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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear Forum,
I really need and would appreciate your advice here. I contacted a couple of you privately ... and it was suggested to make this a public forum. Here goes: I recently sold that gorgeous JF Bautte watch to a very young man in Saudi Arabia who bought it as a gift for his father. He and his father are apparently upset that it does not have an 18K gold stamp on it, as most of this guys old watches have stamps for gold. I never at all advertised it as having a stamp ... just that it was 18K gold .. and the photos showed no stamp too. This is the watch by JF Bautte who founded Gerard Perregaux and you can see it again at: http://www.smartproinsight.com/bauwatch.htm

What do you know about stamps, and how frequent or not they appeared on old pocket watches? My thoughts are that certainly not all watches made back then were stamped 18K gold, but they may indeed still be 18K gold. I'm not sure if it was once stamped and the mark wore off, or if it was never stamped. The person I bought it from advertised it as 18K gold and I looked at it with a jeweler in Palm Beach who also said the same. I have also handled and owned quite a few 18K gold watches, and this one was a beauty ... and 18K in my view. What is your knowledge of whether all 18K gold watches were stamped as such, or what percentage approximately might not have been stamped? This watch is from around 1810-1815 or so. This guy got a great deal financially as I just broke even on the sale and sold it to reduce inventory. Now he is complaining because there is no stamp. Thanks! John in Palm Beach |>
 

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My personal buying habits for gold are to look for a stamp. So based on that, if he wanted a stamp, he should have asked if he didn't see on in the photos (and the photos are good quality AND quantity compared to many watches I've seen for sale both on ebay and through high end dealers).

That said, there are a couple of extraneous factors you should consider as the seller:
1. depending on payment method, you may be facing a clawback if he files a complaint. The clawback may not be conditional that he send back the watch.
2. you may want to increase karma, reputation, or whatever by providing a return policy even if none was promised (or specifically excluded)
 

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My personal buying habits for gold are to look for a stamp. So based on that, if he wanted a stamp, he should have asked if he didn't see on in the photos (and the photos are good quality AND quantity compared to many watches I've seen for sale both on ebay and through high end dealers).
I agree with bjohnson's comment above.

A suggestion if the buyer remains unsatisfied: mutually agree on a third-party testing service. Have him ship the watch to them for testing. If the gold tests at over 16K he pays for the testing and shipping. Likewise, you pay if it tests at less that 16K, plus he can return it for a full refund. :think:
 

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Does anyone think that the watch under question was actually made in 1812? I'd guess 1830 or later. Bautte was active till 1835. !8K gold or gilding?
 

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Didn't check the movement pics closely but you are probably correct. I'd expect a watch from 1812 to have a balance cock that looks like a verge watch even if it had a cylinder escapement. But I'm not an expert in these very old watches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
super ... thanks for all your replies and knowledge. Now guess what? Since the buyer realizes he was wrong about the hallmark and that this is probably 18K gold, he is now taking the approach that he does not like that it has defects on the dial and the enamel painting. Who in their right mind would see this watch as not beautiful and in my listing I explicitly and in two places stated that there were defects on the dial (at 9 and 3) and that the enamel painting was not perfect. So this buyer is searching for problems but each time he does, these are problems that were discussed upfront. I have done over 140 transactions on ebay and never run into this kind of behavior. He got what he paid for and more. Now what? Thanks.
 

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super ... thanks for all your replies and knowledge. Now guess what? Since the buyer realizes he was wrong about the hallmark and that this is probably 18K gold, he is now taking the approach that he does not like that it has defects on the dial and the enamel painting. Who in their right mind would see this watch as not beautiful and in my listing I explicitly and in two places stated that there were defects on the dial (at 9 and 3) and that the enamel painting was not perfect. So this buyer is searching for problems but each time he does, these are problems that were discussed upfront. I have done over 140 transactions on ebay and never run into this kind of behavior. He got what he paid for and more. Now what? Thanks.
You can very politely keep answering his issues, in hopes he will give up trying to return the watch to you. If he persists, so can you, but be prepared for a negative feedback if you push him too far.
 

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super ... thanks for all your replies and knowledge. Now guess what? Since the buyer realizes he was wrong about the hallmark and that this is probably 18K gold, he is now taking the approach that he does not like that it has defects on the dial and the enamel painting. Who in their right mind would see this watch as not beautiful and in my listing I explicitly and in two places stated that there were defects on the dial (at 9 and 3) and that the enamel painting was not perfect. So this buyer is searching for problems but each time he does, these are problems that were discussed upfront. I have done over 140 transactions on ebay and never run into this kind of behavior. He got what he paid for and more. Now what? Thanks.
Personally, I'd offer to accept it back and refund him (less potage). You can then cancel the sale and get your fees credited back. You can then either offer it to the runner up bidder (2nd chance) or sell it again. You say he got it cheapish, so you might even get more for it next time.
 

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Personally, I'd offer to accept it back and refund him (less potage). You can then cancel the sale and get your fees credited back. You can then either offer it to the runner up bidder (2nd chance) or sell it again. You say he got it cheapish, so you might even get more for it next time.
Excellent point. That happened to me twice and both times I scored more the second round. :)
 
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A friend who is one of the world's top firearms engravers has done business in that part of the world. He no longer does so. According to him there is a "souk" mentality that pervades the region. Lots of haggling, nothing is ever good enough, etc. I think you have run into a similar situation.
 
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