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Thread: Thoughts on market mainpulation - FPJ

  1. #1
    Master
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    Thoughts on market mainpulation - FPJ

    Hey guys, just wanted to start a discussion or hear others thoughts on the current "manipulation" saga that has been hitting Instagram. With major instagram players claiming Watchbox (primary culprit) is manipulating the market for FPJ watches. Basically buying up stock of iconic FPJ watches, and then cornering the market. ACM to an extent also in on it but less so I presume. If anyone was looking for an FPJ recently you probably felt that there were very few watches on the market. It is not a coincidence and the prices for many of the watches like the resonance has shot up or dissapeared, presumeably awaiting the release of the newer models.

    What do you guys think in general? Is this manipulation? Or are the prices just a reflection of the true value?

    https://www.instagram.com/nycwatchguy/ Claiming that WB/ACM etc are evil.

    https://www.instagram.com/wei_koh_revolution/ - Supporting NYCWATCHGUYs assertion that WB is evil.
    Last edited by kaiserphoenix; 24th February 2020 at 12:51.

  2. #2
    This does not surprise me. Here in the UK, WatchFinder could be accused of doing something similar a few years ago with Rolex. FPJ are produced in much small numbers, it'd be easier to corner, hype up and do the same - especially in New York where the watch bubble is a bit more crazy and there is more money floating around. Also note Independents are getting more attention.

    Heck FPJ themselves have been manipulating the market by deliberately lowering production numbers of the Chronometre Bleu. And with the new Resonance supposed to be jacked up to over 6 figures, it makes sense to buy a load, wait for the new one and then sell the older ones for 'bargains' relative to the new price.

  3. #3
    Master endo's Avatar
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    There's a lot of market manipulation going with FPJ

    CB is in interesting one, I lusted after one after gusmac showed me his 10 years ago, so i put that on my list of cool things i might wanted for a significant (to me) birthday last year.
    At the time, they were easy enough to get (like most things) with significant discounts as nobody wanted them, but I didn't really feel "grown up" enough for a dressier watch.

    So the serious hunt started 3-4 years ago to get a watch in place so that i could pick it up papers signed on my birthday, around about when "diddums, dial problems" rumors started happening and wait lists started to happen.
    Ultimately at the time this didn't fuss me because there were still a few years to go till I needed the watch to turn up.

    I've kept in contact since 2015 with a FPJ AD who I've bought from before, and for at least the past 3 years the contact I've had said they've not even received a single CB, and suspects they are all specifically going to the boutiques.
    However If i didn't want one there was a way... call a contact in Paris (same contact i'd been given previously by gusmac if I was seriously looking), 50% down and watch would magically turn up fairly.

    So it'd mean a trip to Paris, there are worse ways to spend a birthday I thought.
    Got in contact with Paris a number of times over the past few years... and long story short, after some very "Parisian" responses from them, instead of CB and a Centigraphe I ended with 4 Mosers (2 Perpetuals, Concept and a Pioneer, technically down to 3 now as one went to a friend).

  4. #4
    Master
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    Definitely agree something has been going on and given low production numbers it would be fairly easy to do.
    My comment is based on keeping an eye on the Centigraphe over the past year or so. Suddenly Around 2-3 months ago the numbers knocking around has dropped. This is particularly in Europe though so not sure who has been Ďplayingí.

  5. #5
    Master
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    Believable and as you said, WF are guilty of the same with the used Rolex SS sports market.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    Hey guys, just wanted to start a discussion or hear others thoughts on the current "manipulation" saga that has been hitting Instagram. With major instagram players claiming Watchbox (primary culprit) is manipulating the market for FPJ watches. Basically buying up stock of iconic FPJ watches, and then cornering the market. ACM to an extent also in on it but less so I presume. If anyone was looking for an FPJ recently you probably felt that there were very few watches on the market. It is not a coincidence and the prices for many of the watches like the resonance has shot up or dissapeared, presumeably awaiting the release of the newer models.

