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-   -   Vintage Information Posted By Mike. (

padi56 4 October 2006 11:27 PM

Vintage Information Posted By Mike.
Posted by Mike.

1. Decide what model and timeframe your looking for.
Different people have different reasons for going vintage. Some want a watch from their birth year,some want a piece from a particular era,some want a certain style of vintage(sports,dress etc...)
2. Once that decision is made, do your research--buying a vintage piece isn't quite like going to an AD.
Study as many known geninue examples as you can. A great way to do this is to log on to the various sites that deal primarily in vintage pieces.
3. Ideally, most vintage enthausists strive for a watch that's as period correct as possible. That is the dial, hands,etc.. are correct for that time period.
Understand that certain parts may(and in some cases should)have been replaced. Acryllic crystals, stems,tubes,gaskets may well have been replaced at some point in the watches history as a matter of course during servicing.
This does not hurt the value of the watch provided genuine Rolex parts were used. In fact many fine pieces have been savaged by time and the elements becauce of lack of replacement parts in an effort to preserve orginallity.
Acryllic crystals over time can develop stress cracks rendering them to failure during pressure testing.
4. The money is in the dial and hands!!!!!!!!! Some say 80% of the value of a vintage piece is in the dial and hands.
5. As much as you can try to get a piece with matching dial and hands.
Vintage Rolex used tritium as a luminosity base. Tritium over time has a tendency to age. This is called "patina" and can vary from a light ivory to a coffee color. In my view it's personal preference as to which you prefer.
However; be carefull of dial and/or hands that exibit spots,cracking,or corrosion. This can be a sign of moisture damage during the watch's life.
6. At one time Rolex used 4.4 mil serial numbers as replacement cases. I think this has an impact on the value of the watch.---- Know the serial number range for the reference your looking at. The resourse section of TRF has some excellent links to ser. no. dating.
7. Establish a price and buy the BEST example you can. Sometimes this takes a bit of patience but in the long run it's worth it!:thumbsup:
8. Where to look-- There are various sites that specialize in the vintage arena. Post a want to buy.
9. If buying privately--buy the seller, ask for references, ask for an inspection period to validate the watch. An honest seller has nothing to hide.
10. Get as many scans as you can. Use us!! Post those scans. A bunch of eyes are better than two!!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Since your in the Chicago area take advantage of one of the two independent Rolex service centers in the USA,
Rolex Service Center
55 E. Washington #311
Chicago Ill 60602 (312) 782-7768
to validate the watch.
11. There are several dealers that specialize in vintage Rolex, but understand that buying from a dealer may be a bit more expensive. The good ones usually offer a warrentee of some sort, and have their own certified Rolex guy on site.
I'm not sure of the position of the forum about posting dealers so I'll shoot you a PM.

Best of luck and welcome to the wonderfull world of vintage!!!!!:cheers:

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