Withdrawn: The Tale of Discontinued Watches

The Lifecycle of a Timepiece

Every watch tells a story, but for those models that have been discontinued, these stories are often shrouded in mystique and allure. The end of a watch’s production run can signify various things – a change in a brand’s direction, a response to evolving trends, or a strategic decision to enhance exclusivity. These discontinued timepieces often gain a legendary status among collectors and enthusiasts, their stories becoming a captivating part of horological lore.

Why Watches Are Discontinued

Shifting Trends and Tastes

  • Imagine a once-popular design that gradually fades from public favor, like the story of a classic movie star who retreats from the limelight. For example, consider the rise and fall in popularity of oversized watches, mirroring the ebb and flow of fashion trends.

Technological Advancements

  • Picture a groundbreaking innovation that makes certain features obsolete, similar to how the advent of streaming services changed the music industry. An example is the transition from manual to automatic movements, which led to the discontinuation of many older manual models.

Strategic Brand Decisions

  • Envision a brand deciding to retire a model to maintain its aura of exclusivity, akin to a renowned artist creating limited edition works. A case in point is the strategy behind limited edition releases by brands like Audemars Piguet.

Impact on Collectors and the Market

Increase in Collectability and Value

  • The story of a discontinued watch gaining fame can be likened to a rare book becoming a collector’s item. For instance, the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” gained immense value and desirability after its discontinuation, turning into a holy grail for collectors.

Secondary Market Dynamics

  • Consider the secondary market’s response to a watch’s discontinuation as a frenzy of activity, much like the rush to acquire a piece of history. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711’s discontinuation led to an immediate surge in demand and value in the secondary market, creating a whirlwind of trading activity.

Notable Discontinued Models

Rolex Submariner “Hulk” (Ref. 116610LV)

The Rolex Submariner “Hulk” Ref. 116610LV is a fascinating tale in the world of luxury watches, a story of how a timepiece transcends its initial reception to become a coveted icon.

Rolex Submariner "Hulk" (Ref. 116610LV)
Rolex Submariner “Hulk” (Ref. 116610LV) – source:The Watch Club

Launch and Initial Reception

The Rolex Submariner 116610LV, affectionately known as “The Hulk,” made its debut in 2010, marking the 60th anniversary of the Submariner line. It succeeded the Submariner “Kermit,” which was the first Submariner with a green bezel. However, the Hulk took the green theme further with both a green dial and bezel. The watch’s striking sunburst green dial and matching Cerachrom bezel set it apart from any other Submariner model, a bold departure from Rolex’s typically more conservative aesthetic.

The initial reception of the Hulk was mixed. Traditionalists found the green colorway a bit too audacious for the classic Submariner profile. However, it also drew a new crowd, appealing to those who wanted something distinct and vibrant.

Pricing and Market Value

At its launch, the retail price of the Hulk was around $9,050, a figure in line with other high-end Rolex Submariners. However, what set the Hulk apart was its trajectory in the secondary market. As the watch began to gain a following, its value steadily increased. By the time Rolex announced its discontinuation in 2020, the Hulk’s market value had surged significantly. In the pre-owned market, prices rose to often double its original retail price, driven by its growing status as a collector’s item.

The discontinuation news triggered a further spike in demand, as collectors and enthusiasts rushed to get their hands on what was now a piece of Rolex history. The market saw prices soaring, making the Hulk one of the most sought-after Submariner models.

The Hulk: Naming and Design Influence

The nickname “Hulk” was bestowed by the watch community, drawing a parallel with the famous Marvel Comics character known for his green color and robust stature. The watch’s substantial 40mm case, thick lugs, and the vibrant green color perfectly encapsulated the strength and presence of the Hulk persona.

The design of the Hulk, particularly its green color palette, was a bold move by Rolex. The Submariner, traditionally a dive watch, had always been more about function than flair. However, the Hulk challenged this notion, bringing a splash of color and personality to a line known for its robust and utilitarian design. It represented a fresh, modern take on a classic, without compromising the Submariner’s core qualities of durability and precision.

Legacy and Collector Appeal

Today, the Rolex Submariner Hulk stands as a testament to Rolex’s willingness to push boundaries. Its journey from a bold new variant to a sought-after classic is a narrative that resonates with many in the watch community. It’s a story about taking risks, breaking norms, and the creation of an unexpected icon.

