Vintage Servicing in Washington, DC?

Vintage Rolex Discussion

Vintage Servicing in Washington, DC?

Joined: May 27th, 2010, 4:26 pm

August 22nd, 2012, 12:56 pm #1

Hello--

I just acquired a new obsession--a 1969 1005.

Not a unique or rare watch I realize, but it came with all of the original paperwork, down to the sales receipt from the PX in West Germany from 1969, the strings on the hangtags and everything in between (punched papers, cigarette card, all boxes and inserts, etc).

The best part is I was able to buy it directly from the original owner and meet him--he purchased it in 1969, wore it for three years and then after cracking the crystal, put it back into the box and left it in a safe deposit box while he traveled the world because he didn't want it damaged. That was in 1972 and was sitting there until this month. He's retiring now so decided its time to let it go.

The watch is literally untouched, the paperwork pristine--I think I can legitimately say unpolished because he assures me it never was--he had the movement oiled in 1972 and that's it. It's still running strong but clearly in need of some TLC. The crystal has a crack and is scratched up quite a bit, in particular.

I've had great recommendations for servicing options on the West Coast but wondered if anyone has found someone they trust in the Washington, DC area. I'd love to witness it opened first-hand and be a part of the experience, so-to-speak. There's an AD here that I may go speak to but welcome other recommendations.

I'll post some pix soon.

Best,
Paul

PS I owe thanks to several members who provided me with some good counsel as I was considering this purchase--a lot of knowledgeable folks here and real gentlemen. Thank you.
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Amirk
Amirk

August 22nd, 2012, 7:23 pm #2

Unfortunately there is NONE in my experience. I have yet to meet a watchmaker in DC that performs quality work. There are several in VA and MD and I have been to them all. I can't say that I would trust any of them for high-end vintage servicing. That said, if you do find one, please let me know also.
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Joined: October 28th, 2008, 1:36 am

August 23rd, 2012, 1:54 am #3

Hello--

I just acquired a new obsession--a 1969 1005.

Not a unique or rare watch I realize, but it came with all of the original paperwork, down to the sales receipt from the PX in West Germany from 1969, the strings on the hangtags and everything in between (punched papers, cigarette card, all boxes and inserts, etc).

The best part is I was able to buy it directly from the original owner and meet him--he purchased it in 1969, wore it for three years and then after cracking the crystal, put it back into the box and left it in a safe deposit box while he traveled the world because he didn't want it damaged. That was in 1972 and was sitting there until this month. He's retiring now so decided its time to let it go.

The watch is literally untouched, the paperwork pristine--I think I can legitimately say unpolished because he assures me it never was--he had the movement oiled in 1972 and that's it. It's still running strong but clearly in need of some TLC. The crystal has a crack and is scratched up quite a bit, in particular.

I've had great recommendations for servicing options on the West Coast but wondered if anyone has found someone they trust in the Washington, DC area. I'd love to witness it opened first-hand and be a part of the experience, so-to-speak. There's an AD here that I may go speak to but welcome other recommendations.

I'll post some pix soon.

Best,
Paul

PS I owe thanks to several members who provided me with some good counsel as I was considering this purchase--a lot of knowledgeable folks here and real gentlemen. Thank you.
..http://www.estermanjewels.com/services.html
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Amirk
Amirk

August 23rd, 2012, 2:20 am #4

Sorry but they are estate jewelers with minimal knowledge in properly servicing vintage Rolex. There are plenty of establishments in the area that can service watches, and some that claim expertise in Rolex as in the case of one in Vienna, VA....but neither have the quality work required for an a meaningful piece such as this. Again...this is my experience and I have had dealings with everyone in the area ranging from Lillenquist to SwissWatchWorks in G-town.
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Joined: December 21st, 2008, 5:19 am

August 23rd, 2012, 5:32 pm #5

Amirk, any experience with this place? I was thinking of having them work on my Tudor Sub. Thanks.
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Joined: May 27th, 2010, 4:26 pm

August 23rd, 2012, 6:10 pm #6

Hello--

I just acquired a new obsession--a 1969 1005.

Not a unique or rare watch I realize, but it came with all of the original paperwork, down to the sales receipt from the PX in West Germany from 1969, the strings on the hangtags and everything in between (punched papers, cigarette card, all boxes and inserts, etc).

The best part is I was able to buy it directly from the original owner and meet him--he purchased it in 1969, wore it for three years and then after cracking the crystal, put it back into the box and left it in a safe deposit box while he traveled the world because he didn't want it damaged. That was in 1972 and was sitting there until this month. He's retiring now so decided its time to let it go.

The watch is literally untouched, the paperwork pristine--I think I can legitimately say unpolished because he assures me it never was--he had the movement oiled in 1972 and that's it. It's still running strong but clearly in need of some TLC. The crystal has a crack and is scratched up quite a bit, in particular.

I've had great recommendations for servicing options on the West Coast but wondered if anyone has found someone they trust in the Washington, DC area. I'd love to witness it opened first-hand and be a part of the experience, so-to-speak. There's an AD here that I may go speak to but welcome other recommendations.

I'll post some pix soon.

Best,
Paul

PS I owe thanks to several members who provided me with some good counsel as I was considering this purchase--a lot of knowledgeable folks here and real gentlemen. Thank you.
for the suggestions--I'm going to send it off to Four Squares in CA for review and work. Many thanks again
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Joined: May 27th, 2010, 4:26 pm

August 23rd, 2012, 6:11 pm #7

Four Crowns, that is...
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Amirk
Amirk

August 23rd, 2012, 6:23 pm #8

Amirk, any experience with this place? I was thinking of having them work on my Tudor Sub. Thanks.
No experinece with them...but let me know how they do..thnx
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Ryan
Ryan

October 19th, 2012, 11:25 pm #9

Amirk, any experience with this place? I was thinking of having them work on my Tudor Sub. Thanks.
Much like the first reviewer I picked up a second hand Rolex Turn-o-Graph for a bangin' price. Unfortunately when it arrived I noticed that my automatic watch wasn't so automatic, it required daily winding to maintain time keeping. I waited several years to service the watch because, well I liked it, and didn't want to send it to an official Rolex service center for 6-8 weeks and have to wear my less nice back up watch. Plus I was worried I would receive a massive bill for the service.

My experience with Liljenquist & Beckstead at Tysons II with my fathers antiquated Omega Seamaster was a costly venture, and frankly, while i'm sure they did a fine job on the service, I wasn't thrilled that my watch wasn't polished, and more or less looked the same as when I dropped it off. Despite the fact I requested that the dial be refurbished, and the case polished and new hands be fitted and agreed to their cost, which was $700. They only charged $500, but yet didn't do as I requested in regards to the dial or hands.

So after several years, I finally decided to have the watch serviced. I did my research and learned all about proper watchmaking. Mr. Lam is a Certified 21st Century Watchmaker (CW21), which all indications lead me to believe that's the top qualification you can have as a watchmaker. As such, all CW21's having passed rigorous examination CW21's are therefore qualified to have an official Rolex parts account. So this, and the previous reviewer gave me confidence that Herndon Watch & Clock was up to the job.

Anyhow, Mr. Lam informed me there were broken gears and over lubrication that occured whenever the watch was previously serviced. After a short 3-week waiting period, things are better than ever before. My white gold bezel is straight Bling, both the case as well as the bracelet came back with a glowing luster, far better than it ever was during my ownership. He also mentioned my mainspring was broken, and this was a common problem with the 3135 movement. So while the service wasn't cheap, I believe it was a far better value than a proper full Rolex service. No regrets that's for sure. Also, there is a 2 year warranty on his work, couldn't be more pleased!
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