Discussion of published auctions before sale.

Discussion in 'Horological Misc' started by Tom McIntyre, May 21, 2019.

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  1. Dano4734

    Dano4734 Registered User

    I would add also that the discussion helps the auctions. If the watch say it’s a Waltham keywind but we know it’s a swiss fake shouldn’t buyers know that and also the auction house
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The auction house experts usually spot the obvious defects and include those in the condition report. It gets harder when something has been altered and the alteration is not obvious. The other possible negative is that a nice authentic case may not be original to the particular movement and someone commenting may know that the two parts existed separately in the past. The reason to say possible is that some may feel the combination is appropriate.

    Another thing that may be important is provenance. If the piece is being sold as part of an estate, the heirs may not know the provenance and there may be an important history of ownership that could substantially raise the market value of the item.

    I am sure others can think of other factors that may be subtle but have a significant impact on market value.

    I am in favor of sharing such information if I know it, but others may not want to share.
     
  3. rolandantrobus

    rolandantrobus Registered User

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    This whole idea is wrong, dangerous and could lead to fraud. Having unqualified people give their personal opinions and "judgments" about watches in live auctions is crazy. I would not like it if I was selling as someone could slag my watch off for no reason other than to reduce the bidding so they could get it cheap. If I was buying I would not like it as the seller could create false interest to inflate the price. The NAWCC could then find themselves sued, and rightly so!
     
  4. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    I'm not trying to fight with Tom on this one, I just want
    to point out how hard it will be.

    I work in a job where conflict of interest is around every corner.
    Even my private life can't include any of the conflict of interest
    rules from my work. I'm not against buying an selling, learning
    more about what I collect, but when you combine commercial
    with non profit educational you create an environment where
    people can behave badly. And it's not always intentional, i'ts
    human nature. As a buyer I want to pay as little for something
    I want to buy, and as a seller I want to make as much as I can from
    that same item. Just like an employer wants to maximize profits
    and workers want to maximize their take home pay.

    Other than ebay, the major auction houses have
    people that get paid(or make a profit if they are owners) to research and write up the descriptions
    of their items. At the same time that they want to point out
    all the flaws they still want to sell the item. There will always
    be conflict there(even if they believe it does not exist).

    Conceptually it always sounds good, but I see on this forum
    even the simplest straight forward rules are broken everyday.
    Now if we create this new forum, the moderation will almost be like policing
    or as a regulatory body looking to avoid coflict of interest.


    Sorry if that was too dry.


    Rob
     
  5. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Confusion?

    How would one restrict this to auctions only? There are sales on Craigslist and many other venues. Would they be open for discussion as well?

    If you are going to do this, how about letting the members of this forum put an item up for sale and allow discussion on it?

    I think that you are opening up the organization and perhaps the members to possible litigation.
     
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  6. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    Whilst that may be correct, Roland, what on earth do you think is happening right now? People planning to buy an item at auction do right now talk to their friends and colleagues, and they even post on this website about the watch they're thinking about. And some of the people they talk to are "unqualified", and they're all giving their "personal opinions".

    So actually what you're saying is that all of that is OK in private, but not in public? That privacy is, of course, exactly what is likely to lead to "fraud".

    On a related topic, as a regular auction-goer, I can confirm that cartels of dealers do exist at very many auctions. They think I'm a dealer ;) so they don't stop their discussions when they see me around - and I often hear them agreeing on which of them will buy a particular lot so that they aren't bidding against each other. I assume that they have an equitable share-out at the end of the auction. The auctioneers know this goes on, but they are powerless to do anything about it ... and they NEED their regular dealers to turn up and bid, so they're not motivated to try to stop it.

    That works against the interests of sellers, but nobody seems to care about them ... because they usually don't even know that they're beeing rooked! Maybe the NAWCC could and should stand up for their interests?
     
  7. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    That's a great question Marty, is it the place of the NAWCC to stand up for individuals
    rights at private auction houses.



    Rob
     
  8. George Frick

    George Frick Registered User
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    What i believe i am reading is that what is being proposed is already being done, in private. Clicks of friends and long time members.
    This "hidden" advising is not available or known by most newer collectors.
     
