Columbian Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, a drug trafficker and money launderer, was one of the leaders of the North Valley Cartel. In addition to trafficking cocaine and heroine, he was also suspected of murder. This is one bad dude. Through his activities Abadia has built up a fortune estimated at $1.8 billion, according to the US Department of State. This elusive gangster was finally arrested in São Paulo, Brazil in 2007 and in 2008 extradited to the United States where he now calls a prison cell home.
Abadia had a taste for the finer things in life, including watches. After he was caught authorities found a collection worth $1.1million dollars. Except it wasn’t.
When Abadia’s watches went up for auction the first time on September 24th, only one watch was bid upon, but the buyer decided he didn’t want it. Again the authorities attempted to auction the watches on October 8th. Nobody bid. Even for such marques brands as Cartier, Audemars Piguet and Rolex. Not one watch was sold. Now the authorities are going to make a third attempt to auction the watches.
When we evaluate the market value of a watch, we look at the 4 Q’s. Here’s a case where infamous provenance, one of the Q’s, can work against you.