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The Watch Appreciation Thread - Page 1251

post #18751 of 31015
Originally Posted by CHRK33 View Post

I think this is truly spectacular. I never thought a perpetual calendar would be (somewhat) attainable for me, but in steel, this is really lovely and I want it badly. Fits a really nice gap in my small collection -- I have the Submariner LV; Reverso Tribute 1931; a PAM 183 Radiomir; and Royal Oak 15400. Time to start saving my pennies. Thoughts, fellas?


Nice watch, but their Master Series Perpetual Calendars used to have lots of problems with mechanisms jamming and not advancing.  I remember reading a lot about it in back in 2001-2004, and  I don't know if they changed their movements in recent years.  Hence it their perpetual calendar fell off my wish list a long time ago.

post #18752 of 31015
I examined the JLC master tourbillons with a loupe - finishing could definitely be improved. Hardly any hand-done anglage. I guess for 40k or so that is what the Swiss guys think you should expect.

In comparison checking out the Vacheron Patrimony and Malte tourbillons and the Lange Cabaret tourbillon (latter two with sublime form movements!) was an exercise in horological intercourse.
post #18753 of 31015
Originally Posted by ~ B ~ View Post

Romp - strap is by Hughes Low

Ahh. The legendary HL.
post #18754 of 31015

Might also be worth considering that the Master (annual) Calendar is around for under $9k....and might even be better proportioned?  Maybe that's the value buy.  I do love the look of this one though.

post #18755 of 31015
Did you guys see the thread about the JLC 1000 hours falling off ?

That it is actually glued on such a watch really leaves a bad taste.
post #18756 of 31015
Originally Posted by ~ B ~ View Post

Thanks Dino, the B is quite nicely done in the flesh with well-shaped notches.


Hey B,


Thanks for the additional photos.  In this photo above, I can see that it really is evenly stitched and it must have been the angle of the watch & strap in the previous photo that made it look uneven.  I generally am not a fan of tan straps, but I love how it looks paired with your 1931 Tribute.  Simply a stunning combination!

post #18757 of 31015
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Yep yep - agree 100%!

On a related note there are those who complain about Patek using variations of the the cal. 240 in nearly every model in their current lineup, and in the vast majority of their models over the last 30 or so years from time only models to grand complications. They say that PP should be more like Lange - who IIRC case (or nearly case) 1 unique movement per watch model - i.e. every (or nearly every) model has a different movement.

IMO, Lange's practice is good for perceived value and laying down trump cards in heated WIS discussions, but not so good if you're planning on keeping your watch for 30 years and more importantly - if reliability is a concern. I like the fact that PP keeps making incremental improvements to the cal. 240, attempting to perfect it instead of reinventing the wheel for every new model.

Knock on wood, should PP go belly up I know there will be a ready supply of modules and parts for the base 240 calibre. Can't say that about Lange. Now magnify that potential issue a million times or so and you have the situation with most independents.

I know I have said before that I would love a Dornblueth but that's really only because the vast majority carry (beautifully refinished) Unitas - easy to service, rock solid reliability. I nearly got a Quintus Klassik but on second thought I think I may have dodged a bullet. The only other true independent I would consider seriously - because I still have moments of temporary insanity - might be Roger Smith.

I think the Lange way is more purist and admirable/desirable for a high-end company, but the Patek way is more pragmatic. Personally I think using more ubiquitous movements makes servicing easier and thus cheaper, but Patek should then price themselves accordingly, which they are unlikely to given their vast brand equity. The cal 240 is easily trumped by, for example, the Pf 701 in the Tonda you saw. Finishing, materials, bridge design etc.

Patek is well-known in the horological community for giving lower-tier finishing to their non-complicated watches. The 215 and 315 are clear examples of this - they do not compare to the historical 23-300 of the 50s. Same with Vacheron, to a lesser extent. Compare the current 4400 to any of their vintage calibres. The 4400 uses a simplified layout for easier manufacture.

On Dornblueth, wouldnt servicing one with a Unitas calibre mean replacing parts with a standard finish? Thus negating the Dorn value proposition altogether. I considered the Quintus seriously as well but in the end was just not moved by its dial. And one has to truly fall in love with a watch imho.

Roger Smith has great finishing, but again, the dial doesnt move me emotionally. Same with Dufour. I do like Romain Gauthier though, and De Bethune, but they are rather big watches.
post #18758 of 31015
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post

Hey B,

Thanks for the additional photos.  In this photo above, I can see that it really is evenly stitched and it must have been the angle of the watch & strap in the previous photo that made it look uneven.  I generally am not a fan of tan straps, but I love how it looks paired with your 1931 Tribute.  Simply a stunning combination!

Thank you Dino! I chose tan because of how it harmonises with the aged lume of the hands.

Pics of the animal whence it came

post #18759 of 31015
Originally Posted by no frills View Post

Excellent point here about serviceability and availability of parts.  I fully intend to keep my PPs alive for well past my own lifetime, so I want to stack the cards in favor of my kids being able to have them serviced in the future.

The problem with Patek isnt the availability of servicing, it is the cost of servicing. It starts at 4 figures and can easily go into the high 5 digits especially for vintage complications. Same with Vacheron. In theory yes they can handmake a part from scratch, but will the cost be ludicrous?

If they dont wish to service a watch they will simply quote an astronomical figure. And you cannot take the watch elsewhere for servicing. Even if you did go to the source, you would have to worry about them replacing the original parts, even when you specifically request they dont.

