March 16, 2016
Hong Kong Buying Trip Report
This time the current takes us to one of the Far East epicenters of luxury, the one and only Hong Kong.
This is not my first time there as I have visited this past August to attend the famous “HK Coin Show”.
The results of that trip had been excellent as I managed to bring home quite a few quality watches to offer. Wasn’t surprising to me as HK stands highest in watch importations since always.
The amount of Rolex authorized dealers is beyond belief and at almost every corner you can find a watch or a jewelry store.
Hong Kong is also home to many clients of Classic Watch and I’m always happy to ship a watch there as there is no import duty.
I’m always nervous before a trip overseas and this time the thought of a 16 hours flight kinda haunts me all Saturday.
Luckily my flight is at 1245am so I have ample time to relax at home before the long trip..
I’m all ready to go and here I leave my house dressed like Marty McFly came to pick me up in 1980, not even on purpose I realize Nostalgia is definitely my business in all my being :
– my vintage Rolex GMT 1675, 5 mil serial with top Patina at my wrist
– my Velcro strap Stan Smith at my feet
– my Fila Borg sweats
– and to finish my early 80s Barbour
Oh well then, let’s score some vintage watches!
At the gate I find many, many familiar faces from New York’s 47th street all traveling to attend the various shows the week has to offer.
Gem stone dealers, watch dealers, jewelers and everybody in the industry is gathering to seek quality offerings to send home and sell.
It’s a buyers market at the moment as things quieted down in Asia after the stock exchange meltdown, I’m hopeful to score the best in each category I’m after.
Many of my colleagues in the vintage watch world are just on their way back from Parma’s “Mercante in Fiera” .
As I see it now, the situation in our industry is that quality iconic and collectible watches such as the Rolex Daytonas, gilt dial Submariners and the likes are on the highest point of price at the moment.
My focus in the past weeks has been on acquiring the best certain categories can offer that are safe investments for me and my clients.
I’ve been concentrating a lot on the ever lasting Datejust, the Oyster Perpetual no date along with the Explorer 1016.
36mm and 34mm classic cased watches that never go out of style and that will be soon also a top score as far value.
I love the Air Kings and those Thunderbirds..
There is still lots to discover in this category and many treasures to uncover.
The focus is always to find the crispest,sharpest case specimens that are also accompanied by their papers and other accessories.
The quality of the case is a prime quality in my sorting through the choices.
The watches must have even and strong lugs, tight bracelets and interesting dials to be what I’m looking for.
Hong Kong being the Far East hub of the watch industry has good offerings for me in the categories I’m looking for.
The movies sucked on my Cathay Pacific flight but good company made the time go by fast.
We arrive after a breezy 16 hour flight to Hong Kong at 530 am ready to conquer the day as its making its way in the sky.
By 645am the sun is high above us and the mood is good. We are on the express train from the airport to Kowloon side.
This is the quietest and fastest train ride you can be on, I like that sharp Asian we mean business vibe its bouncing off on me.
Hong Kong is very clean and efficient and I appreciate to be visiting.
I wish New York would be this clean..but hey we can’t have it all.
We arrive at the Shangri La hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui and it’s a beautiful sight. I love the big murals and those gorgeous flowers at the entrance.
The employees of the hotel are all in nice red uniforms along with the female personnel in a Chinese traditional kimono.
What hits me is the strong air perfume in the Lobby. Very strong like air freshener scent.
Always hits me to hard in the nose..
After a hearty breakfast and a good shower I am ready to face the day and find some nice watches.
A small trade show close to my hotel is what’s on the agenda first.
The tables and showcases are all set when I arrive and I peruse through the offers.
The offerings are not so great and the quality of the watches is medium to low.
I did manage to snatch two beautiful unpolished 90s Rolexes..
Outside I meet some colleagues from the USA and Italy that came hunting in HK as well.
I visit some HK dealers I met last trip here in August and I’m very pleased with the selection and quality of the watches.
In the afternoon I visited my friend Dominique / Yen at Vintage Concept in Central HK. Nice store and very similar vibe to our shop in NYC.
The first day was exhausting but gratifying… I bought 6 nice watches and I am very pleased. Nothing incredible but all quality healthy vintage Rolex to offer to our discerned clients.
I’m all jet lagged and tired and after a nice Kosher meal I am in bed ready for the next day.
Tuesday I wake up early due to the time difference and I’m ready to conquer the world in my Sapphire Blue suit..
I dedicate the day to my Gem buying..keep your eye out for our new project “Classic Gem”.
The Hong Kong Gem and Diamond Show is going strong at the Expo Center by the Airport and I’m happy to be back to my roots.
Wednesday the Hong Watch Guild Show is going on at the BP Hotel in Kowloon.
Surprisingly I see more and more american and Italian dealers hitting the pavements looking for that holy Grail..
Unfortunately for me and for this article the offerings and the prices are utter shit and after a few hours of running around all I come home with are pictures of some nice watches that are A) not that great B) super expensive.
the walk to the show though is pleasant as I discover the cool Kowloon park and this nice Art Show..
Back at the jewelry show I manage to snatch this:
All in all the trip was great. I love the energy Hong Kong has, I really feel good when I am there.
Back in the office now I am ready for Spring and more great times ahead.
Till the next one!