Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116000 silver Arab 3-6-9

My fourth Rolex (GMT II Coke, DSSD, 116523 blue Arab), wanted to try the 36mm size on my wrist over a period of time before committing to a President 36mm.

Found this watch BNIB at a pawn shop, exactly one year old w/ box and papers, N series, most stickers still on, for $3,500 I decided to give it a go.

Did a day's or two search in the forum here prior to buying it though, and realized the love (by some) for the Air Kings and OPs, their reliability, simplicity and ability to fly easily under the radar particularly impressed me.

Never been a fan of, by contemporary fashion standards, small size (34, 36mm) watches. However, following discussions with a collector friend I started to become increasingly aware of the fact that historically there was/is a reason for many watches to have a (say) size of 36mm.

I also understand there are people who would pass on the 116000, clearly and without any second thought not being their first choice, opting for a DJ / Explorer I (vintage or the new 39mm one) for a number of reasons.

My take on the pros of the 116000:

- Offers very good value for money, it would not be a watch I would buy brand new (but it is fine as a competitively priced BNIB);

- Ability to fly under the radar, very understated, simple yet elegant;

- Good luminosity (but not as in other Rolex models);

- Good clasp/case finishing;

- Superb dial finishing (silver arab 3-6-9), looks much better from up close;

- Proved and reliable movement;

- Very comfortable to wear, easy to choose for wearing on a wide variety of occasions/atmospheres.


- No date function, no other complications;

- Average/normal power reserve;

- Legibility an issue for some (with this particular dial);

- Good clasp but adjustment not as easy as in the new Rolex design (DSSD, Explorer 39mm);

- Bezel not fluted;

- Reliable movement but other models (e.g. new Explorer I) have more developed/improved movements;

- Crown a tad small, but lat us not forget it is a 36mm size watch;

- Price-wise, one may decide to save and get another, slightly more higher-end Rolex model.

I cannot comment on its accuracy as at the time of writing I've had the watch for about 24hrs, but this is a subject that can be taken care of by the local RSC following customary adjustment.

Overall: Recommended.

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