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  1. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 10, 2016

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    Some of you may have seen the case of Rolex collectors and authority James Dowling being sued by a UK collector for watches being "overpriced or counterfeit"

    https://omegaforums.net/threads/james-dowling-fake-rolexes.42842/

    I've never met James Dowling, but have heard of Rolex themselves using his to authenticate watches....this is not an unknown collector with a corner store. The vintage world is full of risk, because many brands- including Heuer- did not meticulously catalogue their watches...not surprising, as they were struggling for survival.

    Same goes in the Heuer world. Take a look at this dial
    FullSizeRender (7).jpg
    Conventional wisdom would be that this is a fake..but, the watch comes from Nic Green, one of the most respected dealers and collectors of Heuers. Nic has a fantastic collection of rare Heuers and dials...certainly not someone whose opinion should be dismissed lightly. Nic does not sell fakes.

    I don't know enough the Rolex case to have a view..and I don't have a definitive opinion on the all-blue dial above. But it does speak to the challenges of vintage watches and vintage Heuers....which of the rare models are rare/ prototypes/ special editions...and which are straight fakes?
     
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  2. abrod520

    abrod520 Aug 10, 2016

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    In the case of... let's say "rare".... dials coming from respected collectors like the above Monaco, I take the position that such pieces should only be purchased by the absolute crux of collectors, those with inside connections to the heritage departments or museum curators of the brands they purchase. Such collectors are likely to be able to not only verify the watch from as close a source as is available (again like you say, they are not always the most reliable) but also tend to be in such financial positions as to be able to write off a bad purchase without it significantly affecting their lives.

    For the average collector though, I think it's better to pay a premium for a "run of the mill" regular version of any vintage watch (i.e. commonly accepted to have been produced by the marque at the time), so that the likelihood of a "prototype" actually being fake is lessened.
     
  3. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Aug 10, 2016

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    monacoblueblue.jpg
    I remember this Monaco was offered to me two years ago, is it the same watch?
    Scary stuff!
     
  4. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 10, 2016

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    Here is more information from Nic's Instagram (@pintwatch)

    zzCapture.JPG
     
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  5. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 10, 2016

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    Good advice. A story I've told a few times in when I tried to authenticate the TAG Heuer Edge model. There was only one person in the whole company working there in 2012 who was also there in 1998/ 9 and knew about the watch- Stephane Linder. If I went back to TAG Heuer with this question today- with Stephane gone- who could answer this question? Now instead of asking a question from 1998, go back to 1978..the number of people who know these things (remembering that paperwork is thin on the ground) is very, very small. All we can do in many cases is piece together the information as best we can.

    If a collector walked into TAG Heuer with an Edge today- who would confirm its authenticity?
     
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  6. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Aug 10, 2016

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    Just found this dial for sale...uh oh.
    ::popcorn::
    screenshot_247.png
     
  7. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Aug 10, 2016

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    And found this on the On the Dash site: The Diarex, under the Poor Man Monacos section, interesting I guess.
    screenshot_248.png
     
  8. Calibre11

    Calibre11 Editor of Calibre11.com Staff Member Aug 10, 2016

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    Yes, and then Nic followed up his post showing these variants of the dial.

    There is no question that the Diarex and Edox "Monacos" are genuine and made by Heuer. Question is, did the dial design that those brands offered also appear as a Heuer? There are plenty of examples of the "all blue" 3 register Monaco in the market, but they've historically been dismissed as fakes.
    yyCapture.JPG

    And of course, there is the question of what we mean by fake. Were Monacos widely available with this dial? Almost certainly not. Is it possible they were sold in a few markets? Yes, possible. Is it possible that Heuer had a batch of dials made and then decided not to go ahead? Also possible. So what do you do as a collector? ;)
     
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  9. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Aug 10, 2016

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    And another one, the Eugen Siegele "Monaco" 1972 ("Eusi") :
    17776002td.jpg

    Considering there are that many "variants" around of this particular dial setup, I would skip the whole thing as a collector, the chance somebody fiddled with the dial (had it reprinted with the Monaco and Heuer logo) is way too high for me + no reference from Heuer in the official literature anywhere about this dial color configuration.
    So how shall we call these watches...hommages, as in: looks like it?
     
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  10. abrod520

    abrod520 Aug 11, 2016

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    You bring up a good point, which is that at that age there's no hard and fast rule. However, it's important to note that while Heuer did indeed manufacture those other variants of the Monaco, it's becoming increasingly common to redial them as Heuers in order to cash in on the ~75-100% value increase. With a spare case and just a Heuer-signed bridge, your $3-4000 Edox/Diarex etc Monaco becomes a $10,000 Heuer Monaco - anecdotally I would say that the number 1 vintage Heuer model that we see fakes and redials of is the Monaco, no?

    Which is why I prefer to stick to a "ho-hum" regular 1133B with the exact hallmarks of a regular production piece, rather than a "special" one that may not be real - until I myself become independently wealthy enough to have the time to go down the rabbit hole and research them to the ends of the earth!

    In the specific case of the Edge, though, it's pretty well documented by this point to be a model considered for production, but not released in high numbers. Also very importantly, values for the Edge are low enough (<$1k I think?) that many collectors could purchase one and shake it off if it turned out to be fake. Not quite the same case with a possibly fake Monaco, being sold for around USD$ 10,000.... (which seems to be the average asking price these days for any and all Monacos, after the run-up a few years ago on 1133Bs)
     
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  11. dsio

    dsio Ash @ ΩF Staff Member Aug 11, 2016

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    All kinds of weird stuff in the Zenith and Omega worlds too that break rules and shouldn't exist but do, I hate to think how a court is going to end up deciding on something like this as really they're about the least qualified people in the room to make the call.
     
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  12. huecobros

    huecobros Aug 11, 2016

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    Strange thing, i'm a very nostalgic person, but i don't see myself clamoring for old watches. I don't like smart watches either. Seeing as TAG HEUER is an entry luxury brand, shady things like this are bound to happen a lot. Either way, i wouldn't buy something expensive from someone i don't trust.
     
  13. automobilia42

    automobilia42 Aug 12, 2016

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    I have given it a good thought now for some days, let's say if for instance a Monaco collector finds it a.: nice and b.: a true addition to his private collection I wouldn't have any problems with it, I myself even did it with a TAG Heuer 1000 economy version (which I am never going to sell anyways) but if a fully blue dialed Monaco does show up in the economy/ trade, like for sale on eBay, Chrono24, or at auction houses or even in court I truly hope the experts will chime in and give it the correct description and treatment, or the floodgates are wide open so to say.
    Just my opinion of course :)
     
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