Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

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Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

The term 'grail' (and even 'Holy Grail') is regularly bandied about by watch collectors. Yes, I've had a few grails myself over the years, most of which I've succeeded in acquiring. But one of them, which some might consider unattainable, continues to elude me - and much to my annoyance, I've recently missed an opportunity to bid on another example. :x Readers may recall this old archived forum thread: 'Rich Man's 18ct Gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74 on eBay

The original subject matter of that thread was an 18K Gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74-011, which was first listed on eBay by Las Vegas based dealer afinewatch as far back as the end of January 2016. He was originally asking $9000. :roll: The already risibly over-ambitious price had increased to $12,000 by September 2020.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-Jean-La ... 4589614711

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In fact, that eBay link still works. That last re-listing was created in May 2020. Despite having received over 4300 views and a reduction in the Buy-it-Now price to $11,500 in March this year, not surprisingly it remains steadfastly unsold.

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

The 18K Gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74-011 was without doubt, the most expensive re-branded Seiko 7Axx produced by Seiko or any of their puppet subsidiary companies. The recommended retail price in 1988 was $13,000. Whereas I'd never consider paying 5 figures for one (even allowing for inflation), if the opportunity arose to purchase one, in good condition, at the right price, it's something I would actually consider as the ultimate addition to my collection. Hence I include it in my 'potential grail' list. If you read the whole of that old archived forum thread, then you'll already know such an example appeared (a few times) starting in May 2017, offered for sale by Austrian auction house Dorotheum.

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The auctioneer's estimate of 7000 - 10,000 Euros was highly over-optimistic, far more than I was ever prepared to pay, but the opening bid-price of 4000 Euros was more realistic and severely tempting. To my chagrin, it wasn't meant to be. I registered with Dorotheum, in the hope of bidding on it in a subsequent auction. However, due to inconsistencies and sheer incompetence, their saved search and upcoming auction notifications were virtually useless. I didn't receive ANY notification (at all) of their auction of 26th March 2020, when it was allegedly eventually sold for a mere 3,200 Euros. Neither could I find it in their archived lot list. Understandably, I was gutted and more or less gave up on the idea. :(

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I never really expected to find another example in that sort of condition, at what I'd consider to be a reasonable price. Generally speaking, quartz watches are held in low regard by watch snobs, even 15 jewel solid 18K gold luxury models, so dismissing Dorotheum as an exception, I never considered looking in more prestigious auction houses, like Sotheby's.

This morning, as I occasionally do, I made the fatal mistake of searching google images on 'Jean Lassale Thalassa'. :roll:
Seems I missed spotting another 18K Gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74-011, auctioned by Sotheby's earlier this year. :(

It was Lot 87 of their 'Fine Watches including Masterworks of Time' sale, held in London on 14th April this year.

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Sotheby's estimate was a very conservative £700 - £1000 (likely due to the stigma of it being 'quartz'). It sold for a more respectable £3,780, including their premiums, but presumably subject to 20% VAT on top, making a total of £4,536.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/buy/auction ... watch-with

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Although no box or papers were included and Sotheby's condition report was less than flattering, based on the photos, to my eyes at least, that seemed a decent, well-cared for example, in the sort of condition I'm looking for. Had I seen the auction at the time, I most certainly would have bid on it. Though I'm not sure whether I'd have been willing to go so far as paying £4.5K for the privilege of ownership. :|

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I've no idea who the buyer was, but there's a chance it may have been a dealer. This afternoon, out of morbid curiosity, I ran a search on Chrono24 and found another example, currently listed by an Italian dealer, who's asking a typically over-optimistic 6800 Euros. Luckily, I only searched on 'Jean Lassale', otherwise I probably wouldn't have found it. :roll:

https://www.chrono24.co.uk/jeanlassale/ ... 943121.htm

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Despite being captioned 'Extra Large' the 8 uploaded photos measure only 540x960 pixels and the quality isn't great.

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They're sufficient to assess the watch's well used condition, not dissimilar to the example listed on eBay by afinewatch. The bezel is badly scuffed and the watch has taken a shine. Translating the Italian seller's description, it sounds like it's possibly suffering from a recalcitrant sweep second hand. Note they also state the dial colour as being 'Champagne'. Previous experience points to it originally being a white dial, which has discoloured with age / exposure to sunlight. Goes without saying, especially at that price, I'll pass on that one too, thank you very much ! :lol:

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Seiko7A38 wrote: Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:27 pmThe original subject matter of that thread was an 18K Gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74-011, which was first listed on eBay by Las Vegas based dealer afinewatch as far back as the end of January 2016. He was originally asking $9000. :roll: The already risibly over-ambitious price had increased to $12,000 by September 2020.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-Jean-La ... 4589614711

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In fact, that eBay link still works. That last re-listing was created in May 2020. Despite having received over 4300 views and a reduction in the Buy-it-Now price to $11,500 in March this year, not surprisingly it remains steadfastly unsold.

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I wouldn't attach any great significance to it, but checking my eBay watching page, I notice that deluded US eBay seller afinewatch ended the aforementioned latest long-running re-listing in the early hours of this morning, after 1 year 9 months and some 5840 views, as allegedly no longer available. It isn't the first time. :roll:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254589614711

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

A fortnight later - and incidentally just over six years since it first appeared on eBay, that ludicrously over-priced 18K gold Jean Lassale Thalassa 7A74-011 is back again. :roll:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-Jean-La ... 5406210617

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I can't say I've paid much notice to that most recent re-listing. It has cycled around my eBay watching page every 30 days. But today is an anniversary - it's SEVEN years to the day when it was first listed on eBay ! :lol: However the clearly deluded would-be seller has since seen fit to increase the already ludicrous Buy-it-Now price twice to $14,000 !! :o

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rare-Jean-La ... 5406210617

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

At the risk of repeating myself .... another year on ....
Seiko7A38 wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 10:18 amI wouldn't attach any great significance to it, but checking my eBay watching page, I notice that deluded US eBay seller afinewatch ended the aforementioned latest long-running re-listing in the early hours of this morning .... as allegedly no longer available. It isn't the first time. :roll:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/255406210617

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Re: Another Jean Lassale Thalassa 18K Gold 'Grail Watch' missed

Post by Seiko7A38 »

The 18K gold version of the Jean Lassale Thalassa (7A74-011) remains one of the few 'grails' that have eluded me. From my previous posts you may have gathered my disappointment at missing out on those two almost mint examples sold at auction by Dorotheum (Vienna) and Sotheby's (London) in 2020 and 2021. I still have a couple of saved searches set up on various online auction sites in the hope of finding one. A fortnight or so ago, Drouot.com emailed me a notification of one coming up for sale on 9th July - today. The auction, held by Millon, Paris, started at 14:00 (CET)

https://drouot.com/fr/l/25913285

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The photos weren't great quality and didn't exactly inspire confidence. The auction house described the dial colour as 'gold'. I suspect in truth that it was another badly discoloured (once) white dial. The watch looked fairly well worn and the brushed sections had taken a polish. The auctioneer's estimate was €2500 - €3000 Euros. Although it wasn't in ideal condition (I have a spare pristine white dial / 7A74A movement I could have installed), I decided to have a punt at it.

I entered pre-bids of €1000 and later €2000. My sole 'live' bid of €3000 was rapidly eclipsed in a flurry of bidding activity from the room (at least 3 bidders). It was eventually hammered out for €6300 Euros, subject to 30% Buyer's premium, giving a total of €8190 Euros !! Far too expensive as far as I'm concerned, especially for the condition of this example.

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