Sometimes, the headache just isnt worth it and you realise they are just watches, time to move on. Its then that the worth of an ebauche is made clearer.
post #18760 of 31015
Originally Posted by dddrees View Post

Wow, thats a real cool idea.

Both real good choices.

I hope to see some pictures of these watches in the near future.

Thank you! You most definitely will.
post #18761 of 31015
B is right, my friend serviced his Patek (albeit one from the 20s) for wait for this, a staggering 3200 pounds. Oh, no complications.

To be fair, it included an overhaul of the mechanism and crocodile strap with gold buckle + the hefty VAT.
post #18762 of 31015
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

i recalled the window dressing instantly. smile.gif
enjoy it, its cool and unique and pretty.


And that was Wempe Vienna btw. Is the NYC one similar? You have a sharp eye.

Another part of the store display, this time with VC.

post #18763 of 31015
Originally Posted by ~ B ~ View Post

And that was Wempe Vienna btw. Is the NYC one similar? You have a sharp eye.
Another part of the store display, this time with VC. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


the window dressing is almost identical in color of display stands and how the watches are set up. im sure they have a template of sorts for how they want all their stores to be presented.

btw, i like the "B" stitching on your band.

lastly, that glued on thing was weak sauce, but at least it was just a doo-dad on the back of the case, not inside the watch. still, that is really not acceptable imo for a watch of that caliber.
post #18764 of 31015
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

I am pretty sure JLC does its enamelling in-house at Le Sentier - at least I am sure they do so for peinture sur émail (painted enamel) - which is led by the incomparable Miklos Merczel. Cannot speak for whether their cloisonne work is outsourced.

I think the other big house that led the way for in-house enamelling is VC, but I am not sure if that is a current thing with them.

For the benefit of everyone else here are some examples in lieu of a lengthy explanation as to why I rate the JLC enamelworks very highly. Remember this is all done in vitreous (as in glass) enamel - everything is done with the consideration that the end product has to survive being fired in a jeweler's kiln.

This is not widely known, but only gold cases can have vitreous enamel applied to them. Steel JLCs have epoxy resins applied to them and are then baked at a much lower temperatures. Which is nice in its own way, but not quite at the same level as vitreous enamel in terms of depth, beauty or difficulty. Thankfully not cost either though.

Your friendly neighbourhood JLC boutique or AD is likely to refer to either process as "enameling", and while a little misleading they are not technically wrong - one is vitreous enameling, the other cold enameling.

Sometimes they more accurately refer to the process for steel JLCs as "lacquering". This is cold enamel:

I wish you all the very best with your venture, and will keep an eye on your marque! smile.gif
That's actually a pretty good (if crazy) idea, but I sadly don't print money... shog[1].gif

Anyway, since I'm on a bit of a didactic roll, here are some examples of engraving on JLCs... I'll leave it up to you guys to decide who does the finer work. peepwall[1].gif

JLC Le Sentier:

J.C. Randell:

Have you checked out the new 2013 JLC Master Perpetual Calendar? Would be interested in your thoughts about its "balance".

Oh you mean enamelling on the case, I was referring to enamelling on the dial, the vitreous sort as you mention. Not sure if the two are the same, but they do seem like related processes.

Vitreous enamelling required firing 20-30 times in an 800 degree C kiln. At every stage of firing the dial can be ruined by pure chance, and the enameller has to start from scratch. The high cost of enamel dials accounts for this wastage, as well as the skill and experience needed. In the Chinese workshop those artisans working on cloisonne and freehand enamel (painted freehand like a painting) must have at least 6 years experience. The junior ones start with mould-assisted dials.

I highly doubt VC uses in-house enamellers, just like their Richemont stable mate Van Cleef. As you know in-house in the watch industry is a term subject to much "flexibility".

The JLC enamels are very nice - I have scarcely seen enamel done on cases before. The cold enamels are not worthy of comparison in the same breath and are ersatz in my opinion, an attempt to deceive through semantics. Not specifically JLC, but the industry as a whole.

Here are some examples of cloisonne and freehand enamel done by the Chinese workshop led by Master Xiong.

Series of the Four Noble Flowers - the orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom representing the four seasons

24k gold filigree done by hand, part of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals series

Butterfly enamel tourbillon piece unique sold for 200,000 USD. The entire movement and tourbillon carriage is of fired enamel and solid gold base.

Comparison of the double escapement movement I posted earlier with the Langematik. Some haute horlogerie editor visited the factory and this was one of his photos. Definitely still some way to go in the finishing department but it is a good start, not least to compare themselves with Lange. One must note this movement is not even available anymore from Lange.

Example of the porcelain dial. Skeleton watches are not to my taste but this shows what can be done. Not the movement is skeletoned with gold chatons, unprecedented to my knowledge.

Great Wall tourbillon, a symbol of two Chinese accomplishments. One of the watches I have ordered. The tourbillon is freesprung, has a 63 hour reserve due to the high quality in-house balance spring and is made of titanium.
post #18765 of 31015

I had a quick question...as far as watches go the market has been flooded with many high quality knockoffs of the more popular brands. Cartier, Patek, Rolex (obviously), Tag Heuer, etc...what are your thoughts on buying a knockoff watch? I personally have no problem with someone wearing one, but could definitely see how many people would. Thoughts?

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