A learning moment on Rolex’ restoration services

Last Monday I had a learning moment on Rolex’ restoration services. I traveled to Geneva to bring and discuss the restoration of the below pictured 1962 reference 5508 Rolex Submariner.

Rolex Submariner 5508

I’ve done this before; mostly I’ll send modern Rolex models for general service or overhaul to the Rolex BeNeLux service center in Brussels (where I have an official agreement with) and the somewhat older or special models I’ll personally bring to Geneva.

However in this case the necessary work (and specially parts) to the almost 50 year old Submariner wasn’t done or covered by a ‘regular’ service or overhaul anymore. I could understand that of course. This Submariner was a case for a Rolex ‘restoration service’ – something with which I did not have experience with.

For this ‘restoration service’ a quotation fee of CHF 300,= (€ 260,= / $ 360,=) is applicable, and it will take approximately 6 to 10 weeks to get this proposal to you. With a regular service you’ll receive a quotation in 2 to 3 weeks, and if you want to reject that proposal, it’ll cost something like € 26,=. In case of acceptance the costs for both types of quotations will be waived however.

The prices for the restoration of an ancient Rolex watch start at CHF 6.000,= (€ 5.200,= / $ 7.200,=) and mostly you will end up with an invoice of over CHF 9.000,= (€ 7.800,= / $ 10.800,=). Be aware that for that amount of money all parts needed (and most probably not being in stock anymore) will be specially manufactured again. After probable acceptance of the restoration quotation, it will take certainly 10 to 20 weeks (of course very much depending of which parts have to be produced) to have your historic Rolex up and running again.

Now the main question and deliberation; is this all worth it? That of course very much depends on the exclusivity (and thereby value) of the watch. Or if it was your dearest Grandfathers watch who had won the war with it… ;-)

For those of you interested; more pictures of the actual watch I was talking about can be found here: Rolex Submariner 5508 gallery

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