In this week’s episode of Liquor Run, we dive into the absolutely insane story behind Pablo Escobar’s Rolex. During the 20th century, Escobar was known as the “King of Cocaine,” and his cartel was responsible for smuggling an estimated 80% of the world’s cocaine throughout various countries. Today, his net worth, accounting for inflation, would be in the neighborhood of $100 Billion, and he used to make an average of $20 Billion per year of his own, personal income.
Now, onto the watch – in 2013, his diamond encrusted Rolex Day Date was auctioned off. It was estimated to realize around $70,000, but instead realized a sale price of $8,500, less than the watch itself would be worth on its own with no “celebrity” affiliation. So what happened? Other famous criminals’ personal items have sold for insane premiums by comparison, but with Escobar’s watch, it realized a roughly $4,000 depreciation from where it would have retailed, let alone where it was estimated to sell.
Potential explanations for this are varied, but Rolly’s theory is that perhaps the wounds of Escobar’s crimes are too fresh still, it being only 40 or so years ago since the peak of his reign. To own something linked to tremendous atrocity is a bit weird in its own right, but to own something linked to such heinous crime that happened in your own memory may simply be too much for the majority of buyers. Because of this, perhaps it makes sense that the man who bought it was not a collector, or even someone who was tremendously interested in the history of it, but rather bought it as an investment in the materials themselves.
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