Great story and I was happy to be of some kind of support during your "process" and I´m so happy that this watch soon is on your wrist, Joe!Just received notice that DHL has picked up the watch. Given the upcoming U.S. holiday and the process of going through customs, I will probably have it in hand week after next.
Now as to the story of the auction process . . .
Rarely I have attended auctions in person, but generally I attend virtually or, when I am not available at the time of auction, I will occasionally use the maximum bid approach. The way absentee bids are supposed to work, either Ebay, or Live Auctioneers/Invaluable or the auction house itself are supposed to bid incrementally on one's behalf until one's maximum is reached . . . and then one has either won . . . or one is out of the running.
When I cannot attend and I am only half-heartedly bidding, like some others do, I'll just put in a "I hope no one serious shows up" bid. In such a case, the winning bid is generally much higher than my $1000 offer for a Rolex Daytona. That's a "Hail Mary" bid approach. It isn't serious.
I blame Nico for my becoming interested in this particular watch as he featured it on his site and eventually he an others provided the links to Bukowski's.
I'd never participated in a bid process with Bukowski's previously, but they do seem like a fine auction house.
Last year, as most know, another "Swedish Ia" watch, SN 272535 sold at Bukowski's for 130 000 SEK
Enicar, Sherpa Graph, chronograph, "Mark 1a", “Gladius hands”, “Tachymetre Base 1000”, "Stirling Moss". - Bukowskis<b>Case size:</b> 40 mm <b>Material:</b> steel <b>Movement:</b> manual, Valjoux 72 <b>Year:</b> circa 1960 <b>Crystal:</b> plastic crystal <b>Bracelet:<...www.bukowskis.com
Today that would be about 12,800 EUR or about $14,580 USD plus the "extras."
If one examines the photos for the earlier watch, once sees the condition appears not equal to the condition of the present watch.
Was the 130 000 SEK price an anomaly?
Bulang & Sons had a similar gray or brown tropicalized watch for sale where the asking price was much higher, in the mid $20Ks. I believe it sold for below the asking price, but I do not recall that price today. Nico may have tracked this down.
Stirling Moss’s Rarest Racing Chrono – Only a handful We are thrilled to be offering one of the rarest and coolest chronographs ever – the Mk1 Sherpa Graph by Enicar. This model was used in advertising campaigns featuring legendary driver Sir Stirling Moss and features special sword hands. Known...bulangandsons.com
I've been on the hunt for an early Sherpa Graph for some time and this one seemed to be a good candidate. I reasoned that it would sell for above 130 000 SEK and if I were lucky, that would be about 150 000.
But I also believed that, due to its condition and provenance, the present watch could go way above the 150 000 SEK mark and much higher than I was willing to go.
The Evening Before the Auction:
As the auction day approached, I had a virtual meeting scheduled that conflicted with the time. The auction was set to go off at 7 PM CET or 2 PM New York time and I was going to be tied up as of 1:30 PM local time. The meeting could have lasted more than an hour and so I decided to enter an absentee high bid price. Later in the day, I would find out what happened. It could be a bit of fun, I thought.
The range of possible hammer prices seemed to me to be broad. I figured at least 15,000 USD but who knows? The hammer price could also have been $25,000 USD? So what would be the most I would go plus the 22.5%, VAT (to be clawed back possibly) and duty, etc.
Serendipity has played a roll here to be sure.
I settled on "about $20,000" would be as high as I would go.
I never bid even numbers.
I decided to input 180 601 SEK, but the algorithm set up by the auction house required double zeros at the end. Hence, my bid became 180 600.
The Day of the Auction:
As it turns out, the meeting lasted only 30 minutes, so I could attend the auction after all!
I logged in about ten watches before this one and I watched with a little trepidation as each bid started with a mid-tier bid according to the estimates and the watches sold for at, slightly below or just above the estimates. All seemed to be going as expected.
We here all know that the 50 000 - 70 000 SEK estimate for this watch was off as it was last time as well. Bukowski's had not changed the range. I expected the bid to open up at 70 000 and move on up from there.
So now it is "our" turn and the auctioneer hesitates. He looks at the bid and seems flustered, puzzled even. To paraphrase: "I have a bid offering of 180 600. The bid is 180 600" Any offers? Final warning! Sold at 180 600!"
You could have knocked me off my chair with a feather.
My first reaction was shock. If you were with me in the office, you'd have seen my face go white and then after a minute or two, change to bright red as my heart started pumping again.
It was not exactly an "Oh my God, what did I do?" reaction as I simply could not fathom how my high bid became THE bid?
Had I misread the instructions? Had I made a tyro or n00bish mistake in interpreting the way the auction was to be run? I had no prior experience with Bukowski's so I wondered whether my high bid was taken to be THE bid? Was there a cultural barrier? Did I leave $5000 on the table?
While the auction was going on, I fired off an email to Customer Service. I played it cool. I let them know that I intended to conclude the purchase, but that I wished to know whether I had misinterpreted their rules? I asked how my high bid became the one bid?
