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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Welcome to the 14th instalment of this little thread series! Today: fleecing, no movement ID, ridiculous hype... Well, the usual suspects. But we'll also talk about gullibility and failing to remember some high-school knowledge, as well as bad journalism and fornication. Oh my, that's an eclectic range of issues, no? Anyway, dear lads and lasses, this is your Bring a Brain!

First things first- let's have a look at the watches from the Fleecers' Den.

To start today's list, this Gubelin triple date:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/watches/products/1940s-e-gubelin-lucerne-triple-date

There are two sides to Gubelin's own watches- some had truly spectacular, JLC-worthy (if not by LeCoultre!) movements, some had run-of-the-mill ebauches, which were finished to a nice standard. Now, the good question is- how does one tell, which side of Gubelin does this watch represent, if there is no movement picture, and the "experts" of the Shop either don't bother to identify it, or are too lazy to open the bloody thing up and check? Aaand, of course, the price is dreadful.

Now, this 1960s Zenith:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/watches/products/1960s-zenith-date?variant=47746847759
OK, it's in lovely condition. But $2100 for an average, mass-produced cal. 2542 is ridiculous. Ridiculous to an extent, where I laugh hard while looking at that price. Dear Donkeys, if you'll do some more of that, you'll drive the comedians out of their jobs.
A Lemania chronograph:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/watches/products/1950s-lemania-chronograph-ch27
1950s? I wouldn't be so sure of that- I'd say it looks quite 1940s. Of course, if they'd have posted the bloody movement picture, more accurate dating would be possible, as the serial numbers for Lemania are available alright. And these aren't feuille hands, by Jove! They are stick hands, and if by any chance they are any wider at the end, that'd make them sword hands.

Movado Sub-Sea chrono:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...60s-movado-sub-sea-chronograph-reference-1056
Nice, but the price is obscene. No movement pictures, of course. And no, it's not a Patek chrono, as much as they'd want the people to believe that it is some more "budget" Patek.

Now, two Super-Compressor divers, by Bulova and Sandoz:

https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...er-compressor-jumbo-diver?variant=47766861327


https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/watches/products/1960s-sandoz-supercompressor-diver?variant=47486674575



"...rare vintage Super Compressor divers..." This part alone sounds like something straight out of a cheesy eBay listing. Very very rare rare very very vintage rare rare rare. Oh, for crying out loud! EPSA provided these cases to a lot of manufacturers, apparently in not particularly small quantities, as these supposedly "very very rare vintage rare rare" watches pop up like mushrooms on the market. Both are, of course, overhyped and overpriced.

OK, that's it for the watches. Now, let's move to an article, which is completely off the trolley in terms of what a gullibility fest it is:
https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/cheating-mans-heuer-on-ebay
This, dear readers, is a textbook example of how not to write an article. Lesson number one: if you don't know something, at least use a caveat emptor.
"...and to help a wronged woman get a little payback on an unfaithful husband."
First of all- how can you possibly know, if the story in the listing is true? What if it's just someone, who wants to get more attention in order to simply sell the watch? What if it's a gold digger selling off what remains of some poor chap's valuable items? You don't know. Here are some words to live by: every "touching" story on the Internets has to be taken with a substantial grain of salt, especially when there's a perspective of a financial gain in the background. I'm not saying that the story is not true, but with nothing to support it being true, common sense dictates, that one should be rather unwilling to believe it.

Another issue: no one can really know, what the legal status of these watches is. Even if the story is true, the owner of these watches can claim that they were stolen from him, and she had no right to sell them. In that case, whoever buys these watches, can risk losing the watch, and having little to no chance of seeing his money back, after they land up in the divorce lawyer's pocket. And, possibly, months of running around from courtroom to courtroom, to get either the watch or the money back. That said, publishing such articles can cost people money, time, and who knows if not legal consequences as well.
It is college-level - if not high school - knowledge, that one should assess the credibility of the sources. As well as consider the possible implications of covering controversial or unclear issues in articles or in academic writing.

That's all for this Bring a Brain. As always, I hope you have enjoyed, it, and - as always - Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
 

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Maybe the dirt on some of the watches carry some DNA of JFK.. would explain the price.
Not sure what the issue is, they are entitled to place any price that they want on the watch - thats what business is about.
As long as watch is genuine and as described, they break no laws!

Its up to the buyer to research if price is of value or not

Adam
 

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The Donkeys are at it again



Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
 
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The Donkeys are at it again



Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
If you are referring to HODINKEE - I 100% disagree.
If you or others do not like, the price or description of items they are selling - just do not buy.

I suspect their life are doing quite fine, and they are FAR from "donkees"

PS: If you meant me, I shall take it as a compliment - LOL
 

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If you are referring to HODINKEE - I 100% disagree.
If you or others do not like, the price or description of items they are selling - just do not buy.

