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An article in today's (10/8) Wall Street Journal brings up questions about the legitimacy of recent increases in resale values of vintage Omega watches. The article points out how Omega bought 47 items during the recent Omegmania Antiquorum auction. They also bid on 80 out of the 300 lots. :roll: After reading the article I am left with a negative view of Omega and wonder how artificially inflated vintage Omega prices are. Am I wrong to think this?

Here is a link to the article.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119178753176051433.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone
 

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An article in today's (10/8) Wall Street Journal brings up questions about the legitimacy of recent increases in resale values of vintage Omega watches. The article points out how Omega bought 47 items during the recent Omegmania Antiquorum auction. They also bid on 80 out of the 300 lots. :roll: After reading the article I am left with a negative view of Omega and wonder how artificially inflated vintage Omega prices are. Am I wrong to think this?

Here is a link to the article.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119178753176051433.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone
Well, I've always figured anything was worth whatever somebody (idiot?) was willing to pay for it and not a penny more or a penny less. After all, if something (PloProf say) is worth $8,000 but you can't find a buyer then it ain't worth $8K is it. And if 50 yard line first row SuperBowl tickets behind your team's bench were given to you there's no telling what they might be worth (That is, what some insane person will give for them.)

As for the Omegas, I'm not buying so from my perspective they have no value. But if anyone is looking to sell that PloProf they have I might be willing to value it at $2500, $3K tops.

With regard to the article referenced with your link, I'm assuming it's all perfectly legal but it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. <|
 

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NO.....you are NOT wrong!

YOU ARE RIGHT.

here's the deal from my angle, it might be shared with some of our other, more knowledgeable members.

I have been collecting vintage steel omega divers for years, and I own many of the landmark pieces (not as many as some of you). But enough to see what is going on.

OMEGAMANIA was really great, and REALLY bad at the same time.

Yes, many of these pieces went to OMEGA for their museum, but at the same time YES they were inflating prices like crazy.

I dont think ANY of us have seen these prices, I mean they were crazy. Now, when you have this many CLEAN and/or NOS pieces at the same time, you are going to draw HUGE attention and HUGE interest which equals HUGE prices, thats a given.

But you cant really fault them, the watches have been slowly gaining value, they want as many clean originals as they can get for their museums/P.R., etc. Just adds to the current marketing programs for their current model lines.

PLOPROF aside, I collect a lot of quartz and tuning fork rarities (as do many of us). These prices were also pretty um.......RICH, if you know what I mean.

its not just their dive watches is what I'm saying. Some of the Marine Chronometer prices were STAGGERING, triple or quadruple "street" prices.....sometime MORE. and then you have the 20% buyers premium.

Omega simply told their guys: GET the watches, money is no object. Obviously they have a few dollars over there! They priced the collectors OUT OF THE GAME

We watched this auction closely (my bro and I ) and bid on many.

We got BLOWN out, like I'm sure many here did as well.

My real problem is that actual LOYAL collectors couldnt reach as high as BIENNE.

Thats my real issue, but like anything else, if you get in early, you get in early.

Cant be mad at the lady who sells a picasso for $50M when she paid $1M.

You can be mad at yourself for not buying said Picasso early (or earlier)

Its the same thing in the Art world or (!jesus is lord!) the muscle car game where a barracuda fetched $2M recently.

Really boys, its called MARKETING.....beyond that its called AUCTION HOUSES.............

total scam in my opinion. But thats cause none of us own Picassos......right? right.

I am SURE that Omega is closely watching our friend Mitch and his knock-off PROPLOF (which i am on the waiting list to buy cause like you, I am not spending $10K on one), and I wouldnt be suprised if they are in the works for a modern-day version.......ya dig?

but to be fair, BEFORE Omegamania, the PROPLOF (and others) were steadily climbing. Cant fault these guys for taking advantage of a trend, and making it work for their company can you?

we would all do the same!


after running my mouth ----I am now off to actually READ this article.......but nice quality post again!
 

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Omegamegalomania:

Does this really surprise anyone , this company continues to prove itself to have no conscience, from the multiple BS lawsuits : Eddie Platts Broadarrow, UTS etc etc.
This type of ploy has been the linch pin of many of these single seller auctions, lead initially by Patek. This is an interesting read!
While I do not live in the rarified air of major auctions it is disturbing, just another example of lack of full disclosure, a little whink and a nod, the so called smoke filled room attitude so pervasive in our society.
eds
 

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Amen brother! Interesting indeed that our little hobby is attracting this type of behavior. watch them re-release the PROPLOF, and go after Mitch.

the world today.....



Omegamegalomania:

Does this really surprise anyone , this company continues to prove itself to have no conscience, from the multiple BS lawsuits : Eddie Platts Broadarrow, UTS etc etc.
This type of ploy has been the linch pin of many of these single seller auctions, lead initially by Patek. This is an interesting read!
While I do not live in the rarified air of major auctions it is disturbing, just another example of lack of full disclosure, a little whink and a nod, the so called smoke filled room attitude so pervasive in our society.
eds
 

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Anyone who meets the registration requirements is entitled to bid, and anonymity has always been the privilege of both buyer and seller if they want it. I'm as bummed as the next man when I lose an eBay auction-but that's the way it goes. Complaining that Omega bid on their own watches is like complaining that you went up against Bill Gates or Warren Buffet and lost. There is nothing egalitarian about an auction. The most money, and the willingness to spend it, always wins out.

