Tim Mosso likes Rolex watches. Well, mostly - he LOVES the Rolex Day Date Tridor. And for a hot minute in 2018, Tim was ready to buy his vision of the ultimate vintage Rolex Watch. Today's episode chronicles the near-misses and close calls from Tim's years as a luxury watch collector. While Watches Tonight has covered Tim's previous purchases and sales in-depth, the show never unpacked his reasons to skipping, missing, or otherwise declining the purchase of watches he once intended to buy. Tonight's show contains details of Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre and IWC watches.
Tim is well known for his former Sinn EZM 1.1 and collection of Jaeger LeCoultre haute horlogerie, but his greatest misstep as a watch collector was his failure to purchase a vintage Rolex Day Date in 2018. At the time, WatchBox had recently purchased a 1990s-era "Double Quickset" Rolex Day Date. Before elaborating on the extent of Tim's folly, a quick Rolex history lesson is in order.
Originally launched in 1956, the first Rolex Day Date was a world premier complication for Rolex, and it rapidly established its reputation as THE power watch for captains of industry, elected leaders, and outright dictators. In 1977, the so-called "Single Quickset" Rolex Day Date debuted. In addition to mechanical refinements and a sapphire crystal, the 1977 Rolex Day Date 1803X generation launched with a new sub-variant called the 18039BIC - but everyone knows it as the Rolex "Tridor." In 1988, a "Double Quickset" reference 18239BIC arrived.
Literally French for "three golds," the Rolex Tridor combined a white gold case and bracelet outer links with special center links crafted of white, rose, and yellow gold. The Rolex "President" bracelet employed three true co-molded golds for its center links; the gold cohered and aligned perfectly in the direction of the band. The Tridor model represented the peak of the Day Date collection, and in its day, the watch was a flagship model for the entire Rolex brand. Prices were exorbitant, and few mustered the financial firepower to put this maximum-strength Rolex on their wrists.
Rolex Day Date Tridors of all descriptions are rare, but the later 1988-1999 "Double Quickset" Tridors are the rarest of all. Moreover, most examples of the Tridor from both eras include diamond-set dials that many purist watch collectors prefer to avoid. When an unpolished late 1990s Day Date Tridor with a full boxed set, salmon tritium dial, and no diamonds surfaces, Rolex collectors move quickly to remove that watch from the marketplace.
How does Tim fit into this picture? Well, that no-diamond, double quickset, unpolished, salmon dial, full-set Rolex 18239 from 2018 should have become Tim's personal watch. But he made the critical mistake of recording and publishing a YouTube video of this Rolex. No sooner had he resolved to own the watch than a watch buyer saw the video, made an offer, and purchased the Rolex. Sometimes, the key to a best-kept-secret in collectible Rolex is to first keep it a secret.
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