Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several ‘Counterfeit’ ROLEX Timepieces

Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several ‘Counterfeit’ ROLEX Timepieces

Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several 'Counterfeit' ROLEX Timepieces Watch Industry News

Musician John Mayer has been very vocal about his passion for collecting watches. Not only has he shared with (and perhaps confused) many of his fans when post images the high-end timepieces from his collection via social media, but he has also participated with the watch industry and news media as a sort of celebrity watch expert. Now John Mayer is suing Robert Maron, a former friend and trusted colleague over what he claims is fraud and the repeated sale of counterfeit vintage Rolex timepieces.

The suit for civil damages (John Mayer v. Robert Maron Inc.) filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 18, 2014 complains that Robert (Bob) Maron repeatedly sold to Mayer, on advice of Maron's purported and esteemed expertise in the watch community, a series of pre-owned vintage Rolex timepieces that contained counterfeit parts. The larger context is that some (but not all, or even most) rare vintage Rolex watches are extremely valuable, many with prices that can soar over $100,000. These are some of the pieces that Maron sold to Mayer, which turned out to not contain 100% authentic Rolex parts.

The complaint does not mention with specificity the precise details of each timepiece in question. It does state that in total John Mayer spent about $5,000,000 with Maron over the years. Mayer does not claim that all of the watches he purchased contained counterfeit parts, nor that all of them were Rolex pieces. It even mentions that on certain occasions Rolex itself expressed to Mayer upon attempting to service watches originally purchased by Maron, that they contained counterfeit parts. In at least some of these instances Maron issued a refund to Mayer used for the purchase of future timepieces. According to Mayer, he eventually discovered through information received from Rolex that a number of Rolex watches he purchased from Maron contained counterfeit parts, and Maron would subsequently not refund any of Mayer's money. The lawsuit ensued.

Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several 'Counterfeit' ROLEX Timepieces Watch Industry News

It is noteworthy to mention that in the world of watch collecting, the existence of 100% original or authentic parts is crucial to a timepiece's value. Rare vintage Rolex models are so popular and sometimes of such great value that often times various parts, both original and counterfeit, are used by unscrupulous individuals to assemble purported specific historic timepieces. In actuality these watches are a combination of parts taken from various older Rolex models as well as unauthorized replicated parts to create timepieces that only experts would know as being authentic or not.

Mayer's complaint paints Maron as the type of industry expert who not only should have known better, but did know better. In one of the causes of action, Mayer accuses Maron of fraud, which requires specific knowledge of the false information delivered to Mayer about the nature and authenticity of the watches. Therefore, Mayer not only accuses Maron of selling him watches that were not 100% authentic as promised, but also knowing that he was selling Mayer inauthentic timepieces.

Robert Maron has dedicated at least two decades of his life to the purchase and sale of high-end timepieces, which also includes a number of rare and vintage models. Mayer's complaint further reminds the court that Maron is not only Harvard-educated, but also an attorney. Mayer's attorney has taken efforts to bolster Maron's sense of skills and education in order to suggest that Maron specifically defrauded Mayer into purchasing timepieces not worth the asking price.

According to the complaint, the majority of Mayer's information came directly from Rolex, who is known for judiciously monitoring the authenticity of the timepieces that come in for service. Rolex is a meticulous record keeper and is, if anything, overly protective of their image and the recognition of their rare historic pieces that circulate among high-end collectors and that frequently show up at major international auctions. It is often said in the watch collector community that more "fake" ultra-rare vintage Rolex watches exist than authentic ones. This is due not only to their value, but also because there is a sophisticated network of workshops dedicated to "producing" replica vintage models in the hopes of selling them to eager collectors.

Watch Lover Celebrity John Mayer Sues Bob Maron For $656,000 After Buying Several 'Counterfeit' ROLEX Timepieces Watch Industry News

Historically, Rolex worked with a number of outside suppliers to produce parts for their watches. For this reason various minor details on parts such as cases and dials may have varied from one watch to another. The most popular type of valuable vintage Rolex is either a Submariner or Daytona, models which began production in the 1950s and 1960s respectively. Due to the sometimes inconsistent parts used in authentic historic Rolex watches, it can be very difficult for anyone but honed experts to identify a complete authentic versus counterfeit timepiece. In this context "counterfeit" can mean a timepiece that combines original parts with replica parts (such as for hands, dials, etc...).

The sale of vintage (as well as new) Rolex watches is big business. Like many contemporary wealthy watch collectors, Mayer relied upon the advice and trust of people like Bob Maron in selecting (and often buying) timepieces for his collection. Experts help educate and inform collectors of what the rarest and more important timepieces to collect are. At the time of writing Robert Maron has not yet responded to the complaint, which was filed in his local jurisdiction.

