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MC General Chat - Page 24

post #346 of 3166
^ Um, couldn't the same thing be said about clothing and shoes? I would say that you simply don't care about watches, just like 99% of the population does not care about clothing or shoes.

I was showing a buddy some AE shoes online at the office, and you would not believe how many people chimed in on how expensive and unnecessary they where, and these where AE's, I did not have the heart to tell them that they are considered "entry-level" smile.gif
post #347 of 3166
I have a few nice Swiss timepieces that I have inherited or been given as obligatory "congratulations" gifts. Nothing in the realm of Patek or JLC, but they are all quite nice. I don't appreciate their movements, know whether construction was done in-house, or what the resale value will be. Instead, I appreciate them from an aesthetic and design standpoint. Accordingly, I feel that the design of a Rolex is superior to a Timex. It just looks more polished, refined and qualified when worn on your wrist.

Just like no one here would wear a pair of penny loafers with a tuxedo, I feel the importance of understanding the appropriateness and formality of different watches is very important. Wearing a steel-banded diver three days out of the week is great with a OCBD, jeans and chukkas, but a man should also own an leather-banded minimalistic watch for wearing with suits and sport coats. From there is the argument for a formal watch, which I also own, but I think black tie is actually accentuated by the absence of any extraneous jewelry (including a watch).

At the end of the day I view a nice watch just like I view a nice brief case, wallet, attache, umbrella, hat or belt. You don't necessarily have to own/use/wear any of these things, and they shouldn't be what you build your look/wardrobe around. However, their presence, when done tastefully, ups personal style and demonstrates a greater understanding of how individual elements can work into a look. It should echo the tone of your formality and the aesthetic you're trying to achieve. By dismissing watches entirely, you overlook a crucial step in getting dressed and, IMHO, demonstrate a lack of knowledge that is quite crucial to creating a coherent sense of style.
Edited by bourbonbasted - 8/31/12 at 5:25am
post #348 of 3166
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

Instead, I appreciate them from an aesthetic and design standpoint. Accordingly, I feel that the design of a Rolex is superior to a Timex. It just looks more polished, refined and qualified when worn on your wrist.

You lose me here. Rolex makes all kinds of tasteless watches. The fact that it says "Rolex" doesn't automatically make the design superior to a nicely done Timex.
post #349 of 3166
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

You lose me here. Rolex makes all kinds of tasteless watches. The fact that it says "Rolex" doesn't automatically make the design superior to a nicely done Timex.

I suppose I should clarify. I don't mean to say that a brand name makes something better or more appropriate. However, from a design standpoint, I appreciate and am drawn to a number of Rolexes (as well as other brands) over similar watches produced by other makers. I used Timex vs. Rolex as an example. Even the mods of Submariners and Datejusts that I have seen still lack the elegance and small details that draw me to the original watches. There are many that will contest that a Seiko Submariner mod serves the same purpose as a Rolex Submariner. I'll politely disagree, but only on the grounds of my design preference. I don't pretend to know the virtues of one movement over another.

I've been lucky that my family and friends who have gifted me/handed-me-down my watches all have taste similar to mine. That said, I'm definitely aware of some insanely ugly watches made by "higher echelon" brands.
post #350 of 3166
post #351 of 3166
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

This is beautiful: Military One-Button Chronographs With Unsigned Dials From Omega And Breitling

Oh my. That's beautiful. I wish the US Army had issued Breitlings or Omegas. I wear one of my dad's old GI Timex watches, and I really like the simplicity. I change out the straps from the standard NATO straps to a leather one my cobbler made on occasion.
post #352 of 3166
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post


Wait, that's not tasteful?! Looks like I need to call Mariano and cancel my zebra dinner jacket.
post #353 of 3166
It's a tribute to the art of gem setting. Or so the official site tells me.
post #354 of 3166
Originally Posted by DocHolliday View Post

It's a tribute to the art of gem setting. Or so the official site tells me.

On a similar note, I created a tribute to the artistry and craftsmanship of the porcelain trade this morning.
post #355 of 3166
Mechanical watches aren't for everyone. Instead of clothes I might compare them to diamonds vs lab made diamonds, vinyl vs digital (although I have my own whole theory on that - so i'm not making a claim one way or the other), tubes vs transistors, etc. Those three things are valued because of their flaws. I guess diamonds are the most controversial, but records and tube amplifiers might be your thing. They're certainly mine. On the other hand, I don't want my car stereo to have tubes in it and i'm not going to play a record in the car. There's a time and a place for everything.

I'm not going to scroll up to see who said it first, but you are all exactly right - fine timepieces are for those who appreciate them. It's not just the technical aspects of the movements, it's also the hostory of the brands, technology, social aspects, etc. For a lot of us, it's a hobby. Setting aside those things, one other appeal of some expensive watches, to me, is the representation of owning something forever. I'm constantly reminded of the refrigerator (that I should have taken - stupid me) that was in the basement of my grandfather's house. It was a GE, obviously from the 1950s. The damn thing worked just fine. Here is this piece of machinery that, assuming the cleanout people didn't throw it in the dump, could possibly be still working now - 60+ years after it was made. By "expensive" I mean a few hundred dollars - I'm certainly not suggesting you need to spend $5000 if you want to pass a watch on to your kids. I'm just so sick of buying shit that I eventually need to throw out! And since this is general chat, I'll just tell you (in brief - I could go on about this) my theory on vinyl vs digital (or analog vs digital). (Click to show)
1) The first and number one thing everyone needs to know is that analog recording was/is inherently dark sounding. You would probably translate that to "warm." To counteract this, all of the really good condenser microphones have a bump in the high frequencies - right around the nails on the chalkboard range.

