- Master of Time
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Hello and welcome to the 26th instalment in the Bring a Brain series! As always, your favourite comedy/watchdog series, published when necessary, brings you education and entertainment. In this week's Bring a Brain, as always some pretty troubled listings will be exposed, and we'll also witness the comeback of a...ummm...column that started it all. Lads and lasses, the game's afoot! This is your Bring a Brain.
First, let's start with the usual suspects, and some big news:
I didn't really expect it not to come back, and, well, here it is. And it really does fit the Bring a Loupe tradition (or indeed, Hodinkee tradition) of bad research. However, since it's back... Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more...!
"Doing the horological detective work is Isaac Wingold..."
Ummm, what? Detective work? By Jove, chaps, you really haven't read Arthur Conan Doyle too much, have you? It wasn't Moriarty who did the detective work.
Let's see how deep were the "investigations" on the pieces presented in the column.
First up, this PP ref. 3404, offered by Eric Wind:
It is really quite beyond me, how can one write two lengthy, laudatory paragraphs based on one (yes, one!) picture of poor quality. It is hard to even assess the authenticity based on just that, and encouraging someone to spend 29-bloody-thousand dollars based on a blotch of pixels is, frankly, ridiculous. No movement pictures, no case back pictures. What the...eeeehhhhh.
Here's what I see in the blotch of pixels: double hour marker at 12, uneven length of the two markers - splash of paint? With that picture quality, I don't want to draw a definitive conclusion, but my gut feeling tells me that this stinks.
And here comes another part of the "detective work" - investigating further. In this case, it's the "buy the seller" principle. Let's look at another listing from Wind, a Gallet Multichron "Jim Clark":
The chrono seconds hand not only is bent, but wouldn't reset to zero even if it wasn't - look at the position of the counterweight. Tells you something about the condition, doesn't it? By the way, while the original lume on this model wasn't of impressive quality, this here appears to be even slightly worse. I'm not saying "definitely a relume", but it could be.
But here's the real star of the show in terms of not investigating the seller further:
First of all, just a look at the movement tells us a lot: the condition is not good, the plating on the bridges suffered from humidity. Regulator slightly off-centre isn't uncommon, but here, it's all the way down to "slow", which likely is an attempt at compensating for the low amplitude caused by a worn mainspring, which in turn causes the watch to run fast.
But let's look at the seller. Some will say "the seller's from Bombay, so what?" So what? The seller has received positive feedback only 5 times in the last 12 months, and has a ton of Bombay Specials in his offer! Let's look at some of them:
Redial, replated, overpolished. And look, the seller claims it to be a stainless steel case, while the case back inscription is "FOND ACIER INOXYDABLE." Splendid! Just 660 USD for that pile of rubbish! What a bargain!
Wrong replacement crown, worn movement, and the dial sinks in black paint. "Restored." Yeah, sure.
Before I call it a day for the Usual Suspects, let's wrap it up with two listings from the Shop.
First, this Gallet:
Lovely watch, but no movement pics, no case back pics... Perhaps the case is designed for a Venus 150, but keeping in mind that Aqua-Lung frankenwatch they have sold before, what guarantee is there, that the Venus 150 inside this one is a Gallet-signed one, and not some random thing, like the unsigned, non-shockproof, low-grade Landeron in the Aqua-Lung franken alright?
Now, this Movado:
How can it be from the 1960s, if the Movado cal. 115 was discontinued in 1959?
Let's move on to other sellers now.
First up, the owner of the auction house specializing in fake Panerai - Romain Rea of Antiquorum!
What is not mentioned, is that it's an "MoD" redial, with the dial repainted and lumed with tritium in the early 1960s. As always, no movement pics, no case back pics...
...which doesn't reset correctly.
Now, the King of Cape Cod and the Prince of Redials, VintageCaliber!
Let's have a look at this IWC (which, sadly, has already been sold)
The spacing in "International Watch Co." and the thick, coarse printing of "Schaffhausen" tells one all there is to know...
Now, this Omega:
Exactly how is a silver dial "rare?" The case is overpolished, the inner edges of the lugs are quite uneven. I have my doubts about the Omega font on this one.
How on Earth is that a "diver?" It doesn't have the water resistance qualifying it for diving, not to mention the lack of a diving bezel. And yeah, of course "crisp condition" and "restored" in one listing. Ehhh...
That's it for this Bring a Brain, lads and lasses! As always, Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation