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Collector's Corner
(Watches here are privately owned and NOT for sale)

Military Rolex Submariner model 5513 issued to the Royal Marines in 1975. Note the peculiar hands, specified by HM Government. This watch was fitted on a nylon strap, but after service the navy diver chose to fit a bracelet over the fixed bars.
Rolex "Disco dial" Explorer II model 1655. A rare model, made for speleologists ( cave-explorers ). Note the large orange 24-hour hand and original plain white seconds hand. This dial appears confusing but this is a very collectible watch today.
New model Rolex Turn-o-Graph 116264. The Turn-o-Graph was introduced in the 1950s and has become a perfect mix of tool and dress watch. The 2004 model introduced several new features including a super-smooth bezel, here in white gold.
Here is another version of the new 2004 model Rolex Turnograph, the steel and rose gold 116261. Note the red numerals of the date wheel, in homage to some of the very first Datejust models. This was pawned with us only months after the model was released. At Miltons in St. Johns we take in dozens of Rolex watches every month, most of which are reclaimed by their happy owners --- so we lend very generously against them.
The GMT-Master II will be familiar to many collectors, but not so many would realise that the very first version was this model 16760, soon to be replaced by the 16710 which is still made today. Both models exhibit an independently adjustable 24 hour hand, an addition to the features of the basic GMT-Master I ( 1675 / 16750 / 16700 ). Again, this is a watch which was pawned with Miltons in St. Johns in early 2005.
When you lend a lot of money on Rolex watches, and have to do so within minutes of the person coming in, you are a target for every type of fake. We see everything from the 20 rubbish right up to fakes which are made of real gold and diamonds! Around the millennium, Rolex began laser-etching the outline of their coronet logo onto the very bottom of the watch-glass. Such genuine marks are absolutely tiny and it is a struggle to see them even with a jeweller's loupe. This fake was easily picked up and rejected as a poor copy --- but we see far better than this and work hard to stay ahead of the game.
This 39,880 lady's gem-set Rolex crossed our path recently. Probably 60% of the diamond-set Rolex we see have had the stones added later by a third party, with results of mixed quality. This watch is all original Rolex and simply fantastic to see. Have a look at the inside of the bracelet to see the unusual screw-head backs to the settings of the large sapphires --- beautiful corn-flower blue sapphires at that. A stunning watch!
On Cartier watches, like all others, there are many features to look out for. Most Cartier models ( and even some of the best fakes ! ) have the word CARTIER printed in tiny letters, hidden in part of the numerals on the dial, as shown here.
James Bond always used to wear a Rolex, but with Pierce Brosnan came a switch to Omega. Riding the commercial wave, Omega released this special edition 007 Seamaster which recently crossed our path. Subtle details on dial and clasp mark it as something different from the normal Seamaster.
Another interesting watch which crossed our path in 2005, a 1960s automatic Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox automatic --- a mechanical, self-winding watch with an alarm feature! We take it for granted on digital watches, but this mechanical variant was a first from the Swiss company. The upper crown winds and sets the alarm on the small central subdial, which rotates and points the white arrow at the specified time. An interesting piece, though one does get funny looks from people nearby when it goes off . . .
We had this Rolex Sea-Dweller Glass replaced by Rolex UK during service, and asked for its return so we could show customers just how thick it is. Using our precision tools we measure it at 2.9mm deep, which doesn't sound much until you look at it on a ruler --- that is one THICK glass designed for handling extremes of pressure.
This FAKE Rolex Daytona is indeed made of gold but NO part was made by Rolex. Without the genuine movement or manufacturing qualities Rolex provide, this is worth about 1,000 for the gold weight at most. People buy them abroad for 3,000 or so --- even when they know it is fake, it is still a bad buy in our opinion. Yes, it may look a little like the 10,000 real thing, but we'd rather spend our 3,000 on a genuine Rolex --- a much better investment.
A genuine customer of ours mistakenly trusted someone he knew and paid him 8,000 for this diamond-set "Rolex." When he brought it to us we pointed out that not only was the bracelet fake, but so were the case and dial. Furthermore, while it did contain one part made by Rolex --- the movement --- this was in fact cut-and-shut from a wholly different model! We bet they had an interesting meeting later that day. The message is clear --- be very careful whom you trust when it comes to secondhand Rolex watches. In our opinion, there are only ourselves in Liverpool and one shop in Southport who really know what we're doing when it comes these watches. Don't join our wall of fame -- customers who've paid thousands for rubbish!
