Bob’s Watches out of Huntington Beach, CA is a company that I’ve simultaneously been aware of and been curious about for awhile. Recently I put some questions to Paul Altieri, Chief Marketing Officer of the business with the goal of sharing these insights with the Perpetuelle audience. Bob’s Watches is basically a consumer to consumer business model seeking to eliminate the “middleman” cut. However as I understand it Bob’s does acquire and own the watches (almost all directly from individuals) it offers on its website, so they are somewhat of a middleman (in contrast to, say, a forum where transactions truly are P2P). Even so, what has intrigued me about the approach of Bob’s Watches is their use of a “bid/ask” pricing model. This is similar to the watchXchange platform I built here at Perpetuelle many years ago, though Bob’s exclusively deals in Rolex. Though the secondary market for Rolex is the most highly developed of any brand in the world and individuals have myriad options for transacting, Bob’s seems to be doing well their particular approach. So as I say I put some questions to company and below is what came back.
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On November 10th and 11th 2013, Christie’s Geneva three-session auction of important watches realized an unprecedented combined total of $43,985,467 (€32,823,824) with 370 watches sold, the highest result for a series of watch sales ever held. On November 11th alone, the various-owner Important Watches sale totalled $30,737,300 (€22,956,887), with 92% of all lots sold. A quick review of the auction results clear shows that Patek Philippe and Rolex were the stars, confirming their ongoing dominance as the marks of choice for most high-end collectors.
For just a few specific examples you can turn to the Patek Ref 2499 in pink gold that sold for $2.2 million, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6263 “Paul Newman” that sold for $1.1 million a couple days ago, as well as the rare Patek Philippe “Duke Ellington” Ref 1563 that sold for $1.6 million just yesterday, all as I profiled here on Perpetuelle. This is not an isolated trend — watch prices have been super strong across the board this year.
So, should we thank Ben Bernanke and his global counterparts for all of the “stimulus” these past many years, or is this supremely strong demand and rising watch prices merely a reflection of sustainable gains in wealth? I wonder.
by Kyle Stults on November 11, 2013
SOLD! Rolex Daytona Record…$1,089,186…
Some might call it Rolex passion, perhaps others may call it Rolex insanity. Whatever your view on yesterday’s Christies “Lesson One” sale which featured 50 exception examples of the Rolex Daytonas, it was a whopper of an event. In particular, this new record-setting Ref 6263 Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman”, a steel-cased mechanical chronograph which sold for a cool $1.1 million. An absolute record price for any Rolex Daytona ever sold at auction. Two other examples, one a Ref 6263 and one a white dial/black register 6239, sold for more than $800,000 apiece. The entire 50-piece sale netted approximately $13.25 million, which equates to an average sales price of $240,000 per Daytona– talk about Rolex madness!!!!
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Editor’s Note: I am pleased to present this the first in a series of original short stories, authored by Perpetuelle’s very own James Bond, that will be published on Perpetuelle this summer. Of course, there is a watch in every story. Enjoy this departure from the usual!
The private aircraft was on a course from Brisbane, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii and had, so far, been smooth flying. The Captain glanced at his watch and adjusted the second time zone to reflect Hawaii’s time. He was wearing a Rolex GMT-C in two-tone. Local time in Brisbane was 1:17pm and in Honolulu it was 9:17am the following day. He loved his GMT-C and always trusted the time it read. Three hours after the takeoff the weather had been clear and sunny at 38,501 feet. But now, that positive outlook changed when the Captain saw the clouds moving in. The autopilot disengaged when turbulence struck, forcing the Captain to take control of the aircraft.
The Captain checked the air speed which read 275 knots, the equivalent of about 316 mph. Outside of the plane the temperature dropped significantly with precipitation increasing rapidly and seconds later, the aircraft’s recorded airspeed dropped sharply from 275 knots to 58 knots. Unbeknownst to the Captain, the crew, and lone passenger, a severe storm system similar to a Mesoscale Convective Complex had formed all around them.
by Kyle Stults on June 10, 2013
Single-Red, Single-Owner, Missing Bezel ?!?!…
Today was Sotheby’s “Important Watch and Clocks” sale in New York. Although a bit light on high-dollar pedigree, it was a strong auction for the lots that did go up, save for a few (see ‘Other lots of note’ below). Of the 258 lots offered, about 95% went above the estimated range — some significantly so.
