WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today, a fairly brief selection of our favourite faux-horologists' massive fails and fleecing... Lads and lasses, behold- this is your Bring a Brain!

So, we're starting off with this one:
1950s Two-Tone Movado Automatic – HODINKEE Shop

First of all, it's a gold-cap version, so there goes missing a term. $1100 for a gold-cap Movado, that's fleecing in my book. And "early Movado automatic movement"? You cannot identify a movement, and you go with calling it "early"? How can you know if it's early, if you have no idea as to what is it exactly?! "Original hangtag", but no box and papers, and the watch quite obviously isn't unworn. Gimme a break- someone loses the box, the papers, but keeps the hangtag? Not to mention that one can get a hangtag on eBay, it's not rare for that sort of things to surface. Original strap- might sure be OEM strap, but not necessarily is it the first one that it has. It's worn, but it has the factory tag attached to it? So really, someone's been wearing it with the paper tag on the strap?:rodekaart

Next up, a Gallet:
1960s Gallet Multi-Chron Chronograph With Black Dial – HODINKEE Shop
Rip-off, and "bracelet in the style of Gay Freres"? Either it is a GF bracelet, or it isn't. Since it isn't, that's not a particualrly subtle way to hype it.

1970s Wittnauer Genève Professional Chronograph – HODINKEE Shop
"Almost tropical dial"? Really? So now you have to look for something that isn't there, to blag only 100 bucks south of a new Speedmaster for a Valjoux 7733-powered Wittnauer? Come on.

So how do you hype a VC? Well, you turn it into a Rolex:
1960s Vacheron Constantin Automatic Turnograph In Yellow Gold – HODINKEE Shop
There's no VC "Turnograph". There was a Rolex Turn-O-Graph, a watch quite sought after alright, but this watch isn't one... For an actually rare VC (IF actually rare, since all that there is to confirm their words is... ummm...nothing? They could at least get an archive extract from VC!), prices can go wild, but these slogans are daft enough to get a honourable mention in this edition of Bring a Brain.

That's all for the watches- but that's not all, folks, there goes the editorial by the Sauron of watch collecting himself:
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/twelve-mistakes-new-watch-guys-make-how-to-avoid-them

I'm only going to roast the most blatant gibberish from this one.

"Movements matter, but so do other things". Thank you, Captain Obvious, for this oh-so-observant remark.

"Not respecting Rolex enough". :rodekaartOh, here's for the fanboy part. Do my eyes deceive me, or does he call Rolex "high-end"? They're a mid-tier luxury watch brand, along with Omega and Zenith. Not the Patek level, no matter how Mr. Rolex-Especially-Daytona-Fanboy would like to believe otherwise.

"Believing that a high price or a lot of complications automatically equals quality or bragging rights"
I would even agree with that, if it didn't reek of hypocrisy for miles- what else do his shop and his pseudo-expert represent, if not exactly that, when blagging the hipsters?

"Not owning an Omega Speedmaster" rules one out as a true watch guy? :rodekaartReally? My snob detector just went off the charts. The conceitometer has exploded upon being exposed to that level of conceit.o|

Point 8... It's got to be my favourite, this one. There he goes deriding the forums. "A few thousand followers does not an expert make".:rodekaart Here goes one good reason why you're not one. If not for "random guys on the forum", there would be far too many bad purchases. Oh, wait, I think he wants to present his website, on the contrary to a forum member, as the ultimate expert base. I believe we've seen enough to know that they're neither experts, nor horologists, the guys over there... Nobody checks us? It may be, but neither is anyone checking you. The big difference between Hodinkee and forums is that the former doesn't do the necessary reading, and the latter has to clean up the results of bad purchases, made by people who limited themselves to nice slogans and nice (really!) pictures as a source of knowledge, and believed they're prepared to venture into the wild and buy a watch with the help of (inexistent) "skills" that Hodinkee gave them. And the forums got to do that, since that's where people who did bother to do some research are. Not that there's a shortage of charlatans and tricksters on the forums, but we the good guys are usually there to help. Fortunately. The good guys aren't over at that website. Unfortunately.

