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Ronnie

Lt. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort’s Rolex Watch

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This is my latest acquisition from Col. Vandervoorts granddaughter. It is his Rolex watch. As best I could tell by my limited Rolex research this watch was made in 1943 or early 1944. If that is the case then there are lots of photos of him wearing it in Normandy. Im about to send the watch off for some servicing and I will find out for sure then on the manufacturing date.

Thanks.

Ronnie

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Awesome!


Check out my online collection of dog tags... http://historicdogtags.com LOOKING FOR DOG TAGS.... CIVIL WAR, WWI, WWII, KOREAN WAR, AND VIETNAM.PM ME IF YOU HAVE ANYTHING! I WILL LET YOU KNOW IF IM INTERESTED.THANKS,USDOG

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If you are sending it to Rolex in Switzerland, make sure you instruct them not to replace the dial.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Or the hands!


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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Personally, based on its potential historical significance, I would think twice about getting it serviced. Unless you plan on wearing it, why take the chance of it getting lost in the mail, damaged, parts swapped out, etc?

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I don’t know Blacksmith. It’s sort of like finding an old car in a barn that hasn’t run in 50 years or more. I don’t want to move it to my garage in that condition and just let it sit there.

But I appreciate your thoughts and advice.

Thanks.

Ronnie


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Heres a photo that just barely shows his watch.

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I suggest you take it to an official Rolex Dealer and ask them to send it to an official Rolex service center for servicing and request that they not refinish the case, just clean and calibrate, be specific about not refinishing the case if you want it to keep its patina on the outside of the watch.

 

Supper cool find, congrats!!!!


Always looking for uniquely marked helmets, WWI and WWII American Field Service items, WWII and earlier USMC items and named or numbered medals and medal groups.


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Thank you dskjl for your advice.

Ronnie


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Ronnie,
Great find. As an experienced vintage Rolex collector I can assure you sending it to a Rolex service center is Not a good idea. If you would like impeccable references for the best certified and experienced Vintage Rolex service folks let me know. I have several folks who are world class and do sympathetic services on historical watches all the time. It is your watch, of course, but the crystal, dial and case should be left untouched. The movement can be easily serviced.
Let me know if I can help and I will forward details and options.
Ed Hicks

edhicks82@aol.com


Ed Hicks

WARPATH Military Collectibles

819 Hope Mills Road

Fayetteville, North Carolina

(910) 425-7000

 

Always buying U.S. Airborne & Vietnam Special Forces artifacts and groupings, Painted and Rare U.S. Helmets; U.S. Valor Medal Groupings, Fine Swords...

Buying or trading for my collection: 1950s-1970s Vietnam era Rolex & Tudor Watches...

Contact me before you sell... [email protected]<script data-cfhash='f9e31' type="text/javascript">/* */</script>

 

My Web Sites: http://www.battlefieldmuseum.org

 

http://www.warpathmilitaria.com 

 

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That is not a WW2 Rolex.

 

The date window came out in 1945 and the cyclops magnifier came out in the 1950s.

 

This looks like late 50s or even 60s.


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Ronnie,

 

Great find. As an experienced vintage Rolex collector I can assure you sending it to a Rolex service center is Not a good idea. If you would like impeccable references for the best certified and experienced Vintage Rolex service folks let me know. I have several folks who are world class and do sympathetic services on historical watches all the time. It is your watch, of course, but the crystal, dial and case should be left untouched. The movement can be easily serviced.

 

Let me know if I can help and I will forward details and options.

 

Ed Hicks

 

edhicks82@aol.com

Ed,

 

I'm not a Rolex collector but have owned and currently own a couple. I've never had an issue with Rolex doing any work on any of my watches I haven't authorized, but do know they try to make things look new again if you don't stop them.

 

I had a 1964 5513 gilt dial Sub for many years that was serviced by Rolex San Fran and they always respected my direction to never polished the case or bracelet. They did replace the cristal every time and the crown once but always sent the old parts back in the service envelope. So I could keep them.

 

I had that watch on my wrist for almost 25 years so having it running was more important to me than the collectible value; which over the years increased significantly much to my delight.

 

In this watche's case the value may be more historic than as a Rolex collectible but I will leave that to the experts.

