Bally, an office, my watch boxes and IWC (3 of 10)

Oct 23, 2011,06:56 AM

Hello friends!

Land is SCARCE in Singapore.

What ever, I will high light how important "small" sized as well as hardy objects will become much more relevant to collecting.

This is because fine objects are usually collected only by the wealthy and here, in Asia, they usually live in cities. Country abodes are like Patek Grand Complications, never unwrapped.

Space is expensive.

Showing a collection is more flexible if the collection can be carried to a dinner or another friend's home.

You cannot do this with anything else.

Hence..the wristwatch will play a part in preserving history from this decade onwards.

It is a perfect match of demonstrating technology and history, two topics which never go together till now.

I am NOW, meaning as of September 2011, totally enamoured with hand leather work with Hermes and LV. Two very separated levels of course, to the ladies.

But, I discovered, like a guy who sees his first Tag as a watch superior to a Journe or a Patek..sigh.

First, a tip of something I think all ladies KNOW:

Buyers should be encouraged, by older Birkins in pristine condition; the craftsmanship of the older bags is superior to the more recent newer Birkins of today. Birkins are also "serviced", the word is "Hermes spa" like wristwatches to NEW...even if made in 1984.

I bought a 32 cm HAC Birkin is in GREEN Ardennes leather. This intensely coveted and stunning color is no longer produced; it is one of the loveliest greens produced by Hermès.

In addition, Ardennes leather is also no longer in production, though it is a considered one of the best wearing leathers available.

Ardennes leather is more rigid than Togo, but has a softer hand than Chevre. It is scratch resistant and water resistant; it also holds and maintains the shape of a Birkin better over time. The grain is large and flat; it creates a lovely texture. Overall extremely durable and desirable.

Green is a truly excellent neutral with a bit more depth and interest than basic black. Brass, unplated hardware is a warming accent to the total package. In fact, brass hardware has become more desirable than ever due to its more inviting tones.

Double rolled handles are carried in hand or at the elbow. Green (goat skin) lining with one side zippered pocket.

This Birkin has an Y within a circle blind stamp for that year of production. The bag spent 3 weeks in a spa, and is now restored by hand at a cost of $1900 usd. Inexpensive, considering the work.

Why is the picture of the Birkin not here?

Because I bought a 50cm 1997 travel sized Birkin in Navy blue as well..also in spa.

Imagine, how wristwatches will age.


Further examples of great beauty, thanks to LVMH looking after them…I have now an "almost complete set" of LV luggage, vintage from 1933 to 1997.

Plus a surprise LV trunk, custom made at a height of 7 feet, 3 feet deep and 39 inches broad. Restoration took a year.

This makes my mind go to the IWC…it is like a cross between the Hermes Birkin and the LV wood sided trunks with the aged wood.

IWC dedicates its service department to restoration.

In 2004 to 2007, my pictures with IWC and work done have been distributed across the net and the media…and hopefully enjoyed.

This year, I hope to focus on building the trust for brands/makers that will benefit…as investments…education is the top investment, then family, then friends, then money.

Somehow, when I took things THAT way…money came before I even harvested the benefits of the first priorities.

Life is sweet. It will be so, if I can help it.


Now…I have to relook at my old trusty Bally briefcase, bought way back in 1993.

It is made in Switzerland…amazing! In box leather. I have not treated it well.

But it looks and feels GOOD and aged.



Remember the days when watch advertisements were limited to Rolex?

Or a handful of quartz watches made by no one who bothered to see watches as any more than a good toothbrush?

Or a cigarette lighter?

Playboy will be good proof..I read them for the women, and learned WAY before any friends that shaved is good.

Tan lines great.

Lingerie is a pre requisite to fine finish....the details and angles!!!!!

Ahh..these watches, I took out just days ago for 2 talks I gave, one in Bali and another in Singapore's Malmaison.

Both serious seminar types, Bali was a 3 day event...and Singapore a 2 hour soiree...just networking.

Most of all...looking at ALL these..which 3 will you sell?

What price?

To a dealer? Understanding he needs a margin. I have never "dealt" or "dealed" or "flipped" does it work?

Moderators will censor this? Or will they? This is a forum for folks, not like me, to learn...and I ask questions that I know the answer...but my answers are not always right.

I don't need money, but I need experience and knowledge. This is where your opinion counts!


I will not sell the Marc Newson Horizon, or the Grand Seikos, or the Vianneys!!! The de Grisogono I like.
I guess I wont sell anything I cannot replace. That's ahy maybe I should try selling my older Pateks.
They flip easy.
Dealers want them.
Serious collectors...I feel that I can see one without paying to own it. But maybe not the above watches.
Rolex, Panerai and Patek have got it right in this NEVER make (really) new models. NEVER. Instead, they evolve (don't change) and grow the products.
And they must always grow the new ones to look after the older the way we look after our parents. You must make the older ones MORE desirable. Yet make the new ones just as desirable.
Good brands are good because they fear only their own older products...and that is good. Because they are NO LONGER MADE...
This however is NOT art, but a dynamic cultivation of a product....previously NOT in high demand...but today, YES.

