Tag Archives: older

Latest Trends In Rolex Watch Thefts

Now and then NWC mag likes to read the latest court cases relating to Rolex watch thefts. Not only is Rolex the best selling brand (over 3K) in the UK by a long way, but it is the most targeted by thieves. Why? Simple really, they can offload stolen Rolex watches quicker than any other make. Even without paperwork.

Here are some recent cases;

A woman approached a pensioner guy in Poole, a wealthy town in Dorset. She chatted for a bit, probably clocked the watch was a Sub with a green bezel and grabbed his arm. She escaped in a grey car, probably driven by her crime partner. It’s possible they saw the watch in a  shop, or have seen the guy locally before.

Verdict; be careful not to wear your Rolex while out for a casual walk, especially in summer when you might have a short sleeve shirt on.  Save it for special occasions.


Another female thief, this time in East Grinstead. Again a fairly affluent area, so always be wary of people watching you, or asking about your watch in such areas. Notice the thief chose Waitrose, targeting wealthier customers.

She approached the woman as she was distracted by packing shopping. Young woman, plder victim, so helpless as regards defending herself. She chatted, went for the charity hug, and stole her Rolex. Note the thief using the charity worker disguise with clipboard and hooded anorak, which helps them hide their faces on CCTV.

Verdict; never speak to or engage with so-called charity workers in public. Don’t wear your Rolex to go supermarket shopping, there are too many chancers walking the aisles looking for older, vulnerable people.


Probably the most scary type of thief is the semi-pro Rolex or luxury watch gang. They are usually violent drug dealers, and like to scope out people’s houses, drive around wealthy areas and love to follow older victims home.

This Manchester gang broke into a house in Hale, which is the wealthiest part of Greater Manchester. Yep, richer than Wilmslow. They separated the wife from her husband, hit the man, located a rare Rolex and left rapidly. They ambushed another guy as he arrived home by car from the supermarket. Stole a valuable Rolex.

In both cases, the victims believed they were targeted and followed, possibly for some time. That is highly likely.

What’s also likely is that inside info has been passed onto the gang by someone working in a Manchester watch dealership, which is very difficult to prove, but the most likely explanation of how the gang were able to plan a breakfast time raid on someone. Not only did they know the address, who lived at the address etc. but they knew the Rolex was upstairs – how do you acquire information like that? Not at Waitrose most likely.

Verdict: Think carefully about who you are buying a watch from and how much data you trade to make the purchase. You can’t avoid giving your address, but avoid younger staff members, or flash git shop workers who seem to live a luxury lifestyle on car wash wages. They might well trade your data for a cash bribe, it doesn’t happen often, but it happens.

Affordable Vintage Watches For Men? We Have Some Winners For You

Like a nice cheap runabout car, everyone wants an affordable vintage watch. Preferably a Rolex. Only joking, even the old 1940s Rolex models are now getting expensive and given that spare parts for them can ONLY be sourced by breaking up similar examples, that isn’t a great option if you’ve got a few hundred pounds to spend on old tickers.

So here are some relatively cheap vintage watches for blokes. Plus, a few reasons as to why we rate them so highly.

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  1. Accurist 21 jewel 1950s/60 slimline style

The main reason we rate the older Accurist watches is that they all feature Swiss movements. Some have ETA, some AS, and there were a few high end divers watches with Landeron chronograph movements inside. Those Landeron powered Accurist models tend to go for silly money now, about £700-£1000, which compared to a Landeron powered Chronograph Suisse for around £400 seems expensive to us.

But the humble, elegantly simple, Accurist Shockmaster series, do a great job of timekeeping if you find a cherished example, and can be found on ebay from aorund £50 upwards. It’s worth paying £100 for a really superb example in our view, expect to pay £300 plus a for a 9ct gold case version.

lanco 5

2. Lanco 1970s mechanicals

Now lots of watch collectors know Lanco was absorbed into the Omega-Tissot empire in the 1960s as the Swiss watch industry began to contract from its 1950s heyday. It became a sister brand to Tissot, with models like the Lanco Astrolon being a rebadged Tissot Actualis Autolub – the plastic movement experiment that began as IDEA 2001.

The 1970s Lanco models were built to a price of course, but they were still sharing movements and build tech with Tissot-Omega. There was cost-cutting in the industry as the Swiss coped with an onslaught of Japanese digital watches, but Lanco watches can make sturdy reliable vintage watches, with some nice retro 70s touches in terms of styling. You can find a clunker for £40-£60, or pay £100 for something that bears very few marks from the last 40-49 years of use.

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3. Sekonda 1970s/80s Mechanicals and Automatics

There’s a great deal of snobbery regarding vintage wind-up Sekonda watches. These watches were built to last, in a Soviet era when people had to wait in line to buy outdated groceries and be grateful for whatever consumer goods they were allowed to purchase. Bit like Huddersfield under lockdown today.

The thing that Sekonda watch movements offer is tractor-like reliability and strength. You can bash these watches up, submerge them briefly, or simply not service the movement for about 40 years. Take it apart, clean everything, add some watch oil to a few jewels and generally speaking, away it goes. Just tremendously durable, tough watches. Given that you can buy runners foir £25 on ebay, Sekonda makes a great entry level watch for collectors.

They also made a nice alarm function Sekonda in the 70s, plus a succession of chunky case automatics. Budget £70-£80 for a nice example. You also see some late 70s and 1980s UK Sekonda watches, complete with their distinctive red watch boxes for sale sometimes. Always worth considering as an everyday vintage watch.

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4. Seiko 5 Auto

The new Seiko 5 automatics are a better watch. There we said it, but it’s true. Modern machine tools and robot quality control on parts production all help to make a new Seiko 5 at £220-ish a bargain, compared to older models.

That said, if you want a vintage Japanese watch with a variety of eye-catching coloured dials, plus relaibility, then the vintage Seiko 5 models deliver. True, they need that mad shaking from side-to-side for 20 times or so to get going – you can’t wind them. But once running they tend to ekep going – and spare parts are plentiful and cheap.

So if you want to learn a little bit about watch repair, then the Seiko 5 is another great choice. Buy a job lot of non-runners and you’ll probably figure out how to get something working again. Even if it does just tick over for 3 hours or so before stopping.

There are some crazy prices being asked on ebay for some nice Seiko 5 watches. It’s also wise to steer clear of refurbished dial Indian models – these often have suffered a hard life, and a new lick of paint doesn’t mean that the movement has been thoroughly cleaned and oiled properly. The typical price of £16 is a clue as to the quality of these watches.

So spend £50-£75 and get yourself a nice, looked after Seiko 5. You’ll find it’s light on the wrist, takes abuse all day long, and just keeps ticking.

Have fun – be lucky!