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Can the Rolex dials be changed or not?

The replica Rolex Day-Date watches dial exchange service refers to the consumer’s request to replace or purchase another dial while the original is intact. Whether it exists or not, there are divergent opinions in the world. Some people swear on the internet that they are the ones who have been there, and list the dials as evidence; others scoff and say they have been told in stores that the service is not available. So, what is the truth of the matter? Is Rolex’s disk exchange service a figment of the imagination of a few or a secret not known to the general public?

The Rolex dial exchange service refers to the consumer’s request to replace or purchase another dial while the original is intact.

In fact, many years ago, some Rolex dealers in Europe, America and even Hong Kong offered disc exchange services. There would be a special counter in the store to display all kinds of Rolex dials for people to choose from. For example, if a customer wants to buy a 126333 gold model, but the entire watch only has a white disc, the customer can ask for a white disc. In this case, the customer can either exchange the white disc for a gold disc or buy a separate gold disc.

The Rolex dial exchange service refers to the consumer’s request to replace or purchase another dial while the original is intact.

Of course, the service itself has restrictions and may require additional fees. For example, the Rolex Logbook and Day Date models can theoretically replace most of the dials: chocolate, green, white Roman numerals, white bars, etc. However, in the case of the GMT-Master II, white Roman numerals are not possible, as they do not exist. Paid services are more understandable, such as the request to replace the bar dials with diamond dials, which naturally entails an additional price difference.

The Rolex dial exchange service refers to the consumer’s request to replace or purchase another dial while the original is intact.

This service was once very popular in Europe and the US, with people sharing photos of Rolex dials on foreign watch forums. The popularity of this service is due in large part to Rolex’s after-sales service policy: as long as the dials are made by Rolex, they are covered by the same after-sales warranty. As such, who wouldn’t love a watch that can be played with in a variety of positions without worry?

However, with the passage of time, especially as the market for individual models rises, the swap service has been tightened in recent years.

Many disk into the “restricted list”. A European watch friend half a year ago wanted to 116508 white plate models for a green plate, but was rejected by the dealer. The rationale is very simple: at a time when the green Goldie is already showing speculation, why don’t the dealers who have the qualifications of the discs choose to exchange them themselves and sell the discs to passers-by? Not to mention, even dealers with repair or parts rights have strict quantity control when it comes to taking hot model plates. As for super VIPs and those with special access, naturally it’s a different story.

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Unusually high priced vintage Rolex watches

By and large, Rolex has established itself as a benchmark in the field of fine watchmaking by remaining true to its iconic design, while at the same time
replica Rolex Day-Date watches constantly improving it. Over the years, Rolex watches have always been incremental rather than revolutionary, and this approach has been very rewarding for the brand. For this reason, when an unusual Rolex wristwatch comes up for auction, it always attracts attention and collectors’ money. In this article, we take a look at three vintage Rolex watches of unusual style and design that fetch high prices at auction.


Antique Rolex Greenwich Ref. 6542 Left-handed Yellow Gold

A fascinating vintage Rolex Greenwich model is on the list of the eighth lot in the sale, the Ref. 6542, a model that departs from the standard model in many details.

The Ref. 6542 is the earliest model in the Rolex Greenwich Collection, dating from the mid-1950s and designed for Pan Am pilots to track dual time zone information. The earliest Greenwich model Ref. 6542 had a stainless steel case with a Bakelite bezel (in 1959, Rolex replaced the fragile Bakelite bezel with a more durable aluminum bezel). So the configuration of the 18-karat yellow gold case and the aluminum brown bezel already makes this unique timepiece stand out. But what is truly unusual is the placement of the crown on the left side of the case. It was the first antique Rolex GMT Ref. 6542 Left-handed in yellow gold to go to public auction, according to Fine Arts. In the end, the watch fetched CHF 200,000.


Antique Rolex Day Date Ref. 1803 with Mercedes hands

Rolex watches can generally be divided into two categories: sports watches (also known as “professional watches”) and classic watches. The difference between these two types of watches can be seen in the design of the dial. Most sports models have “Mercedes-style” hands and luminescent hour markers, while classic watches generally have “straight” hands and different types of hour markers.

However, in November 2017, Christie’s Precious Watches auction featured an exceptional Rolex Day-Date Ref. 1803 vintage watch. This presidential watch in white gold is equipped with a custom-made “sports dial” and is adorned with luminescent “Mercedes-style” hands and luminescent round and bar-shaped hour markers. Rolex produced this watch in 1969 at the request of a private client; an identical one was later produced for the royal family of Klarlund, the largest authorized Rolex retailer in Scandinavia. As a result, only two are known to have survived. Christie’s sold this extremely rare vintage Rolex Day of the Week Ref. 1803 for CHF 275,000.


Rolex Submariner 1680 White Gold Vintage Prototype Watch

In May 2017, Christie’s auctioned a Rolex Submariner Model 1680 white gold prototype watch in its “Rolex Afternoon” feature, perhaps the most unusual vintage Rolex watch to hit the auction market in the last few decades. It is estimated that Rolex produced only three of these prototypes in the early 1970s, and fans of the Submariner’s design will immediately recognise the difference from the regular model.

Firstly, it has a white gold case (Rolex only offered the Submariner 1680 in steel or yellow gold); secondly, the case is decorated with a guilloché bezel, which is not fully covered by the pitted outer bezel; and thirdly, it is fitted with a presidential chain, as is often the case with day-of-the-week calendar watches, whose central link is decorated with a bark-like texture. In the end, this strange-looking Rolex fetched 631,500 francs, a record for a Submariner.

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