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I was just astounded at how many people the error would have to get past in order to make it to the AD. How many layers of QC?

Then I started this thread as to how it could be missed so easily by so many and half the people posting didn't see it... which I guess is my answer
I have no doubt that there are even bigger, non-visual defects that make it out the door on a regular basis.

Quality control is a statistical game, and is typically measured in percentages or fractions of the total production.

Given the volumes that Rolex produce, it’s inevitable that some will slip through the (mostly human controlled) process.

This is possibly what I would call a Monday morning watch.

Last watch produced late on Friday just before the weekend when people are rushing to get out the door and passed through QC first on Monday morning after a massive weekend that the controller still hasn’t recovered from...


SOoO many watches SOoO little time...
 

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Thanks for posting. I do like the symmetry the two 9's bring to the dial. Plus, this would be one neat Rolex to own.

As for "number blindness" — I can relate to that.
 

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I don't understand what you are asking. Is there something wrong with the Air-King? If so, post a link please.

This is exactly how it happened.

I would have to see the work station(s) and see the workflow of the application of the applied numbers to even guess how the initial person made the mistake. The subsequent human eyes that looked at it "saw" what they were used to seeing. It is unlikely an error they actually looked for something they may have never seen before. Their brain just registered the 9 as a 3 while they concentrated on looking for dust specks and all the other faults they commonly see. Number blindness.

I remember when I first saw the picture even knowing something was wrong it took longer than I will admit to register. I was looking for much smaller errors all over the dial and completely missed the forest since the forest is always there.
 

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The existance of this watch has been known for a while now, but I have yet to hear a realistic, believable view of how it escaped the rarified atmosphere of Rolex quality control.

Rolex has built their reputation on impeccable quality and impossibly high manufacturing standards. Does anyone having any ideas how this slipped out.

View attachment 15083435
IDK. I know that if I owned it, I'd hang on to it and Rolex would never again get their hands on it.
 

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That watch will be worth a fortune!! The “99 Air-King” or AK99 :-!
 
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Error aside, the more I see pics of this AK, the better it looks. Saw one in person at a client meeting last year and it’s hot stuff. Beautiful watch.
 

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At the risk of sounding like a Rolex apologist, I'm genuinely curious what answer is desired by OP here.

Obviously a mistake was made and literally no one noticed it, including the dealer (IIRC the Watchfinder video). What other answer is there? Happens to every brand, I imagine. I've had to send back watches from Blancpain and Bremont not long after purchase.

Yet, the tone of the post appears to be that this is evidence of Rolex's QC being a sham? Why? If Rolex is among industry leaders in fewest defects per million, does presenting evidence of a defect invalidate their process? Help me out here.

Regards,
Alysandir
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
At the risk of sounding like a Rolex apologist, I'm genuinely curious what answer is desired by OP here.

Obviously a mistake was made and literally no one noticed it, including the dealer (IIRC the Watchfinder video). What other answer is there? Happens to every brand, I imagine. I've had to send back watches from Blancpain and Bremont not long after purchase.

Yet, the tone of the post appears to be that this is evidence of Rolex's QC being a sham? Why? If Rolex is among industry leaders in fewest defects per million, does presenting evidence of a defect invalidate their process? Help me out here.
You're projecting.

Do you think this is proof of their QC being a sham because of the error? Do you feel it's evidence that invalidates their process? I never said either.

I just wondered how something like this could happen in a company whose reputation is built on the production of a flawless product. This was not a speck of dust on the dial
 

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You're projecting.

Do you think this is proof of their QC being a sham because of the error? Do you feel it's evidence that invalidates their process? I never said either.

I just wondered how something like this could happen in a company whose reputation is built on the production of a flawless product. This was not a speck of dust on the dial
There is no such thing and I don't recall seeing Rolex making this claim anywhere either.

For that matter, I don't recall any watch brand in recent memory making such an outlandish and easily falsifiable claim...

SOoO many watches, SOoO little time...
 

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A Six sigma quality level is considered the pinnacle for for any process and even that allows for 3.4 defects per million. Rolex makes approx one million watches a year, so I’d bet there are a couple more doozies from last year hiding somewhere....
 

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A Six sigma quality level is considered the pinnacle for for any process and even that allows for 3.4 defects per million. Rolex makes approx one million watches a year, so I’d bet there are a couple more doozies from last year hiding somewhere....
They are using all available defects on the Tudor GMT movement.
 

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Sure many saw this "old news" before. Every time I see this again, I think about Rolex production rather then their QC.
I am wondering and can't believe that their dial production is manual. If it is automated, which what I think it should be, there is no way for this type of error to happen unintentionally and on small (perhaps one) number of watches. So this is either a post-production falsification or a joke, or fake dial or whatever, or some kind of production automation quirk done by someone. Remember there were two Intel engineers who designed their names scripted into Intel processor chip? My 1st guess is by far more probable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
There is no such thing and I don't recall seeing Rolex making this claim anywhere either.

For that matter, I don't recall any watch brand in recent memory making such an outlandish and easily falsifiable claim...
Fair enough...
 

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Indeed, very old news. Why, in the daily course of our lives, is this in any way whatsoever, important or even interesting? A photoshop pretend mistake (very likely), a fake dial mock up (I doubt it) or a real mistake (unlikely)--does it matter one way or another?
 

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There is no such thing and I don't recall seeing Rolex making this claim anywhere either.

For that matter, I don't recall any watch brand in recent memory making such an outlandish and easily falsifiable claim...
Indeed, because it is impossible. Even when using "digital eyes", errors can still get through.

Frankly, I love that watch, wish I was the owner, not because I hate Rolex (I don't), it would just be a one-of-a-kind piece, unlike the hundreds of thousands of others that are all the same. It's like with cars, it's the flaws that make many things "endearing" to people, not the perfection.

Possible exception may be software....
 

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Sure many saw this "old news" before. Every time I see this again, I think about Rolex production rather then their QC.
I am wondering and can't believe that their dial production is manual. If it is automated, which what I think it should be, there is no way for this type of error to happen unintentionally and on small (perhaps one) number of watches. So this is either a post-production falsification or a joke, or fake dial or whatever, or some kind of production automation quirk done by someone. Remember there were two Intel engineers who designed their names scripted into Intel processor chip? My 1st guess is by far more probable.
Assuming it's automated, at some point the numbers have to get arranged for the machine to be able to place them appropriately on the dial. And if that's automated, then they need to be fed into that machine in some way. I can't think of a situation where there wouldn't be the opportunity to get a 9 into the 3 spot by accident, unless the numbers are created and applied all in one go, without getting moved around or repackaged or rearranged. And I doubt that's the case.
 

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Assuming it's automated, at some point the numbers have to get arranged for the machine to be able to place them appropriately on the dial. And if that's automated, then they need to be fed into that machine in some way. I can't think of a situation where there wouldn't be the opportunity to get a 9 into the 3 spot by accident, unless the numbers are created and applied all in one go, without getting moved around or repackaged or rearranged. And I doubt that's the case.
If it is real, it neatly dispels the common, but also insane, myth that Rolex accidentally cooked up an extra tub of Explorer dials, and instead of just keeping them to one side, invented an entire new watch just so they could use up the parts.

However, I think it's Photoshop by someone who needs to get a proper job, and a life.
 
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