Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Begins!

As 2012 comes to an end there are still more questions than answers: How is it that vintage Rolex is holding, while economies all over are not? Why is modern Rolex holding while economies all over are not? How are the big auction houses pulling crazy high prices for crazy stuff? Does anyone see a pattern? With IWJG Las Vegas going on today and the Miami shows coming at the month, it appears all things Rolex will continue to be in demand. The Christmas "rush", which is never a part of planet Tuscanyrose's agenda, was surprisingly strong. The month of December is historically not good for selling vintage, but this year, the slow economy allowed for very brisk and right buying, thus, inventory was fast moving and we moved many units before the holiday weekend. The week betweenChristmas and New Years was predictable, but the shortened week just after was extremely strong. We pretty much sold out of watches, mostly dealer to dealer. There were a few "high wholesale/low retail" sales to local collectors, which is always a plus. The "buckley dial" craze is begininning to pick up some steam, with local sales to "professional collectors" accounting for some of the nicest pieces going to the nicer buyers! There is a quiet steady buzz building for some of the more interesting Buckley dial/hand models, including one I just acquired which is blue roman w/broad hands. It was always a mystery as to which hands went with this model, as a datejust but recently I purchased this 1803 complete with original hands and it was very exciting. On to the market. Sales of common plastic sport are brisk. Nice original condition 1675, 1680 and 5513 are leading the field and bringing the right money, $4-5k. Plastic Daytona, pump and screw are strong, with pricing consistent $18-22k and 24-30k respectively. Remember, papers and all the gimmicks will add $1k-3k depending on completeness. Cream 16550, 666, 16800, 16750, 16760 are not as strong, with most dealers overpricing these models based on investment and their own memory of the "good old days", circa 2008. These transitional models were hot when real collectible stuff was insane. Now, with many collectors favoring real time investments, the market has slowed down and caught up. I personally have never been a believer in anything transitional. Zenith and 4130 Daytona were a little sluggish over the holiday. For the first time in years, I am getting calls from Rolex AD's looking to sell brand new steel Daytona @ $12k. When I tell them I can sell them for less, they are surprised, as this has not been the case for at least 15 years. Zenith are also a little "moody", with full set pieces in the $11k range. Two tone Daytona of both movements are still the "stepchildren" of the Daytona world, with perfect newer models sitting in the $9-10k range. Gold models are strong, with Zenith in the $14-16k range based on flip or non flip, and 4130 over $18.5k and up to $22k for engraved serial models. Dials are important in all these prices, with black, racing and other exotic bringing a premium. R and L Zeniths are OK, but not flying off the shelf without porcelain dials. The Miami IWJG and subsequent Beach Antique Show will be very telling. I am a firm believer in dealer to dealer so we will not be set up at the Beach show, but will walk the floor looking for deals, if there are any to be had. Happy New Year to all!! JB

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Forward, or more accurately sideways...

With the election over, and all the cheering masses getting back to looking for their fair share of the American Dream, we move on. Mose of us will play the game, and not let the game play us. We will play a little more carefully, and remember that real money is made on the buy. With all the wealthy "paying a little more", I am sure we can find nice pieces that will hold value and protect us from the perils of the ever shaky US Dollar and Euro. This is the time to buy in. Prices are holding across the board and unlike stocks, bonds, 401k, etc., we can be sure our inventories will prosper, as tangible will always outdo intangible. Be ready for another Wall Street burp. It's coming. Gold and silver, yes, I said silver, will come into play, bigtime. It cannot continue as it has been. Debt cannot be rectified by creating more debt. With gas in the $3.00-$4.00 range, how long will it be before people who work, on a fixed income, start feeling more of a pinch at the supermarket? My own take, I see a real difference just in the time it takes to get from marlboro to my NYC office. In 2007-8 before all this, It was a 2 hour trip, regardless of what time I left in the morning or evening. many times I took a black car just not to hassle with traffic. Over the last four years, my trip has shortened by half, with a max of an hour and 10-15 minutes door to door. High gas ($1.80 in 2008) has led to many having to take a bus or train, provided they have jobs at all! It is a sad commentary on the direction our government is going. Business, especially small business, is getting squeezed out. The real cost of health insurance, for those of us who actually pay for it, is going to prohibit growth, as will other policies coming into play. Get ready for it. It's coming sooner rather than later... JB

Friday, October 19, 2012

NYC Fall 2012, Buckley returns, and he's bringing back up...

