubs, the day-date, etc.

But this is what is so special about rolex watches, they continue to give us many stories and we can continue to talk about this over and over.

Tritium – Luminova info ROLEX dials

Found this on – nice quick info for a WIS

The SWISS information on Rolex dials can tell a lot about the watch.
We all know that the Tritium used on watches – over time changes color and for many just become more beautiful to look at.

luminous material Radium
used until 1960

“Swiss T – < 25” luminous material Tritium
used from 1960 until 1998
radioactive, radioactivity less than 925 MBq (25 mCi)

“T Swiss T”
luminous material Tritium
used from 1960 until 1998
radioactive, radioactivity less than 277 MBq (7,5 mCi)

luminous material luminova
used from 1998 until 2000
not radioactive

“Swiss Made”
luminous material Superluminova
used from 2000
not radioactive

Rolex GMT (1675) watch photos “In the Water” and “In the Garden”

This time it was my old Rolex GMT 1675 and Rolex Sub 5513 – that was put into the water.

Somehow it was nice to handle these vintage Rolex’s – use them and making some new photos of them – the photos I had was mainly “tabletop” photos – nothing special – just product shoots.  I have asked for more actions photos of watches – so it is only fair that I try as well.

And it is easy to make the shoots – but people was looking a little strange when I with two small children running around finding crabs and nice stones.
Will their father was playing with watches in the water 😉

My Rolex GMT pointed guards (1675) – “The Graden shoots”

My Rolex GMT pointed guards (1675) – “The Water Shoots”

When is a watch not 100% original!

The real collectors would like a watch that is 100% complete – but sometimes that is not possible when talking about a watch more than 25 years old.

Any watch that is that old have been serviced, and some parts could have been replaced with new original “spare” parts. That still leaves an original watch even if it is not 100% as when it left the factory.
The issues normally come when more visible parts are being replaced during service – the watch value will then decrease for the purist collector and the value will also decrease. In general the more a watch is not original the less its value will be on the marked.
Watches that have been serviced and have parts replaced with other original parts, might still be original but that is not always the case.
A Frankenwatch is a watch made up of original parts but is not a original watch as it left the “factory”.
Some of the more famous “Frankenwatches” are the Rolex Explorer II (1655) made from a old GMT model (1675) with additional parts added. Size of case is not original to a correct 1655 and of-cause the serial number and model number don’t match.

But how about a watch that have had bezel replaced?
Or new minute and hour hands?
Or new dial? Or new main spring?
Or new crown?

In theory a watch could still be original and have only the case with serial number intact – but how would that effect the price?

My List of Originality of a watch!!

  • A1 : 100% Factory Original – Like it left the factory – no parts replaced – only serviced – VERY RARE and HIGH Price!
  • A2 : 100% Original – Service Only with replacement parts that is the same as original parts – Normal Purist Collector watch
  • A3 : 100% Original – Service with Original parts inside watch – not 100% same parts as original (new batch) – Normal Collector watch
  • A4 : 100% Original – Service with Original parts outside watch – not 100% same parts as original (new batch) – Normal Collector watch
  • B1 : 100% Original – Service by unofficial – Original Parts – but not original part of watch – Frankenwatch – Not a watch for a collector
  • B2 : Less Than 100% Original – Service by unofficial – Not Original Parts – Frankenwatch – Not a watch for a collector

Some of mine A1, A2, A3 and A4 watch – I would not have any B1 or B2 watches in my collection – Enjoy …

Rolex Rolex Rolex Rolex

Definitions of a WIS

From time to time I use the term WIS – but what does it mean?
Well it means a person that is so into watches – that when watches a movie – they can tell what watch was in the movie …

But check out if you can call yourself a real WIS.

  • Wakes up in the emergency room and asks the nurse if his watch was scratched.
  • Takes off his watch before sex.
  • Knows the two-letter Internet country code for Switzerland.
  • Gets his watches serviced more often than he gets his cars serviced.
  • Buys magazines only for the watch ads, reads none of the articles.
  • Knows how to set every chronograph ever made but has no idea how to make his VCR display anything besides 12:00.
  • Owns more watches than the guy selling fake Rolexes on 42nd Street.
  • …ten minutes after meeting someone for the first time, can tell you what kind of watch the person was wearing, but can’t remember their name. ;-).
  • Actually looks forward to having strangers ask him for the time.
  • Buys a Tag-Heuer so his 3-year-old can learn to tell time.
  • Owns $15K worth of watches and wakes up to a $15 Sony digital alarm clock.


