When I took possession of the Fake Rolex Red Submariner, a couple things jumped out at me. First, and this is always nice to find, it had its original Twinlock crown (Triplocks came later at around the 3M serial number). So many Subs have lost their original crowns to Triplocks along the way, that it’s not overly common to find untouched specimens. Oddly, as finicky as Rolex collectors are, there doesn’t seem to be a premium for the less dependable crown. Also, the original folded bracelet was present with what looks like an aftermarket or later replacement clasp (just the outer portion oddly), but it contains the “Pateted” wetsuit extension as a result of someone not using spellcheck at Designer Rolex 45+ years ago. The lume pearl was gone, but the dial looked great. The crystal – not so much. It was chipped, showed some dust or lint, but it quickly showed its major flaw – it wasn’t a “Top Hat”.
In a weird twist of irony, the Knockoff Rolex Sea Dweller Robert-Jan wrote about from this year’s Baselworld contained a Cyclops for the first time in its history. Rolex Replica, in its self-pronounced desire to push innovation, claimed that it was the first time it was able to produce such a deeply rated watch with a Cyclops. They claimed the bubble as a potential source of weakness that they were finally able to overcome with technology. Well, heading back to the late 1960’s and the high-end Replica Rolex Red Submariner, the brand took a page from the contemporary Detroit era of cars – as in, there’s no cure for cubic inches. In Rolex’s case, though, they mounted what now looks like an absolutely insane crystal that’s now known to replica watches collectors as a “Top Hat”. Essentially, in order to withstand the 200M depth rating inclusive of the famous Cyclops, a ridiculously thick crystal was fitted to the Sub. When I say ridiculous, we’re talking mm’s upon mm’s. In today’s world – or at least back in the 1980’s – it looks like a Plexiglas special. It’s so damn ridiculous that the thing loses its near 90-degree corners on everything from desks, door jambs, and whatever else. But, it’s endearing and I had to find a NOS one…
I found a so-called Top Hat (a 127) for my Cheap Replica Rolex Red Submariner several years back for about $250 – it was truly NOS and some would chide me for mounting it, but what the hell? This watch won’t be swimming any time soon. I also took the opportunity to source a tritium pearl recently (also around $200 – damn vintage Rolex) and the watch went off to our resident Fratello watchmaker, Paul.
He sent lots of pictures along the way to show the innards of the Swiss Watch, including the correctly signed inside case back denoting 1970 – and the non-hacking 1575 chronometer rated automatic (a hack was added in 1973). He actually enjoyed working on the watch as it contained some real “love marks” on the case, but still retains its original bevels on the lugs.