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Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and more)
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The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and more) - Page 159

post #2371 of 3979
Craig,

If you like Nomos, why not get another with a black face? Alternatively, you could go for a new Datejust in memory of your father.
post #2372 of 3979

Thanks for this suggestion, Winot, I may well go back to Nomos for an Orion with the anthracite face, or perhaps a Zurich. I wouldn't want another Rolex, as I have two problems with it: the acrylic crystal scratches easily (my father had to replace his often, and when it came to me it was a mess) and I often have had problems with stainless bracelets and the DateJust doesn't really work with a strap. Other Rolex watches that I like that have straps, like the Cellini, are out of my price range, which would already be stretched for the Portofino. I have a strong preference, too, for display cases, as I feel more connected to the watch when I can see the movement now and then.

post #2373 of 3979
Good technical information here if you're considering something with IWC's 51000-series movement:

http://watchguy.co.uk/service-repair-iwc-ingenieur-5005-calibre-51112/
post #2374 of 3979
The IWC that Apropos referenced is indeed much nicer (IMO). But in the end It's your coin, so a watch has to make you happy first. Otherwise just get a Reverso and make SF happy instead.biggrin.gif
post #2375 of 3979
Just wanted to mention that if you're not keen on a bracelet watch and you'd like something that would complement the Nomos well, Zenith has a few fantastic chronograph options these days. (The groovy Vintage 1969 and 38 mm Original 1969 are my two favourites.)

Not only would it add some variety, but I'd also say that you'd be getting another no-excuses piece of watchmaking with one. They tend to offer awesome value for money if bought wisely, too.
post #2376 of 3979
Thread Starter 

I have the same sized wrist and think the Portofino is a little big: I'd happily wear a Panerai that size but the problem is that the Porto looks like a dress watch, yet wears like a monster diver.  There's a dissonance there that I can't reconcile, as much as I liked the (blue in my case) watch when I first saw it in the window.

 

If you want a dark dress watch, I'd second the anthrazit Nomos Orion (standard 35mm).  The casw is so much more beautiful than the Zurich.  It's a real piece of class.  If you do want a larger watch, an alternative to the Zurich might be the Zenith Port Royal - available for under $2k new on the grey market.  I also like your thought on the Glashuette Original 60's.  

 

Either way I'd second the advice above: don't pay retail.  Even for a new watch, unless it's a Rolex there are some great deals to be had and paying MRP would be crazy.

post #2377 of 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanoch View Post
 

Thanks for this suggestion, Winot, I may well go back to Nomos for an Orion with the anthracite face, or perhaps a Zurich. I wouldn't want another Rolex, as I have two problems with it: the acrylic crystal scratches easily (my father had to replace his often, and when it came to me it was a mess) and I often have had problems with stainless bracelets and the DateJust doesn't really work with a strap. Other Rolex watches that I like that have straps, like the Cellini, are out of my price range, which would already be stretched for the Portofino. I have a strong preference, too, for display cases, as I feel more connected to the watch when I can see the movement now and then.

If you find dark dials difficult to read...stay away from them.  They won't be easier for you to read many years from now.  I have a few older friends who sold off dark dialed watches because it became too difficult for them to read the time.

 

As for Rolex, if your big issue was the acrylic crystal, later models I believe from the late 80's/early 90s all had sapphire synthetic crystals.  As for use of a strap on a DJ, I prefer a Rolex on a bracelet, but lots of folks wear them on straps and with the right strap they can look very handsome.  So maybe you should not write those off immediately.

 

I don't really care for the IWC you are considering, but the best thing to do is always go with the watch that puts the biggest smile on your face. Good luck with whatever you decide. 

post #2378 of 3979
I really loke the look of the Zenith Elite if you prefer a watch that looks good on a strap. The finishing of the dial is spectacular IRL. The SBGR061 from Grand Seiko is also a great alternative.




post #2379 of 3979

A very interesting article, Belligero, thank for the link. Makes one wonder about any big automatic with a large power reserve, IWC or otherwise.

post #2380 of 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post
 

If you find dark dials difficult to read...stay away from them.  They won't be easier for you to read many years from now.  I have a few older friends who sold off dark dialed watches because it became too difficult for them to read the time.

 

As for Rolex, if your big issue was the acrylic crystal, later models I believe from the late 80's/early 90s all had sapphire synthetic crystals.  As for use of a strap on a DJ, I prefer a Rolex on a bracelet, but lots of folks wear them on straps and with the right strap they can look very handsome.  So maybe you should not write those off immediately.

