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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello and welcome to the newest instalment of Bring a Brain! As always, this watchdog/comedy series will cover some true gems, which might well be the mediocre kind of gems badly researched, or indeed "gems" to stay well away from. A slight warning to some: if humour offends you, and your sense of humour is inexistent or it's on the "accountant with all limbs in a cast" level of stiffness, please stop reading now. Lads and lasses, this is your Bring a Brain!

First of all, a selection of listings from the shop of our favourite advertorial site.

First, let's have a look at this Enicar.
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...ar-sherpa-super-divette?variant=2139186069519

Took them years to learn, that Super-Compressors made for Enicar had bayonet backs, not screw-in ones. But look, they did. Good. No movement pics? Well, not much to say about it, then, it's a big "nope." Lume removed from hands, overall condition: poor to mediocre, with tons of filth on the case and bracelet.

Rolex "Red" Submariner:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1970-rolex-submariner-reference-1680
Misaligned crystal, and for a specimen with the bracelet missing, they charge what they previously did for one with the original bracelet all there. Sorry, this just isn't right. All the talk about it being uncommon and coveted is nauseating - they seem to have offered a number of them in the past, so it's not something that surfaces once a year.

Now, this Rolex Explorer 1016:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...explorer-reference-1016?variant=1792673021967
This happens all too often with the Rolexes they sell - movement obviously misidentified. Of course it might be stamped 1575 (thought it looks like it's a part of a "0" that's lurking through one of the apertures in the rotor, the one right over the calibre number), but it is a 1570. Why? Obviously, because the 1575 features a date.

Submariner 5512:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...bmariner-reference-5512?variant=2073445007375
Judging by the aging to the lume on the hands and deterioration to the hands, so inconsistent with the all-too-pristine dial lume with hardly any aging to it, I'm not sure if all the parts of this watch rolled out of the factory in the same watch. That said, the dial could be a replacement.

And, what a surprise, another Rolex
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...al-date-reference-15200?variant=2139184726031
Paraphrasing their routine, what you should know: case likely polished, bracelet stretched, crystal reinstalled by someone who didn't have a clue about how to do it. I wonder if that font is correct for 1990 - I'm not sure if it is.

IWC cal. 89:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...ence-805-in-yellow-gold?variant=1792444006415
There doesn't seem to be a lot to be found about the ref. 805 anywhere. The watch could have been assembled in 1970, but the movement serial is for 1965, case - 1967. Also, what are tritium markings doing on a no-lume dial? Rolex was known to be careless enough to do that, never seen that on an IWC. "By the pricking of my thumbs..."

Zenith A385:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1970s-zenith-el-primero-a385
On the strictly technical side, this doesn't look good - old grease/filth on the movement, rust by the stem. The fact that they claim the lume is all original is rather disconcerting as well - seriously, beige lume on the hands, and almost completely black on the chrono hand and the markers? Ummm...I take my liberty to doubt that.

Now, let's move to another shop. They know no limits. They know no movement pictures. They know watches not. Lads and lasses, T&H!

This Longines has, sadly, already been sold:
https://theoandharris.com/vintage-watch-shop/vintage-watches-sold/longines-8/
"Natural aging." Well, the process behind that can be called this way...No, no it can't. "Natural rusting"- that's more like it.

Wanted to go through their YouTube videos, but I couldn't. I have too little time to spare to waste it on them.

Yet another shop with plenty of issues and some of their offerings, for example, this one:
https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1947-eterna-gilt-jumbo-screw-back-cal-852s
If it has been polished, it's not a "barn find." What I find disconcerting, is that a large percentage of their listings are for watches priced at almost twice the Hodinkee prices for similar stuff, and Hodinkee prices already are beyond bad. This, however, is worse, since most of them appear to have been tampered with - especially the cases. 4500 euro for a watch attacked with Cape Cods in the past? Sorry, but that's not a fair approach.

Resist mocking it, resist, resist, resist...Well, that lasted about three seconds. "Follow your spirit, and upon this charge..."

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1937-tissot-33-3-chro-monopusher-enamel-dial
Cape Cod'd. Nope.