Part 4 soon!!!! Meanwhile, I SWIM down to 10 meters with the de Grisogono at home!!!! Part 2 of 33.

The bicycle, light bulb and radios evolved into expensive toys.
The watch did so as well....until 2003.
The events that altered the dynamics of preserving wealth (not just money, very different, from where I am coming from), changed after Sept 11, two Asian financial crisis, and the ever evolving and unpredictable world that became the internet.
Possibly, minute repeaters are the safest sells/buys in used...they are not fakes. They are working...or not at all.
You guys are going to see if I get torn apart on Prime Time TV. They tried in 2009 and 2010.

Watches are tiny exotic cars, they are also sometimes works of art.
They follow those principals of trade...who you know...and who knows you.
The average buyer is not a celebrity.
People in that world invest in art and exotic cars and make alot of money.
The average buyer has to "follow"...if he/she wants to invest....she has to buy OFF and away from the general retail arena.
They have to buy used/preowned.
Unlike cars, watches last forever without much care. After the first owner, most GOOD HIGH END watches TODAY almost never go down much, if at all.
Average buyers have NO channel of liquidation.
And they are exposed to dealers in trade, who will offer at least 30% less than what they will sell off.
Think about selling Hermes Birkin handbags..used ones, preloved? You get the picture. If you are not "moving in the right circles", any bargain you offer is always seen as a fake product.

Liquidating a non big brand can be hell...but it is rewarding from those who do it.

More posts: grand complications

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Bally, an office, my watch boxes and IWC (3 of 10)

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-06:56
Hello friends! Land is SCARCE in Singapore. What ever, I will high light how important "small" sized as well as hardy objects will become much more relevant to collecting. This is because fine objects are usually collected only by the wealthy and here, in...

Great post, great collection

 By: MWL : October 23rd, 2011-07:14
Hopefully one day I'll be able to build up a collection as beautiful as yours, and since I'm 18 I've got plenty of time! I agree as well with your second to last comment, if you aren't trusted how can you reasonably expect that others will trust the authe...

I can't replace that watch!

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-07:20
But I can take the bottom case of what you see in that stack of LV cases. That has Franck Mullers, Langes and Pateks. Bought at a time when they were "affordable", 60 % of today's prices that a sleazy dealer will offer any of us. I see your point with the...

Ah, then I retract my statement

 By: MWL : October 23rd, 2011-07:32
If that exact watch which you have was commercially produced then I would perfectly accept the entire DNA collection, but I have a friend who has one of the DNA's and its (in my opinion) just a surface effect of rust. Yours on the other hand is too seriou...

ONLY the bezel my friend.

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-07:35
The rest is however, to be really fair, VERY VERY well made case. It was their first foray into this field.

Thanks for clarifying

 By: MWL : October 23rd, 2011-07:41
I was always slightly confused as to what the initial idea was, as in where the titanic would be. True, the case is very well made and very much achieves the effect they wanted, but I guess it's down to peoples preferences. How many years ago was the DNA ...

Arpa iS and remains a genius. With good old new CEO..just as good.

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-07:47
But Arpa tried the impossible, using the real thing. Today, RJ uses the real thing too. But with less controversial parts... a red dial with the blood one example to avoid.

Indeed. [nt]

 By: MWL : October 23rd, 2011-07:50
No message body

The cases that interest me in that picture are the violin cases.

 By: mkvc : October 23rd, 2011-09:58
Is there a story?

Er Yes. My wife plays the violin and the saxophones are mine.

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-17:27
Those are the cases of both intruments that are not used these days.

I'm interested in the longboards too...

 By: Andy : October 23rd, 2011-12:14
no surprise you have a stunning collection there Bernard...are the boxes custom made or do LV make these for watches..? Yours, Andy.

Longboards are mine, all are Sector 9 48 to 36 inch plus..

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-17:32
a fibreglass Sector 9 springboard type, that the rider can add propulsion and steer by pushing down on the board. I stopped in 1993...I think. I used to board to relax, with Sony walkman cassette player...that was between the 1976 to 1993 era. I spent an ...

Thanks for sharing your philosophy

 By: Oztimelord : October 23rd, 2011-13:23
Bernard, Always a pleasure to read your posts and even better to have met you when I was in Singapore. I believe you are at a different level in terms of maturity and experience as a collector. I do tend to sell some of my watches as I move on to the next...

