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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...) - Page 1771post #26551 of 4831211/24/13 at 1:53ampost #26552 of 4831211/24/13 at 7:27amQuote:Originally Posted by mimo
Tyre-Kicker: Bonus Stage
Last week, I was in Dubai for a couple of days on business. By pure coincidence I was invited to see the Lange Grand Complication during the same time. And then didn't get to play with it because I was trying to be in two places at once. Anyway, none of you liked it so no harm done. :)
Those of you with phenomenal savant memory, or no life at all, might recall my tyre-kicking odyssey in Dubai a couple of months ago, and that I didn't get to Vacheron Constantin, because it was the only one of the major makers without a dealer or boutique in the Dubai Mall. So just for completeness, I took a side trip to the Mall of the Emirates to take a look.
Firstly, I apologise that VC's charming little boutique is very poorly lit. It really is quite dark in there, so my crappy phone camera didn't have a chance. Also, for some reason most of the watches in stock were ladies'. Which is fine if you're a lady, but I'm not and neither are you. My local PP boutique always seems to have a lot more women's watches too. I'm not sure if that's because there's a huge demand I didn't know about, or, I suspect, the reverse - that they turn over very slowly.
Anyway, two things that were worth a look:
First, the Patrimony Traditionelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar.
This comes in at about $150k, which is pretty serious. Comparable to Frilly's 3970p I suppose, in form, function and elite pricing. Obviously, being a platinum perpetual chrono, it's fabulously awesome. It's also rather bigger than the Patek, and I think it's just perfect on the wrist. As the Frilmeister has already demonstrated, a blue croc strap also adds an extra layer of deliciousness to a platinum masterpiece.
There's one thing, though. A while back, we were comparing the finish on three watches of similar function - VC's Les Historiques chrono, a similar Patek (forgive me, I forget all these references!) based on the same movement, and the Lange Datograph Ab/Auf. Naturally, the Lange kicked all kinds of butt when it came to the rear end (IMHO). After that, much as I liked the look of the VC, and it's far more accessible (well, it's all relative...) used price, I had to admit that Patek Philippe had clearly done a lot more work on the movement to make it pretty. OK, maybe not a lot more. And it's not like VC's movement was ugly. But there was a difference.
From these blurry pictures I can't really say one way or another. And perhaps it was looking deep into the rear end of a Lange Grand Complication the previous evening that distorted my perspective. But I couldn't help feeling just a tiny bit disappointed with this. It's an eye-watering, preposterous amount of money. It's an absolutely beautiful, stunningly-proportioned piece of art. I really loved everything about the way this watch looks and feels - from the front. But bearing all that it might, looking at the back left me just a little flat. Not that it isn't beautiful, but I thought perhaps there was an extra degree to which they could have gone with the finish. I don't know what, exactly, and perhaps the dim light in the boutique didn't help either. But somehow, for $150 grand, I couldn't quite see it. If it's ever available at bargain-basement used price, this watch will be the most magnificent addition to someone's collection. But new, even if I were rich enough, and even loving the aesthetic of it and the whole VC feel, I couldn't look past Lange and Patek to this. That makes me a bit sad.
This is quite a cheery thought, though, to a point: the Malte Tourbillon in limited edition platinum. What a beast. And I mean that positively and negatively. First, it's a VC with a tourbillon, and a VC-quirky tonneau case, and subsidiary seconds, and a seemingly random yet perfect power reserve, and it's platinum, on a cool strap. It's fantastic! And I don't even really like tonneau cases, usually. This is just such a big grin as a package. But there's just a little negative: it's a big beast. 38mm wide sounds fine, if it were round, but 38x48+ is pretty monstrous. For a dress watch, this is a beast indeed.
Anyway, if you're going to spend over $200k on a VC with a tourbillon, it might as well be visible from space. Now, again at that price there are all the competitors you can imagine. And is it really as beautifully made and special as a similarly-priced Lange or even Patek? Well, that's arguable. But it's probably more original, or at least harder to compare directly. And whatever the finer details of movement finishing, this movement is a joy to look at: no disappointment flipping this baby over, and the finish is secondary. Look at the tonneau-shaped movement! I suppose it's not a surprise at this price, but it's still a delight.
Anyway, there you go. And both of these yours for about a seventh of a Lange Grand Complication. When you put it like that...
