A couple of days ago I posted a question about a steel and gold 1680 that I purchased new from an AD in 1980. The AD stated that it was a special/custom order by a customer who later backed out of the sale. I have the all the orignal boxes and paperwork, including the punched warranty card. It was purchased at a Baily Banks & Biddle store that has since closed. I have emailed corp headquaters to see if they have the orignal invoice from Rolex and am awaiting response.
The consensus from members overall was that a true custom 2 tone 1680 was relatively unheard of, and that all known examples were found to be conversions.
A couple of members suggested looking at the inside of the caseback since true customs have the ser # engraved there. I have since taken their advice and have attached pics of what I found, along with other pics of the watch. The watch has been serviced at a Rolex service center twice. I contacted them but they said they do not have records on the original build, although their policy is that they will only service watches that are in the same confiuration as when shipped.
Please share any thoughts you have on the authenticity of this piece.
Those do NOT look like Rolex RSC service marks...they would say SWC-with a date...or RBH with a date or RNY with a date etc.
That being said...Rolex also WOULD NOT service that watch if it did not come that way....so if it has always been that way and they serviced it...then that is pretty much gold...but you have to show me service docs...and something stating that the watch had those parts on it when it was in service.
Not doubting anyone just saying what I would need to be comfortable with it.
If you take a stainless Rolex to Rolex with gold parts on it they will confiscate your gold parts even if they are genuine and require you to buy stainless parts from them at their cost and install them on the watch or they won't service it. They will not give you any exchange credit for your gold parts against the new stainless parts if memory serves.
At LEAST that is the case with a 5 digit model number and later watch.
I personally know this to be a fact as my friend had a converted watch that he bought new in a situation that I can't fully explain....and he sent it to Rolex in L.A. and they made him do this. He argued with them and they finally agreed to sell him a replacement case frame....at a huge cost...that had the steel and gold model designated on it....and they allowed him to keep his gold genuine items on the watch. An independent had serviced the watch once before and at his request painted the second hand red...they would NOT allow this to be on the watch as this model was never offered with a red second hand and they forced him to put a yellow seconds back on it at his cost AND they kept his red hand....they are not screwing around.
Hell they wouldn't even do a 1501 in stainless for me with a black dial and gold markers and hands...they said they didn't come this way (even though we know they did) and I would have to change the dial and hands to white gold...or they would not service the watch.
So...this watch did not go to RSC like this and pass unless they indeed feel that it came that way and that is okay.
Just my opinion.
This message has been edited by RolexWatchTime from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Aug 17, 2012 10:58 PM
I once bought a high beat 18037 (I think that was the number) that should have had a bark bezel but instead had a fluted bezel (Rolex part). RBH said they would not service the watch unless I had them put the correct bezel on it. However they did not confiscate the watch nor the part and gave it back to me when I declined service.
I brought them another Rolex on a generic strap. They accepted the head for service only after I removed the strap.
They decline to accept another Rolex of mine when they could no long get the parts needed to perform the service.
However they have serviced many other watches for me without problems.
You guys seem to have a slightly different experience to me with RSC
August 18 2012, 2:31 AM
but I always sent my watches to the RSC via my local dealer. They serviced my 1675/8 with a modern daytona leather strap and buckle on it, I've always been advised as long as its genuine Rolex they are fine. Maybe its because I go through the dealer, who knows.
What led you to beleive it was serviced by a RSC, is there any paperwork with it.
Most the fun of the hobby is doing the investigation and ground work, sometimes it leads to a very pleasant surprise, but its not unknown to lead to a little heartache.
It depends on who you get...the experience that I describe with the 1501...I arrived with the watch in person and presented it for service...and this was what I was told face to face by RSC Dallas. They told me that Rolex NEVER mixed metals on all steel watches...ie., NEVER did they EVER put gold markers and hands on watches that were all stainless...I know that is crap...but you are kind of between a rock and a hard place....because now you are humbly trying to explain to the manufacturer what they did in the past....it kind of puts them on the spot because....they don't know....which doesn't put them in a very good light. Not that SOMEONE doesn't know...but the estimator and the counter person doesn't know...and they have been told to say/follow this protocol etc....
The thing is you can't argue with them. If you argue with them you become the enemy and they won't work on your watches...period. Once you become the enemy they simply won't talk to you at all and if you mail your watch in they will send it back with no explanation.
There was a guy I remember on one of the other forums.....who lived in Dallas that was kind of picky about details on slightly vintage watches...that were still serviceable by their criteria....and he was told not to come back. When he protested to NY he got the same message from the acting head there. They flat told him not to come to the service center and they did not want to work on his watches period.
then i guess it is what it is, and no mystery about it. what are you looking to authenticate if you indeed bought it brand new from an AD and accepted their explanation? according to your description of events it's obviously all rolex.
have said that there were no 2-tone 1680s produced and they were all conversions made with other parts. Of course, the possibilty exists that the AD misrepresented the watch. I consider this unlikley, but I guess I just want to know for sure one way or another.
Hi Glenn. When I say an inner back has an engraved SN...
August 17 2012, 9:51 PM
...for a special order Rolex, I mean engraved at the factory with numbers that should appear almost identical to the numbers between the lugs in both font & style. Your engraving is clearly ex post facto by a watchmaker or other non-original agent. Maybe Rolex did it at the service but they did not do it when the watch was assembled, which would be the true sign of a special order watch. The other black ink markings are typical of Rolex service markings, BTW.
So IMHO this is still a put together watch and never something that was originally produced by Rolex in this particular configuration.
This message has been edited by tomvox1 from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Aug 17, 2012 10:13 PM
It is also possible that an AD modified a watch for a
August 17 2012, 11:36 PM
client who then never completed the purchase and so the AD sold it as it is to you. This would be possible if the AD had a good in-house service capacity and staff. Or if they bought the watch from another dealer under the same above situation.
at the time that watch would have been manufactured....
August 17 2012, 11:44 PM
Policy was VERY different. Rolex regional representatives actually instructed the sales managers to "sell the uprgrade". If someone was pining for a steel and gold but obviously did not have the funds....they were told to sell them on the Rolex in steel and get them into the fold and show them that for a little extra down the road their watch could have the steel bits changed out for gold and they could have the watch they really wanted at that time without buying something non Rolex in the meantime.
upto possibly the mid 90's in the UK at least, dealers used to be very flexible, swopping out dial, braceletss etc without a second thought. My local AD swopped my wifes dial FOC 6 weeks after she had bought the watch , he had a tray of dials to choose, from the old dial just joined the tray.
is this not a contradiction, they have no record of the watch original build but they only services watches in their original shipped form. So if the watch was presented to them today, as they have no idea of its original build how can they verify its shipped form?
Maybe I reading more into than intended
Its a great looking watch, I wouldn't mind one myself especially with the nipple dial, I've always had a TT submariner with diamond dial for daily wear for years.
This message has been edited by fatboyharris from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Aug 18, 2012 3:13 AM
I have service records of the 2 times it was serviced by Rolex, in 1987 and 1998. Both services were handled via an AD. I have a copy of the Rolex invoice to the AD for the first service (as well as the AD invoice to me). Also have the parts that Rolex returned when it was serviced. In 1987, that included the crystal, crown, crown stem, O ring, and bezel insert. These, of course, were the orignal parts that came on the watch since that was my first service.
In 1998, they returned only the bezel and an O ring, even though they replaced many others, including the bracelet. In both cases, the watch was returned with the exact same type of parts it went in with. They made no changes to the watch's build.
Again, I very much appreciate all the comments and welcome more.