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If I see a Rolex in the wild, I assume the chances that it is authentic to be about...


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Discussion Starter #1
I was out at the Indy Speedway over the weekend. I spotted a lot of watches. Most of what I saw fell in the Casio/Timex camp. I did see one Tag Carrera chrono, an orange dialed Citizen Aqualand, an Orca, and a two tone Rolex sub.

I remember seeing the two tone Rolex and thinking, "It might even be real..."

Not to knock Rolex and their fine product line, but the question of authenticity dogs Rolex like no other brand. I made no assumptions that the Tag or the Citizens were phony. But I've been conditioned to question the authenticity of a Rolex, and I do it reflexively now.

Do you?
 

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I voted less than 50%, but I'm cynical with a jealously streak. :D

Most times I see them on the wrists of people who have no business spending that much on a watch. In different circles a little harder to predict, but I suspect there's even reps there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
nhoJ said:
...but I'm cynical with a jealously streak. :D
It's not that I'm jealous so much. But I'm pretty cynical too. :D I guess if it weren't for the fact that so many people have proffered their fake Rolexes to me for my inspection - I think just to see if I could spot the fact that the watch was fake - then I'd be a little less suspicious of every one I see. That coupled with the fact that some of them are scary in their ability to fool the eye.
 

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Statistically it's harder to see a legit one then a fake, and that's by a VERY big margin.
 

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In NYC real rolex watches are a very common sight. That said, so are fake ones. Unlike most towns, though high end products are not rare here so the assumption that a what you are seeing is fake doesn't really apply here (especially since many of the fakes sold here are very good). This is not limited to rolexes or even watches.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Conclusion:

I'm not sure what to make of the bubble at 80%. I would have thought the curve would have been more bell shaped - maybe something like 100% [1], 80% [2], 60% [5], less than 50% [8].

The figure that stands out though is the 10 votes at less than 50%. It calls into question whether or not people who buy a Rolex are getting the cachet, the panache, that they think they're paying for. ???
 

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Interesting thread, I very much like some of the more conservative rolex models but being a very scruffy type of person who looks like a sons of anarchy extra I know that everyone who sees it and recognises it will think it's a fake, I feel like this about most of the real high end watches so tend to stick to tool type watches which are much more suited to my downmarket appearance, no offence meant to smartly dressed tool watch wearers ;)
 

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TakesALickin said:
The figure that stands out though is the 10 votes at less than 50%. It calls into question whether or not people who buy a Rolex are getting the cachet, the panache, that they think they're paying for.
It's really funny (sad?):
I want to show off so I buy a Rolex, but of every 10 Rolex in the wild, 8 or 9 are fakes, so instead of people thinking that I'm cool/rich/successful they will think I'm poser/poor/looser. :D
Some people buy Rolexes because they like the watch or are WIS, but to the masses the message is quite different. If I wanted to show off with a watch, I would definitively NOT get a Rolex, just so to avoid the impression that my watch is fake. I guess Rolex is a victim of their own success as a "luxury brand", like Louis Vitton and many other fashion brands.
 

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Don't forget, that it also depends on where you live.
In some areas it's easier to get fakes than in others.

Cheers,

Axel
 

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Discussion Starter #10
LUW said:
I would definitively NOT get a Rolex, just so to avoid the impression that my watch is fake. I guess Rolex is a victim of their own success as a "luxury brand", like Louis Vitton and many other fashion brands.
That outlook sort of drives my collecting focus nowadays. When I first got started, I thought I needed a Rolex in my collection, to prove my worthiness as a collector. Not being able to afford one, I did the next best thing and bought a vintage Tudor. I remember showing it to my Mom at a family reunion and having her grab my wrist and squeal, "Look, everyone! My son got a Rolex!" It was a little off-putting, and not the kind of response I ever wanted to get from any of my watches.

When I got to the point where I could have afforded a gently used Rolex sub, I decided to go a different direction and get something less well known. I bought a Chopard Mille Miglia - a nice watch, but completely off the non-WIS' radar, as evidenced by the fact that my brother-in-law (sort of a half baked WIS himself), at another family reunion, looked at the Chopard and asked me, "So is a Chopard a nice watch?" Although his question was a little deflating, I have since made my peace with the stealth quality of a lesser known luxury brand.

But, that's the dilemma. Do you spend money on a nice watch that a lot of people will assume is a fake, or do you buy a watch that pleases you, but won't get a second look from most passersby? I went for the latter.
 

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Jeff, first you have to separate two very distinct crowds. One kind of people are those who like watches, the WIS that like watches in general and those (WIS or not) that like Rolex as a watch. The other kind of crowd, once again WIS or not, are the people that want to show-off a watch. If you're part of the show-off crowd, then Rolex the brand is a great way to do so, however, because of fakes you can send the exact opposite message.

