Originally Posted by DLJr Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Yes it answers it in a lot of ways. And yes my question was not meant to reference homages or fakes. It's funny you mention the Speedy and the Daytona. I mean I know dials and general aesthetics are different, but you have the El Primero and the Speedy predating the Daytona, and the watches are related. Does the Daytona get a pass on originality because they were developed roughly around the same time, because they used the El Primero movement, because their dial layout and general design is just aesthetically superior in your opinion?
Sorry to bother you with questions, but you possess significantly more knowledge and experience than I do on the subject of watches, and clearly have a different way of thinking about your watch purchases as well. I'm genuinely curious as to the way you think about them, hence the questions. I appreciate you taking the time to respond, it's truly interesting to read IMO.
No need to appologize. I'm always happy to chat about watches, particuarly if it help someone else. Often when someone questions my ideas or opinions it often helps me thinkg about my own collection terms of whether a watch still belongs in my collection or in which direction I may want my collection to move.
As for the Daytona, actually they predate the Zenith/Movado joint venture that led to the El Primero movement. I won't go through all the reference numbers and changes, but there are 3 distinct Daytona generations. The manual winds using a Valjoux 72 as a base, the first automatic Daytonas which used a movement based on the El Primero, and the current generation of Daytonas with in house movements. The manual wind Daytonas were released in roughly in 1962/63 (I may be off a year I don't have my reference matterials with me right now), and I believe the El Primero was released around 1969/1970. Although the Speedy Pro is from the 1950s, Rolex was making chronographs in the 1950s and 1960s (there are some from the late 50s early 60s that today are referred to as Pre-Daytonas) . In addition, most companies in those days were not making their own chronograph movements. Omega's movements in the Speedy used a Lemania base, Rolex used a Valjoux 72 as a base prior to the El Primero, VC has used F.Piguets and Lemanias, and Patek was using a Lemania base until just a few years ago. I don't have an issue with outsourced movements provided the are high quality movements that will not be found in less expensive and lesser quality watches.
As for Rolex's use of the El Primero movement, it was a very good movement as is. However, it wasn't just thrown into a Rolex case. Rolex made significant changes to the movement including changing the number of bph. It has been said there were close to 200 changes in the movement (I have a list of changes in my reference matterials), and it could largely be considered one of the last Rolex movements that was largely hand built/assembled because of all of the modifications that they made.
Also, keep in mind, until recently (maybe around the year 2000 or after) Zenith was not really distributed here in the US . Although not a seller of the same products, they were I believe limited in what they could do here as a result of bickering over the trademark name Zenith. Here in the US it was a brand that made TVs. Zenith made very good products but not all of them, even some of their El Primero equipped watches have stood the test of time in terms of looking as good today as they did years ago. Some are quite dated and a few from recent years were silly looking.
There are several great sporty vintage chronographs from the likes of Rolex, Heuer, Breguet, Omega, Breitling just to name a few. I'm not sure I could say one is more original than the others.