Let’s say you’re in the market for a vintage Rolex watch and prefer to buy one that’s not been polished or at the very least, only lightly polished. How do you know what the seller is advertising is true? Although it’s difficult to know for certain, there are a few things you can examine.
Remember that it is quite rare to come across a vintage replica Rolex that has never been polished. Many owners dutifully sent their watches in for servicing and more likely than not, the watch underwent a polishing at some point or another during its history. It’s more realistic to look for vintage watches that were skillfully polished, complete with crisp edges and close-to-original silhouettes.
Some Rolex owners prefer not to polish their vintage watches to keep the original integrity of the watch but are perfectly fine with having modern watches polished to keep them looking as new as possible. It really is a matter of personal preference.
However, if you have a factory-original vintage Rolex that has never been polished, now is not the time to begin. It’s worth mentioning again that untouched Rolex watches are much more valuable within vintage collecting circles than restored ones. These timepieces may look beat up and worn out to the untrained eye but to passionate collectors of old watches, these are vintage beauties that are becoming harder to find in original condition.
It’s quite common for people trying to sell their Rolex replica watches to have them serviced, buffed, and polished first, thinking that they’ll get a better price because of it. Unfortunately, this can sometimes have the opposite effect on the value of the watch – not to mention the additional cost of the service and polishing itself.
If you’re looking to sell your pre-owned watch to Bob’s Watches, we always advise against having it polished beforehand. If it is a model that should be polished, we can always have it done on our end, but polishing the wrong vintage watch can take hundreds or even thousands of dollars off its resale price. Lastly, when it comes to your own personal watches, if you are unsure as to whether or not you want to have it polished, sometimes waiting till you’re sure is the best way to proceed. Remember, you can always have a watch polished, but you can never un-polish one.
While both collections offer a rich assortment designed to satisfy any and all tastes, the Planet Ocean stands out at the front. All in all, it comes in over a hundred different flavors, with four sizes, five different metals, five dial colors, and three complications.
However, while the luxury of the collection is undeniable, the significance of each model remains very clear. Even the smallest model in the collection has a noticeable heft to it, equipped with a significantly thicker case than the replica OMEGA Diver 300M model to cope with the pressure of a 600-meter water-resistance rating.
In terms of functionality, you can choose between a simple time and date model (which makes up the majority of the available models), a small number of GMT models, and a few chronograph models. The chronograph model is only available in the largest size, 45.5 mm, while the GMT model is only available in 43.5, but you can choose from a wide range of time and data models.
All in all, the OMEGA Planet Ocean collection manages to navigate between the ability to have an all-around sports model and the general bearing of a luxury model – all from a manufacturer that is at the top of its game.
Breitling’s Superocean line is a much purer collection than Omega’s. You won’t find any fancy new alloys or molten gold liquids here, and the chronographs with date functions are among the most complicated. You won’t even get a helium vent on every model, and only on those rated at 1000 meters and deeper.
While the engineering may not be as advanced as that of the Omega watches, the Superocean is amazingly talented. Overall, there’s nothing about the Breitling Superocean that feels subtle, but that’s exactly the point. These larger-than-life professional replica watches are aimed at people with outgoing personalities, and they do their job brilliantly.
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The blueprint for the modern dive watch, the Rolex Submariner is a timepiece that needs no introduction. First introduced in 1953 and a cornerstone of the Rolex catalog ever since, the Submariner is easily one of the world’s most iconic timepieces and is synonymous with the Rolex brand itself.
In 1969, Rolex introduced the first date display dive watch, the Ref. 1680, and like all previous iterations of the Submariner, the Ref. 1680, like all previous Submariner watches, was offered in stainless steel, but also in solid 18-carat gold, the first time the Rolex Submariner collection had been made in precious metal.
In addition to being the first solid gold Submariner, 1680 is also the first time that Rolex’s iconic dive watches have been available in a dial and bezel color other than black. While the Rolex Submariner was still largely considered a dedicated dive watch when the 1680 collection first appeared, this model marked the first time the Submariner began to move toward becoming the internationally recognized status symbol it is today.
This exclusive offering to one lucky Robb Report reader is a perfectly preserved 1977 Rolex Submariner Model 1680 in solid 18k yellow gold. The watch is completely unpolished and its original blue bezel insert and matching gold Oyster bracelet are in exceptional condition with little to no visible signs of wear.
As the first Rolex Submariner replica watches with a date display, the first to be crafted in solid gold, the first to introduce blue into the collection, and the only Submariner Date with an acrylic crystal, the Reference 1680 is a very important model in Rolex’s history and offers many surprises to collectors.
The Rolex submarine is already running on the ground, but even though it has captured the imagination of a wide range of admirers, there is still a lot of work to be done. Over the next six years, eight Rolex Submariners were released, some at the same time, and some with a few changes to each in order to refine the overall design.
After a turbulent first few years, the Submariner reached a certain level of consistency in 1959 when the Ref. 5512 appeared. With that model, all the components fell into place so effectively that the basic architecture of the model remained the same for the next half-century.
This model combines all the elements of the eight previous versions of the Submariner and brings them together for the first time. The Reference 5512 boasts a 40 mm case, Mercedes hands, full markers on a redesigned bezel, and the introduction of the most important previously unseen addition – the crown guard. In fact, everything you’ll find on a modern version of Rolex’s iconic dive watch starts here.
The result was so successful that there was essentially nothing left to do as far as the core aesthetics were concerned. Until the introduction of the Super Case in 2010, most of the major changes to the replica Rolex Submariner line were related to improved materials, updated movements, or minor design modifications.
However, there was one exception. With that in mind, they were not the only Submariner watches of that period. 1969 saw the release of the first Submariner with a date, the 1680 model, thus splitting the opinion of the Submariner line and the legions of watch enthusiasts.
Generally considered the first Submariner, although there is a debate, the Rolex Submariner was a hit and shares most of the same attributes as the Fifty Fathoms. The dial is black and features the same dots and batons as hour markers, with an inverted triangle at 12 o’clock that can be seen on current production models. All models are filled with a lot of luminescence (or radium in this era). The hands had not yet evolved to the Mercedes style found on most replica Rolex sports models today but were instead plain stick or pencil-shaped.
As for the bezel, it was marked with a 60-minute scale as usual but lacked the diagonal lines for the first 15 minutes. These markers were added in later versions to help the wearer keep more accurate track of the end of the dive when the precise time of the safety or decompression stop became more important. However, this watch also has an inevitable minor drawback.
Blancpain has a patent for a unidirectional bezel. The idea was the brainchild of the brand’s CEO, Jean-Jacques Fiechter, who was also an avid diver and serves as a basic failsafe. The unidirectional bezel ensures that in the event of accidental movement of the bezel underwater, it will only over-read the so-called underwater time, thus helping divers avoid the potential dangers of decompression sickness. Because the copyright belongs to Blancpain, the Submariner had to remain in use with a bidirectional bezel until the 1980s.
Rolex did, however, have the rights to an arguably more important innovation, which the brand extended specifically for the Submariner. From the mid-1920s onwards, part of the Oyster case construction was a special winding crown system fitted with a gasket that screwed into a tube inside the case. It provided impressive protection against moisture. But for the new dedicated diving model, it was clear that it had to be significantly improved.
The end result is the Twinlock crown, an arrangement that uses two sets of O-rings to create a pair of watertight seals within the winding stem assembly, making the Rolex Submariner replica the first dive watch to be water-resistant to 100 meters.