The lettering reminds one of old-style European train stations and salon menus. It is redolent of a bygone era, when men were men, women were women, art was art, and the world was waiting to be explored.
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The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier and more) - Page 61post #902 of 39773/19/16 at 5:46pmpost #903 of 39773/19/16 at 7:26pmQuote:
Not such a fan of the Zenith Cafe Racer - I'd probably like it more if it wasn't for the greenish-brown look to it.
I like the GP Stradale Chrono - it actually looks very, very much like a classic Heuer Carrera, except the Stradale has slightly thicker lugs.post #904 of 39773/19/16 at 8:31pmQuote:
Not really a fan of the Zenith Classic Car. The GP is nice, but I've liked some of their other watches in the past a bit more (although, I tend to reserve my final judgment until seeing a new watch in person).post #905 of 39773/20/16 at 4:22amQuote:Originally Posted by Belligero
If I haven't yet bored you to death on the subject, here's an article on the differences between lettering and type that I found to be well-written and worth the read: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2013/01/understanding-difference-between-type-and-lettering/
Indeed, it's a truly textbook example of genuinely shitty type selection and layout. Really, I don't find it to be gear-grinding so much as bewildering that they continue to produce to such low standards. Frankly, I think it's going to bite them in the ass someday in that collector market that they use (and sometimes manipulate at auction time) as a justification for their pricing levels, because a lot of the new stuff doesn't simply live up to the hype.
Though I hardly post, I've been a long-time reader of the TWAT thread (s) and never really got all that Belligero wrote about fonts and stuff. Just seemed like he was being overly critical! But over the years, after looking at lots of watches, I started to understand (and appreciate) those fine points. So @Belligero thanks a lot for your insight and explanation!post #906 of 39773/20/16 at 7:57amThread StarterQuote:
The problem that both these watches, and dare I say both these makers have, is that there always seems to be a slightly more glamorous or distinctive choice in the same price bracket.
Having said that, the plus is that both of these will depreciate like a motherticker in about a week and a half. So if there's one that's a real must have, just take a deep breath and wait for half price. :)post #907 of 39773/20/16 at 9:53ampost #908 of 39773/20/16 at 10:22amQuote:
Well Zenith finally got the subdials right. Not a fan of the dial or the size, however. If it was a white/silver dial on a 40 mm watch, it would be a winner for me.post #909 of 39773/20/16 at 1:58pmpost #910 of 39773/20/16 at 7:44pmpost #911 of 39773/20/16 at 10:34pm
After several months (years?) of lurking in this amazing thread, I figured I might try to contribute back myself.
My first mechanical watch was a very humble vintage 60s Prim Spartak made in Czechoslovakia. Sadly, I didn't receive it from my grandfather (even though he most likely worn one like this back in the day), but off internet auction, as I was just starting to learn about mechanical watches, and wanted to see if I could live with a watch I have to manually wind. The watch is tiny (about 31mm), and I don't wear it much these days but it is a nice reminder of my home country whenever I do.
The second mechanical watch was a JLC Reverso Grande Taille. I got it when I was finishing grad school in Switzerland and getting ready for my new career across the Atlantic to remind myself of the time I spent there. The JLC manufacture is actually around 50km away from Lausanne where I lived - I used to go to Le Sentier for biking and cross-country skiing. When I first tried it on (about a year before I finally got it), it made me so happy for the rest of the day - I never thought a watch could do this to people :) Now it is my office watch, although it looks great with a polo and shorts as well (as long as I don't wear it to the beach).
Finally, the last watch I got so far is a diver Seiko SKX007. Arguably, I got it out of necessity (I didn't want to wear my Reverso to more casual occasions), and also to see if I could like divers watches in general, but I have since come to really enjoy it.
Now I could definitely stop there (one vintage watch - one "real" dress watch - one divers watch), but of course, once you have been bitten with the bug, there is no going back :) Thanks in big part to this thread, I have completely changed my opinion on Rolex, and I could see myself with an older Submariner 14060 or Explorer 14270 in a few years when the occasion is right for it. I also have a soft spot for Nomos (Tangente or Tetra, which was really pleasant when I tried it on). And if I ever win the (IPO) lottery, a Patek Aquanaut or Nautilus would be just the right way to celebrate it. Dreams...post #912 of 39773/21/16 at 12:54amThread Starter
I like the balance and the priorities of that set - quirky vintage with some personal meaning, a great daily dress watch, and a solid tool for the weekend. I don't have anything as nice as your Reverso, but as I wear my father's old 35mm Omega a lot, and also have a Seiko diver for the beach, I can identify.
Welcome.post #913 of 39773/21/16 at 3:39ampost #914 of 39773/21/16 at 4:58amQuote:My pleasure. Thank you; it means a lot to me to hear that.Originally Posted by dan'l
Though I hardly post, I've been a long-time reader of the TWAT thread (s) and never really got all that Belligero wrote about fonts and stuff. Just seemed like he was being overly critical! But over the years, after looking at lots of watches, I started to understand (and appreciate) those fine points. So @Belligero thanks a lot for your insight and explanation!
I’ve just realized that I'd misread your question, though! I was talking about the difference between typography and lettering, whereas you were asking about how to tell if a dial's letters and numbers are hand applied. Although I'm aware of some dials that include hand-painted artwork, I can't think of any modern examples with directly hand-drawn letters/numbers outside of redialling work (which invariably devalues a watch), though they likely exist. Hand lettering/numbering isn't normally drawn individually on each dial, but is typically drafted once as a larger tempate and scaled down to be produced by a repeatable process such as pad printing.
If you don't mind, here's a bit of further info. In this example, although Rolex's text is drafted by hand (you can tell because each character is unique, and they still do it that way), it's then etched onto a plate for serial production:
image credit: quill and pad
Really, it doesn't matter which particular tools and methods are used in the design, as long as it's competent. Lange uses high-quality — and almost certainly custom — type in their dial work, and it always looks fantastic. In this case, it looks like FP Journe employed at least some non-hand-drafted techniques to create the master plate, and the result is gorgeous:
image credit: hodinkee
These visual details can matter a lot; consider how insane the cost difference between an original "fat font" insert and a service replacement has become lately for Submariners and GMTs. (Or that the Milsub version currently changes hands for five figures just for sake of some extra dashes.)
Astute type and lettering selection is such an effortless way to add personality and distinctiveness to a watch, yet many companies have evidently become near-illiterate in this fundamental skill. Yes, I know I bitch this one a lot in particular, but as someone (I've never managed to find the attribution for this quote) succinctly put it: "Arial is the poster child for the general typographic decline of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries."
It requires no extra resources at the production stage to use something with a bit of character; all it takes is a bit of awareness at the design stage. Although I realize that the critique can come across as mere pickiness, given the cost of a luxury wristwatch, I think buyers have every right to be discerning about these details.
Edited by Belligero - 3/21/16 at 7:28ampost #915 of 39773/21/16 at 6:13am
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