Category Archives: hobbies

What’s a Philippe Beguin?

If there is one thing about collecting watches that makes it fun, it’s the story behind each piece. And oh boy, have I got a story for you!

Last year, while scrolling through watches on eBay, I came across several watches for sale in a lot. In that lot of 8 watches I saw a couple that seemed nice enough, but one was worth the price of all of them, a Casio MD-1010 “Submariner.” So, for 62 dollars I bought 8 watches.

Upon receiving my little box full of goodies, I went straight for the Casio, only to find that it needed more than a battery to work; it needed a new movement. However, I was fortunate to purchase a NOS movement just like the one that had died and before long it was running like new.

There were a couple of other neat watches in the group, including a rare Invicta tank. But what I did not expect to find was a watch connected to one of the most famous watch transactions in history.

A Peace Talk Purchase

In 1954, peace talks were being held in Geneva at the Hotel des Bergues (now the Four Seasons). Attending those peace talks was the last Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai. As history would show, the peace talks were not that successful, and neither was Emperor Bao Dai who was later exiled in 1955. But if there was one thing that could be said about him, Bao Dai had expensive tastes.

Frustrated with how the talks were going, Bao Dai stepped outside to get some fresh air. On a whim, he left the Hotel des Bergues and walked across the street to the respected watch retailer, Philippe Beguin, and asked for the most expensive Rolex he had.

“Bao Dai” Rolex ref. 6062

Not having anything extravagant enough, the jeweler contacted Rolex and begged for something fancier … and that’s what he got. The watch that Rolex sent over was the one-of-a-kind Rolex ref. 6062 in 18k gold with a diamond-set dial. It is said at that time the watch cost SFr4000, almost the same as a Patek Philippe perpetual calendar.

That Rolex the last Emperor of Vietnam bought became a daily wearer. But later, after his death, in 2002 the “Bao Dai” Rolex ref. 6062 sold at auction for $235,000, making it the most expensive Rolex sold up to that point. But is was in 2017 that the same watch sold by Philippe Beguin to Bao Dai went for a staggering $5,060,427. Yes, 5 million.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information about Philippe Beguin. However, one interesting thing to note was that his relationship with Rolex was such that each model sold through his store had his name printed by Rolex on the dial! I’d say you would have had to have earned a little respect for that to happen. But as history would have it – and I’ve not been able to find out why – Philippe Beguin went out of business not long after the sale to Emperor Bao Dai.

An eBay Purchase

What does all this have to do with anything? It’s because one of the watches I got in that lot of 8 was a Philippe Beguin. Inside is a gold-plated Peseux 320 movement with a 40-hour power reserve that’s only 3 millimeters thick!

So, for an initial investment of around $7.75, then servicing by James P. Soboleski in California, I have a watch made in the late 1940s to early 1950s which was sold in the shop by the very same man who sold one of the most famous watches in horological history!

Not bad for an eBay find, huh?

(How much would you say it’s worth?)

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A Popular Painting: Doolittle Pond

You know, it was just a year ago that I started painting in earnest. Up until then I only drew stuff for fun, other than when I illustrated the stories in my school bus book.

However, a recent painting I completed for a client (a commissioned work) has stirred a lot of response. On one Facebook page it’s garnered over 2,100 likes and 631 comments! It is a painting of an actual pond in Sandersville, Georgia, called Doolittle Pond. If you Google it you will find it on just about any Georgia map.

The painting is of the south side of the pond where a couple of old structures dating back to the 1800’s still stand. The actual property is a little more wooded and shady, but he wanted me to “clean up” the view so that the buildings could be seen clearly.

Instead of the cold-pressed paper I usually use for watercolor or Gouache, I went with a 12’x24″ stretched canvas made for watercolor. I am glad I did because the pond – the water part – was a real challenge! I had to “erase” it and redo it 3 times before I was happy!!

Needless to say, I put FAR more hours into this than I planned. The agreed price doesn’t even come close to what it’s worth, really. The owner is getting a steal of a deal 😉

But if you like it, you can contact me via email (pastoracbaker@yahoo.com) and I can provide options and pricing for prints. You can also follow me on Facebook at @AnthonyCBakerArt and/or my website (under development) WallHoleCoverings.com.

AND, if you’d like for me to paint something for you, I’m always willing to negotiate – especially for a watch 🙂

“Doolittle Pond” 12×24″ Watercolor & Gouache on stretched canvas

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. – Matt. 5:16

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Auction #1 “Pine Hill United Methodist”

Here is your opportunity to bid on a painting of mine!

Like I mentioned in the last post (and video), I am auctioning off 4 different paintings on Facebook in order to raise the necessary funds to release my wife’s anniversary gift from layaway.

I would appreciate you watching this video which shows the painting being auctioned.

Then, if you’d like to go to my Facebook page, here is a link to that: Anthony C. Baker | Facebook

Funds collected above and beyond what is needed to secure my lovely wife’s gift will be donated to the ministry of Grace Charity School in Lahore, Pakistan (a Christian school dedicated to educating the children of the desperately poor brick kiln families).

