In Mr Watch Master – Collectors World

I have recently had an interview with the site Mr Watch Master – Collectors World where I discussed my interest in collecting watches.
In this interview I discussed such topics as how I became interested in collecting watches and also what was my first and favourite watch.
The interview was quite descriptive and I enjoyed doing it.


If you would like to read the full article please go to Collectors World here:

Spotting A Fake Rolex

Fakes and Replica’s DO hurt people. Many people tell me of how they have bought watches in good faith that turn out not to be genuine. I NEVER want to this to happen to my readers and so have compiled a few points of reference.

If you own or may be purchasing a Rolex please heed some advice I have for honest people wanting to buy the genuine article;

1. Modern Rolex watches are fitted with a sapphire crystal which is a very robust scratch-resistant glass that can only be scratched with a diamond. Earlier examples have plastic acrylic crystals however they should only be fitted to early 1980’s models.

2. The ‘cyclops’ date window in a real version is dead centred above the number. Run through the numbers on the date-wheel to see if the numbers look consistent in font and size. Compare the magnification of the dates on the watch to another.

3. The quality of the printing on modern watch dials (face of the watch) should be excellent, with indicators and type evenly spaced and no fuzzy edges.

4. The genuine Rolex movement sweeps smoothly round at about 28,800 revs per hour – each second is broken down into eight steps. Even when a fake uses a Swiss-made movement, the second hand’s ticking is usually visibly jerky.

5. Over where ‘Swiss made’ appears, the brand’s logo is laser-etched into the crystal. In a genuine Rolex, this is made up of hundreds of dots set at different heights throughout the crystal (so it doesn’t create a weakness in the glass) and as such is barely visible – to see it clearly you have to look through a loupe (the small magnifying glass used by jewellers and watchmakers).

6. If you remove a Rolex bracelet you should find the watch’s case number and model number engraved on the side at six o’clock and 12 o’clock (see my ‘Date your Rolex’ link). Even if the watch has no papers you can identify the model and serial number. Rolex operate a Lost and Stolen register free of change worldwide. If you call with the model and serial number you can check if it is registered as either for your peace of mind.

7. Ensure the crown (the part of the watch that is turned to set the time/date) screws in tightly and firmly. If it doesn’t the watch is either damage or not genuine.

8. A Daytona 24 was never made nor do Rolex engrave model names on the back of their watches ever.’ TO ‘A Daytona 24 was never made

9. Often fakes have dial and bezel (the rotating ring around the face of the watch) in colours that were never produced. For instance a Rolex Submariner will only have a blue bezel or face/dial if it is a gold and steel or fully gold model. If you cannot find it on offer in the same colour combination it is highly likely to be fake.

10. Gold models will NEVER have the gold rub-off. Very few Rolexes are gold plated and that was back in the 1950’s so if gold has rubbed-off and there is a base metal underneath it is very likely to be fake.’

Sadly fakes/replica’s were very poor but now production processes have become more sophisticated.

Good fakes feel substantial, keep decent time and have the patina of high quality. Some are so convincing that the only way to tell they’re fake is to take the back off and look at the movement.

HOWEVER they are produced poorly, break within weeks usually, are poorly sealed (therefore allow water inside causing condensation in the glass) and fund illegal money-laundering operations. I NEVER buy any type of non-genuine watch and urge all my readers to follow suit.

To see and feel the difference visit a local jeweller selling genuine Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet or Hublot watches and Vertu mobile phones. You will soon realise the massive difference between genuine and fake. The sense of achievement in owning a genuine piece is a fantastic notion plus they have a value so when you get bored or would like the cash email or call me for a same-day best cash offer!

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Many ‘Sell my Watch’ websites ask me to send my Watch or Jewellery. Do you offer this service?

Answer; Yes. Both meeting in person and sending using Royal Mail Special Delivery (Insured) within the UK and Fedex on an international basis. See my testimonials on Google to understand all the positive experiences sellers have had.

You state Instant Cash Paid. What do I need to bring along with me when selling?

I need you to be completely honest with your description of condition for the most accurate price. Upon meeting you will need to produce Official ID and proof of address for a successful sale. This is to ensure all items I purchase have clear provenance.

Why should I trust the Gentleman Watch Collector rather than my local jeweler or a watch buyer I have found on Google?

I am not asking you to trust me but rather all of the happy sellers I have met over the years. My aim is always for a fair and good deal so both parties are pleased.

Do you purchase replicas and what checks do you do on the pieces you buy?

I NEVER ever purchase anything other thank 100% Original pieces that belong to the seller. Any fakes/replicas/ill-gotten pieces will be reported to the manufacturer and The Police. Every serial number is checked against various Manufacturer and Insurance databases prior to sale. Please never send any valuation requests for such pieces.

Can I give you my Vertu or a Swiss Watch on a Sale or Return basis or as a Broker?