In the action against defendant Maron, plaintiff Mayer makes a plea for damages in the amount of $656,000 plus punitive and compensatory damages through the five causes of action. We will continue to monitor the law suit as it progresses. What is the take away message? Well, first of all, the vintage and auction market is quite murky and it should be proceeded with extreme caution, especially at the very high-end. For this reason we at aBlogtoWatch are very judicious in our coverage of auctions and related "available" vintage pieces because all too often there is funny business. Also, even the most esteemed and respected celebrity watch lovers rely on expert advice.

Another well-known Bob Maron customer (and buddy) is Charlie Sheen. Maron no doubt has good taste but could well be held liable for damages given the conduct. If he indeed did as Mayer claims then it would be because the sale of "almost totally real Rolex watches" is just too tempting for clients that may never know better. It is difficult to pass judgement though until all the facts are established. I will say this however, this is perhaps mostly embarrassing to Mayer who has held himself out as a diamond in the rough of celebrity watch lovers who has more detailed knowledge of his collection than most. His decision to file the suit no doubt puts this situation into the public light, which was a choice he needed to make in order to possibly get damages from the defendant Maron. Our colleagues at The Hollywood Reporter have a few additional details on the matter.

  • Man, I don’t give a whoop about Mayer or vintage Rolexes, but that was a good read and I look forward to hearing more.

  • Fraher

    Anyone recognise the cushion shaped watch Bob Maron is wearing in the first image? 

    I am probably walking into the answer “A fake ****…..”

    Serious question though,

    Thanks

  • Ulysses31

    Fraher Looks like a Patek to me.  Hard to tell though from such a low-resolution image.

  • Ulysses31

    Fraher Patek Beta, maybe.

  • marbstiu

    Good thing I always buy brand new. The vintage craze has duped a lot of people.

    Sometimes, even auction houses dont realize theyre selling a frankenwatch.

  • Twinbarrel

    Well, I don’t expect anything will be settled here in court but it does elevate the unwritten ‘buyers beware’ clause. Even Maron will claim he was be-frauded as well. It really hurts when you realize you have been conned or overpaid at best.

  • Zeitblom

    ” It really hurts when you realize you have been conned or overpaid at best.” Luckily that never happens to people who buy *new* Rolexes.
    Guffaw!

  • TerryN

    That is a shame as, Bob Maron is known as an expert and this could hurt his reputation immensely. When you pay that much for a vintage watch you expect that it’s going to contain genuine parts.

  • mcv1973a

    I fear for Mayer’s reputation as a demi-god with the watch-loving community. You know… in addition to his being a smarmy, womanizing, and horrifyingly overrated hack.
    Poor little guy.

  • High-Horology and TMZ have had a baby. Here we go folks! Our more obscure interest is in the 15 minutes of limelight.

    Rolex, Patek, Cartier, Rolex, Patek…..zzzzz zzzzzz. Here is an opportunity for the less heralded brands to make their vintage presence know. Don’t know of many Brequet, Blancpain, Jaeger LeCoultre fakes. So tired of this lazer focus on decidedly tame, oft repeated design. Not to say I don’t like certain models from the afrementioned brands, but come on people its just plain boring to hear about the same freaking watches over and over. Submariner, Daytona, Patek Ref. 1527…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz. If all you care about is value and rarity then I guess you are in the right place. If you have an original bone in your body and don’t want to look like everyone else, the watch world has plenty to offer. Be original people! Stop over inflating these brands egos. Whew….I feel better now.

  • Ulysses31

    He’s a non-WIS (because let’s face it, wearing a Rolex only proves you’re at least as aware of the brand as that bum down the street or your barber) who got taken for a chump and now regrets it.  The idolatry surrounding this brand makes it inevitable that there’d be a lot of dodgy goings-on concerning misrepresentation.  If there are people that can be exploited for their lack of knowledge (not being able to spot fakes), they will be exploited.  Let’s face it, misrepresentation of what you get is a cornerstone of the brand.  You don’t pay as much for the watch as you do for the ephemeral fluff and recognition of your wealth by plebs.  Rolex actually make a wide variety of interesting watches, most of which are far more attractive and interesting that the usual popular choices.  Picking one of them would make you an individual though, and the rest of the cows in the herd wouldn’t be able to appreciate the awesomeness of your reassuringly bland submariner.

