<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  

Rolex Historic Restoration department

November 7 2017 at 7:21 AM
Vlad  (Login oldempirellc)
VRF Member
from IP address

Has anyone dealt with Rolex Historic Restoration Department in Geneva? If so, any suggestions?

I need a dial for an early datejust, and I will be in Geneva at the end of the month. So, I called Rolex. I was told:
1) I can talk to the watchmaker at the front desk to verify that the watch is real (no big deal, as I know it is)
2) An ESTIMATE costs 1000 CHF ($1,000) - just for an estimate!
3) Restoration will probably run between 15,000 and 30,000 CHF

And all I need is a DIAL - I don't want anything else to be touched.

I really had my heart set on having Rolex help me, but, honestly, for that much money, I can buy a mint early 4467 and pull the dial.


 Respond to this message   
(Login tropigold)

i know the last person at the desk named patrick hoffstetter, he is a very nice guy ...

November 8 2017, 2:50 AM 

he always give me his appreciation on the watche i bring to him. i believe that at this time evaluation was free and restoration not so expensive as you say.

i dont know the new guy at the desk but trought your description the things appear to change a lot

i can bring you at the rolex patrimoine service the day you come i am also interested to hear the new rules of the service

let me know

 Respond to this message   
(Login oldempirellc)
VRF Member

Re: i know the last person at the desk named patrick hoffstetter, he is a very nice guy ...

November 8 2017, 9:38 AM 

I would really appreciate that! I will be in Geneva on Nov 23 and if you could join me and my wife for a trip to Rolex that would be awesome. Could you please PM me.


 Respond to this message   
(Login RolexWatchTime)
VRF Moderator

Mr. Hofstetter is missed. I believe

November 9 2017, 1:01 AM 

the new man is Jaques Robert.

My friend visited on my recommendation for having his 16600 looked after.

He had a very pleasing experience with the entire process.

If you are going anyway...connect with Tropigold and take the watch in person.

See what they say. Everything can run the proverbial gamut and one doesn't really know until they ask what will happen.

Things are tougher and tougher over there and vintage is more and more expensive. You also have to know that

like anyone else...they aren't going to like to do a partial job. Hypothetical....The situation being...you bring them your watch Vlad.

You think everything is great. They do what you ask. They replace the dial and hand it back to you.

You take it back and say..."it ran great when you got it, now it is running erratically and losing or gaining time...and it fogged up with the new dial

when I got it wet and now I sue you.

This...is why watchmakers and Rolex too, don't do partial jobs. It is also why they insist on changing crowns, crystals and case tubes. They know that

the law of averages is in their favor with new parts and they have far less headaches and comebacks.

This is what you are going to find yourself up against. Being it is that old of a movement..720 .... it's not something that they deal with on a daily basis even

in their vintage department because most people are not going to pay the money.

When they did my 3133 in 1985...they had alREADy stopped taking 620-775 movements altogether. That was 32 YEARS ago.

 Respond to this message   
(Login oldempirellc)
VRF Member

Re: Mr. Hofstetter is missed. I believe

November 9 2017, 7:11 AM 

Tommy, as always, you're right. and yes, I expect them to tell me:
1) That the movement has to be COAed, but they don't have the parts
2) That the original BB crown needs to be replaces with a modern one
3) That the case has to be polished
4) That the original date disk must be replaced with a modern one (most likely all black)
5) That the hands, of course, must be replaced
6) ....

and, of course, I would say no to all of that, as that will ruin the watch. But still worth a try - maybe they can just replace a dial.... If they can get my movement to the same condition as your 6202 while keeping all original number..... happy.gif


 Respond to this message   
(Login RolexWatchTime)
VRF Moderator

No I don't think it would quite that severe...

November 9 2017, 10:43 AM 

The movement being COA yes.

They probably do have whatever parts they might need but it also might likely not require any really.

They will do the best they can with what you have on the movement at a price.

As LONG as you are not missing any parts.

