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Posted about it two years ago

March 16 2018 at 7:07 PM
Ken  (Login Rome1680)
VRF Member
from IP address

Response to Wow! What's the story there?

I found this watch in the wild two years ago. When I bought the watch, it had an all-red GMT hand, and a faded blue-back insert. I have since had the watch serviced, including NOS crystal installed, as well as replaced the insert. I also changed the handset, as one of the hands would need reluming, and rather than do that, I just saved and labeled the old handset and had a NOS tritium one installed. I really enjoy wearing this watch, and like the look.

It is uncertain who modified the dial. The fonts look "Rolex" to me, especially given the serifs and the hook 7. I bought the watch from the widow, so could not ask questions of the original owner. Given the family, I doubt the owner had it modified. The original owner was an old Army veteran and got the watch "in the Middle East".

There are no notches on the edge of the dial to indicate an old modification.

One prominent dealer told me he had seen a similar dial one other time.

Below are my comments from two years ago ...

I bought the watch on Tuesday from the widow of the owner, from a working-class family in a small town in Georgia. The widow went to a watchmaker to see what the watch might be worth and how she might sell it. The watchmaker immediately called me, and I bought the watch.

The original owner was obviously not a watch guy, as the watch had been worn hard with lots of dirt between the endlinks and case.

It is a 1961 pcg GMT. Obviously, the dial and the hands were replaced at some point in its life. The bezel is correct, but the bezel insert was replaced with a blue-backed insert that is now nicely faded. The watch is on a 1971 7206, so the bracelet was replaced at some point, too.

The caseback shows services in 75, 77, 83 and 93.

I bought the watch thinking that a good long-E dial had been devalued by someone adding military numbers to it. My intention was to keep my eyes open for a 1961 dial and hands, to restore the watch back to original condition, however many years that search might take.

But, the dial intrigued me. I think it looks pretty cool, and maybe the watch from the wild should stay as the original owner had it. The quality of the printing of the added numbers made me wonder who did the modification, and why would the owner have bothered given that he clearly did not put special value on the watch. The serif details were very similar to Rolex-printed details.

In my seven years of collecting (mostly watches I have bought in the wild), and of reading VRF almost daily, I had never seen such a GMT dial. I shot a picture to a collecting pal in Atlanta, who thought the dial looked pretty cool, too. Since I had never seen another like it, he suggested I reach out to one of the big dealers for feedback.

I decided to post the dial here for discussion instead. I trust the collective wisdom here.

I posted closeups of the dial only, as I wanted the dial judged for what it is or may be, not that it was a replacement at some point, or that it is accompanied by an all-red hand, etc.



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