News & Events

CITIZEN TAKES THE SMARTWATCH PLUNGE

The new CZ from Citizen is a multi-function affair, just as you would expect. Customisable dials, Google OS system, and a huge 46mm case diameter. Big enough, or too big?

AUCTION NEWS

GARDINER HOULGAE AUCTION

GH have another watch auction coming up online. It starts tomorrow morning 6th May at 10am UK time. We spotted a very nice Chopard Mille Miglia, an IWC Da Vinci chrono plus a U-Boat Italo Fontana if you fancy something a bit different from the usual Rolex/Omega/Patek investment pieces.

If not, there are plenty of Rolex items on offer. Details here and you can register to logoin to bid too.

April 2021

CHRISTIE’S RARE WATCHES AUCTION NYC

We browsed the auction results because poverty prevents us from bidding – what did we find?

A Rolex Batman Sub, 2016 model with box and papers made $20,000. Handsome 2001 Patek Philippe with a fold out 18K rear case cover went for just over $43,000. Don’t forget there are buyer’s premiums of 25% on top, so we are talking $54,500 in total on that one.

A Patek yellow gold Calatrava from 2008 made $16,250, which just shows how a typical classic dress watch still has collector appeal with the right name on the dial.

A 1958 Omega Speedmaster broad arrow made a huge $93,000, thanks to the sheer rarity of it, as the Speedmaster was only launched the year before. It was a big watch by the standards of the 50s and didn’t sell in high numbers, so vgc examples over 60 years old don’t come along that often.

More lots n results here by the way.

29.01.2021

AUVOIR NAUTILUS

Patek Philippe Nautilus Stock Hits GameStop Levels

As Patek Philippe announce the end of the line for the Nautilus 5711 model, which already has a long waiting list, the price for new examples has leapt by 50-60%, according to watch trade magazines. That means a rare watch, that was already being `flipped’ at 50,000 quid, is now fetching 100K. Maybe. Well, it’s just an internet rumour, nobody has seen a sales receipt.

The cancel-the-Nautilus move is interesting as Patek has also discontinued several other models, which hints that some genuinely all-new models are in the pipeline. One of the classic watch case designs the Nautilus has been in production since 2006 and reportedly has a ten year waiting list.

One luxury watch trader described the boom in Nautilus prices as something similar to Tulip-mania and it’s pretty much the same game as the GameStop hedge fund battle that is going on in Wall AStreet right now. Speculators often quote crazy prices like 100K for a steel blue Nautilus but does anyone own up to paying that?

Expect a modern twist on the 5711 model later in 2021. And a waiting list.

10.11.2020

NORTHAMPTON POLICE SELL WATCHES UNDER PROCEEDS OF CRIME LAW

Police have sold Rolex watches and jewellery seized from a jailed crime gang on eBay for £24,000, reports Yahoo News. The items were put up for auction using new powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to raise funds from stolen items. The swag included a diamond ring which made £13,433 and two Rolex watches which went for £7,800 and £2,287 respectively. The cheaper Rolex was a ladies Datejust by the way.

Officers also recovered more than £9,000 in cash from the gang which included James Devlin, 51, his sons Jimmy, 20, Noel, 29, and 25-year-old Hughie Devlin. Local news media reports that the Devlin family, who resided at a caravan park, were believed to be behind over 100 robberies.

AUCTIONS

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Watches of Knightsbridge have an online auction coming up in December, so entries are invited of course.

The next Watches of Knightsbridge main auction will be taking place on 5th Decemeber 2020. The deadline for entries is on 22nd October. If you would like to enter your watch(es) into this sale then please email us with details of the watch(es) or contact us to make an appointment to see one of the experts. The catalogue will be published on the 9th November.

See the website for more information:

www.watchesofknightsbridge.com/selling/

 

UK Trade news site WatchPro is doing its own London show. Here’s the news below;

WatchPro is today firing the starting gun for a brand new event, WatchPro Market, which will bring watch enthusiasts directly together with watchmakers.

The Market is exactly what it sounds like: a relaxed and informal retail space where watchmakers will present their latest collections directly to the public.

“WatchPro Market is the opposite of the world’s oldest, elitist, shows. It is open to everybody, free to attend and aimed at younger people who are early in their journeys of discovery into the watchmaking world,” says WatchPro co-founder Rob Corder.

A maximum of 35 brands are taking part, with around one third of the Market pitches selling before WatchPro even went public with the concept.

WatchPro Market takes place on Saturday, November 7 to Sunday, November 8, at The Old Truman Brewery, a former industrial site in the heart of London’s achingly fashionable Shoreditch — the epicentre of the capital’s millennial hipster movement.

It’s hard to see how this event can comply with the ever-changing restrictions on indoor attendances, social distancing etc but good luck to them we say. Watch enthusiasts value the chance to ask questions face-to-face and actually handle a potential new purchase. This stuff matters.

