- Master of Time
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Welcome, lads and lasses! It is about time for yet another instalment of Bring a Brain, your favourite comedy/watchdog series! As always, with no quarter given, all manner of questionable listings and hype actions from various sources will be assessed. In this episode: inability to look up a serial number, a Speedmaster with no movement shots, a redialed Omega Ranchero, and how a certain site handles its customers. That said...The game's afoot! Follow your spirit, and upon this charge...This is your Bring a Brain!
Let us start with - as always - the Usual Suspects.
First, this IWC:
"1960s." Yeah, sure. The movement dates to 1949, the case - to circa 1951.
Now, an excerpt from the column, to which Bring a Brain owes its name... Scroll down to the section about the Omega Ranchero ref. CK 2990-1.
Yes, that Seamaster signature on the dial is very convincing. Rather sloppy, as far as Seamaster font goes, and on top of that, it's off-centre, sticking out to the right. Not to mention the fact, that the white paint is not the same shade as the rest of the white printing on the dial. OK, so the whole dial had the printing done with the same kind of paint, but it's just the "Seamaster" inscription that decides to age differently? Yeah, sure. Yikes.
(...)that the dial is signed both Ranchero and Seamaster. This is likely due to the fact that Omega began attempting to find new ways to make the Ranchero attractive to consumers...
...is so wrong, that it's hard to tell where to start pointing it out. First of all, the Seamaster co-signing is, in all likelihood, fake. The second thing is that no such branding would have been needed for the 2990. That's because the 2990 was a Seamaster, some of which have been produced as Rancheros. In fact, fake Rancheros, being essentially "converted" CK 2990 Seamasters, are a plague.
Let's move on to another site. This time... Yes, it's the King of Cape Cod!
Let's have a look at this Tissot:
First of all, oversized Tissots are quite common. Second, "real NOS watch for a reasonable amount of money?" The crown looks to be an incorrect replacement, that's one thing. There is a recess in the case, yet this thing isn't of the correct size, and sticks out beyond the recess. The minute track appears to be misaligned, especially by the 11 o'clock marker. NOS? Yeah, sure. "Original tag and spring bars?" How the hell can anyone determine spring bars as original, and hang-tags can be bought on eBay... Swell.
Now, the most unusual suspects started their own round-up of vintage watches for sale, this time in a land that's upside down.
This one's most interesting:
How the hell can one hype a listing for a Speedmaster without movement shots, that's beyond me.
...COMPLETELY ORIGINAL - no replacement parts, has not been serviced...
No replacement parts? Post the bloody movement pics, and leave that to me, because I'm so not taking your word for it. Not serviced? Hardly something to boast about. This translates to "it doesn't work."
I have left the best for last. Previously, I have only done a thorough deconstruction of Theo & Harris listings. This time, I had the opportunity to see, how they communicate with their customers, and to witness the poor level of their work ethics. A client leaves a deposit for a watch. He is offered the possibility to thus reserve a watch. Meanwhile, the deposit is ignored, the watch gets listed without informing the client. Not to mention, that refunding the deposit needs to be reminded about. Notice the dates in the correspondence - how long the client is kept waiting. I'm not sure if this source material is a small Watergate of its own, but I do find it most disconcerting.
Please note: I am publishing this with the consent of the person who had the misfortune of having this experience with said dealer. I haven't published, am not publishing and won't publish anything of this kind without such permission.
Someone wants to simply buy a watch, has T&H recommended to him, and instead of getting a smooth deal, gets a deposit ignored, and has to remind T&H of returning the deposit that they did not care to honour in the first place, in spite of having offered such a service. I'll leave the conclusions to you.
That's all for this Bring a Brain! Hope you have found this one entertaining and educational, and - as always - Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation