The next step in my Rolex Explorer mental battle has got interesting. Iím now confident that a 1016 is too extravagant. Iíve looked at various options, and every time it keeps coming back to the 114270. Hereís where it could get interesting/horrendous....
A private seller here in Delhi, who appears to be a watch collector is offering an Explorer 114270 for an extremely attractive price Ė about one third less than for similar back in the UK. On discussion he told me very openly the full history of the watch: Bought in Hong Kong in August í17 (has paperwork from the dealership). Brings it back to Delhi only to find that it occasionally stops. The retailer in Hong Kong offered to repair it for free, but due to the hassle of sending it internationally he opts to take it to an independent locally who he uses for all his Rolex servicing. He told me the issue was related to the rotor rubbing ďon some platesĒ, and parts were therefore replaced and the watch serviced in September 2017. He says it has been running fine ever since (any thoughts/experience on the likelihood of this issue with the 3130 would be much appreciated also).
Now at this point my instincts of course tell me that itís just not worth it. The price is good, but I have no idea of the standard of repair that was done.
However, this morning I suggest to him the following to test the waters: I leave all my personal details with him, including proof of address etc, and he allows me to take the watch to Rolex to have it appraised. I would have to cover the costs of this, but do not have to leave anything of value with him as deposit. He has no issue with this at all.
To be clear, I donít doubt the seller himself at this point. In our dialog itís obvious he is a watch guy, and has been extremely transparent about everything. Heís selling because he has since bought a SubC and now wants a PAM or JLC, so needs the funds. Heís even helping me sell one or two of my pieces through his network of watch friends. The thing that concerns me is the quality of work that this independent might have done. The fact that itís had a repair at all is something I can accept as long as itís been done competently.
So what do you think? Iím wary of jumping on things that seem too good to be true, but if I can have the watch appraised by Rolex at no risk to myself other than their fee it seems like a decent option. I suppose the worst that happens is Rolex tell me it needs major work, and Iím out of pocket for whatever they charge to appraise it. Iíve not had that done in India yet, but generally speaking service and labour costs are way less here than they would be in Europe or the US (I had crystal replaced on my Speedy last year by the Swatch Group centre for an embarrassingly low amount for example). In the best case they give it the ok, and I get myself a 114270 for a bargain price. Middle of the road is that they say it needs servicing but is otherwise ok, in which case I would still make a tidy saving and of course know that itís just been serviced.