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The Explorer Review... again
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Also: a partial correction by Richard Paige (below)
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Posted by Baron Harkonnen , Dec 08,1999,10:31

[ Read Walt Odets' Rolex Explorer I review! ]The Explorer review.

Re : I finally read the Explorer I review on TZ (horologium).....more -- SubSam
Posted by Baron Harkonnen , Nov 30,1999,12:35

I am taking Walt's watchmaking course, he is an excellent instructor as well as watchmaker. Objective? Not at all, even in the slightest when it comes to Rolex.

Several people have attempted to refute Walt's analysis of the watch, without any great success, they all seem to lack Walt's ability as a writer and illustrator. However, it is not necessary to go outside of the Horologium (Walt's part of TZ) to find refutation of Walt's conclusions.

First, I refer you to the articles that deal with the finishing of a watch. Study closely what Walt considers quality and what he dislikes.

Next, go and read the piece entitled "Jessica's Cornavin Dolphin," in which he outlines his views on Rolex.

Lastly, read the Explorer article critically. Read the facts, charts and look at the pictures, often comparing them with other photo's throughout the entire body of Odet's work on TZ. Look at the facts that Walt presents and study them. I offer you a sysopsis of the Facts that Odets brings out:

A. The case and the dial and hands are well made, although he points out the roughness of the finish of the underside of the lugs.

B. The watch does not have a truly integrated bracelet, having been designed for a strap long ago, and the end pieces do not fit as well as they would is the watch had been designed with an integrated bracelet.

C. The Rolex case opening system is the only made that allows opening the watch without leaving tool marks.

D. There are straight cut gears as opposed to helical gears in some places.

E. The watch uses a balance without a regulator and adjusting screws, which having been adjusted apparently have some tool marks.

F. There are some microscopic imperfections in the movement and some foriegn matter in some of the jewels.

G. The watch on the timer showed amazingly good results (see the graphs).

H. The watch parts are not as well finished as some other movements which he prefers.

Above are facts. Then come his conclusions, which do not necessarily derive from his facts, but rather display. his prejudices and preconceived notions. The conclusions are that the watch is poorly made, overpriced, and that the people who have bought them are duped and decieved by a mass marketing machine that makes 800,000 watches per year.

When this review was published, it ignited a firestorm of controversy, and probably lead to the founding of this as well as other watch related sites on the internet.

Rolex publicly ignored the review, much to the chagrin of Walt, Richard Paige and others who felt that they should have provided a rebuttal. At about this same time, demand for this watch in Asia made it one of the two Rolex models (along with the Daytona) to become impossible to buy at even full list, often bringing a preium over full list of up to 20%.

Many have challeged Walt's honesty, I do not do that. I think that he is stating what he saw through the eyes of prejudice and ignorance as opposed to any actual malice.

But I would like to point out that Walt had declined to reveal the source of the watch, or its ultimate fate. This is scientifically unsound, to be scientifically valid a result must be able to be obtained by others, and this has not happened.

Subject:  Re: Are Rolexes any good? / Walt Odtes / Timezone
Date:  Sat, 23 Sep 2000 09:31:12 -0800
From:  Richard Paige
To:  Brad McCormick, Ed.D.

Hi Brad,


Regarding the source of the watch that walt reviewed..I have gone on TimeZone publicly several times over the last few years and stated that I was the one who procured the watch for Walt Odets...I bought the watch "off the shelf" from an authorized rolex dealer .....the dealer is a friend of mine, and I know for a fact that it came directly from the factory and was put out for sale in factory condition.

Best regards, Richard Paige
Director, TimeZone.com

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