The arguement that auction prices drive retail prices is spurious at best. Most non-WIS have no idea who Antiquorum are, and what Omegamania was. In the wider world there is precious little PR value in it for Omega. And what about the 220/300 lots that Omega did not bid on? Are those winning bidders equally responsible? The whole thing is a non-story that sounds too much like sour grapes to me.
 

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While I agree that the one with the most money wins, I disagree that this has nothing to do with retail sales and pricing, in fact there has been tremendous "coverage" of this Omegamania within the watch collecting community and the fact that this story is in the WSJ indicates there is some more wide spread interest. Omega has been touting the fact the "assembly line" watches are garnering huge numbers, we all know how these auctions work, there is definitely a herd mentality that tends to drive prices up, anyone who has ever been to one knows that emotions can take over especially when the bidding hits record numbers.
I have no problem losing an ebay auction has you suggest to a higher bidder, I do object if the bidding is being driven up by the seller himself, if you read the article Omega was intimately involved in this auction by authenticating and rehabing the items for sale.
eds
 

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Don`t forget folks that the article mentions a lot more brands,as well as Omega . Patek Phillipe , Girard Perregaux etc . .....this has been going on for years,and it happens in many industries ....happens with Vintage Automobiles and Vintage Wines .

Why should a Rolex Double-Red Sea Dweller cost so much .....compared to an Omega PloProf or SM1000m ? Marketing .....

I don`t like what it has done to the prices of many Vintage watches from numerous brands,and certainly wish that I still had some of the pieces that I owned 10yrs ago,but this is the way the big companies work.

Does make you wonder though :-s

Cheers,
Vic :)
 

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Anyone who meets the registration requirements is entitled to bid, and anonymity has always been the privilege of both buyer and seller if they want it. I'm as bummed as the next man when I lose an eBay auction-but that's the way it goes. Complaining that Omega bid on their own watches is like complaining that you went up against Bill Gates or Warren Buffet and lost. There is nothing egalitarian about an auction. The most money, and the willingness to spend it, always wins out.

The arguement that auction prices drive retail prices is spurious at best. Most non-WIS have no idea who Antiquorum are, and what Omegamania was. In the wider world there is precious little PR value in it for Omega. And what about the 220/300 lots that Omega did not bid on? Are those winning bidders equally responsible? The whole thing is a non-story that sounds too much like sour grapes to me.
I agree with you 100%. I don't see it any different then Price fixing as some makers do,......to low production figures to artificially inflate prices. If they want them for their museum, so be it. It happens in every market. I think Omega prices are below value anyway as compared to some others makers. Everytime the prices go up, it helps those of us that have some of the older models. If the prices were truly inflated and not driven by demand, they won't hold anyway IMO.
Harley Davidson's were demanding very high prices several years ago, but the same models can be bought now for 3-4-5000 less now. Everyone bought them thinking they were going to make a killing in a few years when they sold them, now with interest waning, and people having money tied up in them, the prices are falling like dominoes. Inflated prices, and over valued items, don't hold it forever. Never pay more for something then it's actually worth, and you will probably never loose much money with your purchase.
Regards Sonny
 

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While the story also leaves a sour taste in my mouth, you have to ask yourself: is Omega interested in its buyers? Or is it interested in making money?

(Did anyone actually think it was the former?)

Compare it to the stock market. Companies often bid on their own stock (there are many legitimate business reasons why they do so, and there are also stock-price and corporate-compensation-related reasons too).

Perhaps the difference is that any serious investor KNOWS that when he/she buys, say, IBM stock, that there's a good possibility that IBM is also buying the stock for its own reserves and thus competing and driving the price up.

Here, Omega presented and marketed the auction as something for Omega fans, and the problem is many watch buyers believed them. EVen though that wasn't the case (clearly). As with IBM, Omega probably bid on items as much for business reasons as to drive the price up and drive up cache, etc.

We'd like to think that watch companies just want a reasonable profit but care about the average watch buyer. But they're not, and why should they? For every WIS who will be a repeat buyer are many highly compensated executives who will buy one or two really expensive pieces and never buy a watch again. So it's in their interest to drive the price as high as possible for the highest possible profit.

Just my opinion.

- Kent

An article in today's (10/8) Wall Street Journal brings up questions about the legitimacy of recent increases in resale values of vintage Omega watches. The article points out how Omega bought 47 items during the recent Omegmania Antiquorum auction. They also bid on 80 out of the 300 lots. :roll: After reading the article I am left with a negative view of Omega and wonder how artificially inflated vintage Omega prices are. Am I wrong to think this?

