How do you know your watch was NEVER POLISHED ??

Vintage Rolex Discussion

How do you know your watch was NEVER POLISHED ??

Joined: November 3rd, 2009, 8:57 pm

December 24th, 2011, 3:34 am #1

You bought the watch from a private party. Let us say it is 30 years old.
It looks good for a watch that old. You list it as never been polished because you BELIEVE it is so.
No big deal?
I would be interested to read what you think.
Now buyers seeing these posts so often grow to expect to find vintage watches that have "never been polished". So much so that they will e-mail any prospective seller and ask "has the watch been polished" ?

The watches were polished before they left the factory.
One could set up a very good polishing shop and refinish cases to very close to factory look...
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Joined: April 13th, 2005, 7:18 am

December 24th, 2011, 5:52 am #2

and it's a serious case of the blind leading the blind....and the biggest game of chinese whispers...

new guys read it on a forum and think that's what its about, what do you expect with so many ('pocket guru's' regurgitating what they read yesterday as gospel) ...without realizing just how many are just re-polished to look a bit like unpolished ...let alone this new fad for adding metal and repolishing that allows three times a week an unpolished watch sale LOL....

when even Geneva are laser welding repairs in, it just makes it comical .......

a true unpolished case can take years to find and will command a serious premium and in reality is an unacheivable goal for most...not to mention really only for those that dont want to wear it ....if the hobby is about that then its going to be about a very small pool of watches LOL.

Last edited by jedly1 on December 24th, 2011, 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 1st, 2004, 4:12 pm

December 24th, 2011, 6:51 am #3

You bought the watch from a private party. Let us say it is 30 years old.
It looks good for a watch that old. You list it as never been polished because you BELIEVE it is so.
No big deal?
I would be interested to read what you think.
Now buyers seeing these posts so often grow to expect to find vintage watches that have "never been polished". So much so that they will e-mail any prospective seller and ask "has the watch been polished" ?

The watches were polished before they left the factory.
One could set up a very good polishing shop and refinish cases to very close to factory look...
I've only used the word UNPOLISHED on rare occasion.

The term is way overused, and sometimes sellers post pictures that contradict their loose interpretation of the word. Prior to the recent phenomena of overly critical and sometimes bordering on OCD collectors, it was always par with the course that a watch service would include a polish of the case. If we didn't own a watch since new, how could we know that it was unpolished??

I shudder at the thought of new and beginning collectors buying pieces that they believe are "unpolished", only to be getting either an expertly detailed case, or a watch that is badly in need of a polish, sold under the guise as untouched an original.

Finally someone has brought up what I feel has always been a sucker's marketing term in the vintage watch world.
Last edited by fumanku on December 24th, 2011, 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 29th, 2007, 6:14 am

December 24th, 2011, 8:02 am #4

You bought the watch from a private party. Let us say it is 30 years old.
It looks good for a watch that old. You list it as never been polished because you BELIEVE it is so.
No big deal?
I would be interested to read what you think.
Now buyers seeing these posts so often grow to expect to find vintage watches that have "never been polished". So much so that they will e-mail any prospective seller and ask "has the watch been polished" ?

The watches were polished before they left the factory.
One could set up a very good polishing shop and refinish cases to very close to factory look...
First watch we bought in 2004 direct from the AD was returned for calibration within a few weeks. When it was returned, it was newly polished. This, a watch, that was less than 2 months old! And the timing wasn't within spec so once again, a few weeks later, it was sent for calibration. This time, they replaced a hairspring and POLISHED IT AGAIN !!!! This in spite of it being less than 4 months old and having spent much of its life travelling between us and the service centre in Toronto!

Now we have a new GMT that needed to go to Rolex Canada. 2 months old. We asked, very kindly, that it not be polished. Well... you just know it was polished when it returned.

It is fair to say then, that regardless of the age, if it has ever gone to a Rolex service centre, it has been polished for sure.

