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Lads and lasses, welcome to yet another instalment of this little "watchdog" series, which, I assume, does not need an introduction. This week, we'll talk about fleecing, the inability to spot what's obvious, and unsavoury practices in journalism. This is your Bring a Brain!

First, the watches that our dear friends, who don't cease to provide me with rant-worthy content, have up for sale.

Let's start with this Universal Geneve:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...e-stainless-steel-dress-watch-reference-21284

First of all, it's dreadfully overpriced- by some 2400-2500 bucks. Second, no movement picture. Third, the UG serials are available online, but again, no one has even bothered to google them out... Fixed lug bars, OK, but on a NATO it's like wearing an Aloha shirt to a tuxedo.

Next, a Gigandet/Wakmann, and some truly spectacular powers of observation in action:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...iple-calendar-chronograph?variant=46988466639

The price is disgusting, that's one thing. But the real fun starts here: "Lume: Tritium." Pardon me, my observant friends, but if that's tritium, then what are the "RA" markings for radium doing by the "Swiss" inscription? It's radium, for crying out loud! The "small nicks to screw openings on caseback" part is highly euphemistic, considering how deep these scratches are.

Now, some true madness- a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...50s-blancpain-fifty-fathoms-milspec-in-bronze

I've got one question. How? How, by Jove, can one be selling a watch for $65K, and not even include a movement picture? How?!

An Omega Seamaster "Fleecing Fest":
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...166-090-baby-flightmaster?variant=46988687247

Wildly overpriced. If it isn't a Flightmaster, it's not to be called Flightmaster, because it isn't one! Second, while the movement serial likely points to 1970, that movement comes from an earlier production run- since the ref. 166.090 has been introduced in 1971, so that's the earliest when this watch could have been made. That price is a joke, when we talk of cal. 1002- which, for one, was hardly Omega at its finest, and two- it's dirt common, with a total production of the calibres 1000 and 1002 being circa 370 000 units.

Also, there's one rather suspicious Eberhard:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...co-extra-fort-chronograph?variant=46037523791

The quality of the printing on the subdials looks slightly off, the paint appears to be creeping up the dial's applied features.

Now, let's move to something else. The unsavoury cooperation with TAG Heuer, on the recent limited edition reissue of the Heuer Skipper:
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/i...-limited-edition-carrera-skipper-for-hodinkee

It is a pretty watch, I jest you not. Verily, it is. But I really don't like the cooperations between the "watch media" and manufacturers. Any cooperation between a news company (be it TV news, a radio station, a newspaper, or a watch website) and an entity that it reports on and the products of which it reviews, make any review questionable. Just as any journalist should not report on people or institutions, to whom or which they are connected through family or financial ties, Hoodwinkee should not do these cooperations. While it isn't illegal, it comes across as unsavoury, and reduces the credibility of their coverage of the company and its products to pretty much zero.
That's the second cooperation between Hoodwinkee and an LVMH-owned and JCB-run company, the previous one being the Zenith LE for Hoodwinkee. The hype constantly generated by Hoodwinkee for vintage Heuers and Zeniths is, in the light of that, very unsettling. Almost as if they were seeking to drive these brands out of the range of the average collector, in order to send him right into the welcoming arms of TAG Heuer and Zenith, who instead will offer a reissue at a lower price. That's of course just my hypothesis based on connecting the dots, but out of these dots connected, a rather sordid image emerges.

That's all for this instalment of Bring a Brain- I hope you have enjoyed the horror stories, and as always, Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
 

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Lord have mercy! Just a comment on the first one: I see that on eBay (with movement picture!) for US$ 250,00 - or make offer.

"... the case is perfectly proportioned and has a well-sized subsidiary dial." What a rubbish!
 

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Another great instalment, the Omega actually looks nice but it's well over priced, I see it as £500-600 worth serviced in a watchmakers and £300-400 on eBay

Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thoroughly enjoyed that, thank you. And learned a few things too.
Please tell me this really is a series.


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It is really a series alright, and, as in the thread title, it's already the 13th instalment... Glad you like it!
 

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As mkws has pointed out before, the hypocrisy is unbelievable. Here's a direct quote from a 2015 Hodinkee article on buying watches on eBay:

"If there was direct water on the dial, that can often mean the movement was exposed to water and may now be rusty. The latter is particularly concerning when the seller does not have movement photos for whatever reason (they don’t know how to open the case back, are afraid to damage anything when they open the case back, or they simply don't want to show the movement because it is incomplete or in bad shape)."

So which one is it for the Hoodwinkers' store, I wonder?