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  9. Kevin W.

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    So it will be a place to discuss ongoing auctions at a auction house. But Mr Smith has a antique shop and we cant discuss his clock for sale. But Craigs list and Kijiji is okay because people cant find the item, so thats okay to discuss. I dont see how discussing a ongoing sale is helping anyone here, and would have to be tightly policed. Like said people here. Some of them break the simplest rules. Why cant buyer just do their home work on a item when buying something, like the way i think its always been.
     
  10. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Kevin,

    I can't speak for Tom M. but my impression from reading
    what Tom has said (and please correct me Tom if I'm wrong) is that
    it's proposed to be a partnership between the auction house(s)
    and the NAWCC forum, not an Ebay or Craigs list thing.
    So, this is not something that would not happen in the very near
    future(there would be a lot to work out). I would assume Tom Wilcox the Executive Director
    would make the final decision.



    Rob
     
  11. vintageguy

    vintageguy Registered User
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    I get very nervous at attempts to stifle the free flow of information and ideas. Regulate civility on the forum? Absolutely. Regulate what commentary people may offer on a watch, whether a past or present sale? Not so much, IMHO.

    I like Tom's idea.
     
  12. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    That's an interesting take, which I hadn't thought of. 'Negative shilling', you might say. That, along with regular shilling and simply attracting more attention and bidders and thus driving up the price are solid arguments against, IMO.

    I agree that for the noob, the whole thing is a minefield. But that's one reason we're here, to help them learn how to avoid the mines. I'd rather see novice collectors asking "Why did this watch sell for so much more than this apparently very similar watch?" than ask "What should I spend on this watch?", because that, I think, is where the learning is.
     
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  13. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    If you send a letter to the editor of your newspaper, they reserve the right to edit it for appropriateness and interest. That way they can control slander and other possible litigious material. If you do not agree to let them do that they discard your submission.

    It is interesting that people believe it is not possible to do what is being proposed. We are talking about a possible partnership between the NAWCC, a Respected Third Party, and the "major" auction houses to provide a better information exchange between members of the public and the auction houses about items currently being offered for sale.

    Those moderating the discussions would have resources available to them, provided by the auction houses, and would be recruited and vetted by the NAWCC. The NAWCC expenses in operating such a facility would be covered by payments from the auction houses for the services.

    There is no such facility currently in existence. I do not know what the value or the expected income from such a facility might be.

    I do not think it would have any impact on Craig's List or eBay or any other ad hoc sales venue. Those venues do not produce the images and descriptions that would be needed to provide the services envisioned. Nor would they have the business structure to contract for the services envisioned.

    If Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonham's, Schmitt-Horan, Jones & Horan, Skinners, and the many other auction houses that have one or two horlogical sales each year want to participate and we can find moderators to staff it, I think we can make it happen.

    In my experience those organizations try to keep the minimum value of lots above $1,000 and prefer it to be rather higher. That may mean that many of those sharing their views here would not have any reason to even read such discussions.
     
  14. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    True, but the people doing it were all 'newer collectors' at some point. We developed our networks of people whose judgement we trust because we've read their posts and evaluated their expertise. We've also all made our mistakes and learned from them, and sometimes shared those mistakes to help the group learn as well.

    It's an interesting idea. I guess I'm not sure how this would work without a lot of policing and effort, and as noted by myself and others, there are downsides for other collectors in doing it.
     
  15. GeneJockey

    GeneJockey Registered User
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    Put that way, it would seem not to affect most of us. But I also wonder how many novice collectors are bidding on lots over $1k?
     
  16. Tom McIntyre

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    I believe there may be a few thousand such bidders world wide. I really would like to attract them to our playground. :)

    That is why I would like to have this facility closely associated with but distinct from the Message Board.
     
  17. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Would those representing the NAWCC or associated thereof, be restricted from bidding on the items for which they participated in the discussions?

    If so, how would you propose it be administered and what would be the penalties, if any, for breaking the rules?
     
  18. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Afterthought to the above. It would be in the best interest of the participating auction houses to use their mailing lists to notify potential buyers of the activity. That might cause a significant rise in participation.
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I am not sure. I know that auction house experts are generally very cautious when purchasing from their own house's sales and some houses may forbid that.

