This week, eBay is auctioning off (click to check it out) a group of luxury watches in its “Time to Treat Yourself” auction. There are 51 watches total, ranging from Oris to five-figure timepieces from Rolex, Patek Phillipe and Audemars Piguet. Frankly, I see a lot of nice watches on eBay every day (and a lot more duds), and it’s unclear why some of the watches were included in this promoted auction. But, there are a few headliners in the auction worth pointing out.
To me, this first one is the star of the bunch. It’s a Rolex Ref. 6238, commonly referred to as the “Pre-Daytona” because it marked a transitional time for Rolex’s chronographs. Gone are the days of busy, tri-colored dials, and in came this dial: clean and silver, with only the tachymeter and three chronograph subdials adorning it. The 36mm case makes it just a touch smaller than a vintage Daytona, and while this one doesn’t come with any box or papers, at least it’s being sold by trusted dealer Watchbox/ Govberg Jewelers under a 15 month warranty, so you’ve got some protection.
Also on offer from Watchbox is this historical oddity, the Rolex Turnograph. The Turnograph was actually the first Rolex to feature a rotating bezel, though it was later made famous by the sexier Submariner and GMT. The first Turnograph was introduced in 1953, a year before the Submariner first hit the market. It measured just 35mm in diameter, and shared many traits with the Submariner to come, but what still its own watch. This one comes with no box or papers.
This one is decidedly more boring than the Ref. 6238, but that’s what I love about it. Rolex doesn’t really do minimalism anymore, but for decades, the Air-King was the most basic expression of Rolex: 34mm, stick indices, no fuss. The Air-King on offer is an excellent example of this back-to-basics motif. The Ref. 14000 was first introduced by Rolex in 1989, so it’s not exactly vintage, but it does look a lot Ref. 5500, which had persisted in the Rolex catalog for 37 years before. Speaking of, there’s also an interesting Ref. 5500 with a vibrant royal blue dial on offer in this auction) The Ref. 1400 was made until the end of the decade, so it’s not exactly rare, but it’s a great, no-nonsense Rolex.
Read our history of the Air-King for more
Okay, it’s not the OG Ref. 3700 “Jumbo” Nautilus, but I love the Ref. 3800, released in 1981. It features a 37.5mm case, and in a real departure from the Ref. 3700, a central sweeping seconds hand. There’s something about that smooth sweep — I just need it. This one is on offer from Watchbox, no box or papers.
Finally, one more little oddity. This is a Patek Phillipe Ref. 3494G in 18k white gold, but retailed and signed by Cartier. I always think retailer-stamped watches are fun, and when two of the biggest jewelery brands in the business mix it up, it’s worth looking at.