"Oh, and remember, it takes two bidders to raise any sale price". No, it requires an obnoxious estimate from the auction house, and a pseudo-expert website, which coincidentally fuels the madness, and in the words of the dear departed David Bowie- is putting out the fire with gasoline. But you know all about it, don't you? You'd know it takes a pro fleecer and some "expert" giving his praise to an overprice to bump a price up. It's called hype posting, and you're doing it- only on a larger scale:-|.



Couldn't resist breaking the convention set by two previous "Bring a Brain" columns. There was some truly detestable hype, no movement pictures, but while these things do deserve a rant against them, there was - surprise, surprise! - nothing as blatant as in previous two editions of "Bring a Brain". The editiorial had to get some proper bombardment, it contained everything that's wrong about Hodinkee- the hype, the snobbery...

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed today'a portion of horror stories:). Stay tuned for next editions (which will appear if necessary).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,672 Posts
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed today'a portion of horror stories:). Stay tuned for next editions (which will appear if necessary).
I love the "which will appear if necessary" part:-!

Are you freaking kidding? How can you not build a career (or a book) out of these foibles?;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I love the "which will appear if necessary" part:-!
Well, you know... I wouldn't write these columns if they weren't necessary, and that they are necessary... After all, it's not my fault, that they're doing everything to earn a weekly rant;-)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,664 Posts
Thanks for your post, I enjoyed your sense of humor. That column is just a weird hodge-podge of personal biases, some of which are really strange. How often does somebody mention an annual or perpetual calendar? I never hear that term thrown around. The same with bakelite - I've never heard anyone refer to black Rolex bezels as bakelite. Where is he getting this stuff from? And come on, deployant/deployment - who cares?

On the other hand, a few of the general things in his post resonated with me, even though the tone is unnecessarily obnoxious and opinionated. For example, I resisted buying a Speedmaster for many years; I just didn't see what was so special about them. But once I got one and wore it, I honestly did fall in love with it and I'm sure I'll always own one from now on.

As for the shop, it's unfortunate that their prices are all outrageous, marked up to 150%-175% of fair value, because they have some nice examples (I'm really coveting the Zenith A386). But who even wants to make an offer when the asking price is so unreasonable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,522 Posts
Not owning an Omega Speedmaster" rules one out as a true watch guy? :rodekaartReally? My snob detector just went off the charts. The conceitometer has exploded upon being exposed to that level of conceit.o|



I think that most of you here know that I'm a big fan of Omega but the one watch from their line I've never felt anything for is the Speedmaster, I just think that all the "Moonwatch" stuff has been done to death and it's now looked upon by jerks like this fellow as a must have, well, in my opinion a true watch collector will try to seek out watches that are much scarcer than the Speedmaster et al

Having said that, if I come across one of these



Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,784 Posts
"Not owning an Omega Speedmaster" rules one out as a true watch guy? :rodekaartReally? My snob detector just went off the charts. The conceitometer has exploded upon being exposed to that level of conceit.o|
THAT'S BRRRRRRILLIANT!

I had the same feeling when I read that feature this morning. Your's made the better read. Definitely! (Shame I can only like it once.)

Keep rolling!

Best
Andreas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Fantastic critique!! :-! Unfortunately, I have a felling that the forums are considered underground and non important by them and that they think that they are the only ones entitled to be the ultimate watch experts. I can't say I didn't enjoyed some articles on Hodinkee in the past or enjoyed watching "Talking watches" (Goldberger, Mahdavi etc.). That was a nice horological blog/website with an accent on the photos and the fancy written articles. If I'm correct before Hodinkee the "founder" of the website wasn't such a collector and expert, he was an expert in another field - marketing.