    What do you guys think in general? Is this manipulation? Or are the prices just a reflection of the true value?

    https://www.instagram.com/nycwatchguy/ Claiming that WB/ACM etc are evil.

    https://www.instagram.com/wei_koh_revolution/ - Supporting NYCWATCHGUYs assertion that WB is evil.
    Interesting. Do you have any links as to the claims being made?

  7. #7
    Master
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    Yep itís on their respective stories. He has screenshots of before/after pricing etc.

  8. #8
    Master
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    Interesting - I hadnít heard about this but it would make sense. There are similar claims in the art market, for instance about Andy Warhol works, with a lot parked in storage by certain collectors to control availability and prices. It would certainly be possible with rarer watches, though youíd have to be very confident of their continued desirability.

  9. #9
    Have heard about this for MilSubs but I guess FPJ especially the CB would be easier to do.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    Yep itís on their respective stories. He has screenshots of before/after pricing etc.
    Can't see anything on the links provided, apart from a load of pics. Is there any text?

  11. #11
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    As Iím not in this market, I can only watch with bemusement from the sidelines. I donít think any of this should come as a shock, weíve seen this with Rolex sports with WF, and the well capitalised secondary market dealers must be looking for the next thing they can slap a big margin on.

    nycwatchguy was an interesting read, although a bit of a rant at the secondary market. Sometimes we love to hate the grey market, but cornering the market in halo pieces is high risk, everything is cyclical, and fashion / sentiment changes. Chrono24 pricing isnít always real, it has everything from really good value new watches to speculative pricing for fools with too much money, and a poor understanding of the market.

    I appreciate for the true enthusiast the situation can be frustrating, but there are many great alternatives if your mind is open. We are part of the problem, the likes of Hodinkee decides something is hot, the internet goes wild, and dealers respond to this. The worst thing we could do is cease to care.

    D


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Master
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    Yes I felt this was a very interesting topic to discuss.

    Firstly I think before we get into the "manipulation" aspect, dealers like WB or WF to a certain extent may be part of the problem but they are also a solution for many. The fact that you can liquidate, if you must, a FPJ or other indie brand is very positive for the industry as a whole. I think the biggest risk factor with going into independents isnt the fact that you will take a hit (most watches that are not daytona or 5711 you will take a hit), but the fact that its even hard to find a buyer in the first place. If you do your home work and are fairly well connected, you can probably sell the piece on a forum like this or puristpro etc but it will take months. WB will buy your watch pretty much wherever you are in the world and I think for that they are a positive influence.

    On the other hand what they are doing is tbh pretty poor form. Sure we live in a capitalist society, money talks and if we don't like it, at the end of the day, we just dont have to buy it. Its just watches afterall. Are grey dealers even necessary? The future I feel are brands just selling direct to consumers, even the AD model is already finished in many ways I feel.

  13. #13
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    The 'free-market' is nothing more than a concept. All markets are manipulated...its just more obvious in some cases than others.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    The 'free-market' is nothing more than a concept. All markets are manipulated...its just more obvious in some cases than others.
    This is a very good point.

    @OP - you make some good points, but ultimately I would buy from an independent watchmaker as a form of patronage. So ultimately most will take some hit if I sell.

    IG has helped in spreading the word of what watchmakers are out there, and funnily the reason for more transparent information. I guess WB and WF are for a (lot) of buyers who can afford to pay the premium. For the rest of us, we have to continue and enjoy the hunt.

  15. #15
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    This is a very good point.

    @OP - you make some good points, but ultimately I would buy from an independent watchmaker as a form of patronage. So ultimately most will take some hit if I sell.

    IG has helped in spreading the word of what watchmakers are out there, and funnily the reason for more transparent information. I guess WB and WF are for a (lot) of buyers who can afford to pay the premium. For the rest of us, we have to continue and enjoy the hunt.
    Good point. I also would buy from the watchmaker direct if possible as its also a show of support as you say. Were supposed to lose money on these things! haha

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    The 'free-market' is nothing more than a concept. All markets are manipulated...its just more obvious in some cases than others.
    Very true actually.

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