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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 182

post #2716 of 3929
Not surprising, we have very similar tastes Nuke. The 5146 is just a very unattractive, poorly designed (aesthetically) watch IMO. 5396 and and 5327 (Belli ruined this one for me) are both lacking in dial aesthetics as well.

That 5170 though, yum.

That said, I'm a big watch dumb dumb with nothing to really add to the conversation. I'm a watch purchaser, not a collector or trader. My biggest criteria will always be the smile it puts on my face (not that I won't research and over analyze everything else about it too).
post #2717 of 3929
I bought a dress watch earlier in the year. Wanted something slim, gold, no date and ideally no second hand. Was convinced I was going to end up with a Patek - I love the vintage Calatravas. But when it came to it, the older models on sale were too small and I didn't like the UFO-profile of the newer models. Ended up with a Saxonia Thin because I loved the case design.
post #2718 of 3929
" I don't know what the Dad in that picture does for a living, but you can be sure it involves a lot of money and the son will inherit it, along with a boat (below) and the means of production (not pictured)."

Hahaha The Last Psychiatrist is a treasure. Loved him/her for years. Thanks for the reminder!
post #2719 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Not sure how the cleverness of Patek's marketing campaign indicts the watches. Seems to me if people had real knowledge of declining quality or other issues, they'd be able to speak to specifics.

Well it does not "indict" the watches. In fact, my point is that signalling has real value even if it is invisible and hard to quantify by outsiders; and that a lot of the Patek value is in these intangibles. As such Patek's marketing enhances the watches.

 

You might buy a Patek for at least two reasons. Either you know a lot about watches (as you and others seem to) in which case your watch culture pushes you towards certain brands and models for heritage and/or intrinsic quality considerations (cf your discussion of unnecessary screws, and "declining quality"), or you don't know much about watches but buy the "top one" in the general mindset because you can finally afford it and you have a spot free in your hierarchy of needs for a nice watch. Quick, what's the top sports car brand? Bet its most common colour is red. If you think it's German, I'll grant you that one as well.

 

In the second case, Patek's marketing and myth building are relatively important, but another variable is conquering the minds of people like you who are known as topic experts. The non-expert will either know you (maybe a colleague at the bank, a family member, a squash buddy) or read your posts and this will be a major part of the purchasing equation. If this thread agrees that Patek are "the best", then it becomes the best in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy - see Semogue shaving brushes and Meermin shoes.

 

I'm curious about your opinion of the Frank Muller Crazy Hours.

post #2720 of 3929
I have a Frank Muller crazy hour watch....I love it. Always sparks a conversation. Get the old models, not the new oversized in croc print


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post #2721 of 3929
This forum hasn't been particularly kind to FM over the years
post #2722 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post
 

Well it does not "indict" the watches. In fact, my point is that signalling has real value even if it is invisible and hard to quantify by outsiders; and that a lot of the Patek value is in these intangibles. As such Patek's marketing enhances the watches.

 

You might buy a Patek for at least two reasons. Either you know a lot about watches (as you and others seem to) in which case your watch culture pushes you towards certain brands and models for heritage and/or intrinsic quality considerations (cf your discussion of unnecessary screws, and "declining quality"), or you don't know much about watches but buy the "top one" in the general mindset because you can finally afford it and you have a spot free in your hierarchy of needs for a nice watch. Quick, what's the top sports car brand? Bet its most common colour is red. If you think it's German, I'll grant you that one as well.

 

In the second case, Patek's marketing and myth building are relatively important, but another variable is conquering the minds of people like you who are known as topic experts. The non-expert will either know you (maybe a colleague at the bank, a family member, a squash buddy) or read your posts and this will be a major part of the purchasing equation. If this thread agrees that Patek are "the best", then it becomes the best in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy - see Semogue shaving brushes and Meermin shoes.

 

I'm curious about your opinion of the Frank Muller Crazy Hours.

As for Patek, they make some great watches.  Some people think they make the best watches.  Others think Lange makes the best, and others would rather have something from an independent. Anyone buying a Patek is buying it as much for its quality, history, collectibility, and because it represents old world lasting quality - in a world filled with disposable goods.    