Within minutes, Mats Akerberg head of customer service got back to me and assured me that I had made no mistake. There was another absentee bid just under my bid and I had won - my words and not his - by the skin of my teeth.
I immediately felt much better. I'd say it took me about an hour to become happy once again, but then I heard from Hakan. The watch savants over at Klocksnack.se were have a lively discussion and they were speculating as to what may have occurred. Thread here:
Du verkar väldigt engagerad, varför inte fråga dem ist? För det är ganska självklart vad de skulle svara. De kan bemöta saker i tråden om de så önskar. Vad de nu skulle vinna på det. Att diskutera udda tillfälligheter känns relevant för oss som ibland köper på auktion.klocksnack.se
Did the auction house play the unsuspecting bidder for a fool? Was there really only the one bid? Did they simply take advantage of an opportunity to maximize income?
After a couple of additional exchanges with customer service I was satisfied that the auction house had played by the rules and the only way I'd ever know any more on the subject was if the other bidder contacted me.
Well . . .
A couple of days later, I did receive a congratulatory message from the other bidder. He like me was not going to be able to attend the auction and he wanted the watch as much as I did. Using a similar thought process as to possible ultimate valuation, he wondered to himself whether he should set his maximum bid at 180 000 SEK or perhaps 200 000 SEK. In he end, he settled on 180 000 SEK.
How do I know this contact was not a put-up job by the auction house?
As it turns out, the other bidder is one who is known to appreciate Enicar. He asked that I respect his privacy as far as name an location are concerned and of course, I agreed. But I was able to track his IP address and confirm that his communication was originating from the place he identified as his home . . . and he was not in Sweden.
The Absentee Bid is a tool that works best when only one person at a time uses it. If two or more people decide they want something and they put in bids on the high side of an expected price range, then the item is guaranteed to sell on the high side of the expected price.
So one should only use the absentee bid when one really wants something and one has not been casual with one's estimate.
I did give a sufficient amount of thought to my bid over the space of a couple of week's time. I was prepared to pay the maximum price offered even though I hoped for "a better deal." What had caused me to go white and then go red for half an hour was the thought that I may have failed at reading comprehension. It was momentary embarrassment followed by elation.
Had the other fellow been available, he indicated to me that he may have gone over 200 000 SEK to get the watch. I cannot say for certain how much higher I would have gone, but I would have gone a bit higher than my bid price as well.
As it turns out, I appear to have left only 600 SEK on the table. That's $67.30 or 59.44 EUR!
Was this post sufficiently entertaining?
Edit: There was another thread at Klocksnack.se on this watch back in 2017. It was an interesting read this morning:
En av mina närmre kollegor har haft en vintagekronograf på handleden sedan många år. Jag har alltid tyckt att den varit riktigt fin men jag har inte hittills kunnat se vad det är för klocka. Härom veckan började vi prata om klockor och jag bad att få titta närmre på den. Det var en Enicar Sherpa...klocksnack.se
I find it amusing that the subject was brought up by a fellow whose handle translates as "The Goose Poop."
Here are the bid increments used by Bukowski's along with basic process information:
View attachment 4053
At the level of 180 000 SEK, the bid increments would have been at 5 000 SEK. However; the absentee bid starting price can be anything so long as it ends in 00.
The next logical bid above my 180 600 would have been at least 185 600.
I've the same experience with customs and shipping companies as well, therefore my laughing smiley above!Update,
Delivery is scheduled for the 29th or 30th.
I gave very explicit shipping instructions to Bukowski's to deliver to my business and not to my home as there will be someone to sign and receive the watch at the business, but likely not at home.
The tracking information showed delivery to my home. I can't be sure whether Bukowski's or DHL made the mistake.
Including wait time, I spent 45 minutes getting DHL to change the destination address to my business.
When I received the confirmation, DHL had the new address correct, but no company name! I had explained to the agent that the address is of an industrial building and that the package may not get to me without the company name. "I have it sir; no worries."
Including wait time, another 45 minutes spent getting DHL to add the company name to the address. "Be sure to include attention my name," I said. Well . . . DHL got the complete address correct this time, but no name. I own the company so I informed my shipping guy to hold it for me.
Of course there is the usual Customs hold pending additional information.
I gave Bukowski's explicit information as to how to fill out a "Watch Information Worksheet" for U.S. Customs, but they may not have done so as DHL asked me to explain for Customs what is in the box.
I have informed DHL that I will provide the watch worksheet if it is needed. It is always better to have the worksheet filled out by someone who knows how to categorize the components which include: movement type and value; battery (if electronic) and value; case material type and value; strap material type and value. Customs Duty depends on adding up the amount owed based upon the indivudual declared value of the components which needs to agree with total value.
I believe international shipping process and procedure was conceived by Franz Kafka.
Bukowski's insisted on using the purchase price plus commission as the declared value and I did insure the package for that value. In any case, one can't have it both ways: Declared value "one Euro;" insured value a million Euros, lol.I've the same experience with customs and shipping companies as well, therefore my laughing smiley above!
Hopefully you'll get your beauty soon...
You should have told Bukowskis to write "old broken watch" as description....