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Good News, Bad News


I Love to Write

Greetings, my friends. Maybe you’ve noticed, but my writing here on the blog has been becoming more and more infrequent. I hate it, but it was bound to happen.

Unfortunately, I love to write, and because I have not been writing much lately, my soul feels like a wet sponge that hasn’t been wrung in a long time – a little sour. Honestly, that’s the whole reason I am writing at this moment. I need to wring some stuff out. 

That just sounded gross. 

I Love to Paint

But there is something else in my life, not to mention watches, that has taken up my free time: it’s painting. Not only do I love to write, but I also love to create things on paper with paint. And when people find joy in what I paint, like when they comment on how something I’ve written helped them, I feel a sense of accomplishment that few other things offer.

I say all that because one of the reasons I’ve not been writing much is my painting. When I get focused on my art (and writing is similar), I forget about other things and time tends to get away from me. 

May be art of nature and tree

The Time Has Come

But speaking of time getting away, I’ve been putting off something for a long, long time, and it’s way past time to finish what I started.

For several years I have been chipping away at a doctoral degree. As a matter of fact, for the last 3 years, I have been so close to finishing it’s not even funny. But everything from surgery, moving a couple of times, deaths in the family, the daily work of ministry, two pastorates in four years, an empty nest, a mother with cancer, and not to mention all that had to be done to pastor a church through COVID-19… all of these things took precedent and my degree was placed on the back burner.

But now the time has come – I must finish my D.Min. requirements in order to graduate in July.

One reason the time has come is that the “time is up” for my mother. Hospice is now in charge of her health care and she has been given, at the most, 6 months to live. If the truth be known, she wasn’t expected to live this long with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. 

I want to get my doctorate while my mother is still alive to see it. I told her, “OK, Mom, you’ve got to live until July.” She said, “OK.” 

Because of this, I cannot guarantee that I’ll be around very much. Just think about me now and then when you haven’t heard from me and I’ll keep you updated on the progress – and my mother.

God bless, 
Anthony

P.S. I would always love it if you’d buy a painting or a print 🙂 Look me up at @AnthonyCBakerArt on Facebook!

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Retired, Rusty Relic: Still Useful

Watercolor & Gouache on Cold-Pressed (by Anthony Baker)

It’s just an old truck sitting in a field. It will most likely (almost guaranteed) never run the dirt roads of middle Georgia again.

But is it worthless? Good for nothing? Useless?

NO!

If nothing else, it inspired this painting – and this post 🙂

What about when people are unable to run the roads like they used to? What about when the old, broken-down, rusty relics from a different era can’t haul the load, only sit where they’re planted?

Are THEY useless?

It’s sad if you think so.

How much is inspiration worth?

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Seeds and Harvest: the Hope of Christian Blogging

“High Cotton” by Anthony Baker

(Speaking to a friend about blogging, I said) We plant and water seeds of hope and love and joy and grace. We sow these seeds all over the world!

Rarely will we see a harvest, but the Holy Spirit knows how to take that divinely inspired “click” and turn it into new life.

It will be interesting, and wonderful, to one day see what God was able to do with the crazy medium of Christian blogging.

To HIM be the glory!

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“Whatsoever Ye Do…”

If I’ve preached it once, I’ve preached it more than 7 times (I can’t preach the same sermon over and over): “Whatever gift or talent you have, it can be used for the Lord.”

I was told that not just Saturdays, but even on Wednesdays there are vendors at the local courthouse square selling their wares (mostly vegetables and stuff).

But evidently not today! It’s just me!

At least it’s not raining 😉

That’s OK! I’ve already got to talk with people, even if I haven’t sold anything. And what did I talk about most? Church, ministry, evangelism, etc. And one college-age girl wanted to know when our services started Sunday morning (she is looking for a congregation in which to fit)!

But here I am in a parking lot on a cool day without the sun burning me up. I’ve got plenty of coffee, a chair, my Bible, and a full charge on my iPhone. I’m blessed.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. – Colossians 3:17

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Hobbies Funding Hobbies

It has been a great day. What you are looking at is the result of one hobby funding another hobby. That’s a great way to do things, right?

To begin, the watch on the right is a Russian-made 17-jewel manual wind Vostok I picked up in Hungary back in 1992 (paid $50, which was way too much back then). But ever since the band broke, I haven’t worn it in 25 years! You guys helped pick out the strap 🙂

On the left is a piece I’ve been planning at some point to purchase (when I lost 10 pounds). However, this Casio MDV106-1AV (Duro) was sitting in the case at Walmart with a “clearance” sticker on it. It normally goes from 50-70 dollars, but they were only asking $35 for it! For the uninitiated, this is a must-have basic dive watch (200 meter rating) that one of the the richest men in the world (Bill Gates) wears.

Long story concluded, I sold some art I did that paid for both the watch and the strap, with $6.80 left over!

After a beggar outside Walmart got the $.80 from me, I wound up making a couple of dollars and now have two more wearable watches in my amateur collection 🙂

I like having hobbies! 😁👏🏻 Now all I need to do is sell enough art to buy a Grand Seiko.

Yeah, maybe I ought to stick with little Seikos 😉

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