I do not actively sell and so cannot offer this. I would strongly advise against using Sale or Return or Brokers to sell – often dealers and brokers will tell you can sell your piece for a very high price through them in order to have additional stock in their shops/online sites at zero cost to themselves. One must ask why a broker would not buy the item for approximately the price they advise you to sell at if it were realistic?

Dating Your Rolex


Find the Model Number on Your Rolex Watch Illustration





28000 1926
21691 1927
24747 1928
28290 1930
29312 1932
29933 1933
30823 1934
35365 1935
99775 1940
269561 1944
710776 1951
930879 1953 (1st Quarter)
931080 1953 (2nd Quarter)
973930 1953 (3rd Quarter)
929426 1953 (4th Quarter)
1259699 1954 (1st Quarter)
282632 1955 (3rd Quarter)
2689700 1956 (1st Quarter)
3741300 1957 (2nd Quarter)
391528 1958 (3rd Quarter)
869868 1962 (4th Quarter)
2163900 1967
2689700 1969
3215500 1971
4004200 1974
6434000 1980
7862000 1983
9766000 1987
R999999 1988
L999999 1990 (2nd Quarter)
E999999 1991
X000001 1991
N000001 1991
C000001 1992
S000001 1993
W000001 1995
T000001 1995
U000001 1997
A000001 1999
P000001 2000
K000001 2001
Y000001 2002
F000001 2003

Started engraving serial inside bezel

D000001 2005
Z000001 2006
M000001 2007
V000001 2008
G000001 Mid 2010
Random Numbers Late 2010 to present

 The Code On The Clasp

This database of clasp codes is also an estimate because this information too, is not released by Rolex. This list was compiled from the information provided by different forums and members, asterisks show further assumptions based on invoices and word-of-mouth. Clasp codes and the bracelet part number can be found where the Clasp reads Steelinox and consists of letters and a number. The number corresponds to the month of the year. Asterisks show a probable sequence.

1976 A* – possibly (VA)

1977 B – possibly (VB)

1978 C* – possibly (VC)

1979 D – possibly (VD)

1980 E – possibly (VE)

1981 F – possibly (VF)

1982 G

1983 H*

1984 I*

1985 J*

1986 K*

1987 L*

1988 M*

1989 N*

1990 O

1991 P

1992 Q*

1993 R

1994 S

1995 T or W

1996 V or U

1997 Z or U

1998 Z or W

1999 X

2000 AB

2001 DE

2002 DT

2003 AD

2004 CL

2005 MA

2006 OP

2007 EO

2008 PJ

2009 LT

2010 RS

Dating Your Panerai

Dating Your Panerai

1) OP XXXX – Case No. (as shown in picture number 1)

OP attached with a four-digit number represents the Case No. of this watch. Panerai models resemble each other in most cases with little differences. Meanwhile, differences in these figures mean that their cases are of different models. They differ from each other in external appearance and material as well as the internal structure. Even the same model may bear some differences in Case No. in different historical periods.

2) BB XXXXXXX or PB XXXXXXX – reference numbers of watches (as shown in picture number 2)
This group of numbers is the reference of this watch, which is equivalent to the identity card number. For each different watch, this number will be different. In general cases, please avoid making public this number so as not to be utilized by the counterfeiters.

3) A single English character – prefix of the watch (as shown in picture number 3) The prefix represents the year of the watch. The following is some specific information.

  • Vintage: 1936-1956
  • PreV: 1993-1997
  • PreA: 1997-1998
  • A: 1998
  • B: 1999
  • C: 2000
  • D: 2001
  • E: 2002
  • F: 2003
  • G: 2004
  • H: 2005
  • I: 2006
  • J: 2007
  • K: 2008
  • L: 2009

From 1956 to 1993, merely a few prototypes were made. Of which:

A) The rules for the case back of PreV and PreA are quite different, but it is not our focus today.

B) For some watches, there will be an OOR right here standing for Out Of Range which means that this watch is not involved in the normal prefix numbering. Generally, OOR may appear only once for a single watch. Due to its scarcity, product with OOR has a slightly higher price compared with others of the same model.

4) Numbers right behind the prefix number – serial numbers of the watch (as shown in picture number 4)
This number represents the order number of the watch under the prefix in a particular given year. When the model is fixed, these numbers composed with the prefix constitute a unique and definite combination.

5) The number after the slash – the annual total of this model (as shown in picture number 5)
This number represents the total production number of this kind of watch under the prefix in a particular given year. This is a limited edition for Panerai now. Generally speaking, the smaller the number is, the more precious these watches will be, and thus the higher market price they are.
Linking into the following website, you may get some reference information about the productivity of penerai each year.

6) The fish symbol and XXX m – waterproof mark of the watch (as shown in picture number 5)
The fish symbol and figure represent the waterproof capacity of this piece watch. It says 300 meters in the picture.

Contemporarily, waterproof standard of Panerai can be classified as following:30 meters, 100 meters, 120 meters, 300 meters, 1,000 meters, 2,500 meters.