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1946-eterna-cal-852-gilt-dial-brevet-case
Another overpriced case that's been tampered with.

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1942-iwc-schaffhausen-jumbo-hermet-gilt-dial
No traces of use - well, that's the thing with the Cape Cod cloth, that it's used to remove them. That it bears no traces of use can be said of NOS, but not of a restored case. Sorry, but that's very misleading.

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1945-ulysse-nardin-jumbo-calatrava-18k-rg
Calatrava Houdini + victim of capecodclothicide.

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1954-omega-ref-2800-2-caliber-266
Episode I: The Phantom Tamper

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1946-omega-jumbo-ref-2506-1
Episode II: Attack of the Cape Cods.https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1945-tissot-caliber-33-3-jumbo
Episode III: Revenge of the (black)Smith

Another replate and refinish:
https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1942-lemania-15tl-jumbo-ghost-dial
Episode IV: A No-Hope

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1960-iwc-schaffhausen-ingenieur-ref-666-ad
Episode V: Dremel Strikes Back

https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1950-eberhard-extra-fort-jumbo-monopusher
Episode VI: Return of the Cape Cod

Jokes aside (if someone didn't take the warning and happened to read on - let me remind you, that comedy is not about being gravely serious as if at a funeral), it's not like I'm suggesting these restoration jobs are badly done - quite on the contrary, the quality of the refinishing is great, but the point is, that these are overpriced not even more than the mediocre/junk stuff sold at Hodinkee, they're more heavily overpriced than immaculate pieces which never have seen the slightest form of refinishing, sold in other shops known for heavy and unjustifiable overpricing.
If these watches would have been a watch restorer's advertisement, not sales listings, if I'd have a wreck to refinish, I would consider having them do that. It's a bit of a pity, that such skills go into selling watches of reduced collectible value for comically inflated prices.

That's all for this Bring a Brain - hope that those who enjoy it, have enjoyed as always, and those who needed some more perspective got just that.
Until the next instalment, take care! Bring a Brain will return if necessary.
 

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The thing that bothers me about the 5512 is that the lugs are claimed to be thick, when in fact they are not. It's quite clear that the cases of both the 5512 and the El Primero have been professionally refinished, and they did a good job. However, there is a cost to this, and for the Submariner, the lugs are noticeably thinned. Still, it's decent overall, and the "meters first" dial dates to the same time-frame as the serials, so most likely it is original. I'm not so sure about the hands; they would put me off. And honestly, given the prices that good 5512 examples are currently selling for, it's clear the Hondinkee knew that this one had problems.

I have some other concerns about the A385 in addition to the mis-matched lume colors. The lume has been removed from the markers, and some of them are misaligned (e.g. the 12 and 4 o'clock especially). The small hands on the sub-dials also seem too short. I'd be concerned that it has been assembled from mismatched parts and the dial has been tampered with. Still, to be fair, it has become very hard to find a decent example of these early EPs for any price. Sadly, as disclosed, the crown is also not correct.

Like several other online retailers, the asking prices at Vintage Caliber seem to have risen recently to truly crazy levels, often 3x a fair auction price. I'm not sure who is buying these watches, if anyone. As we have established in previous threads, many of these watches are on consignment, and when the owner becomes frustrated and takes the watch back, some of these websites dishonestly list the watch as "SOLD".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The thing that bothers me about the 5512 is that the lugs are claimed to be thick, when in fact they are not. It's quite clear that the cases of both the 5512 and the El Primero have been professionally refinished, and they did a good job. However, there is a cost to this, and for the Submariner, the lugs are noticeably thinned. Still, it's decent overall, and the "meters first" dial dates to the same time-frame as the serials, so most likely it is original. I'm not so sure about the hands; they would put me off. And honestly, given the prices that good 5512 examples are currently selling for, it's clear the Hondinkee knew that this one had problems.
I agree. I don't know which part of the Submariner has been replaced - the dial or the hands - but one of the two must have been. The aging and deterioration is far too inconsistent for the hands and dial to have been in the same watch since the beginning. Of course they sell lemons knowing full well what they are, or at least they seem to care little about whether what they sell has issues or not.