Please come visit will be my guest.

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-17:37
I think Singapore is much more fun now.

Bernard, that was educational if somewhat rambling. Why

 By: Ronald Held : October 23rd, 2011-14:11
Sell three watches, unless it is to get ideas of what we think should be sold? You do have many interesting items in your home.

3 watches? OK..because I need a strategy.

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-17:36
I want to be able to sell something on the show. Yet, I have to make it profitable for the buyers. I chose 3 first, and then a back up of maybe 12 more...but customs...a problem.

you have the most amazing

 By: johnswatch1 : October 23rd, 2011-14:35
You have the most amazing armchair. I love the riveted aluminium sides, perfect for wearing with your Vianney Halters. I need details of the chair - I need one!

Not costly..Restoration hardware has some..Timothy Oulten

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-17:33
These are the very early ones.


 By: marketsurfer : October 23rd, 2011-15:56
Fantastic insight, Bernard. I look forward to reading more of your musings. Dave

Beautiful collection Bernard

 By: BluNotte : October 23rd, 2011-18:42
Thanks for the show. Much enjoyed Stephen

I like your style, BC.Great collection, great taste. [nt]

 By: Davo : October 23rd, 2011-19:48
No message body

Haha..I must thank you. I don't know if I have "good" taste

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-23:34
But one producer of good repute (movies), actually said I was someone he never imagined existed...I was actually unique. I went home thinking..."ok..he thinks I am weird. And definetely entertaining, as in making a complete fool of myself". My wife, ever ...

This is said most respectfully...

 By: pplater : October 23rd, 2011-22:37
...but whatever the purpose of your post may have been (an ad for luggage? a promo for a TV show? a preview of a FS post?), can you accept the possibility that the post itself, featuring a genuinely impressive display of watch treasures, is greatly dimini...

Hello!!! It's ME. You would be worried if these posts "changed"...

 By: bernard cheong : October 23rd, 2011-23:22
The "invasion of the body snatchers aside", you know...I was soooo worried that the ONLY reason that Franco Cologni wanted to see me one year. The very same year I left being a moderator, was that he wanted to give me much more than a piece of his mind fo...

Well, no, actually...

 By: pplater : October 24th, 2011-00:04
...if 'these' posts changed (by which you presumably mean the off-colour component to which we have been referring), that would, frankly, be a most welcome relief, Bernard. You are and have been a beacon for many. You are idiosyncratic, perhaps eccentric,...

OK..I will try. Always a pleasure to work with feedback.

 By: bernard cheong : October 24th, 2011-00:21
When I try, I mean it. I wish all to have fun each day.

Great; thanks... [nt]

 By: pplater : October 24th, 2011-00:59
No message body

I agree with...

 By: BDLJ : October 23rd, 2011-23:38, pplater, on the suitability. That said, I was more disturbed by the fact that I thought I was reading half paying attention.

Hello. Yes. OK. I will try.

 By: bernard cheong : October 24th, 2011-00:30
I think I agree is good to see feedback, read, and accomodate...from my pov..this is a forum that belongs to the people here. And I should respect these parameters. Never a problem.

Like pplater....

 By: BDLJ : October 24th, 2011-15:28
...personally, I have no trouble with anything you write, many times they bewilder me, then I remember that this is the guy who strapped watches to his car's wheels.

Thanks, Bernard. May I . . .

 By: Dr No : October 24th, 2011-15:38
. . . suggest having another person read your posts before hitting the "insert" tab? Please take this in the purely constructive sense that's intended. I will plead guilty of occasionally writing in such a way as to cause offense, but rarely intentionally...

That's it!

 By: cen@jkt : October 24th, 2011-10:03
Reading Mr Bernard post struck fear into my heart, as I was worried that my advancing age rendered my years of studying English useless. Now I can rest assure that my brain is OK and put the blame squarely on the bags and the magazines This would be wonde...

Looking forward to it. [nt]

 By: BDLJ : October 24th, 2011-15:40
No message body

You didn't ask it this way, but...

 By: Gary G : October 24th, 2011-20:22
...of the watches in that box I would keep one of the Classics, the Goldpfeil, and the simpler Grand Seiko. Maybes would include the Thalassa, the Gefica, and the IWC -- but only if worn regularly. Of course, I've been on a simplification/divestiture driv...

Howdy Bernard..I go away for a week, and you write the most interesting stuff!!

 By: Hororgasm : October 27th, 2011-11:33
Inspiring, as always, 90s playboys included. Best, Horo

Yah..and I am having my testicles removed here.

 By: bernard cheong : October 27th, 2011-18:29
And made into a Birkin.

Sounds like a limited edition. nt

 By: AndrewD : October 28th, 2011-04:41