Hodinkee to Rolex Restorers: Be Honest!

“In a single decade, the market for vintage Rolex watches has accelerated like few other asset classes throughout history,” Isaac Wingold writes at hodinkee.com. “the market’s boom has created a decidedly strange dynamic of heightened skepticism among the newer enthusiasts, fueled by instances of profit-driven deception.” In other words . . .

liars and thieves are restoring vintage Rolex and pawning them off as pristine, authentic examples.

A fact that Mr. Wingold acknowledges even as he welcome the practice of repairing and replacing worn Rolex parts with factory-spec new ones — indistinguishable from the originals — as “objectively impressive from a technical standpoint.”

Personally, I see nothing wrong with the practice, so long as it’s made known to collectors willing to invest their hard-earned dollars. Commendable restorations shouldn’t be touted as anomalous rarities that defied the effects of time, as that’s what known as a lie — plain and simple.  Furthermore, facing the reality of the situation is necessary, as by virtue of time, these watches will continue to age, just as they’ve aged to reach their current state. 

In what world does Mr. Wingold think unscrupulous Rolex profiteers will heed his admonition to play fair with their marks? But they must! They simply must!

Moving forward, the honest disclosure of how particular examples have come to be simply must become more widespread. Regardless of whether a certain sum of parts is correct on paper, a buyer deserves better than to be misled for the sake of a sale . . . 

A spirit of increased scrutiny must now define the mindset of the collecting community to a greater degree, I sincerely hope for transparency to be expected of dealers and auction houses, as no one deserves to be duped. 

Huh. This from a website that “reviews” watches it sells. Go figure. Meanwhile, trust no one. Except a reputable seller and TTAW, of course.

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