    The way moderation works on the Message Board is that every moderator action is subject to review by all admins and moderators. That means, that while abuse can occur, it cannot occur in darkness. Possibly that would be sufficient to prevent abuse.
     
  20. John Matthews

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    Tom - have you broached your idea with any of the 'major' auction houses? If you have not, given their reaction is key would it not be worth doing so.

    John
     
  21. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    (said in a nice way)Tom we are just having a conversation, I think it is very possible to do what is being proposed. You asked what we feel about the concept.

    I will step back if you like.:)


    Rob
     
  22. kevin h

    kevin h Registered User

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    Good Lord , 71 posts and counting ...
     
  23. Kevin W.

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    Its a hot topic Kevin H
     
  24. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Tom,

    I make light of it, but I seriously did have a boss tell me very sincerely "It's OK Dewey, before you can have good ideas, you first gotta have ideas." It is obvious to me you are trying to think about how to broaden the reach of the organization and deal with sustainability.

    I just caution that making it work may be a stupendous task. We already have threads being deleted because of incivility. And who knows how comments will be manipulated.

    I thought the reason for not commenting on eBay auctions was because it would "interfere with market"; that in many situations the undue friction caused by increasing the competition would create problems here and only benefit the seller. Yes, it would be nice to have incorrect listings called out. But who decides what those listings are?

    I do not believe in the philosophy of "I was abused so you should go through what I did". But I think adults with the wherewithal for collecting would have strategies for learning the field and how to fine tune their judgment.

    In other words, I am not sure the administrative "costs" would be outweighed by the intended growth targets. I think the market for this service by virtue that rightly or wrongly, people who are successful enough to have the resources for collecting tend to think they can figure it out. To me, they would quickly find this or any of the other watch collecting forums.

    And that is what I THINK you are intending. Finding a way to distinguish this forum from the others while getting auction houses to recognize this forum as a resource for their existing and potential clients.
     
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  25. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Rob, your remarks are just fine. I was reacting to all the rehashing of eBay and Craig's List, etc. That I thought I had excluded from my thought proposal. I do not believe an open discussion of auctions without moderation is feasible for the NAWCC. There are certainly less highly regulated places on the Internet where such discussion can and do take place.

    My idea was to create something that could be part of the permanent record of review of items appearing on the market that could eventually be used to develop ideas about trends and perhaps lead to growth in interest in collecting horology.

    Most of the auction houses are already doing this with published catalogs and prices realized available on-line. What is missing is the community insight into condition, provenance, scarcity and other factors that we feel contribute to the value we place on objects.
     
  26. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    There does seem to be much confusion creeping into this thread.

    This discussion is only about pre-sale discussion of auctions (online and real-world) being run by professional auction houses.

    What Tom Mc is "proposing" is that we invite those auction houses to subscribe to a facility in which we (the members of this website) discuss horological items in the forthcoming sales of the subscribing auction houses.

    The consequences of that discussion, it is hoped, will be that people interested in buying items in that sale will be better informed and therefore better educated in understanding exactly what they would be buying, and in determining how much they would therefore be willing to pay for it. Of course the discussion might increase the number of people bidding for an item (which is exactly what the auction house and the seller want), but equally it might reduce the number bidding because people now realise that the item is not what they want, or is not worth as much as they thought!

    Surely the NAWCC's position in this is clear - we want everyone concerned to know the truth, and the whole truth. I think that's what they call "education"?

    I'd like to add a thought of my own. The majority of auction houses do not have a resident horological expert. Many of them call in a local "expert" to carry out the cataloguing and valuation of watches and clocks, and frankly (in my experience) many of those "experts" are nothing of the sort - they are just elderly collectors who are willing to be on call, and the quality of cataloguing is usually appalling. I think that the NAWCC could offer a valuable service to auction houses in cataloguing watches and clocks, the content of which would be a carefully edited summary of the prior discussion. Of course that cataloguing service also fits perfectly into the NAWCC's mission .... as does the discussion which Tom Mc is proposing.
     
  27. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Martin - while I agree with most of the views you express, I have my doubts whether it would be practical - based on UK/European experience.

