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Whilst the models listed here are not in my area of expertise, I do see lots of them sell when looking for vintage GS.

Certainly for the divers, I think the figures are significantly below market prices. I've seen multiple 6215's sell for over $10k over the last year, Suwa 6217-8001's for over $5K, a small crown NOS 6217 go for close to $8k, etc etc.

Hodinkee sold an average 6217-8000 for $4,500 recently.
These are just examples of hyped up asking prices. I think very few buyers are paying that kind of money. It's difficult to be precise, particularly on 6215's. They so rarely turn up for auction, but I can imagine fine examples easily clearing $10k.

In reality, 6139 Pogues, 6105 and 62mas divers are not rare watches, at any time there are plenty available, often in poor to average condition.
They really aren't. These are auction results and the results of sales direct from dealers in Japan from their websites.

I keep an eye on thousands of auctions, and check 50 or so Japanese dealer sites multiple times a day.

With all due respect, I know what I'm talking about here.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

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They really aren't. These are auction results and the results of sales direct from dealers in Japan from their websites.

I keep an eye on thousands of auctions, and check 50 or so Japanese dealer sites multiple times a day.

With all due respect, I know what I'm talking about here.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
Surely we should be putting the lowest possible prices we can find in the guide, rather than the prices that people who are piling into watches as “investments” and who just want to buy a watch right away rather than waiting for an affordable one as collectors usually do are paying? Otherwise we’re just feeding into driving prices higher into ever-more-unaffordable territory, rather than trying to keep them the same.
 

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Nice effort but I feel like there should be something between Good and Collector. For example. I have a few 6138's that have been sympathetically restored.



In two instances the cases have been refinished but done properly, one (that is SGP) has been built from nos case parts so the plating is essentially factory new. All three have had the dials and hands expertly lumed. There are replacement parts that are both cosmetic and mechanical but all are oem. On two of them I have completely lost track of whether the crystals were oem or replacement but they are correct. One of them is built from nos and restored pieces from several watches but is all correct.



These are not collector in that they are not all original unto themselves and in pristine original condition. They are however cosmetically and mechanically beyond the Good category and would be the type of restoration that many of us have or would like to have done.


Valuation on something like this is of course subject to market whims and what a specific buyer is looking to acquire.
 

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They really aren't. These are auction results and the results of sales direct from dealers in Japan from their websites.

I keep an eye on thousands of auctions, and check 50 or so Japanese dealer sites multiple times a day.

With all due respect, I know what I'm talking about here.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
Surely we should be putting the lowest possible prices we can find in the guide, rather than the prices that people who are piling into watches as “investments” and who just want to buy a watch right away rather than waiting for an affordable one as collectors usually do are paying? Otherwise we’re just feeding into driving prices higher into ever-more-unaffordable territory, rather than trying to keep them the same.
That's actually a complete non-sequitur, and you have it completely upside down.

The idea that people who are happy to pay "higher" prices are doing so from an investment perspective is a total fallacy. People who are truly looking to invest would take their time and seek out a good value acquisition.

You can put whatever price you want in a "guide", and it won't impact the reality of what things actually sell for one jot.

The relative pricing between different references, and the relative pricing based on the quality of particular watches within a particular reference, are both very useful datasets.

But absolute numbers? Won't change the market.

Just relaying reality here - don't shoot the messenger 🙂

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

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They really aren't. These are auction results and the results of sales direct from dealers in Japan from their websites.

I keep an eye on thousands of auctions, and check 50 or so Japanese dealer sites multiple times a day.

With all due respect, I know what I'm talking about here.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
I think we are going to disagree on this Gerald. I also know what I'm talking about, and I know asking is different to getting. I've bought and sold a lot of divers in the past few years, even just recently I have bought several 62mas. I probably have more 62mas and 6105's in particular than anyone else on this forum. I am regularly buying from auctions around the world, so I don't think our price guide is very far out, and is a good starting point for those with less experience. I wouldn't want people to believe $4.5k is the going rate for an average small crown 62mas, because it isn't.

Remember this is just a guide. We are not putting in absolute numbers or trying to control the market. This is just a guide based on our considerable experience. Of course we are not trying to set the prices, but perhaps the guide can help people understand that a 1970 6105-8110 Proof/Proof has premium over a later Resist/Resist version of the same watch, and expect to pay more for a 6309-729B than a 6309-729A.

This guide is a first draft which we hope will evolve with input from all of us. It certainly isn't set in stone and is not intended to be. The guide is real world and not based on huge dealer markups. I am sure they sell a few at those prices, but they have no place here.

