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Thread: You want a grail watch? try this one!

  1. #1

    You want a grail watch? try this one!

    I came across what looked like one of ebay's depressingly common auctions yesterday:

    The auction was titled:
    'GENTS WATCH'
    and the strap line was:

    “WATCH DOES RUN. ITS A NON RUNNING WATCH.”
    The brand was given as 'unknown status'. There's no claim it's a Rolex there.

    This was combined, for maximum effect, with better than usual low resolution photo of a Rolex shaped watch with a dial that was full of Indian Promise.



    At this point, for reasons that I think must be pretty obvious, I resigned myself to contacting ebay to point out yet another fake, albeit an older more interesting - and convincing - fake than usual. I opened the auction to be greeted by a text that was as predictable as it was depressing:

    PLEASE READ DESCRIPTION CAREFULLY I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY
    FOR YOUR MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ITEM.
    There are few things that irritate me more on ebay. The seller knows damned well that they are selling a fake or franken and are trying to slide around ebay's rules and allow the buyer's greed and credulity to suck them into buying what they think might, just might be a misidentified bargain. The mythical bargain Rolex. The seller had set their sights impressively low: the watch had sat on ebay for five days with a starting price of twenty five quid.

    With a few hours left to go, no one had bit and the usual bidding war had failed to materialise. Perhaps this was because it really doesn't look like today's shiny Rolex and does look a bit like the million and one rebadged HMT watches with hooky Indian 'redials'. However, whatever it was it was a class above these - the case looked right, the hands were at least potentially right and the dial...

    However, as I once wrote:

    I love ebay; it rewards knowledge, diligence and deft action but punishes ignorance, foolishness and greed.


    So before starting a report, I settled down to work out how to explain it was a fake. The seller made it fairly easy for me, by adding more detail:

    THE WATCH WILL RUN FOR A FEW SECONDS IF SHAKEN LIGHTLY. BUT SELLING AS A NON RUNNER.
    I BOUGHT THE WATCH 10 YEARS AGO AS A GENUINE WATCH.
    Which I translate as: I got ripped off, decided to live the lie, but now its broken, I want to share the experience of getting ripped off with a new sucker.

    And, to really rub this in, the seller stated, again, that:

    YOU MUST MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP AS TO ITS AUTHENTICITY.
    At this point I already had. However, I was already quite impressed by the detail of the fakery, because the seller had added rather a lot of detail, ostensibly from the watch:

    THE NUMBERS BETWEEN THE LUGS ARE 6548 AND 395383
    THE NUMBERS INSIDE THE BACK ARE 6548, 6549, III.1958.
    THE ONLY NUMBER ON THE MOVEMENT IS 03880.
    THERE ARE NO OTHER MARKINGS ON THE MOVEMENT.
    I hate this sort of fake. I got bitten by exactly this sort of fake once before. Rolex and Tudor are not really my area of expertise, but I'd say my understanding of them, while nowhere near my Omega, Smiths or Dunhill obsessiveness, has improved rather a lot since this happened to me:

    https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=72897

    So I mentally ticked through how convincing the fake was.

    The caseback claimed quarter three of 1958, that's absolutely consistent with a case marked both 6548 and 6549 (or either really, but it's a nice touch) and 3955383 is spot on for mid to late 1958. That's pretty convincing, but easy to copy from a real case. The photo of the case didn't show the back of the caseback but did show the inside



    As to be expected the photo is small enough to be crisp when too small to see the detail properly and falls apart when expanded. At this resolution it looks just fine.
    This could all be perfectly innocent, and the seller has 750 positives and ebay wisdom says always buy the seller.

    However, looking at those positives I notice that he's only sold one thing in the last six months and that was very recently. This is a classic sign of an account that has been phished, left dormant for a while and then used for no good once the dust has settled. Again, it could just be completely innocent and the seller has just taken a break from ebay before deciding to sell his pride and joy.

    So here's the potential scam: at no point has the seller stated it's a Rolex. In fact he's repeatedly made it clear that he doesn't know if it is authentic and if you think it is then that's your lookout. However, he's also posting photographs that explicitly show it to be a Rolex shaped watch with Rolex and the Rolex crown on the front in what looks a little like the metallic equivalent of bluetac. He's quoted all the numbers and, presumably he's looked them up carefully and checked whether they fit his watch.

    If it was real it would be a handy catch; on Chrono 24 the 6548 sells for around two grand:

    https://www.chrono24.co.uk/rolex/ref-6548.htm#gref

    So there's a fair incentive to buy a bargain one. I admit I can see why someone would be tempted, Hell I'm tempted. It's 31mm watch, perfect for a ladies watch or for someone like me who habitually wears small watches. A real 6548 would even have a Rolex Cal.1120 - a really nice perpetual chronometer movement.

    There is a part two...

