Time and Gems timepieces based out of Los Angeles specializes in the sale of quality pre-owned Rolex watches of all varieties. They have newer models as well as some extremely hard to find vintage models. I got to Visit with the Time and Gems recently to view their massive collection watches as well as to check out their newest project. Over the last few years one of the hottest trends has been modified Rolex watches. These fall into two main categories; the modification of new Rolex watches, and the modification of pre-owned Rolex watches. I currently have a bit more faith in the latter as they are an honest attempt to “breathe new life” into pre-owned models, and because they give Rolex lovers new visions of their favorite timepieces.
Modifying Rolex watches is very difficult. People take for granted the highly sophisticated processes that Rolex itself uses to manufacture and perfect each watch. The level of accuracy and quality control that goes into each watch coming out of Montres Rolex is impressive. To them take that and modify it with a commensurate level of quality is very difficult. Especially as modifiers don’t have access to the same technology or facilities that Rolex does. What I am trying to say is that not all modified Rolex watches are created equal. It is important to pick and choose those with are done well.
Getting a modified Rolex watch is pretty appealing. Handling them myself I got pretty excited about them. It is like taking something ultra popular and trendy, and giving it a special twist that makes them unique. The newest venture from Time and Gems is a DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated line of Rolex watches that are in all black cases with the original Rolex dials (to protect quality). The cases are the original Rolex cases that have been specially coated with the ultra tough material. You can click on the link above for a bit more information on DLC. In short, the material is very scratch resistant and wear resistant. The finish is a sort of matte. Time and Gems calls it “stealth finish.” It mixes quite well with the naturally dark, high-contrast tones of the dials. The results are particularly impressive, and for most people they are something easily recognized as very desirable.
Time and Gems offers six DLC covered pieces initially. These are custom made, and there may be only one of each. Specially made for discerning Rolex enthusiasts. Time and Gems will likely be available to work with clients who are interested in working with them to create their own unique modified Rolex watches. Let’s take a look at what they have prepared initially. Each of these watches is currently for sale. I am told that each of the watches are Rolex models dating from 2000 or later. The newest model is likely the Rolex Milgauss (with the awesome green tinted sapphire crystal). It is the newer Milgauss model and all original with a special DLC coating over the whole case and bracelet. Like all of these watches, the caseback is in the original finished steel.
Three more modded models are a Rolex GMT Master II, Sea-Dweller, and Submariner each with original parts and DLC coated. A new vision of classic in a bolder black tone. They are 100% identifiable as Rolex watches of their respective models, but in black. You do want people recognizing them as actual Rolex watches of course. There are then two other models that take the modification concept a bit further. First is a interesting rendition of a Rolex Explorer II in all black DLC with red color applied into the engraved numerals around the bezel. It has a striking military inspired look that balances well with the red colored GMT hand. It wasn’t easy for Time and Gems to insert the red color into the bezel – something I understand they are continually working to perfect. Even more interesting is an all black DLC coated Rolex Submariner with a real carbon fiber dial. The process involved removing the original Rolex dial, and printing a carbon fiber dial with the proper text. Next, the original hour indicators and hands are reapplied.
Prices for these modified Rolex watches are reasonable. Certainly much less than the Rolex watches that are new and modified. I figure it is probably best to let a Rolex watch “live a little,” and then modify it for round two of its tenure on someone’s wrist. Prices for the pictured models range from $6,000 – $9,500. Highest is the new Milgauss model. Costs involve the value of the original watch on the used market plus the intense amount of work that goes into the modification. Time and Gems is shaping up to be of the most impressive places for modified pre-owned Rolex watches. They of course also have a full collection of original, un-modified Rolex watches at their disposal. Click here to buy or learn more about this new DLC coated Rolex watch collection at Time and Gems. It is important to note that Time and Gems is not associated to, or connected with Rolex in any way (as is the case with all just pre-owned Rolex dealers or modifiers – be it for new or used Rolex watches).