The top lots, both at $461,000, were a Patek Ref 5013P minute repeater perpetual calendar and a diamond-set white gold Chopard L.U.C tourbillon (pre-sale est. $100-$150,000), but perhaps more headline-worthy was a 1967 Rolex Ref 1665 “Single-Red” Sea-Dweller which sold for a whopping $383,000. The pre-sale estimate on this piece was a mere $60,000-$80,000, but it seems that collector’s could not resist the provenance of this piece. And who could blame them — this Single-Red Sea-Dweller was also “Single-Owner” (since 1967), the property of a an accomplished American Navy diver. The “original owner” status along with the relative rarity of the Single-Red Sea-Dweller in all its ‘character’ made this piece highly coveted — a superb collector’s catch in today’s world of high-dollar collecting. Never mind that the bezel is missing, bid it up!
by Kyle Stults on June 01, 2013
Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
In the June 2013 edition of National Geographic magazine, explorer James Cameron provides a first-person account of his unprecedented (well, I guess Piccard + Walsh did it in 1960 with a Rolex, too) voyage to the deepest known spot of the ocean, the Challenger Deep. This is the first first person account of the mission that I am aware of, and it is well worth the read.
I believe that Cameron’s mission will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest exploration voyages ever undertaken by man, and I have great respect and admiration for extreme explorers such as Cameron (and Zenith-sponsored extreme explorer Felix Baumgartner (of Red Bull Stratos fame), who is also profiled in the issue).
In his multi-page, journal-style account, Cameron even mentions the Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch which accompanied him on the dive:
“35,756 feet [deep]…Core sample safe on board, I take a moment to shoot a close-up of the Rolex Deepsea watch for the Swiss firm that has partnered with us on the expedition. The watch, strapped to the manipulator arm, is still ticking, despite 16,300 pounds per square inch of pressure. In 1960, as part of a U.S. Navy project, Lt. Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard dived in the massive bathyscaph Trieste to the same depth, the only other humans to ever do so. They also brough a specially built Rolex, and it too withstood the pressure just fine…”
Flashback to Perpetuelle’s coverage of the expedition, replete with multiple images in which I identified the Rolex affixed to the outside of Cameron’s explorer vessel: Rolex Deepsea Challenge: Deepest Point On Earth
Also if interested, check out my 2010 hands-on encounter with the “original” Rolex Deep Sea Special: Perpetuelle Special Report: The Rolex Deep Sea Special (the Rolex taken by Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh to the bottom of Challenger Deep in 1960)
OK, so my first reaction to the 2013 Rolex lineup was admittedly not a pleasant one. And while I still hold the sentiments expressed earlier, I will be breaking down each of the new pieces on their own merits. I’ve already taken a closer look at the platinum Daytona (why oh why couldn’t they have made something accessible to more Rolex fans?!), now let’s see the GMT-Master II with ceramic bezel.
The new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is presented in a 40mm 904L steel case, with a rotatable bezel featuring for the first time a two-colour ceramic Cerachrom bezel insert in blue and black representing day and night. Price will be just under $9,000.
The ceramic bezel (Rolex’s trademarked term is Cerachrom) is certainly an achievement — the ceramic component with two distinct colors is actually produced as a single piece of ceramic. So while it echoes the traditional two-colour bezel of the original GMT-Master and GMT-Master II models, this is a very high-tech bezel.The Cerachrom insert was first introduced in 2005. It is virtually scratchproof, highly corrosion resistant, and its color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. One thing I recently learned is that the engraved 24-hour graduations are coated with a thin layer of platinum via a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process.
And there you have it. Rolex fans, rejoice.
by Kyle Stults on April 25, 2013
For the first time, the Rolex Daytona is cased in platinum. Diameter is 40mm. It will carry Reference number 116506 and be powered by Rolex caliber 4130. The watch has a bezel of Cerachrom, brown color, and a blue glacier dial. This is the “celebration” piece for 50 years of the Daytona. It looks nice but I think Rolex missed a real opportunity to celebrate such a milestone: the 50th Anniversary Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Reference 116506 will have a retail price of $75,000 when it hits stores later this year. In other words, unless you are at the extreme right tail of the Bell Curve, you may step down now.
I’m not a Rolex guy, so if you are please drop a comment let me know what you think.
And on the wonderful 50th anniversary of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex fans are treated to….*ZIP* *ZILCH* *NADA*! Well, I guess there is a Cosmograph Daytona in platinum case and a Cerachrome ceramic bezel. But the real story here is that 2013 for Rolex it looks to be all about….wait for it…COLOR! Yes, Master Watchmakers at Rolex have labored over this color and that, skillfully introducing a variety of smooth colors into existing Rolex models. Clearly they have put Photoshop to the task this past year, pushing the limits of the color matching tool like never before. Innovation at its finest.
Click through to see the 2013 Rolex Collection
Your 110% Unscientific Year-in-Review…
As I have done in prior years, a casual look at some of our articles that “went viral” during the year. All in good fun people! (those of you TV dinner eaters gettin’ bent out of shape in the comments — may I recommend you ring in the New Year with a bottle of Krug1996 Clos d’Ambonnay, it will surely brighten your spirits.)
I wish a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2013 to you all!
The Most Popular Watches on Perpetuelle During 2012
WINNER: The Rolex Deepsea Challenge
picture: Explorer James Cameron after successful voyage to deepest known point in the ocean
1996 Clos d’Ambonnay
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- Howard Hughes Patek Philippe Ref. 1463 Up At Auction
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