Last week, the three big auction houses held sales in New York, capping one of the most eventful, controversial, and downright confusing auction years in awhile. The results were relatively strong, especially considering the recent discourse around auctions, but also helped illustrate what continues to be strong in a slowing market, and what’s on the downswing. Let’s talk about both.
Replica Rolex Space-Dweller Watches Sells For $190,500
I hate those super-specific records like “most expensive yellow gold Patek chronograph sold in the Western Hemisphere on a Tuesday.” It feels kind of like advanced baseball analytics but for cheap UK replica watches and as much as I love debating WARs and ERA+ and ERA++, sometimes I just want to talk about how sweet Ken Griffey Jr.’s swing was.
Despite my disdain for super-specific superlatives, I’m giving the Rolex 1016 a pass because I love it, I guess? Because I’m wearing one as I type this? Anyway, the Space-Dweller (ref. 1016) is one of those vintage high quality Rolex fake watches with as much myth as the lost city of Atlantis. It’s a regular 1016 – usually an Explorer – just with that one familiar line of text swapped for something more mysterious. Supposedly, Rolex made a handful of Space-Dweller copy watches for sale in the ’60s for the Japanese market. It’s been said this was to celebrate the Mercury astronauts’ tour of Japan, but I’m not sure there’s any real evidence of this origin story.
Whatever the real story, luxury replica Rolex Space-Dweller 1016 watches sold for $190,500 at Phillips, making it the most expensive 1016 ever. It passes the last Space-Dweller to appear at auction (~$136,000 in 2020) and the albino 1016 (CHF 101,600 in May 2023). Similar to those albino dials I wrote about, it’s an equally interesting and dangerous area of vintage Rolex.
This Space-Dweller reached this price simply because of that one line of text. We don’t know how many of these beautiful gilt dials exist – in fact, a few loose dials sold at auction 15 years ago – and we can’t even really tell if they were born in a specific case (though this example at Phillips had a serial matching the generally-accepted serial range for Space-Dwellers). Further, this example has Rolex Japan service papers, but no model name noted, sadly. It’s another shred of evidence as to the potential origin of the Space-Dweller. I know the winner of the top super clone watches – an astute collector, might I add – and he promises he’ll let us know if the papers give any more clues as to the origin of the Space-Dweller. So stay tuned.
Cartier Fake Watches Continues To Rise
That said, vintage 1:1 wholesale Cartier replica watches seems to be the one brand that still defies gravity. Here’s just a sample of Cartier results from the past few weeks, some at the big houses and some not:
Platinum Tank Cintrèe: sold for €149,000 at Aguttes. Service dial, hands, and movement. In other words, $164,000 for a vintage platinum Cintree case. Crazy!
Baignoire with Chaplin provenance: sold for $32,000 at Sotheby’s. The Baignoire continues to “have a moment,” so says the NY Times.
Cartier London Tank: $47,800 at Christie’s. Cartier London, in particular, continues to receive outsized attention.
Maxi Oval: $120,650 at Phillips. From Cartier New York, less often seen, featuring an Audemars Piguet movement. What a cool watch.
1920s Tank Normale: sold for £28,160 at Bonham’s. Original and charming, with a cool caseback engraving but a very rough dial.
Provenance, condition, era, none of it seems to matter much. If it says “Cartier” on the dial, it sells, and for more than whatever estimate you put on it. It’s a conundrum because I do consider Cartier one of the “blue chips” along with Rolex and Patek, and it wasn’t right that 1991 Cartier Crash fake watches shop was selling for just $30,000 five years ago. But, I’m not sure all of these buyers are observing the same level of discernment that I just discussed as so important in Rolex and Patek.
That said, there’s always been a theory that the Cartier buyer is a bit different. They don’t care as much about service dials, polishing, or originality – they just want a beautiful design. But to me, much of the beauty of AAA Swiss replica Cartier watches‘ designs and cases comes from their sharp, original lines: The bevels on a Santos or a Normale, or the golden proportions of a Tank Louis. I hope this appreciation for their original beauty isn’t lost.