No disrespect to you either. I certainly acknowledge your vast GS experience. Anyone who wants to create an alternative guide is free to do so. Ewan and I stand by the basics of our guide and hope it will be useful to others. We put a lot of time and research into it. We expected some criticism, but comments have mainly been supportive.
 

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Certainly any given watch can sell for any possible amount to a hungry buyer or a bidding war on an auction site.



As a buyer I have grossly overpaid when I had to and as a seller I have been the recipient of 2 or more motivated buyers pitted against each other. Yet that doesn't change the value to be included in the table as I understand it is to be used.



I like the Pogue valuations in this table because they show what I would reasonably charge or pay thinking it was fair to buyer and seller.
 

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While I take Gerald's point completely, I think perhaps this guide could be (and seemingly is) tethered to auction prices on the most common websites - eBay and YJ. Respectfully I think pointing to prices via private sellers in Japan and fluffed-up websites like Hodinkee just isn't representative of what folks on this forum typically pay for watches. Ditto for sales made by guys like Spencer, who get massive premiums off auction prices because of the trust/fame/ease factor, but very rarely sell to deal-oriented folks that frequent this forums. Yes, those numbers are relevant for people like Gerald/Bertrand/Erik who consistently go for the best-of-the-best and want to ensure they are always getting what they pay for. But there's good reason I've got 500+ vintage Japanese watches and have never once bought from those sources.

I'm actually probably representative of the opposite side here in that all of these prices still seem really inflated to me. When I started collecting (about 10 years ago) I had virtually no spare income, and I've somewhat carried over that attitude even now that I do. I'd say 80% of my collection came from what I call "yeah right" bids - snipes I put in at well less than I thought would be necessary to win the watch, but I won anyway, usually because of a lousy listing/bad photos or the like. I win maybe one out of 20 of my "yeah right" snipes, but I put in at least 3 or 4 a day. So the valuation prices in my collection spreadsheet are way below market. Respectfully, Gerald, my collection pales in comparison to yours in terms of per-watch (and probably total) value, but I have collector-grade versions of all the watches in this guide other than the 6215/6159, and I paid well below market for all but one or two of them. The other 20% of my watches were all "I want this badly and will pay well for it," but my internal estimates for watches still tend to be well below what a fair, well-described auction would bring - which is still well below what the Hodinkee/private Japanese vendor market would bring. I think my valuations wouldn't be any more helpful in this guide than the sale history of Hodinkee's would be - the drafters (I think rightly) just aren't going for that market.
 

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Thanks for this Ewan and Jim.

While it’s tempting to focus on exact numbers, I’m not sure that’s important.

We all assess value with a different prioritisation of each aspect of the watch and have our own tolerances for the percentage of “market rate” we’re willing to pay.

The real value of a guide like this is to define an approach and apply it consistently to document the relative values of models and variants. I think you’ve done that excellently.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Rule 1: My Bubble, My Rules. There is no rule 2.

Thanks for the constructive comments and robust critiques, all.

I do think it's worth underlining that this guide is something Jim and I put together for our own use and enjoyment, and we choose to share it with everyone else. If you disagree with the guide, then we're all for looking at whether we got the prices wrong and adjusting...

... but ultimately, as Jim says, if you want to do your own guide then go for it.

As to Saul's comment:

Nice effort but I feel like there should be something between Good and Collector. For example. I have a few 6138's that have been sympathetically restored.
A good point, though think of Running / Good / Collector as mid-points in their own range; it's quite possible that your restored watches wouldn't lend themselves to be in true Collector category, but they could be very very Good and therefore be at or even above the lower bound of Collector. These aren't hard and fast rules, just stakes in the ground.

Examples:
The guide lists yellow, Proof, 6139-6000s as $850 Good and $1000 Collector. Does that mean that any watch assessed as Collector should be valued more than $850, possibly even higher than $1000? Probably.

But show me a July 1970 Yellow Proof in good shape (doesn't need to be mint, so definitely not collectable) with an original President bracelet, and I'll have it off your wrist for $1200. It's all about me being a motivated collector for that particular watch. I wouldn't pay top dollar for a 5 Speedtimer because I happen to not like them that much, so show me a Collector yellow, 6000 Speedtimer on original JDM bracelet and I'd probably not want to pay more than $1500 for it all in, unless I thought I could pass it on to someone else who really wants it.
 

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What a fantastic resource that will only get better with time. Thank you for applying your thought and effort toward kicking this off.
 

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Whilst the models listed here are not in my area of expertise, I do see lots of them sell when looking for vintage GS.

