After buying, selling and examining pre-owned Rolex watches for over 25 years, Gary Zumbaugh has watched the increasing sophistication of counterfeit watches. As Zumbaugh explains, "The prevalent use of a genuine Rolex movement in counterfeit bands is now putting trained watchmakers and appraisers at huge risk in today's marketplace." And the Internet has increased the millions of dollars spent on fraudulent Rolex watches to "epidemic" proportions.
Because of this, and the realization that even trained jewelers were being fooled by counterfeit watches, Zumbaugh decided to write a step-by-step guide to judging Rolex watches. The book, entitled Pre-Owned Rolex Watches The Professional's Handbook Watches, was completed in 2001 and 10,000 copies have been sold. Zumbaugh is quick to explain that "Montres Rolex S.A. does not endorse or recommend the book" but the book has been "requested by them for placement in their library in Geneva, Switzerland."
Investor's in watches know that nothing looks like the perpetual movement of a Rolex, so clever counterfeiters remove the movements from stainless Rolex watches and place them in phony 18K gold bands. Zumbaugh's book illustrates the proper markings or "hallmarks" that should be represented on an authentic case as well as the pins, screws and clasps of a true Rolex. The Professional's Handbook gives common examples of counterfeit watches, a parts guide and model and serial number charts. The photographs throughout the book are clear and succinct allowing even non-professionals to better evaluate their personal Rolex watch.
Zumbaugh's business, Zimbal's, is largely a wholesale operation and they do not operate on the internet. Their retail business has grown by 20 percent in the last two years; most of this new local business has come from personal referrals. "The demand for high-end watches has exploded," explained Zumbaugh. "Men who collected cars and coins in the past, now own two and three Rolex watches as accessories as investments."
Zimbal's services all types of genuine Rolex watches and their oyster perpetual movement. They clean, oil, regulate, replace, seal, pressure test and refinish the band and case. Zimbal's trained Rolex watchmakers use authorized Rolex parts, and service hundreds of wholesale and retail watches each year. Gary Zimbaugh's staff can also appraise and evaluate your Rolex for insurance purposes.
Zimbal's will also buy your gold and silver bullion. They will evaluate and purchase your rare U.S. and foreign coins, sterling silver flatware, gold and silver bars, and 10K-14K and 18K scrap gold. Zimbal's is located at the 5th 3rd Bank Building at 1150 Cleveland Street, Suite 310, in downtown Clearwater. It is best to call 727-442-7913 for an appointment.
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