Bring a Loupe Some Good Rolexes And Some Bad Bidder Bewares (The Column Formerly Known As What’s Selling Where)

“What’s Selling Where” is now “Bring A Loupe” – an important reminder of the importance of carefully examining and researching all timepieces, new and vintage, before buying. In this week’s Bring A Loupe we are showing you some great Rolex replica watches and a few bidder beware notices.

Rolex “Albino” Daytona reference 6263 Formerly Owned By Eric Clapton

What will likely be the most exciting Rolex in the upcoming May auctions in Geneva was just revealed this week: Eric Clapton’s Rolex Daytona with “Albino” dial. This exact replica watch sold for $505,000 in 2008, after selling for $50,190 in 2003. Fast forward to today and the big question is whether this will be the second Rolex Daytona to surpass a million dollars at auction, joining the Daytona RCO or “Oyster Sotto” that sold for over a million dollars at the Christie’s 50th Anniversary of the Daytona sale in 2013. The key thing about this replica watch is its all-silver dial. Only three are known and we showed you another one discovered by Eric Ku here.

This Daytona has an estimate of 500,000 to 1,000,000 CHF. And for your Easter weekend reading, the full Phillips catalog for the Rolex Day-Date sale is now online! The regular sale catalog will be available soon.

Rolex Daytona Reference 6240

This Rolex Daytona caught our eye as it is the reference 6240 (the first Daytona version with screw-down pushers), the fact it has the original box and guarantee document, and the originality of the replica watch right down to the sticker on the case back. It just looks great, even with a little patina on the registers.

This 6240 is available from Meertz World of Time on 1stDibs for $67,116.44.

Rolex Explorer Reference 6610

1950s reference 6610 Explorers are just classic, and a fraction of their big crown Submariner counterparts. This particular example has nice patina and looks great.

This Explorer is available for $15,500 from HQ Milton.

Rolex “Pre-Daytona” Chronograph Reference 6238

This 14k gold Rolex reference 6238 is minty, minty, minty and has developed a beautiful patina on the case reflecting that it must have sat unworn somewhere for a while. The name “Frank Woods” is engraved on the case back. I did some research and wonder if this replica watch was originally owned by a man who was a physical biochemist in the Division of Protein Chemistry in Australia’s national science agency CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) for 36 years, retiring in 1983. He was an avid runner. There is more about him in this book. Who knows, though. Maybe Private Eyes has more insight on who the original owner was.

This 6238 is available for about $65,000 from Private Eyes.

Rolex Milgauss Reference 1019

I really like the reference 1019s with silver dials, but I love the 1019s with black dials. Matt Bain has an exceptional example from the early 1980s that is unpolished and crispy. This 1019 is available from Matthew Bain, Inc. for $24,500.

Rolex Air-King For Winn-Dixie Reference 14000

I nearly shed a tear when I heard that the Air-King was discontinued. It was just a mainstay of the Rolex line, even though I never really thought much about them, you know? End of an era. So I thought I would include an Air-King here. Winn-Dixie apparently gave this ca. 1987 Air-King to someone who worked in Protective Maintenance for Winn-Dixie, perhaps for 10 years of excellent service given the “10” in a gold shield on the dial. It’s just a classic and appears unpolished. It has a Buy It Now of $3,195 and you can also make an offer.

LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm Reference E 857

This LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm that I showed you last week on eBay ended up selling for $16,900, but the winning bidder unfortunately backed out of the deal. The seller, who has listed it for a friend, has had to re-list it. This DSA is available for a Buy It Now of $20,000 and you can also make an offer, perhaps closer to the winning bid.

Bidder Beware: Fake Tudor Submariner

Unfortunately, over the last few years a number of these Tudor Submariners with presidential seals on the dial have shown up on eBay. All are fake. Recently, an eBay user by the name of “tigerwatch” sold a couple, one for over $3,100 and the other (or the same replica watch) for over $2,900. The “tigerwatch” account appears to be part of a ring of accounts selling fakes originating from the same place, such as fake Universal Geneve Polerouter Subs.

