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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...) - Page 1638  

post #24556 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

OK, can I give a bit of honest feedback B?

You are going about selling watches in IMO a wrong way. Don't give me a spec sheet, which your sig essentially is - "two hand-engraved balance cocks in gold, coupled with four gold chatons, cotes de geneve, 3/4 plate, heat-blued screws and swan neck fine adjuster". You've previously mentioned the handcrafted watch strap, and now the heat-blued hands. I'm not buying a fridge or washing machine, I'm potentially buying a mechanical watch. Mechanical watches are emotional purchases. Give me a story.

Give me motivation to buy a watch made in China, which I (and likely others) reasonably or not immediately mentally associate with shitty watches worn by fanboys who diss Swiss-made when it never really was in their budget ballpark, the PMWF WAYWT, and sweatshops. Seagull is not exactly an esteemed name in watchmaking, and a parallel is that you've adopted the (old) Lexus method of selling - which was this car is a great buy because we have crammed so many features/luxuries into it and can still sell it for this relatively low low low price! Hence the persisting notion that a Lexus is a rich man's Toyota, instead of a luxury marque in it's own right. Lexus has since moved on to advertising that appeals more to the emotions, and perhaps you should too.

Tell me more about the dial, tell me more about the history/heritage behind it. You've skimmed over something which is IMHO crucial before when you mentioned in passing that the original watch design was inspired by the first MIC watch. Tell me about who wore that firs MIC watch. Tell me more about the workers in the factory that make the watches. Tell me about their working conditions and lives, so I don't default to the assumption that they work in shitty conditions in a country world renown for oppressing it's own people. Tell me about how the finishing is hand-applied. Tell me that the lacquer isn't some shitty plastic, but genuine cinnabar which has its roots in Chinese tradition. Tell me about the history of the Seagull factory, something that might help me put aside/forget the shitty shitty factory name. I mean, mental experiment - would you wear a watch named Porpoise or Turtle or Opossum if you knew nothing else about the watch??

Right now the only emotion I am getting is that the big watch companies are ripping us off and I should get one of your watches to stick it to the man. Oh, and because it's great value. Not really the vibe you want to be imparting IMHO. And it's a shame, because your watches are genuinely interesting.

Hi Apropos, thank you for your feedback. I will deal with your reply methodically (lawyer bug, sorry!).

Firstly, you can certainly give feedback as long as it is civil. That is the whole point of me posting the status of my endeavour on this thread. But to be honest I take offence at some of your ways of phrasing. And also the assumption that if something is not emotionally evocative, that it must be very, very bad (I will not repeat your exact words here).

I agree with you that watches are emotionally driven, a fact which has allowed many commercial brands to get away with selling on name and cutting corners (happy to furnish some examples if desired). To an extent I wish to buck that thread by giving customers true substance and sincerity in work, and pride in craftsmanship, not selling some ersatz story of Swiss elves toiling in a mountain chalet.

But I believe there is more than enough emotion in this thread - http://forums.watchuseek.com/f72/something-cool-beijing-865427.html

I am a sartorial guy first and watch guy second, so am familiar with for example, the process of bespoke tailoring vs high-end RTW like Brioni and Kiton. That is why I post photos of the process and the journey of my watch idea coming into fruition over the course of one year. I hope my fellow friends/customers can share in the same anticipation and pride (like a father welcoming a baby) as I do.

Also, my sig is just that, a sig. It is not meant to be a spec sheet. For details, my tumblr and personal contact with me is available. Yes it is a fair bit to read but isn;'t that what we bespoke guys enjoy, reading about the history and the way things are made (all found further back in the tumblr). Such a process cannot be short, especially given that it took one year from drawing board to finished watch.

I have no association with Sea-Gull (my watch is made by Beijing which is a much better manufactory) but I have many of their watches along with many Swiss and German, modern and vintage, spanning the price spectrum. By the way Sea-Gull is an honest name, born in the 1970s as an export brand (its domestic brand dates from 1955). I much prefer such honesty over some ridiculous faux-Swiss name (which many new Swiss brands are guilty of as well). It may not appeal to you, but it does to me.

Everything you asked about (dial, history, heritage etc) can be found further back in the tumblr, including the vintage Wuyi that inspired my plum blossom guilloche. That however is not the first Chinese watch, but the first serially-produced one. The first wristwatch dates to 1955. But if you include clocks and pocket watches, Chinese artisans existed since the Ming dynasty five centuries ago producing top-grade watches for the Imperial court.

I neither advocate buying my watches to do what you postulated, nor emphasise a value-preposition, although my watches are indeed tremendous vis-a-vis its competitors. There is such a small production made (100 pieces handmade a year, of which 75% has already been sold) that this is not necessary nor desirable.

