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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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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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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The Time Grand Seiko Ruled The World

The Time Grand Seiko Ruled The World

If you’ve lived all your life in the Western hemisphere, your opinion of Seiko most likely is that Seiko makes “cheap” watches. That they are not very high-end.

If you haven’t lived all your life in the Western hemisphere, or you are a true watch person, then you know that is absolutely false!

In fact, the Seiko Credor Eichi II is quite possibly the most interesting and best-finished watch in the world. It goes toe-to-toe, literally, with the Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor and the Philippe Dufour Simplicity. Furthermore, the Credor line also contains some higher-end complication watches, such as the Credor Repeater, Credor Sonerie, and the Credor Fugaku Tourbillon. These are complications that only a hand full of companies can compete with. Rolex, Omega, Longines, and many other traditional “big” brands from the 60's can not, and never have!

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Bang-For-Your-Buck: Rolex Explorer 14270

Bang-For-Your-Buck: Rolex Explorer 14270

New watch prices have dramatically increased over the years. Even when factoring for inflation, watches cost more today than any other time in history. This is why when we come across a watch that is a good deal, we like to mention it asap!

Today’s bang-for-your-buck is the Rolex Explorer ref.14270 (or even the 114270, which had minor changes: a slightly upgraded caliber 3130, the addition of solid end links, and the subtraction of lug holes), which can be bought on the pre-owned market for just over $3,000 to about $3,500. An excellent value, especially when you consider that a brand new Explorer will run you close to $7,000.

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Understanding COSC

Understanding COSC

COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) is the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which certifies a wristwatch for accuracy and precision, but does so according to standards established up to 1973.

There are other institutes that provide the same function, but the most important detail as it pertains to truly understanding accuracy, is that all of the truly high-end manufacturers have abandoned these certifications because their own in-house standards far and away surpass the COSC standard (and the like).

This is important for the following reason: many companies -- Rolex in particular -- not only have not abandoned the COSC, but use the fact that others have as a way to market their movements as being "better than" the rest, when in fact the opposite is (closer to being) true.

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Defining High End Watches

Defining High End Watches

The main issue, in general, when it comes to the watch industry today is that many brands that once were relevant, no longer are. And it's become increasingly difficult to decipher between the true horologically relevant watch brands and the pretenders.

Whats worse, many pretenders were once at the pinnacle of haute horology, so it can get tricky. 

So, here's a list of criteria that all truly high-end brand/watch will meet. If a brand or watch does not meet all of the criteria, regardless of how much it costs, I'm here to tell you to walk away. You have better options

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Rolex: Masters of illusion, not innovation (and how we fall for it)

Rolex: Masters of illusion, not innovation (and how we fall for it)

Baselworld 2015 has come and gone, and while some cool new watches were introduced, it was also disappointing in some very specific ways.

But something that has been infuriating has been this “buzz” around the new movement released by Rolex: the 3255 and it’s variants.

As Rolex has put it, this new movement sets a “new standard of performance” is “2X more precise than an official chronometer” has a “50% greater power reserve at 70 hours” and contains “90% new components”.

All of that is absolutely true.

So why is that infuriating? 

Because its only true for Rolex, NOT for the watch industry as a whole. 

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Omega Speedmaster/Seamaster Mark Series

Omega Speedmaster/Seamaster Mark Series

A very interesting watch is the Omega Speedmaster Mark Series. Omega also made some Seamaster variants, which are also interesting.

Its not as iconic as the legendary Speedmaster from 1957 onward, but given it's main era was the 70's, it does have an iconic look, case and dials, that make them appealing.

And the question is how will their value proceed from here?

My personal question about these watches is that they feature, for the most part the 1040/1041/1045 series of movements (but remember the Mark 2 had the legendary c.861). And even though they are part of the Omega-Lemania partnership of movements, it is commonly accepted that the 10xx series of Omega movements were the beginning of the end of their fabulous run of top-notch in-house movements.

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