Inside A Novice Watch-Buyer’s Mind

Inside A Novice Watch-Buyer’s Mind

I have always loved watches. From the time I was young, I loved the different styles and colors, chronographs vs. dress; hell, I even loved pocket watches. But, it wasn’t until recently that I started to appreciate the engineering that goes into making a quality watch. 

Luckily, I get to hang out with the creator of spazz.com on a regular basis, so I get schooled on the in”s-and-out’s of a variety of different watches. There is so much to learn and understand, and I am taking it all in little by little. 

So, I decided to write this article to help others like me - the guys who love quality watches but don’t have the money to buy the best of the best. The good news is that you don’t always have to buy the best; just buy the best in the range that you can afford. 

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Paul Newman's Paul Newman, Newman... WTF?

Paul Newman's Paul Newman, Newman... WTF?

Hello Newman!

You knew it was going to happen one day, certainly after the idiocy we've seen with recent show-stoppers like the womanizing-country-abanding Bao Dai 6062, or the so-subtle-no-one-would-ever-know-its-a-Patek-under-a-sweater 130, that the ultimate vintage watch that people with far more money than brains will jerk each other off over, would be found.

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Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Is A Joke!

Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Is A Joke!

Not too long ago the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), released a white paper that took them over 3 years to complete, which was supposed to define for us all mere mortals what "fine watchmaking" really is. To do this, the established a "Cultural Council" made up of 46 "experts" that would judge all brands and watches across a series of criteria both subjective and objective.

The end result was that only 68 brands managed a score high enough to qualify their watches as "fine watchmaking".

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Comparing Watches to Art

Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Comparing Watches to Art

Last weekend we saw an example of the complete and total idiocy within watch collecting when the so-called “Bao Dai” Rolex 6062 sold for nearly $5.2 million dollars, setting a record for a Rolex watch at auction in the process. The reason for this outrageous number was because of it’s supposed rarity and provenance. Bao Dai who was the last Emperor of Vietnam, bought this watch during the Geneva Accords in 1954 not long before he abandoned his country because he realized that actually running it would interfere with his womanizing, golf, bridge, etc. As such, he took his Rolex to the south of France to frolic among other like-minded nobodies until his death in 1997.

Good for him, but for that “provenance”, someone actually paid $5 million. Of course, this did not come without criticism. Many have spoken out against the lack of common sense shown in these prices/values, citing the Bao Dai as the clearest of examples.

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The Bao Dai or Mr. Chow Rolex 6062?

The Bao Dai or Mr. Chow Rolex 6062?

I spent much of last week and the weekend taking deep breathes. The reason for this was the latest Phillips Geneva Watch Auction where the extremely famous “Bao Dai” Rolex 6062 was going to be auctioned off. Among “Rolex Collectors”, this was apparently the best of the best. Some very prominent Rolex collectors have even been quoted as saying if there was just one Rolex they could own, this would be the one. So, the obvious question is what’s the big deal about *this* Rolex?

The reference as mentioned is a 6062. It's the last moon phase Rolex ever made until this year when they introduced a new moon phase movement as part of their Cellini collection. But, this particular 6062 is one-of-a-kind. It's the only one in 18k yellow gold that has a black dial and diamond indices. Thus, making it as rare is it gets, which is one of the 3 main rules of collecting vintage watches. Apparently, there are no records of a second watch just like this one. There are other 6062’s, some in stainless steel, other gold ones too, but only one with a black dial *and* diamond indices.

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How Competitive Diving Helps Judge Watches

How Competitive Diving Helps Judge Watches

“A fool and his money are soon parted.”

That is a famous proverb that seems to be the foundation of the marketing used by watch brands today. In other words, for better or worse, despite the absolute fact that watches are machines, tools, instruments of time, etc., watch brands want us to view and judge watches subjectively like jewelry. This is how you end up with gold dive watches, for example, and people foolish enough to buy them.

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The FHH White Paper Might As Well Be Toilet Paper

The FHH White Paper Might As Well Be Toilet Paper

Yesterday, April 26, 2017, the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) released a white paper on “Fine Watchmaking”. In short, the white paper was created to promote what they’re calling “Fine Watchmaking”, and they defined 4 market segments and 7 areas of expertise by which 46 “independent international experts” used to judge brands against. These people make up what they’re calling the “Cultural Council”. For a watch to be qualified it must score at least 60% where 65% of the score is objective and 35% is subjective.

In total, 86 brands were judged, 68 made the cut, and only 28 were so good they became partners.

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Tudor Submariner 7923 And The Moron About To Pay $350K

Tudor Submariner 7923 And The Moron About To Pay $350K

This past March there was an auction for an old Tudor Submariner. This watch is unique because it is the only reference Submariner made by either Rolex or Tudor that has a manual wound movement. The other thing that is interesting about this particular example is that it really does appear to be completely original and untouched, but also in really amazing condition. As you will see in the photos, it definitely looks old and has signs of aging, but the case is still really crisp and its original finish is mostly there, even the bezel insert wasn’t changed and the lume is still untouched.

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Buy Or Not To Buy: Young Independents

Buy Or Not To Buy: Young Independents

If you ask me, I would recommend against buying a watch from a young independent company. This is my general rule, and this has nothing to do with the quality of the watches, because young independents make some amazing watches, and I do mean amazing! My recommendation is simply based on the economics of the watch industry itself.

Currently, buying a watch brand new has never been a bigger ripoff. If one compares prices of watches today to even 20 or 30 years ago, factoring for inflation, watches are one of the few things in our world that are actually much more expensive.

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The Omega Speedmaster Turns 60

The Omega Speedmaster Turns 60

Regardless of industry, companies that make products are always trying to create that perfect product that can translate not only to great sales, but that can actually become an icon.

