Tiffany 1680 Rolex Submariner
Tiffany today is under LVMH, and as such it’s also slowly LVMH-ifying. Yes it’s a brand, it will always sell things. But people behaving as if a turquoise dial is the second coming need to cool the jets, Supreme marketing won’t work forever. I liked when Tiffany, with respected to watches, operated like any other retailer. They’d work with Rolex, Patek, AP, all the important names. But the only mark of their procuring would be a subtle stamp, the sort of thing only a collector has an eye for; a small line of text that makes this 1680 twice as valuable in the secondary market. Whether that’s appropriate valuation for scarcity or exemplary madness, well that’s personal. But I do wish to investigate.
An i-banker friend once told me scarcity doesn’t create value, scarcity is value. I’m not sure what he meant, but I think this is close. If you just wanted a dependable vintage steel Rolex, but wanted to park more funds than a Red Sub can justifiably merit, this does kind of make sense. Particularly when banks are collapsing like Phillips reputation in Speedmasters. What’s the alternative, a modern Royal Oak? Not even Bennahmias wants anything to do with AP anymore. Journe? The market feels as inflated as Biver’s MSRP. These days, I’m advocating prudence through lavish spending. Not a financial advisor, just justifying my decision to myself in post. And not on Biver.
Because there’s the subtle matter of blending in. One doesn’t have to, but people like us tend to enjoy it. The phrase stealth wealth is way overused, and a vintage Sub really isn’t stealth anymore. Try wearing one in London, just be sure there’s an ambulance around the corner. No, it’s not stealth. But this Tiffany Sub is 10x more discreet than many things valued on a similar level. Best, though, it’s a dial which rewards a curious mind. Even the most eagle-eyed among us will struggle to spot a Tiffany dial across a room. We recognize case shapes, dial color, large visual fields. You have to ask to see the watch to see this dial closely. And if someone shows interest, this is a dial which will delight. I’ve said it before, but this or a bank letter stating you’ve only lost 40 grand this year to inflation?
This example is great too. The dial is gorgeous, all clear script and deeply aged honey tritium. The case has seen a very light polish, but even lugs with bevels and you’d struggle to tell. Bezel pearl isn’t quite matched, but if I’m mentioning that you know the rest of it adds up well. It comes from a well-regarded Miami retailer.