I have been working for the railway for the last 15 years. I noticed one of my colleagues was wearing an interesting watch. I never wanted to approach him about it as I found this, well...weird. Given that the watch had a very faded bezel insert, I couldn't be 100% sure what it was by gazing at it from afar. I could never get close enough to have a good look.
One day I visited his office and noticed that he wasn't wearing his watch. It was lying on his desk. I politely asked if I could have a closer look at it. I was stunned to see it was a beautiful Double Red Sea-Dweller! I showed him my 1675 I was wearing at the time (it was my first Rolex...). I told him I was a big fan of these old beauties. It had tons of character. It was beat up (in a nice way) from years of daily wear and yearly skin diving trips in the Carribean. He told me he had bought it brand new in 1978 at People's jewellers in Montreal. at the time. he was looking to buy a Submariner because all his buddies were into skin diving and he wanted to be part of the gang! He showed up at the store and he was disappointed to learn from the salesman that they were all out of Submariners....But...
......" Sir, we have this model that is much better than a Submariner...the Sea-Dweller Submariner with HEV and greater depth rating....".
It had the "pateted" fliplock clasp and 7836 folded link bracelet. He plunked down the $600.00 and went home happy with his new acquisition. He brought the watch to Rolex for it's first (and only) service in 1983. Oddly enough, the watch was fitted with the cyclops crystal after the service.
As I was handling the watch, he said he didn't have the money to have the watch serviced (It badly needed one) and that he needed money to send his son through school. He offered the watch to me. I jumped at the occasion. He knew he could get more on the open market for it but didn't want to go through the hoops of a service and putting it up for sale. I travelled the 350 miles to RSC Toronto to get the watch authenticated and a service appraisal. When I told RSC that all I wanted was a movement service and proper crystal. No polishing (the watch was unpolished), dial/hand/insert changes, they refused to service the watch. They did refer me to they authorized service center in Montreal. They gladly did what I requested. Here is what they wrote back to me..
ROLEX CANADA LTD
Tel: (416) 968 - 1100 50 St. Clair Ave. West
Fax: (416) 968 - 2315 Toronto, ON M4V 3B7
TO : Mr. Federico Zamawripa - [email protected]
FROM : Danielle Kastoris/ Coordinator - After Sales Service
DATE : June 30 2006
SUBJECT : Our service # 0160143A
PAGE ONE OF : 1
In response to your email inquiry, please be advised that due to the special nature of your requests and the collector’s status of your watch, we are unable to comply with these requests at Rolex Canada and recommend that you have the watch serviced by one of our authorized watchmakers, Chateau D’Ivoire in Montreal, Quebec (please see their address information below). Please speak to Alfred at Chateau D’Ivoire and advise him of your concerns.
We remain at your disposal for any further information you may require.
2020, rue de la montagne
Telephone: (514) xxx-4651
Rolex Canada Ltd.
Coordinator – After Sales Service
This is the result....
I had the watch for 4 months. To obtain this beauty and have it service, I had to part with most of my collection. As time went by, the itch to get other watches appeared. So I sold it to a very good friend of mine. The proceeds helped finance various other purchases. The irony, is that most of those watches are gone as well...This hobby is nuts !!
I wish I still had this watch but it gave me great pleasure and it definitely brought me into the very interesting fold of the vintage Rolex world. My interest hasn't waned despite the fact that the 2 Rolex watches I have are 'semi' vintage !!
Hope you enjoyed the ride !!