The used Rolex watch market is robust and maybe even a bit crowded. Why? Because pre-owned Rolex watches are big business given the fact that Rolex watches have such an incredible ability to retain value. Still, it is sometimes hard to justify buying an older model when new models exist. One good way to breathe life into older, good condition Rolex watches is to modify or customize them. That way you aren't one of legions of people who have the exact same Rolex watch.
Rolex modification is a growing segment in the watch market with retailers offering everything from brand new Rolex watches that have been modified, to performing such modifications on used models. Many of these modifications have been around for years. Often involving the addition of extra gold or precious jewels such as diamonds to the watch. Recently such modifications have taken a less "blingy" route to offering modified Rolex models that have altered colors and materials. Opinions vary as to the desirability of modified Rolex watches - the same way people argue against the modification of luxury cars. Keep the Mercedes Benz stock, or take it to Brabus for a hot horsepower injection?
Of the most popular trends in Rolex watch modding is the "all black look." Never has there been a factory black Rolex watch (to my knowledge). Thus, the market has met (assumed) demand and offering everything from high priced new Rolex watches with all sorts of black colored modifications, to doing the same to pre-owned Rolex watches. The latter being a better value than the highly limited new modified Rolex watches that are tough to get by all (except a host of celebrities who are gobbling up customized Rolex watches fast enough to make you think Rolex is suddenly shifting to making wallpaper). Producers of new stock Rolex watches can charge double or more than retail for the timepieces.
Modified Rolex watches (new or used) are only as good as the work put into them. The process is harder than it seems. So look carefully, and know what you are looking for. The most popular forms of black color treatment are either PVD or DLC coatings (the latter being more modern, but not as well refined in all instances as the much more common PVD treatment) Time and Gems, an outfit located in Los Angeles offers a host of modified or otherwise custom altered Rolex watches. Time and Gems
is not an authorized Rolex dealer, but instead specializes in the sale of used Rolex timepieces. They have recently got into the modded Rolex game and offer up a growing selection of DLC (and PVD) black Rolex Submariners, Sea-Dwellers, GMT Masters, Explorers, Milgausses, and more. The image above is of a Time and Gems DLC black Rolex Submariner watch (priced at $6,500). While modified pre-owned Rolex watches cost more than unmodified Rolex watches, they are arguably more interesting, and clearly involve a good deal of work. You can see black DLC Rolex watches from Time and Gems here
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review