Two of Elvis Presley’s watches are being offered in the upcoming auction “Music Icons 2016,” held by Julien’s and taking place on May 21, 2016 at the Hard Rock Café in New York City. Both the Mathey-Tissot day-date and Waltham pocket watch are in good shape and offer interesting backstories.
The last time I wrote here on Quill & Pad about my relationship with the world’s greatest mass luxury brand was last year when I explained ‘Why I’ve Never Owned a Rolex – And Why I Might Yet.’ Well, to know me is to know that if I say I “might yet” buy something it’s likely only a matter of time. So, too, with this Rolex: the GMT Master II BLNR “Batman” with black-and-blue bezel.
Conditions of sale, Antiquorum Hong Kong, June 2015: “Antiquorum confirms no ability or obligation to perform due diligence on any lot.” Imagine one of the worst things that could happen to you as a watch collector: your home is invaded by robbers and your entire collection is spirited away. Amazingly, Antiquorum listed and sold just such a watch involved in a collector’s worst nightmare. What now?
I was sitting at my breakfast table on the morning of January 18, 2013, when during my morning scan of news I saw a photo of something breathtaking. It was Logical One by Romain Gauthier – a watch I immediately knew that I would own someday. I was captivated by the white gold version with frosted gold movement: this was “the one” for me. Read on to find out why.
In the early days of TimeZone and ThePurists when you posted a question you had to wait a few days for an answer you. And that answer was often detailed and knowledgeable. Then came the guys who had no idea what a free-sprung balance was, but posted ten times a day or more with content that included calling watchmakers and CEOs by their first names. Today, we would probably describe all of these categories of forum posters as internet gurus. The problem being, most are just using up bandwidth.
In honor of what would have been Elvis Presley’s 81st birthday on January 8, Graceland is putting on an auction of some significant artifacts with 126 lots going under the hammer. Included in this auction are two interesting watches once purchased by Elvis Presley: a 1973 Omega Time Computer and a 14-karat gold Baume & Mercier. Both watches are individually engraved with personal inscriptions from the King to people in his life.
Scott Rothstein was the ringleader of the third largest Ponzi scheme ever to take place in the USA, reportedly defrauding investors of $1.2 billion. The courts liquidated most of his ill-gotten gains such as supercars, yachts, and vacation houses rather quickly. However, his now-divorced wife, Kim, had hidden a few million dollars’ worth of baubles, which were later uncovered. And which are now up for sale.
Now, it seems fairly evident that we are on the down slope of either a cyclical correction in prices or, if one takes a less optimistic view, a permanent loss of watch value as the mechanical timepiece industry faces a variety of challenges and potential disruptions. So what’s a collector to do? And what lessons can we draw, both from recent watch auction results and the history of other luxury categories, to guide us?
As has become apparent over the past few years, getting your watch serviced, especially with any group-owned brands, can be a major thing. It can take many months, and even up to a year. The reason, of course, is that there are only so many qualified watchmakers to service these watches, and brands are overrun with a gargantuan backlog of service requests.
But that’s only one of the reasons to consider becoming a backyard watchmaker.
Only Watch, the biennial charity auction on behalf of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research, has firmly established itself as a landmark event on the watch scene. This year’s sixth renewal of the event, serving as the kickoff for the autumn Geneva watch auction week, saw Patek Philippe donating the landmark piece for the event, a blue-dialed, steel-cased Reference 5016A-010, which hammered for more than $7 million.