I only ask that folks who want a lovely, lovingly-designed watch, borne out of the vision of one individual and not designed by committee, and made by hand with sincerity and integrity, find interest in my watch. It is designed with no compromises at all, in the true AHCI sense. And yes, I am collaborating with a Chinese master in the AHCI (the group of master watchmakers that includes Phillippe Dufour and Kari Voutilainen).
post #24557 of 48312
Apropos - you are living in the past with your opinion of Chinese factories. My company has been trading in Europe for over 90 years and I can honestly say that our Beijing factory has the most modern plant and machinery housed in a newest purpose made building of any of our facilities. People in the West underestimate Chinese quality at their peril. Yes of course there is some s....y stuff still made but the future for China is no longer as a low wage economy and in a very few years it will be the largest economy in the world.

I will be very interested to see what B comes up with.
post #24558 of 48312
- B - , very well said - slow clap.

I'd love to see some pics of completed watches posted here.
post #24559 of 48312
Well said both Apropos and ~ B ~. Of course, it is this kind of honesty that makes this thread so great, and it is even better when tough criticism is met with a tough and well-thought out response.
post #24560 of 48312
If heritage as a reflection of brand is the only reason to buy a watch then we're really stuck with a few limited choices, aren't we? And what happens when an established brand goes off the reservation in some way, such as Zenith did, or some might argue Rolex has?
post #24561 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayward View Post

If heritage as a reflection of brand is the only reason to buy a watch then we're really stuck with a few limited choices, aren't we? And what happens when an established brand goes off the reservation in some way, such as Zenith did, or some might argue Rolex has?

In my view, heritage ad history are consistently THE most overblown and overhyped factors in watch discussions. I throw up just a little bit whenever a particular is recommended because it is 'iconic'. I have never bought into the elf kool-aid, and never will.
post #24562 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newcomer View Post

Well said both Apropos and ~ B ~. Of course, it is this kind of honesty that makes this thread so great, and it is even better when tough criticism is met with a tough and well-thought out response.

 

^ This = fistbump.gif

 

A moment of levity here before returning to more serious matters.  Levity, or in this case, a form of levitation.  Here I am over the weekend doing a "human flag" or a "Furyan flag."  I can really only hold it for a second or two, and it merits only a passing look from a relative (and complete indifference from my daughter, who has already begun to walk away).  

 

5711 on my wrist.  NOT wearing SF-approved clothes here, I suppose, but... it's the weekend!  And I'm in an amusement park! biggrin.gif

 

 

rnguy001 - congratulations on your daughter's baptism.  Daughters rock!

 

Keith T - hope you guys all woke up fine.  We too "slept in" during Labor Day weekend, but in our case that means 7:30am!

post #24563 of 48312
^^show off lol8[1].gif
post #24564 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS View Post

^^show off lol8[1].gif

 

Oh no, if I truly wanted to do that I would "just by chance" take a picture while we were at the water park so I'd have my shirt off............. crazy.gif

post #24565 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by no frills View Post

Oh no, if I truly wanted to do that I would "just by chance" take a picture while we were at the water park so I'd have my shirt off............. crazy.gif

HAHAHA! ahhh i remember those days. I was bitching to my wife yesterday that I was the one who gained the weight when she got pregnant. now shes thinner than she was before...and im 15 lbs heavier. peepwall[1].gif
post #24566 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~ B ~ View Post

I only ask that folks who want a lovely, lovingly-designed watch, borne out of the vision of one individual and not designed by committee, and made by hand with sincerity and integrity, find interest in my watch. It is designed with no compromises at all, in the true AHCI sense. And yes, I am collaborating with a Chinese master in the AHCI (the group of master watchmakers that includes Phillippe Dufour and Kari Voutilainen).

Thanks B for your thought out reply. I just read through my previous post and I sound like an asshole. I wrote it in the early hours of the morning (see the timestamp) and was trying to say it all in an off the cuff manner, but whatever my intentions it came across pretty wrong, and I apologise for any offence caused.

Major facepalm on confusing Seagull and BWF. Major facepalm. No walking away from that, definitely have egg on my face.

I appear to have misinterpreted your sig as reading like a spec sheet. It still does to me. Can I ask why you've settled on certain design features e.g. 3/4 plate, SG chatons, and engraved balance cocks? I ask this because there are strong parallels IMO with various German brands and I am curious as to why these deliberate choices were made.

If I may make some more suggestions - link that WUS thread in your sig. IMO avoid negative advertising (i.e. pointing out how the big Swiss manufacturers cut corners).

Finally not sure if this has occurred to you but your logo looks not only like a Chinese tripod cauldron but also a stylised pallet. That is pure awesomeness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

In my view, heritage ad history are consistently THE most overblown and overhyped factors in watch discussions. I throw up just a little bit whenever a particular is recommended because it is 'iconic'. I have never bought into the elf kool-aid, and never will.

Hmm, forgive me for not being completely convinced by your declaration of invulnerability, given you own(ed) or are planning to own a Speedy, a Zenith with an El Primero movement, and a Rolex Sub. I am pretty sure you have a soft spot for the Max Bill watch, JLC, and more than a bit of affection for Omega. It doesn't add up... to me anyway peepwall[1].gif

When it comes down to it, heritage and history are IMO really significant factors with watches.