Fantastic vintage Rolex Sub collection – and super photos!!

Found this post on One of the best places to ask if question related to vintage Rolex – I think the persons here more knowledge than on – and the tone is much better – people are nice – and the answers are second to none.
If you into vintage Rolex this is the forum to visit!
I would not dream of buying any expensive vintage Rolex without posting any doubts here first.
This time lets enjoy some nice rolex Sub collection and Rolex information from “Philipp” – and let use normal people just stand back and admire. I will add his information on Rolex subs to my “WIS” knowledge 😉

His little Rolex collection – and as he says – when is enough – enough?
I don’t know – but my collection of one – is a little on the short side compared to this – my trusty old 5513
Some no-date SUB information on model numbers and “description” – this is to much information for me – but I like it 😉


  • – with silver submariner
  • – without silver submariner
  • – small rolex crown
  • – small rolex crown + swiss t
  • – with submariner + OCC

6204, 6205

  • – honeycomb dial in 1 color
  • – gilt in 1 colour
  • – double name
  • – blackout
  • – underline
  • – occ?


  • – 2 lined in 1 colour gilt print
  • – 2 lined + OCC in 1 colour
  • – submariner + red depth
  • – 2 lined in 2 colour print
  • – 4 lined in 2 colour print
  • – double name [ serpico ]
  • – underline
  • – 369

6536, 6536/1, 5508, 5510

  • – 2 lined in 1 colour gilt print
  • – 2 lined in 1 colour gilt print + OCC
  • – submariner + red depth
  • – 2 lined in 2 colour print
  • – 4 lined in 2 colour print
  • – double name [ serpico ]
  • – underline


  • – minuterack, square crown, 2 lined
  • – minutetrack with ’59 tulip – fifth finger crown / 2 lined, ‘cornini corti’ pointed
  • – minutetrack with tulip crown / 4 lined, pointed
  • – minutetrack with ’60-’62 crown / 2 lined, pointed
  • – minutetrack with ’60-’62 crown / 4 lined, pointed
  • – minutetrack with ’60-’62 crown / 2 lined, pointed, double name
  • – opentrack 2 lines, white swiss ’62-’63
  • – opentrack 2 lines, white swiss underline ’62-’63
  • – opentrack 4 lines, white swiss ’62-’63
  • – opentrack 2 lines, white swiss underline ’62-’63
  • – opentrack 2 lines, white swiss upperline’62-’63
  • – opentrack 2 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64
  • – opentrack 2 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 underline
  • – opentrack 2 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 upperline
  • – opentrack 2 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 double name
  • – opentrack 4 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 underline
  • – opentrack 4 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 upperline
  • – opentrack 2 lines, gold swiss ’63-’64 double swiss
  • – 4-5 versions of the 369 explorer dialed submariner
  • – opentrack, 2 lines, SWISS T<25

etc, etc, etc…

And NOW for the fantastic photos – make sure you see them in full size – they are wallpaper quality for any rolex WIS

Rolex Rolex RolexRolex Rolex

Dial variations on Rolex watches – This time the classic 1680

Dial variations of Rolex watches is and will continue to be discussed between people collecting vintage Rolex. Of the most famous Rolex dial variations is on the Rolex Daytona – but also the more simple Rolex Subs have their share of dial variations. I don’t have a complete overview of all the dial variations that exist but I can learn something new every day.
I have received the following photo of the Rolex 1680 dial variations on the white version.

These are my small understandings of dial variations of the 1680 including the red sub versions.

  • Matt dial, 200m first, Submariner in Red
  • Matt dial, 600ft first, Open 6’s, Submariner in Red
  • Matt dial, 600ft first, Closed 6’s, Submariner in Red
  • Matt dial, 600ft first, Closed 6’s, Submariner in White
  • Matt dial, 600ft first, “Open 6’s”, Submariner in White

Here are the photo of different Rolex 1680 white dial variations with both open and closed 6. It is small differences but if looking close there is difference in font and crown.

And here the Replacement dial with luminova.