As the world continued it's rotation since April, 2011, many things have changed. We are completely finished with the buildout of our new location at 66 west 47th, #23. Tuscanyrose now occupies the entire back of the extra large showcase with old friends Renaissance Watch Co. Tuscanyrose's relationship with Mike Pollicino (aka Big Mike) and Daniel Pasternak goes back to late 1999-2000, when Renwatch was a hub for many of the Rolex vintage parts that dealers and collectors alike covet today. Renaissance continues to be one of the premier locations for high end new/pre owned modern watches of all brands, specifically Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe and Breitling. With the ever unstable US dollar, and general global instability, the watch market, especially vintage, is thriving. It seems even though the Asian market is softening, primarily because of Chinese banks freezing assets at will, making it more difficult for traders to buy in their normal "cash in hand" fashion. This is only part of the ever growing ripple effect of the European downturn, which shook the vintage Rolex market last year. In spite of all this, vintage Rolex is thriving, in the USA and especially abroad. The current sluggish US economy continues to bring forth challenges. As far as our bottom line, the usual process of buying right, and selling with a smaller overall margin is allowing us to move many more units, thus driving our worldwide unit sales higher. In other words, the glory days of 2005-2008 may be gone, but we are evolving and continuing to be successful, despite current financial landscape. Let's get to numbers: Steel 16520 are holding firm over $8.5k and over $10k papered. Pristine, collectible Patrizzi and A/P serial papered are all over $10k and peak at $13k plus. Floaters are not readily available and fetch premium money, usually $12k for common and over $15k papered. Nice stuff. Gold 16528 are also in the money selling over $15k for unpapered daily wearers, to over $16 for nice full set examples. Gold Floaters are an additional 10-15%, give or take. 16523 two tone are soft, but always a nice inexpensive alternative in the $6-7k range. Again, add $10% for full set examples. Steel Subs continue to be hot (surprise, surprise) and are fetching strong money for nice thick cases with clean matte dials. Nice 5513 200-660 minty can fetch over $5k and more with a tight bracelet. 5512 are another grand, depending on age. Nice 1680 are always a fan favorite and will command $4500-5500 depending on condition and bracelet. 1675 matte common heads are a little soft, but again, thick case, nice insert and clean face can command $4-5k. The real money is in the gilt models from the early/middle 60's. Non pointy Gilt 5513 with perfect dials can bring between $7-10k, based on particulars. Same period 5512 are even pricier, so add another $1-2k for pristine models. Add pointy guards and numbers can soar, well over $10-15k for either depending on the "gimmicks". Gilt GMT 1675 need to be period correct with nice dials and small hand, if expected to bring over $7-8k, pointy models can bring significantly more depending on condition and dial. Plastic Daytona are holding firm with non screw oyster cased models in the high teens to low 20's, but again, a nice full set can add 10-15%. Oyster with screw down pushers are still in the mid $20's and can bring over $30k if complete and minty. 6234/8 models are desirable, but need to have clean original dial or they will fall under $15k, but if pristine, can bring in the $20k range. 1601/3 non quick are the real money here. They can usually be bought in the lower $1000 range and easily sell for $1500+ depending on dial. Not to blow my own horn, but "buckley" dial models with blue face and correct white hands can bring over $3k, as they are extremely hard to find and have a cult following...other than me!!! Let's get to the ever popular "transitional" models: 16800 is a still kind of a dog, with many dealers pulling the matte dial out of nice examples and selling with regular gloss dial, as a more modern sub for commercial consumption. Blaspheme!! 16660 is holding OK, but not really killing it unless with full set and even then, I would not be in more than $9k. Cream 16550 is all about the dial, and if it is not a rail, then beware paying too much. Reds are next, and when we talk red sub, the dial better not have any chips. If it does, prices can drop, but with perfect 660 dial you can pay in the $8k range. Feet first are another story and will bring the money over $10k if perfect. Papers on either can add thousands so make sure you know what you want. DRSD is the same, with anything other than a perfect dial bringing in the $15k range, if lucky. Older stuff is always a gamble, but pricing for Mk 2, and PPDRSD are steady over $20-30k, and in to $50+ for the latter. Just wanted to let all know I am still breathing, and promise to update more frequently. We have been involved in a large real estate deal that has taken up most of our time, but now it is done and we are back on it. On another note, I have posted a link for the Mondani book signing, of which we are sponsors. The event will be held at Aaron Faber Gallery and hosted by my good friend Ed Faber. On hand for signing will be Osvaldo Patrizzi, and Georgia Mondani, daughter and marketing director of Mondani Publishing and daughter of Guido Mondani. Jo, James and I will also be on hand. We look forward to a great time and invite all to join us. JB