 

I think Patek makes great quality watches, but I don't really care for many of their current offerings.  Of the ones Foo posted the only ones I like are the 5227, the 3711 Nautilus, the 5170.  I also like the 3712, but that wasn't on his list.   I have mixed feelings about the 5196P, overall I like the dial, but the cut trim ring and small seconds just doesn't work on it for me.  It gives away that its a really small movement in a big modern case.  I really want to like more of the Pateks currently offered because they are really good quality, but I just don't love their designs. My father has owned Pateks and he still owns a few along with a Lange, and he enjoys them equally.  He likes having something from each as they are both great quality, but they follow different design philosophies. 

 

My favorite play on the Patek slogan was something posted on a forum years ago.  The poster joking said, "You never actually own a Patek, you merely pay for Phillip Stern's future generations."

 

As for Franck Muller, I don't think much of his watches.  Many are very average in terms of quality.  Although he seems to be well known for or (by those who haven't seen many vintage pieces) almost credited with the use of "Exploding numerals on his dials," others such as VC, GP, Rolex, Longines, etc were using them on watches decades before he was born.  One guy who used to post here, said his FM got more compliments from ladies than his other watches. However, I buy what I like, and the idea that some watch would get me more compliments than my other watches is not of any importance to me and certainly would not influence me to purchase an FM.  

post #2723 of 3929
03c21bedbd45b5b7e6bc40ad7ca785b7.jpg
Very cool watch indeed


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post #2724 of 3929

I picked FM on purpose. A quick browse on Google and a famous watch forum shows that they have some maintenance, reliability and (subjectively) finishing issues. Therefore the main value offered by FM (like Richard Mille) is genuine innovation, a form of artistic value if you will, paralleling purchasing from contemporary artists vs at Monet auctions. But a modern painter who paints like Monet is "pastiche" and does not command the same respect. Therefore, why isn't FM more highly rated by watch enthusiasts? Is the "artistic value" variable not important? Are watches craft, not art?

 

Crazy Hours' particular innovation has no functional purpose, in fact it damages the principal function of the watch (how long it takes you to tell what time it is on above photo?), but it is difficult to come up with and execute, and unique. Also, the main value is in owning the original; having a perfect (even a functionally better) replica of the Crazy Hours is about as valuable as having a photo of Damien Hirst's shark in your living room. 

 

This idea comes up in another Hodinkee article about two recent "nostalgic" watches: 

Quote:

It's just a shade too good ‚Äď that immaculate dial, those eerily sharp markers, those you'll-cut-yourself-just-looking-at-them hands, are all way too crisp to have come out of anything other than a modern factory, with extremely modern manufacturing methods. This isn't so much a watch as it would have been made in the middle of the 20th century, as it is an illustration of what such a watch would look like, seen through what's achievable with the latest high-precision tooling and quality control

And this is how you end up with the Eichi's dial being hand-painted to look like it was machine-printed (yes, it works, I want one).

 

Now look at the "most complicated watches ever" - the original by Patek in 1933 and the next one, also by Patek in 1989. What does Wikipedia have to say about the 1933 version? It was the most complicated to be designed "without a computer". And you could almost make the argument that FM is truer to the spirit of the watchmakers that were at the edge in what you call the Old World, in the same way that Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Debussy pushed the envelope in their respective eras.

 

Yet they were innovative because they pushed against constraints that no longer exist: you can compose atonal music today without raising eyebrows (except from the community that will wonder why you are being so old fashioned) and you can wear a diver with your suit in an investment bank or law firm. But it would be in bad taste, according to some of the more vocal taste makers; thus the shift to craft vs art. I have no clear answers but would love to hear the opinion of Patek, and FM owners. 

post #2725 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post
 

I picked FM on purpose. A quick browse on Google and a famous watch forum shows that they have some maintenance, reliability and (subjectively) finishing issues. Therefore the main value offered by FM (like Richard Mille) is genuine innovation, a form of artistic value if you will, paralleling purchasing from contemporary artists vs at Monet auctions. But a modern painter who paints like Monet is "pastiche" and does not command the same respect. Therefore, why isn't FM more highly rated by watch enthusiasts? Is the "artistic value" variable not important? Are watches craft, not art?

