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Old 20 May 2008, 03:30 PM   #1
DaveInLA
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How do I definitively verify a Rolex's authenticity?

I posted in another thread that I'm going to buy an Explorer I sold by Hess in an Ebay auction. Enough people (on TRF and on feedback) seem to feel that they're legit, and none of the negative feedbacks has questioned the authenticity of their Rolexes.

That said, Hess isn't an AD. I'll have saved over $1000 by purchasing from Hess vs. an AD, and while I really wanted my first Rolex experience to be "official", the experience isn't worth $1000. I'm pretty convinced that Hess is selling the real deal, but for total peace of mind, I want my watch to be authenticated by an expert, in person. How do I do this?

I've read that I can take it to a RSC for an authenticity check for $100, and I guess they give you a certificate claiming this. Someone mentioned taking it to the RSC to add or remove a link, and that's a little cheaper. Another guy posted that the RSC in Beverly Hills does it for free (I'm in LA, CA). That would be nice! But in case that falls through, can I have it checked out at an AD? If so, who does the examination? The watch expert? The salesman? And how much will it be? Thanks
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Old 20 May 2008, 04:16 PM   #2
scottschoe
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An AD's word on a third party watch isn't worth much to me. Get an RSC service estimate - nothing else is absolute. You won't get a paper that says "this is authentic," however.
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Old 20 May 2008, 04:33 PM   #3
DaveInLA
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So I just take (or mail) the watch to the RSC center? What do you mean by getting a "service estimate"? Will they verify the watch's authenticity when you do this?
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Old 20 May 2008, 04:52 PM   #4
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You can take your watch to an RSC and ask for an authentication check. It costs $100 here. They will open the case and check:
1. model, dial
2. movement calibre
3. bracelet type/number, and how many links are fitted.
4. serial number.
They will give you a letter stating whether the watch is in their opinion genuine or not with the above info.
They won't tell you what condition the watch is at, or estimation of value. Here, the turnaround time is 2 days - i.e. you leave the watch there and come back after 2 days.

Alternatively you can take the watch to RSC and ask for a service estimate, i.e. how much to fix it up to "as factory level as possible". Since RSC policy is that they will not touch a watch with fake/replica/aftermarket parts, you'll know the answer too, but without that piece of paper saying if it's genuine or not. Same here - 2 days turnaround.

Another way is to take it to RSC and ask for a link to be added. they will always check authenticity as soon as they get their hands on a piece. This is faster. Only take 30 min if it's genuine. If it's not or they're in doubt, they'll open it to check.

Best is to take it there in person. For me, it's 30 min drive.
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Old 20 May 2008, 05:26 PM   #5
DaveInLA
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Thanks!

How much is a service estimate?

How much is it to add a link? Do I provide the link, or do they? And once it's put in, how difficult is it to take out myself? (Oyster bracelet)
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Old 20 May 2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post
Thanks!

How much is a service estimate?

How much is it to add a link? Do I provide the link, or do they? And once it's put in, how difficult is it to take out myself? (Oyster bracelet)
They don't charge for service estimates.
For a link, depends on the watch and its vintage. can be $50 up to several hundred bucks. They will supply the link, unless you got one handy (has to be genuine!). For oyster bands, I just use a very small jeweler's flathead screwdriver to do my links. They are just screws.

N.B. All these are based on my experience with the Australian RSC here. Other RSC may have different procedures/offerings. Please ring ahead first and ask for the turn-around time at your RSC.
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Old 21 May 2008, 12:16 AM   #7
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Dave, are you wanting to have paperwork verifying authenticity, or just your own peace of mind? The RSC Authenticity Certificate is the best way to go, if you feel you NEED paperwork, and the RSC in BH is local to you for that. Otherwise, a competent watchmaker can open the case and check the movement to verify authenticity.
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Old 21 May 2008, 01:14 AM   #8
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At best, that would authentic the movement and not the entire watch.

Send it to Rolex proper for that 100% feeling:

Insurance Estimate In The US ($150)

Service Estimate w/or without actually having the service done.

