Originally Posted by PapaRubbery
One will probably outlast the other, if german engineering is to believed! Haha
I definitely want the sapphire back. That's non-negotiable.
As for getting it engraved on the opposing side to the crown - would a proper high-end watch repairer (not a stall at a mall place) be able to do this, or is this something I would have to send away either to Nomos or someone similar for?
Cheers for the response, and welcome to SF
Congrats and wishing you all the best. Sorry but I'm not a fan of engraving watches for any reason. However if you must do it, don't do it on the side of the case. That's a poor choice IMHO. Either have it discreetly done on the case back or I suppose the clasp might work. Although I'd probably prefer an embossed strap, it does the trick without permanently marking the watch case. If the strap wears out, you can order a new one in different color or skins and have those embossed when the time comes.
If you must engrave the actual watch I'd contact the manufacturer about it before going aftermarket. Or if you want something unique contact J. C. Randell (sp?). He is highly recommended by JLC and does amazing work...although he is quite pricey. Then again you get what you pay for (don't have someone at the mall do it). Congrats again.
Originally Posted by Journeyman
However, when it comes to watches, much of SF has a definite tendency to prefer watch companies that are often owned by large conglomerates such as Swatch, Richemont or LVMH, rather than watches from small, independent ateliers.
Of course, that is a generalisation, but I nonetheless find it quite striking that a lot of people on SF are willing to go to great lengths to try small, often out of the way places so as to get a jacket, suit or tie and to then proudly show their wares to others on SF (not that there's anything wrong with that - I do it, too!), but then with watches, to stick to brands like Omega, Panerai, JLC, Zenith and so on, which are all owned by one or the other aforementioned conglomerates.
Everyone is different, so other SFer's preferences may differ greatly. However, I buy watches I like based on movement, originality, design, history (of the company & historical significance in the world of horology). The fact that a larger company owns the brand is not a concern and in many ways is an advantage. It often guarantees parts availability, distribution chains, and that its a brand that will continue to survive, and that one will always be able to get the watch you choose serviced.
A friend bought a watch several years ago from a small brand with poor distribution and limited parts availability. He cracked the bezel, and can't get a new bezel. So he is stuck with a damaged watch.
In addition, while some independents make many or most parts themselves, some are still dependent on outside sources for various components. A friend who bought a $130,000 tourbillon from a small independent discovered that when he want to have certain things customized.
The other issue is resale. If you know it's a keeper, great. However, later on some people, decide to sell or trade watches for a variety of reasons. Watches from major companies tend to be far better known, have a stronger following, good auction histories that can be followed, and much better resale than independents or lesser known brands. I'm even aware of a few watch places that will only buy Patek, Lange, AP, VC, Rolex and Cartier due to their strong customer bases and collectibility. These stores won't even consider anything from Zenith, Blancpain, Omega, Breguet and several other really highly respected brands ( they even told my friend they had no interest in his limited edition platinum JLC Master 8 Day Reserve). I'm sure independents would also be turned away.
A preowned Tourbillon from Patek, AP, Lange, or VC will always be worth a lot of money and collectors will chase after them. My friend's $130K Tourbillon from a small independent, I bet would take along time to find a buyer, and struggle to find any one that would would pay more say $35k, because its so obscure, demand is relatively low. The same watch from a well know and respected brand could easily sell fro 2-3 times as much.
Independents can be great. They provide interesting concepts, exclusivity, customization, and can make you feel like you really mean something to them. However they often have some serious disadvantages .
As for comparing them to preferring clothing from small clothing companies.. That's different in that one rarely considers resale value, service centers or parts for used clothing.
If someone likes buying independents that's great, as long as the reconize doing so can have disadvantages.
In the end everyone has to decide what will make them happy , whether its a watch from and independent or a watch from a better known company under the umbrella of a bigger company.