Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Pivoting to the Vintage Market

Vintage Rolex Special

Pivoting to the

Vintage Market

 By Capt. DANNY CRIVELLO           

As Rolex fans are getting ready for the release of the new steel Pepsi GMT-Master II, waiting lists have already started to form. It is no secret that most Rolex sports models in steel today require some kind of waiting lists at Authorized Dealers, who, in turn, are reluctant to give any kind of discount. Meanwhile, grey-market dealers, who were once a good source for lower-priced Rolexes, are using their connections to acquire hard-to-get models and selling them above retail prices. 

The high demand for the steel Daytona, the green Submariner, the black-and-blue GMT and the Red-Line Sea-Dweller, for example, made me take a second look at the vintage market. The vintage market has experienced a dramatic increase in prices in recent years, to be sure. But I believe vintage pieces are poised to continue to gain in value, making it almost a less risky proposition than currently paying above retail for a new steel Rolex.

Besides, vintage pieces look cool. Though Rolex has today some of the most modern movements in the world, for the millenials—a generation who was born after the quartz revolution and has grown up during the smartwatch revolution—mechanical movements are synonym with "old school." Most watch brands have tapped into that old-school feel by releasing anniversary editions or modern interpretations of vintage models or even using vintage design cues, like a faux-patina or a big, unguarded crown. Rolex has also given a nod to the past with its new Single Red Line Sea-Dweller, the big orange GMT hand on the Explorer II, and of course, the Jubilee bracelet on a Pepsi GMT-Master II. 

My other reason for exploring the vintage market is a fear that I might soon be priced out of some of the coolest pieces Rolex has ever made, like a Submariner or GMT with a plexiglass crystal and faded bezel. I was on the hunt for a pre-1990 GMT (1675 or 16750; I like the slightly wider bezel) with a nice patina and a case that was not over-polished. Though I was new in the vintage market, I knew some of the basics when it came to case integrity, dials, hands and markers. Still, the vintage path can be fraught with danger, and I decided to turn to my friend James Dellios who lives near Melbourne, Australia, and has been collecting for almost a decade.

After talking to him, I knew I had to completely change the way I thought about shopping for a Rolex. When I bought a new Rolex, I looked for the best deal possible, of course, since the product is essentially the same. But when I shop for vintage watches, James tells me, I shouldn't look for price but for the best condition possible. "If it's cheap, it's cheap for a reason." 

"When you start getting at that level of collecting," James said. "You have to think about value retention. And if you're getting something that is not 100% at that sort of level, you might find some troubles when you're looking at moving it on. Always try to get the best example of whatever it is you're trying to buy."

James has been collecting for just eight years and has over 50 watches.

I could see how vintage collecting could quickly become an addiction—and a money pit. James, like me, is a child of the '80s. He grew up around quartz watches but was quickly fascinated by mechanical movements when he realized he could wind the Omega that belonged to his late grandfather, and "back to life it came," he said. 

While he started to collect pocket watches and dress watches, he researched vintage Rolex sports models. Two years later, he bought his first vintage Rolex Submariner reference 5513. "After that I was hooked," he said. "I simply love Rolex history and the timeless design of vintage Rolex sports watches and the way they patina and age."

Over the years of collecting James has improved his knowledge from handling a lot of watches, doing research, and of course making mistakes. "Don't confuse patina with damage," he told me. "Also, when you see old grime beneath bezels, between lugs and around case backs, it's a good indication of being an untouched example."

James' first vintage Submariner ref. 5513 with Mark 1 Maxi dial, fat-font bezel insert and superdome plexiglass from 1978.

I asked James to write up his top five pieces of advice he'd give an inexperienced vintage buyer like myself. Here are his answers. (Also, be sure to check out his friendly, Aussie-accented YouTube videos.)

1. Buy from a brick-and-mortar business
Buying from a brick-and-mortar business gives you face-to-face interaction with the seller. You can handle the watch, inspect it and try it on. All respected vintage-watch dealers should guarantee their watches to have all original Rolex parts and back the watch with at least twelve months warranty.

2. Patience pays 
When you have zeroed in on the particular model you want, and you find one for sale don't pull the trigger unless it ticks all your personal collecting boxes. For me, it's condition and originality and believe me, it takes time to find a watch with both qualities.

James' recent acquisition: a birth-year Daytona ref. 6265.

3. Ask questions 
Dealing face-to-face with a seller is great for asking tricky questions. If the seller pauses or facial expression changes, and he can't be direct with an answer to a question, such as, "Why are the hands so badly corroded, but the dial is mint?" It could simply mean that he is not sure, but more than likely the watch has been pieced together. I also like to ask about the origin of the watch; sometimes it has an interesting history.

4. Buy a loupe or two
Having a loupe is a must for overall condition. A cheap 5-times magnification is adequate. Then you can inspect dial surface, dial font, lume plots, hands and bezel inserts closely for touch-ups, relumes, scraped lume plots—in short, anything that devalues the watch. l recommend a professional Nikon ten times magnification loupe. Make sure when inspecting the watch that you have plenty of bright light, natural light is best.

5. Buy the best
If your budget is at the low end of the particular Rolex reference you want, say a 5512 Submariner, my advice is to go for a less expensive reference. This will allow you to buy a much nicer condition watch. You could buy a mint 5513, enjoy owning it and continue to save. And when you're ready to aquire that minty 5512, your beautiful 5513 has great tradability. Remember, dealers love getting desirable trades; it effortlessly stocks their shelves.

As for me, I decided to take the plunge, and I bought a thirty-four-year-old Rolex GMT-Master 16750 (pictured above). The watch came on a Jubilee bracelet with original box. It has a service bezel, no doubt, but I love how it pops. I love the markers' patina. I put it on a blue strap—the watch is ready for the summer! 

