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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...) - Page 282  

post #4216 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
That's a useless debate
Au contraire. It goes to the heart of why people continue to value mechanical watchmaking--and, thus, what makes one movement nicer than another. Some of us like fancy-looking things; others value things done very, very well within limiting parameters. I happen to fall into the latter camp.
post #4217 of 48312
Thread Starter 
No - it's completely useless and has been re-hashed a hundred times on WIS forums - waste of time. You're wrong, to cut to the chase. But enjoy your OneMovement
post #4218 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Au contraire. It goes to the heart of why people continue to value mechanical watchmaking--and, thus, what makes one movement nicer than another. Some of us like fancy-looking things; others value things done very, very well within limiting parameters. I happen to fall into the latter camp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
No - it's completely useless and has been re-hashed a hundred times on WIS forums - waste of time. You're wrong, to cut to the chase. But enjoy your OneMovement

Can we agree that the degree of uselessness of the debate about the uselessness of the debate is pretty high?
post #4219 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
No - it's completely useless and has been re-hashed a hundred times on WIS forums - waste of time. You're wrong, to cut to the chase.

Nah, I don't think I am.

It's as much a waste of time as discussing the differences between Neapolitan, Roman, and Florentine suits.

Anyway, the watch forums suck--and you know it. Each one is hell-bent on advertising what the watch companies are selling. Dissent and debate are moderated out. Remember the Hublot Big Bang trend? It was fucking hideous--without any substantive merit whatsoever. Yet, there it is, on every idiot's wrist.
post #4220 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
I don't have a problem with a Unitas or ETA workhouse ebauche. My point is that I don't really value the extensive ornamentation and re-crafting done to pretty them up. To a degree, I find it tasteless.

To me, watchmaking is fundamentally about engineering mechanical solutions, not decoration. Decoration is the icing on the cake. A Dornbluth is all icing--like a cheap, fused RTW suit, but with a fancy lining treatment, pick-stitching, and working buttonholes. Now, not to be too pejorative, Dornbluth might very well do some things to actually increase the efficiency and precision of the ebauches it uses--however, nobody can argue that the screwed gold chatons are anything but quasi-historical references, without any purpose other than pretentiousness. None of the major houses use them except for Lange, who is similarly desperate to establish a connection with the past. Patek and VC don't use them, and they probably never have in a wristwatch movement.

The IWC 5000-caliber movement is, in fact, as refined in finish as any Patek caliber. The difference is in the concept and style. IWC has never been known for highly ornate finishing. They've always been very technically oriented, so their finishing is intended to do two things: (1) increase functionality, and (2) convey a serious, precision-minded approach to watchmaking. So, you might not like the style of the finish, but you would be wrong to assume it is not done as carefully or as nicely because it is not as obviously ornate. See all the those unbeveled edged? Beveling can be pretty, but it is also easier to make look good. It takes very, very low manufacturing tolerances to keep the edges unbeveled, yet sharp and clean looking.

Also, I find value in a movement's provenance. The truth is, that is what most often distinguishes between one movement and another--not accuracy, or even precision. The IWC 5000, unlike the Dornbluth re-built Unitas, was designed and engineered from the ground up as an IWC movement to be used in IWC watches, in the tradition of IWC watchmaking, which represents the only watchmaking tradition to come out of the German-speaking region of Switzerland. Consider the value of a Ferrari engine. Much of its value stems from its Ferrari-ness, not its horsepower and torque numbers. The sound and feel of a Ferrari connects you to the place and culture that developed it. Would you feel differently if the engine were really a gussied-up Ford?

Anyway, I don't mean to be too hard on highly-decorated ebauches. My main point is that it's a mistake to confuse baroque decoration for refinement or quality.

I don't understand this post at all. You seem to contradict yourself.
post #4221 of 48312
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjpj83 View Post
I don't understand this post at all. You seem to contradict yourself.

Especially from someone who takes macro shots of the little balls on his shirt seams (oh so functional). Talk about contradictions - I don't blame , arguing is his hobby and a good lawyer should be able to argue one side and/or the other without any problem
post #4222 of 48312
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Can we agree that the degree of uselessness of the debate about the uselessness of the debate is pretty high?

post #4223 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
Especially from someone who takes macro shots of the little balls on his shirt seams (oh so functional). Talk about contradictions - I don't blame , arguing is his hobby and a good lawyer should be able to argue one side and/or the other without any problem

I'm probably missing something.

His argument seems to be that watches using outsourced movements should not make any pretense to be something they are not by reworking and "decorating" these movements. But then he goes on to say that "Much of its value [of a Ferrari enginge] stems from its Ferrari-ness...Would you feel differently if the engine were really a gussied-up Ford?" If anything, isn't this an argument for using in-house movements? I'm certainly having trouble applying it to the argument not to decorate out-sourced movements, unless his bizarre implication is that a Ferrari with a modified, tuned and refined Ford engine would be inferior to one that has a stock Ford engine... (BTW, countless lengendary cars have had outsourced engines, e.g. Mclaren F1, Pagani Zonda).
post #4224 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjpj83 View Post
I don't understand this post at all. You seem to contradict yourself.

