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My First Grail Watch: Jeff Hess

My First Grail Watch: Jeff Hess My First Grail Watch

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.

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  • MarkCarson

    An expanded set of questions for Jeff might be “My first grail car” (as he is a noted car guy).

    • aleximd2000

      MarkCarson did you find that seiko burgermaster?

  • aleximd2000

    this interview has no salt and no pepper
    if he is CEO of Ball watches I did not quite understand if he has a wage so he can afford or not a Patek
    If not he is for futile CEO!!

    • MarkCarson

      aleximd2000 Jeff is the head of Ball USA (the American distributor for Ball Watches). And the first grail watch question posed is what they wanted years ago when they first got into watches (as I understand the format  of these posts). Cheers.

      • aleximd2000

        MarkCarson aleximd2000 thanks
        I read the article in a hurry when i arrived home and the narrator was , let’s say green yet
        all the best

        • MarkCarson

          aleximd2000 I think the format of these “My First Grail” articles is that aBlogToWatch sends a standard set of questions to the subject of the article and then get back answers. So these are not your typical interviews which are conversational in nature. Cheers.