If I’m very honest, I never understood the hype about Rolex. It seems such a stereotypical watch for someone saying: “look at me, I can afford a Rolex”. But when you dig deeper into horology, you quickly learn, that a) there are millions of them produced, b) a Rolex typically is not a high complication, high finishing watch and c) it is by far not the most expensive you can buy to show off. What seems to make the fascination is that a Rolex is immediately recognised even by people without any knowledge of watches, hence serving the initial purpose perhaps.
However, as with pretty much everything, there is another truth for which you need time and knowledge to understand. For one, I have very knowledgable watch friends that not only have amazing collections but also own top of the line highest finishing and complication watches. Yet, they still collect Rolex and seem to have a fascination with those watches. So there must be something about them. A Submariner has nearly identical looks for almost 3 quarters of a century and the same can be said about a GMT Master. Rolex seems to have a recipe for timeless design like the Porsche 911.
So when you start to gather the bits and pieces you learn quickly that there is a whole universe of Rolex special terms out there: Underline, PCG, Swiss Only, Double Swiss, Exclamation Mark, Long E, Flat 4….the list goes on an on. And you realise that these little nuances are things that bring collectors to the verge of madness. Real vintage Rolex market has gone mad and that of course has given rise to dubious dealers and sellers that offer “all original parts”, an area where even experts struggle to sort the good from the bad and from the evil. So maybe vintage vintage Rolex is right now not area for a rookie like me to dive into. However, there are neo-vintage Rolex (1990s/2000s) that are not less interesting and can bring something special to the table.
The Rolex Submariner 14060M, LGF. LGF? Check out the whole history at The Watch Baron:
That little extra with the long f in feet that seems a rare combination with the 4 liner 14060M is one example that can make neo-vintage Rolex so interesting. And you can be sure that you can still use it as a full tool watch with water resistance and not caring too much about scratches and bumps as it is not some super expensive vintage rarity. So together with my Explorer II RedSOX, I think I’m now ready to explore vintage vintage Rolex? Hmm, a GMT Master 1675 I could see on my wrist.
Now I understand. I need more Rolex.