The Hulk’s appeal lies not just in its distinctive design, but in what it represents – a harmonious blend of Rolex’s traditional craftsmanship with a daring, adventurous spirit. For collectors, owning a Hulk is not just about having a unique timepiece; it’s about possessing a piece of Rolex’s adventurous side, a chapter where the brand broke its mold and created something truly memorable.

In conclusion, the Rolex Submariner Hulk is more than just a watch; it’s a characterful piece of horological history. It’s a story of evolution, of unexpected fame, and a symbol of the enduring allure that Rolex watches hold.

Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” Ref. 311.

The Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” Ref. 311. is a horological icon, its legacy intertwined with one of humanity’s greatest achievements – space exploration. The discontinuation of this particular reference has only added to its mystique, turning each timepiece into a cherished fragment of space history.

The Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch” Ref. 311. – photo ownership: PRO-ducto GmbH 

The Birth of a Legend

The Speedmaster, introduced in 1957, was originally designed as a sports and racing chronograph. Its robust build, precision, and legibility made it a favorite among professionals. However, its destiny was forever altered in the 1960s when NASA selected it for its manned space missions. This was the beginning of the Speedmaster’s journey as the “Moonwatch.”

The Moonwatch and Space Exploration

The Ref. 311., specifically, is a direct descendant of the watches worn on the moon. It closely adheres to the specifications of the original Moonwatch – a manual-wind chronograph with a Hesalite crystal and the famous tachymeter scale on the bezel. This model, like its predecessors, was part of significant space missions, including the Apollo program, solidifying its status as a symbol of human ingenuity and adventure.

Pricing and Market Dynamics

Originally priced accessibly for a luxury timepiece, the Moonwatch was within reach for many watch enthusiasts and aspiring astronauts alike. However, its discontinuation in 2021 changed the market dynamics. Prices in the secondary market began to rise as collectors and space enthusiasts sought to own a piece of this storied reference.

The watch’s association with space exploration gave it a romantic and adventurous appeal that went beyond mere timekeeping. It became a symbol of a boundary-pushing spirit, a memento of mankind’s venture into the unknown.

Discontinuation and Increased Demand

The announcement of the discontinuation of Ref. 311. was met with a mix of nostalgia and fervor. This model had been a staple in Omega’s lineup for years, its classic design and historical significance making it a perennial favorite. With its discontinuation, the watch transcended from being just a popular model to a sought-after collector’s item, with prices surging and availability becoming scarce.

The Moonwatch’s Legacy

The Moonwatch’s discontinuation has not diminished its allure; rather, it has enhanced it. Each piece is now seen as a tangible connection to a heroic era of space exploration. It’s not just a tool watch; it’s a storyteller, a keeper of memories from a time when the stars were the limit.

For collectors, owning a Moonwatch is akin to having a piece of history on their wrist. It’s a reminder of the extraordinary feats humanity is capable of and a symbol of the endless possibilities that lie ahead. The Moonwatch isn’t just a watch; it’s an inspiration, a reminder every time one glances at their wrist that the sky is not the limit, but just the beginning.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711

The story of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is a tale of elegance, exclusivity, and a sudden farewell that catapulted it to legendary status in the world of luxury watches.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 – source: Hodinkee

Genesis of the Nautilus 5711

The Nautilus, first introduced in 1976, was Patek Philippe’s answer to the growing demand for luxury sports watches. It was a bold departure from the brand’s traditional designs, featuring a distinctive porthole-shaped case and an integrated bracelet. The 5711 model, launched in 2006 as a homage to the original Nautilus, quickly became a symbol of modern luxury with its sleek design, blue dial, and impeccable craftsmanship.

The Appeal of the Nautilus

The Nautilus 5711 was more than just a timepiece; it was a statement. Its combination of sporty elegance and Patek Philippe’s renowned craftsmanship appealed to both watch enthusiasts and the fashion-conscious elite. The watch’s popularity was not just about telling time; it was about wearing a piece of art, a symbol of status and refinement.

