Today's Dinner: Donkey Roast

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Today's Dinner: Donkey Roast

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » May 20th 2020, 2:14pm

Say hello to one of the most hated, vile, idiotic editorials that the Donkeys ever shat out: ... avoid-them
I have given it a walloping on several occasions. If not for the fact that it was beaten to the fucking death of it by me and a lot of others, it'd be my pleasure to thrash it all over again.

But hey, look, the Donkeys just did it again. A fresh round of juicy drivel.

As I promised here...
...thus they're up for another walloping.

Cry "Havoc," and let slip the dogs of war!
One of the HODINKEE stories that we get the most questions and comments about, year in and year out, is one that Ben penned back in late 2016, "Twelve Mistakes New Watch Guys Make, And How To Avoid Them (From Someone Who's Been There)."
I bet they actually delete most of these questions. Presumably because most of them sensibly ask "what the fuck was that supposed to mean?"
It's a fantastic guide for anyone interested in watches, whether they're someone new to the game or a vet who's been on the auction circuit for decades.
No, it's a fantastic case study for students of psychology and psychiatry looking for a textbook example of narcissism.
But there are way more than 12 pitfalls in the horological hobby
One of them being Hoodwinkee themselves.
we're fortunate here at HODINKEE to see how they pop up and how people push past them on a daily basis.
How do they push past them? They stop reading your load of bollocks after one paragraph, if that. Unless they're a masochist like me, and read all that verbal onanism to do a service to the community by thrashing it, and tear down that wall of shit you've erected between the community and reality.
With that in mind, here are 12 more bits of friendly advice from myself and my colleagues.
And here's a bit of friendly advice from me: don't play the gurus that you're not.
I've made basically every one of these mistakes (and I still make some of them from time to time, if I'm being honest)
It is logical to assume you're probably not being honest, as can be expected of any Hoedonkey. But that's the natural state of being for the lot of you, complete with fighting forty-foot crocodiles and riding cannonballs.
1. Buying A "Good Enough" Version Of A Great Watch
This is the rookie mistake to end all rookie mistakes.
No, the rookie mistake to end all rookie mistakes is believing that someone like the Donkey lot will do your thinking for you, and that the result will be worth so much as a shit-smeared penny.
You're just getting into watches, you're on a budget, but you reallllly want a [insert expensive, desirable watch here]. But resist that urge.
Yeah, OK, that line's agreeable.
Don't buy a Submariner with a case that's smooth and polished like a river rock or that Speedmaster with replacement hands, a cracked bezel, and a janky bracelet.
Whoa, wait... Isn't that just the kind of fucking rubbish you offer in the Ye Olde Donkey Shoppe on a weekly basis? 'Cause I remember a shitload of your wares that fit that description just perfectly. Congratulations, you've played yourself.
I've been there! Back in 2013, I bought a Tudor Date+Day on eBay for a few hundred dollars. That was dirt cheap, even then, and I really wanted a Day-Date of some kind. I knew the dial wasn't great, the watch didn't have its bracelet, and the movement "needed a service." What I bought wasn't so much a watch as a six-month headache that involved three or four watchmakers, recurring disappointment, and even a few, "Wait, you bought that?" looks from other collectors. I ended up selling it for parts to a dealer friend, losing money in the process.
Well, you've done just what you're getting your fleecers' den's customers into now. In the words of Arthur Fleck aka Joker, you get what you fuckin' deserve.