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Changing Watch World...

Ok, I am still alive. Good, right? No, we have not been shut down by disgruntled auction houses or "fishermen". We are here, still on the east coast, watching and wondering what the hell is happening. The last year was difficult to say the least.
the move went well and new place is coming along nicely. Business is business, with this year topping last year in sales. Go figure. The holiday season was particularly tough because my closest and oldest friend died unexpectedly in his apartment in our building. That said, the months following have been filled with great saddness. PTSD is a motherfucker.
That said, I will get on to what most are waiting to hear, which is the state of thwe watch market. So, someone tell me what the hell is going on. prices are even more unpredictible than 2009. I have noticed many of what we call "bread and butter" vintage has been hard to move. The EU is strong, HK is buying up everything in site is all we hear, but I see vintage Rolex slowing down as the world markets adjust to the craziness and ripple effect of the US down economy.
Please do not email me and tell me that old line about top condion is selling for big money. It is not always the case. I see many big UK dealers trying to sell milsubs, plastics, etc. for crazy money ($35k for a plastic pump) with no bites.
Oh, they will malign me for "not telling it like it is" but they are all full of shit. The HK show was not the big blow out many thought it would be. We always hear the dealers who go overseas clinging to merch like it was grim death, waiting for the Germans, Italians or Chinese to bail them out. This past year is no exception. My people told me HK was not so great. I do know dealers who sell big PP, AP, etc saying they sold out so who do we believe...or what?
I had an Italian dealer come by on monday who told me vintage Rolex was very slow in EU, especially Italy. It is a slippery slope indeed.
I am noticing steel sapphire Rolex mvt. Daytonas slowing down, with unpapered black or white selling in the $8-9k range. Lots out there. I am also seeing Zeniths unpapered in the same price range.
Plastic Subbies are moving, but have to be nice. 1680 over $5k on bracelets are not selling, as many dealers at IWJG NYC were loaded with them. Gilt 5512/13 are dead unless pristine dial and case. any problems with either will greatly diminish the value, or not sell at all. GMT 1675 heads are in the $3k range, over up to $3500 with matte tritium dials, lower if messed up or luminova.
Big watches are the same. 6538 with service dials are $20-30k, if they are nice. If the gilt dial is perfcect, they will go over $60k. 4 liners are very hard to fiond and over $100k if available. 6542 are the same story, if the OCC dial is perfect, watch without bezel is over $10-12k (provided case is thick), bakalite inserts are also in demand, but @ $15k must be perfect, or at least mint.
The internet is still wreaking havoc as eBay sellers post high prices and privates believe their junk is worth big money. I have bought some nice stuff but it is sold immediately to local dealers who retail it online for profit. the end user is a big pain in the ass and I HATE getting involved with those deals. Modern stuff is selling well at Renaissance, as usual. Very easy to move, no hassles, low maintenance. Tudor MC is another strange seller. Gone are the days of the $12k non home plate. most are under 9k, with some not fetching $8k online for various reasons. Can you hear all the "believers" out there screaming QUALITY, QUALITY!!!???
Go look at the various online marketplaces and you will see plenty of overpriced minty watches not selling.
The usual players are doing the usual things. big west coast dealers are moving specialty stuff for their price to waiting buyers, but it is real specialty stuff.
We are doing our usual moving smaller stuff and parts. NYC is buying all nicer stuff and moving it on. Auctions are doing the usual business witunpredictible pricing and no real consitancy.

