Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Well laid plans.....

Sometime ago I posted that I was looking to get a Rolex. I decided that I would get one that was pre-loved as I did not want to spend too much. I also decided to look at getting the Rolex Submariner No-date, ref 14060M. Looking around in Taipei for pre-loved watches was the start of my problems. No, it is not there are none, but perhaps too many shops.

What started out as a well laid plan to get the Submariner 14060M turned horribly wrong from the start. The first shop I went had both the 14060M no date and without the COSC certification. They also had a Sea Dweller, 16600. The Sub went for about NTD 80,000 (USD 2,500). The Sea Dweller, NTD 160,000 (USD 5,000). The Sea Dweller was an older model with the Tritium dial.

The second shop changed the equation. They only have the Sea Dweller and it was going for NTD 128,000 (USD 4,000). Emmmm a low price. I then found out that it did not have any papers or box. It was also about the same age as the Sea Dweller from the first shop. So perhaps that is why the price is lower.

The third shop? Well they had both watches. The Sub was new, so it was out of the question as I wanted the non COSC model. It was selling for about NTD 160,000 (USD 5,000). They also had a new Sea Dweller or one of the last pieces before it was discontinued and replaced by the Deep Sea. The Sea Dweller went for NTD 190,000 (USD 6,000).

The fourth shop also had both watches. Both were pre-loved and from the same year of production (2002/ 2003). The prices was very very good. The Sub went for NTD 110,000 (USD 3,500) and the Sea Dweller went for NTD 135,000 (USD 4,200). Both watches came with papers and boxes. Both watches were the last of the Rolex with lug holes and the 14060M was the last (I was told) not to have the COSC on the dial. This is where the best laid plan went wrong. Why? Well I ended up with this watch....

Yes, I got the Sea Dweller 4000, ref 16600. Why? Well, although I like the older Sea Dweller, I wanted a newer watch and the older Tritium dial just did not do it for me. The luminosity of the hands and hour markers would be all but gone. So it would defeat the purpose of a dive watch. Also at the price, I thought it was a bargain, when compared to the Sub (I also looked at another 3 shops, and this was the best). Additionally, it had all the papers (except the COSC certificate) and also a service guarantee from Rolex Service center, where it received a full service (2008).

The natural thing to do next is to send the watch to Rolex Taiwan where they verified that watch is original. I am happy. Anyway the shop I got it from is well known here in Taiwan and also internationally. The watch has an interesting history (of sort) as I can track (somewhat) where the watch has been in the past 8 years. It has indeed traveled North Asia and will continue to travel.

Anyway here is the watch with its 'uncle'.


  1. Excellent choice, the 16600. BTW. Nice pair...I missed my opportunity to get the 'original' GMT-Master 10 years ago.... Would you mine disclosing the shops you went to. I plan to visit them on my next Taipei trip.

  2. Hi Ben,

    Welcome to the blog. It is a nice watch. With regards to the shops, could you email me at

    Best regards,