I suspect their life are doing quite fine, and they are FAR from "donkees"
I am referring to Hoodinkee, I don't like the prices or descriptions and would never buy, the main problem I have is the complete lack of morals they seem to have, I realise a fool and his money are easily parted but a novice could be put off our great hobby for life if they joined a forum to show off their great purchase only to be told they'd paid over the odds for an over polished example with the wrong hands that needs a service.

Again, I reiterate, I understand they are doing nothing wrong technically but they have some shoddy working practices.

Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
 

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I am referring to Hoodinkee, I don't like the prices or descriptions and would never buy, the main problem I have is the complete lack of morals they seem to have, I realise a fool and his money are easily parted but a novice could be put off our great hobby for life if they joined a forum to show off their great purchase only to be told they'd paid over the odds for an over polished example with the wrong hands that needs a service.

Again, I reiterate, I understand they are doing nothing wrong technically but they have some shoddy working practices.

Matt


Brought to you by HYPNOTOAD
I do not think "they have shoddy working practices", and I do think one needs to be careful about the claims and innuendo's implied in these threads.

Personally, I dont agree with the threads, and only managed to read this one as it had only two posts.

But thats just me
ENJOY
Adam
 

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I do not think "they have shoddy working practices", and I do think one needs to be careful about the claims and innuendo's implied in these threads.

Personally, I dont agree with the threads, and only managed to read this one as it had only two posts.

But thats just me
ENJOY
Adam
As we've said before Adam, we're all entitled to our opinions and they don't have to agree, in fact it's great when they don't, it makes the forum more interesting.

Matt


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ABSOLUTELY
No disagreement on that.
I am now out of this thread
Thanks
adam
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not sure what the issue is, they are entitled to place any price that they want on the watch - thats what business is about.
As long as watch is genuine and as described, they break no laws!

Its up to the buyer to research if price is of value or not

Adam
Someone sells a pin-lever Ruhla for $1000- technically, he/she can do that, but does that make it fair or right?

In many cases, which I have covered on previous instalments of Bring a Brain, the watches were often not as described. Redials, radium lume being mistaken for tritium, the technical condition was rated well above what it was - dirty, unserviced movements, for one. Misidentified movements, false NOS or unsubstantiated rarity claims, misidentified case material. Watches in mediocre to poor condition were being sold for prices well above the average for specimens in far better condition. In many cases the movement has not been identified, and the picture of it was not included, and that said, the verification was incomplete, in which case, the "authenticity guarantee" was an empty promise.

They have also been hyping redials and watches with incorrect parts.

Here's an example of a redial that they were selling (for $6400, if I remember correctly):
vacheronhodinkeeshopredial.jpg
...which was withdrawn thanks to raising hell over that in here.

The term "Donkeys" is a derivative of one of the numerous ways that the site name has been turned into humorous stuff, but their record of fails since the very beginning of the watch sales on their site has certainly earned them that nickname.
 

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I have occasionally seen people trying to sell things on eBay using sympathetic but unverifiable stories, like "must sell to pay for cancer treatments". While these may be true, given the nature of the internet, they are probably false, and I agree that it's silly for Hodinkee to publicize a wild and unvalidated claim like this.

Also, where is the supposed Movado beads-of-rice bracelet mentioned in the listing? It looks like it's on a leather strap.
 

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Someone sells a pin-lever Ruhla for $1000- technically, he/she can do that, but does that make it fair or right?

In many cases, which I have covered on previous instalments of Bring a Brain, the watches were often not as described. Redials, radium lume being mistaken for tritium, the technical condition was rated well above what it was - dirty, unserviced movements, for one. Misidentified movements, false NOS or unsubstantiated rarity claims, misidentified case material. Watches in mediocre to poor condition were being sold for prices well above the average for specimens in far better condition. In many cases the movement has not been identified, and the picture of it was not included, and that said, the verification was incomplete, in which case, the "authenticity guarantee" was an empty promise.

They have also been hyping redials and watches with incorrect parts.

Here's an example of a redial that they were selling (for $6400, if I remember correctly):
View attachment 12360977
...which was withdrawn thanks to raising hell over that in here.

The term "Donkeys" is a derivative of one of the numerous ways that the site name has been turned into humorous stuff, but their record of fails since the very beginning of the watch sales on their site has certainly earned them that nickname.
Fine - you made your point
Now (to me) it just looks like a "vendetta" or a "troll"

Move on (in my opinion) - you made your point about 10 installments ago.

Just mt 5 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Fine - you made your point
Now (to me) it just looks like a "vendetta" or a "troll"

Move on (in my opinion) - you made your point about 10 installments ago.

Just mt 5 cents
I'm not interested in arguing with you- your signature openly warns people not to do that. I would also strongly suggest withdrawing the remarks you've made.

