This past March there was an auction on eBay for an old Tudor Submariner ref.7923. This watch is unique because it is the only reference Submariner made by either Rolex or Tudor that has a manual wound movement. Furthermore, not that many were made, so needless to say, for the Rolex/Tudor enthusiast, this is a pretty cool watch.
Where things got interesting, though, is that eBay has a policy where a bidder must call in when placing a bid that is 6-figures. This policy is in place to prevent fraud. But the issue is this is not commonly known (or remembered), so if your strategy was to wait until the last second to place your bid of over $100k, you got a message saying to call it in, and of course, time would have run out.
As a result, the final sale price ended up being $99,999, and logic says if it were not for that eBay policy it would have gone for much more.
But my question is: Who's the moron who actually paid $99,999 for this watch??
Actually, who's the even bigger moron about to pay at least $350k for this watch?
Because fast forward to this past Thursday when a San Francisco vintage retailer posted this exact same watch with a starting price of apparently $350,000 (presumably selling it for the aforementioned moron)!
Now, to be clear, this particular Tudor 7923 is very, very nice. It checks all the boxes. It's clearly all original, never polished, fantastic dial and lume, etc., but it is in no way shape or form worth $99k, let alone $350k+.
Those who beg to differ will say a watch is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it (bullshit!), some have already argued that the devil is in the details and that it's this watch's rarity that justifies its value (bullshit! bullshit!).
No, the only reason why this watch got $99k and now $350k+ is because of the buzz the watch blogosphere creates when rare watches come available. In other words, there are a lot of people who have a vested interest ($$$) in making values of vintage watches go up and up and up. They perpetuate myths about where we should and shouldn't place value, and never back it up with actual substance. This manufactured value is always conveniently about details that are subjective and not objective.
Once the trap is set, its only a matter of time before those with more money than brains start a pissing contest that ends at 6-figures.
But, let me put this in another perspective, one that should make sense to every sized wallet: