Tag Archives: royal

Fancy an AP Royal Oak Homage for Car Boot Money?

OK, let’s be honest, cheap watches from China are never gonna be collectable. Then there’s the whole Covid thing and whether you should buy stuff made by slaves in a totalitarian dictatorship. Oh wait, you like iPhones, microwaves and BMW 1 Series cars, so that’s OK.

One thing most watch fans agree on is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, with the classic Genta design case is a beatiful timepiece, a true classic. It never gets old, it just keeps reinventing itself like David Bowie used to every time he got bored with his characters. I can’t afford one, so I bought a Benyar lookalike online for £22 from Aliexpress just to test how good/bad these homage watches are.

The packaging is impressive for such a bargain basement watch.


You have to be impressed with a watch at this money which has a swing tag, polishing cloth, guarantee card and owners manual inside. The watch was wrapped in a polybag and had blue strip protectors on the clasp, plus skintight polythene protective strips on the bracelet links.

When you consider that many Indie dive watches with quartz movements offer a cloth bag, that’s it, for your £300 on Kickstarter, that does seem like decent packaging.

Easy to push pins out and tap back in again for a perfect fit.


Inside the 41mm case there is a Miyota quartz movement, so reliability is a given. The case is steel, and not that well polished and finished. Likewise the bracelet links don’t quite move with the silky smooth slickness of a proper watch, like say a Seiko Presage.

On the dial there is a little sunray effect and a kind of waffle-ish look. Maybe school graph paper lines is a better way to describe it. The date window is a bit small, but on the upside the date wheel advances nicely in the first position on the crown. Big crown too, easy to grip.

Yep, plenty of linkage there.


If you have a big wrist this watch will fit you. The number of links is huge, I reckon it would fit an eight inch wrist. I removed 5 links to make it perfect for my skinny 7 inch wrist, using my push-pin tool. It was easily done, no problems.

The clasp closes very smooth, you just press down the 6pm section first, then the 12 noon section clicks into place, with an embossed square logo pressing into place to secure the foldover clasp. Twin button release – which is a bit chunky and digs into my wrist slightly, but then I like a watch to fit snug, not loose so the crown starts digging into my hand.


I think it does, so long as you are about 26 feet away. Once you can see the Benyar name and football club type shield logo, plus the lack of AP lettering, then you know it’s a fake. Sorry, homage. Here are the photos.


It can cost you £22 to buy a pint and artisan fish n chips in London, so let’s not quibble too much about this Benyar. It tells the time, the Miyota engine means it will most likely keep doing that for a decade and the steel case looks durable, albeit a bit rough cast.

I just wish the Chinese would choose some better names for their homage watch brands; Pagani isn’t too bad. Tevise is acceptable. But Benyar, Helmdallr, Biden, Lige, Olevs and Wwoor..? Come on, these names are rubbish, they shout poverty and no class.

Clasp closes up nicely, logo is a an unexpected detail on a watch this cheap.

Let me give you one example of how a cheap watch briefly became cool because of its name; Ice watch. Yes, nothing special, but jewellers across Britain were getting 50 quid a pop for them at one stage.

You can fool some of the people, some of the time. As the Covid Plandemic proves only too well.

This is where I bought the road test watch by the way.



Escrow: Ugly Word, But Beautiful For Watch Buyers

Would you pay £15,000 for a mint Rolex Submariner Batman to a complete stranger on eBay? No, of course you wouldn’t, even if you were Carrie Symonds and some clown had given you 30K to spend on any fripperies that caught your eye.

But there is a solution to the problem of transferring lots of cash for Swiss watches, and eBay have been busy perfecting it. Here’s the word;

eBay, one of the largest luxury watch marketplaces in the world, today announces the addition of escrow to marketplace payment offerings for luxury watches. This additional payment option allows buyers and sellers an added convenience via trusted third party Escrow.com, holding funds securely until the transaction is complete providing an additional level of protection. Benefiting both parties in the transaction process, escrow is now available to those buying and selling luxury watches over $10,000, expanding the payment options available to luxury watch enthusiasts to foster an even more seamless experience.

“We are changing the way people buy and sell luxury items on eBay,” said Tirath Kamdar, General Manager of Luxury at eBay. “When it comes to high value watches and other significant purchases, consumers expect additional assurances. eBay is committed to providing the best experience, from start to finish, and our new offerings will continue to deliver on that promise.”

There’s been a tremendous surge in enthusiasm for high value collectibles as consumers expand their investment opportunities. eBay is constantly introducing platform and product enhancements to improve the buying and selling experience, creating a seamless process for transactions on premiere brands like Patek Phillippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and Hublot, which were some of the most coveted luxury watches in 2020. After launching its Authenticity Guarantee service in September 2020, more than 7,000 luxury watches priced at $10K+ were sold on eBay.  Now, with the introduction of escrow, eBay continues to make shopping and selling high value items like collectible timepieces convenient and simplified.