  2. Likes Seriously, Pip, synequano, rodia77 liked this post
  3. #2
    So, with all the palaver mentioned in the other thread finally dealt with in as far as I can for now, I'm ready to have a crack at the second half of this post.

    There was one more picture. The movement. I'm acutely aware that the 6548 has a really lovely chronometer grade Cal.1120 perpetual. So if this was real the first thing you would see is one of the earliest versions of the classic modern Rolex rotor.

    Sadly, it was not to be. Instead there's a complete but rather plain and unfamiliar looking hand wind movement.



    And that really should have been game over and on to the next auction.

    However, my obsession with Everest and my natural pedantry came to my rescue. In identifying precisely what the watches on Everest were, as usual, I went too far:

    Both Evans and Bourdillon wore Rolex 6098 watches. These were a standard Rolex model available commercially at the time which combined an A296 winding module with a Cal.765 movement in a 35.5mm 'Big Bubbleback' case.
    That throwaway line was actually about half a day's research, most of which involved staring curiously at Rolex movements with the winding module removed. So firstly, I knew that the earlier Rolex perpetual movements really were just the hand-wind movements with a winding module bolted on. And as a result of that, the moment I looked at that movement, while I didn't quite recognise it I was intuitively certain that the movement was genuine, but merely lacking its perpetual module. Which was, to say the least, a bit of a surprise.

    I couldn't find a naked 1120, but I found a naked 1160, which is close enough and, turning the picture upside down to compare easily:




    So now I'm looking at a very different proposition. The movement is absolutely definitely genuine Rolex, mounted just as a Rolex movement should be, with the modern style four leafed KIF and absolutely correct for the case, the case back and so on.

    However, the dial still looked like it had been done in Delhi on a Friday afternoon. Again I went digging and rapidly realised that with a poor phone in bad light they all look like that.

    And this was the point at which I absolutely and unambiguously decided to MAKE MY OWN MIND UP AS TO ITS AUTHENTICITY and accept the seller's statement that I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE ITEM at face value.

    Which is why, like the sucker I am, I bought it:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENTS-WAT...rdt=true&rt=nc

    for a shade under fifty quid.

    It's arrived, I've spent two minutes on the crystal and slapped it straight onto the first 17mm strap I could find and:



    Yep, it's definitely a real, if slightly foxed, dial - and it's definitely been repainted. However, right now it's giving me the fattest of grins,
    which after the day I've had with the other watch, is definitely a bonus!



    The movement is working perfectly too. The fault is in the crown which turns without winding - when I wound it directly it sprung straight into life.

    So there you go. The ultimate grail watch - a fifty quid Rolex off ebay. Apparently you used to be able to buy them from army surplus shops for that!

    I left perfect feedback too:
    The watch arrived promptly and was precisely as described. Thank you.
    This is IWL. There must be a Rolex for a monkey badge! Please!
    Last edited by Matt; Aug 1, 2019 at 10:10 PM.

  4. #3
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Great story and nice that this one has worked out. Will continue to follow the other.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  5. Likes Matt liked this post
  6. #4
    Nice result

    Just shows you should always look at unknown movements the right way up and the wrong way up

    Maybe you can find a rotor and bridge now ?........

    Or will it not fit in that case ?

    when I wound it directly it sprung straight into life.
    Looks like you have a crown gear missing , it's all dark in the gap compared to our other library shot
    Last edited by Seriously; Aug 1, 2019 at 10:40 PM.
    Watches for SALE:
    <PRICE REDUCED> Nivrel 322 Black Dial: http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...869#post447869

  7. #5
    Watches for SALE:
    <PRICE REDUCED> Nivrel 322 Black Dial: http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...869#post447869

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Nice result

    Just shows you should always look at unknown movements the right way up and the wrong way up

    Maybe you can find a rotor and bridge now ?........

    Or will it not fit in that case ?



    Looks like you have a crown gear missing , it's all dark in the gap compared to our other library shot
    I don't think so- the crown turns but the stem doesn't. That could be wrong too, but I've already bought a new crown.

  9. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I don't think so- the crown turns but the stem doesn't. That could be wrong too, but I've already bought a new crown.
    ohhhh right - gotcha
    Watches for SALE:
    <PRICE REDUCED> Nivrel 322 Black Dial: http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...869#post447869

  10. #8
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tribe125 View Post
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    It's perfectly tastefully sized, but it needs Rolex on the Rehaut! Yes please!

  12. #10
    What you need to do now is get it up on eBay for say £400 .... once you've made sure the new owner has received it give them a full refund

    Then peace and tranquility will descend on your world .....
    Last edited by Seriously; Aug 1, 2019 at 11:17 PM.
    Watches for SALE:
    <PRICE REDUCED> Nivrel 322 Black Dial: http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...869#post447869

  13. Likes Matt liked this post

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