Bring a Brain XIX

Bring a Brain reviews

Bring a Brain XIX

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » December 13th 2017, 12:33pm

http://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/bring-brain-xix-4593091.html

Welcome to the 19th instalment in the Bring a Brain series! Today, BaB will cover some truly bad research, and, of course, rancid hype. This is your Bring a Brain! The game's afoot: follow your spirit, and upon this charge...

First of all, witness the "masters" of watch identification at work, with this "1960s" Eterna:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1960s-eterna-chronograph-with-spillmann-case

I don't know, I just don't know how lazy and ignorant can one be in order to fail to do even the most basic research. Their panegyrical claptrap about the 1960s style of the watch is beyond laughable, as it doesn't feature a single design feature typical of 1960s chronographs.

If at least one of them advertorial copywriters would have had as much as an idea to look up Eterna serial numbers, they'd know the serial on the case points to 1937, and the one on the movement - to 1938. That said, the watch is from 1938, north of two decades earlier than their "estimate."

Also, the case was likely made by Spillmann indeed, but it is hardly the Spillman case that anyone's really after. The waterproof Spillmann cases had a faceted (Taubert-style) case back, this one has a simple - and fairly crude - press-in back.
"Eterna calibre 703." Surely, Eterna did have their own internally assigned calibre numbers for ebauches, but really, can't they tell a bloody Valjoux 22, one of the most popular chronograph ebauches of that time, when they see one?! By Jove!

All in all, this watch is hardly anything special - with a non-shockproof movement (back then, the standard devices used by Eterna were their own Eterna-E and Eterna-H) and a non-waterproof case, it sat well below the best that Eterna had to offer in terms of chronographs and time-only watches alike.

The authentication and identification of this watch has sadly been performed by someone who knows completely nothing about vintage watches, not even the basics of identification. Go work at a grocery store. Although, on second thoughts, no - if I'd ask for a cabbage, they'd sell me a lettuce. This contrasts rather sharply with the heading on the Shop's vintage watch section's site- "a selection of vintage watches carefully vetted by the Shop team." Vetted? Carefully? Their vetting of the Sahara wouldn't result in spotting any sand there, and they're the "I'll take a stroll through the minefield without a detector" sort of careful.

Now, another example of stellar identification skills:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1980-rolex-air-king-date-reference-5700?variant=1496171544591

First of all, the basic knowledge of vintage Rolexes isn't there, especially the part about the inconsistency in movement markings. This is not the calibre 1520, as the calibre 1520 was a no-date. The date version was the 1525. They make this mistake with just about every single Rolex with the date function that they sell. Also, "here we have a version with date and an elegant blue dial?" Ummm...no, this doesn't look particularly blue. The annotations on the photos mention a charcoal dial, so I wonder if the description was written by someone with a split personality, with the other personality being colour-blind. Although it's red-green colour blindness that's the usual type of this particular condition.

Now, some ordinary fleecing:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1950s-longines-conquest-calendar

Given just how well-documented Longines is, it's - frankly - ridiculous, that they fail to provide an exact date of manufacture, especially that all it takes is either looking up the serial in freely available online resources, or sending Longines an email to get all the facts in 24 hours.
The price is outrageous, especially for a piece with a case that's been tampered with.

Next up, this Constellation:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1960s-omega-constellation-in-yellow-gold

First of all, the plating on the rotor looks very different to the one on the rest of the movement, with the conclusion being a fairly obvious suspicion of a replacement part. Second, their take on estimating the production year is also rather unimpressive - the serial just before the 18 million mark suggests late 1960, case from a 1961 batch, the higher number dates the watch, conclusion: 1961.

Now, this Doxa Sfygmos:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1960s-doxa-sfygmos-pulsometer?variant=1496152080399
"[...]powered by the Valjoux 23 chronograph movement, which resets to 3 o'clock." Ummm, copywriters, do your watches go backwards? This is 9 o'clock, not 3... Aaaargghhh, back to kindergarten. The movement is undeniably built on the Valjoux 23 base calibre, but it's hardly a standard 23 any longer, given the lack of a minute counter. Also, how exactly is a pulsometer dial "unusual" for the Sfygmos, which didn't exist in any other version than that with a pulsometer dial?