In computers, think of the iPhone. The first true Smartphone and it literally changed how every single human who has ever held a mobile phone sees mobile telephony forever.

In the automotive world, think of what it must have been like when in the early 70’s Ferrari introduced the 308 GTB. In an era where most cars were the size of small boats, here comes this sleek, wedge inspired design that literally sliced through the air standing still. It defined Ferrari for a new generation and defined what an exotic sports car is supposed to be, having influenced hundreds of designs afterward.

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Meaning of Rolex 'underline' revealed

Meaning of Rolex 'underline' revealed

When it comes to the watch collecting world, specifically the Rolex watch collecting world, the fabled 'underline' has been a mystery.  

A Submariner or Daytona or Explorer with an underline on its dial is worth easily 1000% more than a non-underline version. 

There is absolutely no difference between the watches other than the tiny bit of faded paint, but its value is, as mentioned, very different.  

Turns out it was all an elaborate April Fools' Joke by some Rolex collector! - let's call him Bubba to protect his identity. 

It was easy for Bubba to make 'underline' Rolex dials since no one expects them to be pristine and they can't be authenticated by Rolex. So a faded underline would do.  

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When Image And Reputation Matter

When Image And Reputation Matter

There’s an old saying that I love that goes like this: Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

This is so engrained in our psyche as humans, that companies have started to invest more and more money in making us think their products are great, rather than actually making great products. It’s cheaper and they make loads more money, and the watch industry is no exception. Never has the watch market been filled with so many overpriced and boring watches (a reason why the vintage market is so hot), period.

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Happy New Year! And Materialism As We Enter 2017

Happy New Year! And Materialism As We Enter 2017

Every year we have our "new year's resolutions", but given the holiday season has just ended, which is always filled with the standard commercialism and retail therapy, I thought it might be worthwhile to give my perspective on the subject. Specifically when we refer to a certain type of spending as "materialism" - this ties in nicely with the watch world, since 2016 was officially the worst year on record since the early 80's!

First, what is materialism?

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More Bad News For The Watch Industry (Which Isn't Necessarily Bad)

More Bad News For The Watch Industry (Which Isn't Necessarily Bad)

It has now become common knowledge that this past year has been one of the worst on record for the watch industry. Data released by Bloomberg and the FHS (Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH) show that sales have dropped over 45% between 2015 and 2016, and the level of Switzerland’s watch exports dropped 11 percent during the first 10 months of the year.

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Sotheby's Landmark Auction Proves What We Already Should Have Known

Sotheby's Landmark Auction Proves What We Already Should Have Known

If you’ve read my posts in the past then you know that it is my belief that most of the prices that certain watches have been getting at auctions, etc., over the last few years are greatly inflated. No longer is there a rational relationship between price and the inherent quality of many watches. Instead, these elevated prices have become an example of herd mentality over independent thought. Where once there were true enthusiasts, now there are rich idiots with an unjustifiably elevated view of their own opinions who feel obliged to get into a pissing contest every time some shady example of a watch with a more-than-likely faked “rare" dial rears its head. Watches that fail utterly as examples of craft in any respect, or that could possibly justifies the cost. So, prices go up and the auction houses, the dealers and even some “expert” watch bloggers are the ones laughing all the way to the bank.

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Are We About To Enter A Watch Buyers Market?

Are We About To Enter A Watch Buyers Market?

After the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States, it is widely expected that there will be some economic uncertainty moving forward (at a minimum). This would affect the US, and by extension the world. Without going into a political rant, the reason for this is because proposed policies from the campaign trail point to an increase in interest rates, which basically means cost of living for the majority of people will go up. If this happens, luxuries are the first to get axed. Back in 2008 when the most recent financial crisis hit, the market was flooded with luxury cars, boats, and jewelry. It was only once the recovery really started to take hold the past couple years did we see, for example, an increase in watch prices to the point where records are being set all over the world.

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Top 10 Most "Attainable" Watches

Top 10 Most "Attainable" Watches

A little while ago I put together 'The Ultimate Watch Collection'. A collection where money is no object.

But, what if money is an object?

In other words, if we wanted to build a watch collection of 'attainable' watches, where attainable isn't necessarily cheap, but that a person making an average salary could, with time, save up to buy at least a couple, what would that look like?

Well, I'm about to tell you (in no particular order), and yes there are watches in this list that overlap with the "ultimate watch collection", and thats because money isn't everything.

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More Money Than Brains: $11 Million Steel Patek 1518

More Money Than Brains: $11 Million Steel Patek 1518

I love watches, but if you read my posts you also know I'm not one of those Horological Douchebags (HDs), that is constantly pushing the pissing contest many people with more money than brains tend to have with great regularity.

And without repeating myself (you can read older posts for that), let me present to you the most recent example: the Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in stainless steel.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid As Watch Hobbyists, And Those Who Profit From Them

Common Mistakes To Avoid As Watch Hobbyists, And Those Who Profit From Them

I am literally beside myself when I browse around online, or happen to stumble upon conversations regarding watches by so called “experts”. The amount of junk thats out there dressed up as fact, when in reality is nothing more than some self-perpetuation prophecy designed to mold and shape public opinion in a particular direction is sickening.

It’s as if over time everything has been turned on its head. What used to be considered important is now less so and vice versa. A whole new formula has been created and passed around, which is then used by those receiving this “advice” against their own interests.

At Spazz.com we call those responsible Horological Douchebags (“HDs”). They don’t want you to think for yourself using logic, but rather they want you to trust them blindly. They’ve “been there”, so they "know of the mistakes" they don’t want you to make (wink wink).

But you still have a brain, don’t you?

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