I have recently purchased a 5513 from an esteemed member of this forum. I then took the watch to my local Rolex dealer for authentication, insurance appraisal, and a quick once over with verification of the seals and water resistance. All checked out until the watchmaker pulled the movement appart for authentication. A few issues have arisen and I would like a second opinion as they have deemed authentication 'inconclusive' and that the watch needs to be sent to Rolex for final authentication.
Image 1 - The concern is the lack of engine turning in the circled area. He feels this whole area should have engine turning in it.
Image 2 - The concern is the 'P'. He expects to see a 'R'.
Image 3 - The concern is the highlighted case screw. This seems improper.
My question is fairly simple. Do I need to be concerned and how concerned should I be? Are these normal variations in Rolex parts? Do I have some nominally value-affecting aftermarket parts? Or do I have a major issue?
truth be told id be more concerned about the corrosion
March 27 2012, 2:29 PM
all around the case where the back lip meets and seals ...ive seen a lot less be condemned by rolex as unusuable and certainly ..as far as they are concerned ..unserviceable without replacement ....and unlike the movement that is something that cant really be put right easily !!
"A whole new wawe of second generation counterfeits has just emerged "digital fakes".
The advent of digital technology has now made perfect copies possible by the touch of a button on a keyboard. Never has copying been so easy, quick and such a high level. digital fakes are immaculate in their appearance .../... such a high standard that they fool even exeprienced (watch) experts.../...
ONLY upon closer testing, using scientific methods, can the differences be distinguished between original and imitation .../...
I was invited to remove my watch from my wrist and place it on the (Minolta) laser scanner turnstile. Within 5 minutes-eerly- a picture of a perfect 3D digital version of the outside contours of my watch was produced : THE ULTIMATE,UNDECTABLE COPY.
.../Same process for the movement.../ .../.. these new copies generally sale for around 5000 CHF.../...
Who produces fakes? 80% China even 90%. We can also point to thailand, south Korea and Italy for the so called "Quality" fakes."
Interview from - JEAN DANIEL PASCHE President of the federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
If you want to know more on that topic read again my post from 3 years ago on VRF about the Trumpf machines now used by fakers, informations gaven to me by a friend working at Rolex at the time.
I spend most of my time on vintage Panerai , and the quality of those >>
March 28 2012, 12:24 AM
Trying to be something they are NOT has reached a new level , fakes , franken's , BUT , if you really want to know its possible with science , ie , I prolly get 2-3 emails a day asking about vintage Panerai parts , dials , crowns etc and also complete watches , sadly most always with the proper due dillegence 90% are wrong
Example .... The fake dials are getting very good , but the underside holds clues , also the Geiger Counter sets most in flames Ask the seller for an image of the underside of the dial ? If he wants $75-150K he should be willing to do it if not ? WHY
With a watch that's 6 figures in values the lengths some will go to is epic and this new generation of technology being used , up's the stakes , even the old generation is improving , so as its said very wisely , buy the seller not the watch , do your due dillegence , ask questions to those that protect the DNA , its important to know what your buying not just what another has said , help is here and elsewhere , but sadly many ask the questions AFTER , then it's too late , I never understand that , asking the questions before would seem logical but after ?
The people I feel bad for are the ones who are NOT Internet savvy , they don't come to forums ,they dont know who to ask and then this insidious industry that makes millions selling deceptions gets away with so much more
Buyer beware sad but true , today more than ever imho fwiw !
Sadly that link blog has been edited in last 6 months >>
March 28 2012, 12:49 AM
There were allot more images of them filling engravings , filing and plating to get exact thickness , then engraving again , plating even adding cotes , and so on till a. 616 center bridge was completely changed and the appearance correct for a Cort 618 , I hadn't looked at it for awhile till now , gee I wonder why those 6-7 steps and images are removed
Well right but I think the point in this case is being overblown...
March 28 2012, 12:50 AM
Why would anyone fake a 1530 mainplate..I mean zillions exist. Sure if you were going to fake an entire movement...again...but what would be the real cost effectiveness of that...they are not hard to come by....but to make a fake mainplate...and mate it to genuine components...I can't see any real need or reason to do that...but well...anything is possible.
In the future..we can all have 6541's by borrowing one and putting it in the replicator...better sell all your vintage watches now...while they are still worth something.
Re: Well right but I think the point in this case is being overblown...
March 28 2012, 1:07 AM
"I just came across this new way of producing fakes 2 years ago
during a raid on a factory in southern China. In the midst of all
the commotion-raids are noisy, disorganised and happen really fast
I spotted quite by chance a stack of innocuous-looking software discs.
Upon subsequent analysis, we discovered that the counterfeiters made smart use of digital technology
and laser scanners in order to reverse-engineer highly complicated mechanical watches. I was also fascinated by this use of technology .../..."
Interview from - JEAN DANIEL PASCHE President of the federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Tommy, laser technology made possible to produce high quality fake parts at the SAME
cost of lower quality ones. Sofwares and lasers are now doing the job so cost is no more
a problem. Then about dials I was told SEVERAL times by Geneva that labs exams
are now necessary to tell genuine from fakes.
And remember that "of course" we still can detect fakes but as Pasche said, by essence
good copies are undetectable so how do you now know that this genuine item is ...genuine?
Of course dealers will always tell you they can detect fakes but the producers wont
tell you the same.
A last word about Rolex spare parts sold new in "unopened packaging", since 2 or 3 years already, fake parts are sold in fake packagings.
On the flip side it's getting harder and harder to...
March 28 2012, 1:15 AM
get the most basic of parts from Rolex at one time it was 1570 parts now it's 3035 parts so I would say we do need a good or even approved supplier of movement parts, as for batent counterfeits I keep a check on the good ones and you can still tell the difference.