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Another excellent installment in the bring a brain series.But thing is that the hoodinkee crooks take people for idiots. No movement pictures should mean no purchase in any case.
The pushers on the wakmann are dirty which means no service was ever done and 4200$ for an unserviced not pristine valjoux 726 that is crookery.
The universal is nothing exceptional nor rare 500$ should be the max price
65000$ for beyond average condition 50 fathoms!! freaking unbelievable, it is not even pristine double red or a comex but this heavy pricetag is very close to crookery
The seamaster was nothing rare, but the calibre 1000-1001-1002 was the first generation of Omega 28800bph movements but much better than the 1010-1011-1012-1020-1021-1022 which were uglier and of much lesser quality but 2200€ is way overpriced
The eberhardt was poorly redialed and I bet the movement must be close to crappy condition.
The collaboration of hoodwinkee with Biver doesn't surprise me but is very upsetting. Perhaps they want the vintage timepieces to be unaffordable but not everyone is so naive and gullible not to understand what hoodwinkee is doing. I told several friends to ban hoodwinkee, auction houses and vintage watch shops who support them.
I have hesitated to mail hoddinkee about the quality of the watches they are selling because I don't think that my tone would have been kind. This is because of people like them that the hobby is becoming more and more difficult and expensive.
 

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As mkws has pointed out before, the hypocrisy is unbelievable. Here's a direct quote from a 2015 Hodinkee article on buying watches on eBay:

"If there was direct water on the dial, that can often mean the movement was exposed to water and may now be rusty. The latter is particularly concerning when the seller does not have movement photos for whatever reason (they don’t know how to open the case back, are afraid to damage anything when they open the case back, or they simply don't want to show the movement because it is incomplete or in bad shape)."

So which one is it for the Hoodwinkers' store, I wonder?

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Hoodwinkee sells awful to junkpile condition items and don't ever expect honesty coming from a crook
 

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and the Wakmann Gigandet seems to be in very nice condition; price is in line with (or even lower than) other recent sales of the rarer dial configurations of the ref. 1309; an AOPA dial sold for 8k+ on ebay - and the white Radium dial is quite rare too and hard to find in good condition.

not properly described: yes
but "disgusting price" ? not really, most "second tier branded" waterproof R72C with steel cases now sell in that range if they are in good to very good condition; have you fopllowed the Zodiacs recently ?
 

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and the Wakmann Gigandet seems to be in very nice condition; price is in line with (or even lower than) other recent sales of the rarer dial configurations of the ref. 1309; an AOPA dial sold for 8k+ on ebay - and the white Radium dial is quite rare too and hard to find in good condition.

not properly described: yes
but "disgusting price" ? not really, most "second tier branded" waterproof R72C with steel cases now sell in that range if they are in good to very good condition; have you fopllowed the Zodiacs recently ?
if it was inexceptional condition then I would understand the price but fact is that it isn't. The price of valjoux 72 powered chronos isn't going to be down but only rise in value. As said before, on chrono 24, you can steel find nice examples of valjoux 72 chronos priced below 3500€ if you hunt long enough.
 

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that is borderline crookery too especially for such an avreage condition timepiece
do you have any reason to believe this was shill bidding ? if so, it's true "crookery", but I see no indication of that and know that some DEALERS have joined the bidding at the top end, so if these were not shill bids, the market has decided about the value, whether we like it or not ?

21 bidders - and I know some of them and they apparently thought they could reach a decent mid term ROI at buying prices at this level.
 

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if it was inexceptional condition then I would understand the price but fact is that it isn't. The price of valjoux 72 powered chronos isn't going to be down but only rise in value. As said before, on chrono 24, you can steel find nice examples of valjoux 72 chronos priced below 3500€ if you hunt long enough.
sorry, for a 1309 it is in exceptional (or at least very good) condition; if you know of a better white dial Radium one, be so kind to pm me, would be very interested.

yes, you MIGHT find waterproof steel R72 chronographs with rare dials on c24 if you hunt long and get lucky, but maybe that isn't what Hodinkee customers want to do ?

A quick search on c24 will bring you some fakes, a chrome! reverse panda Wakmann Gigandet at $3.3k and a later Tritium panda Gigandet R730 for 5k; so these are all "crooks" ?(know that seller btw. and can assure you Adam is a great, helpful guy and far from being a crook)

Wakmann Vintage Chronograph Triple-Date Gigandet Valjoux 72C for $5,000 for sale from a Trusted Seller on Chrono24

I've been "priced out" of the market on many models, as I too can't stomach to pay $7k for a good Breitling TopTime ref. 810 that used to sell for $2k not too long ago, but this is what people pay at auctions, whether I like it or not - but why is somebody who sells a decent watch at market pricing a "crook" ?

I'll probably never own a vintage Skipperrera, although I fell in love with it when Laurent Noodia lent me his and I searched for years, but the market just kept rising and I'm not ready to pay the almost $80k they currently sell for - but is that backstreet auction house that sold that recent example a "crook" ?
 
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