WatchUSeek Watch Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lads and lasses, as always it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the next instalment of Bring a Brain! As always, this comedy/watchdog series brings you some real gems for a good laugh. In today's instalment, some poor movement identification, fleecefests, and teabagged redials. Without further ado... The game's afoot! Follow your spirit, and upon this charge...

First up, this Datejust:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...d-with-black-onyx-dial?variant=12155322237003

There are fast learners, slow learners, and those who never learn. Three guesses which sort the H-Shop fellows are... No, it's not the cal.1570! It's the cal. 1575. "Why?", you ask for the nth time. Because, dear Shop team, who vet your stock so carefully that you better not seek a career in bomb disposal, the cal. 1570 does not have a date complication. It's a time-only movement.

Time for this Breitling:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...-time-reference-810-24?variant=12155145388107

Regardless of the metal used for the main bloc, be it steel or brass, it's still gold plated. And no, it's not "light discolouration" around the pushers and crown - ahhh, the euphemisms... It's as if you'd pick up a rotting, fetid flounder, and call it produce of second freshness, just perfect to be served with chips.

Now, this Venus-but-not-calibre-170-powered Singer chrono:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...onograph-reference-760?variant=12155200307275

What's wrong with the movement identification performed on this one? I'll leave you to your deductions. Clue? Reggie stirs. More things don't check out, though.

This Royce happens to be a fleecefest and case material misidentification in one:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collectio...50s-royce-antimagnetic?variant=12155414478923

No! No, by Jove! No! It's not stainless steel! FOND acier inoxydable - you might really want to get a French-English dictionary, although all you need is to type "translate.google.com" into your browser's address bar... 1200 bucks for a chrome plated, not particularly desirable watch? Christ on a bike!




OK, now that we've dealt with the usual suspects, here's another dealer, who - while not under the BaB loupe for that long - has already earned a spot on Bring a Brain for their offerings. Lads and lasses, hail the King of Cape Cod!

First up for barrage, this Tissot:
https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1941-tissot-cal-28-9-for-barth-zurich

Look at that font. Look at the perfunctory printing on the registers. Then, with yer hand on yer heart, do me a favour and tell me, that you do really believe your line about the "original and untouched champagne dial." Oh, this is like going to the movies, no? Well, maybe not. Maybe it's like going to a bazaar in Bodrum (or, for that matter, any other bazaar to the east of the Bosphorus), and hearing the stall owners yell, "Original fake Nikes, for you cheap, cheap, I give special price, just 200 euro!" Away with that teabagged redial!
Obviously, the case has been polished. I thought that the ratio of unpolished to polished pieces offered there is something like 1:20, now I'm thinking, like, 1:30?

Now, this UN chrono:
https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1945-ulysse-nardin-jumbo-chronograph

Dunno how about you, lads and lasses, but I'd bet a pint that it's not the Valjoux 23, and is in fact its big brother, the Valjoux 22. OK, no need to buy me a pint, no bets needed. We all know it's the 22.

A Wittnauer:
https://vintagecaliber.com/collections/all/products/1958-wittnauer-guilloche-radium-dial
A nice pattern, likely oil-pressed, but not guilloche as such.


I hope you have all enjoyed this week's round-up, lads and lasses, and as always - Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to put together this entertaining read, as always!

- There are relatively few up-down chronograph movements, like the Venus 170, so you would not think they would mention the Venus 170 with a more common side-by-side layout. I guess that Singer is actually a Venus 175.

- "Very light surface scratches" on the SS Royce, where the base metal shows through!

- "Hail the King of Cape Cod" ... classic. :-d
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,887 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to put together this entertaining read, as always!

- There are relatively few up-down chronograph movements, like the Venus 170, so you would not think they would mention the Venus 170 with a more common side-by-side layout. I guess that Singer is actually a Venus 175.

- "Very light surface scratches" on the SS Royce, where the base metal shows through!

