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Old 9 October 2019, 10:11 AM   #1
JasonBetts
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Calling 16700 owners circa 1991 for NOS assesment

Since my plan on acquiring 1655 fullset fell apart due to suspicious case, I'm on the hunt for some fullset vintage/neo vintage pieces.

This was on offer thru a different local dealer that I've never bought before.

What's known:

- watch is in pristine NOS condition with stickers intact
- serial is N (circa 1991)
- Certificate, hang tags, booklets, box even down to the Rolex calendar are included.

Looking at the photos, the case and bevels indeed look sharp but I saw a video about laser welding and I'm now cautious.

Since the asking price is premium (around usd 14k) I'd like to check with fellow TRF members who have or had this reference around 1990-1991 if the accessories are indeed period correct or original to the watch.


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Old 9 October 2019, 11:03 AM   #2
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An NOS case would have a clear sticker over the top of the case back sticker and factory stickers on the bracelet clasp.

Your photos are too small to accurately judge the watch. I will say that while looking at the one photo depicting the back of the lugs, it appears to me that this area has been worked over or refinished since leaving the factory. The satin finish lines are not symmetrical at all.
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Old 9 October 2019, 11:13 AM   #3
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Looks pretty good to me, but the pictures are indeed pretty hard to work with. Better pics?
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Old 9 October 2019, 11:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
An NOS case would have a clear sticker over the top of the case back sticker and factory stickers on the bracelet clasp.



Your photos are too small to accurately judge the watch. I will say that while looking at the one photo depicting the back of the lugs, it appears to me that this area has been worked over or refinished since leaving the factory. The satin finish lines are not symmetrical at all.


Good observation as always. I'll inspect the watch in person this weekend and will try to post better photos


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Old 9 October 2019, 12:01 PM   #5
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You can see scratches on the lug backs where the bracelet has been removed and reinstalled, possibly to verify the serial.

Without case stickers I can't see how this qualifies for NOS. Mint, maybe, but not NOS.

As mentioned, better photos would help.

It might be worth the price (keyword 'might') but factor in needing a movement service. Then consider who will do the work and if they'll keep it original as shown. Generally I trust RSCs but recently saw them refinish a mint case and ultimately have to replace it with a service unit. That was a mess.

The insert looks period-correct. That's a rarity in itself.
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Old 9 October 2019, 12:27 PM   #6
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You can see scratches on the lug backs where the bracelet has been removed and reinstalled, possibly to verify the serial.

Without case stickers I can't see how this qualifies for NOS. Mint, maybe, but not NOS.

As mentioned, better photos would help.

It might be worth the price (keyword 'might') but factor in needing a movement service. Then consider who will do the work and if they'll keep it original as shown. Generally I trust RSCs but recently saw them refinish a mint case and ultimately have to replace it with a service unit. That was a mess.

The insert looks period-correct. That's a rarity in itself.


Thanks 037. Did they have all the case’s plastic seal back then in the 90s?


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Old 9 October 2019, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thanks 037. Did they have all the case’s plastic seal back then in the 90s?
There should have been a clear caseback sticker over the green sticker from what I recall. I don't know exactly when case side stickers started. Back then I didn't buy watches new. Preowned was a much better value.

I doubt this watch has been refinished. I'll reserve final judgment for better photos but it looks good from what I can tell.
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Old 9 October 2019, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 037 View Post
You can see scratches on the lug backs where the bracelet has been removed and reinstalled, possibly to verify the serial.

Without case stickers I can't see how this qualifies for NOS. Mint, maybe, but not NOS.

As mentioned, better photos would help.

It might be worth the price (keyword 'might') but factor in needing a movement service. Then consider who will do the work and if they'll keep it original as shown. Generally I trust RSCs but recently saw them refinish a mint case and ultimately have to replace it with a service unit. That was a mess.

The insert looks period-correct. That's a rarity in itself.
What case stickers are you referring to that are missing?
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Old 9 October 2019, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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There should have been a clear caseback sticker over the green sticker from what I recall. I don't know exactly when case side stickers started. Back then I didn't buy watches new. Preowned was a much better value.