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Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

December 24th, 2011, 8:41 am #5

You bought the watch from a private party. Let us say it is 30 years old.
It looks good for a watch that old. You list it as never been polished because you BELIEVE it is so.
No big deal?
I would be interested to read what you think.
Now buyers seeing these posts so often grow to expect to find vintage watches that have "never been polished". So much so that they will e-mail any prospective seller and ask "has the watch been polished" ?

The watches were polished before they left the factory.
One could set up a very good polishing shop and refinish cases to very close to factory look...
to illustrate what to look for.

This may help those less experienced forum members when viewing a piece.I appreciate there is no substitution for experience and handling watches and pictures can be misleading, but it may help illustrate the debate.

I believe service marks in an original vintage caseback usually means its been polished, if the watch is not new to the trade usually equals polished.

I dont mind putting up my latest watch for critical analysis, to help illustrate what to look for and the obvious signs of polishing.










All the very best
regards

John



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Joined: July 1st, 2004, 4:12 pm

December 24th, 2011, 8:57 am #6

If you take a look at the crown guard picture, you can see that they are of different thicknesses. Factory spec would mean that they are of (virtually) identical thickness.
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Joined: July 9th, 2004, 2:59 pm

December 24th, 2011, 9:09 am #7

Its always interesting to see with other peoples eyes, especially as the lugs are not assymetrical due to the cases being polished new by eye, so I've always allowed greater tolerance (rightly or wrongly) on crown guards on early watches.

New cases I would expect tight tolerances.


Does anyone have examples of early crown guards for comparison.

Could be an interesting debate.

Thanks Eric, much appreciated

regards

John
Last edited by fatboyharris on December 24th, 2011, 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 29th, 2006, 10:37 am

December 24th, 2011, 9:20 am #8

You bought the watch from a private party. Let us say it is 30 years old.
It looks good for a watch that old. You list it as never been polished because you BELIEVE it is so.
No big deal?
I would be interested to read what you think.
Now buyers seeing these posts so often grow to expect to find vintage watches that have "never been polished". So much so that they will e-mail any prospective seller and ask "has the watch been polished" ?

The watches were polished before they left the factory.
One could set up a very good polishing shop and refinish cases to very close to factory look...
and in mine only after you have studied cases with the same obsession of a crack whore looking for that next fix can one possibly know the real truth: this has to be learn't first hand, not read on the Internet.

I take no notice of the 99% goofy sales ads, they are mostly posted by sellers talking bollocks. IMO this is what unpolished (never seen a wheel) should look like:

























Last edited by 2wsxcde3 on December 24th, 2011, 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:36 am

December 24th, 2011, 9:22 am #9

and it's a serious case of the blind leading the blind....and the biggest game of chinese whispers...

new guys read it on a forum and think that's what its about, what do you expect with so many ('pocket guru's' regurgitating what they read yesterday as gospel) ...without realizing just how many are just re-polished to look a bit like unpolished ...let alone this new fad for adding metal and repolishing that allows three times a week an unpolished watch sale LOL....

when even Geneva are laser welding repairs in, it just makes it comical .......

a true unpolished case can take years to find and will command a serious premium and in reality is an unacheivable goal for most...not to mention really only for those that dont want to wear it ....if the hobby is about that then its going to be about a very small pool of watches LOL.
.
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Joined: April 13th, 2005, 7:18 am

December 24th, 2011, 9:33 am #10

Its always interesting to see with other peoples eyes, especially as the lugs are not assymetrical due to the cases being polished new by eye, so I've always allowed greater tolerance (rightly or wrongly) on crown guards on early watches.

New cases I would expect tight tolerances.


Does anyone have examples of early crown guards for comparison.

Could be an interesting debate.

Thanks Eric, much appreciated

regards

John
Your 5513 is stunning ... And if anyone said otherwise I would poke there eye out ... But IMHO that side has had something removed.

The majority of independents I've used, or have bought watches that have received service from have no service marks ..
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