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Old 18 September 2018, 08:12 PM   #1
Haywood_Milton
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2018...and RSC have just fitted a new Flat Four insert to an LV for me.

Morning all,

In July 2018 I sent a 16610 LV with F61xxxx case number to Rolex UK for service, glass, bezel insert and crown.

This is how it has come back.



It's a "full set" example with Mark 1 dial - note the wide form of "SWISS MADE" text.





This is, without question, a Flat Four insert....but is it a new variant? Notice how the short end of the horizontal stroke "kicks up" slightly.

Is it a new service part, or is it some curious, older part at the bottom of the storage bin which has luckily been drawn off for my watch?

If it IS a service part, will they fit it only to those LVs which should have had a Flat Four insert? I cannot believe so, as this would show a level of nuanced interest in vintage / collector taste which is not normal Rolex practice. Their policy has historically been to fit the last version of a part available for a model, such as a Submariner dial with white gold surround indices replacing the dial of a 1960s 5513.

If this becomes the standard service part fitted to all 16610LVs, what effect will it have on values? One might expect the Flat Four market to be undermined, as there would suddenly be a lot more available. There would be a distinction between early Flat Four inserts and later, but subtlety like that will undermine the premium that a Flat Four currently enjoys.

Valuing a later 16610 LV such as a 2006 / Z case number example that has such an insert might be easier, as it will conspicuously not be contemporary, but appraising a full set Y- or F- case number 16610 LV with one of these inserts will be more testing.

Should it be directly equivalent to one with its original Flat Four insert? If this were a contemporary insert that had somehow been dug up by Rolex, maybe -- but if it is a 2018 service part, perhaps not.

How should one describe such a watch? I would suggest "with full disclosure," but there will be those who describe such a watch as nothing other than an "F-series LV with Flat Four insert" knowing that they cannot be faulted....and they will probably price it as if no different. I suspect that one or two of these inserts are already in circulation and have been presented without comment, implicitly as if circa 2004 parts.

There is no right answer, but if this a hitherto unknown part and for as long as it has not been seen in any volume I would suggest that a correct period LV that bears one of these inserts, sold with proper disclosure, will attract a significant premium over the same watch with a pointed four.

We've all seen how desperate demand is for this type of watch in recent times. With that clamour comes less discriminating buying, fuelled by buyers and dealers alike.

If this is indeed a new, standard service part then the premium for watches fitted with it will diminish in direct relation to recognition and volume.

Knowledge, as always, will help one buy well!

Haywood
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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looks like a new one, good work from Rolex!
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:27 PM   #3
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The flat 4 bezel is more rare whether it serial correct to the watch or not. So Rolex just did you a favor and increased the value of your watch if you ever decide to sell. I would just wear and enjoy as is.
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:29 PM   #4
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Also notice how the "pearl" sits one hundred of a mm. closer to the top.
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:39 PM   #5
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The flat 4 bezel is more rare whether it serial correct to the watch or not. So Rolex just did you a favor and increased the value of your watch if you ever decide to sell. I would just wear and enjoy as is.
It's only in internet fantasy island that the so called flat four font is so called rare, its been used many times over the past decades on subs and SD.
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:51 PM   #6
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It's only in internet fantasy island that the so called flat four font is so called rare, its been used many times over the past decades on subs and SD.


I donít get the fascination with the different bezel/dial configs. This is what I always think back to: lots of other models have had the flat four and as far as I understand nobody really cares?

The only thing I can understand is wanting a 2003 version, or one with an engraved rehaut. Anything in between is just another LV. Different strokes for different folks though!


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Old 18 September 2018, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
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It's only in internet fantasy island that the so called flat four font is so called rare, its been used many times over the past decades on subs and SD.
Flat Fours have been used extensively on different inserts, but surely the focus of this thread is specifically upon the Flat Four variants of the green bezel inserts fitted to 16610 LVs? These do appear to have been produced - until now at least - for only a short period and fitted to a relatively small production run of early watches.

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Old 18 September 2018, 08:55 PM   #8
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They did a great looking service regardless
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Old 18 September 2018, 08:57 PM   #9
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Are you having a laugh. Sad does not begin to sketch it.
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Old 18 September 2018, 09:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by padi56 View Post
It's only in internet fantasy island that the so called flat four font is so called rare, its been used many times over the past decades on subs and SD.
Yes, but the flat 4 on this particular model (the early ones) make it worth a TON more $$$ to those who own it and decide to sell. People who bought them at the time of release and stuck them in a safe unworn are fetching upwards of $25,000 USD. Serious appreciation for a 5K watch.
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Old 18 September 2018, 09:02 PM   #11
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Are you having a laugh. Sad does not begin to sketch it.
That post, on a specialist Rolex watch forum, could equally be directed at its author.

