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On one hand, it's your own fault you're in this situation.

On the other hand you are within your rights to dispute the sale.

Based on what has been posted here, I will never visit that website. Never even heard of it till now, so I'm not missing anything.

I'm glad to have this information, as I suffer this kind of thing quite poorly. I fired ebay for much less than this, years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hey kudos to Longines for giving that kind of info back on just some auction pics though.
True. Based on my experience, Longines has the best organised archive and museum, and dedicated personnel. I while ago I sent them a serial number of an old pocket watch and promptly got the information:
"The serial number identifies a hunter pocket watch in Gold 14K.
It is fitted with a Longines manually wound mechanical movement, caliber 19.75.
It was invoiced to Longines-Berlin, who were for many years our agent for Germany, on 15.06.1907
."

Some other well known brands offer such information from their historical archives, but at a cost, not free of charge.
 

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Just question of clarification--not taking sides either way here--didn't the Longines letter in effect actually say that all parts were Longines, but that it was a mixture of different models--so, in effect, at least from some viewpoints, it IS authentic, but not, perhaps, "as described" if it was described a certain specific model?
 

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Can't believe how many "iT's YoUR oWN faULt" people are on here.

Yes, caveat emptor applies to these purchases. This does not however mean that business should not be held to certain standards of trustworthiness and called out when they break their promises. Especially if authentication and piece of mind is literally the service you are paying for with their auction fees. They should be called out, otherwise it is definitely an intransparent, unsavoury business practice.

Or what, would you take the side of a used car salesman who either does not bother to check the reliability of the car or knowingly sells it without mentioning defects?

Just question of clarification--not taking sides either way here--didn't the Longines letter in effect actually say that all parts were Longines, but that it was a mixture of different models--so, in effect, at least from some viewpoints, it IS authentic, but not, perhaps, "as described" if it was described a certain specific model?
This is probably what is going to happen. Unfortunately many of them do hide behind that excuse. I know a couple local auctions that do the exact same thing. They don't allow fakes, obviously, but "not as described" is for them no grounds for a refund.

I can only say that I've heard bad things about Catawiki before and it'll only make me more cautious. Thanks OP for bringing this to our attention.
 

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Can't believe how many "iT's YoUR oWN faULt" people are on here.

Yes, caveat emptor applies to these purchases. This does not however mean that business should not be held to certain standards of trustworthiness and called out when they break their promises. Especially if authentication and piece of mind is literally the service you are paying for with their auction fees. They should be called out, otherwise it is definitely an intransparent, unsavoury business practice.

Or what, would you take the side of a used car salesman who either does not bother to check the reliability of the car or knowingly sells it without mentioning defects?


This is probably what is going to happen. Unfortunately many of them do hide behind that excuse. I know a couple local auctions that do the exact same thing. They don't allow fakes, obviously, but "not as described" is for them no grounds for a refund.

I can only say that I've heard bad things about Catawiki before and it'll only make me more cautious. Thanks OP for bringing this to our attention.
Wow, what got you wound up, and why am I included in this rant? I asked for a simple clarification, and stated I took a neutral position--one I usually take when I have only heard one side of the argument--I don't like to jump to conclusions, and simply sought additional information...
 

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I’ve bought a few things from Catawiki and twice I’ve had issues after sale (once it was not a complete watch but that fact wasn’t explicitly mentioned, the second time the watch arrived with a broken stem). In both cases their support was helpful and refunded me after having me try to work it out with the seller.

I think their weak point is their reliance on their “official” experts though. I once noticed a Seamaster literally had a Speedmaster caseback and contacted them to point out its a franken. They said they defer to their experts and if the expert hadn’t noticed an issue then they wouldn’t follow up. That’s gonna cause some huge problem that will bite them hard eventually I think. Even if these people are actually experts, they seem to have one person for each category of item so it seems only the one expert verifies all the watches etc and they’re probably looking at hundreds a day and spending less than a minute on each.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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As with most things, there's plenty of blame to go around.
1. Yes, the OP should have researched the listing more thoroughly.
2. The watch is not as advertised for the auction. Catawiki and the seller can't expect the OP to pay for something that isn't the Real McCoy.

