Auction Report of the Replica Submariner Being Sold By Phillips

fake watchTwo weeks ago, Phillips stated that it would be selling a Rolex Submariner replica given by Steve McQueen to his stunt man Loren Janes, the watch world has been buzzing. It’s common for replica watches with rich provenance to come up at auction, to hammer for big money and to cause lots of excitement. With the Loren Janes Submariner though, many people have called the official Phillips story into question, most notably questioning the lineage of the watch on the block and whether or not Steve McQueen actually wore the watch himself for years before giving it to Janes. When there begun to be smoke, we went looking for the fire. It was looking like most of the commotion was nothing more than speculation after lots of phone calls, emails, and text messages.
As the Submariner watch exists today, it has a matte, four-line 5512 dial, despite being a 5513 from the mid-1960s. Clearly this is a replacement, but that’s only natural given the condition of the watch after the fire. The watch also comes with new bezel, new hands, and a new bracelet, and it also received a thorough polishing. The watch is being sold with a period-correct 5513 dial and hand set that are not original so any future owner could switch them back should they so desire.
The letters from Janes and the replica Rolex are used as two critical supporting documents for the provenance of the watch. However, neither seems fully reliable for confirming the full story. Rolex’s letter does not contain enough detail about the state of the watch to give us a true sense of what was done to it, and Janes’s letter was written only four months before he passed away due to Alzheimer’s complications.replica watch
We tried to answer the first question, and we were able to gain access to the photographs provided to the Janes family by Rolex after the watch’s restoration. In them the watch looks very similar to the state it’s in today, though we cannot tell for certain because of the quality of the photos. These photographs are not published here since we do not have the rights to do so, however in our estimation they confirm that the watch is being sold in the condition it was in upon leaving the Rolex Service Center.
We don’t know exactly what year the watch was gifted to Janes or if McQueen ever wore this watch prior to giving it to him. Given the timeline of events that Phillips provides, with the watch dating to years before it was given to Janes, it would only make sense that it lived some kind of life with McQueen. But without a solo confirmation of these dates in some kind of sales record or photographic evidence, it’s impossible to know actually.
At the time, many of the stunt roles were useless, making this more difficult to pin down than you’d think. What is clear, regardless of the exact timeline, is that Janes and McQueen did work together and did know one another quite well.

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