With the 2004 model Turn-o-Graph came additional security features. This was the first model to feature laser-inscribed markings on the internal face of the bezel. This feature quickly followed through into other models such as normal gent's Datejusts, and may well follow across the entire range. At the 6 o'clock end of the bezel the repeated word "ROLEX" stops and the unique case-number of the watch appears. This means that, at the time of writing ( Xmas '05 ) you should be able to find such watches ONLY with F or D case-numbers. I wonder how long it will be before the fakers have copied this feature?
We normally like our Rolex Daytonas on bracelets, but this yellow gold model 16518 we fitted a new Rolex strap on for a good client does look fantastic....
If you're going to be a criminal --- and a stupid criminal at that --- then you'll have to do better than this. Crude attempts to remove unique case numbers from Rolex watches have been made for years, but removing the wrong number from the wrong place . . . well that's just stupid.
June 2006, and still customers bring us in watches like this fake Rolex Yachtmaster - oh come on!
From about the year 2000 genuine 18ct Rolex parts featured the image of a Labrador-type dog with the other hallmark components. Seen close up, this dog is finely detailed and the stamp has real depth to it, allowing a genuine 3D representation of Fido's head. If you look really closely at a genuine one, you will even see a letter in the dog's ear, which denotes the Swiss Assay Office at which the part was stamped. Compare a real one with this fake, where the dog looks more like a cartoon St. Bernard! Make sure YOUR Rolex dealer stays ahead of the game as we do, or how can you trust him?
Sometimes a watch which looks as battered as anything can still be worth thousands of pounds. This 1970's Rolex Sea-Dweller model 1665 crossed our path in 2007. It is missing its bezel, the bracelet is shot to pieces, the glass has been hammered and the dial is faded . . . but we'll give you 2,000 all day for old Rolex sports watches like this !
An IDIOT and a CRIMINAL tried to get 5,000 from us for this FAKE Rolex Daytona. We spotted it immediately and let him dig himself deeper and deeper. He said he was a watch-maker and could confirm every part was genuine. Oh dear. It's 0% Rolex and 100% tat. We can forgive anyone being conned themselves, but when someone KNOWS they have a fake watch and still tries to pass it on to us they can expect trouble --- which is exactly what this chap found. His wife's response was marvellous - "We don't even have a criminal record." Nope, not yet madam. Both we and the police take deception very seriously :-)
Another FAKE shown to us in May 2007. We were asked how much we would give for it in part-exchange against a more expensive one....
Early 2008 and still they come . . . this fake lady's Rolex purporting to be 18ct white gold with diamonds could have been spotted by our cleaning lady. From 50 yards. Facing the other way. Asleep.
June 2008 and another fake Rolex, a Pearlmaster is offered to us by a customer asking for a couple of thousand pounds. Not today, thankyou.
June 2008 again --- Fake Rolex has been brought in by a customer asking for 1,000 --- and saying he actually bought it from us! Out you go! Go on, out of our shop you silly, silly man. Be glad we didn't call the police, what you just tried to do was CRIMINAL.
June 2008 has been an exciting months for people trying to bring bad watches in, but you'd think they would know by now that Miltons are the best in Liverpool at detecting fake Rolex. This example had a Roamer movement, a fake 69000 case, fake dial and bezel and fake bracelet -- 100% fake, but all supposed to be from Rolex. Here we show a close up of the clasp under high magnification. Look at the poor stamping of SWISS MADE and especially the stamp of the dog's head. Yes, it looks like a pretty dog, but not even the right breed, never mind high enough quality. ''Me mate's asking me 4,000 for it.'' I would look for some new friends, sir.
In July 2008 we were privileged to buy this Rolex Milgauss model 1019. Here at Miltons we are always willing to pay a full price for such rare pieces and have formed an extensive collection including four military issue 5513 Submariners, a Double Red Sea Dweller 1665, a Disco Dial Explorer 1655 Orange Hand, a Red Submariner Date 1680, a civilian 5513 and transitional 16800 Submariners, a 5500 Explorer, Domino's Pizza Airking and several more. We'll pay cash for rare Rolex from the 1950s onwards --- call and ask for Haywood Milton.
At first glance it may appear ok, but this is another FAKE Rolex Daytona which failed to get past us. Offered to our pawnbroking department 15th July 2008. Given back to customer, 15th July 2008 !
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