Ex- if the OP obliviously went through with the watch auction and purchased the watch, received it and immediately realized it was a franken-watch, what would we advise him to do? I can't imagine anything but to return the watch and get his $ back.
Just because the OP didn't perform enough due-diligence doesn't mean he needs to pay for a fake watch.
 

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I could see both sides here if it was advertised as a specific model watch. At that point it would be misleading, and I agree with you completely that you should not have to pay if you are otherwise within their window. I am not familiar with Catawiki. If authentification is part of their services, that is on them for not indication it may not be all original.

On the other hand, I consider photos part of the description and as such the fact that it was a frankenwatch wasn’t hidden or misleading. It apparently took Longines less than the three day window to verify the inconsistencies. I make this statement with the assumption that the narrative in the listing didn’t contradict the photos and claim it was all original, etc. Additionally, the seller may not have known these things themselves.
 

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Hey kudos to Longines for giving that kind of info back on just some auction pics though.
True. Based on my experience, Longines has the best organised archive and museum, and dedicated personnel. I while ago I sent them a serial number of an old pocket watch and promptly got the information:
"The serial number identifies a hunter pocket watch in Gold 14K.
It is fitted with a Longines manually wound mechanical movement, caliber 19.75.
It was invoiced to Longines-Berlin, who were for many years our agent for Germany, on 15.06.1907
."

Some other well known brands offer such information from their historical archives, but at a cost, not free of charge.
This is good to know, I like Longines even more now.
 

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I don't see any difference in what the OP did or taking a watch to an AD for verification and realizing it was not as described, fake, altered etc. I hear stories of the later, all the time, happening between private parties and wrong is wrong. A company or corporation in the business of selling watches(or anything) should be held to a higher standard, as consumers are trusting in the size, security, terms of use and longstanding reputation of the company. But, this is why I wont make large purchases from a nameless or faceless retailer where you are one of many faceless and nameless digital transactions and therefore easily ignored or cast aside.
 

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I don't see any difference in what the OP did or taking a watch to an AD for verification and realizing it was not as described, fake, altered etc. I hear stories of the later, all the time, happening between private parties and wrong is wrong. A company or corporation in the business of selling watches(or anything) should be held to a higher standard, as consumers are trusting in the size, security, terms of use and longstanding reputation of the company. But, this is why I wont make large purchases from a nameless or faceless retailer where you are one of many faceless and nameless digital transactions and therefore easily ignored or cast aside.
Is catawiki a business selling items, or just an auction platform similar to eBay?
Does every item they sell come into their possession during the auction?
 

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I believe they are an auction, selling other peoples items. Unclear if they possess all items that they auction.

They become more than just a platform when they claim expert verification, quality assessment and a host of other reasons why they are to be trusted as an online auction company. This is why IMO they should be held to a higher standard. If like Craigslist, they just provide a place to sell items to a larger audience their accountability for bad transactions, should be much less. However, individuals are also responsible for their actions, performing their due diligence and investigating who they give their money too. Buyer beware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 · (Edited)
So, da saga finally ended, but not without a further delay.

I have no idea who is working for their customer support, or what software they were using, but it seems they have some problems using e-mail. A few day ago they answered to my third attepmt in explaining how I know the watch in question was not authentic.

Unfortunately, there is no attachment on the email you have sent, just lots of website pages from Longines. Could you reply directly to this message please and attach the document in question where you had the item assessed by longines.

And in the wall of cited text below that message, there was the whole previous conversation between myself and Catawiki, including three copies of the e-mail I got from the Longines and have sent them.

So I decided to change my tactic and I printed the whole previos conversation in a pdf file and sent it as an attachment. And it worked! After a month or so of futile excghange of e-mails, finally success. ;-) Today I got this:

"We have taken a look at the provided information and decided that we will cancel the sale of the lot .

Given that the item did not conform to the description given we have unblocked your account and you should be able to place bids again on Catawiki. We thank you for your cooperation and wish you the best of luck in your next auction."
 

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Catawiki is an auction site, specialised in various collectibles, including watches.

A month or so ago, I noticed an interesting vintage Longines V.H.P. The price was fine, however, as the time for bidding was running low, I did not have time to explore photos, provided by the seller, in detail, so I just quicky sent my offer, and won.
After winning the bid, but before paying, I examined photos more carefully and had some suspicions. I tried to get some insight here on WUS.

