FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Perezcope Holmes and the case of the Franken Paul Newman Daytona FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Perezcope Holmes and the case of the Franken Paul Newman Daytona

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Perezcope Holmes and the case of the Franken Paul Newman Daytona

Zach Blass

As Will Ferrell’s character Jacobim Mugatu in Zoolander would say about Hansel, vintage watches are “so hot right now”. Many collectors naturally have a greater appreciation for vintage pieces – watches that inspire many of the modern re-interpretations we see throughout the marketplace today. I read once that vintage watch dealer Matthew Bain remembers when a Paul Newman Daytona would sell for thousands of dollars in the 90’s versus the hundreds of thousands, even millions, they fetch currently. As prices have risen, the opportunistic element in trading these pieces has drastically increased as well. This means buyers need to be more cautious than ever when looking to add a vintage watch to their collection. When weighing the investment class of these coveted watches against the emotional and artistic appeal they carry, it’s vital to find one that ticks all the boxes of a safe buyer’s checklist. As we all know too well, originality is key and things like refinished dials, polished cases/bracelets, and Frankenstein builds can greatly diminish the true value of any given watch.

The problem is that as the “originality” mentality has grown, as well as the demand for these special vintage timepieces, it has also become harder and harder to find watches that meet the true conditions of collector-grade originality. It is not so simple now, in the realm of modern machining, to easily discern whether or not a crown, pusher, or other small component is truly factory original, a genuine service-replaced component, or even a third party replacement.

Image: Christies

This is why I was genuinely shocked at the detective work Jose Pereztroika (@perezcope) shared on his blog and Instagram today. I wasn’t necessarily shocked that these very specific details were allegedly not caught by Christie’s, who catalogued this Paul Newman Daytona lot for an upcoming auction. Rather, I was amazed that Jose was able to pick up on these alleged details that, when all is considered, make a convincing case that not all may be kosher with the auction lot.


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A post shared by Jose Pereztroika (@perezcope)

In his Instagram and site posts, Jose shares multiple side by side images comparing a watch possibly sold in its original form in 2015 and the present upcoming lot soon to be auctioned. How he had the instinct to compare these two lots confounds me, but as you scroll through the images the exhibited details cannot be ignored. To put it simply, the 2015 image has the watch with a “Panda” white dial black register panda configuration and the upcoming lot with the “Sotto” reverse-panda configuration – with white registers against a black dial. Nothing particularly wrong there. But where things get interesting is that the blemishes found on the tachymeter bezel, along with the blemishes inside of the watch on the caseback and movement appear to be identical. Even the alignment of the screws in the bridges of the movement appear the same and questioning elements don’t end there. There is also the issue of the Valjoux movement being stamped 727 versus “7-2-7” stamp with greater spacing. All things considered, this suggests that these two watches are possibly the same watch – with the watch sold in 2015 potentially “Frankensteined” with a different dial and later generation movement.

Image: Perezcope

Once one facet of a watch can be called into question, the scrutiny ramps up and begs the question: Is anything else potentially not original to the watch? The reason this is significant is not so much that the watch doesn’t have genuine parts, but that it could possibly be a mis-mash of original parts being sold as “original”. To reiterate, originality and condition dictate the exorbitant prices a watch like a Paul Newman Daytona commands. If something like a vintage Submariner has its radium dial replaced with a service tritium dial, a gilt dial replaced with service matte, while the watch is “genuine” it is no longer collector-grade “original” and therefore actually has a market value of five figures versus the six it would have had.

I won’t personally render a verdict, but what I will say with certainty to all of you is always proceed with extreme caution when approaching vintage pieces. I am not accusing auction houses of being negligent or malicious. But they are human, and human error can happen. Even former employees of auction houses, such as Eric Wind, have noted the rising difficulty of authenticating pure originality. The majority of the time the auction houses do a great job of gatekeeping and curating, but things can sneak through so make sure you ask every question you can before you raise a paddle to bid.

UPDATE: Jose received the following reply from Christie’s HK: “Thank you so much for showing interest on our lot 10. However we are not in a position to comment the article you were mentioning below. We have done our research an we believe that the watch is all original.”

Watch meme of the week: Rolex is life for @vadimmoda


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A post shared by Vadim Moda (@vadimmoda)

Yesterday we published our thoughts on the recent Yahoo Finance story that delved into the Rolex watch shortage, which garnered further attention after somehow receiving an official statement from Rolex on the matter – rare form from The Crown. Getting a public statement from them is almost as unobtanium as the watches themselves, and so the watch community was definitely paying attention when news of the official statement broke. As @vadimmoda jestingly conveys, it is a major plague for budding collectors  and the lengths individuals have to go to source one can be quite lengthy. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to ask our grandmothers to knit a wool-tona for our wrists to make it happen.

Wrist shot of the week: @nycwatchguy is on top of the world with his Vacheron Constantin


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A post shared by NYC Watch Guy (@nycwatchguy)

I am jealous of many watches within @nycwatchguy’s collection. Well, today he added yet another envious piece to his roster: the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Everest Limited Edition. He is one of 150 lucky individuals who will be able to own the prototype sequel many have been waiting for. @nycwatchguy explains: “I’ve waited two years for this day, and while it isn’t the piece unique, it’s still spectacular!”. Obviously I agree with the sentiment and I can only say congratulations to him.

Recommended Viewing: You Can’t Ask That – In conversation with Audemars Piguet

Our latest video series takes a more conversational, and less directly watch-focused, approach that aims to provide a richer telling of the Audemars Piguet story. Why is it called, You Can’t Ask That? These are questions and topics that don’t commonly get addressed in the interviews with either Lucas Raggi, the Research and Development Director, or Michael Friedman, Head of Complications. Here Andrew, Michael, and Lucas dig into various aspects of Audemars Piguet’s philosophy and manufacturing – providing new insights on the spotlighted brand. So far five of seven videos in the series have been released, with the final installments to come in the following days. You can check out the videos here.

Our favorite Time+Tide coverage of the week:

Dreams really do come true: My visit to the Tudor Manufacture in Geneva


Like a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, I was a wide-eyed Charlie amazed with all the horological wonders that awaited me at the Tudor Manufacture in Geneva. Despite being part of the team for over a year now with hundreds of articles under my belt, it was moments like this, with the world finally opening up again, where I understood my journey in this industry was really just getting started. Click here to read about my experience.

The Collector’s Crossroads: Should I take on debt to buy a watch?


This is the first in a series of articles discussing some common questions many watch collectors are faced with as they each go through their own collecting journey. The goal is not to give you an answer to these questions. Instead, the goal is to make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions beforehand – questions that can help you identify and think about the potential pitfalls that exist on either side of the debate. Here Ricardo tackles the idea of taking on debt in order to buy a watch.

Why the Longines Spirit Titanium can take on the Tudor BB58 as the best daily wearer on the market


When you dig into the specs and details, it becomes clearer and clearer that the Tudor BB58 and Longines Spirit Titanium 40mm comparably present buyers with compelling value-driven offerings that could easily stack up as a consumer’s “one watch”. Upon the release of the Longines Spirit Titanium, some immediately drew comparisons between the two watches, us included, so we decided to do a full analysis on the matter. Head here for the full versus matchup.