This week’s episode of Buying Time features a curation of pre-owned watches that are suitable for most all occasions. Watches that one could wear all day — and into the night. For me, this means a non-precious metal case (e.g. steel), not too too big, not too fancy, nothing too sporty (though I couldn’t resist including a Tudor Heritage chronograph that came up for sale this week). Casual or dressed up, here are this week’s watches for work, play and everything in between. See if anything appeals to you.
This Rolex Submariner 5513 could very well be the most valuable watch without a movement in it. Well, a watch movement anyway. You may very well recognize this timepiece — it is the Rolex 5513 worn by James Bond aka “007” in the movie Live and Let Die in 1973. It is being offered at auction again, this time at the Phillips Geneva Watch Auction on November 7 & 8, 2015. The first time this buzz-sawing James Bond Rolex Submariner 5513 watch sold at auction, in 2001, it fetched $37,560 (vs. a pre-auction estimate of $23,000-$30,000). Christie’s sold it again a decade later for a whopping 219,000 Swiss Francs (~$245,000). Though the 2011 sale was at the lower end of the pre-auction estimate range of 200,000 – 400,000 Swiss Francs, I think it is safe to say the watch sold for sum that would impress Her Majesty. This time around, the expectations are toned down a bit: 150,000 – 250,000 Swiss Francs.
Designed by art director Syd Cain (though equipped by the famous “Q”, in the movie), the watch is one of the exceedingly rare timepieces modified to be used in a film. It has been specifically adapted for the buzz saw feature by cutting the bezel’s edges into sharp teeth and modified in order for it to rise to maximum height before spinning:
Sin saber cual ponerme pic.twitter.com/XVVYF7HKVE
— Ivan Guzman (@Ivan_Guzman_) June 10, 2014
A redux of a topic I published on nearly six years ago (see: Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 10, 2009), self-proclaimed citizen investigative journalist website bellingcat.com recently published a review of the reach of Swiss luxury brands among the Mexican drug lords by analyzing social network profiles of three high ranking members of the infamous Sinaoloa drug cartel: Ivan and Alfredo Guzmán, two of the most influential sons of El Chapo Guzmán, and José Rodrigo Aréchiga-Gamboa, alias “El Chino Ántrax” (who was arrested in Netherlands at the request of the US authorities in late 2013). The Top 6 Watches of Mexican drug lords, according the bellingcat.com’s analysis, are as follows:
- Richard Mille
- Audemars Piguet
- Romain Jerome
While the top four brands are perhaps not surprisingly given the narco’s penchant for watches that are large, expensive and/or ostentatious, interesting occupants of the #5 and #6 slots were the more obscure independent brands Urwerk and Romain Jerome.
There is disheartening commentary in the report as well. The bellingcat author notes, “in times of economic hardship, the flamboyant lives of drug barons are appealing to millions of young and poor Mexicans abandoned by the state…”
Muy buenos dias plebes =) pic.twitter.com/bJIvPDmZht
— Alfredo Guzmán (@AlfreditoGuzma) January 9, 2015
I must note that the quality of bellingcat’s analysis may be subject to scrutiny, particularly as the author notes that the authenticity of the social media accounts could not be verified (though, perhaps for obvious reasons). And also, we all know how easy it is to make oneself look richer than one really on social media simply by taking photos from other accounts and claiming them as one’s own. Bellingcat.com was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and has been no stranger to controversial articles. Even so, I think the analysis is worth a read.
Please click here to see the full story (including many more pics, commentary “Tracking Swiss Watches in Sinaloa: Top 6 Luxury Brands Among Mexican Drug Lords” over at Bellingcat>>>
Thought this was interesting, in an email I received (in late May — yes I’m clearly late to this story!) from the folks over at Crown & Caliber:
…After speaking with two different U.S. Customs officials, we have received confirmation that Rolex watches, both new and pre-owned, can now be shipped into the United States and the company no longer possesses “Gray Market Patent Protections.” The lift of these Rolex importation restrictions can also be confirmed on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website. Notice that the page says “NO” to “Gray Market Importations Restricted.” While the officials offered no details and did not elaborate on the matter, it is clear that the restrictions are no longer in place, which means that Rolex watches can now be imported into the United States. We will continue to update this post as more information is presented to us.