Skyrocketing Demand and Discontinuation

In January 2021, Patek Philippe announced the discontinuation of the Nautilus 5711, sending shockwaves through the watch community. The announcement was unexpected, and the watch, already in high demand due to its limited production, became even more sought-after overnight.

The Market’s Response

Following the discontinuation, the Nautilus 5711’s value in the secondary market soared. Watches that were already commanding premium prices saw even further increases, with some pieces selling for multiples of their original retail price. The Nautilus 5711 turned into a symbol of unattainability, a “holy grail” watch for collectors and investors alike.

Stories from the Market

Tales abound of collectors and enthusiasts going to great lengths to acquire a Nautilus 5711. From long waitlists at dealers to bidding wars at auctions, the frenzy to own this piece of horological history was unprecedented. The Nautilus 5711 became more than a watch; it became an asset, a coveted piece for investment portfolios.

Legacy of the Nautilus 5711

The Nautilus 5711’s story is not just about a luxury watch; it’s about how a beautifully crafted timepiece can capture the imaginations and desires of people around the world. Its discontinuation has only enhanced its mystique, solidifying its place as one of the most iconic and desirable watches in modern history.

As collectors tell tales of their Nautilus 5711, whether it’s about the chase to find one or the joy of finally strapping it on their wrist, they’re not just talking about a timepiece. They’re sharing a chapter of a legend, a story of beauty, exclusivity, and the eternal allure of Patek Philippe.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Reference 15202: A Tale of Revolutionary Design and Timeless Appeal

The Birth of a Design Icon

In the annals of watchmaking, the introduction of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Reference 15202 in 1972 stands as a watershed moment. Created by the legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak was a bold departure from the norm, a disruption in the luxury watch space. It was one of the first high-end sports watches made not of precious metals but of stainless steel – a material generally reserved for tool watches.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Reference 15202

The Royal Oak’s design was a radical blend of sophistication and ruggedness, marked by its iconic octagonal bezel, secured with visible screws, a feature that became a hallmark of its design language. The watch’s integrated bracelet and the “Petite Tapisserie” pattern on the dial added to its distinctive character, setting a new benchmark for luxury watch aesthetics.

Legacy and Discontinuation

The Reference 15202, often referred to as the “Jumbo,” was a nod to the original 1972 model. It retained the 39mm diameter – a size considered substantial at the time – and the minimalistic yet striking dial that had captivated watch enthusiasts for decades. This model was not just a watch; it was a piece of art, embodying the audacity and craftsmanship of Audemars Piguet.

The discontinuation of the 15202 sent ripples through the watch community. It was a piece deeply rooted in the history of horology, and its departure from production marked the end of an era. Collectors and aficionados who had long admired the 15202 for its historical significance and groundbreaking design clamored to obtain what had suddenly become a relic of horological history.

The Frenzy in the Secondary Market

In the aftermath of its discontinuation, the 15202’s already high demand soared to new heights. The watch’s value in the secondary market spiked, a testament to its enduring appeal and the nostalgia it evoked. It wasn’t just the scarcity that drove its desirability but the realization that owning a 15202 was akin to holding a piece of Audemars Piguet’s daring legacy.

Stories abound of collectors sharing tales of their quest to acquire a 15202 – the auctions, the waiting lists, the excitement of finally strapping it on their wrist. Each story was a testament to the emotional connection that the Royal Oak “Jumbo” inspired, transcending its role as a mere timepiece to become a symbol of revolutionary design and timeless luxury.

The Royal Oak’s Timeless Legacy

The story of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Reference 15202 is more than just a narrative of a luxury sports watch. It’s a tale of how a bold vision redefined the boundaries of luxury watchmaking, how a watch became an icon, and how its discontinuation turned it into a legend. The 15202 remains a sought-after masterpiece, a beacon of innovation in design, and a cherished possession for those lucky enough to call it their own.

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806: The Pilot’s Timepiece Turned Collectible Icon

The Genesis of an Aviator’s Essential

The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806, introduced in the 1950s, is more than just a watch; it’s a piece of aviation history. Designed specifically for pilots, the Navitimer combined timekeeping with a functional flight computer, something unprecedented at the time. Its distinctive slide-rule bezel allowed aviators to perform essential calculations such as fuel consumption, distance traveled, and climb rate – an invaluable tool in the era before digital technology.