 

I don't really care for the IWC you are considering, but the best thing to do is always go with the watch that puts the biggest smile on your face. Good luck with whatever you decide. 


Thanks for this input on the readability of dark dials and for your thoughts on the question of whether it would get easier as I get used to the watch or get harder as my already aging eyes further decay. As attractive as I find them artistically, it won't matter much if the hands get lost in the background. Some seem easier to read than others, though: the Nomos Orion and Glashutte 60s seem to me easier to read than the IWC Portofino, perhaps because their hands are a tad thicker. Your advice sounds good though -- and my wife greatly prefers white dials -- and there's a reason why I'm married to her! So, with respect to my much-loved father, I think this much at least is settled and I'll give the black dials a pass. His DateJust was indeed hard for me to read (when it was working ...).

post #2381 of 3979

Here are some of the other watches I am considering ... (including a picture of black Glashutte, which is probably out of the running now but sure is pretty). Any thoughts on these? On the quality of their movements? Both are a good deal smaller than the Portofino (Glashutte, 42; Blancpain, 40).

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2382 of 3979

An amateur's much-too-long review of the Nomos Metro

 

As promised/threatened in my recent post soliciting advice on the purchase of a new watch, here are my thoughts on the Nomos Metro, which I bought after my wife's German aunt and uncle left me some money in their will. Having worn it for 18 months now, I would like to share with you a few thoughts -- an amateur's review -- based on my experience and sometimes odd sense of design. NB: Part of my motivation here is by way of appreciation for both the board and for the Metro; part, I must say, is that in my shopping I found few reviews that told me anything of value that I could not find in reading Nomos's own marketing material, notwithstanding the helpful comments of you good people.

 

General comments

 

I love this watch. It is a bit quirky without appearing to be a mere fad (at least, I hope not). It's comfortable, easy on the eye, and looks a bit different depending on lighting. And as you'll see below, it keeps great time.

 

Before I get into the details, let me say that the Metro has a very open feeling. Because the case has a very narrow bezel that is integrated into the sides, the crystal allows the face of the watch to fill the eye, so to speak, contributing greatly to the Metro's open and friendly, urban look. This open presentation of the face and hands really works for me, and the feeling of openness persists in a nice way that almost makes time seem less confining. Probably too philosophical or 'Zen' a remark, but I think the design of the case, crystal, and face do have an affect on our perception of time.

 

OK, the details ...

 

Case: The stainless steel case is really well polished and seems to be totally hypo-allergenic. I have sometimes suffered from a mild reaction to stainless, but the surgical steel (316L) case hasn't led to any rash or itchiness. I'm into my second summer with it with nary a red spot. The shape of the case is very comfortable, with the beveling on the back just right for me. The case also cleans up extremely well and retains its polish.

 

The display of the movement shows off the movement, which some have noted for its small size. The case thus has a high ration of metal to movement, which may bother some.

One interesting note: I was wondering how the case would be opened for cleaning. Upon careful examination, I noticed a very small detent in the case, opposite the winding knob. I am not sure how well this will work in practice, but if it does, the lack of the usual screws or indentations to remove the back will make it a really elegant case for many years.

 

I don't usually think in terms of dress/casual, but I think the watch works in all situations except weddings or other formal affairs.

 

Crystal:

 

The sapphire crystal is also interesting. The doming is not continuous, but is more heavily arched near the edges and flatter in the center. This means less optical distortion in the center, with a slight shadow cast sometimes around the edge. The shadow cast by the differential doming of the crystal is rarely visible in pictures, but I like it very much. The crystal cleans up really well, and after a few bumps left it completely uninjured, I am pretty convinced it is very scratch resistant (as one would expect). If I am not mistaken, it seems not to have any anti-glare coating, though, which I think a mistake on Nomos's part, but that's just me. Still, there's way less glare than on the Tangente or Tangomat, which have flat crystals (at least, that's what I recall from my brief experience with them at Wempe's).

 

Dial and hands:

 

I love the face (dial and hands), with a few minor reservations, which will no doubt seem overstated here simply because I am putting them out there. The silver dial reflects light and color very well, and can look anything from cream to gray depending on lighting and surroundings. I like this variation a lot. One odd thing though: in certain indoor lighting, the face just looks dead, a flat, washed out gray with no life. Probably a commentary on the dead lighting in so many of our offices ...

