Re: 1936 Rolex Oyster bubbleback




Tim Coulter wrote:
Hey John,

Thanks for your insight!

What happens if it is worth over $700?

Then I can't afford to repair it at the moment. I'll hang on to it
regardless, but I'm hoping to get it repaired (eventually) so I can
have an heirloom that's functional. Its value to me is primarily
sentimental, but if it worked it'd be that much better. :)

It is literally impossible to diagnose your watch over the internet
with no idea of whether it runs and what the movement looks like.

Understood. I was just looking for some ballpark figures. Incidently,
I've got some photos of the watch here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sportbucket/sets/72157594272260374/

If anyone knows anything about this model/era, feel free to chime in.
I'm interested in learning all I can.

Bubblebacks have a following, but value really depends on condition,
which model, case material, etc.

Are those photos enough to give a rough estimate?

Thanks again!

--
Tim

On 2006-09-06 05:11:10 -0700, "John S." <hjsjms@xxxxxx> said:


Tim Coulter wrote:
I've got my grandfather's Rolex, and it's broken. I'd love to get it
fixed/restored, but I'm not sure where to start.

In my casual research on the internets, I've found that the serial
number indicates it was manufactured around 1936. It's looks to be
made of stainless steel, and based on some verbal descriptions it
appears to be of the 'bubbleback' variety. That's about all my
untrained eye can discern from it. I can try to get some pictures if
anyone's interested.

So here's some questions that hopefully someone has the time and/or
inclination to help me answer:

1) Any idea how much something like this is worth?

Bubblebacks have a following, but value really depends on condition,
which model, case material, etc.

Will
fixing/restoring it significantly increase its value?

Depends on who does the work. If the damage isn't too bad, you might
want to think of it as patina and leave it as is. It you want to
restore and wear the watch I would have Rolex take a look at it and
give an estimate.

I'm not really
looking to sell it, as its value to me comes from the fact that it
belonged to my grandfather. But if it turns out to be worth a
truckload of money, that'd be nice, too.

Probably not going to be an Antiques Roadshow moment, but you might
check prices of watches that actually sold on Ebay for some idea.



2) Is repair even a possibility?

Does it need to be repaired. If it runs then chances are it only needs
a cleaning, reoiling and adjustment. But only get the watch repaired
if you intend to wear it.


Obviously, I have no idea what's
wrong with it, but I can't imagine that parts for a 70-year old watch
are easy to come by.

Parts are for the most part either made or salvaged from other watches.


There's significant nostalgic value here, so I'd
likely be willing to spend more than it's worth to get it fixed, but my
willingness abruptly stops at around the $500 - $700 range.

What happens if it is worth over $700?

It is literally impossible to diagnose your watch over the internet
with no idea of whether it runs and what the movement looks like. My
suggestion would be to send it to Rolex for separate estimates on
repairs and restoration. The Rolex forum on Timezone might give you
some references for good watch repair shops as well.



3) Anyone care to share some of the history of these watches? I'm
interested to know about their place in the Rolex lineup, how many were
made/sold, what innovations they represented, etc. "Rolex" is one of
those search engine keywords that brings up a lot of useless
information, so I've had trouble finding any worthwhile reading on the
subject.

Consider asking this question on the Timezone Rolex forum.


Thanks for reading. Hope this catches someone's attention.

--
Tim

From the little I can see, you watch is in very nice condition
considering it has been around since 1936! Great looking deco styling
on that dial.

My recommendations would be:

1. Don't have the dial or case restored.

2. Have the movement serviced only if you plan on wearing the watch.
I have an heirloom 1930's Hamilton that is displayed but never used.
No sense in getting it serviced that I can see.

3. Contact the guys on the Rolex forum on Timezone for more informaion
on the history of your watch and for suggestions about a competent
repair shop if needed.

That's one nice looking watch. Hold on to it....

.