“As a long-time leader in the luxury watch space with more than 1.2M daily live listings, eBay offers an unmatched selection of timepieces — from rare, vintage watches to new styles from top brands like Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer and more,” said Charis Márquez, Vice President of Fashion, eBay. “We’ve seen a tremendous uptick in interest for luxury watches this past year, with more than 22 million site searches for Cartier, and more than 15 million for Tag Heuer. Escrow joins Authenticity Guarantee as eBay’s response to that growing appetite.”

How It Works

Enhancing the secure payment suite by partnering with Escrow.com, the most licensed online escrow company, this multi-step enhancement offers the eBay community of buyers and sellers another way to securely transact on watches $10,000 or more, with no processing fees. The streamlined service requires minimal steps to ensure a swift transaction process:

  • Getting Started: At checkout, if a shopper decides to purchase a qualifying luxury watch using escrow, they will be directed from eBay to Escrow.com’s website where they will receive step-by-step instructions for creating an account. Both buyers and sellers must have an account in order to send and receive payments; it is a one-time process and all data is privately shared between Escrow and the buyer or seller.
  • Transaction Process: The buyer funds an account via wire transfer or ACH electronic check, which is managed by Escrow.com as an intermediary. Funds are released by the third party to the seller once the item is received by the buyer in the condition described in the listing and terms of the transaction agreement are met to the satisfaction of both parties. They are protected against fraudulent customers through verification checks and payment being held by a third party in case of a return allowing sellers 5 days to inspect the merchandise and release funds to customers if the merchandise matches the original condition.
  • Progress Updates: Buyers and sellers can check the status of their transactions where payment is made via Escrow.com by visiting the “My eBay” drop down under “Order Details,” or via Escrow.com where they can access a transaction summary page and view the progress of all active Escrow.com transactions.
  • Item Inspection and Returns: After receiving their watch from the authenticator, the buyer will have up to seven days to inspect and examine the watch before accepting the item. Once accepted, or if the seven-day inspection period has passed, returns will not be available. In the event of a return, the watch is shipped back to the third party for verification and funds are then released to the customer if the merchandise matches the original condition.

Nearly eighty thousand new, pre-owned and vintage watches are marked with the Authenticity Guarantee badge on eBay.com, comprising an inventory of fine watches from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Audemars Piguet and more. Each watch sold for $2,000 or more, marked with the Authenticity Guarantee badge on the listing, undergoes a rigorous third party inspection by Stoll & Co., the leading provider of watch repair services, ensuring the timepieces are authentic and as described. Escrow joins Authenticity Guarantee as another way eBay is evolving the buying and selling experience for eBay’s community of luxury watch enthusiasts.

Head here for more information about the benefits of paying with escrow. To shop luxury watches, check out www.eBay.com/luxurywatches and follow @eBayWatches on Instagram.

Is Green The New Blue? No, And It Never Will Be

There are lots of green watches this year. For example JLC has launched a green Reverso, which retails at £7200 and has a green strap option too. Then there’s that weird Rolex palm tree thing. Hmmm, let’s move on.

Thing is, the green Reverso works well because this is a physically small watch, designed back in the days when gents wore little 32mm case things because you stood a good chance of being hit by a fascist/communist goon, industrial machinery etc so it made sense to keep an expensive Swiss watch up your sleeve. That is how wristwatches became popular, because getting a pocket watch out in the trenches of WW1 was a bad move.

So yes, we love the Reverso in its green colours. But it looks handsome in blue as well – and blue is THE most popular dial colour in gents watches.

Other green dial watches lauched recently include the 18ct gold Tudor Black Bay 58, the Patek Nautilus in olive green, plus three AP Royal Oak variants all featuring green. The tourbillon Royal Oak is actually very 1960S Time Tunnel, with its strange, almost psydelic swirling green pattern. Crazy ass watch as about $180,000 so we expect to see Floyd Maywether sporting this one very soon.

It’s no Submariner Hulk, is it?

But when you look at the Tudor 58 in green, it’s kinda in-your-face and although the Rolex Sub Hulk is a very collectable watch, we cannot think of another all-green wristwatch that carries the same cred when it comes to watch collecting, pre-owned shops and pawnbrokers. Seriously, when was the last time you stuck your nose onto a jewellers shop window and lusted after a green watch?

Yes, we can sympathise with fans of the IWC Big Pilot 43, because the 2021 model with green dial looks the part, no question. It’s probably fair to say that the blue version looks equally stunning but we bet you £50 that when it is time to sell you will get about £500 less for the green dial version, maybe £1000 less. They just don’t sell and as I worked in a pawnbrokers for two years and a jewellers for five years, I know what sells.

It’s this in a nutshell; blue dial gents watches, followed by black dials, and then maybe a white dial if the lume/hands/numbers combo is sharp and clean. Cheap Accurist or expensive Omega. Blue dials win, all day long.


