Subtleties are what differentiate more common dials from rare variants. These differences, such as the presence of a tiny underline – things that might seem like utter minutiae for newcomers to vintage watches – dramatically increase a watch’s value. Analogies can be found in the world of coin collecting, where tiny differences such as a “double-died” date or a “P” mint mark can lead to extraordinary premiums. Understanding these nuances is what captures the minds of those passionate about vintage Rolex replica watches.
Replica Rolex Daytona
Few watches demonstrate the importance of a dial as vividly as the Replica Rolex Daytona. Launched in 1963, it has been in continuous production since, with a design that has slowly and modestly evolved from the original.
Due to its timeless styling, the Daytona has become one of the most desirable of all vintage wristwatches. The most coveted are those fitted with multi-colored or so-called Paul Newman dials. Distinguished from standard dials by their playful, art-deco fonts, stepped subdials, and a stepped outer circumference, Paul Newman-style dials were made between the mid-1960s and early 1980s. Since they were primarily available by special request, and since they sold poorly, genuine examples are quite rare.
Normal Paul Newman Daytonas command a $60,000 to $90,000 premium over a Daytona fitted with a standard dial. But buyers should beware. Due to these high values, counterfeit Paul Newman dials are abundant. Being able to recognize the very subtle details that distinguish a fake dial from a genuine dial takes significant experience, but is of vital importance if considering the purchase of one.
Replica Rolex Submariner
The Replica Rolex Submariner, introduced in 1954, is another classic and highly collectible watch that slowly evolved over its fifty years of production. Earliest examples were fitted with shiny, reflective black dials, most often using gold-colored printing.
As Rolex was maturing the product line during the first few years, the brand experimented frequently with the text printed on the dial. Items such as the style of the printed coronet and the inclusion of depth ratings or “Officially Certified Chronometer” (OCC) text changed often. These subtle nuances, easily overlooked by most people, are again of utmost importance to collectors.
Some of these experimental dials were produced in very limited quantities. When they surface today, cheap Rolex replica watches fitted with such dials command a fortune. For example, when a depth rating printed in red appears at 6 o’clock on a Big Crown Submariner, referring to the large crown found on the references 6200, 6538, and 5510, collectors will easily pay an additional $75,000 to $150,000 or more over those with a gold-colored rating.
If “SCOC” text is found on a Big Crown dial, referred to by collectors as a “four-line” dial since the printed text at 6 o’clock occupies four separate lines, knowledgeable – and well-heeled – collectors will happily pay similar premiums.
Later vintage submariners in steel, references 1680, 5512, and 5513 produced from 1967 through 1983, were fitted with matte-black dials using white printing. Dial subtleties abound even on these more common and affordable vintage Submariners. Mainly due to their relative rarity, collectors will pay a premium for early “meters first” dials where Rolex printed the depth rating as “200 m = 660 ft” as opposed to positioning the meters rating second in later dial variants.
In addition to font and text differences, due to the use of materials susceptible to aging, collectors appreciate the patina that naturally develops on the dials of vintage watches.
With vintage Rolex sport replica watches, the color of the radium and tritium used on hour markers can range from bright white to coffee brown. On rare examples, the black surfaces of both the early glossy dials and later matte dials had a tendency to fade to appealing shades of brown. Known as “tropical” dials since they’re usually found on watches that spent their lives in hot and humid climates, collectors will pay hefty premiums for those with dramatic or uniform brown colorations.