    I only have limited experience of engaging in auctions run by what you describe as 'professional auction houses'. I have, however, spent a considerable amount of time scanning their offerings, the descriptions they provide and the results of individual items in which I have had a particular interest. The conclusion I have reached is that apart from what I will call the 'household names of auction houses' and those that specialise in selling fine watches, the photographs and descriptions they provide are, frankly rubbish and of little value in making a worthwhile assessment. Furthermore, when I have made an enquiry seeking additional information, I have invariably found the response disappointing. Generally, the response is at the last minute and the impression given is that the auction house is understaffed and in auction build-up panic mode. These are exactly the type of houses that would benefit from what Tom is proposing - but I am very sceptical that they would be willing or able to participate

    In my view, the first and major problem is the very simple one, to make a reliable assessment of a watch - you need to examine it in the hand. Any assessment from photographs and the descriptions provided, is almost entirely dependent on the provider of both - no matter how good your expertise. Yes, it is easy to correct the obvious mistakes, be that in describing the details of the escapement, the maker, the hallmarks, as provided, but to assess condition, such an important factor in the price/worth of the majority of watches most collectors buy, is almost impossible.

    In my collection, I have ~200 watches, all have been purchased`unseen - I live in France and 99.99% of my purchases have been in the UK. Most have been through ebay which has yielded some of best and worst purchases - but that's just the name of the game. I have made purchases and had unsuccessful remote bids with the type of auction houses I describe above. I have only done so after making a thorough examination of information provided for the item, considerable research effort and where possible seeking advice from a trusted source. These purchases have been in the range £1000-£3000 and I my caution has been rewarded by satisfactory outcomes. These have given me significant satisfaction and the research has made the purchase all the more rewarding. To be honest, i don't want that aspect of collecting taken away from me - I don't want my collecting to even start to approach that of those collectors buying expensive art, that has been examined in minute detail and the price is dictated by those with the deepest pockets (extreme example, I appreciate!).

    As I said previously, the proposal, unless I have misunderstood, requires the active participation of the auction houses, I am not sure that they would be willing to do so. The problem is timescale and effort, Those auction houses who have a significant lead time from receipt of items and auction day, in my experience do employ staff/experts who are able to provide sufficient information for potential buyers to make an informed remote decision as to the 'personal value' of the item. These are the houses that do respond positively to request for additional information and clarification. For the others who, as Martin describes, engage 'just elderly collectors who are willing to be on call', are they going to be willing to provide the quality of information necessary to make a worthwhile assessment possible, and then, subsequently, provide the additional information that will inevitably be requested, Personally, I think not. (I'm an elderly collector, who is definitely not on call :))

    I might be wrong - but while admirable in its objectives, I think it is unlikely to get the necessary participation from the auction houses to work - perhaps the situation is different in other parts of the world.

    John
     
  28. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    (My emboldening)

    Quite aside from the other issues which have already been extensively aired here, in respect of watches in particular this is a major factor. The expertise and resource at the disposal of many auction houses is, as you say, sadly lacking; there are very few Dr. Crott's and Antiquorums!

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  29. novicetimekeeper

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    I didn't realise I was one of a few thousand bidders worldwide.

    I rather doubt it.
     
  30. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    #80 Clint Geller, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    I really don’t like the idea of discussing watches that are currently for public sale. It is often the case that the most knowledgeable persons about any particular kind of watch are also potential buyers for it, which gives them at least an implicit conflict of interest. I would never personally comment on any watch that I was even remotely interested in buying, if I knew I could buy it. That’s not just an ethical posture. It would not be in my interest to comment on a watch I might be bidding on, so I would rather say nothing. If I were to possess knowledge about an item that others might not have, then any comment I made about the item before it was sold which did not disclose that information would be less than forthright, and therefore potentially misleading. It would be “lying by omission.” This would be especially true if it were a kind of item about which I were known to be knowledgeable. And if I did intend to bid on the item and didn’t disclose that, then that would be an even clearer conflict of interest. But if I did disclose that I intended to bid on the item, I would be hurting myself! Thus if I intended to bid, I couldn’t really say anything. But even my complete silence about an item about which I would have an obvious interest - say, a Howard with a Civil War provenance - could be construed to imply that I intended to bid on it, which could affect the price. No, it is a really lousy idea to have these kinds of discussions.
     
