This week, Bring A Loupe goes all-in on eBay to find the better deals, and some bad ones too. Expect to see a ridiculously cheap Heuer, a great looking Universal Geneve, and two questionable Rolexes. And, if you have not found a Valentine\’s Day gift yet, Bring A Loupe is here for you with two recommendations for women\’s watches, one of them you were probably not expecting. This is your Bring A Loupe for February 12, 2016.
A Memovox Tribute To Deep Sea U.S. Edition – A Very Sweet Re-Issue
You probably remember the phenomenal story of a vintage Deep Sea Alarm found in a Goodwill store and bought for $5.99 last year. Well, the watch here will run you a bit more than that, and it is obviously more recent. Nonetheless, Jaeger-LeCoultre really nailed it with this faithful interpretation of the iconic Deep Sea from 1959, notably featuring the LeCoultre marking previously used for the U.S. market. While the case slightly increased in size (from 39.5 mm to 40.5 mm) the overall aesthetic of the watch remained the same, down to the fonts used on the dial. And, as in the original, the watch will allow you to set up an alarm and enjoy this function under water, whether for timing your bath or for more extreme diving adventures. To learn more about the Deep Sea, you can read this very complete article from PuristsPro, which underscores how few Deep Sea were originally produced between 1959 and 1962.
One of the 359 limited examples of the modern U.S. Edition showed up full set on eBay here; at the time of publishing bidding was around $5,500, a fraction of the price that the vintage U.S. models currently go for.
A Universal Geneve Tri-Compax Reference 222100-2 – Quite A Dial
The unfinished aspect of this dial could raise eyebrows; for once with UG, it is surprising to see the sub-registers extend beyond the center dial, almost overlapping the tachymeter track. Some other strange things are going on there as well, with missing markers on each side of any index. (There is some missing lume on the hour hand also, by the way.) However, despite the appearances and our usual paranoia, this dial is absolutely correct for the reference 222100-2, a later evolution of the reference 222100-1 we covered previously. The Swiss mention at the bottom of the dial still torments me, most of those chronographs indeed display Swiss-T instead, but I was able to find other examples with the similar characteristics. I would venture to say that Swiss might have been for the first examples produced, while the Swiss-T convention was adopted later. A study of the serial numbers for each type could actually confirm this hypothesis or not, although those numbers are not usually very legible on the case backs. One thing is for sure here, this case is in very good condition – this is obvious from looking at the lugs and the sharp angles of the case back.
At time of publishing, bidding for the Tri-Compax was just over $7,000 on eBay here.
For Her: A Patek Philippe Limited Edition Reference 3718 – A Stainless Steel Calatrava With Porcelain Dial
This Calatrava was not originally aimed at women despite its rather modest size; launched in 1989, it celebrated the 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe for the Japan market. Regardless, its 33 mm stainless-steel case and the porcelain dial would make a very sweet gift for your Valentine in two days. The harmony of this Patek is splendid: the dimensions are extremely well balanced, the flat stepped bezel is a treat, and the second hand is at just the right spot. On the back, you can find a golden medallion with an embossed emblem of Patek Philippe, and, surprise, this is actually a hunter case back that offers a glance at the manually wound movement. One geeky detail about the dial: what look like two letter “o” imprints are actually lower case Greek letter sigmas. These are known as “APRIOR” marks (they can be found on vintage Rolex dials as well). They indicate that the hands and indexes are in full gold – white gold in this case. APRIOR stood for Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l\’Or, a gold industry trade association.
This very special Patek is offered for $11,500 here; note that it comes with a box but no papers.
For Her: A Cartier Tank Chinoise From The Collection Privee
It is no coincidence that a Cartier made it to the cover of the book The Impossible Collection Of Watches; the Tank and its variations changed the history of wristwatches, with a design radically different than traditionally rounder shapes. One hundred years later, the magic still works pretty well; therefore, it felt logical to suggest a Tank for your Valentine. And this rose-gold Tank Chinoise is not just any Tank – it actually belonged to the Collection Privee that Cartier developed in the early 1990s with a very limited production (around 250 pieces in total for the rose-gold Chinoise). Originally launched in 1922, the Chinoise offers a unique look thanks to its edgy symmetrical crossbars inspired by Chinese temples. In short, this watch is beautiful, unique, and refined, very much like your loved one.
The dealer Vesper & Co lists this Tank Chinoise for $9,950 here.
Bidder Beware: A Rolex Oysterquartz With Highly Incorrect Dial
The Oysterquartz featured last week proved pretty polarizing, with equal demonstration of love and hate in the comments. This week, let\’s consider one we can all agree to pass on, a first-generation Frankenstein dial. This frightening dial is actually a case in point for the 9 Basics Things To Check On a Rolex article that we recently published. The list of issues is long: Oysterquartz should be in one word, the lume dots are missing, the Swiss mention at the bottom of the dial is incorrect, and so is the shape of the indexes. As to how this sorry dial came to be, I can only offer the hypothesis that the person who handled the re-dial had partied a bit too much the previous night.
The eBay listing here is correct in qualifying this watch as “rare.” It is indeed, but in a very bad way.
Bidder Beware: A Rolex Oyster Perpetual Reference 1018 With Questionable Dauphine Hands
The reference 1018 is surprisingly underestimated despite a lot of assets, starting with a 36 mm case and no date – for the purists who can\’t stand the Rolex cyclops. Here, I especially like the dauphine hands that bring a lot of character to the watch. Unfortunately, the dauphine hands might also be the issue: they are period correct but the lume on them likely not. In the picture, the lume color on the hands does not match the indexes. This might happen on some vintage Rolexes, but the difference of shades should never reach this extent, and if you zoom in on the the hands you realize that the application of lume is suspicious; you notice a much fatter layer than you would have expected from Rolex. A hint in the listing as well: in two pictures the second hand is conveniently placed above the minute and then the hour hand, often a sign that the seller might be covering something wrong in that area.
This Rolex is offered for around $2,800 – or best offer – on eBay here. It is up to you to decide whether re-lumed hands is a no go; for me it would be.
Notable Sale Of The Past Week: A Heuer Dato 45 Reference 3147N That Sold For Less Than $1,000 On EBay
This listing is eBay in all its glory: a horrendous picture, an incorrect case size, a one-sentence, inaccurate description, BUT a Buy-It-Now price of $900 for a highly coveted Heuer Dato 45. To give some context, this is almost a tenth of the market price for this reference. Of course, it was gone a long time before a friend of mine sent me the link to the listing here. Yet, it still proves that there are still fantastic deals to be found on eBay if you are extremely quick (and very lucky). Let me conclude with a better picture of a 3147N to show it to you in all its glory, and to make me regret missing out on this miraculous find even more.
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