Back to fun. I will be updating more regularly as the softball season is upon us and the Rosers look to make another playoff run in October.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm back...

Well, I have never really been gone. Just FYI, for those who are not on FB part of the inner circle:
We moved from Manalapan to Marlboro, a few minutes north, so things were a bit hectic. Boxes, bubble, tape...nothing out of the ordinary for me, just on a larger scale. We have been in since mid june and getting acclimated. New home office, different house configuration/layout, all the same stuff from "the ponderosa", just tweaked.
Anyhow...back to the market. Well, tell me something I did not know, or say two years ago? OK, not everything i said came about but let's look at what is happening now.
Vintage? PUH-LEASE! What vintage? A funny thing happened when the internet became entrenched in all our lives, collectors/dealers alike: pricing became one dimensional. Let me explain: Why will a dealer go to a show and sell short when he can find an end user (I will address end users in a bit) online and get what he thinks is a premium? Well, I guess he will bring vintage to shows to let everyone look at it? Hmmm? Well, he certainly will not sell it as you will still hear the ever popular" I am buried in it", or "I cannot sell due to capitol preservation". Come on. I have to say there are many dealers we all know who are so deep into this stuff I cannot imagine how they survive. Well, I guess they survive by selling vintage at the new levels or just sell modern...I guess!
Vintage is not where it was two years ago for many reasons. First off, let me say for a fact that cheap American money drove prices up, as many "new" dealers jumped into vintage (watches/parts) to cash in on the high EU and thriving Asian market. Now those of us who have been doing this for over 10 years always had our foreign buyers, collectors and dealers alike, but when ALL the US dealers discovered the profit margins they all dove in head first. By the time of the AQ Revolution in '08, I was thinning out inventory, as I saw that the market could not sustain itself. Think about it, crap pieces, bad dials, pure JUNK would sell and there was no end in sight. As the US economy stuttered and people had to buy with CASH, not cheap credit money, buyers started looking a little more closely at what they were buying. mind you, US dealers were buying and buying but with no one to dump off on, there was an overstock of crap which no one will buy, at any price. I feel there are no more real end users as most everyone who got in over the last few years became 'dealers" as there was so much money in it, and now they are stuck...or gun shy!!!
Let's talk about gun shy. Well, who is really buying? Most real collectors bought what they wanted either before the market skyrocketed, or during the peak. They have pieces they stole, and others they paid too much for. so what? they are collectors.
The last thing they want to do is buy at the wrong time, as speculation. remember, the last two years really hurt many of those who collect. Guitars, pocket watches, even Patek are all down and collectors are hesitant unless they see a piece they "have to have".
I am seeing buyers again, not asking prices. I just finished the NYC Antique show. Granted, it is not a true 'watch/clock" show but retail was dead for watches. Diamonds, on the other hand were moving, as was jewelry. I feel people are scared after the "vintage watch watch crash" and are not so quick to speculate, unless they really know what they are doing.
I cannot understand how plastic steel daytona are still asking over $20k? I have been saying it for two years but there are just too many crap examples and also too many overpriced mint examples out there for them to continue at that level.
Gold plastic Daytonas, are still coveted, but it takes a special buyer as they are pretty fragile and not usually worn. Those are still in the $40-60k range, depending on condition and are scarce if MINT.
Plastic 1675, 1680, 5513 are not moving well over $4k. These are common pieces and the strange thing is you cannot buy them under $4k and cannot sell for much more. Sapphire daytona are in the same boat, but holding in the $8k range, which is where they should be. 1665 Sea dwellers have taken a big hit, as honestly they are not much more then a 1680 and cannot sustain a $10k price point. $7k should be where they land, and even that is too strong. 1655 Orange hands are also finally coming down to earth with under $10k being the norm, rather than the exception. remember, these were $12-14k only 6-10 months ago. Rare stuff is holding on for dear life, but again, who is buying? where are the real collectors? it used to be "rare and desirable" would be the key, but now you have to factor in low price and then find a buyer. COMEX sapphire are sitting, even with a good tale attached! Gone are the days of the $150k Milsubs.
Let's look at the no crown guard subs: 5508??? better have a gilt dial if over $10k and that dial case and insert better be clean or it will sit over $12k. 6542 GMT are another guessing game. gilt dial, non bakalite over $10k? I think not. Bakalite will still bring over $20k but it better be clean and with a nice dial, unless you have a nut.
Big crown 6538 have been trampled on also. 2 line gilt are under $40k whereas 4 liners are now anyones guess, and well under $100k.
Again, who is buying this stuff at overinflated prices? The only action I have seen is dealer to dealer. I am selling modern Rolex and it is moving well, as long as you buy it right and sell it to another dealer. The end users have gotten hip to pricing via Ebay and online forums and it seems everyone knows what to pay. Sure, you can take a chance on a piece, but be prepared to sit on it if a dealer does not scoop it up in seconds. Over the counter on 47th we are doing very little retail and those who come in know what to pay.
IWJG is tomorrow and I am not expecting any groundbreaking events, just the usual dealer to dealer dancing and prancing.
Hope everyones summer is going well...


