John Darius Bikoff is an American entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Energy Brands.
In 2007, Bikoff sold Energy Brands to The Coca-Cola Company for $4.1 billion. The deal earned Bikoff personally $325 million.
Since 2011, Mr Bikoff has known James Dowling, a “Rolex watch expert”. He bought from Dowling a Rolex 6538 Submariner for $94,000 and a Rolex Tektite GEV for a staggering $395,000 as well as countless others. According to the NY Post, A New York billionaire was duped by a British watch seller into buying $700,000 worth of fake Rolexes, according to a lawsuit.
When Bikoff tried to sell them, he discovered they were overpriced or counterfeit, he claims.When Bikoff demanded a refund, he says Dowling claimed the timepieces had actually gone up in value. Now the two will battle it out in court!
It seems like this is happening more often then not these days to really wealthy and influential people. A word to the wise would be to consider the source! Especially with Rolex there are a lot of watches from the fifties, sixties and seventies that have been modified or use NON Rolex parts. The only way to be sure you are getting the “real mccoy” for vintage or pre-owned Rolex watches is to send the watch/watches back to Rolex directly. They are the only ones who can validate the authenticity. There are a lot of reputable after market Rolex dealers but the truth is that they may/may not be aware that there are any sperious parts on these vintage watches when they buy them. This should be a lesson to all for the future.
The Rolex vintage watch market is its own subculture within the brand. As the popularity of these historic pieces on the rise, its even more important that you save yourself the aggravation and let Rolex put your mind at ease. It may be a pain in the ass to send these watches to Rolex but at least you will know one way or another 100%. If the person that you are looking to purchase from is not willing to let you send the watches to Rolex to be authenticated then you shouldn’t buy from them. Some of these coveted pieces cost more than a nice home in certain parts of the country. I would say do you due diligence before it turns into a blood bath!