Monthly Archives: November 2020

Sean Wallace’s Rolex Datejust US In Gangs Of London Shows That The Watch Doesn’t Always Maketh The Man

Too often in a TV drama, a character’s watch is just a random accessory lobbed in by the wardrobe department at the last minute. Yet when it’s done right, a watch can become infused with psychological depth and meaning. And when it’s done to absolute perfection it can deliver a tell-tale insight into a character’s very soul. In Gangs of London – currently screening on Stan in Australia – Sean Wallace’s perfect fake Rolex Datejust is very much the latter.

The British drama is essentially a bare-knuckle version of The Godfather with a cockney accent. Chaos reigns after Finn Wallace, the gangster patriarch of the ruling London clan, is gunned down in cold blood. As rival families jostle for power and struggle to protect their interests, Finn’s eldest son, Sean (Joe Cole, last seen in Peaky Blinders) is thrust into the role of top dog.

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Unfortunately, he’s not a natural mob boss. While determined to step up, Sean lacks the calculating head and lethal calm of a Michael Corleone. Blinded by his lust for vengeance and desperate to prove himself, he lashes out at any perceived enemies with mind-boggling savagery. The tone of the series is set by the opening scene in which Sean suspends some hapless suspect off the edge of a skyscraper before dousing him in petrol and setting him alight. The violence only escalates from there.

Except that Sean doesn’t have an innate capacity for this stuff. This is explicitly demonstrated in a flashback to his childhood where Sean’s father tries to get him to prove he has the stomach to kill. Suffice to say, it doesn’t turn out as planned and, after that, Sean’s heavy-handed violence always feels like he’s trying to overcompensate. It’s as though he’s urgently trying to convince himself that he’s a natural-born killer like his dad.

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No one truly accepts Sean’s elevation to London’s Mr Big. He’s just an awkward fit for the role. Much has been made of the actor’s accent – Sean speaks in a plummy tone that’s unlike the rest of his family who jabber away in broad cockney or the Irish brogue of their roots. For me, though, this feels like a deliberately jarring note, another example of how Sean is a square peg for a round hole that no amount of machete-gouging can fix.

Which brings us onto Sean’s gold Rolex. Trying to identify a timepiece from blurry freeze-frames is always fraught with potential error, but to me it looks suspiciously like an 18k gold Datejust 116238 with a gold dial on a Jubilee bracelet.

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Now let’s be clear: this is a watch of unimpeachable magnificence. Encircled by its fluted bezel, the Datejust is one of the most conspicuously recognisable iterations of the Swiss made replica Rolex brand, particularly on a Jubilee bracelet that gives the watch an even dressier feel. Even at the classic 36mm size, the broad shoulders and thickness of the case give the watch a notably solid feel. On the wrist, it’s a serious proposition that demands attention.

You can understand therefore why it’s a watch that Sean gravitates towards. A gold Rolex is the ultimate status-signifier, a watch for a man who has made his mark on the world. Except that Sean is not yet that man. He’s still scrambling to convince London’s criminal elite of his authority and capacity to rule. As a result, his Datejust feels like a classic case of “fake it till you make it”.

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Moreover, the honest truth is that a gold fake Rolex doesn’t suit everyone. You’ve got to be something of a baller to make it work. It’s a bit like men wearing outré jewellery – you need a serious degree of chutzpah to pull it off. Keith Richards might look like a pirate king with his jangle of bracelets and skull rings. But if I attempted the same I’d look more like a provincial hairdresser having a particularly lurid mid-life crisis.

And, in my humble opinion, Sean’s Rolex Datejust doesn’t look right on him. Worn with his bomber jacket or polo shirt, he simply lacks the man-of-the-world swagger required. Partly it’s due to the pastiness of his ginger complexion – yellow gold invariably works better on darker skin tones. The watch is much like his accent — it stands out but in a notably discordant way.

If a watch is a coded expression of personality, then Sean’s Rolex is another sly indictment. It reveals a young man who’s desperately trying to be something that he’s not. Stranded way out of his depth, no amount of violent posturing can disguise his callow nature. There’s no denying the Rolex Datejust is a watch befitting a man of stature. But on Sean’s wrist it’s very much a case of all that glitters is not gold.

US A Paul Newman Rolex Daytona And An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lead Sotheby’s Geneva Auction

While there weren’t any million dollar plus blockbusters at Sotheby’s “Important Watches featuring Masterworks of Time” auction in Geneva, it was a happy hunting ground for collectors looking for rare, out-of-production pieces that don’t break the bank. The highlight of the sale was a perfect fake Paul Newman Rolex Daytona ref. 6263 in top condition, which sold for $412,716. There were 10 outstanding Audemars Piguet watches in the sale, including a unique Royal Oak Grande Complication, which sold for $343,930. The model, in white gold, is a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, split-seconds chronograph with leap year and moon phase indicators.

The sale included a selection of rare pocket watches comprising the first 11 lots in the sale. A highlight was the unique gold pocket watch made by Patek Philippe in 1969 with an enameled dial depicting of the Mont Blanc by Suzanne Rohr, known as one of the world’s top enamel artists. It sold for $364,565.

Luxury Watches For Sale

Several rare pieces by independent brands were also up for grabs in the sale, including pieces from: Gerald Genta, including a “possibly unique” Westminster Grande and Petite Sonnerie Tourbillon, which sold for $151,329 (thought to have been made for the Prince of Brunei Jefri Bolkiah): Greubel Forsey, including number 3 of the 11-piece series of Invention Piece One watches made, netting $220,115; and F.P. Journe, including a rare pink gold Chronomètre à Résonance, which topped out at $261,386.

One of the hottest models on the market at the moment is the Patek Philippe Nautilus and there was one in this sale, a ref. 3712 “Four Dots” referring to the four small red dots on the power reserve, which identifies it as a “second series” 3712, compared to the three dots that are more commonly found on other models.

The Nautilus reference 3712 was introduced in 2005 and had a very short production run. It is believed to have been made only for about eight months. At the time of production it was the most complicated Nautilus version as it included, in addition to the date which previous models had already, moon phases, a power-reserve indication and subsidiary seconds. It sold for $116,936. Another rare and eccentric model that is gaining traction on the secondary market is the Cartier Crash. A yellow gold example in this sale went for $99,052—a similar model sold in Phillips Geneva Watch Auction XII sale on the weekend for $287,022.

The sale totaled $5.7 million.