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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 176

post #2626 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Also, the display back is one of the worst things to ever happen to modern watches.

 

I don't always agree with you, but we certainly see eye-to-eye on this issue. 

 

The occasional display-back is OK, but it's become the default option nowadays. Manufacturers of all levels are slapping a little bit of decoration on to a movement, adding a display back, and upping the price of the watch because it's now got a display back feature and a "decorated" movement. 

 

I'm not a big fan of most of Rolex's watches, but I do admire them for standing by their original "tool watch" purpose and not putting a display back on to their models. 

post #2627 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Also, the display back is one of the worst things to ever happen to modern watches.

Always been puzzled by this as a selling point. Since my watches spend almost all their time either on my wrist or on a winder, other than having the occasional quick look and see it all looks very nice and appears to be working when I'm strapping one on - what's the point? I know some people drool over the elegance of the movement but it's not my thing. I suppose there's a parallel with those who admire the sleek lines of a sports car and those who get a boner looking under the hood at the valve covers and fan belts!
post #2628 of 3970
Though I agree with most points, I wouldn't give modern Patek nearly so much credit. Their design competence has declined significantly under Thierry and Sandrine Stern's control, and they've lost much of their previous expertise and refinement. A few current models are rather tacky, even.

While they still have a few great watches in the range, many of the current models just aren't anywhere near as special as the older ones. I'm also hearing complaints about the quality and the service in recent years.

Considering the big price hikes seen while their annual production has increased to over 50000 pieces, they may have put themselves in a bubble situation by building long-term expectations that they can no longer back up with their now-mainly-mass-produced products. One would have to be rather credulous to believe that the historic Geneva Seal standards were abruptly ditched in favour of their lame new Rolls-Royce-lookalike "Patek Seal" to improve quality.

In any case, I certainly don't see them as being infallible.
Edited by Belligero - 8/8/16 at 3:13pm
post #2629 of 3970

Lots of interesting discussion here!

 

In re Patek - it depends on which side of the discussion you're coming from.  Resale/collectible side vs. execution/technical.

 

Obviously we know the king of the resale and collector sector currently.  No doubt there.  Even the regular pieces hold value fairly well.  

 

However, I frankly think their current entry-level stuff is made for the opposite of collectors.  The finishing is second if not third tier.Small old movements fit into larger cases. Comparing the quality vs. Lange and its not even close. Look at the anglage, the burrs.... a new company that put out watches of this quality would not be considered 1st rate haute horology.  The price for what you get at the entry-level for Patek is one of the worst patently.  They're exploiting the name.  Look at the movements from even the last major generation the 3xxx Calatravas vs the 5xxx.  Night and day.  

 

The flip-side though, you pay more upfront but the resale is great so that is a very logical argument for a more casual watch fan or just any watch fan that worries about resale.  So I don't really see one side as being completely right vs the other side being completely wrong - as negative as this is probably coming across. 

 

Now when you go up to more complicated pieces, they take their own pieces seriously and they make some wonderful modern pieces.  

 

 

 

 

I don't even have to label which is which...

post #2630 of 3970
Thread Starter 

Just a couple of points to add:

 

- Patek is the collectors' choice for good reason, but I don't think a collector with a taste for the bottom line (or taste at all), would buy a new one.  The depreciation hit is just as awful as a Vacheron or a Lange on a new one - whatever you think of current designs.

 

- Competitive advertising to reach those new Asian markets (and a new generation of aspiring #luxeshitoninstagram generation Europeans and Americans), is what's inflating prices, not just gouging the customer.  It's speculation for market share and it's affected everyone.  Rent on a boutique in Dubai Mall would make your eyes water, and it costs a fair bit to put a Hublot on Jose Mourinho, too.  And Patek, for all their historical saintliness, are no exception (you don't own a big company, you look after it for the next generation...).  Rolex have been all over this for decades, but now the likes of Omega are spending just as big, it's an arms race that's pushed all their prices up exponentially.

