Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch”. In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
Jeff Hess (JH): I am CEO of BALL WATCH USA and owner of two Luxury watch stores, Old Northeast Jewelers and owner of a large vintage watch and decorative arts business, Hess Fine Art.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?
JH: First grail watch would be a Vintage Split second Patek Chronograph
First modern grail watch would have been an 18k gold Cartier Pasha Chronograph.
ABTW: Was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it?
JH: Stumbled on a Patek Split in a little jewelry store in Lousiville Kentucky in 1990. Kept it for five years before selling it at Sotheby’s.
Was able to afford the HUGE (for the day) 38 mm Pasha after saving some money in the early 90’s.
ABTW:. What did you like so much about the watch?
JH: The split was the holy grail for us vintage folks back then. They were few and far between and sold for ridiculous amounts of money. Over $10k. They were beautifully designed and very rare. And simple in their elegance. And I wanted one. Today they bring mid to high six figures!
I liked the Pasha as it was so LARGE at 38mm and so BOLD with the blue sub dials. It was the only other watch that was “oversized” other than the Rolex President. Kind of the anti-President.