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pre NYC IWJG Report

There has been much talk regarding the vintage market on VRF and other forums these days. Many dealers/collectors/professional collectors many have many opinions whether the market is up or down.
Here is what I see:
Many big time collectors with serious pieces get mighty nervous when the talk of a down market comes up. Remember, this is a small community of people with money so many times it really does not matter much in the pocket, but more so with EGO. The majority of these people are heavy into big pieces and quite frankly if they are down a few points to 10-12% it is no big deal, for example: 6241 Newman MINT, where do you find one for under $70-80k? I do not know but as a dealer, I am not going to get involved as the number of "real" buyers is not as it was two years ago thus you will sit on one even if you buy in at $60-65k.
The Newman market overall seems to be holding as again, there are not many really nice examples available right now and anything really exceptional and priced right is scooped up quickly. I will say however I see big money Mil Subs for crazy over $100k just sitting s that market is maybe just a tad sluggish. lol
Funny thing about Milsubs vs. cousin COMEX is the COMEX is really not anything more than a Sub with a cool dial and good story and collectors who love them love them and those who do not understand them stay away. I personally am not a big COMEX fan as it is really not my idea of a big money piece.
The pieces which are really "sketchy" are the mid level stuff and lower end stuff. Let's start at the bottom:
5513, 1675, 5512 are about and at various price points. I have seen heads under $3k and full set over $10k. Who in their right mind would pay $10k for a $3k watch w/a full boat? Well some maniac collectors will but I think those are really risky. It is a common watch with uncommon provenance, so why risk it? Same for all plastic subbies/GMT. way too much is put into paperwork and it is IN NO WAY worth double the price of the watch. It just is not.
Steel daytona are another mind fuck. Zeniths are still commanding over $8k without papers and $10k with papers. NOS examples are over $12k and strangely enough there have been a bunch which have passed through my hands in the last month or so.
6542 are only worth over $20k if they have a bakalite bezel and honestly not worth over $10k unless the dial is PERFECT OCC gilt.
Plastic screw down 6265/3 are holding on for dear life waiting for someone to get sick of looking at them over $20k so they can be priced to sell at $15-18k. Thats all they are worth! Lots out there people!!! Unless they are papered and exceptional be careful.
1655 Orange are another which has taken a hit as there are lots out there. I trade them in the high 9's to low 10's and let the dealers find an end user. Again, lots out there.
16800 are another dog. Matte or gloss I personally feel any matte should be transitioned to a gloss and sold as a newer watch. the parts are worth more outside the watch, LOL! Seriously, how much are they really worth? Just like 666 and cream non rail all this "transitional" shit is a bit soft. Not very sexy to have a sapphire crystal on a "vintage" watch.
1665 are also way overpriced if over $8k or so.
The reality is if you want to sell for "retail" you go to the auction houses, not online or in the forum markets. Just look at all the "REDUCED" listings or reverse auctions...REVERSE AUCTIONS?????? Come on.
The real dog in all this is the Tudor sub market. Look at the price drop. I mean these are really not "quality" pieces with ETA movements and high prices. BE CAREFUL!
The Tudor MC is another "scary" watch as aside from the home plate, I cannot see them over 410-12k all in and realistically in the $8k range.
The market is in correction and while prices have not bottomed out, there are many good deals to be had if you can not get emotional about these things.
IWJG will come and go. Prices will slip into the summer as they always do when "the money" is on holiday. The question is will prices return to where they are now in September? I personally could care less as I am putting my money on modern and bread and butter pieces.
Enjoy Spring, people...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bad World Economy = Strong Watch Market?????