You can register here.

baselworld 2021 cancelled latest news

07.05.2020 Organisers Cancel Baselworld 2021

The official news from MCH, as Baselworld is cancelled for Feb 2021 – will it ever return is the bigger question? Here’s the statement from the show organisers;

In collaboration with the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee, an amicable solution has been drawn up, unanimously approved by the Comité Consultatif and also supported by industry associations.

“I welcome the constructive attitude of the representatives of the MCH Group, which has enabled us to find a balanced solution”, says Hubert J. du Plessix, President of the Swiss Exhibitors’ Committee. “I would also like to thank Patek Philippe, Rolex, Tudor, Chanel, Chopard, Hublot, Zenith and Tag Heuer, who, in a spirit of solidarity with the sector as a whole, have agreed to a lower refund so that the other exhibitors can benefit from better conditions.”

Bernd Stadlwieser, CEO of the MCH Group, stresses: “We are pleased to have worked together and, in just a short time, found a solution that is acceptable to everyone. In the light of the large loss of revenue due to COVID-19 and our responsibility to all our stakeholder groups, this solution marks the limit of what is possible for us. With the amicable settlement for Baselworld 2020, we can now concentrate fully on the future.”

The MCH Group has taken the decision not to hold Baselworld 2021 that had been planned for 28 January to 2 February 2021. “Together with the exhibitors and visitors, we are working intensively on clarifying and discussing the requirements and options for new platforms,” says Michel Loris-Melikoff, Managing Director of Baselworld. “We will be taking a decision on possible follow-up formats by the summer and will then provide information on the new concept and scheduling.”

 

03.05.2020.

Breitling has launched new range of retro heritage inspired SuperOcean models, which capture the dive watch styling of the 60s and 70s. There’s even a Rainbow edition of the Capsule 57 model, featuring yellow, blue, violet and orange markers, while the hour and minute hands are covered with glow-in-the-dark Super-LumiNova.

superocean heritage rainbow dial

Prices for Rainbow edition Zenith El Primero watches are holding steady at about 3K or so, which suggests there may be some interest for a truly eye-catching design in the era of recession, even at £4000. Actually, one media outlet says the Rainbow edition has sold out – so yeah, what do we know?

We think the more traditional Capsule 57 models are going to sell very well too. The steel blue model at £3400 RRP is reasonable value for a COSC certifield movement, ceramic bezel, 42mm case and bi-directional bezel. You can choose a Milanese mesh type bracelet, or a trad leather strap if you have no intention of venturing into water with the SuperOcean Heritage 57 on your wrist.

Nice refresh we think, and the case size should suit most wrists – maybe the era of the big chunky Breitling is coming to an end?

22.04.2020 Swiss Watch Manufacturers See COVID-19 Downturn

omega seamaster etnz grey dial

The spread of COVID-19 a.k.a Coronavirus, has prompted the cancellation of the big industry watch fairs in Switzerland – Watches and Wonders, formerly known as SIHH, and Baselworld, and cut export volumes by 40%, says the Swiss industry association – noting that another big fall is expected when April’s grim stats are in. Hard times for Rolex, Swatch, Richemont and LVMH perhaps?

March saw a 34% drop in exports to the UK, although China bucked the trend and saw a boom in demand, as the wealthy there capitalised on the destructive power of Corona across Western economies and snapped up bargains. Maybe that was the masterplan all along – who knows?

As UK High Streets remain closed and many watch collectors will probably hang fire waiting for prices to drop, especially on less popular brands like Baume & Mercier, Panerai, IWC, Zenith, Rado and more, there is bound to be pressure on retailers in the UK to cut their losses come September to make way for new 2021 models in time for Christmas.

Now Baselworld has officially lost Rolex, Chanel, Patek Philippe, Zenith, Hublot and Tag Heuer from its 2021 line-up, questions must be asked about the show’s future. Big watch brands may reloacte to Geneva as regards showcasing new model ranges to the world’s press and dealers. It could be that more virtual launches and consumer events will be the way ahead – in theory, many celeb brand ambassadors could hold online sales, like an upmarket QVC. They may pull a face over it, but it’s hard to see asome watches being sold in volume this year without a serious re-think on marketing.

Interestingly, the Federation noted that the market segment least impacted is the uber expensive Swiss models. Obviously the super-rich are largely unaffected by Coronavirus and can self-isolate in luxury. They can have their staff shop online and get a courier to deliver to Chateau MeMeMe in California too. Nice.

The big drop in demand in March was for Swiss watches in the sub £500 category, mainly quartz models of course. Maybe consumers have rumbled that many of these fashion watches are not that bit different from a mainstream fashion brand watch, which tends to retail at £100-£150. Our take on it is that the mid-market is vanishing, as people either go full luxury-Kanye-blingfest, or choose a cheap watch from Matalan in the Sale if they’ve got no money.