Certainly for the divers, I think the figures are significantly below market prices. I've seen multiple 6215's sell for over $10k over the last year, Suwa 6217-8001's for over $5K, a small crown NOS 6217 go for close to $8k, etc etc.

Hodinkee sold an average 6217-8000 for $4,500 recently.

Have you any links for these sales? What did the 6215 you bought cost on Yahoo? Wasn't it 5.2k USD BIN? And was one of the nicer ones well done. Should be able to make a pretty penny based on the 10k valuations.
 

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Have you any links for these sales? What did the 6215 you bought cost on Yahoo? Wasn't it 5.2k USD BIN? And was one of the nicer ones well done. Should be able to make a pretty penny based on the 10k valuations.
Where do you get $5.2k from? I'm really quite intrigued.

And as to what your assumptions for my plans for the watch are, frankly I have no idea what that has to do with the discussion.

Top 12 sales of 6215's on YJ in the last two and a half years in descending order of price (in million Yen, rounded to nearest 100k) -

1.5
1.4
1.4
1.1
1
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.8 (that's my one)
0.8


Top YJ sales for 6217's in the last 12 months (in 100k)

869
712
581
561
534
471
431
401
379

That's just YJ, and doesn't include sales from Japanese dealers that I am aware of (I keep track on around 50 off YJ). I don't look at eBay at all, so no idea what sells through there.

Like I said. The figures provided in the guide for the divers are significantly below what the better quality pieces are selling for in recent times.

Don't shoot the messenger.

And don't make assumptions about what my plans are for watches I add to my personal collection.
 

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While I take Gerald's point completely, I think perhaps this guide could be (and seemingly is) tethered to auction prices on the most common websites - eBay and YJ. Respectfully I think pointing to prices via private sellers in Japan and fluffed-up websites like Hodinkee just isn't representative of what folks on this forum typically pay for watches. Ditto for sales made by guys like Spencer, who get massive premiums off auction prices because of the trust/fame/ease factor, but very rarely sell to deal-oriented folks that frequent this forums. Yes, those numbers are relevant for people like Gerald/Bertrand/Erik who consistently go for the best-of-the-best and want to ensure they are always getting what they pay for. But there's good reason I've got 500+ vintage Japanese watches and have never once bought from those sources.

I'm actually probably representative of the opposite side here in that all of these prices still seem really inflated to me. When I started collecting (about 10 years ago) I had virtually no spare income, and I've somewhat carried over that attitude even now that I do. I'd say 80% of my collection came from what I call "yeah right" bids - snipes I put in at well less than I thought would be necessary to win the watch, but I won anyway, usually because of a lousy listing/bad photos or the like. I win maybe one out of 20 of my "yeah right" snipes, but I put in at least 3 or 4 a day. So the valuation prices in my collection spreadsheet are way below market. Respectfully, Gerald, my collection pales in comparison to yours in terms of per-watch (and probably total) value, but I have collector-grade versions of all the watches in this guide other than the 6215/6159, and I paid well below market for all but one or two of them. The other 20% of my watches were all "I want this badly and will pay well for it," but my internal estimates for watches still tend to be well below what a fair, well-described auction would bring - which is still well below what the Hodinkee/private Japanese vendor market would bring. I think my valuations wouldn't be any more helpful in this guide than the sale history of Hodinkee's would be - the drafters (I think rightly) just aren't going for that market.
Hi Bill -

As per above post, I've provided actual closed auction prices for 6215's and 6217's. I absolutely agree that auctions are where you will get the best indication of "true" market value at the time of the auction.

But the time of the auction is of course the key thing here. Whilst I don't question for one moment that you have acquired many of your pieces at below the guide prices provided, I would be extremely impressed if you acquired those collector grade pieces all in the last year to 18 months. After all, you state that you have been collecting for a decade.

We have to be realistic and look at the market as it is operating today.

You freely admit that your "internal estimates for watches" are below prices that a fair, well presented auction would bring, but this simply demonstrates that your internal estimate does not reflect the actual market.

We're all biased by the prices that we have paid for our own watches. Sometimes we manage to nab a bargain, sometimes "the" piece comes up and we're prepared to pay a premium to get it.

Guides such as the one presented can be of enormous value to collectors, but they need to be totally objective, and not be dismissive of the actual market conditions. In the introductory explanation to the guide, the authors state "Some watches are overpriced currently and others have some catching up to do".

That's not an objective way to approach a price guide.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 

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I applaud the effort at trying to bring clarity to the state of the market.

That said, I'd like to see a more data-based approach.