 

- Don't confuse collectors with customers.  TWAT might have excellent taste, but we spend most of our money vicariously.  Johnny Customer for a high end watch buys what he's read in GQ, notfornoobswatchforum.com is off his radar and he gives not a single shit.  If it's not on a poster or magazine in an airport business lounge, or on the wrist of the guy one seat up in the boardroom, he doesn't know or care.  

post #2631 of 3970
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post #2632 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post
 

In the post where discussed brands not being elevated to being on par with Patek (through limited editions/limited production)...my paragraph referred to both limited editions and limited/lower production.

 

You can feel however you want to about my reply, however I disagree completely with your characterization of it.

 

I see little point to continuing this discussion.  Lets just move on.  Have a nice day!

 

I agree.  We're still not even seeing eye-to-eye on what the other person is posting.  Anyway, cheers for the discussion and your commentary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post



Blaugrana, the problem is that a company like JLC or Glashutte Original cannot merely limit production--the market willing to pay their present prices is shrinking, and their prices are currently as high as they are because they were chasing exuberant, less knowledgeable buyers. They need to lower prices, stop making so many high-cost models, and make more low-cost models.

The fundamental principle to understand is that tradition and heritage are of the highest value in watch collecting. No matter what number of $50k+ or $100k+ complicated watches JLC makes, they will never be Patek--simply because that isn't what's sympathetic with the firm's history and long-established character. Collectors will never be willing to pay the same premium and resale values will never be as formidable. It is only because of a 10-15-year spike in market exuberance, led by China and the internet watch blog/forum community, that there has been any appetite for expensive Hublots, JLCs, GOs, Montblancs, etc. It is not by accident that many knowledgeable collectors have fled the new market altogether, as Dino points out. Pricing is not the only problem--the watches being made don't even make sense anymore.

 

Not to discount the rest of your post as I think you made some good points.  I've actually heard/read/seen a lot of what you said and definitely agree with a lot of it.

 

I think we covered this with the whole economies of scale point that Dino made.  Again, I'm not suggesting limiting production as the only tactic as I think it's very clear that even selling at a discount is obviously part of what is driving JLC's business at the moment.  (It's crazy how in the matter of say a week or two the grey market had multiple sellers with the Geophysic Universal Time.  Certainly you didn't get a wave of buyer's remorse where people traded them all in at the same time).  I'm also not saying that you just make big cuts in production either.  However I am saying that there is room to surgically make cuts in production in small increments that can in turn help with their margins and lessen the degree of discounting.  This process would take some time and would need to be part of an overall strategy which would surely include for example making more low-cost models.  

 

Again, I think I covered the point about $50k and $100k pieces by JLC.  I wasn't specifically referring to those models.  As for watches not making sense and people fleeing the market, I personally only find so many models out there at all appealing.  In fact just about every watch I like is either vintage inspired, a model that's been around for some time (though perhaps in it's current form) and/or a model that has hardly changed. 

post #2633 of 3970
Hi guys! I am thouroughly overwhelmed by the amount of posts here over since I last posted. Oh wait, that was in 2015? Understandable, then. I am hoping to catch up, but meanwhile, let me just share my eventful 2016 so far icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif I know it might be considered bad form to just post images without sharing a bit of thought as to how they came to be, but I promise to elaborate later shog[1].gif

d3a51ff5-467b-4ff9-a6e9-cf2420463712_zpsxorbaqwy.jpg

AE49CA54-AACD-44BD-9732-737EA9675B7E_zpsx7bnhoc7.jpg

4B18D111-B4A0-4930-86C7-FC09AEADA880_zpsazucw7nm.jpg
post #2634 of 3970
Welcome back, with a bang! nod[1].gif
post #2635 of 3970
@Belligero, 16520 buddy! Congrats biggrin.gif I think we both like Daytonas, ya know?
post #2636 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonServiam View Post

@Belligero, 16520 buddy! Congrats biggrin.gif I think we both like Daytonas, ya know?
Ja, ikke sant? Tusen takk! cheers.gif

Looks like you've been busy on the watch front lately. Nice work; looking forward to hearing a bit more about the new additions when you get a chance!
post #2637 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post

 

 

The occasional display-back is OK, but it's become the default option nowadays. Manufacturers of all levels are slapping a little bit of decoration on to a movement, adding a display back, and upping the price of the watch because it's now got a display back feature and a "decorated" movement. 

