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Rado Manhattan - fake or partly fake? Help needed...

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  • Rado Manhattan - fake or partly fake? Help needed...

    Dear Rado connaisseurs

    Inspired by the NCC 101 seen on the wrist of a friend, I decided to go retro, searched a bit (apparently too less to spot the fake) and bought a Rado Manhattan on chrono24 from a private seller in Italy for EUR 500. On the pictures the watch looked slightly used, but in a very good condition, and was marketed as "All original with steel strap. Perfect with original box without papers."

    After some hassle with swiss customs, the watch finally arrived and left me deeply disappointed. The bracelet looks and especially feels very cheap and was never used before, there is even a small piece of plastic protective film which was not removed properly. I cannot imagine that such a scrap metal is originally from Rado. The watch itself looks too perfect to be true, but has the Rado anchor on the plexi-crystal. The day-date has both english and spanish day abbreviations, the crown is not a screw-down crown.

    I am pretty sure that the box and the bracelet is not originally Rado (I read on this forum that the serial number should be engraved on the clasp, which is not the case here), however I am not sure if the watch is fake as well or just refurbished. As chrono24 told me I have to proof that the watch is at least partly fake (written confirmation of a Rado dealer) to be able to return it to the seller and get my money back, I am now relying on you to evaluate if the watch itself is fake too. In case its a real Rado Manhattan, I would contact the seller to correct the price for the fake bracelet/box and keep the watch.

    Thank you very much in advance for your help, pls. find some pictures below.






  • #2
    HI and welcome.
    It's tough for me to say this isn't authentic. At a glance, I would say the dial looks so clean it may have been repainted, but there is nothing glaring that suggests a fake.
    The NSA bracelets of the time were flimsy, and I believe should have an NSA logo on them. But it could be a later clasp attached to the correct fitted 3-row NSA.
    The case looks like it has been polished (the edges are not crisp) and I'm fairly skeptical of that crown. It there a faint engraved number on the side of the case?

    Note, if yours is an original dial with the clear crystal markers, it is uncommon.

    Here is my early Manhattan (ca. mid-1960s)...all original (with a slightly different bracelet):



    Some more information from my website:

    https://www.watchcarefully.com/index...e-rado-watches

    https://www.watchcarefully.com/index...e-rado-watches

    Brad

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Brad for your input and the links. I just checked the case and cannot find a number engraved. Does your model have a screw-down crown? The pics on your website are very informative, it seems that Rado has changed the appearance of this watch quite a lot over times.

      Cheers, Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Chris and welcome.

        The bracelet looks to be one of the cheap aftermarket bracelets often used as replacements on Diastars. It is not made by Rado. As Brad says the case is authentic but heavily polished. The dial looks like it could have been one of the special editions, but it has been incorrectly reprinted. The anchor disc and the Rado logo on the dial both bother me. I don't know it that is because they have been polished or because they are non-factory replacements. I feel like they are probably not authentic. The type on the day wheel looks like it comes from the second version of the Manhattan, which has a flat case back. The box could be a genuine Rado box, but it is post 2012 if it is, not 1960s.

        No authentic Manhattans have a minute track. The special edition dial should look like this;

        P3230165 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

        P3230163 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr


        P3230166 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

        These two Manhattans have the two types of bracelets that Manhattans were sold with.
        Solve all your doubts through question mode.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you very much Henry! This is not good news, but anyway expected. In March, the lockdown in Switzerland will be partly lifted, thinking about going to a watchmaker to open the caseback and check the movement (I have no clue how to open it). It is definitely not a NSA bracelet, and flimsy would be a kind description. It really feels very cheap, like for a 20$ watch... Should have read more about this wonderful watch before making such a mistake.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SwissChris View Post
            Thank you Brad for your input and the links. I just checked the case and cannot find a number engraved. Does your model have a screw-down crown? The pics on your website are very informative, it seems that Rado has changed the appearance of this watch quite a lot over times.

            Cheers, Chris
            I've never seen a Manhattan with a screw-down crown.

            Hank's point about the minute track is a good one--I should have noticed that. I agree with him that your RADO appliqué and the anchor/disc on the dial look suspicious.
            His point about the bracelet being a cheap modern copy I also agree with.

            Rado did change this model a lot...varieties of dials, and even a friction-fit flat case back on some later models.
            Yours it definitely not 100% original. If the seller claimed it was so, I imagine you have grounds for a refund. I don't expect many current Rado dealers will know the differences we can recognize, but just proving the dial is incorrect should be sufficient.
            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Definitely not an original. Those repainted dials with the minute track are popping up on many sites across the globe. The bracelet is a cheap copy.
              See my collection slideshow at
              http://s629.photobucket.com/user/sca...20March%202012

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