You are correct. At a quick glance I thought the protective tape was a blemish. I went and saw the watch today and it is in great shape. Due to your suggestion of DavidSW, I am hesitant to purchase the watch since I can get the same one with paperwork for just $300 more. I have a decision to make but feel that I will ultimately decide the extra $300 is worth having the full set for resale.
I'll toss in my recommendation to work with him. I bought my Rolex GMT-BLNR from him about 18 months ago and it was a piece of cake. Had to have Rolex do one regulation on the movement six months ago, which they did for free while I waited, and it's been keeping perfect time since then. He's quick at responding to emails and questions and has tons and tons of recommendations. Good luck!