If I wanted to show-off I would personally get something like a JLC, which is only known by watch geeks (so it's off the radar) and if I was asked about it I could have the pleasure of saying it's very exclusive so that is why non-WIS don't know the brand.
:p

No disrespect intended to their watches, but Rolex the brand in my eyes is so blasé. Something that would be the first thing to be bought by the new rich that are dieing to show-off their new status in life ::) .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good points, Luciano. I think that distinction - the two separate crowds that buy Rolex - is the reason it's sometimes difficult to discuss the brand in online forums. There are a LOT of collectors who buy a Rolex for all the right reasons. I'm often reluctant to bring up Rolex for discussion out of fear of stepping on toes.

The company has great history, with a number of highly respected, even legendary models. I could still envision myself owning a vintage no-date, no-crown guard Sub at some point in the future, although it would most likely consume all my watch collection equity to buy it. Truthfully, it's the Sub in one of its current configurations that seems to be most favored by buyers of fakes. If I saw a Cellini, or a Daytona, I would be a lot less likely to make any assumptions regarding its authenticity.
 

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As I wrote earlier, Rolex (the brand) is victim of it's own success. They tried so hard to be an "exclusive" brand that everybody with money wants to have one, and if you add that to the fact that their production numbers is in no way limited, it becomes blasé, because anyone with money can have it. And of course, the gazzilions of fakes running around only make things worse.

I think that Omega is starting to trail that same path, with their overexposure in the media.
 

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LUW said:
Jeff, first you have to separate two very distinct crowds. One kind of people are those who like watches, the WIS that like watches in general and those (WIS or not) that like Rolex as a watch. The other kind of crowd, once again WIS or not, are the people that want to show-off a watch.

A lot of self-proclaimed WIS know nothing about watches and assume that the higher the price of the watch and the better known the brand, the better the watch. These people "like watches in general" but are absolute idiots - they assume that the level of social status a watch has achieved is a reflection of its quality, and that's why they are interested in watches. These people are probably the majority online - look what happened to Walt Odets. He contributed more to intelligent watch appreciation than anyone else on the internet, after his brilliant review of the Rolex Explorer he was hounded off the net - for the crime of finding that Rolex had done things like letting metal shavings get into the lube around bearings. Obviously Rolex attracts more of these hoople heads than any other brand.
 

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Unfortunately, to some people, it's all about the message that the watch convenes.
Or so they think ::) .
 

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LUW said:
Unfortunately, to some people, it's all about the message that the watch convenes.
Or so they think ::) .

It's often that. But I think very often it is that some people are suckers for something called "Veblenian goods" - meaning that if you put the price of something up, they believe it is of higher quality and want it more. Especially if they see other people buying it. I think this often something other than an attempt to gain social status - although that is important too - they simply believe that more expensive means better. Especially when an item comes from an "authorised" source like a brand name Swiss watch company.


And they utterly hate you if interfere with any of their rationalizations, as Odets found out! The costs-more-is-better thing seems to be very psychologically important to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It would appear that there are two kinds of people in the world - those that think you get what you pay for, and those that know that is not always so... ;)

Bottom line, they're paying extra for the status conveyed by the prestigious brand name, and they don't need any wiseacres pointing out that the quality is no better than less expensive alternatives.
 

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TakesALickin said:
Bottom line, they're paying extra for the status conveyed by the prestigious brand name, and they don't need any wiseacres pointing out that the quality is no better than less expensive alternatives.
In my experience it's just a waste of time to try to convince these people that expensive DOES NOT necessarily mean better quality or even exclusivity :-[ .
 

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I was in Singapore last week looking for old Seiko's and found a secondhand watch store, possibly the ONLY one.
It dealt exclusively in Rolex's and didn't have anything at all interesting like a Prince.
No, rows and rows of boring bland crap; none over 5 years old.
It appears that Rolex is "KNOWN" and for image and prestige purposes it's the jewellry of choice in Asia.
The store contents reminded me of a factory car lot with loads of unsold Toyota Corollas parked bumper to bumber.
 

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TakesALickin said:
I was out at the Indy Speedway over the weekend. I spotted a lot of watches. Most of what I saw fell in the Casio/Timex camp. I did see one Tag Carrera chrono, an orange dialed Citizen Aqualand, an Orca, and a two tone Rolex sub.

I remember seeing the two tone Rolex and thinking, "It might even be real..."

Not to knock Rolex and their fine product line, but the question of authenticity dogs Rolex like no other brand. I made no assumptions that the Tag or the Citizens were phony. But I've been conditioned to question the authenticity of a Rolex, and I do it reflexively now.

Do you?
Darn! I missed this poll. I actually do know a couple of guys that own Rolexes and wear them regularly. Both guys wear Datejusts and yes, they are real.

Cheers!
Mike
 
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