'Transitional' Rolex: A Primer

Guides

With vintage Rolex prices continuing to skyrocket and showing no signs of slowing down, collectors have been looking for other places to invest their money. Most notably, this has meant an increased recognition of the importance of historic brands like Movado or Universal Geneve as collectors have come to appreciate the impact these companies had on the entire watch industry. But, it has also meant collectors are increasingly looking toward more modern Rolex references for the “next big thing.” Words like “transitional” and “neo-vintage” have become almost as common in collector parlance as “exotic” and “tropical” dial descriptions for the watches of a previous generation. But what do these terms actually mean, and what does a collector need to know if he or she is venturing into “transitional” Rolex?

I recently looked back at John Mayer’s 2014 article “5 Best Vintage Rolex Picks for under $8,000”. Consider this article something of a 2019 update of those recommendations, as most of John’s picks from 2014 will today set you back well over $8,000.

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Watches of Knightsbridge August Online Auction Preview

Auctions

Every month, London’s Watches of Knightsbridge hosts an online auction. Typically the lots are nothing too expensive; just good honest watches from a trustworthy house. This August’s online auction features about 50 lots, ranging from a Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Pepsi on the high end to a few little dress watches from Longines and Omega on the low end. It’s a great way to start paying attention to auctions (perhaps even picking something up) without being scared away by blow-out-your brains prices.

Let’s take a look at a few of the best lots from Watches of Knightsbridge’s August online auction. We’ve got a couple Rolexes and the world’s first wristwatch without a crown.

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Wilsons Auction to Auction off £2.3 Million of Seized Goods, Rolex

Auctions

UK-based Wilsons Auctions is holding an auction on August 14 to auction off over £2.3 million of goods seized from a London-based drug dealer. In addition to some red bottoms, a villa in Spain, and other things people rap about, there are a handful of watches up for auction.

Since authorities seized this property and it’s now government property, everything is being sold without a reserve price. Wilsons is in the business of “asset realization” for public sector clients, meaning it manages everything from asset collection to valuation and sale, returning the proceeds to its government clients.

Those interested will be able to bid in person or online. With that, let’s take a look at a few of the watches you can get your hands on.

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Watches of Knightsbridge Summer 2019 Auction Preview

Auctions

Sure, Watches of Knightsbridge has its monthly online auctions, which often have some nice watches in their own right. But a few times a year, they offer a larger platform, hosting a live auction in their native London. The next live auction is July 20’s Fine, Rare, and Collectible Timepieces, featuring 217 lots. There are three Rolex Submariners on the catalog cover, which might hint at the general theme of this auction. Let’s take a look at a few of the best watches up for auction.

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John Mayer's '5 Best Vintage Rolex for under $8,000': Where Are They Now?

Just for Fun

Way back in 2012, John Mayer wrote an article for a young Hodinkee titled “The Five Best Buys in Vintage Rolex for $8,000 or Less”. It was a fine article with a lovely premise: you don’t need to be rich like John Mayer to own a desirable vintage watch from the Crown.

Well, 2012 was a much simpler time. John Mayer’s collection has grown up, as has the vintage watch industry as a whole. Let’s take a look back at John’s list: if you had invested in his portfolio of five vintage Rolexes, how would you have made out over the ensuing seven years?

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The Best Everyday Watches in 2019

One Watch

It’s that time of year. Far and away, our most popular article of 2018 was The Best Everyday Watches of 2018. Turns out a lot of people are searching for the best everyday watch, the best go-anywhere-do-anything (GADA) watch, or the watch to make the perfect one-watch collection (yes, you can have a one-watch collection. That’s a hill I’ll die on).

With the 2019 trade shows (meh as they were) in the rearview mirror, it’s time to update the list for 2019. In 2018, I looked at the best watches that you could still buy new. For 2019, we’re changing the rules. I’m going to look at the best vintage, pre-owned, and new everyday watches out there.

A reminder: there are no real requirements for an everyday watch besides general durability and comfort. We’re talking about watches that can be dressed up or dressed down. Watches that look as good with a suit as they do alongside a t-shirt and jeans. Lume and water resistance are nice, but not necessary. An everyday wearer can come on a bracelet or strap, as long as it sits comfortably on the wrist. And while we’re willing to pay good money for a watch we’re going to be wearing every day, we can’t spend so much that we feel we have to baby it through every door jamb.

First, up, the best everyday watches you can buy new. I’ve broken them down into three categories: (1) the Under $2,000 Club, (2) the Microbrands, and (3) the Classics.

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The Best Luxury Watches for Young Professionals

Guides

Are you an investment banker, lawyer, consultant, or young professional looking to make the right impression with your bosses and clients? There’s no better way to do it than having the right watch on your wrist. In professional, hierarchical settings, it’s important for young professionals to have the “right” watch. This means your watch can make a statement, but you can’t be flexing on your boss. It can signal to other watch enthusiasts that you’re into watches, but you probably shouldn’t be wearing around your (or your boss’s) grail yet.

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