A display back is fine on some higher end well decorated movements, but sadly its become a sad sales tool for mediocrity. Hell, I've seen low end watches with display backs exhibiting pure garbage.  

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belligero View Post

Though I agree with most points, I wouldn't give modern Patek nearly so much credit. Their design competence has declined significantly under Thierry and Sandrine Stern's control, and they've lost much of their previous expertise and refinement. A few current models are rather tacky, even.

While they still have a few great watches in the range, many of the current models just aren't anywhere near as special as the older ones. I'm also hearing complaints about the quality and the service in recent years.

Considering the big price hikes seen while their annual production has increased to over 50000 pieces, they may have put themselves in a bubble situation by building long-term expectations that they can no longer back up with their now-mainly-mass-produced products. One would have to be rather credulous to believe that the historic Geneva Seal standards were abruptly ditched in favour of their lame new Rolls-Royce-lookalike "Patek Seal" to improve quality.

In any case, I certainly don't see them as being infallible.

+1

 

I think they were asleep at the wheel for a while and just riding the waive.  People are always looking for new places to invest.  Big dollar folks buy vintage and people who are less "In the know," hear about auction prices on vintage pieces (which are truly special and rare) and think it applies to all of their products.  I've even seen sales people use it as a tool to sell new Calatravas, saying, "A vintage Patek recently sold for over a million dollars.  These are one of the few watches that will accrue in value."  And people buy that line and the watch!  Now Patek does have relatively strong resale value with many of their modern pieces, but there is a drastic difference between a 1950's Patek Chronograph of which maybe 4 of a specific model were believed to be produced in say pink gold, versus a modern Calatrava, in terms of workmanship, design, and rarity.  Their pricing has gotten out of hand relative to what they offer, and I just don't see their basic pieces as something providing a buyer with real honest value.  

 

Overall, I like Patek, but in recent years their designs within my reach just didn't do anything for me.   For me even if Patek is considered a blue chip choice by many, their offerings today are very hit or miss for me.  While their resale isvery good, the resale on their basic pieces will never approach that of their complicated pieces or vintage complicated pieces.  

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonServiam View Post

Hi guys! I am thouroughly overwhelmed by the amount of posts here over since I last posted. Oh wait, that was in 2015? Understandable, then. I am hoping to catch up, but meanwhile, let me just share my eventful 2016 so far icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif I know it might be considered bad form to just post images without sharing a bit of thought as to how they came to be, but I promise to elaborate later shog[1].gif

Beautiful additions...big fan off all of them.  The 16520 is one of my favorite pieces, got mine new back in 1996.  And I absolutely adore the manual wind Daytonas!!!  Congrats and enjoy!:cheers: 

post #2638 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post
  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Whatever the original disagreement/debate, I think there are some interesting issues touched upon.

Blaugrana, the problem is that a company like JLC or Glashutte Original cannot merely limit production--the market willing to pay their present prices is shrinking, and their prices are currently as high as they are because they were chasing exuberant, less knowledgeable buyers. They need to lower prices, stop making so many high-cost models, and make more low-cost models.

The fundamental principle to understand is that tradition and heritage are of the highest value in watch collecting. No matter what number of $50k+ or $100k+ complicated watches JLC makes, they will never be Patek--simply because that isn't what's sympathetic with the firm's history and long-established character. Collectors will never be willing to pay the same premium and resale values will never be as formidable. It is only because of a 10-15-year spike in market exuberance, led by China and the internet watch blog/forum community, that there has been any appetite for expensive Hublots, JLCs, GOs, Montblancs, etc. It is not by accident that many knowledgeable collectors have fled the new market altogether, as Dino points out. Pricing is not the only problem--the watches being made don't even make sense anymore.