H
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Old 18 September 2018, 09:32 PM   #12
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Are you having a laugh. Sad does not begin to sketch it.
Just to clarify. Although Haywood wonít blow his own trumpet, Iíll do it for him.

He is one of the UKís leading experts on most things Rolex. You may think his contribution is sad, but his level of knowledge is regularly used by the police and dealers around the country to ID stolen, franken, and bitsa watches that regularly appear on the market to trick the unwary.

Iíd go as far to say that he has probably saved hundreds of people from being duped. His knowledge and help to forum members is given freely.

Heís also a very nice chap.
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Old 18 September 2018, 09:33 PM   #13
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x2 ^
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Old 18 September 2018, 09:36 PM   #14
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x2^ or should that be x3
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:07 PM   #15
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Is it me or does the bezel just not seem to be in alignment, even if you were to move it a notch? Maybe my eyes are failing me?
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by padi56 View Post
It's only in internet fantasy island that the so called flat four font is so called rare, its been used many times over the past decades on subs and SD.
So what percentage of 16610LV watches were produced with the so called flat four font? What percentage classifies them to rare on fantasy Island vs rare in reality?
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:11 PM   #17
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Is it me or does the bezel just not seem to be in alignment, even if you were to move it a notch? Maybe my eyes are failing me?
Its apparent misalignment is the sole responsibility of your correspondent's failure to compose the subject matter with sufficient care. The bezel lines up within usual tolerances when turned to the correct position!
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:20 PM   #18
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If Rolex does indeed start installing this on all 16610LVs, they'll be flooded with service work on this watch. Value will certainly go down for the flat-four insert but enjoyment of the actual watch will hopefully go up!

Interesting discovery, Haywood. Hilarious that it happened to you of all people.
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:21 PM   #19
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Given the negative posts, it makes me wonder why anyone would continue to post up a thread for it to be derided?

Haywood has posted an interesting thread for discussion. One I certainly can learn from, so thank you from me.
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:21 PM   #20
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Nice watch! But the whole business about the flat 4 is getting a little old...
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:28 PM   #21
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You were obviously not having a laugh, it seems to make it even worse. Mind you I never collected no.plates or stamps.
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:41 PM   #22
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Rolex trolling the collector market, brilliant!

Sellers are like here's a 16610LV with rare/unicorn flat 4 bezel for a low price of 25,000. Rolex is like hold my beer while we flood the market with flat 4 bezels.
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:45 PM   #23
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Rolex trolling the collector market, brilliant!

Sellers are like here's a 16610LV with rare/unicorn flat 4 bezel for a low price of 25,000. Rolex is like hold my beer while we flood the market with flat 4 bezels.
At which point I have surely asked the forum to hold my jacket, rolled up my sleeves and produced macro images in front of the entire pub to illustrate that this version of the insert is different.

Silly.
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Old 18 September 2018, 10:53 PM   #24
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Did they also polish the watch? The lower lugs don't look that sharp anymore.

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Old 18 September 2018, 10:59 PM   #25
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Did they also polish the watch? The lower lugs don't look that sharp anymore.

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Yes they did, Rolex SC at West Malling. I fear that poor composition and photography is not flattering.
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Old 18 September 2018, 11:07 PM   #26
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Our little world is changing Haywood. :)
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Old 18 September 2018, 11:08 PM   #27
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Five infraction points
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Old 18 September 2018, 11:10 PM   #28
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Interesting and frankly would be beneficial if owners could get a correct service insert. I believe that experts would still be able to distinguish an original from service insert correct?

Thanks

What also occurred to me is how many people would have had a celebration then sold the watch immediately as original. Haywood started a highly visible thread on the forum to tell the world. Which of course we would expect no less.
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Old 18 September 2018, 11:12 PM   #29
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If you want to swap the insert for a proper one Haywood. You know where I am

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Old 18 September 2018, 11:19 PM   #30
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Quote:
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In July 2018 I sent a 16610 LV with F61xxxx case number to Rolex UK for service, glass, bezel insert and crown.
Perhaps I missed it above but did your LV have a pointed or flat-four insert before sending in for service? F6 is late enough that it could have been either version.
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