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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I've got a problem that is quite common amongst owners of 1601s: I need to replace the old jubilee bracelet. Despite all the reading I've done, and despite bringing the watch into an AD, I've still got some questions. Figured I'd go to the experts here on WUS.

First, I don't know exactly what bracelet I need. The watch is a 1601, serial 22XXXXX, and I inherited it from my grandfather a few years ago. See below:

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

He had been wearing it on an aftermarket (I think) two tone jubilee, seen below:

Buckle Fashion accessory Belt Metal Watch accessory

What I assume is the original bracelet was kept in the box, completely stretched out, in pieces, and incomplete... no outer clasp. See below:
Watch accessory Belt Fashion accessory Buckle Watch
Now, after looking around, it seems that I need a 6251H bracelet... but I'm not sure. There are no model numbers on the "original" bracelet. And the "Rolex" text doesn't look quite right.

Second, once I know what bracelet I need, what's the best way to go about getting one?

I'm terrified that I'm going to send it in to Rolex and they're going to tell me that it's $3k or something. I know the replacement for the current TT Datejust is listed at $4700, which is just absurd. I understand that they generally offer some kind of turn-in value on original bracelets, but mine's busted and incomplete. At the end of the day, I don't think I would spend much more than $1k or so on a replacement. After all, the watch itself probably isn't worth much more than that. Seems like any bracelet directly from Rolex is going to be out of my range.

I'm also very wary of paying good money for something on eBay, as I've read that a lot of the bracelets on eBay are made up of a mix of aftermarket and genuine parts. And I certainly don't have the expertise or the patience to learn the vagaries of 1970s-era folded links.

The watch needs service, so I was hoping there might be someone who could both service the watch and find a good bracelet for me. Any ideas?

I know this is a common query, so I apologize for spamming up the board. But any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
RM
 

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Don't apologise, you aren't spamming the board, you're asking a legitimate question. Be prepared to search for quite some time on the bay for a replacement. Over that time you'll get to know what is original or what isn't. There are also a number of trusted sellers on here, TZ and TRF who sell all manner of Rolex gear. An email or pm to them wouldn't hurt either. As Jeannie said, chuck it on a strap until you find the bracelet. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't apologise, you aren't spamming the board, you're asking a legitimate question. Be prepared to search for quite some time on the bay for a replacement. Over that time you'll get to know what is original or what isn't. There are also a number of trusted sellers on here, TZ and TRF who sell all manner of Rolex gear. An email or pm to them wouldn't hurt either. As Jeannie said, chuck it on a strap until you find the bracelet. Good luck.
Thanks. I'll look them up. And get back on the bay.

Anyone have a bracelet model number for me? That would be really helpful.
 

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There is no reason to search for another 40 year old, stretched and worn bracelet.. Any TT Jubilee made for the Datejust (except SEL) will fit. Look for pn 62513H and 455 endlinks for a more modern and likely sound example . Be cautious though.. the Jubilee is the most counterfeited bracelet on the planet.

A new one is about 4,000 because of the gold. you could use a SS 62510H and it would look good for about a fourth the price, or, as Jeanie mentioned, find a nice leather or croc strap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is no reason to search for another 40 year old, stretched and worn bracelet.. Any TT Jubilee made for the Datejust (except SEL) will fit. Look for pn 62513H and 455 endlinks for a more modern and likely sound example . Be cautious though.. the Jubilee is the most counterfeited bracelet on the planet.

A new one is about 4,000 because of the gold. you could use a SS 62510H and it would look good for about a fourth the price, or, as Jeanie mentioned, find a nice leather or croc strap...
Thanks. This is helpful.

After a little more searching and some closer examination of the bracelets I have, I'm thinking that I might have all the original parts of the clasp. I think the outer part of the clasp on the "aftermarket" bracelet (the one that is engraved, in the second picture above) is actually the original. And I have the inner parts of the clasp, as can be seen in the third picture above. I may try to have someone put them together again... and then just use the links on the aftermarket bracelet.
 

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Thanks. This is helpful.

After a little more searching and some closer examination of the bracelets I have, I'm thinking that I might have all the original parts of the clasp. I think the outer part of the clasp on the "aftermarket" bracelet (the one that is engraved, in the second picture above) is actually the original. And I have the inner parts of the clasp, as can be seen in the third picture above. I may try to have someone put them together again... and then just use the links on the aftermarket bracelet.
Mate, that bracelet looks stuffed, especially in the third photo. Why risk it? How heartbroken will you be if you lose the watch because of the bracelet? Get thee to an appropriate leather goods purveyor and get a nice croc strap while you look for and acquire a SOUND bracelet!
 

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There's a guy in Hong Kong who can and does rebuild Rolex bracelets for a fraction of the cost new. He pulls it apart with special equipment and replaces the worn pins that hold the whole thing together. I'm a satisfied customer of his and so are hundreds of others, but patience is the overriding watchword in dealing with him because he just refuses to communicate fast and quick via email and his work sometimes takes about 4 weeks.

If you can overcome the feeling of riskiness in dealing with him, I would venture to say you'd be very happy with the end result and the price to get you there.

Otherwise you can exercise patience in findig a two toned pre owned bracelet through various sales forums or ebay or the one or two on line vendors who specialize in such things. Or you can go aftermarket so long as you're comfortable with something that isn't marked as Rolex. You'd know it's aftermarket, people who populate the forum might realize it, but the rest of the world will just admire your watch, if indeed they even look at it.