Longines Li V.H.P. identification, verification

At the same time, I sent photos to Longines museum, asking if the watch is authentic. And in a couple of days, I got my answer:

"It seems some transformation have probably been done after the watch has left the company.

Indeed, the serial number should be engraved on the case back. In addition, the reference 4839 identifies a wristwatch in plated gold, part of the Flagship collection, fitted with a Longines quartz movement, caliber 950. However, the movement in your timepiece is a Longines 276.2.

In addition, the dial of your watch is made for a Conquest V.H.P., caliber L276.

Therefore, we confirm the movement and dial of your watch are not born with this case.

Finally, please note the original movement L276.2 LI works with 3 V. It seems someone has modified the electric circuit to have 1.5 V. A circuit modification can affect the function or the consumption of a watc
h."

So, clearly, the auctioned watch is a frankenwatch. I informed Catawiki that the watch is not authentic, describing all issues with the watch, and informing them that as this was not disclosed by the seller, I will not pay for it. With that, I thought the case is closed. Well, I was wrong.

In a few days I got a reminder from Catawiki that I must pay. And if I don’t want the item, I still have to pay the 9% commission, or my Catawiki account will be blocked. So I again explained that the watch is not authentic.

A few days later, I got this:

»Kindly be informed that the proof provided is unfortunately not accepted, we will need clear proof from the brand, the full email you received with contact information.«

So I again repeated everything and added the whole e-mail that I received by Longines, with contact info and all.

A few days later, I got this:

«Additional information required
Since the expert has already assessed the item during the curation phase, is it possible for you to provide us with some additional information that explains why you feel the item is not authentic?«


So I again explained everything and again added the e-mail by Longines.

And a few days later:

“The experts have analysed your query about the authenticity of the watch and would like to kindly ask if you provide us with the evidence you have procured from Longines that shows that the item is inauthentic.”

I copied my previous response again, adding I will no longer response to any further inquiry.
Let's see if this time their "experts" will finaly realise the watch is a frankewatch.
Sorry to hear about this...but good for you for contacting the Longine museum (I didn't know there was such a thing, and would not have thought one could to do that). I've been looking at Catawiki for months but never made a purchase. They show their "experts", but these guys must spend about a minute on each watch given the huge numbers they oversee and "inspect". It seems strange to me that so many of the watches appear to be from a small number of dealers in Turkey. Nothing against the Turks....but why Turkey?
 

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No, it's not on me. The watch was not as described (there was no mention of a modified movement and the case not being original). You don't have always enough time to check everything before the auction ends. As per Catawiki's policy, it is possible to open a claim up to three days after the watch is delivered, and request a refund in case the item is not as described or it's a fake. I did that before the watch was sent, which should be preferable, as otherwise the seller would have to refund the shipping costs too.

Amen.
 

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So, da saga finally ended, but not without a further delay.

I have no idea who is working for their customer support, or what software they were using, but it seems they have some problems using e-mail. A few day ago they answered to my third attepmt in explaining how I know the watch in question was not authentic.

Unfortunately, there is no attachment on the email you have sent, just lots of website pages from Longines. Could you reply directly to this message please and attach the document in question where you had the item assessed by longines.

And in the wall of cited text below that message, there was the whole previous conversation between myself and Catawiki, including three copies of the e-mail I got from the Longines and have sent them.

So I decided to change my tactic and I printed the whole previos conversation in a pdf file and sent it as an attachment. And it worked! After a month or so of futile excghange of e-mails, finally success. ;-) Today I got this:

"We have taken a look at the provided information and decided that we will cancel the sale of the lot .

Given that the item did not conform to the description given we have unblocked your account and you should be able to place bids again on Catawiki. We thank you for your cooperation and wish you the best of luck in your next auction."
Thanks for the information. I learned a few things too. I'm surprised that some folks think this all on you. I would think that it's on you, for example, if you failed to see a condition issue that was shown in the photos (scratched, dents, corrosion, etc). But when a dealer disassembles a watch and puts it back together with bits and bobs from other watches - some from different models - to me it's all on the seller unless they fully disclose.

If your critics are right, and this is just accepted SOP in the world of vintage watch dealers/auctions, with supposed expert oversight/inspections.....that is a bummer, to say the least.
 

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Another example of why I am happy to keep my shopping to this site and the AD's.......
 

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The so called catawiki experts are a joke
 
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