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Consumer Alert: Online Watch Buyers Beware

August 31, 2009 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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San Diego watch buyers looking for deals on used watches, such as second-hand Rolexes and Patek Philippe timepieces, should proceed with caution. The North County Gazette reports that a watch enthusiast has been charged with defrauding a California man out of $100,000 by offering a nonexistent Patek Philippe watch for sale on an internet website that targets watch collectors. The man in question was charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property and first-degree scheme to defraud and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The local District Attorney gave the following warning to online watch buyers: “While online shopping offers a certain ease and convenience over traditional store shopping, consumers should always be cautious and remember the old adage, ‘buyer beware,’ because shopping online, sight unseen, can potentially pose a big risk.”

Prosecutors say the charged man used a wireless connection to gain the Internet Protocol (IP) address of a neighbor and set up an account under the name Jonathan Miller. Thereafter the defendant is alleged to have made contact with an Oscar Ho of California, regarding the sale by “Miller” and the purchase by Ho of a Patek Philippe Model 5970G watch for $100,000. After a series of negotiations, Ho allegedly sent $100,000 by wire transfer to a Bank of America account belonging to the defendant. Despite repeated requests, Ho allegedly never received the watch.

Over $6.7m at Auction

April 26, 2009 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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National Jeweler reports that Patrizzi and Co.’s April 19 horological auction brought in more than $6.7 million. Three commemorative-edition Patek Philippes earned the top prices.

An 18-karat yellow gold Patek Philippe minute repeater with perpetual calendar and moon phases was the star of the show, selling for about $349,787. The wristwatch was produced in a small series in 1989 to celebrate Patek’s 150th anniversary.

A Patek “Officer’s style” minute repeater chronometer wristwatch, sold for about $332,724. The timepiece was made in 1997 as one of 10 watches in 18-karat yellow gold to commemorate the new company headquarters just outside of Geneva.

Finally, a Patek Philippe minute repeater wristwatch produced in 2004 as one of five to mark the 50th anniversary of George Pragnell Jewellers in London, sold for about $315,718.

Patrizzi and Co. said in a media release that in addition to the enthusiasm for Patek Philippe, bidding was competitive for several Vacheron Constantin and Panerai wristwatches, as well as for a Hublot “Big Bang Tourbillon Solo Bang,” which nearly doubled its estimate.

Also selling well were a Breguet “souscription” watch in 18-karat gold that was originally sold to Prince Ferdinand in 1812; a Louis Audemars No. 12131 circa 1875; and a Patek Philippe and Cie yellow gold keyless “World Time” gentleman’s dress watch with a cloisonne enamel map of North America. The timepieces sold for about $36,142, $77,457 and $79,178, respectively.

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