99% of the "modern" mechanical watches we discuss and salivate over on this thread really are not that different from their vintage counterparts. The format is still the same - all have lugs, crowns, bezels, hands, and come in 4 or 5 different case shapes. Time is still displayed in the same way with swiveling hands. Most bring nothing new to the table horologically, or are variations on a theme - high beat movements, bigger power reserves, etc. The essential layout of the power train hasn't changed - spring, balance, pallet, regulator, wheels all held together with bridges and plates. Nearly all complications are a century old, or older. Your in house movement is really just the wheel reinvented to justify a price increase - most in house movements bring nothing new to the table, and may perform worse in terms of reliability, serviceability and parts availability.

So you are wearing an anachronism, and a paradox ("modern mechanical watch"). Why? Probably heritage and history. stirpot.gif
post #24567 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith T View Post

Alex! worship2.gif

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

post #24568 of 48312
i love all the heritage and history of our beloved and storied brands. sadly, imo, most of that went out the window after they have almost all been bought and sold quite a few times, and most fall under the umbrella of one of a few luxury brand corporate conglomerates. not to mention the ones that lay dormant for decades, and we revived in the recent past. most such brands lay a thin claim to any of their old history.

there are few and far between that are independently owned, and even fewer that actually are in the hands of the family who founded the brand. AP might be the only one, and that is barely so, with only a portion of ownership belonging to a direct descendant. feel free to correct me if im wrong, and even if i am, my general statement holds true, thats a fact.

dont get me wrong, i think what the conglomerates and revivers have done is in many ways great, and it probably saved a lot of these brands from disappearing into oblivion forever. and the cash infusions brought the technology and quality control and finishing to levels unheralded. nonetheless, the history and heritage loses most of that fuzzy feeling evocation for me. its a great story, sure. and im sure the present owners have all kinds of stuff in vaults from the early days, from which to draw inspiration, but its mostly just that. inspiration and a nice story. we are not talking about a company whos owners have very much real connection to the past, if any at all, outside of business and a love for watches.

to me, most of that stuff is not much more than an interesting historical read on a topic i find interesting. i place far more weight on beauty/aesthetics, craftsmanship, quality and quality control when it comes to my actual purchases. "heritage" is mostly a fun side note and a self congratulatory pat on the back. which i heartily administer.
post #24569 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View PostHmm, forgive me for not being completely convinced by your declaration of invulnerability, given you own(ed) or are planning to own a Speedy, a Zenith with an El Primero movement, and a Rolex Sub. I am pretty sure you have a soft spot for the Max Bill watch, JLC, and more than a bit of affection for Omega. It doesn't add up... to me anyway peepwall[1].gif


 

 

I seek to convince you of nothing, least of all of my personal priorities when making a watch purchase.  My affinity for the watches you mention has everything to do with the quality of the product today and the price / value equation they represent in a bountiful and competitive market.  It has little or nothing to do with fanciful reminiscence of the past history of the manufacturers in question.  I leave others to rhapsodize and romanticize about brand history and get all wrapped up and carried away by the story.  I have bought more watches than I care to admit, and never once found any history in the bag when I got home - just a watch - which stands or falls on the technical merits of design and execution.  F&ck the elves. smile.gif

post #24570 of 48312
Okay I just typed up a longer response, but it got lost in the posting process somehow.


First of all let me say ~B~ I appreciate your contributing here and I hope you take whatever sincerely constructive comments you get, in the spirit that they were intended.


And frilly for the love of God don't hurt yourself.



Regarding brand heritage/history/tradition....there is a whole lot of ground that could be covered here, but I will say that for me, it is most definitely a factor. Not perhaps the overriding factor, and if I were doing a pie chart, I'm not sure how big of a piece it would be exactly...but it IS a factor.

To use one example from my quote-unquote collection....I've got a reissue version of the so-called Steve McQueen Monaco, and I really like it, and wear it in regular rotation with my other watches. I've had it for maybe 4-5 years now.

I understand that in many respects it is an unremarkable Tag chronograph. Yes I do like it's squareness, and its blueness, and it looks great on a couple of different straps.....so I suppose it does fill a niche in a several ways when compared to others that I own.

But let's face it, you had me at McQueen on that one.

Hello?! It's Steve McQueen! In a f*cking race car?! Just take my money.

(Quick aside: I understand that Mr. McQueen mainly wore a 5512 Sub in his off-screen life, and also.... when I say "heritage" we all know this example only goes back maybe 40 years ago...so we're not talking about Vacheron making pocket watches for centuries or whatever).

But regardless....and just being honest ....if my Monaco were a $50K watch, instead of a fraction of that, then I probably wouldn't have saved and shopped and ultimately purchased one. So certainly, purchase price is another piece of the pie when it comes to these kinds of decisions. I'd say for many guys, that would be the single biggest factor: what can I afford?

Of course there are lots of other factors involved in any watch purchase personally (case size relative to my wrist size, accuracy and reliability of the movement, potential repair costs and/or resale value, overall legibility of the dial....all pieces of the pie). So yeah, I'm sure people have all kinds of different criteria for these decisions, but undoubtedly in my case, "brand heritage" certainly does play a role, FWIW.
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