- "Hail the King of Cape Cod" ... classic. :-d
the Singer holds a cal. 150, the 13 lignes small sibling of the Venus 175 - and, btw., IS a Breitling Premier ref. 760, a lovely early example from ca. 1941/42. Singer was the Breitling distributor in Turkey in the 1940s, most watches were branded Singer only, some, like the Chronomat 769, were sometimes co-branded. nice watch.

and yes, Kind of Cape Cod is an excellent name for vintagecaliber, sometimes also the Prince of Redials ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,517 Posts
Excellent stuff! ( as usual 😉)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The mistaken calibers are bad enough, but characterizing an obviously chrome-plated case as "stainless steel" should, in my view, be considered criminal fraud, given the supposed stature of Hodinkee, coupled with its prices.
True. Not the first time they did it, and something tells me it's not the last, unfortunately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,457 Posts
Why do I think that the buyer didn't notice, and might not know the difference?
What do you mean?

Why do people fall for marriage-imposters, investment tricksters etc.?

It's a never-ending business model since the Stone Age.

Fortunately we have something called 'Bring a Brain'. In the medieval age, it was 'bring wood for the stake'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Fortunately we have something called 'Bring a Brain'. In the medieval age, it was 'bring wood for the stake'.
In the Middle Ages, BaB would be a book called the Malleus Asinorum​.
 

·
Zenith Forum Co-moderator
Joined
·
18,814 Posts
Number Ten (bottom of the first page of hits) when googling that term (M.A.). Which only goes to show how important Watchuseek has become over the years to rate so highly in what is probably the world's number one search engine.

Which also goes to show that we should be careful about what we write here. I would remind members to stick mainly to facts, tone down the "bite" in their terminology and not make personal attacks. Writing in derogatory style about Hodinkee is bad enough (it actually makes life difficult for the admin and site owners when they meet Hodinkee staff at Exhibitions like the Basel fair!) but derogatory remarks about individuals such as Hodinkee staff will not be tolerated! Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Taking a second to introduce myself to you all, and apologize in advance to the moderators as I know posts from retailers are not allowed. However, in the interest of transparency I thought it is important to chime in on this thread, especially since the integrity of HODINKEE is being called into question here. Hopefully this post will not be deleted.

I worked closely with Louis before he left HODINKEE, so I am quite familiar with this column. Know that, while we don’t always agree with some of the comments (especially those that feel like unnecessary cheap shots), we do appreciate that you keep us on our toes because in the end we want the same thing you do, and that’s to make more people fall in love with this hobby we love.

With that in mind, wanted to address your comments regarding our recent Vintage listings.

1). Rolex Datejust
The caliber number listed in our description comes from the actual caliber number engraved on the movement, i.e. caliber 1570. This is the most conventional way of listing the caliber number of the movement. Having said that, the point you mentioned about the movement as caliber 1575 is correct in the sense that Rolex identifies caliber 1570 with the date module as a caliber 1575. But since it is not engraved as such on the actual movement, we have described this Datejust model and other similar examples as having a caliber 1570 instead of a caliber 1575 in the past.

This is in fact a very confusing "nomenclature" so to speak and we'd like to say both are correct. To take it a step further, we have confirmed with watchmakers who have worked on Rolex for many years that majority of the caliber 1570 movements with the date module were still engraved as "1570" as opposed to a "1575".

2). Breitling Top-Time
We wanted to clearly let any potential buyers aware up front that there is in fact a light discoloration around the pushers and the crown. The degree of how much discoloration is acceptable is purely subjective, and therefore, we have deferred to the clients to decide based on their comfort level.

With that in mind, we can’t think of another vintage watch retailer that clearly identifies the flaws a vintage watch may have BEFORE a purchase so that customers can make an informed decision. And we think this is good for all enthusiasts and collectors.

3). Singer Chronograph
As WatchFred mentions in his post, it appears that the movement is a Venus caliber 150 and not a 170 as noted in our description. We stand corrected on this one, and thank you to WatchFred for his keen insight. We will update this information shortly on our site.

4). Royce case back engraving
To the best of our knowledge, "Fond" in this context is referring to the caseback, and "Acier Inoxidable" means stainless steel. However, upon further review, it is possible that that main case body is chrome-plated and not fully stainless steel as described. So thank you for pointing that out.