What's the contradiction? There are many ways to engineer something. Different watchmakers have different engineering approaches, reflecting the traditions from which they arise. Just like a bespoke tailor. So, when no substantive engineering goes into a watch, the watch fails to convey any meaningful tradition--just the posture of having a tradition. This is why I have a problem with Lange, no matter how pretty I think some of their watches are. Once you know the gold chatons have no functionality or grounding in Lange's history (Lange never really made wristwatches before it was revived in the 90's), it's hard not to see them as tacky.
post #4225 of 48312
Thread Starter 
Using off-the-shelf ebauches and modifying them is firmly grounded in Dirk Dornblueth's history. Always had, from day one. This is the DD&S tradition. That should make him OK, right?
post #4226 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjpj83 View Post
I'm probably missing something.

His argument seems to be that watches using outsourced movements should not make any pretense to be something they are not by reworking and "decorating" these movements. But then he goes on to say that "Much of its value [of a Ferrari enginge] stems from its Ferrari-ness...Would you feel differently if the engine were really a gussied-up Ford?" If anything, isn't this an argument for using in-house movements? I'm certainly having trouble applying it to the argument not to decorate out-sourced movements, unless his bizarre implication is that a Ferrari with a modified, tuned and refined Ford engine would be inferior to one that has a stock Ford engine... (BTW, countless lengendary cars have had outsourced engines, e.g. Mclaren F1, Pagani Zonda).

Well, I wasn't making a very thorough argument--just explaining my point of view. However, to clarify: I'm not saying that outsourced movements shouldn't be decorated. I'm saying that decorating them does not make them substitutes for movements purpose-built from the ground up and their decoration should not be confused for substantive quality.
post #4227 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
What's the contradiction? There are many ways to engineer something. Different watchmakers have different engineering approaches, reflecting the traditions from which they arise. Just like a bespoke tailor. So, when no substantive engineering goes into a watch, the watch fails to convey any meaningful tradition--just the posture of having a tradition. This is why I have a problem with Lange, no matter how pretty I think some of their watches are. Once you know the gold chatons have no functionality or grounding in Lange's history (Lange never really made wristwatches before it was revived in the 90's), it's hard not to see them as tacky.

1. Arguing functionality of mechanical watches is a losing battle. A Timex keeps better time. The whole point of mechanical wristwatches is their artistry as micro-sculptures. This is as much how they look as it is how they work, if not more so.

2. The whole point of chatons is the tradition of their use. How can you argue they have no founding in watchmaking tradition? Perhaps they have no founding in Lange's tradition, but I hardly see how that it is an argument for why Lange, which as you suggest is effectively a new company, should not use them. That's like saying a brand new tailor who has never cut a suit before should use Brooks Brothers' electronic measurement thingy, because he, personally, has no tradition of taking measurements by hand. While that is clearly true, I fail to say how it is an argument against his employing old techniques as a nod to the meaningful tradition of his trade.
post #4228 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
Using off-the-shelf ebauches and modifying them is firmly grounded in Dirk Dornblueth's history. Always had, from day one. This is the DD&S tradition. That should make him OK, right?
Well, if you put value in traditions entirely encapsulated by a single person's career and which draw shamelessly from unrelated, outmoded, external historical inspirations, sure. When Porsche makes an ass-backwards car and calls it a 911, it is developing its tradition. When ChineseCarCompanyX makes a car shaped like a 911 and calls it the Nine-Twelve, it's trying to sell a copy of a 911.
post #4229 of 48312
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Well, if you put value in traditions entirely encapsulated by a single person's career and which draw shamelessly from unrelated, outmoded, external historical inspirations, sure. When Porsche makes an ass-backwards car and calls it a 911, it is developing its tradition. When ChineseCarCompanyX makes a car shaped like a 911 and calls it the Nine-Twelve, it's trying to sell a copy of a 911.

Again, this is you trying not to be too pejorative, correct?
post #4230 of 48312
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
Well, I wasn't making a very thorough argument--just explaining my point of view. However, to clarify: I'm not saying that outsourced movements shouldn't be decorated. I'm saying that decorating them does not make them substitutes for movements purpose-built from the ground up and their decoration should not be confused for substantive quality.

That is something with which I agree, with the caveat that some of the most sought-after watches ever made contain outsourced movements.



Would I pick a watch with an in-house movement over one with an outsourced movement? Absolutely. But if I were to buy a watch with an outsourced movement, I would certainly select one that the manufacturer had reworked and modified and in a sense "made their own."

I still don't understand the Lange argument, particularly in light of your post above. Their movements are purpose-built from the ground up, and their decoration is in addition to their substantive quality. Or is the argument against Lange a seaparate argument?
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Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, JLC etc...)