It was cheaper than a new GMT and, best of all, there was no waiting list!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Mark Webber Test Drives Upcoming Porsche Mission E

...Rolex Coolness...

Mark Webber

Test Drives Upcoming

Porsche Mission E

Former Formula One champion race car driver Mark Webber is pictured below wearing his ceramic stainless steel Rolex Daytona. Mark is an incredibly accomplished racecar driver as well as being a Porsche brand ambassador.

In this Official Porsche video, Mark Webber test drives the upcoming all-electric Porsche Mission E. Mark and shares his perspective on it. I have been a fan of electric cars for a long time now, and also publish an online Tesla Magazine named Jake's Tesla World. It is great to finally see the entire automotive industry switching over to electric!

In the photo below taken at the 2017 Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix, we see Mark Webber wearing his James Cameron DEEP SEA D-Blue...Mark has a HUGE Rolex collection/harem...

The screenshot below shows Mark Webber flying through the air in 2010 at the Valencia race track in his Formula One Car.

In the photo below we see Mark Webber with fellow legendary race car driver and Rolex brand ambassador, Sir Jackie Stewart.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

1949 Rolex GMT? Rolex Patent Application

1949 Rolex GMT?

Rolex 'Universal Watch' Patent Application

WTCF!?!! This new find is rather shocking as it adds a previously undocumented piece of history to the Rolex GMT-Master history puzzle. Notice the application date is August 29, 1949. This is profound in that Rolex did not launch the Rolex GMT-Master until 1955.

I really don't even know where to begin with this Rolex patent application as is appears to have come out of left field. The fact that it predates the GMT-Master by 6 years is one thing, but the fact it has two dials with one that includes international cities including Geneve, Berlin, New York, and Panama make it even more interesting as it appears to be a hybrid GMT/World-Timer of sorts...

One interesting detail is that the Rolex 'Universal Watch' pictured above features a dedicated 24 hour hand (5) which we see just above the 2 O'clock position. This means that Rolex had the GMT-Hand design complete at least 6 years earlier than anybody ever documented. Clearly, this Rolex watch model never made it to market, but this patented design really illustrates that Rolex was swinging for the fences in watch design...

It is obvious to note the design of this 'universal watch' by Rolex is opposite of a GMT-Master in the sense a GMT has the 24-hour rotating bezel on the outside, whereas this design features it on the inside...

The photo above shows an original 1955 Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master, which is featured below in the 1955 Rolex ad.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Handsome Harry gets Hitched ...

Handsome Harry gets Hitched 

Prince Harry married Meghan Markle today and you can check out the full Royal Wedding Ceremony in the video below.

I am so stoked to see them married, as you can tell they both adore each other!

Prince Harry wears an Orange Hand Rolex Polar Explorer as seen below, which matches his orange hair.

Rolex Day-Date 36MM Reference 118138

...Rolex Studio Shot Of The Day...

Rolex Day-Date

36MM Reference 118138

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Return Of Magnum PI...

The Return Of 

Magnum PI

 2018 Reboot

They say that while history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme, and that's definitely the case with the reboot of Magnum P.I. Ferrari 308 GTS, Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master and all...I know this may sound weird, but I am actually stoked to watch the reboot of Magnum PI, as this action-packed trailer looks pretty Rad...

Jay Hernandez plays the role of Thomas Magnum, which Tom Selleck so famously played back in the 1980s. In the photo below we see Tom Selleck wearing his trademark Pepsi Rolex GMT-Master in driving his Ferrari 308GT.

The new Magnum P.I. is scheduled to debut this Fall on CBS and will air on Monday evenings at 9/8c.

Even though Tom Selleck is no longer playing the role of Magnum P.I., he still wears his Rolex Reference 1675 Pepsi GMT-Master as seen on his wrist in the recent photo below. I have to admit that seeing somebody other than Tom Selleck play Magnum P.I. is kind of weird, but I would also add that the new show looks great!

History of Rolex & Golf

History of Rolex & Golf

Rolex Paraflex Shock Absorption System

...Rolex Macro Shot Of The Day...

Rolex Paraflex 

Exclusive Rolex Balance Shock Absorption System

Rolex Founder Hans Wilsdorf

Rolex Time Machine

Hans Wilsdorf

Japanese Rolex Retailer Meeting in Geneva

If you are a regular reader of Jake's Rolex World you know I have been obsessed for a long time about telling the story of Hans Wilsdorf, who founded Rolex.

The photo below was taken sometime in the late 1950s and show Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf with the fourth generation Ryohei president of what is now known as the Hotta Corporation. The photo was taken in Hans Wilsdorf's office at Rolex headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

If you look at the photo above of Hans Wilsdorf's office, in the upper right-hand corner we see a Rolex ad that features Lord Mountbatten. This add was published in magazines in 1957 and was part of the "Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex watches."

The Hotta Corporation is one of the oldest watch retailers in Japan, and they own and operate multiple freestanding Rolex boutiques in Japan.

It is amazing, if you think about it, that there are many Rolex Authorized retailers located around the world as part of Rolex's network that developed their relationships with Hans Wilsdorf.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Rolex Submariner Triplock Winding Crown

...Rolex Macro Shot Of The Year...

Rolex Submariner

 Triplock Winding Crown

There are Marco shots, and then there are Amazing Macro shots—and this is one of them. The only weird thing is this stunning Rolex Macro Shot comes directly from Rolex!!?! Rolex recently posted this stunner on their Official Rolex Instagram page, and it blows me away. Particularly the level of magnificent engineering that is visible when you get this close up.