As you can imagine, there is limited info available on the more “obscure” brands, like Royce, so our initial description of the watch is simply an honest mistake. I can assure you we have nothing to gain by misleading someone on this watch.

As Louis used to do, I am happy to chat with anyone who has any questions about what we do here at HODINKEE so please feel free to reach out as you wish. My email address is eneuri at hodinkee dot com.

Respectfully,
Eneuri
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Thanks to all especially mkws for "Bring a Brain" I'm a long time lurker with a passion for collecting which is growing, these articles, and the responses to them have given me a huge amount of education and knowledge. Bravo all! I suspected the watch world could be very similar to the Automotive vintage and classic industry but never to the extent it clearly is! Thank you for the eye opener. I shall now go looking for my next purchase far better equipped to do so, once I have sold my Panerai to help fund the next purchase. Once again thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,457 Posts
Well in the end: doing it right is good, not doing it wrong is mostly a lot better.

We really don't need any of the many watches we buy, save one or two (at least in my case). From time to time, you can be lucky and make a good deal, but what you are gaining then is usually a fraction of what you are loosing on a bad transaction, besides feeling like an idiot in the latter case after 'enlightenment'.

You can't to any better than listening to someone pointing to the pitfalls, combined with knowledge and experience, and, depending on the pitfall, you can even have a good laugh now and then.
 

·
Zenith Forum Co-moderator
Joined
·
18,814 Posts
Welcome to Watchuseek! No, I am of course not going to wipe your thread (no reason to do so) and all credit to you for dropping by and standing up to the criticism. My own reaction is twofold:

1. However well we are going to get on here (or not - and if so, I hope we will remain civil about it), I still defend the stance I highlighted in an earlier thread of this nature: we are rivals. Perhaps even enemies. You are in the business to make as much cash as possible, therefore it is in your interest to push up the price as much as possible. We are collectors: we mainly buy watches and rarely sell them again and, if so, mainly to fund the next one rather than make a huge profit on what we sell. We therefore have diametrically opposed interests and it seems unlikely that we will (professionally) ever like each other. Let's just hope that we will all respect each other, that might be a decent and realistic compromise.

2. It is good that you are willing to admit to your mistakes (on the Singer and probably also the Royce). It is somewhat frustrating that this is by no means the first time that we have discussed blatant errors, you have apologised and promised improvement - and nothing much has happened! This seems to be a main reason for the repeated bickering Hodinkee gets here and it would be sooo easy to make quick improvements on this count. If you expect premium prices, you have to provide a service that's better than we give here - for free!

I hope that you will continue to drop in on occasion and discuss the matter. And I hope that the rest of us here will also do so in a civil tone. Until our next meeting,

Hartmut Richter
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,269 Posts
To the best of our knowledge, "Fond" in this context is referring to the caseback, and "Acier Inoxidable" means stainless steel. However, upon further review, it is possible that that main case body is chrome-plated and not fully stainless steel as described. So thank you for pointing that out.
This is the first thing every novice collector learns and we have explained it countless times. When you see "FOND ACIER INOXYDABLE" or "STAINLESS STEEL BACK" on a case-back, it means that the rest of the watch is plated. If the whole watch is stainless, the case-back will simply say "ACIER INOXYDABLE" or "STAINLESS STEEL", with no qualification.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,812 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Taking a second to introduce myself to you all, and apologize in advance to the moderators as I know posts from retailers are not allowed. However, in the interest of transparency I thought it is important to chime in on this thread, especially since the integrity of HODINKEE is being called into question here. Hopefully this post will not be deleted.

I worked closely with Louis before he left HODINKEE, so I am quite familiar with this column. Know that, while we don’t always agree with some of the comments (especially those that feel like unnecessary cheap shots),
We usually don't agree, to put it more precisely. Nevertheless, if the column makes as much as the tiniest of changes, it's more than worth to keep it going. As to cheap shots, I enjoy a certain degree of diversification of the lines I write - I use lines from "budget" to "high-end."