 

The hour dots, small minute numbers, and minute markers work really well, too, making the face both interesting and easy to read. The slightly asymmetrical layout of the power reserve indicator offsets the otherwise traditional positioning of the small seconds hand and date indicator: Nomos seems to understand that a small break in symmetry can help integrate a design. These small things make the face easy to take in as a whole, while remaining interesting enough after two months for me to take as much pleasure in its variety today as the day it arrived.

 

A subtle spiral patten around the small seconds hand sets this complication off nicely, adding a small bit of texture to an otherwise flat face. While the spiral design is clear in online enlargements, it is not visible to the naked eye, at least not mine. The spiral merely affects the perception of a subtle change in texture.

 

As a digression on texture, I wonder whether Nomos considered introducing more texture by way of the dots. For example, they could have created a detent or raised area, consistent with the small seconds and power reserve indicator. It might have made the face too busy or it might have further strengthened the design. Just a thought about paths not taken.

 

Two small matters annoy a bit. The green dots at 3, 9, and 12 are supposedly the same mint green as the power surge indictor, but if so, it's hard to tell. Instead, perhaps due to the surrounding silver of the dial, they seem much grayer. This optical effect worsens in poor light, leaving these dots looking just flat, at least to my aging eyes. The use of mint green is a risk, but one that pays off well for the power reserve: introducing what is in effect a second shade of mint green (due to the gray-ing out effect mentioned) seems clumsy.

 

Too, the idea of privileging these three hours seems to be not in keeping with the overall ethos of the watch. The rest of the watch eschews traditional design (while not stomping on it) and seems in artistic terms to aim at integrating form and function while focusing our attention on time in a quiet way. I think Nomos should have considered black for these dots and sizing them the same as the other dots. It's a small matter, I admit, but over time, this element of the design hasn't held up for me, though I understand they are waving at tradition here. And maybe they looked at it and decided that those markers really worked better than simple black dots. Again, just me thinking aloud about something that doesn't quite work for me, though it really is something incredibly minor.

 

The second small quibble is perhaps more serious: the slight difference in the thickness and length of the hands seems to me not sufficiently well thought through. The hour hand is slightly shorter and thicker than the minute hand (not terribly unusual), but so slight is the difference that they are neither clearly distinct nor sufficiently identical. I would have liked the hour hand to be a just a little bit shorter, perhaps just reaching the hour dots rather than covering them. This would have been a better parallel with the minute hands, which indeed reach to the outside of the dot indices for the minutes: minutes to the outside edges of the dots and hours to the inside edges might have been clearer and better balanced. Before I leave the hands, I love what Nomos calls the quill tip ends.

 

Again, these are truly minor quibbles, but when reading the face quickly, the difference in the hands is not sufficiently clear and the difference in the green-grey dots also not sufficiently clear. In a way, these small details detract from the otherwise simple task of quickly reading the time. And they introduce a slight discord into an otherwise very harmonious design.

 

But don't get me wrong, I love the face overall, even if the green-gray dots and hand sizes are for me less than perfect. If I am grading the watch's elements, I'd give the hands an A-/B+, with points off for this minor sizing issue; the green hour dots at 3, 9, and 12 would bring the hour marker grade down to a B. Overall, if I continue with this totally amateur grading of the face, I'd give its design an A-. My students (I taught English for eight years) always found me a hard grader ...

 

Movement:

 

The movement may be seen through the sapphire crystal window in the case back. The pictures online do not do it real justice (and I can't either, and won't try), as it is both elegantly decorated and full of various light and energy. I like the variation in design elements, which work harmoniously together -- but you could see all this from the online pictures. What isn't so evident is the lovely beating of its heart. As noted in some reviews, the blued hairspring of the 'swing system' is not visible, which is a shame. One other detail perhaps not mentioned in the reviews: each movement is numbered individually, which is recorded in the small owner's manual enclosed in the elegant, dark gray wooden case that accompanies the watch. BTW: The watch is also numbered, with the digits very neatly etched into the case back. Mine is in the 900s, which means that the next set of watches will probably hit four digits. Still, it's an odd feeling to know that I have a watch of which fewer than 1000 have been made.

 

Strap:

 

I had my doubts about the strap when I bought the watch, and having worn it for 18 months still have mixed feelings about it. It is very comfortable, that's for sure, and has worn amazingly well. I have had other shell cordovan bands, and this one is much softer and more supple; and it hasn't taken a defined shape, as shell is wont to do over time. [Some of this may be because the strap is not padded.] I changed the clasp for a deployant clasp (I am a bit clumsy, and I find the single deploymant from RHD just the thing), and overall the strap is fine.

