The headlines for vintage fake rolex daytona watch collectors are still dominated by two names: Patek Philippe and Rolex. Each has its pleasures, perils, and pitfalls, and thanks to the numbers of watches involved, as well as the general absence of hard evidence in many instances, vintage Rolex collecting continues to be a realm where speculation (in both senses of the word) dominates a lot of the conversation.
Despite the fact that vintage Rolex can seem nothing short of insane to an outside observer with different tastes, it’s also true that for those with the bug, there’s a wealth of detail into which you can take a very deep dive and a level of excitement most other categories of watch collecting struggle to match – for instance, vintage Daytonas, as watches, aren’t my personal cup of tea, but the phenomenon is fascinating, and the heat of obsession really knowledgeable vintage Rolex enthusiasts bring to the subject (like my colleagues Ben Clymer and Louis Westphalen do) is undeniable. But more than ever, and especially with high value (or potentially high value) vintage Rolexes, you just can’t be too careful – and here are four stories from this year that show why.
The Ref. 6240 “Solo” dial Daytona is named for the fact that it’s a Daytona on which the dial simply says “Rolex” – no “Oyster” or “Cosmograph.” Pretty simple, right? There are several interesting things to note in Ben’s story about the rolex cellini dual time replica watch from June of this year. The first is that it’s impossible, even in principle, to verify the authenticity of these dials on this particular reference, as Rolex doesn’t comment on or authenticate vintage models as a matter of policy. In the story, Ben writes, “I would venture to say that dial correctness for the 6240 is about as murky an area as one could possibly imagine, even in the often opaque world of vintage Rolex collecting.” We know for sure that solo dials are correct on the 6239, because there are vintage Rolex ads showing that dial on that reference, but on the 6240? No such proof.
The second thing is, the question is perhaps less whether or not these dials are correct on the 6240 (as Ben points out, given Rolex manufacturing practices at the time it’s perfectly possible that 6239 dials were put in some 6240s at the factory, though again, it’s impossible to know for sure). The better question is whether or not for any particular 6240 the solo dial is the one with which it was born. Given the considerable sums realized for solo dial 6240s at auction, there is a lot of incentive to drop a solo dial into a 6240 case; and, as the article also points out, the vogue for this reference with a solo dial was basically created by stakeholders – dealers and auction houses. In any case, the story really showcases the degree to which value in vintage Rolex depends not on hard facts, but rather on conjecture and consensus.
A Very Fake Paul Newman Daytona Almost Sells For Five Figures On Ebay
While the solo dial Daytona story is complicated and fascinating on a lot of levels, this one is pretty straightforward. The watch in question had hit $24,000 on Ebay and, with three days to go, we called it out as a fake. This one isn’t so much about the nuances of how financial incentive, ambiguity, and social consensus can drive prices to a sky-high level on something that by nature can never be really authenticated – it’s just yet another example of how financial incentive alone has created a very profitable market for fakes of all descriptions, from Frankenwatches to outright forgeries. This is a great demonstration of the fact that you can avoid getting burned if (and it’s a big if) you know what to look for.
No, Tudor’s Not Safe Either
Mr. Louis “Bring A Loupe” Westphalen sees a lot of replica rolex watches oyster perpetual cosmograph daytona in the line of duty (as I’m sure you can imagine) and this is just one example that set his Frankenwatch senses tingling. At first glance it looks a reasonably decent 7519 Monte Carlo, but again, if you know what to look for, its plumage starts to look more and more like nature’s way of saying, “don’t touch.” A lot of the details on this one are wrong, but though the way in which they’re wrong is glaringly obvious to someone who knows their stuff, they’re also relatively subtle and easy to miss for someone who doesn’t, which is why this item got a great big caveat emptor from Mr. Westphalen.
Yes, You’re In A Knowledge Arms Race With Unscrupulous Sellers
When it comes to collecting vintage Rolex, the more you know, the better. A great place to start is with Louis’s look at nine basic things to look at on every vintage Rolex you might consider buying. This list is of course just the beginning, as Louis points out:
“This checklist can’t claim to be comprehensive, as numerous books would not suffice to cover all the quirky features of the entire vintage production from Rolex. It will nonetheless provide you with the basic knowledge to avoid being on the losing end during your next quest.” The best advice in the story is probably “buy the seller,” which is as perennial in its truth as it is in how often it’s ignored (alas). Yes, you can get into collecting vintage Rolex, but to do so and to be reasonably sure you don’t get the worst of a shady deal means really doing your homework and there just are no shortcuts when it comes to developing an educated eye for what’s kosher, and what isn’t.
Bonus Round: The Aptly Named “Black Ghost” Daytona ROC Paul Newman
This story is from back in 2014, when Christie’s presented for auction the only known example of what was billed as the “Black Ghost” – a black dial, pump-pusher Paul Newman reference 6263 with the signatures Rolex Oyster Cosmograph in that order. At the time, Christie’s said, “It happens at times, in the field of watch collecting, that a timepiece previously unknown to the market is discovered and upsets what is until then considered an unmovable tenet by market and scholars alike.” The tenet in question is that any black Paul Newman dial on a 6263 should read Rolex Cosmograph Oyster.
The confounding thing about the whole business is that while nobody seems to doubt that it’s an authentic Singer dial, there are also clear signs the dial was repainted after it was made – the question being when, and by whom. The rolex cellini 1601 20 mm white roman dial hand-wind unisex watch movement eventually hammered for 461,000 CHF (approximately $479,705 at time of the sale) – close to half a million dollars for a watch whose value was based on an in-principle unverifiable conjecture (albeit with supporting evidence) about the authenticity of its dial, and, moreover, a dial pretty much all concerned parties agreed was modified after it was made.
There are a lot of possible interpretations for this sort of thing: People are crazy, high value breeds wishful thinking, and so on. But on a deeper level, the Black Ghost is a microcosm of everything that makes vintage Rolex collecting both so maddening, and so fascinating – as Ben summed up in his story:
“As always, with a watch like this, as with all vintage Rolex, authenticity is just a matter of opinion, and this ‘Black Ghost ROC Paul Newman’ just might encompass all of what vintage Rolex collecting is in a single watch. It’s the new discoveries and exploration of minutiae that make collecting them so weird and wonderful. At the same time, it’s the uncertainty, speculation, conjecture, and aggressive defense of personal beliefs about a new copy rolex cosmograph daytona watch with black ceramic bezel and updated movement that makes collecting vintage Rolex, at times, absolutely intolerable.”