  31. Tom McIntyre

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    The moderator has asked that this discussion be moved to a more appropriate forum since it is not really about watches per se. I will move it to Horological Misc. Horological Misc

    I want to respond to Clint's concern in the previous post, but I will do that after the thread is moved.
     
  32. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I understand the view that Clint has presented and agree it is a real concern for those who are active collectors with years of experience who are looking to expand their collection on the best terms.

    My personal point of view is a little different since I feel my collection is reaching maturity and I am old enough that I need to think about distribution rather than collection. My motivation now is to ensure that my collections will be treasured by someone and that the field of horology will remain interesting to future generations.

    I do not believe there is any particular merit in making it difficult to learn the value of horological artifacts. The actual value to any given collector will always be a personal thing. Those who are not collectors or who deal in lots of artifacts they do not intend to collect, have a clear conflict of interest when participating in the activity/facility I am proposing. As Clint pointed out, the mere existence of the facility puts the "experts" under a spotlight. They do not need to participate in any given discussion to generate speculation about of their intentions.

    As I posted in a blog here, I have found that visibility and sharing is, for me, more productive than keeping my opinions and information to myself. I would encourage others to try it, but it is always a personal decision.

    The personal collecting equation is whether the overall improvement in the perception of value of horological artifacts does more for the value of your collection (in whatever ways you determine value, not necessarily monetary) than the advantage you gain in any number of purchases. The suppression of information when you are selling is, in my opinion, unethical although it is clearly pretty rampant in the market.

    If this could be put together and gain traction, I am convinced that it would be very good for horology in terms of public visibility and interest in timekeeping artifacts.
     
  33. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Sorry, I don't follow this point. On this forum we have 'experts' who are collectors and 'experts' who do not collect. I really cannot see how 'expert collectors' could contribute / not contribute without it impacting, or being a reflection, of their interest in a particular item.

    John
     
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  34. Clint Geller

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    #84 Clint Geller, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    I have long been committed to the idea that experts should contribute their knowledge to the public, and to the extent that I may be entitled to be considered an "expert," I have endeavored to demonstrate that commitment by example - as has Tom. But we have been discussing something much more specific here. We are debating the wisdom of discussing specific horological items that are concurrently up for public sale. That is problematic to me. Ethical issues will always pop up, whether one is in a collection building or a collection dissolution mode. But I believe that if you want people to behave ethically, whenever possible you should avoid routinely placing them in ethically challenging or even compromising situations. Discussing items currently for sale is especially fraught with those kinds of challenges. As Oscar Wilde once said, "I can resist anything but temptation," so I try to avoid temptations.
     
  35. MartyR

    MartyR Moderator
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    John, I think you (and Clint) assume that the people who might wish to use the facility are like yourselves. They are not.

    I know who you are, and who Clint is, but the people who are most likely to benefit from Tom's proposal are new collectors, or maybe inheritors of timepieces, or collectors thinking of shifting their concentration from one horological group to another, or people thinking of trying a new collecting hobby. Those people will never notice that either of you is not contributing to a particular discussion, nor indeed the significance if you are participating.

    Actually I, as a seasoned collector, would not take any notice of your participation or non-participation - neither frightens me, nor would I read into either the sort of implications which you suggest.

    If I were interested in buying a particular item, would I participate in the discussion? Absolutely I would, without any moral or commercial qualms. Would you or Clint? No, and that is entirely your own choice. Any information provided in the discussion would be of some value to those reading, and if some members decline to enter the discussion that simply reduces the value of the discussion ... but not to zero!

    To respond to the point about condition and holding the watch (or clock) in hand, I can only repeat what I just said - any information is better than none! We're not shooting for a perfect solution, but it makes eminent sense to me to do what we can.

    And incidentally, I don't think anyone has evidence for the likelihood of success of this proposal. It may flop for lack of support, or it may be a million-dollar winner ... we will never know until we have tried it. Of course there is risk, but I think that the NAWCC, and this Message Board, absolutely need to take some risks or fail. Surely none of us believe that we can just carry on doing what we have been doing for the last 30 years - we are facing an existential threat, and unless we change what we're doing, we will die out like the dinosaurs.
     
