Forums Latest Members
  1. lillatroll Jan 21, 2021

    Posts
    2,546
    Likes
    3,785
    I have just watched a video on Hodinkee where a watchmaker restores a rusty old sub. (replaces all but 8 parts) Interesting video with a cool sound track, worth watching if you have the chance. Anyway, one of the comments claims that Rolex will not repair or service a watch older than 30 years. It will be upto independent watchmakers. The commentator also says that the watchmaker in the video will no longer take in Rolex watches because he can not get access to parts. This seems hard to believe considering the amount of Rolex watches over 30 years. I only have one Rolex but would like to buy a new OP. If what he says is true then it does not seem to make much sense to buy anything other than new watches or nearly new watches. Firstly, I wonder how true this is about Rolex, and secondly how difficult is it for independent watch makers to get parts for 30plus year old watches. My feeling is that the commentators sees this as a part of Rolex’s strategy to sell more watches, this idea seems flawed as it is hard enough to get a watch as it is, unless they plan on bumping up the price level to where very few people can afford them.
     
  2. offrdmania Jan 21, 2021

    Posts
    113
    Likes
    135
    Rolex has pulled parts accounts from those who are not CW21 certified. It happened quite a while ago actually. The problem Rolex was having is these independent watchmakers were using their parts accounts to only sell parts to the general public and not fix watches. There are still plenty of places that can fix an old watch. Its better to use a CW21 certified watch maker anyways because they have much better training and will most likely not use aftermarket sub quality parts when servicing your watch..
     
    morningtundra and lillatroll like this.
  3. asrnj77 Jan 21, 2021

    Posts
    1,213
    Likes
    1,817
    I call BS on this. You can still send a 1991 watch to a Rolex service center. My wife’s datejust from 1982 was serviced at RSC a few years ago without any issues.
     
    lillatroll and Archer like this.
  4. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 21, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    That claim is nonsense. Rolex still services watches older than that. Depending on the movement in the watch, they may require the watch to be sent to Switzerland though. The last time I spoke to anyone about this subject who had direct knowledge, they had indicated that there was a plan to have any watch with a 1500 series back to Switzerland, so anything with a 1575 for example. Newer movements (3035, 3135, etc.) would still be fine for local RSC's to service. No idea if Rolex has followed through on that, and that conversation was over a year ago now...

    If you think about it, a hard date cut-off really makes no sense. The 3135 has been made since 1988 and has only recently been replaced with the 3235. Why would Rolex cut off all 3135's that are simply a few years older than those that they will still service? Again, this makes no sense.

    So watch companies usually do this by movement, rather than a time frame. For example Omega doesn't allow servicing of Cal. 321's in local service centers, so they are Bienne only. This doesn't affect independent watchmakers, by the way.

    The CW21 is a US only certification - just FYI. So this isn't relevant outside the US.

    Yes, if you had a Rolex parts account and didn't get your CW21 certification, Rolex would pull your account - the deadline for that was back in 2010 going from memory. Lots of watchmakers lost their accounts back then, but many received the certification and maintained their accounts. However, over the last couple of years Rolex has been closing most parts accounts, and having the CW21 doesn't matter much now.

    Cheers, Al
     
  5. wagudc Jan 21, 2021

    Posts
    3,184
    Likes
    8,582
    Perhaps this is a dumb question, but are Tudor parts treated the same as Rolex when it comes to independent watchmakers?
     
  6. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    Good question. Of course many Tudors use movements where parts are readily available, but for their "in-house" movements, you are out of luck.
     
  7. wagudc Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    3,184
    Likes
    8,582
    Of course, your answer makes complete sense. Thanks!
     
  8. cvalue13 Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    3,672
    Likes
    7,454
    For clarification, would you mind expanding on your last sentence above?
     
  9. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    The rule that says this or that movement must be sent to Switzerland, doesn't apply to independent watchmakers - only to brand service centers.
     
    cvalue13 likes this.
  10. cvalue13 Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    3,672
    Likes
    7,454
    thank you.

    And in most cases the independents can still get parts from Switzerland fine?

    what’s left then being merely any warranty related considerations, if applicable?
     