That's not even to mention the completely misphrased "point." Version and condition aren't the same thing, you know.
2. Thinking You Can Snipe An Overlooked Auction Watch For Cheap
The lunkhead who actually bothers with the big auction houses doesn't think at all. Your point is illogical.
But there are a lot of smart people in the watch collecting and watch selling game, and they've invested lots of emotional energy and money in the process.
Emotional energy and money are far inferior in importance to wit and knowledge. All the money and energy in the world won't save a dope from being a dope.
The chances that you outsmart everyone all at once are pretty low in basically all cases.
In a game of chance and "who's got the bigger stick," indeed. Best just play a different game.
Don't mistake what I'm saying here though. Register and bid as if you are going to snag the watch for a steal! Do it. You'll learn a ton about how auctions work, the way your heart will start to race a few lots out, and the crazy thoughts that start to pulse through your brain when you get outbid. "I can go another $1,000 here, right?"
Oh my, that's novella material right there. "Onan at the Halls of Sotheby's."
3. Only Exploring Vintage Or Modern Watches
Oh, really? Being a master of one trade sure beats being a jack of fuck-all.
The watch world all too often falls into the habit of making things black-and-white issues.
Apparently, so do you.
I could write a whole story about how that's a terrible thing and how it forces people out of collecting and encourages negative ways of interacting with one another, but I'll save my preaching for another time.
Really? The thing that forces people out of collecting is mostly other people.
Except on this point.
Yeah, well, shoulda saved yer preaching.
You do not need to be "a vintage watch guy" or "a modern watch gal."
Better to be that than know sod-all. I am the Vintage Bloke. And yes, even though I own and enjoy modern watches, that is what I am at the core. If that's where one's heart is, denying it is bound to be nothing more than noxious repression of one's own nature.
ou can be a watch enthusiast, plain and simple, open to experiencing the best of what watchmaking has to deliver in whatever form that may take.
Jack recently reminded me that watchmaking has been going on for roughly 500 years, so to say that you only want to learn about wristwatches from a 10 or 20 year period is rather foolish.
If a focus on a specific period makes it easier for one, that's not foolish at all.
Sure, you can specialize and figure out what you really like, but that's something you should do over time and come to organically.
After basics, a specific area of focus is what follows. Unless you really want to bite off more than you can chew, and to become yet another self-appointed "Horologist."
Here's a suggestion: Find a modern watch and a vintage watch that are related to one another and wear them on alternating days. Whether that means a vintage Sub and one with a ceramic bezel or juxtaposing a ref. 96 Calatrava with a contemporary ref. 5196, feel free to borrow watches from other collectors or even just try things on in a store. You'll learn a ton about what differentiates these pieces, despite their shared core, and in the process, you'll figure out what works for you. And if that's "both," all the better.
Sounds like a fine remedy to a non-existent problem.
4. Confining Yourself To Bracelets
If one doesn't like straps, then why the fuck not?
Bracelets are all the rage these days. Watches like the Royal Oak and Nautilus, which are defined by their integrated bracelets, have multi-year waitlists, and I dare you to try to find a modern steel-bracelet Rolex in a display case anywhere on planet Earth.
I saw four on one display. Air-King, Datejust, Explorer, Explorer II. Keep on daring.
5. Not Owning A Rolex Sport Watch
Ahhh shit, here we go again. First Benny the Big Donkey, now you.
In this article's predecessor, Ben encouraged everyone to own an Omega Speedmaster at some point in their collecting journey.
No, actually he derided people not owning a Speedmaster as not being "true watch guys." You're doing the same, only now it's about Rolex.
Guess what?
I'm going to add something else to your must-own-at-some-point list: A vintage Rolex sport watch.
My must-own-at-some-point list says a hearty "fuck you" to your must-own-at-some-point list. It's my list, Donkey.
Modern watch collecting was basically built around vintage Rolex, starting in the late 1980s and hitting new highs over the last 10 years or so.
I seriously doubt that a collector of, say, German pocket watches or Timexes would agree.
I say that you should start with a vintage Rolex sport watch because those are the pieces that really define the category as it exists today.
Any knowledgeable collector with a shred of decency will tell the rookie to stay the fuck away from where said rookie can get blistered all too easily. Congratulations, you've just told the average mook looking up the local indoor climbing wall to try Everest first.
I'd suggest going with a Submariner or GMT-Master with a faded bezel
Given how many of these bezels are modern Italian fakes, that's like advising a rookie backpacker to go for a stroll through the Killing Fields of Cambodia.
6. Speculating About What Watch Will Be "The Best Investment"
You're missing the fact that the concept of treating a watch as an investment sucks at the very foundations of it. Down to the plums, so to speak.
If you're looking to have fun, learn a lot, and maybe not lose money down the line, watches are a great option. And if you sell something at a profit, all the better!
Trekkies will know - you wouldn't make a good Ferengi.
7. Thinking In-House Is Always Better
"In-house" might be the greatest marketing move in the history of the modern watch industry. Up until about 20 or 30 years ago, this wasn't something anyone talked about at all. But in the modern era, where mechanical watches are a lot more than commodity timekeepers, watchmakers have to find new ways to differentiate their products and to justify charging the prices that they do.
That's one of the very few agreeable passages so far.
8. Assuming Someone Owns The Watches They Post On Instagram
Does anyone even do that?
9. Calling Any Good Vintage Watch "Unpolished"
The real problem is that most attempts at case restoration end up in the case looking like a soap bar. Bottom line, if it isn't mangled and/or doesn't look like anyone attacked it with Cape Cods, it's good enough.
10. Following The Pack
...or following a herd. Especially a herd of Donkeys.
11. Believing Auction Estimates To Be Gospel
Auction houses work for sellers, not for buyers. Remember that. No matter how honest the team, no matter how incredible the auctioneer, auction houses have one job: To sell every lot for the maximum value possible. The consignors win, but they win too, getting higher premiums and enticing other potential consigners to choose them when three or four houses might be competing for the same watch.
And yet, a few points ago, you've been sending rookies right into the welcoming arms of these fleecers.
By placing a low estimate or a tight range on a watch, an auction house can create a glut of bidders, some of whom might get a little paddle-happy in the heat of the moment. This creates a bidding frenzy, the appearance of desirability, and drama in the auction room. It is also likely to result in a higher final hammer price, making everyone but the buyer thrilled. The real takeaway here is that estimates are simple guidelines, but they shouldn't make you think you've got a watch in the bag, encourage you to bid in a way you typically wouldn't, or influence how much you think a watch is actually worth. It's marketing, plain and simple.
And yet you, the Donkeys, have hyped lots with just that marketing play used.
12. Forgetting To Enjoy The Watches You Already Own.
Does anyone ever?
Remember that no matter how big or small your collection is, or whether or not you've bought anything new recently, there's plenty of joy to be found in the watches available to you right now.
That's actually true. A true gem hidden under the mountain of manure that this editorial is.

