Part 3: Timeless Adventures: Trading Treasures for a Meteorite Pepsi in California

My California escapade’s third act started the day before the wedding-at Saturday. I had a day to myself, conveniently near South Coast Plaza’s high-end watch boutiques and the luxury gray market dealers nearby. With a noon appointment at AP, I set out early for Fullerton to visit Happy Jewelers, a prominent secondary market dealer known from YouTube, to assess potential trade-ins for a meteorite Pepsi. I was on the hunt for a better deal due to the premium price of the Rolex Certified Pre-Owned meteorite Pepsi. The team at Happy Jewelers was candid, informing me that the current offer I had on my trade-ins was unmatched, assuring me I wouldn’t find a better value—even if they sourced a less expensive Pepsi, the trade-in difference would be greater with them. This transparency reinforced my confidence in the CPO transaction, knowing I was getting a solid return on my trades. At Happy Jewelers, I also explored some exclusive high-end pieces not on general display, trying on a few and capturing some shots, though I regret not snapping more pictures!

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The 37mm yellow gold Royal Oak with a turquoise dial captivated me; it's an exceptionally stunning timepiece.

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Additionally, they showcased an aftermarket Daytona Rainbow, with a price tag in the vicinity of $40-50k, if I recall correctly.

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They had a gorgeous Royal Oak Skeleton in rose gold that I adore. However, this Richard Mille astonishingly felt like a MoonSwatch on the wrist. It was the first time I've ever felt so underwhelmed while wearing a watch valued at $300k.

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Next, I took an Uber back to South Coast Plaza for my appointment at the Audemars Piguet boutique to talk about my collection interests and the watches I'm looking to acquire.

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I wish I could share a video of the most fascinating watch I encountered at the boutique—an Audemars Piguet Code 1159. Its case and crystal design were remarkably distinctive. I took a screenshot from the video to show you. Its convex and concave at the same time. The dial's sapphire crystals are remarkable, designed with a unique "double curved" aspect—the inside boasts a dome-like shape, and the outside curves vertically from the 6 to 12 o'clock positions. This intricate concave/convex structure, according to AP, serves to bring out the intricacies of the dial. The crystal spans the entire breadth of the slender bezel, culminating in elegantly polished, beveled edges.

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Next, I headed to Newport to close the deal on the 126719BLRO-0002. This experience turned out to be unexpectedly emotional for me. Historically, I've always followed a one-for-one approach when adding a new watch to my collection, never trading in multiple pieces for a single one. The watches I decided to let go were ones I deeply cherished at one point, but they've been sitting unused in my watch box for a while, leading me to the decision that it was time for them to find new homes. Some of you might find it surprising, especially my decision to trade in the Gio, but I've come to prefer watches that are slightly smaller, aiming to streamline my collection to pieces under 40mm. My visit to the Lange boutique at South Coast Plaza was a turning point, offering me a fresh perspective on what I value in wearable German craftsmanship. Despite the quality of the Glashütte Originals, interacting with various Lange models made me realize that the size of my GOs no longer suited my taste.

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So, what watches did I trade in for this spectacular piece from Rolex? I will list them below ⬇️

  1. Glashütte Orignal PanoMaticInverse

  2. Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer

  3. Grand Seiko SLGH005 Hi-Beat White Birch

  4. Grand Seiko SBGE285 MistFlake

  5. Grand Seiko SLGA413 Shunbun

  6. Porsche Design ChronoTimer Series 1

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Trading six watches for one might seem extreme, but it made sense for me—four of the six were seldom worn. The Glashütte Originals (GOs) saw more action than the Grand Seikos, yet I opted to trade the GOs primarily due to their higher trade-in value. Remarkably, I managed to break even on the PanoMaticInverse, and I'm fairly confident I could reacquire one at a similar price if I desired. The rose gold Senator Chronometer was the unexpected quick sale, marking the shortest ownership I've ever had with a watch. My decision was influenced by a preference for the newer, white gold model with the blue dial over the rose gold version, underscoring my evolving tastes and the strategic considerations behind streamlining my collection. Despite my interest in the newer model, I've realized I wouldn't purchase it again due to its 42mm size. My preference now leans towards watches that are 40mm and smaller, a decision heavily influenced by my experience with various Lange watches, which cemented my appreciation for more compact timepieces.

