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...


1 comment:

colarot said...

how can someone spent so much money for a fuckin watch? i have a casio watch and it's working fine since 15 years