I have some other concerns about the A385 in addition to the mis-matched lume colors. The lume has been removed from the markers, and some of them are misaligned (e.g. the 12 and 4 o'clock especially). The small hands on the sub-dials also seem too short. I'd be concerned that it has been assembled from mismatched parts and the dial has been tampered with. Still, to be fair, it has become very hard to find a decent example of these early EPs for any price. Sadly, as disclosed, the crown is also not correct.
I don't think it's necessarily cobbled from parts, but the watch has certainly been substantially tampered with.

Like several other online retailers, the asking prices at Vintage Caliber seem to have risen recently to truly crazy levels, often 3x a fair auction price. I'm not sure who is buying these watches, if anyone. As we have established in previous threads, many of these watches are on consignment, and when the owner becomes frustrated and takes the watch back, some of these websites dishonestly list the watch as "SOLD".
Most of the current line-up there remains unsold for weeks, which is fortunate. Looks like even the average prospective buyers for these things, and by that I mean the "knows nothing" sort of hipster living off of a massive trust fund, have enough common sense not to fall for these offers.
 

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LOL! I've never seen this series.

Great Sat morning read with a coffee. Hilarious and educational-
I personally enjoy the hunt for vintage watches almost as much as having them in my hands.

Until the next instalment, take care! Bring a Brain will return if necessary.
Yes "necessary".

Thanks for this edition. Now I have to go back and read the previous!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
mkws , my friend you spend way to much time on "that site" you need to get out a bit more ( perhaps a daily walk ) im starting to worry about you.
Easy, no need to worry about me. I have spent something like 30 minutes there in the last few weeks, that being 30 minutes yesterday. The sites featured in this instalment took some 45 minutes of my time in total. Obviously, that's 44 minutes and 59 seconds more than what they're worth, but I suppose the educational value of BaB balances that out.

And I do take a walk daily, three klicks - call it a perk of living not so far from the office. Could take a tram, but I'm not that lazy.
 

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I always find funny explanation picture with arrows

"look there is stunning rust on pushers"

"... And its perfectly blended with gunk on caseback"

I will try to sell one of my watches in Hoodwinkle style... Lets see how it goes.
 

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Load of crap from hoodwinkee and yet still stupid people buy from them with watches which are unserviced. The rolex are all frankenised crap and the a385 isn't even worth 1000$. Seems that despite the departure of Luis nothing changed but went for the worse. Is their watchmaker still that same damn friggin' dolt of the last time??? I mean how can someone buy pieces of crap like this ????
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Craft & Tailored... Pretentious name, and looking at their offer, dreadfully audacious pricing. It doesn't look like they have watches with easily noticeable authenticity issues, but the lines they use to sell these pieces are beyond ridiculous. For example, this Submariner with a water-damaged dial:
https://www.craftandtailored.com/co...ubmariner-1680-with-tropical-fire-purple-dial
"Hot lava dial", "tropical fire purple dial..." Frankly, I'd call that a "vomit dial." First of all, because that damage is vomit-inducing, and second - because it does look as if someone happened to throw up on it.
 

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I think C&T sometimes has nice watches, but I also don't understand their pricing model. For example, they always have a bunch of dime-a-dozen Datejusts for which they are asking $1,000 more than anyone else.
 

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Happily, they want me to inquire about the price for this gem, so I know I'm safe: I can't afford it. Phew. I was worried for a second. I mean, I want the guys down at the abattoir to admire my watch, right? But, y'know.

Craft & Tailored... Pretentious name, and looking at their offer, dreadfully audacious pricing. It doesn't look like they have watches with easily noticeable authenticity issues, but the lines they use to sell these pieces are beyond ridiculous. For example, this Submariner with a water-damaged dial:
https://www.craftandtailored.com/co...ubmariner-1680-with-tropical-fire-purple-dial
"Hot lava dial", "tropical fire purple dial..." Frankly, I'd call that a "vomit dial." First of all, because that damage is vomit-inducing, and second - because it does look as if someone happened to throw up on it.
 
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