  • aleximd2000

    Something in this story is crippling!!! If you are so stupid ( I mean it) that you spend 5 millions for watches, and you are relying on a single watch expert , then this should be called stupidity tax!
    I make this rule for myself: if I have the smallest doubt about a watch I’ll go to an independent conoisseur and ask his oppinion. 
    Second ask the seller if you are bored about one piece than how much will he pay for buyback.If the price is close he is a correct guy. This case with refund deposit shit is typical for scumbags.
    If you are so stupid that you are not sure about your ideas than you buy a flight ticket and go to swiss and ask for an original retailer service in geneva for ex. and they will tell you the milk which you sucked from your own mother -about that watch. 
    Ahhhhhh if you think that a little investigation or learning is expensive then you’ll see how much costs you ignorance. 
    My advice for Mayer: you lost money already , this maron guy will prove you that even Rolex compANY  is faulty because they make watches and after all you’ll loose more money. Instead keep your mouth shut and go back to stage and sing and do something at what you are much more aquinted to.
    Cheers

  • Others have been complaining about Rober Marin in the past: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Robert-Maron/Thousand-Oaks-California-91362/Robert-Maron-Robert-Maron-Watches-The-Truth-About-Bob-Maron-Crooked-Watch-Dealer-Fraud-936047

  • marbstiu  Seriously…the whole vintage thing is so played out…I really don’t see the appeal except in perhaps a few vintage pieces that I wouldn’t wear anyway, but keep on display or for a special occasion. 
    Technology moves on and even a cheapish chinese made watch is better made (with today’s technology) than the majority of vintage pieces from 40 years ago.
    I’m with you all the way–buy new and enjoy wearing them!

  • pharmacycult
  • marbstiu

    Panagiotis marbstiu exactly. Even big names in the watch industry now xater to the “vintage hipsters”. They are going as far as creating watches with manufactured patinas or “faketinas” in which they color the lumes with dirty yellow (which u get with age) instead of the regulat light green lume.
    it’s like wearing brand new faded jeans..but cmon dont do it to watches.

  • JustsayinUK

    http://robertmaron.com/product.php?productid=19619&cat=0&page=3
    Ask any expert to look at this!!!!
    3 days in to the scandal and he’s still got FAKE dialed watches on his site.
    The write up is hilarious.

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  • tkamdar1

    This is a problem that happens to many.  I’ve seen 1ooo’s of people in my work in the jewelry industry get ripped off on buying and also selling their watches.  

    Interestingly, it’s not always the fault of the ‘retailer’ or ‘jewelry expert’,  because if you are not trained properly to assess vintage goods, even as a jewelry industry expert you can make errors.    I focused on helping people connect with the right experts to get an authentic + properly valued watch.    There is also a new site focused on creating transparency in the jewelry and watches industry coming soon at http://www.truefacet.com

  • castlebravo1

    That’s enough John Mayer…

  • Anon403

    Regarding the last paragraph of how this is embarassing for John Mayer by looking unknowledgeable. Maybe so, but I think Mayer’s greatest motivation here is calling out an expert, Maron. Under the allegations Maron knowingly sold the counterfeits. He abused his position of trust. Conversely, if Mayer’s accusations are wrong, Maron didn’t know they were fake, well then Maron shouldn’t be a trusted expert who deals in such valuable pieces. Maron being brought into the spotlight here is a good thing as it will scrutinize his credibility. Mayer being publiy embarrassed only does a service to collectors.
    Regarding Charlie Sheen’s comments that Mayer perhaps profited off pieces he purchased from Maron, Sheen is missing the main issue here, claim to expertise.

  • Twinbarrel

    Mayer is definitely knowledgeable about Rolex. Certainly about 1000% more knowledgeable than the average celeb.

    People calling him an idiot (same thing on TRF) have to understand that the vintage watches he owns are so rare that it is very difficult to authenticate them. His watches had gone through Rolex Service Center and were not flagged for having counterfeit parts at first. 

    Mainly this spat is because the owner of Pro-Hunter (Kamal Choraria) had apparently called-out Mayer’s red Daytona as a fake and he was coming to its defense. He had already talked to Rolex about the watches and they passed muster, so you have to understand, Kamal was saying that Rolex was wrong about their own watches. It takes a hell of a lot of time handling tons of high-end vintage watches every day to make that kind of call.

    Turns out Kamal was right. So this goes way past reps; these are watches that are so rare with such unclear histories (Rolex wasn’t making “collectible watches” back then, just watches, so the continuity of those old models is all over the place) and crafted so authentically that even Rolex couldn’t tell they were fake” without some digging.

    Here is another thread with him and Kamal again:
    http://www.network54.com/Forum/207593/thread/1195178721/3-CROC+PROOF

  • KetsugoJohn

    Maron’s office is a P.O. Box in the Thousand Oaks Ca. UPS store about 1/2 mile from me..

  • Twinbarrel

    Have you measured the time for that distance? 😉

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  • Justcheckingin

    So now this lawsuit has ended with John Mayer looking like an even bigger douch than when he started it. http://www.tmz.com/2015/05/21/john-mayer-rolex-watch-counterfeit-lawsuit-dismiss-settlement-bob-maron-charlie-sheen/

    It turns out that Maron was correct after all. I’m curious if Ariel Adams will pen an apology for the articles he’s written like the above? Does Mr. Adams sling mud and then run or does he clean up after his mistakes?