Let’s be blunt, a Tissot quartz impresses very few people and that my friends is the root of the problem with entry level Swiss watches.

 

18.04.2020. Watches of Switzerland Sale Shows Recession is Well Underway.

seamaster planet ocean sale uk

OK, not every luxury Swiss watch is a great investment, and not every watch is a bargain, even with 25% off. But there are some excellent discounts on the Watches of Switzerland website today – and it highlights how the recession is already happening. We spotted an extra 10% code valid TODAY ONLY by the way.

An Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean at £6246 is very good value, although the black and orange combo is everyone’s cup of tea. Traditional Seamaster 300m Diver in blue, with a 44mm case is ideal for guys with a chunky wrist at £3523.

There are several Montblanc models in the Sale, which is understandable given that very few watch enthusiasts seem to want them – at any price. Will these watches ever be truly collectible? Given that they’re using modded Sellita/ETA movements and cost over 2K even with a Sale discount, I would say the answer is No.

A Tissot Tradition quartz chronograph is undoubtedly a fashion item – zero collectors interest – but at £247 it really is good value compared to fashion watches from the likes of Armani, Boss, Michael Kors or Daniel Wellington. Fact is, you’ll always find someone would like your pre-owned Tissot for say £70 or so, if you hang onto the box, papers and don’t scratch it to hell on a drunken night out.

The same cannot be said for many generic fashion chronographs from non-Swiss brands that cost over £250 new. Cash Converters will only offer you about £10 for it, otherwise try FB Marketplace.

Browse the Watches of Switzerland Sale here if you like. We aren’t on commission.

 

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18.04.2020. Corona: Is Pulling Money Out of Stocks, Property or Other Investments and bying Luxury Watches a Good Idea?

As UK TV viewers will have noticed, Watchfinder is busy advertising right now, as more people with money look for safer investments that stocks – or even property. As the government effectively gives all tenants three months rent free accommodation, many buy-to-let landlords will seek to exit this business later this year. As yet, there is little real financial support for the 5 million self-employed in the UK and this is storing up rent and utility arrears for the remainder of 2020.

Of course investing in Swiss watches is a higher risk than property. There are still overheads; insurance and servicing on high value watches from Rolex, Audemars, Patek, Vacheron, Omega, Cartier etc. There is no monthly income, you gamble that a Royal Oak or Submariner will double in value in say five years. Fact is, some models HAVE done that, without a global pandemic.

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You absolutely need a strong safe, anchored to the ground. If you own over 50K worth of watches we suggest a strong/panic room. You need to escape from pro thieves quickly, as they may well use brutal methods to extract the safe code from you. Same approach if you buy physical gold – people will want to steal it from you, and insurers dislike covering gold and diamonds worth over 30K, except within commercial premises.

NO GOLDIE LOOKING CHAINS, BUY VIRTUAL GOLD INSTEAD?

Alternative investment options are many of course, food distribution or food delivery being a hot one right now. But gold and watches might also offer some growth. Here’s the latest press info from Glint Pay Services Limited, the fintech company that makes gold an alternative global currency.

How? Well by enabling clients to buy, sell, save and spend their physical gold instantly through Glint’s prepaid debit card (Mastercard) and multi-currency app. Glint announced today that it has experienced a several hundred percent increase in its clients buying gold during the recent turmoil effecting global equity markets.

Glint’s clients have been the big winners as they flocked to gold, the traditional safe haven currency of last resort, as the markets swung violently over the last few weeks on fears of a global economic downturn.

HOW DOES GLINT WORK?

Glint offer an innovative multi-currency payments solution that provides instantaneous ownership of physically allocated gold and the ability to use it as money digitally through an app and prepaid debit Mastercard (gold is converted into e-money for transactions).

Physically allocated gold belongs outright to its owner, as opposed to unallocated gold, “exposure to gold” such as when the gold is owned by a FinTech company (e.g. Revolut) or a capital markets instrument such as an exchanged traded fund (“ETF”). By offering access to gold Glint helps shield clients them from the destructive effects of inflation and protects them from the systemic risk of future global financial crises

Glint enables you to save, spend, and exchange between USD, EUR, GBP and gold wallets. Glint’s clients know their gold is securely held in a Brinks Vault in Switzerland. Brinks is insured with Lloyds of London.

In the next few months, Glint will launch Person to Person (P2P) payments, giving clients the ability to send gold and currencies to fellow Glint clients as easily and instantly as you might send a text message.

Fees are transparent and simple with Glint when buying or selling gold or spending in foreign currencies. There are no hidden fees and Glint uses the best available market rates with no Glint margin added, when transacting in 150 currencies around the word.

You should be aware that Glint’s gold offering is not subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”). Always speak to an independent financial adviser if you have any questions or concerns. Northern Watch Co certainly advises anyone to think carefully before investing in gold, as the price can fluctuate rapidly within the space of one week.

 

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