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 – source:Breitling

The Aviator’s Companion

The Navitimer quickly became a favorite among pilots. Its association with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), with the AOPA logo often featured on its dial, cemented its status as the quintessential pilot’s watch. The Ref. 806 was not just worn for its functionality; it was a badge of honor, a symbol of the adventurous spirit of aviators and the golden era of aviation.

Discontinuation and Legacy

The decision to discontinue the original Navitimer Ref. 806 turned it into a collector’s treasure. The watch’s historical significance, coupled with its innovative features, made it a sought-after piece among watch enthusiasts and aviation history buffs. It was not merely a tool for telling time but a connection to a bygone era of pioneering flight adventures.

The Navitimer in the Collectors’ World

In the wake of its discontinuation, the Navitimer Ref. 806’s value in the secondary market began to climb. Collectors sought to own this piece of aviation and horological history, often sharing stories of how they acquired their Navitimer. Some spoke of inheriting it from family members who were pilots, while others recounted their quests to find a well-preserved model at auctions or from private collectors.

The Navitimer’s design, with its intricate subdials and technical bezel, became a symbol of a time when watches were essential tools for professionals. Each Ref. 806 carried with it tales of flights navigated and journeys undertaken, making it more than just a vintage timepiece – it was a storied artifact.

The Navitimer’s Timeless Flight

Today, the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 stands as a testament to innovation and adventure. Its discontinuation has only added to its allure, transforming it from a pilot’s essential tool to a prized collectible. For those who own a Navitimer, it’s not just a watch but a fragment of aviation history, a reminder of the skies conquered and the unending human quest for exploration and discovery.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600: A Diving Legend’s Journey from Ocean Depths to Collector’s Crown

The Conception of a Diving Marvel

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600, introduced in the late 1980s, emerged as a pinnacle of diving watch technology. Designed in collaboration with professional divers, it represented a significant evolution in Rolex’s quest to master the deep sea. The Sea-Dweller was built not just as a timepiece, but as a survival tool for the most demanding underwater environments.

Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 – source: The Watch Club

Mastering the Depths

With features like a helium escape valve and a water resistance of up to 1,220 meters (4,000 feet), the Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 was engineered to withstand the pressures of saturation diving. It became the watch of choice for professional divers engaged in deep-sea exploration and underwater construction. Its robust construction and practical functionality made it a reliable companion in the most challenging aquatic conditions.

The End of an Era

The discontinuation of the Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 in the late 2000s marked the end of a significant chapter in Rolex’s history. It was replaced by models that featured larger cases and updated technology, but for many, the 16600 represented the last of the classic Sea-Dwellers. This model combined vintage charm with modern Rolex technology, striking a balance that appealed to both hardcore divers and watch enthusiasts alike.

Rising to Collectible Status

Following its discontinuation, the Sea-Dweller 16600 gained a new level of appreciation among collectors. It became a symbol of a bygone era in Rolex’s diving watch lineage, cherished for its blend of functionality and understated aesthetics. In the secondary market, the 16600’s value saw a steady increase, driven by its rarity and the nostalgia it evoked among Rolex aficionados.

Stories from the Deep

The Sea-Dweller 16600 is not just a watch; it’s a vessel of stories – tales of deep-sea adventures, of explorations in uncharted waters, and of the relentless pursuit of excellence. Collectors and enthusiasts often share anecdotes of their 16600 – how it accompanied them on diving expeditions, the quest to track down a well-preserved model, or the joy of passing it down through generations.

Conclusion: More Than Just a Timekeeper

The Rolex Sea-Dweller Ref. 16600 stands as a testament to Rolex’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a diving watch can be. Its discontinuation has only heightened its allure, turning it into a sought-after piece not only for its functionality but for its place in the saga of Rolex’s mastery of the ocean depths. Owning a Sea-Dweller 16600 is to own a piece of horological history, a testament to human endeavor and the spirit of exploration.

The End as a New Beginning

In the lifecycle of a watch, discontinuation is not merely an end but often a new beginning in its story. For collectors and enthusiasts, a discontinued model can become a treasured piece of history, a symbol of a particular era in watchmaking. Understanding the nuances behind why watches are withdrawn and their impact on the market adds another layer of appreciation for these mechanical marvels.

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