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Old 5 June 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
watchthisone2
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Sub 5508 project, might have bitten off more than I can chew!

Hi Guys,
Been looking out for a real vintage sub for a long time and seem to have got one. Paid over the top for it as it needs a fair bit as you can see. It came from a dealer who intended to get the work done, but he never got around to sorting it.
As far as I can see, it needs as least a good service, bezel & insert, rotor post, stem, button, glass, tube, seals and maybe a fair bit more though I quite like the dial as it is. Parts I guess will be difficult to source, so would it be best sent to Rolex, Switzerland?
I am hoping that I have not been stitched up as now I have removed the bracelet, I see the serial numbers between the lugs seem too low? (400462 as far as I can see, though they are worn).
Anyway, I would appreciate any views.
Cheers,
Jeff.
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Old 5 June 2009, 09:24 AM   #2
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Holy cow. That's a project bigger than Texas.

Good luck and keep us informed.
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Old 5 June 2009, 09:33 AM   #3
watchthisone2
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Holy cow. That's a project bigger than Texas.

Good luck and keep us informed.
I Know, starting to think I might have made an expensive mistake!
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Old 5 June 2009, 10:08 AM   #4
onkyo
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I would love to see the final result.....

I am sure it's going to be fantastic.

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Old 5 June 2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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well if you dont want it you know who to call....ME!!
those parts you need are going to be very expensive indeed..I have most of them but for instance the original domed tropic 16 crystal runs about 450 bucks..
the bezel runs about 2k,and the insert is the same as the one that goes on the 6536 so that will run between 1 and 2k..
it might be cheaper for you to buy this one I have with a service dial thats 100% complete and just put your dial on it..
just a thought
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Old 5 June 2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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Heh! I was just gonna say, give it to Steven! He can make it good as new!
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Old 5 June 2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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You need to consult with a professional Rolex vintage restorer..

I recommend that you contact Bob Ridley at www.watchmakers.com

You should be able to get a good idea of cost to restore this classic to good condition, then decide which way you want to go.........
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Old 5 June 2009, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tools View Post
You need to consult with a professional Rolex vintage restorer..

I recommend that you contact Bob Ridley at www.watchmakers.com

You should be able to get a good idea of cost to restore this classic to good condition, then decide which way you want to go.........

Bob would give a good assessment...
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Old 5 June 2009, 06:40 PM   #9
watchthisone2
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Thanks Guys,
I am going to sit tight and think for a bit. Holidays coming up & all that, could be bad timing!
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Old 6 June 2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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Collect up your parts one at a time. I know it would be hard for me to cough up all of that dough at once.

After they are collected, in a year or five, send them off for assembly, cleaning, etc.

At least that would be how I did it. That or steve's offer of the one with the service dial.

Unload the service dial, extra case and movement and you make some, much needed, quid back.
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Old 6 June 2009, 12:46 AM   #11
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That is one heck of a watch and I think well worth pursuing for restoration. I would ask Bob Ridley about an estimate to give you an idea of what you're looking at cost-wise. Between Bob, Steve, and the other great members on this forum, they can probably source whatever you need to make that restoration a huge success. What a fantastic watch!
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Old 6 June 2009, 08:01 AM   #12
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That is one heck of a watch and I think well worth pursuing for restoration. I would ask Bob Ridley about an estimate to give you an idea of what you're looking at cost-wise. Between Bob, Steve, and the other great members on this forum, they can probably source whatever you need to make that restoration a huge success. What a fantastic watch!
Thanks for the kind words! I believe you are right. There is the potential when its complete to have a watch that would be a credit to any collection. As Brian suggests, collect the parts over a period of time and at the end have a real classic. I've been looking out for an early sub for long enough and these babies don't seem to come along very often. At least this way, I get to own the dream watch and can pay for it over a period of time without coughing out a load of hard earned at one go. Can I be that patient?....... Not sure!
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Old 6 June 2009, 11:57 AM   #13
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I'd keep it and make a personal project out of it.Keep searching the net and over time you'll eventually get it all pieced together.There is no better personal satisfaction than the completion of a long term project.Think of the folks who take on long term car and motorcycle restoration projects.When they're done they have a personal showpiece that is truly their own,and that they're very proud of because they see the results of their time and work.
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Old 6 June 2009, 12:50 PM   #14
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That's one option. Another is to send it to someone trustworthy like Steve and get a solid assessment of what it will take and cost, and the options available. Then, if you choose, have it restored as you can afford to do it. Pay as you go and can and eventually...you'll have a true trophy.
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Old 6 June 2009, 06:59 PM   #15
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I have a few 5508's in restoration at the moment, and your watch is not that bad. A full restoration is not always the answer either. This could take a while for you to complete but the bite you took should last a long while, keep chewing!
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Old 19 June 2009, 08:46 AM   #16
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5508 update

Starting to come together. New bezel & insert arrived. Happy with the bezel, but I think the insert could be newer or a pattern part.
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Old 19 June 2009, 09:04 AM   #17
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Looks great...I am jealous!!
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Old 19 June 2009, 09:08 AM   #18
watchthisone2
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Looks great...I am jealous!!
Cheers mate!
Still a long way to go. The crystal is ordered and on the way.
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Old 20 June 2009, 03:33 AM   #19
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almost there. Good to see you hanging in there.
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Old 20 June 2009, 06:12 AM   #20
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Hi Jeff, those numbers look fine, in my book 1957-59 run from 220000 to 490000, so you look ok there. That insert sticks out like the dogs whatsits, I am sure you can do better, important to get the right period one. The crystal could be rubed back with a very fine paper then finished off with brasso thats what I did to mine, which as can be seen was very rough, nice to keep original if possible. All that is really needed then is to find a good watchmaker to service it and replace the crown, no big deal really. And of course, dont touch the dial or hands, thats one hell of a rare beast.
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Old 20 June 2009, 06:24 AM   #21
watchthisone2
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almost there. Good to see you hanging in there.
Hi, Yes hanging on in there Bank balance smarting a bit! The crystal arrived today, so getting a bit excited about it now. I just happened to have what I think is the right, or if not a very close example of the correct bracelet. Its a ref 7206 with # 80 end pieces. Its a bit worn, but I am not too worried anout that. Thanks for your support Dalton,
Jeff.
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Old 5 July 2009, 08:54 AM   #22
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Hello Phil, Thanks for your help and reassurance on the serial numbers. I agree about the insert. Not best pleased as the seller stated "authentic" It came with the bezel, which appears to be fine. I should have tried polishing the glass as it sounds like it could have been polished out, but I seem to have found a new old stock tropic 16, so it should be ok. Latest part believe it or not is a Rolex new rotor post, axel for swinging weight as the supplier calls it has arrived. Genuine unused Rolex part! I'll post photos in a month or so.
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Old 5 July 2009, 07:52 PM   #23
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I have enjoyed reading the story so far.........keep going as it is a great watch and I am looking forward to seeing the final product!!!

Thanks for sharing
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Old 9 July 2009, 06:00 AM   #24
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Nice work! Thank you for giving these beautiful watches a new lease of life, its worth it as they don't make them like they used too! Cheers
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