Originally Posted by johanm
Dino - I'm not sure we're on the same page on clothes and shoes. I appreciate bespoke suits and fine shoes to the extent that they function better than their downscale counterparts, generally either by doing more to improve my appearance or comfort or by lasting longer. That's not to say finishing is unimportant just because it's imperceptible to a layman. I appreciate the appearance of fine pickstitching or handsewn buttonholes or well designed interior pockets even though they contribute only marginally to the primary functions of the garment. Still, I would evaluate each of those on their merits - how well they achieve what they set out to do - rather than considerations of rarity, provenance, exclusivity, etc. or that they reflect "care" or "effort". I acknowledge that in many areas of the luxury goods market, reasonable people put a premium on artisanal workmanship. I guess it's just an idiosyncratic blind spot for me, as personally I would make no distinction in value between two functionally equivalent items (at least standardized, unlimited production, utilitarian objects, i.e. not art) just because one was produced by an esteemed artisan's hand and the other in a factory.
On watches, I have as much appreciation for anyone for movement engineering insofar as the purpose is to somehow improve functionality on the watch, as noted earlier, in areas such as accuracy, reliability, dial configuration, case proportions, and complications.
I'm not sure what you're getting at here, you're appearing to disagree but you're nearly in complete agreement with him.
Take the example of the suit. It is an item that follows restrictions handed down by tradition
, not unlike a mechanical watch. Your pick stitching and nice buttons are analogous to perlage in the sense that their value lies in the additional effort that their presence implies.
Within the restrictions of what a suit is, a well made and fitted bespoke one will always beat a mass produced rtw one. Within the restrictions of what a mechanical watch is, a piece from the leading marques will always beat a Seagull or Christopher Ward. Same logic.
The problem is that some people compare mechanical watches with quartz watches because they adopt the imo simplistic approach of thinking that a mechanical watch is merely all about timekeeping, which it isn't. It's like saying wearing a parka is better than wearing a suit because it covers your nakedness better. Or running shoes are superior to dress shoes because they are more comfortable. Completely ridiculous, of course.
Then there are others who are seduced by a pretty dial and who forget or choose to ignore that innovation in movement design is of course an important part of the equation. A select few, like Thatguy, take it a step further and try their best to equate their literally skin deep appreciation of watches to some purposeful noble philosophical depth that is really only envy and class warfare by another name.
Thus within the limitations of what defines a mechanical watch (and so separates a good mechanical watch from a poor one... which BTW includes care/effort in making) I am absolutely comfortable in saying that objectively my JLC is better than your Tag Heuer or IWC but worse than your patek.
By all means buy what you like
regardless of its "merit", I certainly still do. Like I said before it's an emotional
hobby. But I still think it's always useful to have at the back of your mind a sort of objective scale to temper your impulses, lest today's infatuation becomes tomorrow's flip! Edited by apropos - 2/21/13 at 7:16am