Apparently, these threads are still necessary- after looking further into the Bulova diver, it appears to be an old redial with incorrect crowns (should be Bulova-signed, not cross-hatched). AFAIK, no Super-Compressor case Snorkel had triangular hour markers, either. A correct example can be seen here:
Bulova 1963 Snorkel 666 | myBulova.com
 

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they are a mystery to me :D
In the shop they search for uneducated fools with deep pockets.
On the other hand they have lots of highly educational articles on models, on howto buy, howto not to buy etc.

So the question is who are these buyers, don't they actually read that website?
 

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What's annoying is I have a Delvina Super Compressor being serviced atm that is very similar to the Sandoz one. But will i get anywhere near the same price as they have for theirs? Not a chance...

That's the power of hype. It's remarkable how many people lap up pretentious drivel.
 

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Fine - you made your point
Now (to me) it just looks like a "vendetta" or a "troll"

Move on (in my opinion) - you made your point about 10 installments ago.

Just mt 5 cents
I think you are completely missing the point of these threads. They are "watchdog" threads (I believe mkws has himself used that term to describe them) with a good bit of editorial flair. Standard journalistic practice... with some entertainment and opinions injected to keep it fun.

You have a website with significant sway in the horology community. They claim to be "experts", therefore their fan/customer base assumes them to be a trustworthy source, which they have demonstrated that they are not. mkws is trying to keep them honest.

Hodinkee has shown to be either knowingly deceptive, or at best ignorant, in their business practices. These threads have made that pretty clear.

Should media outlets doing investigative journalism into shady businesses, corrupt governments, etc. just "move on"??

If you can point out repeated examples of mkws being incorrect in these articles (because the articles are chock full of facts, in addition to some entertaining opinions and commentary), then you could legitimately criticize the articles for being shoddy journalism. However, to dismiss it as a troll or a rant is simply the easy way out.

Just my 3 cents.

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well, you should probably just put a disclaimer at the top of each one of these- no movement shot, too expensive. but that would probably eliminate most of your article.

that said, i appreciate these articles for the revelations of incorrectness they sometimes illuminate. feuille hands are a personal favorite. as an aside, i can't believe i typed such a phrase, but oh well.

the whole wronged wife article is an exercise in poor and irresponsible journalism. of all the ham-fisted (and sadly successful) attempts at ginning up a market...god. i wouldn't be surprised if somebody knew somebody else at hodinkee and got this travesty published. hondinkee should be held legally liable for essentially directing their readership to purchase the watch- and at several times the actual worth. hell, it fits in with their MO perfectly.

i'm really beginning to understand your vitriol at the site.
 

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If you are referring to HODINKEE - I 100% disagree.
If you or others do not like, the price or description of items they are selling - just do not buy.

I suspect their life are doing quite fine, and they are FAR from "donkees"
Anybody who has at least a sense of realism and honesty will call Hoddinkee a bunch of crooks and amateurs.On another forum I am a member of the purists pro, Hoddinkee got some serious flak from the purist pro staff and its members. Yes I will insist on the fact that they sell junkpile condition to borderline crap condition items in 90% of cases while being overpriced of 40% of the market value. Does this sound honest? Hell not. I had even receieved a pm from someone of the Hoddinkee staff, a certain guy called louis who asked me what should be done to improve the hoddinkee shop. I answered him by pm that Hoddinkee should stop jacking up prices, be honest when describing the condition of the item and show the movement pictures. I never got a repy from him, he was probably too scared of what would happen if he replied to me. There will be more and more of these threads until Hoddinkee ceases permanently its policies of passing halftruths for the reality and stop being so greedy with customers. They have killed the collector market, I have discouraged several people to buy from them and I will continue to do so and as much as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had even receieved a pm from someone of the Hoddinkee staff, a certain guy called louis who asked me what should be done to improve the hoddinkee shop. I answered him by pm that Hoddinkee should stop jacking up prices, be honest when describing the condition of the item and show the movement pictures. I never got a repy from him, he was probably too scared of what would happen if he replied to me.
AFAIK, he's the same guy who writes the Bring a Loupe columns (to which Bring a Brain owes its title) and who's in charge of watch sales at Hoodwinkee. He came to post in a few threads (concerning the Shop) on various forums, especially after one of the very first sales at the Shop was identified as a redial (the "Longines Calatrava"- the origin of the Calatrava Houdini species, an old redial with tilted printing on the dial and period-incorrect font, priced at an insane $5300), and after that- a few more times. Ran away permanently, after he was asked here in F11, if he'd pay the prices that they charge for their watches, if he was buying a watch for himself.

When he posted in a thread in the Public forum, concerning the resemblance of one of the new Zeniths to the Hoodwinkee LE, I have thanked him for removing the redialed VC (which I have raised hell about last year, just before Christmas) from the Shop. He ran away after that - which had me kind of surprised; after all, it's not common for people to run away after they hear "thank you." And I wasn't being sarcastic back then- it was an honest "thank you", since I was genuinely afraid that they will sell that redial, given all the past incidents of selling redials at the Shop. Frankly, that had me gobsmacked; I know that sometimes it's hard to say mea culpa, but...
 
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