...we do appreciate that you keep us on our toes
You're welcome.

...because in the end we want the same thing you do, and that’s to make more people fall in love with this hobby we love.
As Hartmut said, actually we stand at cross purposes. Money and idealism is rarely a possible combination, and frankly, I don't believe that such a pairing exists at H. Well, we're the idealists, Hodinkee stands on the side of money, and it ain't the same side of the barricade. We can shake hands in No Man's Land every now and then, but eventually the artillery behind the lines will resume the barrage. Yours with the listings, ours - with the cold facts and serving the collectors' community.

1). Rolex Datejust
The caliber number listed in our description comes from the actual caliber number engraved on the movement, i.e. caliber 1570. This is the most conventional way of listing the caliber number of the movement. Having said that, the point you mentioned about the movement as caliber 1575 is correct in the sense that Rolex identifies caliber 1570 with the date module as a caliber 1575. But since it is not engraved as such on the actual movement, we have described this Datejust model and other similar examples as having a caliber 1570 instead of a caliber 1575 in the past.

This is in fact a very confusing "nomenclature" so to speak and we'd like to say both are correct. To take it a step further, we have confirmed with watchmakers who have worked on Rolex for many years that majority of the caliber 1570 movements with the date module were still engraved as "1570" as opposed to a "1575".
Conventional or not, it's incorrect. So, now that you are aware, it would be great if the movement was described as what it actually is, with a proper caveat included in the listing description. Frankly, "now" is a bit late, I've mentioned the same issue in the last few instalments - besides, the Rolex movement markings issue is well-known, and it's really quite odd to see the Shop not being aware of that, especially that Rolexes constitute a large percentage of all the watches that you sell.

With that in mind, we can’t think of another vintage watch retailer that clearly identifies the flaws a vintage watch may have BEFORE a purchase so that customers can make an informed decision. And we think this is good for all enthusiasts and collectors.
The main problem is that in our (if I may speak for the BaB readers as well) experience, you guys don't really have a nearly sufficient level of knowledge and experience to authenticate a lot of the merchandise, and the client's decision therefore stays uninformed.
Well, the flaws of this one, for example:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/products/1960s-aqua-lung-skin-666-chronograph?variant=49568051215
...haven't mentioned the fact of it being a dreadful frankenwatch, and it's unlikely that it was good for the poor soul who paid 3400 (sic!) dollars for it. I've featured this watch on BaB before - and unfortunately, it appears that it hasn't been withdrawn, in spite of being a franken through and through, even for a rookie to notice easily.
I'm not saying this to bash you - I'm simply trying to get you guys to try becoming more informed, because in this business, being uninformed (and yet selling stuff big) costs people their hard-earned money. A bloody lot of money.

4). Royce case back engraving
To the best of our knowledge, "Fond" in this context is referring to the caseback, and "Acier Inoxidable" means stainless steel. However, upon further review, it is possible that that main case body is chrome-plated and not fully stainless steel as described. So thank you for pointing that out.

As you can imagine, there is limited info available on the more “obscure” brands, like Royce, so our initial description of the watch is simply an honest mistake. I can assure you we have nothing to gain by misleading someone on this watch.
Actually, you do have something to gain - however, I'm by no means suggesting that it was your intention to do so. If I may put it this way, it's a bit like saying that there was nothing to gain by selling a gold plated or gold filled watch as solid gold.
It's not "possible" that the main body of the case is chrome plated, it's dead certain that it is chrome plated. This comes from the universally used pattern of case material markings, where if only the back is indicated as stainless steel, the rest of the case never is steel. It may be plated base metal or something more unusual (aluminium or some odd lightweight alloy), but never steel.

As Louis used to do, I am happy to chat with anyone who has any questions about what we do here at HODINKEE so please feel free to reach out as you wish. My email address is eneuri at hodinkee dot com.
I certainly appreciate you addressing the issues raised in the columns. Should the mods allow, you're always welcome to comment on these issues.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top