When they opened the shop I was OK when the overcharged for leather straps, but when they started selling watches I was like - WTF. Hopefully, I have found several thread here on WUS as all the critical comments on their website or FB page are deleted or not approved.

edit: They don't like WUS:

They are littered with mis- and disinformation, and while forums at times can be fantastic resources for watch lovers (my favorites include Timezone, The Purists, Omega Forums, On The Dash, and VRF), I'd strongly encourage you to consider who exactly is on the other end of the comments that are driving your purchasing decisions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,501 Posts
An interesting point on Hodinkee's part, I think. This forum is moderated, as are the rest he mentions. Hodinkee is not. It's a commercial platform whose only purpose is to increase the return on the items they sell by 'adding value.' Which is what they're doing, and doing rather well, it would seem.

This forum - and others like (many here are multiple forum subscribers, as well) - offers opinion with expert peer review. There's plenty of healthy dissent here, in my experience. And even more expertise: I take the opportunity to name check a couple (there are many) of regular posters here who display greater depth of knowledge, expertise and wisdom. We have our own moderator, Hartmut Richter, keeping us sane as well as identifying obscure movements with ease. Dr Ranfft, whose website keeps the vintage watch world informed. Gatorcpa, wide-ranging expert on many brands. Bobbee & Matt! Emre, an expert on things Glycine and now Angelus. Shumcertina. mkws himself! watchfred!!! I could go on - I apologise to the many, many sages who've helped me out in the past who I've not listed here. My point is that there are plenty here to keep the rest of us more honest than Hodinkee's self-regarding and self-serving sales patter.

And as for defending market making with such silly tripe… Oh sweet baby Jesus, that's just too much. What piffle.

Thanks again, mkws. Better go and polish my Speedie. Oops. Don't have one. Darn.

>snip

Point 8... It's got to be my favourite, this one. There he goes deriding the forums. "A few thousand followers does not an expert make".:rodekaart Here goes one good reason why you're not one. If not for "random guys on the forum", there would be far too many bad purchases. Oh, wait, I think he wants to present his website, on the contrary to a forum member, as the ultimate expert base. I believe we've seen enough to know that they're neither experts, nor horologists, the guys over there... Nobody checks us? It may be, but neither is anyone checking you. The big difference between Hodinkee and forums is that the former doesn't do the necessary reading, and the latter has to clean up the results of bad purchases, made by people who limited themselves to nice slogans and nice (really!) pictures as a source of knowledge, and believed they're prepared to venture into the wild and buy a watch with the help of (inexistent) "skills" that Hodinkee gave them. And the forums got to do that, since that's where people who did bother to do some research are. Not that there's a shortage of charlatans and tricksters on the forums, but we the good guys are usually there to help. Fortunately. The good guys aren't over at that website. Unfortunately.

"Oh, and remember, it takes two bidders to raise any sale price". No, it requires an obnoxious estimate from the auction house, and a pseudo-expert website, which coincidentally fuels the madness, and in the words of the dear departed David Bowie- is putting out the fire with gasoline. But you know all about it, don't you? You'd know it takes a pro fleecer and some "expert" giving his praise to an overprice to bump a price up. It's called hype posting, and you're doing it- only on a larger scale:-|.

>snip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Well, seems I'm not a true watch collector as I don't own a Speedy. Better go cry over my GS in a corner. Who knows, maybe my other seikos will keep me company. We could deride Rolex, too!

What bugs me, though, is Hodinkee actually deriding the forums. I've learnt more from WUS than from their websites. Most of their watches are waaaayyyy too expensive, and just not worth it. They're alienating the WIS, but seem to attract a crowd that only want fancy vintage watches without doing the necessary research behind them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,491 Posts
...but seem to attract a crowd that only want fancy vintage watches without doing the necessary research behind them.
I can't even imagine how much money there is to be made on this demographic.

They do articles on the various niches within this hobby, say how "rare" they are, drive up prices for a few months, and then sell a few examples they've had on the shelf for a while before the article. Who wouldn't want the ability to control the supply and the demand side of the equation?

It's sketchy and genius all at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,491 Posts
You forgot... dishonest.
I'll amend that if they could keep it on the gray side of the line and not go into the black quite so often, it would be genius. Opinions are just that, but they seem to make up facts quite often.