Here is a link to the article.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119178753176051433.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone
 

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Well, I've always figured anything was worth whatever somebody (idiot?) was willing to pay for it
That's the problem, though - Omega has employed a particular way to raise prices without increasing demand. In the open market, people are not prepared to pay whatever they made at auction; Omega was, though, prepare to buy some hype for itself and watch the silly end of the market follow suit.

This is purely distortionary in every economic sense, rather like a tax on nice Omegas. It is legal, but it's self-aggrandising and obtuse.
 

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That's the problem, though - Omega has employed a particular way to raise prices without increasing demand. In the open market, people are not prepared to pay whatever they made at auction; Omega was, though, prepare to buy some hype for itself and watch the silly end of the market follow suit.

This is purely distortionary in every economic sense, rather like a tax on nice Omegas. It is legal, but it's self-aggrandising and obtuse.
IMO, they only raised prices on what they bought. Has it changed prices on any actual pieces publicly owned?.........will it? If what they paid is highly inflated then the price won't hold in the marketplace.

Say you take an item worth 1000 dollars, and you have an auction and anyone bids it up to 3 or 4000 dollars,........will that take the whole market for that item up? Doubtfull, and NO, if the demand is not there. It still all goes back to, an Item is only worth, what people are willing to pay. It's like Rolex, if they expect me to ever pay more then 2000 dollars for one, they'll be waiting for eternity. I don't mean for a gold or platinum which might be worth the price in material, but for the watch itself. Inflated prices are Inflated prices, doesn't matter how they are inflated, if the demand isn't there, then prices deflate.

Regards Sonny
 

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Why not look at it another way...

Of course, Omegamania has had a knock-on effect to the marketplace, but to suggest that Omega have deliberately inflated prices is a little far fetched. A watch is only ever worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

In some lots, yes Omega did hold more information about a watch than stated in the auction catalouge - this may have been an advantage, as stated by more than a few bidders on a number of Omega forum's, including WUS's - but of course, caveat empore applies. Or, "do your own homework":-(

Even if the above resulted in a: Omega outbidding on a watch that subsequently ends up at the museum in Bienne or b: Mr. Joe Public paying "over the odds", because of some influence from the latter, its irrelevant. The market has fixed its prices now, and all (me included) who buy vintage Omega's will just have to deal with it.

Fats
 

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Re: Why not look at it another way...

Of course, Omegamania has had a knock-on effect to the marketplace, but to suggest that Omega have deliberately inflated prices is a little far fetched. A watch is only ever worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

In some lots, yes Omega did hold more information about a watch than stated in the auction catalouge - this may have been an advantage, as stated by more than a few bidders on a number of Omega forum's, including WUS's - but of course, caveat empore applies. Or, "do your own homework":-(

Even if the above resulted in a: Omega outbidding on a watch that subsequently ends up at the museum in Bienne or b: Mr. Joe Public paying "over the odds", because of some influence from the latter, its irrelevant. The market has fixed its prices now, and all (me included) who buy vintage Omega's will just have to deal with it.

Fats
:-!..I couldn't have said it better.

Regards Sonny
 

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Re: Why not look at it another way...

My take is this if Omega wants the watches for it's museum or whatever, why have an auction, they obviously know the players involved in the marketplace and could go directly to Antiquorum, other auction houses or sellers and purchase these items outright this is a small somewhat closed group (everyone knows everyone), WITHOUT any fanfare or press. The auction format allows them to pump up there products and create the buzz about their brand, fine that's what marketing is all about, but lets not pretend that it is anything more than marketing, pub whatever you want to call it
eds
 

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Also, let us not forget that of the 80/300 lots that Omega bid on, they won 47. In losing 33 watches, Omega clearly either acknowledged that those 33 winning bids were way overvalued-which hardly supports the central conspiracy theory of the article-or alternatively, were shill bidding on behalf of the sellers to drive up values. I find this second notion preposterous as again it does not support the conspiracy theory, given that the 33 winning bidders were clearly more than happy to outspend Omega and every other bidder to secure those lots.
 

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That's an excellent point. Although I don't know the details of the auctions, even in the auctions that Omega won, I hardly think they would have bid more than they had to in order to win. For example, I bet someone was willing to pay ~$340,000 for that watch that Omega ended up buying for $350K ...

- Kent


Also, let us not forget that of the 80/300 lots that Omega bid on, they won 47. In losing 33 watches, Omega clearly either acknowledged that those 33 winning bids were way overvalued-which hardly supports the central conspiracy theory of the article-or alternatively, were shill bidding on behalf of the sellers to drive up values. I find this second notion preposterous as again it does not support the conspiracy theory, given that the 33 winning bidders were clearly more than happy to outspend Omega and every other bidder to secure those lots.
 

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Who cares if they bid on their own OLD pieces? They've already made their money off of the watches. Regardless of whether or not it inflates the prices of watches already on the market, they aren't going to make any more on those watches. End of story.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Were any of the 300 lots provided by Omega? or were they all from private parties?
OK so I just reread the article.

"Omega supplied vintage timepieces from its own collection for the sale."

So of the 300 watches how many were supplied by Omega?
 
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