Well, I am not going to say it that way, but even in this crazy world economy IWJG Orlando was strong for many dealers, including this one. Even with common vintage prices down, no mid level stability and not many big pieces, this market is still strong.
Leading the charge is used modern watches. I could have sold two of each model I brought. Current non Rolex are also strong but a little tricky if you are buying for inventory. Datejust ll in steel pre-owned are extremely hot and very hard to come by. Two tone DJ ll are also hot. Steel subs a few years old are selling in and around the $4k range with LV green between $4500-5k. Ladies models were strong for Valentines Day, as usual. All in all, good quality "bread & butter" modern are solid buys, with dealers always looking for stock.
Let's get to vintage. As usual, it is a "two tier" market. Some dealers sell to end users so they are more likely to have higher pricing. Wholesale dealers (like me) prefer to sell only to other dealers. This leads to many variants in pricing within the IWJG room. There are still many booths carrying $10k Zeniths, non papers, nothing special and expecting some "fish" to buy in. We call those dealers "curators". lol! They are hoping and praying the market will come back to 2007/8 levels and bail them out of their dead overpriced inventory. Capitol Preservation. Well, if you are holding perfect big newmans, DRSD, plastics, I can almost understand it, but to hold 5513, 1675, 1680 I think it is a bad move. These watches will NEVER (not within the next 5 years) come back to 07/08 levels and it is crazy, IMO, to sit on cash looking to lay an egg! I sold small pieces cheap on small margin and made a good show when other dealers were shaking their heads wondering why nothing they had is selling. The drop in the Euro did not help as many EU boys were not spending like they usually do. The Asian boys were buying, but were careful. Big pieces had to be special to sell and even then, the pricing was a little down, but in this kind of climate, sales are sales. there were two 6542bakalites, both very nice, that sold over $30k and 40k. newmans were about, but not flying as dealers were not giving an inch, which is understandable. Nicer Gilt pieces had to be REALLY special and I saw a few pieces move, but common everyday 5513 gilt, GMT gilt were all overpriced and went home with their owners.
Steel daytonas are strong in the $8k range for Zenith and Rolex movement, no papers. These just will not go below that point and Zeniths fetch over $10k w/papers with no problem. Good watches to buy, as always. 1655 are still sketchy, with many on the market at various price points. Unpapered 1655 are a good buy under $10-11k. papered models are good in the $13k-14k range. Yes, you must be lucky, but if you look around there are papered models not selling at $15-16k so be careful. 1680 are the strangest model, as you cannot buy one for $4k but have a tough time selling one at $4500! Again, lots around at dumb over $5k pricing. Not realistic. red Subbied, however are very strong commanding over $8k for a nice example and over $12k w/papers. The commercial collectable vintage benchmark is holding strong.
Parts were very strong. I sold alot of stuff and also bought dials and other items for inventory. Parts will always be strong with many projects and restorations going on. many dealers are putting watches together to cut costs and good dials, cases and exspecially hands are at a premium.

Aside from the IWJG show 47th is moving along with modern watches selling briskly. Vintage is around, but many sellers are not educated and are fishing with high buy in pricing, thus keeping them out of the game. My regulars are selling me good stuff at good prices, keeping me IN the game! Bottom line is if it is priced right, it will sell. Speculators are like handicappers, picking winners and losers. If you do not have a buyer, be prepared to hold until one comes into the arena, and when he does there is alot of competition.

Auction time is coming and this will be telling as usual. AQ many nice pieces, as does P & CO. I expect high numbers in both sales. We will be at the previews checking for "funny watches". From the looks of the catalogues, things are OK, with no obvious fakes...but I am still looking! lol