 

That said, I don't think the strap does anything for the watch visually: it's too flat and uninspiring. These flat bands might be ok on the Tangente and Tangomat, but for the Metro, I have experimented with a small-scales, matte finish, black alligator band and I like it a lot aesthetically. As it's summer now, I am wearing the watch with the Horween strap.

 

The wire lugs are great, and are for me visually interesting. But they do make it hard to change bands unless the spring bars are the quick release type, as the pin end either is in or it's out, no wandering around on a thick lug until it snaps into place. Also, though advertised as 18mm, the distance between the curved ends of the lugs is actually a good deal less, maybe a fat 16mm. The band is 18mm, which allows the lugs to slip into the band, hiding the connection with the springbar. Again, visually appealing, but fairly difficult to change (unless the band has the quick release spring bars). Fortunately, we don't change bands that often.

 

Complications:

 

The date complication is really elegant, with slightly longer numerals than most and a very clear, modern font. I find the Metro's date much easier to read than my Hamilton Viewmaster's and easier by far than my father's Rolex. The font holds up very well for both single and double digits. Even on the 30th of the month (probably the largest numeral), it's clear and easy to read without seeming crowded. The right and left edge of the date window are the minute markers, which also gives the date a harmonious position while not adversely affecting my reading of the time at the half hour mark. Very nice attention to detail by Nomos here.

 

Setting the date is a pain, though, as one has to move the hands back and forth across the 1 and 8 to advance the date. It cannot be set from the crown, which makes resetting for several days a bit nerve-wracking. Fortunately, one doesn't set the date often.

 

The power reserve complication is to my eye fantastic, and I love seeing it move from red to white when I wind it. Not only does the color change, but the window itself moves, so that it's in a different position every day. I enjoy this variation, which again breaks symmetry in a meaningful way. Oh, and the red and green are a great contrast, just the right balance of color (assuming one is not red-green color blind, of course).

 

The power reserve is advertised at 42 hours. I have let the Metro run down and checked its performance three times: 38.5 hours the first time (the first week); 41.5 the second two times, some months later. Pretty good, I think, and very close to their specs.

 

The small seconds hand is easy to read. The red adds just the right touch of color and is to my eye the same hue as the power reserve's red, though perhaps seeming just a tad darker due (again) to the surrounding grey of the dial. FWIW, this effect (of the same color seeming to be different based on the surroundings) was a major theme of 20th century color theory, especially the work of German-American artist Josef Albers. For a designer such as Braun to 'forget' these insights into modern art and design seems to me strange.

 

Time-keeping:

 

The sine qua non of any watch is its ability to keep time, and here the Metro excels. I have tested it numerous times, and here are the results:

 

-- winding every 12 hours, measured over the course of one week: minus 2-4 seconds/day
-- winding every 24 hours, measured over the course of several weeks: minus 4-6 seconds/day
-- winding every 36 hours (done three times, each after a week of winding every 24 hours): minus ~10-12 seconds/day

 

Given that the Swiss Chrono standard calls for plus or minus 4-6 seconds/day, I think Nomos has met and even surpassed that standard, at least for my own Metro. I true up the time once/week, and it's almost never more than 30-40 secs off for the week. It's really great to be able to tell people at a meeting the 'real' time without looking at my Blackberry!

 

Would I recommend the watch? "The Metro, in a heartbeat," as the sales rep said to me when I asked him his thoughts on the Metro vs the Orion. Mind you, the Orion and other Nomos watches are beautiful and interesting -- my first choice was actually the Zurich Worldtimer (couldn't afford it at the time) -- but the Metro is something unique, beautiful, accurate, and totally in-house -- a fitting, if somewhat quirky and nontraditional memorial to my wife's aunt and uncle!

 

Many thanks again to all of your for your very helpful advice along the way.

post #2383 of 3979
The GO's cool; I like that a lot. Fabulous movement in that one, too. They can do nice stuff when they aren't plagiarizing Lange (bit of an SF watch-thread inside joke there). wink.gif

The Blancpain has a severely undersized movement, and isn't particularly inspiring in any other way, either. It seems like a very lazy design.
post #2384 of 3979

Blancpain makes a high quality watch, but I just find them so boring in terms of design.  I'm also not a fan of small movements in large watches.  At least years ago, the two ADs near me that carried them offered 40% discounts on them because they could not give them away.  Eventually, both dropped the line. The only BP that has remotely interested me in the past is the 50 Fathoms.  However, there are so many other great watches out there that for what BPs cost there is always something else I'd much rather own. 

post #2385 of 3979

That Grand Seiko is really nice! Great watch - hope to get one eventually.

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