If there is any advice I can give to others in this thread looking to spend hard-earned money on a new watch, understand who the real blue chips are. Some perhaps controversial points of view that I nonetheless standby 100%:

1. Almost any Patek is a good choice. The watches are far too underappreciated here. Yes, they are conservative and traditional and speak softly. That is the point. Think of how you'd approach a fine bespoke suit. For good reason, seasoned watch lovers almost always converge their collections around Patek. For some reason, even stylish men often forget about good taste when it comes to watches and become preoccupied with fad and fashion. Patek is the closest thing to a pure proxy for good taste in watchdom.

2. You can do well with Vacheron and they are willing to be a little riskier than Patek since they are now the clear underdog, but resale and desirability is not at Patek levels. Since they need to try to be different, designs tend to be more hit or miss. Since they are Richemont owned, everything also looks a little more commercial and less old-fashioned and ad hoc. The firm is still trying to re-establish itself, whereas Patek has never really left the top of the heap.

3. Audemars Piguet - there is really only one model worth buying, the 15202. Yes, that's it. Anything else would be a wasted investment in the company's tragic 21st century identity crisis.

4. Rolex is beyond strong. It is resurgent. The pure professional models are no brainers: No Date Sub, new Explorer, GMT II, steel Daytona, etc. Tasteful, understated Datejusts and Day-Dates are also great picks. The new dateless Oyster Perpetual is one of the best buys in the market right now. So good.

5. Lange resale is terrible, but they are still intrinsically excellent watches that may be worth taking a long-term bet on. Much love in discussion forums, but serious collectors are still staying away--even after more than two decades of success. People dabble in Langes, but inevitably switch to Patek when big money is at stake, which elevates the rest of the Patek market. Also, no matter how interesting Lange's story, it has the taint of being a resuscitated brand. Heritage and tradition will never match the Trinity's.

6. Breguet - waste of time. Except the Type XX, maybe. Cool watch and one of the only current models that has any remote connection to Breguet as a modern company. Vintage ones are much, much cooler though.

7. Glashutte Original - also a waste of time. No exceptions, unfortunately.

8. Omega - Speedmaster Professional! Wouldn't really look at anything else.

9. JLC - anything steel and under $10K is nice, though would stay away from novelty Reversos. They cannot seem to help themselves from re-vamping the entire Reverso line every 3-4 years. A mess. Would not want to buy into that kind of chaos myself.

10. IWC - so sad. Used to be my favorite brand. Portuguese 7-days has one of the most perfect dials and cases of all modern watches, but overall, the line-up is tasteless and terrible. Would wait for them to one day get their act together and go back to their roots. Vintage Mark XI anybody?

11. FP Journe is probably the most important and significant of the independents, though it was a much better choice before they killed off the 38mm case. 40mm cases are markedly less elegant. Also, design and style is changing. Pre-2015/2016 watches will be viewed differently, I predict, and worth more. New direction is definitely more commercial, no matter what the man or the company says. The 38mm Chronometre Souverain was almost my next watch. In a hundred years, FP Journe could be the next Patek.

12. Laurent Ferrier - needs more time to prove itself, though early support from collectors and insiders is highly encouraging. Problem is that $50k for a time-only, manual wind watch from a company without a track record for customer service is a scary proposition. Like a new tailor who wants $12K for two-piece suit. Suits look gorgeous but who know's how long he'll be around . . .

13. Panerai - 372, 587 . . . both discontinued. Not sure anything else current worth looking at. Basically, the only watches worth getting are the ones that closely reproduce the originals. Anything else is total rubbish.