Completum est quod dixi de operatione Solis.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
Elim Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Rule of Acquisition no.285
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Re: Today's Dinner: Donkey Roast

Post by bedlam » May 20th 2020, 5:15pm

Thanks Mr Bloke.

Hodinkee is an outstanding example of the problem of having no internal logic beyond making a sale. They say whatever suits the moment and so manage to contradict themselves from one story to the next over time. The classic indicator of a slimy salesman.
Meritocracy: the privilege, wealth and advancement of those who chose their parents wisely.
Capitalism: a cult that promised to do good for the worst reasons.
Nationalism: a profound longing to go back to a past that never existed.
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Re: Today's Dinner: Donkey Roast

Post by biglove » May 20th 2020, 7:20pm

Get ‘em, Bloke!!!
My best friend from college shared his secret to his huge financial success, "I fell out of the right vagina."

"We should just sanction stupidity as our national pastime and be done with it."-TemerityB, Loser like me
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Re: Today's Dinner: Donkey Roast

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » May 21st 2020, 6:14am

artman wrote:
May 20th 2020, 8:55pm
What is this Intergram you speak of?
I think he was referring to following posers on Instagram, the sort that posts not their watches without saying so. Most people either identify themselves as posting their own stuff or doing reposts. His mistake is putting the notion of believing into all of it. The observant kind doesn't need to believe, the observant kind makes an analysis, makes a deduction, and knows - believing or not is redundant. Plain skepticism that he seems to favour doesn't cut it as a method of recognizing the frauds. He doesn't even scratch the surface of the matter, and thus pontificates about nothing. Then there's the matter of running round-up accounts without explicitly saying so. He says that it does "little harm." Wrong, it does, because you never know when does such a photo thief go into something far more nefarious. What starts as an undisclosed round-up account can quickly turn into a scam.
So, again, he has his readers go into the fray with their pants down.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
Elim Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Rule of Acquisition no.285
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