Thursday, October 30, 2008

IWJG Report...

This show had all the makings of a really great show. The Monday before, nth street was full of foreign dealers combing the street, looking for deals. Those I knew were leaving watches for me to flip at prices that were not reflective of their usual market. The show showed great promise but it was not to be. There were all the usual dealers running around looking to outsmart each other and lay off a dog for a grail. It turned out to be like trading seats on the Titanic. Again, no one was even asking prices on anything. I had a 6538 w/refinished dial which I quoted $20 and no takers. The Patek market also seemed slow, again with buyers asking below dealer cost. There were many perfect red subbie sets as well as many other full boat items but all were still waaaaaaay overpriced with dealers holding most of the same inventory from last 2 shows. Plastic Daytona were all over the place. It seemed like all the established dealers had a couple in their showcase. While one high end dealer told me he moved 2 over $30k, I saw many in various condition sitting from $18k and up sitting. I guess those boys should have read "the Buckley Report". Nah, they were all too busy blaming me for the downturn. Now isn't that silly? They should know what that does to my raging ego! I do not control the market, I just report it like it is. I have been telling all who will listen to move on any high priced stuff that was questionable. Some listened, others did not and are now buried. Condition still rules. there was a DRSD w/perfect MK 4 dial, curved case back and no serial which sold for $16k...and the dealer was glad to move it. A Patrizzi w/full boat went for $16k which was absurd, but again condition was perfect. The market is correcting itself and if something is hard to find and in perfect condition w/no issues it will fetch more but all parties are being careful and double checking EVERYTHING.I was offered a 6263 w/Newman dial @ $82k. The dial had the slightest mark near the 6 marker and I believe the guy went home with it. On a good note I bought lots of parts, as I am officially out of the vintage watch business. Back to my bread and butter. There were many overpriced dials but I scored on a 666 matte, Tiffany matte 5513, bronze nipple tiffany GMT qs and a really nice silver Milgauss dial. in addition I traded for 2 big red 6263, black/silver and a couple of "semi patrizzi" 16520 jammies. Oh yeah, I also paid way too much for a 16520 floater in white but that was early in the day and I had to have it.All in all I had a really slow show, watch wise but in terms of parts and selling pure junk, I cannot complain. Many dealers did not even make their expenses.

My final word is this:In 2001/2 I began raising prices on anything vintage with no ceiling. if it did not sell at $300, raise it to $1000. Those who needed the parts would pay. As the vintage buzz began and prices began to soar worldwide many began to comb the globe for these watches as there was big money to be had. When more and more of these pieces hit the market they were gobbled up by dealers, speculators and collectors alike. I remember when a Tiffany Rolex watch was special, as the years went by they are now all over the place. fast forward to 2006/7...lots of easy money available, market blows up with highest prices ever. 2008 rolls around and the market is overloaded with vintage Rolex. The "Revolution" comes and with that "the last hurrah". the problem is there is not way too much inventory out there with too many sellers and NO buyers. Those who have hope this will turn around in a year are non believers. This overstock all over the world will not just go away. Sure, prime examples will be sought after but come on, who in their right mind will pay over $20k for a red sub full boat? IT IS A COMMERCIAL WATCH!!! Nothing sexy or special about it, with so many prime examples out there. Remember people, the box and paperwork cannot be worn.

To all the dealers who approached me and requested that I pipe down on public forums please understand MY position. There was a bomb scare at 27 west 47th on Thursday and while I was in NJ the joke was that the "Anti-Buckley Alliance of Dealers" (ABAD) phoned it in. Sorry fellows, I am at 37 west. lol!

I know many were waiting on me to post this report who do not read my blog daily. I really do not feel sorry for the guys who heard me ranting about the market dropping and refused to believe it out of their own lack of common sense or just plain greed. Gone are the days where you can buy a watch for $5k and nine people will offer you $20k or more. Too many learned about the market and anything with plastic became "collector grade". Now we can get back to finding that perfect, rare piece without the interference of speculators offering far out prices for common watches, just for the sake of profit. The joke at the show was that a lot of dealers became collectors in the last 2 days. Sad but all too true...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Report from Munich...will IWJG be the same?

"Few people there, some known dealers missing...prices seem to be still at the normal level.
Not much sold".

Tuesday is IWJG NYC, usually a big show. We will see...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Greenspan's Credit Tsunami

This was written by a friend and posted with his permission:
We are witnessing a credit tsunami. Tsunamis as we now know come in 2 stages. The (current) disappearance of wealth in the form of debts repudiated, bets welshed on, contracts canceled, and Lehman Brothers-style sob stories played out is like the withdrawal of the sea. The poor curious little monkey-humans stand on the beach transfixed by the strangeness of the event as the water recedes and the sea floor is exposed and all kinds of exotic creatures are seen thrashing in the mud, while the skeletons of historic wrecks are exposed to view, and a great stench of organic decay wafts toward the strand. Then comes the second stage, the tidal wave itself -- which in this case will be horrific monetary inflation -- roaring back over the mud flats toward the land mass, crashing over the beach, and ripping apart all the hotels and houses and infrastructure there while it drowns the poor curious monkey-humans who were too enthralled by the weird spectacle to make for higher ground. The killer tidal wave washes away all the things they have laboured to build for decades, all their poignant little effects and chattels, and the survivors are left keening amidst the wreckage as the sea once again returns to normal in its eternal cradle.
Pretty heavy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Will today be "Black Friday"...

It is Friday, October 24, 2008. 9am.
I awoke to the news that world financial markets have dropped again overnight. Not so surprising but frightening, nonetheless. While many were watching the stock market fluctuate Thursday, a very important event occurred at my booth in NYC. A known dealer offered me a plastic Daytona for UNDER $20k. I did not buy it.
To all who believe the watch market is impervious to a world financial decline, think again. The writing is on the wall. On a day where shareholders are selling off stocks like Exxon, Home Depot, etc., what makes you think a DRSD or 6263 are immune?
Fasten your seat belts.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Insight into profit margins...

Here is a short post for all those who think we make so much on any given piece. Yesterday a President, 1803 came from another dealer @ $3700.00. Nice watch, a little loose on the bracelet but a factory diamond dial which is rare for that model. What happened? Sold to another dealer for $4k. Monday we took in a 16660 w/matte dial and all service papers. In at $8000.00, out the door @ $8500.00. As nice a piece as I have ever seen but I am told one just as nice w/ORIGINAL papers in California for $10k. We bought a sapphire ladies two tone for $1500.00 w/a decent band which did not sell immediately. Still on the shelf, I am told.
So much for dealers making big profits!!! For us, it is always about volume anyway so these times are not different than any other.
These are very interesting days for dealers and collectors. Next weeks IWJG show in NYC will prove to be quite interesting. I have spoken with established dealers who are telling me they WILL NOT liquidate their overstock of common 6263/5 and the like. They are going to "hold them 'till the next boom"...better call your attorney and write it in your will! lol! Nah, maybe not that bad but the days of $20-30k plastic Daytona are over.
We shall see people, we shall see.
Remember, you heard it here first...back to 2002/3 pricing is coming soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lots of fake Tudor Monte Carlos out there...

The Tudor Monte Carlo is one of the better selling watches in this down market. With a strong hammer price at the Antiquorum auction it is easy to understand why these are one of the mote faked watches out there. One reason these are easily faked is they various Valjoux movements which are readily available in these other brands: Movado, LeCoultre, Heuer, etc. Ever notice all the cases and dials for these watches selling on Ebay? Above are two cases. Can you tell which is the real one and which is counterfeit? Take a good look. Aside from the bottom crown which has rust on it it is pretty easy to spot. Note the finish work on the top example and then on bottom. See what I mean? The problem with these watches is you really do not handle them as they are pretty rare. Many people are fooled by a fake which sometimes has an authentic dial and other components. One foolproof method of checking authenticity on one of these watches is to try and switch a case back from a model with the same reference number. Rolex is exact and precise. Parts are interchangeable. If all else fails, try and use another caseback, crystal or bezel and check the fit. It should fit perfectly. if it does not, you need to investigate further.
Careful people! There are wild things going on in Vietnam and the surrounding area. it is up to you as a buyer to be careful and thorough.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well, it took some time but...

...the vintage Rolex market is suddenly deflating. the summer of 2008 was the "last stand". Remember 2007? Whatever inventory out there was snapped up by newcomers and seasoned collectors in a flash. Over the winter of 2008 I began to see signs of a market about to fall. Lots of sub-par pieces, too many safe deposit boxes were raided with long time owners looking to cash in on the craze. The Antiquorum Revolution in the spring was one of the most anticipated watch and clock auctions of all time. After records were set with a $500k + "Albino Daytona" the overstock began to take hold. By summer 2008 sales were sluggish and many non believers said it was just the normal summer slow down. Not the case. The current state of the US and subsequent world economy had caused many "common" watches to devalue. Remember, people
In 2002/3 (5 years ago) a plastic Daytona was around $10k. In 2001/2 a perfect bakalite GMT would sell for under $3k. Newmans were in the $20-30k range. The vintage Rolex market soared in a span of 5 years to record highs. It was unstoppable, until now.

Originally posted October 20 2007 at 1:33 PM

The market is beginning to correct itself...

Has anyone noticed the prices for "common variety" vintage Rolex has been going south? There is a documented sale of a P serial daytona on TZ for $14k. The same watch was $18k last week.I believe there will be a 20% decrease across the board in the next few weeks. I am going to see if I am right on Monday when I post some watches for much lower prices. If they sell, I am wrong. If they sit, I am right.
I see big ticket heavy provanance pieces still holding their ground and selling. The gilt market is very strong, as each piece sells on it's own "individual unique quality". DRSD is dead. I predict they will be a 20k watch by Christmas. The floating Cosmograph is another one which is grossly overpriced. With the proper provanance, 20-25k for a full boat is correct. The rest will tumble. Remember folks, the pieces that will withstand this "correction" are the sound solid pieces. Original or service papers will command the real money. Anything without will be left behind.Let's see next week...John