I don’t like Rolex!
Let me sugarcoat that. I’m not a fan of recent Rolexes apart from the Explorer II Reference 216570 with the primary purpose being is that it seems to be a lot just like the classic 1655 “Freccione” with its flamboyant orange second time zone hand, a collector’s basic dream.
Throughout a visit to Tokyo a few years in the past I used to be in a gathering with a distinguished Japanese gentleman, impeccably clad and sporting probably the most beautiful Yohei Fukuda bespoke footwear. Beneath his French cuffs he gave the impression to be sporting a contemporary Explorer II. Evidently, this gentleman captivated me in order that mainly the very first thing I did as soon as the assembly over was search for a Rolex seller.
However since I’m not a fan of recent Rolex (and considerably of a cheapo) I naturally didn’t need to pay full value. My guardian angel, as soon as once more proving that she or he is watching over me full time, got here to the rescue as simply across the nook I discovered a second-hand retailer that had . . . watch for it . . . an Explorer II in inventory.
After having put my wonderful negotiation expertise to work and acquiring a beneficiant zero p.c low cost, I walked out with Reference 216570 together with field and papers.
The watch nerd that I’m, I not often instantly put on my new watches; I wish to put them apart for a number of days and let the anticipation develop. When the day lastly got here that it was time to put on my new Rolex, I took it out of the field, learn the instruction guide (I couldn’t determine how you can set the orange hand) and proudly put it on my wrist.
After which horror struck. I didn’t really feel something, not a factor!
It didn’t give me pleasure, I didn’t look distinguished, I didn’t even look Japanese!
I wore the watch, I wore it quite a bit throughout that summer time. I actually needed to like it, perhaps we might develop to like one another and recognize one another’s firm. However, no, it simply didn’t occur.
Zilch, nada, niente!
Round that point I used to be additionally testing the completely different on-line platforms providing completely different case coatings and dial modifications, and I began considering that perhaps if I made some modifications it could assist me give extra TLC to my Explorer II.
I spoke to my buddy, Chris, about this. He’s a collector and watch fanatic and takes his watches very significantly. He’s usually left shaking his head in disbelief once I speak to him about my completely different watch tasks, however this time his reply was, “I don’t take into account the Explorer II an iconic Rolex like a Submariner or a Daytona, so why not?”
Sure, I appear to be the man who wants approval from his friends to go forward with a mission . . . sigh . . . and there I used to be considering I used to be a free spirit!
Anyway, to make an extended story quick, I collected quotes from completely different firms who may pimp my Rolex, and every was much more ridiculously costly than the opposite. Every quote I acquired nearly doubled in value, however I used to be able to make the sacrifice; I used to be not going to desert my Explorer II with no battle.
There was no method I used to be going to go beneath with regrets, however that’s the place my guardian angel intervened a second time: one other collector pal of mine informed me of a discreet watch store in Switzerland (names and locations have been modified to guard the harmless) who may do the pimping I wanted.
Emails have been despatched, contacts made, and the watch was despatched for a full makeover that will take two months. The modifications I needed have been minimal: a black case and bracelet with lime inexperienced enamel numerals on the bezel. The dial and fingers have been to stay untouched.
The rationale for my alternative was easy: I needed my Rolex to nonetheless appear like a Rolex, however since I used to be pimping it I didn’t need to have the dial redone to appear like a classic mannequin (on a aspect word, I discover the present provides to change trendy Daytonas to appear like classic fashions, however at an excellent larger value than buying the true classic counterparts, fully ridiculous!).
As for the inexperienced numerals . . . effectively, they don’t seem to be as a result of I’m a giant Shrek fan. I fairly love the colour and discover that sadly it’s used far too occasionally in watchmaking. The particular person in command of the enameling despatched me a number of strategies by mail, even one with orange numerals, however I settled for a robust lime inexperienced coloration ultimately.
After about two months’ wait, I acquired a bundle within the publish. And with out warning opened it to seek out my pimped out Explorer II wanting menacingly darkish but joyous with its inexperienced accents. And I famous with some pleasure that the pimper (or pimp?) had despatched me the watch even earlier than I had paid for it! Kudos to him: I’m comfortable to have individuals who nonetheless work based mostly on belief.
So how did I really feel?
I gained’t lie: it wasn’t love at first sight.
The watch was cool, undoubtedly very cool. It was precisely all the things I used to be anticipating and much more. I can’t say that I really like the watch, and this stays proof that I simply don’t like trendy Rolex irrespective of how pimped up it’s. However I put on it with pleasure; it’s a nice dialog starter and it’s a rattling handsome, kick-ass watch.
And it helped me unearth my inside pimp!
Do you suppose that I made the proper choice or did I commit sacrilege? Or each? Tell us your ideas within the feedback under.
For extra data on the Rolex Explorer II, please go to www.rolex.com/explorer-ii/m216570.
* This text was first printed on June 18, 2016 at Why I Pimped My Rolex. You might discover the feedback there fascinating.