There should be a table of concrete data points from auction results (possibly with outliers struck on evidence of market tampering) on which a simple time-based curve is fit - and the current valuation should be an evaluation of this curve at the current time.

At least, that's how I'd do it.

It's possible that the current values are computed, but I can't see the computation.

Also, I'm buying every single collector-grade small-crown 6217 that anyone wants to
sell me for $2400.
 

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Hi Bill -

As per above post, I've provided actual closed auction prices for 6215's and 6217's. I absolutely agree that auctions are where you will get the best indication of "true" market value at the time of the auction....

We have to be realistic and look at the market as it is operating today.

You freely admit that your "internal estimates for watches" are below prices that a fair, well presented auction would bring, but this simply demonstrates that your internal estimate does not reflect the actual market.

We're all biased by the prices that we have paid for our own watches. Sometimes we manage to nab a bargain, sometimes "the" piece comes up and we're prepared to pay a premium to get it....


Gerald.
Hi Gerald,

FYI I'm actually Brian, not Bill (though I get that a lot given the username). Two comments in response:

1) I'm not sure if this was clear from my original post but I was definitely saying that my own internal price estimates shouldn't be used as a fair metric for something like this guide. I am saying that mine shouldn't, just as Hodinkee sales shouldn't. I'm a cheapskate who hunts for bargains aggressively, whereas folks who buy watches on Hodinkee are on the opposite end of the scale. I don't think either group makes sense as an anchor for this guide, which is why I was pushing for eBay/YJ auctions as the better touchstone...

2) ... which is to say, I do appreciate the data you provided, but I think it's of limited use to cite only the 12 and 9 most expensive sales of 6215 and 6217 over a given year, at least if we don't know how many sold in total and/or what the median or mean sale price of all examples of those models sold for. Please believe me when I say I'm not accusing you of anything nefarious (especially w/r/t to whatever you pay for or sell your watches for - I hadn't a clue about any of that). I just think your inclination to cite the most expensive sales is reflective of your own approach to the market (and your own creme-de-la-creme collection). In your words, I don't think it is a fair "look at the market as it is operating today" to look only at the most expensive sales, any more so than to look at my "aggressively search for deals" purchases.

Just my $.02.
 

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Hi Gerald,

FYI I'm actually Brian, not Bill (though I get that a lot given the username). Two comments in response:

1) I'm not sure if this was clear from my original post but I was definitely saying that my own internal price estimates shouldn't be used as a fair metric for something like this guide. I am saying that mine shouldn't, just as Hodinkee sales shouldn't. I'm a cheapskate who hunts for bargains aggressively, whereas folks who buy watches on Hodinkee are on the opposite end of the scale. I don't think either group makes sense as an anchor for this guide, which is why I was pushing for eBay/YJ auctions as the better touchstone...

2) ... which is to say, I do appreciate the data you provided, but I think it's of limited use to cite only the 12 and 9 most expensive sales of 6215 and 6217 over a given year, at least if we don't know how many sold in total and/or what the median or mean sale price of all examples of those models sold for. Please believe me when I say I'm not accusing you of anything nefarious (especially w/r/t to whatever you pay for or sell your watches for - I hadn't a clue about any of that). I just think your inclination to cite the most expensive sales is reflective of your own approach to the market (and your own creme-de-la-creme collection). In your words, I don't think it is a fair "look at the market as it is operating today" to look only at the most expensive sales, any more so than to look at my "aggressively search for deals" purchases.

Just my $.02.
Apologies Brian!

Re the second point - I agree completely. A pricing guide should be put together using actual data - all of it.

My rational for posting the higher priced examples was simply because I was challenged by GuyJ to provide proof of my claims that I have witnessed multiple examples of divers selling for far in excess of the values provided in the guide.

I simply provided that proof.

Naturally for me as both a watch collector and dealer, it is in my best interests to acquire watches at the minimum possible price.

With my collector hat on, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever for me to attempt to over-inflate what a watch is valued for.

With my dealer hat on, I'm interested in making a profit on what I sell, so again - it is not in my best interest to attempt to pump the market because it would increase my input prices.

In fact, what would be nefarious of me would be to do the complete opposite, and that would be to produce a price guide that undervalues watches so that I could scare people off from bidding on pieces that I was keen to acquire for the minimum possible price.

Obviously I am not accusing the authors here of doing that. I simply think that they have not approached the valuations from an objective, data-driven perspective.

But, as Erik stated - it's a good start, and it's very useful to have the discussion. Maybe someone out there will get motivated by this to actually produce a value guide for these references based on data (won't be me though, sounds like way too much hard work for my liking!).

Kind regards,


Gerald.
 
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