  11. Dan S Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    13,033
    Likes
    29,936
    I suppose I can guess who the watchmaker in that video is. :rolleyes: He obviously has an agenda, and doesn't hesitant to make false claims in support of it.

    Anyway, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and you need to use common sense when you're on the internet. Obviously Rolex will still repair many watches that are more than 30 years old. It depends on the details. And many people can't tell the difference between an AD, a Rolex Service Center, or the heritage department in Switzerland. They get one garbled piece of second-hand information and post it online. I think you will find a lot of people who are still getting their 1980s DJs serviced by Rolex.

    And I don't understand the hand-wringing from people about buying vintage Rolex watches. To put this into perspective, when we're talking about 50+ year-old watches, most repairs are done by independent watchmakers regardless of the brand. And most parts for those old watches are not obtained from the original manufacturer, many of whom no longer exist in their original form. For example, in reading @Archer's posts over the years, I get the sense that availability of parts from Omega for watches from the 60s and earlier is spotty, even if you have a parts account. And if the manufacturer no longer has a stock of parts, then what's the point in having them repair your watch? You'd might as well send it to someone you trust personally.

    VC, Rolex, Longines, and some other brands have a heritage department in Switzerland that will repair/restore old watches for an absurd price, that typically only makes sense for heirloom pieces where price is no object.
     
  12. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 22, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    Parts access depends on the brand...it varies.

    Not sure what warranty considerations you are referring to, so can't answer that.
     
    cvalue13 likes this.
  13. Jones in LA Isofrane hoarder. Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    3,347
    Likes
    21,785
    I brought a 5513/cal. 1530 Submariner into the Beverly Hills RSC a couple of years ago, seeking a cost quote for a standard service. The watch was taken into the room behind the reception counter and returned about 30 minutes later. I was told that due to the watch’s age Rolex would only accept the watch for service if I could prove I am the original owner. The inside of the case back is stamped III.64 making the watch over 50 years old. I am not the original owner ( but over 60 years old). I laughed and told them the original owner could very well be dead. The person at the reception counter shrugged their shoulders and said: “Sorry!”
     
    Edited Jan 23, 2021
  14. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    21,124
    Likes
    22,904
    Here in AU we actually have no parts accounts for Rolex at all so RSC is the only option if parts are needed. I sent my brother’s white Daytona in for a service, which is rather unique in that it is a deep cream dial which a short period of 116520s have. Quote was $5750, and no option to keep the dial no matter how much we argued.

    Should get the watch back in a couple of weeks but its a bit frustrating having to either agree to RSC’s demands or ship it overseas for service.

    0BEAA75E-B9D1-40C9-9E36-94384744877D.jpeg
     
    Alfista88 likes this.
  15. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    I'll call this "Rolex logic"...now you have to be the original owner? How in the world does this make any sense at all?

    This company never ceases to amaze me with what they do to people.
     
    kkt, thatonewatchdude and mr_smith like this.
  16. Dan S Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    13,033
    Likes
    29,936
    Interesting. That's the first time I've heard of that particular requirement.
     
  17. Archer Omega Qualified Watchmaker Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    23,206
    Likes
    54,320
    I get the feeling that someone at this RSC didn't know what they were doing...that's too bizarre.
     
    Dan S likes this.
  18. wsfarrell Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    2,382
    Likes
    3,873
    So you gave up the cream dial???
     
  19. Jones in LA Isofrane hoarder. Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    3,347
    Likes
    21,785
    It made me wonder whether their resistance to accepting the watch for service had something to do with the fact that it was a cal.1530 movement. It's my understanding that not that many were made (relatively speaking) before shifting production emphasis to the cal. 1520, and maybe they were concerned about being able to come up with replacement parts if necessary.

    There was another part of my experience which was more personal. Because I brought in this old watch on a scuffed, brown leather strap, I felt I was being looked down on by the receptionist as maybe just another one of those 'watch crazies'. I was neatly dressed in business casual attire, but I still didn't fit in style-wise with the other clients in the establishment that day. This is Beverly Hills, don't forget. I remember feeling that they were probably glad when I left.
     
    wagudc likes this.
  20. dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Jan 23, 2021

    Posts
    21,124
    Likes
    22,904
    He agreed to yea, the watch needed a lot of parts
     
    wsfarrell likes this.