14. Cartier does some interesting stuff from time to time, but spotty. Resale is horrendous. However, where else are you going to get a Tank or Santos? Fucking perfect watches when executed at the highest level. Unfortunately, that almost never happens. Usually mediocre and/or overpriced.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Also, the display back is one of the worst things to ever happen to modern watches.


Much of this I would agree with, but a lot of it is purely subjective opinion masquerading as fact.

 

On what metric do you class Rolex as "strong"? Sure, they have the highest turnover of any watch company; but given that their immediate competitors are the likes of Tissot and Fossil, this doesn't mean a lot to anyone serious about watches. Their movements are hidden away because they mostly have some plasticky-looking parts which Rolex wouldn't want people to see. And their only "innovation" consists of putting hideous new green and pink dials on boring old models.

 

Having said that, yes, they do make some nice stuff. They fixed up the short-hands problem with the new Explorer, and it's now just about the one Rolex I could bring myself to buy. (OK, the rose gold/black dial dual-time Cellini is pretty sexy too, but it's already discontinued.) And surely there are plenty of chronographs out there which are more interesting than the Daytona.

 

The rest of your specific commentary places great emphasis on tradition and history, which is fair enough when considering resale value; but others have pointed out that Patek is relying way too heavily on their name and history, while ramping up production and reducing quality. I've heard so many horror stories from Patek owners trying to get their pieces serviced. There was a Sky-Moon Tourbillon floating around that had never worked; it kept going back, for months at a time; the owner eventually gave up and sold it. I pity the new owner.

 

You completely dismiss GO, Breguet, IWC and Omega; but they all have some really interesting current models (mixed in with a fair bit of dross, admittedly).

 

Spot-on comment regarding AP though. Apart from the 15202 - which is simply stunning, through and through - they have been the most disappointing of the Big Three. And yet - their modified Robin escapement is a true gift to modern horology.

 

But I'm coming from a different direction than you. In the past I've been known to drop over $60K on a single watch, but guess what my last purchase was? A Seiko. And guess what I've got my eye on now? A Casio MR-G. That's right, a quartz watch. I don't give a shit about resale value. I'm interested in the actual piece; how well it's designed and made; how it stands out from all the other myriad new releases clamouring for my attention.

 

Basically, what I'm saying is that it's ok to buy a watch simply because something about it excites you.

post #2639 of 3970

ps - I would totally buy a Lange if I had the funds. Preferably a Datograph Perpetual, Double Split, or Zeitwerk. And only in platinum.

post #2640 of 3970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coxsackie View Post

On what metric do you class Rolex as "strong"? Sure, they have the highest turnover of any watch company; but given that their immediate competitors are the likes of Tissot and Fossil, this doesn't mean a lot to anyone serious about watches. Their movements are hidden away because they mostly have some plasticky-looking parts which Rolex wouldn't want people to see. And their only "innovation" consists of putting hideous new green and pink dials on boring old models.

Don't even know where to begin with this. Tissot and Fossil as Rolex competitors? "Plasticky-looking parts"? Your starting premises and bases for critique are so wrong-headed and misinformed that I'm not sure it's worth pursuing further discussion on this point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coxsackie View Post

The rest of your specific commentary places great emphasis on tradition and history, which is fair enough when considering resale value; but others have pointed out that Patek is relying way too heavily on their name and history, while ramping up production and reducing quality. I've heard so many horror stories from Patek owners trying to get their pieces serviced. There was a Sky-Moon Tourbillon floating around that had never worked; it kept going back, for months at a time; the owner eventually gave up and sold it. I pity the new owner.

I'd like to see objective evidence that Patek is "reducing quality." There are horror stories about every brand. There isn't a highly complicated model on the market that hasn't had serious issues in at least one specimen or another--and who the hell knows how much of a role user error plays in those cases.

The point about resale value is that it is supported by long-term, knowledgeable collectors--not that you'd necessarily want to make money off your watches. It is a strong metric for a brand's timelessness and ability to withstand fads and fashions.
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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)