COMPROMISED / RE-NUMBERED Rolex GMT-Master, priced accordingly and sold with full disclosure. Stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master, 3175-calibre model 16700 with black “SWISS” dial and “Pepsi” blue and red bezel insert on Jubilee bracelet. We identified this watch as having previously had its original case number (located between the lugs at the six o’clock end) erased and then probably a different case number applied in its place. Accordingly, we sent it to Rolex UK to see if they could confirm our thoughts and the watch’s original identity. They identified it as a ROLEX GMT-MASTER…Model 16700….Bracelet Jubilee 62510 20…with Dial 16758 BLAC HMK W but otherwise commented “Serial No. MODIFIED” and “…this watch has been heavily modified. We are unable to offer service facilities to modified models and therefore return the watch in the condition that it was received.“ We believe this supports our own findings. It appears that they did not link it to any watch reported stolen or lost, which might have been identified from the movement number. It could well be, then, that the watch was renumbered either in a clumsy attempt to clarify the original number which had been scratched or damaged in some way, or perhaps the number was changed only to make it appear to correspond with the set of papers accompanying it, in an attempt to add value (which we have seen many times). After Rolex’s response, there now appears to be no way of establishing its original identity. The Rolex papers are dated 1997 and belonged to a watch supplied in Corfu, but that may well be no indication of this watch’s history if they do not truly belong with it. The watch may have been supplied in any country and at any time between around 1988 and the year 2000. The bracelet appears to be in excellent order and may have been swapped, but the clasp itself bears a date code suggesting that part at least is from the start of the model’s production date range. The watch comes with an English language Rolex GMT-Master booklet from 1999, later Rolex boxes, Rolex COSC certificate # T356182 (which must be seen in context and in no way supporting or necessarily associated with this watch) and a certificate from the ALR Watch Register confirming that the case number currently applied, at least, has been checked with them. Jubilee bracelets with 502 B end-links like this were a rare but standard option on GMT-Master 16700s. They commonly suffered the effects of wear more than the Oyster variants, although this one appears to be in very good order. We would not wish any subsequent buyer to pay for this watch in the future without realising its full nature, so we publish here its current (if spurious) case number T356182 and movement number 3 8104222 for the record, together with this extensive narrative. We have marked the papers to show that they accompany a renumbered watch. Its 16700 case-back also bears the Rolex service rejection marking LON 11/20 264329XX which corresponds with the paperwork received from them. Rolex UK will not provide service or parts for a watch in these circumstances, so both must be obtained from independent watchmakers if required. It is running within specification at the moment and comes with our usual two year warranty. We feel the watch offers good value at this price (heavily discounted from that of a similar, correct watch), but would like to ensure that any buyer fully understands all that they need to. Please ask for one of the specialist Miltons Watch Team to discuss it with you.
A macro image of the renumbered case is available by clicking through the main picture.
We cannot accept cash for items of such high value. Please ask if you would like to view the watch in our private / secure facility or to enquire about acceptable payment methods.