Why I bought my last two UK Swiss made fake Rolex watches from Bob’s Watches, from the other side of the world

I love fake Rolex. While this is a problem on a number of levels, the biggest is I can’t get the watches I want most. Add the extra layer of a global pandemic cutting production and supply to the most remote capital city in the world – I live in Melbourne and work out of our HQ in Cremorne – to the already prohibitive waiting lists in the boutiques and my chances of getting a Submariner at retail is basically a pipe dream. A painful reality many of you find yourselves in I’m sure.

Regardless, the heart wants what the heart wants. So, after considerably reducing my watch collection, I buckled up and prepared to take on the secondary market.
The watch I was chasing was a no-date Sub ref 114060 (browse currently available no-date Rolex Submariners on Bob’s Watches here), with the following caveats:

Guaranteed authenticity – I’d seen too many “fake Rolex” videos and peace of mind was number one on my list
The watch had to be as new as possible – nothing pre-dating 2016
A full set, including box, paper, swing tags, the lot
As close to retail as possible – my absolute maximum I was prepared to spend was $13,000 AUD
The ability to buy Rolex Submariner replica with black dial online and have it shipped ASAP to me, here in Melbourne
To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of the local pre-owned scene. Nothing to do with the establishments themselves, it’s more to do with the supply and demand angle. Pre-owned Subs are not readily available here in Melbourne and, when they are, the prices are jacked. Even if you are lucky enough to pick one up (after dropping everything and sprinting to the shop), you definitely don’t have the luxury of ticking off a detailed checklist like mine。
With no luck locally, I moved on to some of the bigger global online players. These sites definitely ticked off my concerns around authenticity and they had plenty of Subs available, although the prices were above what I was prepared to pay.

I’d used Chrono24 a lot previously, more as a comparison tool than a direct avenue to purchase watches. I had concerns regarding authenticity, especially negotiating with tiny dealers in all parts of the world. But, with options closing to me and my desire to own a Sub only growing, I took a punt. To my surprise, I found a couple of suitable options. After reading what felt like hours of reviews on a certain dealer I was pretty confident I’d found one that ticked all the boxes, including the price.

With my credit card in hand, I clicked on the “BUY” button and started filling in my details – so far so good. After filling in the form, I clicked on the “Submit Order” form. To my dismay, this just took me through to a private message with the dealer and not actually to purchase the watch. Coming this far I sent the dealer a message asking if they could size my bracelet and if they needed anything else to confirm the order.

After not hearing back, and when I did much later, with nothing confirming my purchase, I decided to pull the pin. I was already slightly uncomfortable with the platform and with that much money on the line I withdrew.
With no clear avenues to my Sub, I started doing some more research. The name Bob’s came up a few times, but without anything to put my mind at ease I didn’t really consider it. That was until Adrian from “Bark & Jack” mentioned he had been trying to work with Bob’s Watches a few times to shoot and review some of their watches.

That was the last little nudge I needed. After punching in my filters, a whopping TEN subs were left standing, matching all of my criteria. Prices were also spot on, although please do take note that I had to pay duty when it arrived in Australia! All told, the watch ended up being around 15-20% cheaper than the other platforms I scoped out and about 30% cheaper than the local Melbourne second-hand options, should there have actually been one available that met my criteria.

Five days later (in the middle of a pandemic), the watch arrived via customs and it’s barely left my wrist since. When I finished consolidating my collection last month and went to pick up another wish-list piece – the cheap fake Rolex Explorer 214270, I only had one place to look (check out currently available Rolex Explorer 214270 on Bob’s Watches here).

Why am I telling you this story? Well, here at Time+Tide we’ve jumped right into the fray to discuss the lack of availability across the whole Rolex line – much of our research has resulted in the lead feature of NOW Magazine Issue #3, which goes on sale tomorrow morning. It is called Why Rolex is Out of Reach. Andrew often tells the story of interviewing American collector and dealer Eric Ku, who opened with the memorable line when he learned the subject, “So you want to address the million pound elephant in the room?”
We’ve also researched which best quality replica Rolex models still offer good value, and we’ve crunched the numbers on which enjoy the smallest premiums over their retail price. But now, instead of focusing on the facts alone, we can offer something of a solution, which is to consider Bob’s Watches collection of Rolex models. It’s worked for me, and it may well work for you, too.

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