JLC Powermatic, or when you don't know the difference between rotor and bumper automatic:
https://shop.hodinkee.com/collections/vintage-watches/products/1940s-jaeger-lecoultre-powermatic-for-the-french-market?variant=1496174362639
"...and it has the 'bumper' effect, caused by the swinging motion of the rotor." Call it a hammer, an oscillating mass, but don't call it a rotor, because it isn't one. Which pretty much makes the distinction between bumper and rotor automatic movements. A rotor, dear copywriters, as its name suggests, rotates. Which isn't the case with the oscillating mass of a bumper automatic, which doesn't make a full 360 degrees around its axis. And no, the effect doesn't come from the swinging motion, as much as it does from the oscillating mass bumping off of the springs.

That's all for this instalment of Bring a Brain. Hope you have enjoyed this round of horror stories, and as always, Bring a Brain will return if necessary!
Last edited by MKTheVintageBloke on December 13th 2017, 8:40pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby Mortuus » December 13th 2017, 2:48pm

Another series of outstanding (read: cringe-worthy) errors from the often-consulted "rectal databases" over at the dinkee ho... Still, I must confess to having a predilection against anyone who uses the term "tone-on-tone." It became an oft-used term at good 'ol SchlockNBC, where the gals all lined up to see who could use it the most; the Top 3 were: (1) Kendy Klubfoote - 26,783; (2) Melissa Coal-Miner - 18,335; (3) Scene Wilsie - 1,782. It's a term that has always caused me to recall the (in)famous U.S. Special Forces war cry, "Embrace the SUCK!"

Great stuff, as always, MKtVB!! 8-)
Okay, so I was wrong... http://thewatchforum.net/forum/index.php ...but I was never so glad to be incorrect... ;)
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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby biglove » December 13th 2017, 5:10pm

Another awesome work, surprised Hodonkadinkdonk hasn’t tried to sue you, the rat bastards.

How can they be so dumb?

Glad you posted it all here, too. Going to WUS makes my brain hurt as I have to keep changing my PW there.
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."- Mark Twain

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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » December 13th 2017, 5:53pm

biglove wrote:Another awesome work, surprised Hodonkadinkdonk hasn’t tried to sue you, the rat bastards.

How can they be so dumb?

Glad you posted it all here, too. Going to WUS makes my brain hurt as I have to keep changing my PW there.


I don't know how can they be so dumb. In terms of the known boundaries or limits of human stupidity, the universe consistently keeps amazing us all with how far it can push said limits. I think that when it comes to knowledge of vintage watches, their minds are as vacant as they are simply because they have never bothered to try having them occupied with facts or making as much as the slightest effort of connecting the dots, even when facing things beyond obvious.

As to why they didn't try to do anything about me - oh, they did try to intervene with the mods, but the mods seem to tolerate BaB, some even like it, support it and help defend it from Hoodwinkee.

Besides, what usable arguments would they have against me? I'm using cold facts and verifiable knowledge, so I've got tons of stick on them, all supported with evidence and second opinions (it's a forum, after all). All the Bring a Brains contain enough of a record of their fails for them not to risk having me proven right officially. And since it was me who proved them wrong on dozens of occasions, not vice versa, it's me who has the high ground, not them.

As to the entire Bring a Brain format, they can't really attack it either, as in the very beginning I've stated, that it's a mix of a watchdog series, investigative journalism and Jeremy Clarkson/Monty Python-inspired comedy, written for a good cause of criticizing the lack of honesty for the people's education and entertainment, and I have been (and I do, and will be) sticking to that. Most likely they just find me of little concern to them, because BaB might likely detract one in a thousand prospective buyers for their rubbish, which means 999 (may be overestimated, may be underestimated, I'll be fucked if I know) people still battling for one rustbucket, and - as a result - them selling it anyway.
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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby bedlam » December 14th 2017, 12:26am

Great work MK :-)
"If I could put a finger on the moment we genuinely fucked ourselves, it was the moment we decided that data was something you could use words like believe or disbelieve around...

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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby conjurer » December 14th 2017, 9:59am

A fine installment, one which made me smile broadly.
Jim...you are a ray of sunshine here.

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Re: Bring a Brain XIX

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » December 14th 2017, 1:47pm

bedlam wrote:Great work MK :-)

Thanks!

conjurer wrote:A fine installment, one which made me smile broadly.

I immediately knew it'll be good, the moment I've seen them misidentify that Eterna. Vintage Eternas are my - so to speak - territory, so when I see a Donkey on my territory, I've just got to do something about it. With such fails at the Shop, Bring a Brain went - in a way - back to its roots.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last.
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