  • Justcheckingin Thank you for your comment. I kindly disagree with your statement that mudslinging was made as the content of the above article uses available information and discusses common sentiments held toward the individuals in questions as well as available facts. We have no agenda in support or against either of the parties involved. Further, the dismissal of a lawsuit is not a legal conclusion as to the merits of a case. No one has been deemed right or wrong. No one has been deemed liable or not liable. The parties simply mutually agreed to dismiss the lawsuit and settle outside of court and the purview of public records. 

    Finally, we have been in touch with Bob Maron himself who we are extended the opportunity to share the facts from his perspective if he feels there is an important untold story as related to this situation.

  • aBlogtoWatch Justcheckingin I agree. They were reporting the facts, like all the other blogs or news agencies who also reported on the lawsuit at the time.  Further, this doesn’t mean the watches did not indeed contain fake parts as the lawsuit stated. Just that they have settled the issue out of court. Perhaps Bob Maron decided it was worthwhile to pay John Mayer instead of going to court or something like that.

  • Justcheckingin

    phototristan aBlogtoWatch Justcheckingin PhotoTristan is proving my central point which is that those reading articles like this Adams piece assume guilt just because Mayer filed a suit. It was baseless from the beginning. Settling doesn’t imply guilt guys. In this case it means that Mayer and his lawyer crumbled because there was never a real case. 

    Read the JOINT statement. From the TMZ article “Now we’ve learned Mayer has dismissed his lawsuit and no money or property changed hands. What’s more, their joint statement says, “Two years of research restored John Mayer’s belief that Bob Maron is an expert on Rolex watches, and confirmed that Bob Maron never sold him a counterfeit watch.” So never sold him a counterfeit watch means just that and Maron didn’t settle to hide anything as PhotoTristan implies.

    Anyone can say anything on the internet and reputations be damned. Gossip and more gossip follows and then OOPS, sorry none of it was true. Oh well, where’s the next victim? Whee this is a fun game! Is this great journalism or what? Right down there with TMZ, except TMZ had the fairness to post the outcome and joint statement.
    Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/05/21/john-mayer-rolex-watch-counterfeit-lawsuit-dismiss-settlement-bob-maron-charlie-sheen/#ixzz3bIFauOXG

  • Justcheckingin phototristan aBlogtoWatch You are helping to illustrate why comments are such a valuable part of articles on the internet. You can follow up with additional information that people find fascinating. I am not on either party’s side but from my perspective all that happened is the parties were able to reach a private agreement that allowed them to save face and they offered a public statement which they hoped would dissolve any controversy from the matter. We still don’t actually know what happened, all we know is that the parties are no longer engaged in a legal battle and that they have publicly announced that their dispute is over. People who look at the facts can come to their own conclusions about liability when it comes to the conduct of the parties. Guilt is really not a factor because it was a civil and not criminal case. In civil cases it is all about liability versus guilt of breaking the law. This is no doubt an emotional case for the watch community. I think the takeaway message should be that the vintage watch world is not for the feint of heart and that issues over authenticity or value can affect anyone involved.

  • Justcheckingin

    phototristan Justcheckingin aBlogtoWatch OMG PhotoTristan can you not read? Here it is for the third time “From the TMZ article “Now we’ve learned Mayer has dismissed his lawsuit and no money or property changed hands. ”

    NO PROPERTY CHANGED HANDS. From the JOINT statement. Dude stop already. You’re embarrassing yourself now.

  • Justcheckingin Don’t believe everything you read on TMZ. Look at the actual court docs.

  • Justcheckingin

    aBlogtoWatch Justcheckingin phototristan Where as I think the takeaway message is that people’s reputations matter and the internet should not be used like a wrecking ball.

  • Justcheckingin

    phototristan Justcheckingin PhotoTristan, um, there are no “court docs” in an out of court settlement because, see, we are out of court. Unless you have a link of course in which case please share it. 

    Both parties issued a joint statement. How do you fail to grasp this concept? 

    Fourth time is a charm: Joint statement says “Two years of research restored John Mayer’s belief that Bob Maron is an expert on Rolex watches, and confirmed that Bob Maron never sold him a counterfeit watch.”

  • Justcheckingin Maron likely accepted back the watches in exchange for Mayer agreeing to a joint public statement such as that. It happens all the time when out of court settlements occur so both parties are happy with the settlement.

  • Justcheckingin

    phototristan Justcheckingin PhotoTristan, so you’ll just keep making the same biased and baseless statements all day huh. Facts don’t matter to you. Hell, Mayer’s own words don’t make a difference to you because it doesn’t fit the narrative that has been crafted for you by articles such as the above. 

    Thanks for playing Tristan!