Any random scenerio that generates Rolex paperwork about the specific watch in question.



Quote:
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Otherwise, a competent watchmaker can open the case and check the movement to verify authenticity.
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Old 21 May 2008, 03:36 AM   #9
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RSC to be 100%
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Old 21 May 2008, 12:01 PM   #10
DaveInLA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSJ View Post
Dave, are you wanting to have paperwork verifying authenticity, or just your own peace of mind? The RSC Authenticity Certificate is the best way to go, if you feel you NEED paperwork, and the RSC in BH is local to you for that. Otherwise, a competent watchmaker can open the case and check the movement to verify authenticity.
I really just want peace of mind, but now that I think about it, an authenticty certificate would be nice. Not sure I want to pay >$100 for it, though.

I think I'll cheat and just ask for a service estimate to bring it up to spec. It sounds like it's basically guaranteed to be genuine if I get any sort of estimate at all. :)
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Old 22 May 2008, 04:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSJ View Post
Dave, are you wanting to have paperwork verifying authenticity, or just your own peace of mind? The RSC Authenticity Certificate is the best way to go, if you feel you NEED paperwork, and the RSC in BH is local to you for that. Otherwise, a competent watchmaker can open the case and check the movement to verify authenticity.

I've had some AD's refuse to make a 100% gen claim....they said that the only way to make positive sure is to open up the case, and then the watch needs to be re-waterproofed.

I agree that a competent watchmaker can also do this for you..but make sure they are able to pressure test etc.
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Old 22 May 2008, 11:35 AM   #12
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So I called RSC in Beverly Hills today, and they said that they don't authenticate, in those words. They do, however, do service estimates, which will give you an idea if the watch seems real enough. However, I don't think they'll do pressure tests, or open the case, right?
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Old 22 May 2008, 11:49 AM   #13
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Just ask if they will open the case when they do the service estimate, as well as if they will pressure test it afterwards, in case you choose not to go ahead with the service. Of course ask for the name of the person you spoke with so that they can't disclaim what they said
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Old 24 May 2008, 12:21 AM   #14
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They don't charge for service estimates.
For a link, depends on the watch and its vintage. can be $50 up to several hundred bucks. They will supply the link, unless you got one handy (has to be genuine!). For oyster bands, I just use a very small jeweler's flathead screwdriver to do my links. They are just screws.

N.B. All these are based on my experience with the Australian RSC here. Other RSC may have different procedures/offerings. Please ring ahead first and ask for the turn-around time at your RSC.
$100 for authenticity check. What is the procedure for an interstate watch? My local AD would not do a service estimate for free, they need $300 downpayment forfeited if service not going ahead.

wow.... a good couple of days to get a watch checked out, usually RSC can do on the spot (talking about s'pore RSC)
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Old 24 May 2008, 12:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by seiko.citizen View Post
$100 for authenticity check. What is the procedure for an interstate watch? My local AD would not do a service estimate for free, they need $300 downpayment forfeited if service not going ahead.

wow.... a good couple of days to get a watch checked out, usually RSC can do on the spot (talking about s'pore RSC)
Give the Melb RSC a ring, Sherwin.
BTW are you flipping your DJ? I saw your auction.
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Old 24 May 2008, 03:15 PM   #16
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Give the Melb RSC a ring, Sherwin.
BTW are you flipping your DJ? I saw your auction.
yes I am flipping my DJ, time to get my hands on a GMT Master II or ExpII, when im in s'pore.
kinda sick of it already.... furthermore the way the postal service lost my papers really make me angry... so time to part with it. Also I have a ladies DJ for sale too, not sure if you've seen that.
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Old 25 May 2008, 05:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DaveInLA View Post
So I called RSC in Beverly Hills today, and they said that they don't authenticate, in those words. They do, however, do service estimates, which will give you an idea if the watch seems real enough. However, I don't think they'll do pressure tests, or open the case, right?

I think that without opening, they can not know if the movement needs new oil.
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Old 14 May 2015, 04:07 AM   #18
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HOW CAN A SER # check for history...by Rolex ?
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