That date disc is not the same type and really it doesn't wear or cause the same types of issues...it's a solid piece same as 6694 etc.

They won't require a case polish ever.

The hands...on a vintage watch especially this old I don't think they would require that. If the new dial is going to have lume material...they might likely

lume your hands so that they would match.

They won't replace the bubbleback crown with modern either. They didn't on my 3133. They may however tell you that the watch is NOT waterproof and cannot be made waterproof and that there is no

warranty against water resistance. They may not.

Those crowns exist...they likely have one. And the later versions had rubber gaskets.

Mine had the issue at the bezel to case. I corrected it years later. Michael made a special tool to remove the fixed screw on bezel and removed it for re lapping. I was able to put a thin silicone gasket underneath

and lock tite the threads on reinstalling it.

It's waterproof now. happy.gif

The price...they can set whatever they want.

The most unfortunate situation is when you are missing parts. That is insurmountable.

 Respond to this message   
(Login oldempirellc)
VRF Member

I don't think I'm missing any parts ...

November 9 2017, 1:17 PM 

As the watch is complete and runs. The hands (I believe are original), the date disk is solid (as it should be) - just need a better dial. The current dial is correct - correct markers, correct PAINTED coronet, no surround around the date window, but it's an obvious redial....


 Respond to this message   
(Login RolexWatchTime)
VRF Moderator

Yeah the coronet is not right..and..

November 9 2017, 4:08 PM 

obviously no lume so they wouldn't make you change or alter those hands...unless the are not functioning well on the hour wheel or cannon pinion.

The second hand...is not right imho. It would have been ofa different style. Probably blue....possibly gold but it should have a spade or ball on the short end. If that is the original dial config on the printing it might be shorter....OR longer.
That hand just doesn't seem right.

They would know. They have things like this in archive.

I hope you get something you can live with AND...one never knows...they might HAVE that dial..and not have to print one.

This message has been edited by RolexWatchTime from IP address on Nov 9, 2017 4:09 PM

 Respond to this message   

(Login greenoyster)
VRF Emeritus

No its not Jacques Robert anymore

November 10 2017, 1:11 AM 

J. Robert was just in place for a very short period of time to do the transition in between Patrick H. and Nicolas Thouesny actually in charge. Anyway whatever his name is, If you go there just ask for the Horloger Direction no appointment needed.

Estimates are in between 600 CHF for a recent watch and 1000 CHF for an older one, these rather high prices are set to encourage you go and visit first your local AD or RSC with your regular Sub/Cellini.

"Dial?" Will you hate it? Well it depends, let say you bring a rare nice watch with a destroyed dial they are able to clean it if possible and they do a great job or to offer you a service dial if available. Now they are also able to offer you a newly -Rolex made- dial repainted on the basis of you old dial as long as this one is genuine. I have been thru that process (affordable at the time) and fully satisfied, your dial becomes something in between a service dial and an original one (in fact it de facto becomes original in the etymological sense inmho).*
Rolex is even able to create for you a dial with patina, slightly cream color. Again it depends of the watch in question, the amount of money you're willing to pay and the kind of contact (I always have been mentioning that fact) you have in your approach.

* now we can debate about originality of Rolex redone dials....original to the watch? No certainly not. Original Rolex? Yes again imho and even a little bit more to a regular service dial - your invoice will also be different in terms of amount and description In the end its up to you.

This message has been edited by greenoyster from IP address on Nov 10, 2017 3:35 AM

 Respond to this message   
(Login RolexWatchTime)
VRF Moderator

+1 nt

November 10 2017, 7:54 AM 

 Respond to this message   
(Login poormans)
VRF Member

thats rolex way of saying buy a new one

November 10 2017, 8:38 AM 

they never cared about the older stuff, never will either


 Respond to this message   
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >>Return to Index  


Vintage Rolex Forum and Vintage Rolex Market are not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. or Rolex USA or any respective subsidiaries or affiliates.  

Copyright The VRF, Inc. 2002 - 2017