I doubt this watch has been refinished. I'll reserve final judgment for better photos but it looks good from what I can tell.
Read my first post regarding stickers.
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Old 9 October 2019, 02:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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What case stickers are you referring to that are missing?
I was referring to the clear caseback sticker over the green one. I mentioned it in my followup post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 037 View Post
There should have been a clear caseback sticker over the green sticker from what I recall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by springer View Post
Read my first post regarding stickers.
I reread it but don't see anything about when case side stickers started. That's where I was unclear. Can you clarify? I'm guessing it's pretty late in production.

I don't see on the watch where you say it's been refinished. I do see some scratches on the lug backs and caseback, however.
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Old 9 October 2019, 04:38 PM   #11
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Sorry again for the bad-res photos. I'll provide more this Saturday when I see this in person


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Old 9 October 2019, 05:16 PM   #12
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It is as close to NOS as it can get. I would call it mint/unworn.
As someone else has said there is a small mark on the lug from removing the bracelet. (I guess the dealer did it to check the serial)

The price is what the market demands for this model in this condition atm. I saw worn examples going for 10-12k. Of course, try get to 13-13.5 if you can, watch would likely need a service.

Obviously, a good close inspection is what you should do next. Check the serials are matching the paperwork, all links are present.....
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Old 10 October 2019, 12:34 AM   #13
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I was referring to the clear caseback sticker over the green one. I mentioned it in my followup post.






I reread it but don't see anything about when case side stickers started. That's where I was unclear. Can you clarify? I'm guessing it's pretty late in production.

I don't see on the watch where you say it's been refinished. I do see some scratches on the lug backs and caseback, however.
As far as I know this watch didn't have case stickers like found on the later watches with a "no-holes" case. I am only familiar with the case back clear sticker and the clasp sticker.
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Old 10 October 2019, 04:54 AM   #14
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In general most of the clear case back film come with the watches produced after 2000. Same think applies for the side films. I have never seen any Rolex produced before 2000 with side films applied. For the clear case back sticker applied over the green one i have to say that thing is not so sticky and its easy to come off. Not a big deal. The watch looks like a clean example, carefully check the lugs for polishing. Its not easy to find a watch produced in 1991 with factory condition, so the best thing you can find is near NOS. 14K is normal with current market conditions. Good luck
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Old 10 October 2019, 05:46 PM   #15
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It it all does check out as legit, this would seem to be a great pick up of a great watch! Presumably 16700s in this condition do not come up all that often?
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Old 11 October 2019, 12:16 AM   #16
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Presumably 16700s in this condition do not come up all that often?
They seem to appear the most when you aren't looking.
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Old 11 October 2019, 01:09 AM   #17
JasonBetts
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It it all does check out as legit, this would seem to be a great pick up of a great watch! Presumably 16700s in this condition do not come up all that often?


Indeed. I've been waiting for years. There were some available watch only and as you'd expect, conditions were mediocre at best. Now this thing came plus full set. I guess I'll find out in person on Saturday if Christmas does come early


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Old 14 October 2019, 01:55 PM   #18
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OK I finally pulled the trigger. This example can't actually be considered NOS per se it is definitely an excellent example as close as it gets to NOS or like new.

In person, I've inspected both upper and lower lugs and they still have the consistent brush/strokes and they're unlikely being repolished/brushed

Some photos. Thanks all for the support and contributions




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Old 14 October 2019, 02:40 PM   #19
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That's a damn nice watch
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Old 14 October 2019, 02:43 PM   #20
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That's a damn nice watch


In person it's even damn nicer. This vintage bug.... I don't get the same thrill anymore with the newer rolexes.


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Old 14 October 2019, 02:46 PM   #21
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Looks solid. Well done. Enjoy!
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Old 14 October 2019, 02:48 PM   #22
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Looks lovely well done.
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Old 14 October 2019, 03:37 PM   #23
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nice...
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Old 14 October 2019, 03:48 PM   #24
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Nice pix, nice example.

You have done well.
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Old 14 October 2019, 03:52 PM   #25
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As some-one already pointed out, it may be very difficult nowadays to find a better watch than this very 16700.

It is really splendid, indeed!

Congratulations!
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Old 14 October 2019, 05:00 PM   #26
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very nice example. congrats!
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Old 14 October 2019, 07:30 PM   #27
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Old 14 October 2019, 07:49 PM   #28
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Old 14 October 2019, 08:39 PM   #29
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Thanks all for the nice words. This example has set too high of a benchmark for my next vintage/neo vintage Rolex collecting.


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Old 14 October 2019, 08:53 PM   #30
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Beautiful, are you wearing or storing it?
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