  36. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Perhaps my language was too convoluted, but that is what I thought I said.

    The mere existence of the facility creates that hazard for some. They could possibly never participate and avoid being associated with the activity. If the facility reported observers like this forum does, their potential competitors could still tell they had seen the discussion and chose not to participate.
     
  37. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
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    Marty, not infrequently, when an item of a kind with which I am often associated (i.e., Howard watches, or Civil War provenances watches) is being discussed, my name is mentioned by another poster and I am even sent a PM to call my attention to the thread. If I did not respond at that point, it would be pretty obvious, at least to some, that I was not responding for a reason. (At minimum, courtesy would force me to say something, at least to the person who sent me the PM.) And the fact that some prospective buyers for an item might not know or care who I am or what I think, which is quite likely, is not the point. All it takes is one person who does care what I think to change the outcome of the sale, whether I actually express an opinion on the item or not.
     
  38. John Matthews

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    Martin - you cannot mean 'any information'. Surely the quality of the information is paramount to its value.

    To be clear, I perfectly understand who you believe the proposal is intended to help, further I can also probably predict some of the contributors to the forum who are likely to express their 'expert' opinion. I just think, that help to new collectors etc. can be achieved in other ways and with the engagement of a larger number of valuable contributors (I not not include myself, but I would include Clint and others who have expressed reservations with the proposal outlined in this thread).

    One of the reasons I contribute to this forum is to share and document my collection and my associated research. I hope that I do so with good quality photographs to illustrate what I describe, provide the best description I am able and document the sources of my research. In that way I hope I am fulfilling some of the objectives of the forum. In return, I invariably benefit from those who respond, be they experts and non-experts - they always seem to find something I have missed. I will always try, if I can, to help by responding positively to the posts of others to the extent that I am able or the references to which i have access, permit.

    Finally (this is my last post to this thread), no one has yet responded to the point I made regarding the practicality/willingness/commitment of auction houses to engage in what is being proposed.

    John
     
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  39. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    Tom spoke of auction houses with lot's over $1000, yes there are some new
    collectors that might start there, but I would think it's more
    experienced buyers/collectors who would be buying from "as Tom said above
    "Sotheby's, Christie's, Bonham's, Schmitt-Horan, Jones & Horan, Skinners"

    I wouldn't think that the people who would be buying from these auction
    houses are newbies.

    I would like to understand how it will help new buyers.

    Rob
     
  40. vintageguy

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    :thumb:

    :thumb:

    :thumb:
     
  41. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

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    #91 MartinM, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Any discussion of upcoming or current auctions is fraught with peril for all of the reasons listed above. If discussions, here, end up deflating prices, the auction houses may call out instances where negative findings were incorrectly applied and decide to seek help from the legal system. It's bad enough that moderators spam me about their current auctions just because we have had PM or email discussion in the past. If a new poster comes asking for advice and all that happens is that they made the item unaffordable to them, they won't be inclined to share those auction finds in future. The only way I could see it working is if it were managed in a somewhat restricted or private forum and the replies were made by folks who signed an agreement that they would never take advantage of potential income opportunities associated with it. But who would ever really do that?
     
  42. Tom McIntyre

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    If we were to do this, the auction house participants would have a contractual relationship with the NAWCC that would indemnify the NAWCC from claims by their partners in the endeavor. That is pretty much standard business practice.

    Such discussions would be "moderated". For those who do not know what that means, all submissions would be reviewed by the staff of the facility before they were posted. The task of the staff would be to ensure, so far as they were able, that statements were true or valid civil opinions of the poster.
     
  43. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    From what I read here we are looking to set up a facility for top end collectors. This facility will allow them to vet items available at upcoming auctions. Discussions will be restricted to premium items at top end auction houses.

    Exactly who are we trying to educate here?
     
  44. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    This wont be for the majority of members that we have now. I am not really understanding why this is needed? Is it just to attract high end collectors?
    Just my thoughts on this, i know many think this will be good for us.
     
  45. Tom McIntyre

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    We are in the habit of using loaded words here that have no well defined meaning.

