It’s a modern-day escape from Alcatraz, where the escapee is a defect on a watch that makes it to market, and Alcatraz is the Rolex manufacture. That, I suspect, is flattering Alcatraz. Because, the fact that a modern Rolex with a defect you can actually see.even exists is unthinkable to the point of immediately being suspected as a hoax. But here it is. Not only does a ‘double nine’ Rolex Air-King 116900 —.with a nine where the ‘3’ numeral should be — allegedly exist in the wild, it’s been captured by Watchfinder & Co., who used the occasion to do a proper exposition on just how extraordinary that fact is. To summarise the excellent post by Watchfinder.& Co., here are three key reasons the ‘double 9’ Rolex Air-King 116900 is practically a miracle: Rolex now has fully verticalised production. Unlike in other eras, when accidents would happen, “from mild nuisances like deviation in fonts and design, to full-on critical failures like extreme paint discolouration and cracking lacquer”, a third-party supplier cannot be blamed. Rolex’s QA processes may even exceed “NASA’s JPL”: “From the iris scanner-protected automated stock system, its 60,000 storage compartments patrolled and operated just by robots; to the…

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