OK… here’s the deal. Live blogging, like live TV, is dependent on a lot of things – not the least of which is a Wi-Fi connection. This one here is too slow for photo upload. So please be patient. I’ll add images as quickly as I can get to a faster connection. Deal? Cool.
I’ve been on the show floor for an hour and fifteen minutes. I’m taking a fast first pass through, just to get a feel for what’s here, and where the watch booths are.
So far, I only have a few funny conversations to report – “He wanted $10,000 for it.” “That’ s too much – unless you’re in love.” “I don’t like being in love.”
“Everybody buys from me because I’m not a watch dealer.” I think he thought that was a good sales pitch, implying his prices were better than anybody’s. I don’t know – I didn’t do a price check.
The big disappointment of the day so far was a beautiful tray of Stella dialed pieces. Oyster Perpetuals and Air-Kings. I eagerly asked the proprietor to pull out the tray. When I tried to confirm that the Caribbean blue, sky blue, bright red, orange, and yellow (oh, the yellow!) dials were original, they told me, “The dials are Rolex, but we’ve refinished them with colors.”
How deflating… although, if they’d been original, I’d now be reporting on my new Caribbean Blue-dialed Air-King with riveted bracelet. Or maybe the yellow Oyster Perp…
Interesting find! A LeCoultre Big Date once owned by Al Jolson. Given to him in grateful appreciation for singing at the Betty Bacharach Home for Children in Atlantic City, 1948.
I’m at Bob Maron’s booth. Maron is watch dealer to the stars and it seems like there’s a good quarter acre of watches under the bright lights of his cases. I hear a familiar voice next to me, look up, and there’s Ben Clymer, founder of Hodinkee. He claims he’s just here “taking pictures.” He was happy to shake hands, even though we only met once about three years ago.
I’m a little over half way through the show, and I’ve counted 22 booths with what I’d call a significant number of watches. Countless more with a few watches mixed in with vintage jewelry.
Overheard from a vintage fashion jewelry dealer: “I used to get into bidding wars with Joan Rivers. I think she was just there buying things to copy.”
Yikes! The lengths people will go, to hitch themselves to the stars… and show how much better/ smarter/ etc. they are.
I’m through the show, and I need food. Bad.
WAIT! There’s more!
OK, these two rooms are mostly jewelry, but there are a few more watch booths. And I stumbled across some of the Mondani Rolex reference books. Two minutes later, lo and behold, up walk Giorgia Mondani and her husband, Daniele Di Murro.
Both were very gracious, and perhaps a little tired – they’d also been at the International Watch and Jewelry Guild show that was in town here Monday and Tuesday. And I confess to being a little star struck. But I got a photo, and I bought the three-volume Rolex Encyclopedia for a souvenir.
Now I’m calling it a day. I’m off in search of Wi-Fi so you can actually read this stuff.
Tomorrow I’ll go back through and talk details – and take more photos.