The Magic of New Old Stock – The Rolex Submariner ref. 16618LN
The world of collecting can be a funny place, as is particularly vivid in the world of watch collecting. With minuscule details having the ability to impact the value, desirability and rarity of a timepiece by an order of magnitude, it is vital that you know what you are buying. However, one thing has always rung true with watch collecting no matter what; condition is king, second to none.
A safe haven that any collector can appreciate, the condition of a timepiece is the ultimate factor to be considered when buying a watch, particularly when looking at vintage and neo-vintage timepieces. Of course, most watches have been worn at least a few times in their lives and have thus gotten some of the normal swirling and light scratches that appear after a watch has spent some time on the wrist, but there is one corner of watch collecting that does not include such wear and tear; New Old Stock.
Used as a sacred term, New Old Stock (NOS) watches are those that have been stored away since their original purchase and are in entirely unworn condition. New Old Stock watches are an exceptional rarity considering the likelihood of a watch being worn at least a few times by its original owner, thus meaning the watch is not a true NOS piece. Indeed, NOS watches only exist when the original purchaser had the foresight to store the watch away and never wear it.
While some dealers have begun to use the term to describe watches that are in like-new condition, in practice, true NOS watches are exceptionally rare, and so we are proud to showcase our very own NOS Rolex Submariner ref. 16618LN. However, while an New Old Stock watch would be special enough by itself, this example is particularly noteworthy as it does not only come complete with its box and papers, its papers are the new credit card-style Rolex warranty card that Rolex debuted in 2020, not the large paper warranty papers that would have originally been supplied with a Rolex in 2007. How is this possible? Well, this M-serial ref. 16618LN spent its first 14 years in the vault of its original Authorized Dealer, thus avoiding being sold, which would have meant it would have either the original paper guarantee papers of the time, or the old-style credit card-style guarantee papers that Rolex used from between 2008 until 2020. As such, this example is a provably New Old Stock by its very definition.
Offered on its original unsized Oyster bracelet in entirely new condition, an exceptionally sharp case, and a perfectly preserved black anodised aluminium bezel insert to match its gently aged black dial, as are all expected for a New Old Stock timepiece, this ref. 16618LN is ready to be strapped onto the wrist of its first true owner and enjoyed for the first time since it was initially delivered to its Authorised Dealer in 2007.