 

FM the man, has actual talent.  However, I wouldn't call him innovative.  Using exploding numerals that other companies were using over 100 years ago, isn't new or special. The case shapes he used have been used by VC and others well before FM was alive.  In addition, many of his pieces in the moderately affordable range used rather unimpressive ETA movements as their base.  ETA makes a good work horse movement, but its nothing truly special, and I think it hurt his watches that one could by far better watches for the same money, ones that actually used in house movements, or outsourced movements from more respected movement producers.  So basically, much of what FM gave people was basically eye candy (if you liked the design), but they had no substance.   Lots of women liked his watches, but they may not care what is inside of it.  I would have found it tough to stomach purchasing a $10,000 FM and finding the movement inside was basically the same as what was in a far less expensive watch, say one that costs maybe $2,000 or less.    

 

If someone wants a watch from a small independent artisan, there are far better choices such as Laurent Ferrier, Philippe Dufour, JDN, F.P.Journe etc. 

post #2726 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

Are watches craft, not art?

Yes.
post #2727 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino944 View Post
 

FM the man, has actual talent.  However, I wouldn't call him innovative.  Using exploding numerals that other companies were using over 100 years ago, isn't new or special. The case shapes he used have been used by VC and others well before FM was alive.  In addition, many of his pieces in the moderately affordable range used rather unimpressive ETA movements as their base.  ETA makes a good work horse movement, but its nothing truly special, and I think it hurt his watches that one could by far better watches for the same money, ones that actually used in house movements, or outsourced movements from more respected movement producers.  So basically, much of what FM gave people was basically eye candy (if you liked the design), but they had no substance.   Lots of women liked his watches, but they may not care what is inside of it.  I would have found it tough to stomach purchasing a $10,000 FM and finding the movement inside was basically the same as what was in a far less expensive watch, say one that costs maybe $2,000 or less.    

 

If someone wants a watch from a small independent artisan, there are far better choices such as Laurent Ferrier, Philippe Dufour, JDN, F.P.Journe etc. 

Forgive me the beginner question, but what do you mean by exploding numerals? I searched and found watches from the early 1900s that had strangely shaped numbers, but I cannot find an example where the numbers are not ordered (8, 1, 6, 4, 11... instead of 1, 2, 3...). 

 

If someone did it before, then FM is not innovative. He was successful at marketing (to me) that he was the first to do it.

post #2728 of 3929
Quote:
Originally Posted by crdb View Post
 

Forgive me the beginner question, but what do you mean by exploding numerals? I searched and found watches from the early 1900s that had strangely shaped numbers, but I cannot find an example where the numbers are not ordered (8, 1, 6, 4, 11... instead of 1, 2, 3...). 

 

If someone did it before, then FM is not innovative. He was successful at marketing (to me) that he was the first to do it.

Exploding numerals is the style of font he used for his numbers where they basically vary in size and look like they are coming out toward the edges of the case.  He may be the first person to reorder the numbers, at best its cute,...but hardly impressive.  You ask why FM isn't more a more highly rated watch by enthusiasts and its the product he produced. There were many companies that were doing so much more and offered higher levels of reliability and workmanship.

 

The high prices MSRPS of his watches and the ordinary movements used in many of them, made his watches difficult to sell to educated collectors, but may have been a reasonable purchase in the used market after they depreciated significantly.  I'm sure plenty of newbies bought them and took a bath on them if they tried to trade or resell them.  The 3 dealers near me that carried the brand, found it was a very tough sell, and eventually ditched the brand and liquidated the remaining pieces in their stock at huge discounts.

post #2729 of 3929

All fair. My assumption of originality was in the lack of ordering of the hours, not in the cosmetics (I assume serious watch collectors are more interested in what is under the case).

 

I looked up what the Crazy Hours movement did and it's just a standard jumping hours movement, jumping 5 hours at a time (which is why some copiers sell fully working replicas for $150). So he did not even execute his own idea, which is a shame. I think it would have been a nice occasion to pick an original order and create a custom movement to jump the hours unevenly including some backwards jumps; it would have been most special if the order chosen was deliberately hard to execute. 

post #2730 of 3929
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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)