Once the bracelet is obtained or dealt with, you can find a good watch repair person near you, or who accepts out of the area shipments or your nearest RSC.

You can PM me for details of the guy in Hong Kong or for some hints about pre owned bracelets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to everyone for all the help. I really appreciate it.

My plan right now is to have the original bracelet restored with Kawika's guy in HK while I send the watch head to RSC-NY for service. I know it would be easier to just get a strap, but I'm going to try the old bracelet for a number of reasons. First, it has some sentimental value, as my grandfather wore it for over 25 years (and the clasp is engraved with his initials). Second, I just like the idea of reviving the original bracelet instead of hunting for another one... makes the whole package more special somehow. And third (and certainly not least!), my wife will be wearing it, and she wants it on a real Rolex bracelet.

I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

-RM
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
To give everyone an update, the bracelet is in HK for restoration and the watch head is at RSC-NY for service. RSC quoted me $4K for a replacement bracelet, confirming what I had heard from the AD.

I'm hoping to reassemble the completely refurbished watch some time in February.
 

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It sounds like you may have gotten this all squared away but I'll briefly tell my tale of a very similar situation. My father passed down to me his father's watch, a two-done DateJust from the early 70's. I brought it into an authorized service center for a service because who knows when the last one was? They said it was in good shape except for the fake bracelet. I had never seen a Rolex bracelet before so I didn't even look at - it wasn't even really a fake (didn't say Rolex on it) just a very cheap one that was in the same style.

Aside from the extreme (for my wallet) cost of a new two-tone jubilee bracelet it seemed somehow wrong to put a new bracelet on a 40 year old watch so I wanted vintage, despite them having a poor reputation for quality. I eventually got one from eBay (in the US) from Rolexfamily that was in pretty good shape. It is a bit stretched out but I use it as a dress watch, not a daily, so that doesn't bother me much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It sounds like you may have gotten this all squared away but I'll briefly tell my tale of a very similar situation. My father passed down to me his father's watch, a two-done DateJust from the early 70's. I brought it into an authorized service center for a service because who knows when the last one was? They said it was in good shape except for the fake bracelet. I had never seen a Rolex bracelet before so I didn't even look at - it wasn't even really a fake (didn't say Rolex on it) just a very cheap one that was in the same style.

Aside from the extreme (for my wallet) cost of a new two-tone jubilee bracelet it seemed somehow wrong to put a new bracelet on a 40 year old watch so I wanted vintage, despite them having a poor reputation for quality. I eventually got one from eBay (in the US) from Rolexfamily that was in pretty good shape. It is a bit stretched out but I use it as a dress watch, not a daily, so that doesn't bother me much.

I felt the exact same way: I wanted vintage. Just feels right. A gleaming, SEL bracelet would be incongruous. And if I can have the original bracelet restored, all the better. I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out, but my expectations aren't too high considering the poor condition of the bracelet.
 

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I felt the exact same way: I wanted vintage. Just feels right. A gleaming, SEL bracelet would be incongruous. And if I can have the original bracelet restored, all the better. I'm pretty excited to see how it turns out, but my expectations aren't too high considering the poor condition of the bracelet.
Reset those expectations and expect to be astonished with what I believe you'll receive from Hong Kong. Mr. Young works magic. Be patient...you'll see and it no doubt is far less than the $4000 for a new replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Reset those expectations and expect to be astonished with what I believe you'll receive from Hong Kong. Mr. Young works magic. Be patient...you'll see and it no doubt is far less than the $4000 for a new replacement.
MY is only charging me $180 for the bracelet restoration, so if the results are anything like what you say I'm going to be thrilled. And I've mentally prepared for a long wait. I'll try to forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Agree with this DJ on a nice leather strap look awesome and better than on the Jubilee.
I've looked at straps, and I may get one. I've just had a hard time settling on a brand/seller/type... so many options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought I'd give everyone an update.

Unfortunately, MY was unable to repair the bracelet. When I inquired about the status (after patiently and silently waiting 10 weeks from the time the bracelet arrived in HK), he said that they could not use the normal process because the inner links on the oval bracelet are soldered and can't be forced open. He said that he was hoping to find some links for me. However, he said he could recast all the links for $1000. I declined, and he FedExed the bracelet back to me without asking for any payment.

I'm quite disappointed in the outcome, but I think MY was fair and I can't complain about the delay as I knew what I was getting into.

On the other hand, RSC NY did a fantastic job in servicing/polishing the watch. It really gleams, yet it's still got that vintage-y warmth from the acrylic. I put it on a Hirsch Croc strap (from Freda) and presented it to my wife for Valentine's Day. She loves it, and it looks great on her. Here are a couple of pics:

View attachment 991450 View attachment 991451

So, a happy ending... for now. I'd still like to get it back on a bracelet that somehow incorporates the original clasp and endlinks. And I'm in the market for a gold Rolex clasp to fit on the strap. If anyone has any new ideas on either of these, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So a new bracelet from RSC is $4000. MY wasn't cutting you a bad deal at $1000. Either way, it's still a lot of $
Yeah. Just too much right now. Especially after paying for full service from Rolex. I'm talking to Steve Mulholland right now about a replacement.
 
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