    I am not at all sure that we do not have a number of people currently using this site with net worth above say $50M and annual income north of $500K. It does not really matter who can afford better watches. The other related factor is how the individual views risk and reward and how much passion they have for things that interest them.

    I currently live on Social Security and a Teacher's Pension from my teaching in West Virginia in the 1970s.. That is not a lot of money, but I still seem to find myself buying watches at auction from time to time in the auction events I am describing. here.

    As to price range, I believe that most collectors of watches eventually figure out that watches need to have values north of $1,000 to be relatively safe from loss of value.

    When I first started collecting I was interested in inexpensive Vienna regulators and oak or walnut shelf clocks from Connecticut. I still own a number of those things because I have a sentimental attachment to the things I bought in my late 20's and early 30's. However, none of those artifacts are worth what I paid for them at that time (and certainly not adjusted for inflation).

    You may be trying to make the case that anyone who collects from the auctions I mentioned must have a staff of experts or at least one or two on retainer. I would be surprised if that description fits even 5% of those I would like to attract.

    The point of the proposal is to attract some people who are not currently here as well as providing benefits for the rest of us in knowledge if not in assets.
     
  46. OldSchool1959

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    The auction houses will never go for this idea. I know an Auction House owner and Auctioneer and I presented this idea to him today, in a condensed form and his reply was " You gotta to be kidding right!" He said they have enough to do without bringing in an "outside" company or website to deal with. They already have issues with the online auction apps like LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, HiBid, AuctionZip etc etc to bring in another website they have to deal with. In his words it would never work for him and he didnt have the time. This is coming from someone who has been in the auction business for over 40 years and runs an auction every week and is known nationwide.
    From my own perspective this would put the diamond in the rough and needle in the haystack up front for everyone to see and bid on, leaving the Home Run finds a thing of the past. Yes for every Home Run there are 100 strike outs, but we are always looking the home run. Thats what makes it so much exciting.
    Leave it alone and let it be. I am sure PM's on certain pocket watches fly between certain members and thats all well and good. Lets keep it that way!
     
  47. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Clarification please.

    What was the originally proposed?

    RM
     
  48. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    No. I am making the case that anyone who buys from the auctions you mention already have the knowledge you seek to teach.
     
  49. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    RM, To put it most simply. We would create a new space with new rules that would post auction items that satisfied several conditions.

    1. The auction house and the NAWCC have a contract that provides the NAWCC with the authority to publicly discuss the items that the auction has in an upcoming sale.
    2. The auction provides material similar to what many currently make available on their in-house web site.
    3. The NAWCC facility posts that catalog and provides moderated discussions of the items.
    3. The moderators would screen all posts before they appeared on the site to prevent abuse.
    4. The discussions would become a permanent record along with the images.

    Any auction that would not or could not agree would not be included. Individual sales of any sort would not be included.

    There auctions are typically held twice each year. Schmitt-Horan just held their Spring 2019 Auction last week. Jones & Horan are having theirs on June 2nd. I do not have the current schedule at hand for Bonham's, Christies' or Sotheby's. or for any other auction company. Typically horological auctions are held in the 2nd quarter and 4th quarter of the year.

    It would not be possible for an auction house that held auctions every week to participate, so there are limits on the companies that would be able to participate.
     
  50. rmarkowitz1_cee4a1

    rmarkowitz1_cee4a1 Registered User
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    Thanks for the clarification.

    I see a vast absolute mine field here under the overall supervision of a group where there are a # whom I feel are already struggling with the basic tasks before them. Sorry if that ruffles some feathers.

    For example, just look @ the huge & diverse list of auctioneers who participate on Invaluable, auctionzip, bidsquare, etc. Many sell horological items. Who would this “service” be offered to? What is the basis for selection, etc.? And so on.

    How about this radical new-fangled high tech idea. Chat with your fellow collector buddies about upcoming auctions by phone, e-mail, text, or if the MB must be involved, PM.

    Now, here’s a real crazy idea. Sit down & chat face to face ( no, not face time) in your home, at a coffe shop, etc., or even a NAWCC chapter meeting. Nah, too unsanitary.

    RM
     
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