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

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