Thanks for the write up and sharing your experience. Very cool that you got to see some complicated VC's including the limited edition Platinum (with platinum dial) Patrimony Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Its a watch one might rarely if ever see. Although, I must admit its a design that never sat well with me. I found the IWC-ish Pilot style chronograph pushers far to sporty for a watch like this. I have seen the standard version of this chronograph perpetual calendar, and its movement in terms of finish IMHO was quite close to that of a 3970. I didn't have a 3970 to compare side by side, but in its price range its finish was excellent.
I believe the watches you may have been thinking about in your comparison, where Patek had done considerably more with the movement both in terms of finish and modifications, involved the Patek 5070 and the VC Historiques Chronograph. However, its important to recognize that historically, the VC was a heck of a lot less money when both were new. When these watches were both still new in the late 1990s through say 2002 (before Patek drastically hiked its prices), a Patek 5070 in yellow gold was about $28,800. It was also a watch that was not available at a huge discount...if one could get about 5% it was considered quite good. Some places wouldn't discount it. By contrast the Historiques Chronograph, was considered a bargain at $17,000 and that was before one negotiated a rough 25-35% discount at some places. So yes, Patek had made more modifications to the base (and I mean that term only as the starting point for the movement, which is quite nice in its own right) movement and finished it to a higher standard...but the Patek owner was often paying twice the price or more. I think in some ways with Calatrava's being around $30K today, maybe $28K doesn't sound like that much money when speaking of a Patek, but we also have to remember that one could purchase a new steel Nautlus or a gold Calatrava back then with a discount for about $6-7.5 K. Both the Historiques Chronograph and 5070 are highly regarded and sought after today by VC collectors and Patek Collectors, and both sell today for substantially more than what a buyer would have paid when they were new. In addition, I hope that this did not come off as a VC fanboy standing up for the value in the VC (to be honest while I like some VCs, there are very few modern ones that interest me). Its actually based on experience and several discussions with my father as we fleshed out the issues when he was in the market for a high grade chronograph several years ago. In the end he chose the YG/black dial 5070.
I'm not sure if I had the watch funds to spend on a Platinum Patrimony Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar, that I would buy one, but I'm not sure that I would buy certain Pateks that are in that price range either. There is a pre-owned watch dealer near me that has a Patek 5970 in gold for I believe $130K. Its a lovely watch, but I just don't know that I love its overall design enough that I would spend that on a watch. There are certain pieces I like, but to be honest most are not in that eye-watering price range.
VC has a long history of making some of the finest Tourbillons. I'm surprised by its size. I tried on one of their Tonneau cased tourbillons years ago and didn't remember it being that large. You are right, 38mm isn't that large on a round watch, but when you get into other shapes they tend to wear much larger. Maybe what you saw is simply another victim of a company building bigger watches to follow the market where in recent years bigger is better...even though its often less wearable.
Again, thanks for some cool photos and thoughts on those pieces.
Edited by Dino944 - 11/24/13 at 1:25pmpost #26553 of 4831211/24/13 at 12:31pmpost #26554 of 4831211/24/13 at 1:27pmQuote:
Hi Frist, I just wanted to clarify, the thoughts are mine, but the watches in the photos are not my VCs. They were merely part of my quoting Mimo's post. Thanks and have a great day.post #26555 of 4831211/24/13 at 2:15pmpost #26556 of 4831211/24/13 at 2:32pmpost #26557 of 4831211/24/13 at 6:53pmQuote:
Wheeeere is the write up!!!
On vacation by a beach. My daughters asked me to fetch water from the ocean a few hundred times. Good cardio.
/****** Apparently I live on Instagram too - mainly timepieces, shoes, attire and the occasional cheeseburger. @no_frills_vc. ******/post #26558 of 4831211/24/13 at 7:46pmpost #26559 of 4831211/24/13 at 8:07pmpost #26560 of 4831211/24/13 at 10:50pm
Dino: it was indeed those models we were comparing, and I remember talking about how much cheaper the Les Historiques chrono was (and is!) for a handsome platinum "Big Three" chronograph. As I said, I actually like the platinum Perpetual Chrono above a great deal - pushers and all. The size, shape, dial, even the pushers, add up to something with real personality. I have neither the knowledge nor the wisdom to explain why the look of the movement didn't quite sing to me as much as I thought it should have: for $150k, it's no longer cheap next to a Patek or Lange. But perhaps the dim light and recent Lange-excess skewed my perspective! Either way, it's a peach. The tourby..yeah, probably too big. But I just loved how the movement was built for the case shape. Integrated design philosophy...I like.