Love The AP Royal Oak Camo? Check Out This Auction

We like the AP Royal Oak of course, who wouldn’t? Classic design and it rivals the Rolex GMT II in terms of collector/investor appeal, especially a model like this with its camo style strap. Gives the watch a younger, fresher feel we reckon. Bidding is already over 10K by the way. Yeah. Better investment than Bitcoin some might say..here’s the word from the Watch Collecting auction site;

Introduced in 2019, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Camouflage Collection reveals the historic watchmaker in playful mode. Produced in brown, green, and blue camo patterns, the blue is the most vibrant and has proved the most popular with collectors. Keeping the classic Mega Tapisserie chequerboard guilloche dial, in the same cobalt blue as the ceramic bezel, the hands are given a lift with red to the 6 and 9 o’clock and to the tip of the chronograph seconds. Crown and pushers are also colour coded in ceramic.

Inside is the cal. 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic cal. 3120 topped with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The strap is closed with a substantial steel pin buckle and for days when a more consistent colour scheme is required, a plain blue rubber strap is also included. Bought in its launch year of 2019, the watch is still covered by its purchase warranty which can be extended by a further three years via the Audemars Piguet website. The box, papers and additional strap are complete and in immaculate condition.

Sotheby’s Fall Watch Sale NYC

Sotheby’s has another prestige watch sale happening this week. Here are some highlights;

The Royal Oak Quantieme Perpetuel (header images) combines an iconic sports watch design with the most classic horological complication: the perpetual calendar.

The collection first launched in 1983 as the Reference 5554. The model was originally dressed in a 39 mm case and has since seen over 90 variations in style and size. Today’s rendition is upgraded with a large 41 mm case, new extra-thin in-house movement, and a multi-dimensional ‘Grande Tapisserie’ dial.

Sothebys Rolex daytona 1971

Rolex Daytonas Aplenty

This silver dial Daytona (pictured) has a cal. 727 mechanical movement, stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet with folding clasp and a 37 mm diameter case. Estimate is about $65,000 on that one. In fact there are several nice Daytonas, all on sale scheduled for the 4th September. Plus the usual Submariners, GMTs etc.

We also got envious over a Patek Philipe Calatrava with white dial and white gold case from 1966. Got some wear, but a classic watch that will probably only rise in value.

The auction is online and bidding closes on 4th September 2020 – you can bid now.

More details on the Sothebys sale here. 


There’s Gonna Be A Waiting List: Bucherer Drops Blue AP Royal Oak

This will be a rare beast in the future. Any AP Royal Oak is pretty hot stuff right now in the UK and many other countries, but a Bucherer Blue edition? You won’t see many of these coming up for re-sale in the next decade we reckon.

Why would you sell it on? Look at it, it is stunning, with its tapisserie dial, which has a kind of quilted tile look, there’s no way better way to describe it really. It stands out a mile away, which is a good thing.

Equally impressive are the 18K gold bezel and end links, which add just the right amount of contrasting colour. The pushers are black because, well, you can sometimes agree that less is more, right?

bucherer blue AP edition movt

42mm case size is arguably a perfect compromise for many a wrist. Inside there is an automatic, in-house AP movement with a 50 hour reserve. Functional, nothing fancy, just your basic lifelong tool watch that will almost certainly never, repeat never, go out of style. You can view that movement through the caseback as well.

Get in line we say because the demand will be strong, even at CHF 34,900, which is about £29,200 or so.

Auctions: Will The Daytona & Royal Oak Bubble Burst?

The latest virtual auction results from Antiquorum in Geneve show that there is still as serious Daytona and Royal Oak addiction amongst watch collectors and dealers. A very nice 1967 Rolex Daytona Paul Newman, with black dial, white sub-dial combo, original bracelet and – crucially – the original hands, made 181,00 Swiss Francs, which is about £150,000. That is crazy money, but we think the bubble on Daytona models (non celeb owned that is) could peak at over 250K sterling next year before the recession really bites.

Interestingly, the auction house noted that a service was recommended, and you may think “well why didn’t the owner service it with Rolex before the auction?”

The short answer is that would have devalued the watch. Rolex often insists on replacing hands so that the timekeeping can be as accurate as possible, and they may choose to replace worn out parts inside the movement too.

So you lose originality – this is why Rolex need to completely rethink their attitude to classic watch models. They need to appoint experienced classic Rolex expert watchmakers around the world, so that vintage models can be serviced with original, or hand-machined, replica parts authorised by Rolex. It obviously suits the factory to sell new watches, rather than faithfully restore old ones, but the way they’re restricting parts supply by simply discontinuing spares support for older models really is a poor show when people have paid over 10K to buy something new.

royal oak offshore value header

OK rant over. What about Audemars Royal Oaks, still going gangbusters?

A 1990s Royal Oak made 16,250 Francs, or £13,400. No box or papers, slight scratches on the case and bracelet by the way. Meanwhile a very sharp 42mm case Offshore model, with box and papers, looking near mint frankly, failed to make the 20,000 Franc reserve, or about £16,500.

A very nicely preserved 1996 Royal Oak Steel made 60,000 Francs, or £50,000, which is exceptional money and driven by the rarity of the blue dial, gold hands and 39mm case size.

So yes, collectors are still keen on watches with established rarity value, from the top brands, such as AP Royal Oak, Rolex Daytona, Rolex Sea Dweller, Patek Worldtimer, (150,000 CHF), the Patek Nautilus and an Omega Speedmaster Golden Panda edition made 52,000 CHF.