automatico Posted May 11, 2022 Report Share Posted May 11, 2022 After putting about a dozen 'vintage Frankensteins' together using genuine rolex 15xx movements since 1997 ('explorer 1016'), I have made an 'Executive Decision': No More projects using genuine rolex movements. Why not? 1...Because (imho) it is a major waste of time and $$ even when taking into account that I can do all the work myself. Anyone paying someone to put one of these watches together will have to pay more, sometimes a lot more. 2...Frankensteins are expensive to begin with because of the high cost of genuine movements, movement parts, and service, especially today. 3...To be 'worthy' of the genuine movement these projects more times than not end up with high $$ cases, dials etc. instead of lower $$ cartel parts that most of the time can be modified to pass muster. 4...Where can you go to sell a Frankenstein with a genuine movement when you need $$ etc? You might be able to sell it to an RWG etc. member and get most of your 'investment' back but not always and there is the chance the watch will end up being sold as 'genuine' after it passes through a few owners. Not good. So...my last Frankenstein project using a genuine rolex 15xx movement is going to be taken apart...a '1655' with an aftmkt GMT conversion. The movement will be going back in the watch it came out of (1603 DJ) and an ETA 2846 with a China GMT conversion will be put in the case. The '1655' with a genuine movement might sell for $3000 and it is basically fake! but the DJ will probably sell for $3000 (at today's prices) and it is all genuine. After the '1655' is taken apart I will have one F-stein left...a DW 1680 case with a rolex 1570/75 and genuine 'Mark 1' Lemrich dial. I put it together in March 2011 to keep the dial and movement clean and it will stay that way for now. I have a J$W '1655' case and rolex 1575 with all nos GMT parts so the case will be sold or an ETA put in it. The GMT movement will probably be sold at a watch show etc. All the basically useless information above was presented for only one reason... My (free and worthless) advice to anyone contemplating a vintage 'four digit' Frankenstein with a genuine rolex movement should realistically price it all out before starting the project and decide if it is worth the $$ and effort to go through with it. A rule of thumb on projects like this is after it is all added together...add 30% or 40% just to be safe. Also...take into account that when I bought the parts for all of these Frankenstein projects, a rolex 1520/1560/1570 movement could be purchased for $500 to $800 (often as a running watch) and a very good aftmkt case and dial was around $1000 or $1500. Now the same three components will cost $3000 to $4000 not counting labor. One example...I paid $575 for the complete running 1603 DJ in May 2015 that supplied the movement in the '1655' project and the only thing wrong with it was a rusty stem stuck in the main plate. It needed c/o, a stem, and a mainspring, about $25 my cost. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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