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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my watch back from Rolex...I had them upgrade to superluminova hands and dial from older tritium hands and dial. I noticed last night that the minute hand now seems noticeably "skinnier" than the hour hand, especially the lume. I don't recall this being the case on the watch before I sent it in...Below, is a Submariner picture I got from the internet, and mine (on the right). Note the skinnier minute hand / lume strip on mine. Does anyone know if Rolex uses different hands, or is this just "par for the course" and there is a certain degree of variability in this regard?

 

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You 'upgraded'? you jest right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You 'upgraded'? you jest right?
Nope, not jestin' :)...The tritium was not functional anymore (tritium fades over time). As I will never sell this watch, I sent it to Rolex to have the dial and hands replaced. This was actually the second time I sent it back to them...the first time, they replaced the bezel insert, which made the dot glow MUCH more brightly than the dial / hands, because the new dots are superluminova. I made the decision for function over "resale value."

So, back to the main question: Did / Does Rolex put different hands on watches?

I checked the members database on this forum, and this one also seems to share the same "skinnier minute hand lume" as mine, although it was the only one I could find:

 

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They did change the hands slightly when switching from tritium to Supaluminova. The biggest difference is the mercedes hand which has the disc being curved rather than dead flat. Personally I preferred the flat version, but there you go.
 

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Each to his own... I use my bedside clock to tell the time at night or my mobile phone when Im away, so Ive kept my Tritium on my watches... I also love the caramel colour... superb.
 

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The hands may be different in size. Also, the white superluminova causes it to look bigger because it's more noticable. =) maverick
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The hands may be different in size. Also, the white superluminova causes it to look bigger because it's more noticable. =) maverick
I understand...what I am honing in on is the actual width of the suplerluminova strip in the minute hand vs. the width of the superluminova in the hour hand. The minute hand looks about 1/3 smaller on the minute hand to my eye.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is the SS Submariner featured on Rolex's website...seems the minute hand lume strip is also skinnier here as well, but other Subs on their website have a thicker lume strip...

 

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Does having the original dial and hands really add a lot to the value? If I have a rolex for 20 years, rather than sending it to RSC to have it repaired, would I be able to sell it to a collector (in a well-used condition) and buy a new one at the current price?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does having the original dial and hands really add a lot to the value? If I have a rolex for 20 years, rather than sending it to RSC to have it repaired, would I be able to sell it to a collector (in a well-used condition) and buy a new one at the current price?
My guess is as long as the hands are genuine Rolex, installed by Rolex, and the watch was re-calibrated to chronometer standards at Rolex, the value should hold up well. My issue was a little different though, where Rolex replaced the bezel insert, which in turn got me a superluminova bezel pearl, which glowed nicely at night while the tritium dial markers and hands did not. I made the conscious decision to have Rolex update the dial and hands to return functionality to them. This watch is a "keeper" and will not be sold, EVER. So re-sale value is not an issue for me. Heck, I may even upgrade the bracelet one day to the solid links.
 

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Does having the original dial and hands really add a lot to the value? If I have a rolex for 20 years, rather than sending it to RSC to have it repaired, would I be able to sell it to a collector (in a well-used condition) and buy a new one at the current price?
Any change from original will decrease the value of the watch. All collectors look for unpolished watches.

You can send in a watch and request no polishing. Look at older vintage Rolex watches and if the spring bars stick out of the sides, it's been overpolished and less desirable to collectors.

If Rolex refuses your wishes, they will refer you to an independent watchmaker.

What your watch will be worth in 20 years is hard to say. =) maverick
BTW, "never" is a long time. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For those that are interested, Rolex has indeed changed the hands on the Submariners. I was a a local AD, and clearly, the new Rolex Subs have thinner minute hands, along with thinner lume on the minute hand. It makes the watch look more elegant, and less chunky.
 

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I wonder if Rolex could/would use genuine parts "salvaged" from "upgrades and repairs" like this to use on vintage watches where parts are very scarce? I doubt they just toss them. Some may want their vintage watch repaired with vintage parts, when available...
 
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