I'm waiting so see how long it takes for the FTC to get involved. Saying something has an "original bracelet" that's obviously 2mm too narrow for the lugs and doesn't fit the case at the ends is pretty easy to disprove.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Glad to see you`re still on their tail mkws ...like a dog with a bone (if that`s not mixing metaphors).
I looked at the first example- the Movado -truely shocking lack of detail and candour.
How can they say the only noticeable flaw is on the case back when even f you don`t use their own magnifying tool on the webpage the wear to lugs and bezel is obvious.
The painting to the number 9 looks a bit dodgy too with something lurking under it.
I also noticed a lug width of 12mm -surely this is a women`s model?
33mm is pretty small for a mid/late `50`s men`s watch..and as it has a date window it might even be early `60`s??

Needless to say I will be buying absolutely zilch from them -even if I had that amount of money !

Maybe we should all launch a guerilla campaigh posing as potential buyers and email them for movement photo`s ,serial numbers and the like.
I would be ashamed to post some of their poorly detailed ads on my eBay listing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the kind words, chaps! Glad you're enjoying Bring a Brain!

@Tomcat1960: Thanks, Andreas! Upon reading that column, I just couldn't resist. I mean, the man put so much effort into spilling all the snobbery and a rather patronising and obnoxious attitude into his column, that I just had to reward his writing with a proper walloping. You know, it's all physics- Newton's third law of motion applies here nicely.

@esdy_11192: Of course they don't like WUS, a more open (than the forums he mentioned) community of folks doing their research isn't exactly their preferred target audience. With controversy caused by the first listings in the shop (franken Speedmaster, redialed and overpriced Longines), other forums seemed to trust Louis, who came there to defend both these watches of questionable authenticity. The other forums seemed to drop the topic then, WUS F11 didn't... I certainly didn't, and I don't intend to- as Demonfinder put it- get off their tail anytime soon.

@Habitant: You're welcome:). And, you've put it quite nicely.

@mk96: Worry not, neither do I own a Speedy, which- according to Mr. Clymer's pontificating- makes me less of a collector (or not a collector at all). Of course, since he enjoys getting fleeced by the auction houses from time to time, he's labouring under the delusion, that that's what makes a real watch guy. Well, we know that it's knowledge and the ability to see the bigger picture of horology that make one, and he's short on both.

@Alysandir: You've pretty much nailed it with my attitude to Rolex and Speedmasters. IMO, worshipping Rolex and owning a Speedmaster are no probe of how much of a collector one is. For Mr. Clymer and Archie Luxury they obviously are a probe of that, but I wouldn't say that it matters, since giving any credit to derisive snobbery is a mistake in my book.

@Demonfinder: Looking at that Movado, if it is 33mm as they say, that's still a men's watch alright, even the 29-30mm Rolex "Bubbleback" automatics were. 12mm lugs- that's got to be a mistake in there, as then the watch would look completely out of proportion, and since it doesn't, it means that either they should get a good caliper, or finally learn how to use one. Style-wise, I would put that watch in the late 1950s, or- as you said- early 1960s.
 

·
Zenith Forum Co-moderator
Joined
·
18,012 Posts
What really shocks me is their audacity to sell watches at that sort of price - and not show a single movement picture!!! Sure, they will probably give some sort of warranty so you won't get a defunct watch, but it could be stained, slightly rusted, taken from another (identical) watch (making it a mariage) or even entirely wrong for the watch in question!! Which serious collector would buy a watch under those conditions?!!

The bottom line is that they must surely be relying on the complete idiots and greedy suckers, looking for quick return on investment, to get rid of their merchandise.....:roll:

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
If you're a hipster looking for something cool to complete your outfit, movement pictures are unnecessary. If you're a watch collector, then the lack of pics is an issue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,664 Posts
I had this same issue with Crown and Caliber. Actually the movement wasn't bad, but the inside of the caseback was corroded badly (and not original to the watch) and would not make a good seal. Of course they were happy to accept the return, but at my cost, which was significant since I felt that I had to insure it.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top