 

Agreed, if you send it to Rolex they will try and clean and polish and replace any part/s they think it needs to make it the best Rolex it can be, Historical or not. I just haven't had the experience of them doing work I haven't authorized; I will be more cautious of your concerns moving forward, thank you.

 

Respectfully,

 

Dwight


Always looking for uniquely marked helmets, WWI and WWII American Field Service items, WWII and earlier USMC items and named or numbered medals and medal groups.


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I don't know if you delt directly with the family but I would try and get a noterized statement if possible.

 

Especially since it is a post war time piece.


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Thanks Manny. I have a letter coming from the granddaughter on all the stuff I have received. I was worried about the date thingy and when it came out. But when I looked the serial number up it clearly showed 43/44. Well if he didnt have it for WWII then he had it for Vietnam and may have worn it there. Point is, it was his watch and that is way cool.

Thank you for the info.

Ronnie


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I've collected vintage Rolex for a number of years as well. Sending to a Rolex service center is the worst place to send your watch. Even if you give instructions their job is to make the watch look new again. If they go against your wishes and replace parts most will refuse to send you back the original parts or put it back into its previous state. I know people who have had nightmare experiences in that regard. There are a few really great vintage watchmakers who could do a much better job without the risk of dealing with the RSC. I dont know any vintage collectors who would take the chance with an RSC these days. Rolex SF was great but I think all of the RSC policies have changed. If you're on the west coast let me know I'll be able to find someone to get it serviced for you fairly quickly.

 

I think everyone covered service pretty well. Clean/service the movement but leave everything else in it's original state. Alot of people will relume the dial plots but that absolutely kills value as well as usually looking terrible. It's only all original once. Depending on where you are I could recommend several watchmakers as well but see Ed already offered.

 

Based on your belief it's a 1943-44 I assume you looked online at a serial number lookup. Rolex started their numerical system over in 1954. Your watch based on your comments is probably from 1957-58 if a 200k-300k serial. The easiest way to check is to look on the side opposite of the serial and find the model number. I thought maybe 6605 but the bezel is different. Yours also looks to be a "pie-pan" dial.

 

The history really makes that watch. Service the movement, get a new strap, and where the heck out of it! Enjoy!!!

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Personally, I know of no one with as much experience around vintage Rolexes as warpath. I'd highly recommend listening to his advice.

 

My two cents (as a daily non-vintage Rolex wearer...)

 

:)


Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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That is not a WW2 Rolex.

 

The date window came out in 1945 and the cyclops magnifier came out in the 1950s.

 

This looks like late 50s or even 60s.

It is an early Datejust which is cool, and Id agree that its from the 50s.......I had a non-date Oyster Perpetual that had a dial similar to this one as well as the case....it had the Swiss Chonometer Certificate with it and it was made in 1955.


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Thanks Andy.....yes we have determined that it is not a WWII watch. He also served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Maybe he wore it there. Just as cool.

Ronnie


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If you are sending it to Rolex in Switzerland, make sure you instruct them not to replace the dial.

 

Kurt

 

I totally agree with Kurt on the dial. The Rolex definition of "good service" may not match yours. They're goals are not necessarily in sinc with a collector or historian. Be sure to specify NOT replacing that dial. They will do what you ask. That 's a fantastic acquisition !! Congrat's !!

 

Best regards,

Paul


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Thanks Paul. Watch was sent away today to LA Watchworks.

Ronnie


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That's exactly where I would of sent it Ronnie. Great choice, they're awesome.

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Thanks Paul. Watch was sent away today to LA Watchworks.

Ronnie

Great choice! LA Watchworks can clean/repair the movement and stabilize the dial/hands. I beleive they also service most of the watches for Wannabuyawatch.com. Ive bought several from them that were serviced there or at the BH RSC in the early-mid-2000s.

 

This is probably a PX purchase watch, based on the 1954-55 date. If you can figure out where he was stationed then, youll have a good idea where he got it.

Overseas PXs sold Rolex up until about 10 years ago. I saw Red Subs (1680) in the NAS Naples NEX in 1977. I ended up buying a Double Red Seadweller in Bucherers in Geneva in spring 1978. The 1675 GMTs, 5513 Subs and 1016 Explorers were very popular PX purchases during the VN war, costing about a months pay for an E-5, E-6. So actually semi-affordable in the day.


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