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repmaster1234

The Vintage Encyclopedia

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repmaster1234

Good day, fellow RWGers. In reflection upon my beginnings in the journey to repdom, I remembered struggling endlessly with the multitude of terms, abbreviations and slang associated with vintage reps. I thought it would be a useful exercise to consolidate the most used of this jargon and provide clear definitions for the folks just getting into this fine hobby. Now, I know that this has been done before with general rep terms, but there is a clearly defined subset of this parlance that pertains to vintage watches - and many of these terms only have meaning to the most seasoned of our members (and I’m not talking about smoked paprika). So without further ado, I present to you:

 

The Vintage Encyclopedia 

Vol. 1, Rev. 4

 

Athaya - The primary source of quality aftermarket Rolex crowns for sports models. They come with a tube that is compatible with some Cartel cases, others require drilling and tapping to fit. Athaya also sells vintage Pam case sets and complete homage watches. Shipping is slow! Use Google to find their site. 

Cartel/JFK/JKF - A watch factory that makes vintage Rolex models, think Noob or BP or ARF. Cartel watches are generally used as a base for extensive modding - none of them are “gen-spec” or “1:1”, as is the case with any rep watch. They can be obtained from any TD.

Cartel Case - The case of a Cartel/JKF watch. You cannot buy just a cartel case (unless one happens to pop up on M2M) - people will generally buy the full Cartel watch, and scrap or sell everything but the case. These watches are cheap - $100-$200 - so it’s less than you would pay for a Vietnam case anyway. You can purchase a Cartel watch from any one of our trusted dealers here on RWG.

Clarks - An eBay aftermarket parts seller, most famous for his line of vintage Rolex tropic* replacement crystals. Also carries “Tudor Sub Hands,” considered by many (including myself) to be the best aftermarket vintage Rolex hands available - at least for the price. Confusion is caused by people calling Gary’s store “Clarks” - as his eBay store is actually named “nostalgia_2000”. Great guy with great products and fast shipping, based in the US. 

*See “Tropic” definition

Cousins/CousinsUK - A huge general watch parts retailer, based in the U.K.  They carry pretty much everything watch-related, but lots of people here like their very affordable crystals. You can find their website through Google. 

Decal Dial - A homemade dial option, made by printing a dial pattern onto a waterslide decal sheet and applied to a bare dial. The technique was popularized and perfected by Bart Cordell, but pioneered by several members on RWGcc. There are several tutorial threads on this, one having been written by yours truly.

Esslinger - A large watch parts and tools retailer, based in the US. They sell a selection of Rolex-compatible aftermarket parts, including an expansive range of inserts. You can find their website through Google. 

Gilt - A term used by Rolex to describe the golden text on early models, such as some examples of the 6538, 6542, 1016, and 1675. The effect is created through negative-relief printing, or in other words, printing the black portion of the dial rather than the text. This allows the base color of the gold-plated dial to shine through in the unprinted areas - where the text is.

Helenarou - A specialized parts seller, known for their 6538 cases - however they carry plenty more. They have also been known to do custom dial work (think spacedweller) via email request. Google will find their site.

JMB Case - JMB is a forum member on RWI that machines cases for 1016 builds. He has also been known to do custom work. High quality stuff. PM him over there with any inquiries you have .

NDTrading/NDT - A Vietnam-based parts reseller with fantastically high prices. 

Ofrei - A large watch parts and tools retailer, based in the US. Their tools are fantastic, but you will pay for the quality. They also carry Rolex-compatible crystals and some hands. You can find their website through Google. 

Raffles - A Singapore-based aftermarket parts seller. There are actually two raffles - rafflestime and rafflesdials. Totally different guys with separate offerings. A quick google search should yield their websites. Both are mostly known for their Rolex parts, including cases, bracelets, hands, dials, and a variety of other doodads. Shipping is generally slow, but they carry just about everything, so it’s always worth taking a look here. 

Reshaping - Generally refers to the use of machining tools to alter the shape of stainless steel parts, such as a case, crownguards, or bezel to be more similar to the genuine example. Not an easy modification - save this one for the pros.

Tiger/Tiger Concept - A Singapore-based homage watch seller that also happens to sell their hands. Most famous around here for being the only known source of the “lollipop” seconds hand used on 6538 builds. Google will find their website, navigate to Hands. 

Tropic - A term used by Rolex to describe their acrylic crystals used on all vintage models. Followed by a number code - I.e. Tropic 21, Tropic 25-116, Tropic 19. 

Viet/Vietnam - A country in Southeast Asia. In all seriousness, many people consider Vietnam-made aftermarket parts to be the best of the best, the cream of the crop. There are many resellers based in this country, some of the most well-known being Yuki, NDT, Dung Chrono, Rubyswatch, and a certain unnamed seller who is currently going through a nasty lawsuit.

WSO/Wholesale Outlet - An eBay aftermarket parts seller, mostly known for their 580 endlinks, common on vintage Rolex models. Also carry a more diverse range of parts, such as bezel inserts and non-rolex products. Don’t expect Clarks’ customer service, but sometimes the only option.

Yuki - A Vietnam-based aftermarket Rolex parts seller, considered by many to carry the lowest-tier of Vietnam parts (but still of superior quality to most of China’s offerings). 

I am positive that I missed many, many terms - so if you think of one or stumble upon something that needs defining, please let me know and I will gladly add it to this list.

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Buddhabar

Great idea ...

Thanks for sharing.

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Glaude

Very good and informative post ! Should be a sticky in this section ! 

Thanks for taking the time to do this :) 

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semperfi55

Omg @repmaster1234 thank you so much you just helped yourself in dodging a major bullet.....

I was going to bombard you with questions about many of these sellers

:notworthy:

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Luxuracer

So ... who has the best vintage sub?!?     :Whistle:

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Chixisigma

Was literally just in the chat box asking Q's along these lines. Great idea for a thread!!

Cxs

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HorFan

I think helenarou deserves a mention in this list as well, a fine resource for vintage bits and custom dial work as well.

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repmaster1234
20 minutes ago, HorFan said:

I think helenarou deserves a mention in this list as well, a fine resource for vintage bits and custom dial work as well.

Good one, will add it.

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Dylan32

searched and found here. Thanks!

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RussP

Good encyclopaedia for noobs like Me.

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black263

When I saw Vintage Encyclopaedia, I thought you were referring to an elderly kiddy-fiddler on a bicycle.

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amaiel
repmaster1234
Bart Cordell

Great thread mate !

 

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cpd2186

Awesome...

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

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bobandshawn

Great effort - thanks

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GC

Immediate Sticky

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dabeda

I was wondering what was cartel case. I understand now.

Very useful. Thank you!

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samurai dave

Fantastic info. Always good to learn a little more. 

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Moondustesp

Great info :Applause:

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