Frily: Hello Kitty needs a bigger bucket! But Nauti looks just perfect. :)post #26561 of 4831211/24/13 at 11:00pm
I'm wondering if anyone would give their opinion of this watch by Ebel. There were only 1911 of them made and I believe it was priced at ~$2K when it released in 2011 and is now available at Jomashop for half of that. My other choice would have been the Hamilton Intra-matic for about the price-of-a-pair-of-Allen-Edmonds less. I realize that the $ amounts are modest by the accounts of some in this thread, but this would be the 'introductory' watch of a working man.post #26562 of 4831211/24/13 at 11:26pm
Personally I always hate to see that odd date hanging there at three o'clock, especially on such a simple dial. There are a million watches with the same layout, so perhaps it's just me.
That's kind of the issue I have with this, though: there are an awful lot of watches that look an awful lot like this. My choice would be to find something in that price range with a bit more character - Stowa would be my $1k choice - or look to the used market for something equally simple, but from a more distinctive and iconic brand. The thing is, as you mentioned, that so many perfectly decent watches are around that are just like that one, from Hamilton, Tissot and a dozen others.
On the plus side, I like the hands, and that the second hand is blued. I like the slender stick markers, very understated and classy. It's on a nice dressy strap and the dial is very clean, date notwithstanding, which makes it rather smart. I like it. I just wonder if, even for a grand, it's long-term lovable. I think I'd go up a pair of AEs and get a no-date Nomos Orion. But it's not my watch. :)post #26563 of 4831211/25/13 at 12:37am
Thank You again, really, and I very much do like the look of that Orion. Like yourself I do prefer that the date not be at the 3 (I don't mind it at the 6 so much but what do I know, I actively admit to thinking that Navy trousers can look good).
And of course there are so many options in or around that range. My hesitation with 'Iconic' is that the Camry is iconic? Actually I drive a 'vintage' Corolla so I aspire to the Camry, though I'm moving to downtown Toronto where a lot of people don't have anything for a car, so screw it, I'll buy a watch...and, eventually, a radiator (priorities).
While my avatar is probably still associated with snark inducing jeans and clearance sale shoes I promise you I'm doing the reading... the homework. Oh Yes. Part of the attraction of that Ebel, apart form the pluses you mention, is that in all of the obsessive reading I've been doing lately I only found that Ebel by tripping over it where as Nomos, Stowa, Sinn, Frederique Constant, etc. seem... popular. I mention that there were only 1911 made (the watch is commemorative) with purpose. I like the idea that I'll never run in to someone with the same watch, and if I did, we'd probably end up bonding over our uncommon watches before becoming Facebook buddies.
I won't end up with the Ebel I posted, I'm sure. It's too quick, too easy. There's no 'hunt' that goes along with that check-out-now button.
So, where does one find the Used Market? I know that I can find used watches on the net but I wonder if WUS or someone has a B&S thread that is known here?
Edited by Bill Dlwgosh - 11/25/13 at 1:31ampost #26564 of 4831211/25/13 at 12:54am
I'm not enough of a watch fan to know anything beyond eBay and Chrono24. And actually, I disagree that there's anything wrong with "easy"! Taking your time is, I suppose, normally a wise move with a big purchase, but taking ages to find something doesn't necessarily make it better. Perhaps you'll value it more,but it won't otherwise be more valuable just because you waited months for one to pop up on a watch forum.
It's a fair point about "iconic". It can just mean "common as hell" I suppose, but what I really mean by it is two things: distinctive and enduring. A Rolex Submariner has looked the same for fifty-odd years, more or less. It's probably the most imitated watch design around, or one of them, and it's still fantastic. It's not rare, not even individual, but I think it's still gorgeous. AP Royal Oak. Even an Omega Seamaster (used, in your price range incidentally), is much-copied, distinctive, and I think pretty. A Camry is a great car, even if it's not a striking design. Inherently good, very successful, but not yet iconic because it's not yet romanticised, perhaps. A VW Beetle or Camper is iconic. A Mustang is iconic - even if it's a new one. Not rare, no longer original, anachronistic in concept, and now one of many. But if you like them, it's never wrong.
I wouldn't read too much additional value into limited editions, though: every maker seems to have new one every year, so although "THE limited" edition might be uncommon, "A limited" edition is not a rare or special thing in itself. Because almost everything is limited one way or another.
If you love something and the price seems OK, do it. Even if it's from Jomashop. So what?
P.S, We're probably a similar age and I'm a bigger bum than you are. I certainly don't have any expensive watches.post #26565 of 4831211/25/13 at 2:23am
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