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For the wedding in Laguna Beach, I decided to wear my 116515LN Daytona on OysterFlex, and it was a beautiful ceremony. Interestingly, there was even a famous Formula 1 driver among the guests!

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In the photo below, doesn't the individual strikingly resemble Max Verstappen? Interestingly, he was the groom's sister's boyfriend, and throughout the event, I couldn't resist pointing out his uncanny resemblance to the Formula One champion. Surprisingly, many attendees weren't familiar with Max Verstappen, which made the observation even more intriguing to share.

👀👀👀

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👀👀👀 Interestingly, once they saw a photo of the Formula One Champion, everyone I talked to shared my opinion. After the wedding, they even texted me, requesting his name again to compare with their photos. 😂😝🤣

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The bridesmaids looked stunning! It's moments like these that make me miss California all the more.

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I’m not crazy, right? He looks like Verstappen!!

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As the trip concluded on Sunday evening, I found myself in a state of mixed exhaustion and invigoration. The anticipation of receiving my meteorite Pepsi was high, although I faced a waiting period of five days before it could be delivered to my home. This delay was primarily due to the need to ship all the boxes and papers for the watches I traded in back to the store.

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However, the wait proved to be well worth it, as I now have the pleasure of wearing this exceptional timepiece on my wrist.

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Again. Fascinating read. I think the trades were worth it. Was it even or did you have to add cash?

Side note: that turquoise dial AP in that size. 🤤

Side side note: I miss the double double

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WristCounselor

Again. Fascinating read. I think the trades were worth it. Was it even or did you have to add cash?

Side note: that turquoise dial AP in that size. 🤤

Side side note: I miss the double double

That turquoise AP was my favorite watch of the trip. Too bad it trades for double it’s retail price. No cash out of pocket on meteorite Pepsi.

I love the Double Balance Wheel RO

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Awesome post! At the end the day, our tastes evolve, and so does our collections. I see that you kept the lake suwa! I would have done the same thing… BTW, Hyde Park in Scottsdale helped me acquire my vintage Pepsi via CPO. Fairly priced imho and peace of mind

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Excellent read Paul. I think that you made a fair trade. I think that the trade will pay off better for you in the long run. Congratulations again my friend. That's a beautiful piece.

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TheHoroSexual

That turquoise AP was my favorite watch of the trip. Too bad it trades for double it’s retail price. No cash out of pocket on meteorite Pepsi.

I love the Double Balance Wheel RO

That’s awesome then. Good trade. I assume Happy required cash on top

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UnderTheRadar

Awesome post! At the end the day, our tastes evolve, and so does our collections. I see that you kept the lake suwa! I would have done the same thing… BTW, Hyde Park in Scottsdale helped me acquire my vintage Pepsi via CPO. Fairly priced imho and peace of mind

Thank you! You're spot on about the evolution of taste shaping our collections. I'm glad you noticed the Lake Suwa—it's a keeper for sure. Great to hear Hyde Park in Scottsdale came through for you with your vintage Pepsi. It's always reassuring to get a fair deal and that added confidence when going the CPO route. Peace of mind really is priceless in the world of luxury watches. They expedited the shipping, delivering it overnight, and I even avoided sales tax, saving me thousands.

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WristCounselor

That’s awesome then. Good trade. I assume Happy required cash on top

Indeed. Actually, the conversation was straightforward—they inquired about the offer I had and immediately acknowledged that they couldn't match it. They advised me to return and finalize the dea on the CPO, and I really appreciated their candor.

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Shbamn50

Excellent read Paul. I think that you made a fair trade. I think that the trade will pay off better for you in the long run. Congratulations again my friend. That's a beautiful piece.

Thank you for the kind words! I feel confident about the trade—it seemed balanced and considered, with an eye on the long-term value of the collection. Thanks for the congratulations; I'm truly thrilled with the new addition. It's such a joy to share this passion with friends who appreciate these fine pieces!

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TheHoroSexual

Indeed. Actually, the conversation was straightforward—they inquired about the offer I had and immediately acknowledged that they couldn't match it. They advised me to return and finalize the dea on the CPO, and I really appreciated their candor.

That said, even after your review, I STILL want the White Richard Mille. 😂

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Loved reading about this experience. What a piece. Interesting selection you traded in and congrats on not losing your shirt on the GO!

Sad that they don’t know one of the greatest athletes in the world. ( but I see no resemblance 🙃to that guy )