2) When digital recording started to become popular in the 1980s, it had two factors working against it. The first being the quality of transistors and the second being that it was inherently more accurate than digital. This meant that all of those super expensive microphones with the bump in the chalkboard range now sounded JUST LIKE that.

3) The microphone issue above was combatted by the use of great microphone preamps - which tamed these microphones back to what they should sound like. These were tube and transistor.

Now all of the above happened behind the scenes. The consumer didn't really get into the debate/struggle until they started re-releasing records onto cd. Here's what that meant:

1) When you're finished mixing something, the practice in professional recording is to "master" it. This means a lot of things, but on the basic level, they are preparing it for the final medium. Equalization, volume/amplitude, compression - these things are all adjusted so it sounds as best as it can on as many stereos as it can.

2) When they were first releasing these CDs in the 1980s, they were putting the masters they made for the vinyl onto CD. Just like analog tape, records were inherently dark/warm and equalization was used to bring out parts that were muffled. What happens when you dump this onto a digital cd? It's pretty much a shrilly mess.

When they finally realized that the should be remastering things they put on CD, the damage was already done. Is one technology better than another? Of course, digital is far superior. Some people, though, prefer analog. Remember all of the CDs that came out in the 90s and 2000s that were "remastered?" They had to be - the original CDs sounded like garbage.

OK - sorry - that was my soapbox and i'm getting off it.


edit: added spoiler
post #356 of 3166
oh jesus - that rolex is something I could never look at. makes me cringe!
post #357 of 3166
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

Not really. Those fit better, look better, and have higher quality construction. Watches? A quartz looks exactly the same from the outside, requires less maintenance, and keeps better time. A mechanical watch gives literally no advantage other than the fascination of knowing, and occasionally, in a skeleton style, seeing little gears tick.

I don't care to get into a big debate, but we don't purchase handmade garments or shoes because they fit better. Sometimes, from a technical point of view, they fit worse. But we see those "faults" as being "character." It's art, not unlike the difference between hiring someone to paint you an original painting versus hiring one of those painters in China to recreate Starry Nights (or worse, buying a poster of it). The original painting might have a few technical problems, but it's appreciated for its originality, character, and humanity. It carries the maker's "signature," if you will.

People purchase well crafted watches for the same reasons they purchase handmade shoes or handmade bespoke garments. Or the same reason why they might choose handmade furniture instead of going to Potterybarn, or buy handmade bespoke shotguns over going to WalMart. It has nothing to do with showing off your wealth; it's about appreciating art and craft. Do you think museums are just places for rich people to show off their collections?
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

Feel free to spend your money on whatever you like. Just don't expect me to be particularly impressed with the mechanical masterpiece you bought when I have something functionally identical, both in operation and appearance, for a fiftieth the price.

First of all, I don't think most people would even recognize the watches talked about on watch boards. It's clearly for the realm of enthusiasts, not unlike how most people wouldn't recognize the things talked about on this forum. Secondly, the post I specifically linked was to a watch that didn't even have any markings. The point of it was that it was a beautifully made watch without anyone even knowing, including enthusiasts, let alone lay people.
Edited by dieworkwear - 8/31/12 at 3:47pm
post #358 of 3166
If these hobbies were full of sense, they wouldn't be hobbies and we would just race to the cheapest suit/shoes/car/watch that gets the job done. There is a bit of romance in all of these extremely expensive non-superior in function purchases we make.

I have two rolexes. Not because they are rolexes (anybody who thinks people give a shit what watch you have, trust me, they don't), but because I like the appearance, the solid build, the excellent resale (should I wish to pursue other options), and the durability. It amazes me how these things come back from service looking brand new, despite one being nearly 20 years old now.

take for instance my SS/Black submariner. the classic 16610. I bought it a few years ago, and haven't found anything even remotely close in price I'd rather have. I'm certain that I will own this watch until the time of my death, at which point my children will get it. its just a beautiful watch that can work as well with a suit (settle down traditionalists) as with shorts and a t-shirt.

Does it tell time perfectly...hell no...and I don't care.
post #359 of 3166
Thread Starter 
This is a terrible time to introduce this, given the above conversation's focus on class insecurities, but C. Barker, former editor-in-chief of The Rake, just launched his new project, Billionaire.

Given C's interest in bespoke tailoring, this could be a publication very worth following. There is an article in this issue on Kathryn Sargent.
post #360 of 3166
^^great post, Derek. I didn't mean to set off a debate about the practical value of handmade clothing vs handmade watches or vs machine made clothing. All I meant was that for me, personally, I get into the clothes but not into the watches. I have no reason or justification. This has been interesting to follow though.
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