That exactly the comments I expected to read after my post.
Now a question: a laser cutting technology who guarantee
you the same part up to 1/10.000e difference in (3D) size when
you use the same 904L steel. Please let me know how
"you can still tell the difference"?
With the technology we have today, I feel that the fake watches and dials "they make" are so good that it is impossible to differentiate them from the ones made by Rolex. Considering the prices today, I feel that if you buy a "so called" rare or collectable watch you better have papers and then touch all the bases to make sure they have not been created by someone other than Rolex. It seems to me that there are too many so called rare collectable watches on the market. ...Tropicals are another story.
..make dials and parts it's the amount of effort put into the piece being made and when it comes to counterfeits the manufacturer does a good job but it's not like an original, I have seen the replicator machine but the one I saw made perfect copy out of ink and resins not stainless steel, brass and other materials.
Re: Well...I've never heard of an aftermarket mainplate...
March 28 2012, 7:53 AM
As my trusted Jewler/watchmaker is 'inconclusive' on being able to appraise this watch and provide authentication based upon these items, but is admittedly not a Vintage expert, I wanted to cast a wider net for opinion on the effect of the value.
I don't know that there is anything 'wrong' per-say with the case screw, just a part that contributed to the inconclusive rating.
He was very dismissive of the corrosion and I am getting the impression that is my major issue.
Do you recommend sending this to Rolex for verification per the jeweler?
First of all, from a technical point of view - in my opinion - there is a big difference between it being technically possible to create a replica part - and then for it to actually happen. There is no doubt in my mind that Philip is correct regd. the possibilities of copying mechanical parts parts, but in my opinion - we are not there yet. F.ex. in order to create a complete "faked" movement for a typical Rolex you will need to create between 125-200 parts - which in turn has to be finished and assembled - and finally resold. While technically possible (to an extent) - the time, complexity and also cost of something like this is quite high. At least to an degree where you will have to produce and sell - a lot of these before you are close to break-even.
Thats raw parts. The next and much more complicated thing to fake is dials. We have all discussed this ad nauseum on the forum, and to be absolutely honest, yeah, I'm sure someone with the necessary financial resources and time + knowledge could probably "build" a PN 6239 dial that is perfect - but I have yet to see successful attempts of adding patina, wear and the small inaccuracies that tell real experts that this dial is "right". Again - lets say someone sits down and perfects this - what are they going to do ? Sell 500 pieces of PN's in a week to get their investment back ? No, of course not. This would be be found out in the market in about 20 seconds. You can sell maybe 2-3 a year - and if break-even is at 500 (just an example) you will be making money in about 160 years. It just makes no business sense. And this is really the main reason for why we are seeing sloppy quality of fakes in the market of vintage Rolex. The point where investment and resell able quantities match, just leaves no means for perfect fakes, but at best 85% Perfect / 15% sloppy fakes targeted at the ebay buying public.
Besides from these points - I have noticed in the market that besides for "super nice specimens" a lot of high end collectors are really going in to super-niche markets. Examples hereof are super rare Rolex and ultra-complicated Patek. I guess some of the thoughts behind this is that rarer is better - as in - less likely to fake. I guess it makes sense to some extent - especially on the super complications. How many good PP 5002 fakes have you seen ?
The only thing is...with Rolex...the most valuable examples or "niche" watches...share mechanical components of far less valuable watches...there are also very few examples to compare with. This is especially true with early chronographs. Provenance will be everything at some point and even that can be faked to a degree. It will get very slippery.
You're right, Morgan: the *really* good fake Rolex dials seem to have been made...
March 28 2012, 11:36 AM
...20+ years ago, as in the case if the suspicious TX PN and the R*****i BC Submariner dials.
Really artisanal efforts on those examples, with hand-printed qualities and added patina.
Versus todays rather clunky digital copies--Red Subs, DRSDs, 1655s, poor PNs, etc--those old knock-offs are like hand-painted Matisse counterfeits. I think the big $ auction results for the former vs. the latter speak for themselves.
Just remember that during cold war US Government believed the US dollars bills safe from really good fakes untill they discovered in the mid nineties the "Supernotes" alledgedly
printed in north Korea since ...the eighties.
"The name derives from the fact that the quality of the notes exceeds that of the originals. Some have estimated that 1 in 10,000 bills was a counterfeit of the quality ascribed to supernotes."
It took more than ten years to spot these really good fakes
But I know it is an endless debate between believers and non believers.
Edit for picture : an average bill like this one contains more than 10.000 pictural details,
so making a copy of a dial...
speculative markets without factoring in the essentials of confidence, not the confidence of traders but the buying public. If fakes become undetectable then the exclusivity of many of the 'grails' comes into question. Bearing in mind much of the confidence in pieces is mostly inpart based on observations over time with a few exception pieces such a military watches with unimpeachable Rolex UK provenance, but all that could be faked with a watch in the right serial number range.
So the confidence derived from observation may falter if a it starts to be unravelled or flawlessly copied.............todays understanding may change fundamentally over time. When one's knowledge base relies on observation in essence you may just need an apparently 'unimpeachable' one owner source watch and the world's understanding may start to change.
Once confidence starts to ebb, the the market tends to move with it, to safer investment opportunities. The current world financial markets will not always be in the turmoil they currently are and greater opportunities will arise elsewhere, whether the portability and mobility of capital movement thru a grail watch will stand the test of time, only time will tell.
But any form of capital growth/mobility currently under the tax radar may not necessarily stay 'status quo', especially in the anti money laundering world in which we live.So the real threat may not be copies/fakes but changes in tax regimes.