Fwd: OT: Unrelated Hobbies?
- Being in an off-topic mood this morning, I was wondering who among us have
hobbies unrelated to our industry?
I am into horology - the art and science of measuring time.
I like wrist watches. Years ago, when I worked for the government, I
became intrigued with the "counterfeiter's art." Once you begin to see what is
really out there, you would never buy an expensive watch from any source
you couldn't absolutely verify.
Like other peculiar interests, there are secretive networks - and very
secretive networks within those networks. Within those networks, there are
the "WIS," a term d'art of endearment for those who are possessed of
incredible esoteric knowledge - the Watch Idiot Savant. You cannot believe what
some of those people know.
There are levels of counterfeit achievement from the "Canal Street Rep,"
the complete piece of junk that sells for around $40, to the counterfeits on
the Internet that can actually be pretty good, to the best commonly
available that challenge the experts, to the really high end esoteric offerings
that nobody could find without connections that take years to develop.
That beautiful little piece is a counterfeit version of the vintage Rolex
"Pepsi" GMT. The case is made of 316 stainless, it has a rivet bracelet
that is probably better quality than the genuine (flimsy, light weight, wrist
pincher), the movement is a genuine Swiss 2836 modified to have the GMT
This is about the best quality that most people could find for about $350
- the WIS would tear it apart.
1) No vintage Rollie GMT ever had the word "date" (under the seconds
hand). Should say, "Oyster Perpetual."
2) The hand stack is wrong, and the arrow pointer too large
3) The bezel assembly does not come apart like the genuine
4) The 6mm crown is a cheap replica of the 6mm gen - the feel is all
wrong, and it's a difference you could tell in the dark.
5) The holes in the lugs for the springbars are wrong - 1.5 mm vis-a-vis
It's a nice looking, incredibly accurate watch, but there are problems
that could never be fixed (#3).
The gen (genuine) manufacturers are at war, and they've lost it.
The WIS are a truly peculiar lot, who delight in prowling Ebay, Craigs
List, and other lesser known forums, exposing the counterfeits that only a WIS
Search EBay for a Rolex 1680 dial (the dial from the vintage Submariners
from the late 60's to early 70's. They can cost thousands of dollars.
There is an obscure artisan in Bankok that sells counterfeits that nobody, not
even Rolex, can distinguish from the gen.
There are "Frankens," (a play on Frankenstein), where the WIS gather parts
such as that dial and commingle them with genuine parts to create
counterfeit watches that are never sold to the public - they sell and trade them
among themselves, the initiates and the acolytes for serious money just for
the sheer challenge and artistry of it.
A genuine vintage double red Sea Dweller in primo condition might be worth
something approaching $30,000. You can take a case from a manufacturer in
Japan, use a dial from the manufacturer in Bankok, obtain a fantastic copy
of the genuine Rolex movement from Taiwan . . . ad a few gen parts and
create a Franken that is simply perfect (for several times what that watch
cost brand new circa 1970).
I wore mine into the Rolex Dealer at the Mandalay Bay. The young lady
behind the counter asked to see it and immediately asked if it was broken or a
fake. I asked why and she said, because the bezel turns both ways and
doesn't click (they didn't back then). The old guy at the end of the counter
hustled over, took one look and grabbed a pair of white cotton gloves. He
examined it and said, "Do you know what you have here . . . I cannot
believe you are actually wearing this."
Panerai, the high end manufacturer favored by Sylvester Stallone did an
unfortunate (for them) thing. Rather than manufacturer their own movements,
they used one of the best commercially available in many of their watches.
There are PAM (the nickname for Panerais) counterfeits out there that
should scare anyone trying to buy one in the secondary market to death.
If I put my PVD PAM 028 on EBay, it would sell for more than most Rolexes,
and nobody would ever be able to tell the difference - the manufacturer
would service it and send it back.
The dial pictured above is the genuine 5512 Gilt Dial available forty
years ago. It was a rarity - there is not telling what this one on my wrist
would be worth if it was genuine. The distortion is due to the genuine
Rolex T-39 Superdome crystal -- price one of those!
The beauty of this sort of Franken lies in it's obscurity - virtually
indistinguishable from the gen though it is, whose could make that distinction?
Where would you find someone who ever actually saw a real one?
If there is a decent fake out there for a few hundred dollars, who'd
actually put a genuine Tropic 39 on it?
Now, nobody send the folks with white jackets - here's some of my watches.
BTW - just in case anyone doesn't know. It is perfectly legal here to buy
and wear counterfeits.
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--- In email@example.com, oracleintl@... wrote:
WARNING: If you don't like crude and vulgar humor, then read no further!
> I am into horology - the art and science of measuring time.
I was into whorology too for a little while; Bill. When I was a younger man. But it was just too expensive for me; I kept getting my wallet stolen..........