Fake Military Replica Watches

These fake military replica watches, seemingly coming from Vietnam, have been circulating on eBay for a while, but I actually got a couple questions about this week and felt I had to cover them. Initially, a year or two ago, almost all of them were signed Jaeger-LeCoultre, but now the fakers have branched out and have these replica watches signed Rolex, Vacheron & Constantin, Longines, Omega, Hamilton, and other things such as U.S. Army or U.S. Navy. They are all fake, so please don’t be duped.

Bidder Beware: Fake Rolex “Double Red” Sea-Dweller Reference 1665

This unfortunately appears to be a fake “Double Red” Sea-Dweller (the “Double Red” stands for the two lines of red writing on the dial: “SEA-DWELLER” and “SUBMARINER 2000”) and is reportedly part of a ring of fake Rolexes being peddled throughout Germany from Cologne, Germany. The “Cologne Ring” (yes, they are serious enough to have a nickname) behind these fake Rolexes apparently has fooled a lot of dealers and collectors, primarily in Germany, so please be careful. And one other word of advice: a real Double Red Sea-Dweller should be significantly more than 7,800 euro, like this one that has been listed a couple times recently on a German eBay classified site – but also taken down a couple times due to the heroic actions of people reporting it. You know what they say about something that’s too good to be true…

Bidder Beware: Fake Omega Constellation

Last week, I showed you an Omega Constellation. I am not a Connie expert by any means (the world of Connies is truly arcane), but I gave it a very quick look and thought it was okay. Boy, was I wrong. It turns out that the whole item from case to dial was fake, with the movement coming from another Omega and not being a chronometer. On a positive note, the bracelet was real. This is scary stuff. A lot of dealers and collectors are being fooled, just as I was.

A few takeaways: 1) Do your homework and research on anything you want to buy, a.k.a. “Bring A Loupe”; 2) The commonly faked Connie reference is 14900 – 62 in a case made with a “CB” (for La Centrale Boîtes of Bien) maker’s mark on the inside of the case back; 3) Always examine the movement – the movements in all of these are unlikely to be chronometer-grade Omegas and may simply be automatic movements from other non-chronometer Omegas; 4) It is helpful to have an Omega Extract of Archives when selling or buying these. I recently was helping a friend purchase an Omega Speedmaster and requested that the seller order an extract before the sale could be completed – with the price of the extract (120 CHF) being added to the final price so the seller was not out anything if the replica watch was legit. Unfortunately, extracts are still not available for U.S. customers (I think they are afraid of being flooded by inquiries), so it helps to have foreign friends.

Bidder Beware: Fake LeCoultre Chronograph (And More Fakes)

Okay, so here is another fake LeCoultre chronograph, like the ones sold at Antiquorum in Geneva in November. The eBay seller has a bunch of bad replica watches, including what appears to be a fake Longines, a Breitling that appears to have a replaced movement, refinished dial, and incorrect hands, and has sold some other shady stuff recently, like this Tissot chronograph with what appears to be a fake dial. The seller, “swisstimearts,” is an eBay seller to avoid. It appears that they have another account for selling more legitimate replica watches: “watchmeisterin.”

Notable Sales

I found it pretty notable that the Bvlgari Serpenti with Jaeger-LeCoultre replica watch inside that I featured last week is now on hold after being listed for $235,000. If it sold for that price or anything close to it, I would imagine it is a record for a Serpenti (outside of the Serpenti owned by Liz Taylor that sold for just under a million).

An Omega Railmaster reference 2914-1 that appeared unpolished recently sold for over $8,700 on eBay, even with re-lumed hands. The seller had purchased the replica watch for significantly less and then had an amazing re-luming job done on the hands. You can see the remnants of the original lume stuck to the dial. The re-luming was so good that it would have fooled a lot of people had the seller not disclosed it.

A gold Speedmaster formerly owned by General Stafford sold for $10,500 at auction last week. One collector suggested it might have gotten a few thousand more had it included a letter of provenance from General Stafford. Perhaps the new owner should reach out to the Stafford Air & Space Museum to try to get such a letter.

And you really never know what you will see on eBay. This LeRoy 18k pocket replica watch appears to be a quarter repeater and is in a 40 mm case, which is pretty impressive. It sold for $1,070.