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The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre,

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mimo, Feb 12, 2016.

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  1. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    Much appreciated, Dino! :cheers:

    It's funny how details that are insignificant in reality, such as the subdial colour/placement and the lug finish, make it almost justifiable to have two of pretty much the exact same watch.
    :facepalm:

    I know it's a subject we've covered a bit before, but I just wanted to mention that your earlier contributions — I first started reading the original SF watch thread in 2008 — were an influence in my taking interest in Rolex in general, and the Daytona in particular. There's just so much misinformation that gets repeated about the manufacturer, and I started out believing it, unfortunately.

    Oh well — as Aldous Huxley once said, the only completely consistent people are dead.

    One of the things I appreciate the most about this thread: I find that the discussion brings out real opinions, but tends to lack (with some exceptions) the browbeating and zealotry that can be found on some forums. It also isn't over-moderated to the point where straying from the party line results in a ban. May it long continue that way.
    :)

    As an aside, it's interesting that the internet often reinforces ignorance, as one can easily find material to reinforce any prejudice one has, no matter how irrational it is. Further reading for anyone who's interested: Dr. Steve Dutch — "Self-Appointed Experts"

    Many thanks. Yup, I picked up the 4130-movement version in 2013, and it's still a solid favourite. My 116520 came with the white dial, but I swapped out to the black and I'll be keeping it that way. I think the basic design of the self-winding Daytona is spot-on, so I don't mind having both colour options. If I had to choose between them right now, I'd probably keep the Zenith for its looks and better collectibility potential, but there's always going to be some bias toward whatever's arrived most recently.

    One great thing about the earlier Daytona is that the low-profile, all-brushed 78360 bracelet fits, and was in fact what the watch was equipped with for the first few years of the production run. So it's possible to switch up the look and (at least for my particular style) make the watch even more versatile, as well as keeping those polished links on the original bracelet from getting scuffed to hell. Or one can go in the opposite direction and put it on Jubilee:

    [​IMG]
    image credit: fratello watches

    As much as I've come appreciate most of Rolex's modern stuff, the older ones are just more special to me. Of the watches I actually wear, I'd likely cull starting with the modern ones in last-in/first-out order; i.e. E2 out first, then OPs, then SD, then it gets a lot tougher...

    And to be honest, I'd better get on it, because need still need maintenance whether they get worn daily, weekly or monthly, or just sit in a dark box. Something to consider for anyone who's thinking about the quality vs. quantity thing when it comes to watches.
    :confused:

    So from first impressions, the 16520 could give the plexi GMT a serious challenge if I had to choose "the one", because I think it's a great combination of old-school charm and modern no-stress wearability. (Not that I ever stress about the 1675.) I just hope I'm never forced to make the choice between those two. :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's where the movement ends. The "correct" case diameter should be more like 34-35mm, not 37mm.

    Undersized movements are not just an aesthetic assault. Smaller movements carry all sorts of compromises to performance. You will lose durability, rate stability, or power reserve (or all of the above) versus a larger movement--since, all else being equal, you cannot fit in as large a spring barrel or balance wheel without reductions to the bridges and plates. In other words, when there is extra space in the watch case, it means the movement was not optimized for the watch. That tells us either the maker is incompetent (unlikely in Lange's case) or that the watch in question was a hasty afterthought rushed to market to suit fashion or economic trends (hmm . . .).
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  3. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    ^
    Pfft. IWC's 5000-series movement is gigantic, but it's weak in every area you mention except power reserve. And with a balance wheel that small relative to the rest of the movement, you'd expect at least that.

    With watches, bigger is often more failure-prone if it isn't done right. It's almost as if they just rushed it to market to catch a trend... ;)

    [​IMG]

    http://watchguy.co.uk/service-repair-iwc-ingenieur-5005-calibre-51112/


    Edit: For anyone who's interested in further reading on the subject of balance wheels and mainsprings, there's some good info here:
    Velociphile: The Spring's the Thing
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if we have any pictures of the 37mm with the movement. It may be better. I think all the movement pics are from the 40mm.
     
  5. Winot

    Winot Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Mine's the 40mm.

    I get the point about affect on functionality. I haven't mine Lange for that long, but certainly haven't noticed any of those issues.
     
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Did I say that every bigger movement is perfectly executed? I thought I was quite clear: smaller movements face more limitations. If given the opportunity to make a movement bigger, there is no reason not to other than time and money.

    The 5000-series movement is not weak in all the areas I pointed out. Its specific weakness is rate stability, which is a compromise for longer power reserve without resorting to two barrels. Most long power reserve watches need more than one spring barrel--this is good for rate stability, but introduces more complication to the movement as you then need additional transmission gearing, which is bad for durability and maintenance.

    Yes, the balance in the 5000 caliber could have been larger to take advantage of the space afforded by the larger movement dimensions--but that simply reinforces my point that bigger movements force fewer compromises. What actual compromises one chooses to make is another story.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    It's not that there will be any issues. It is a perfectly good movement. The point is that the bigger case is a wasted opportunity to make it even better.
     
  8. Dillardiv

    Dillardiv Well-Known Member

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    The 512? Not feeling it or just making room for something new?
     
  9. tricky

    tricky Well-Known Member

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    Naw not the 512. It's the 560 Luminar. Great watch but it rarely gets wrist time next to my Explorer l and SubC LV.

    At the time I was torn between a Pam or Reverso and I should have gone with Reverso.
     
  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Also, the unusual, "untested" automatic winding system this guy is talking about is the Pellaton system, which was designed by IWC in the 1940's and has been used by the company since. It is actually one of the innovations chiefly responsible for IWC's post-war reputation and status, as it is extremely efficient, yet simple.

    One of the 5000 caliber's strengths is winding efficiency. The engineer's intent was that the automatic winding would keep the power reserve at a steady state and therefore eliminate the amplitude variability intrinsic to an extra-long mainspring that impacts rate stability. So, when you wear the watch regularly, the rate is very stable. The issue is that many owners set the watch down for days at a time, letting the power reserve wind down. Then, the stability of rate decreases--particularly if you're just timing the watch as it sits still on your bedside table. Put it back on and the power reserve climbs quickly, returning the amplitude and rate stability to steady state.

    Is this a design flaw? Don't think so. A compromise? Certainly. The right choice? Jury is out. Movements like this are tested by the decade, not the year. Who knows how the double-barrel alternatives will hold up over time in comparison.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  11. DLJr

    DLJr Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I said that earlier. The picture on Hodinkee, which I think is the one Matt posted on here, is the same exact watch from the Hodinkee article on the Saxonia Thin. So that is a 12mm difference for movement diameter vs case diameter. This 37mm Saxonia should have a difference of only 9mm. FWIW, the Chronometre Bleu has a difference of 8.6mm I believe and I find that to be just fine. I will say, I find that a 3/4 plate makes a small movement in a larger case appear worse. I think the Patrimony Trad Small Seconds has a difference of 9.5mm, but I think the movement is a bit more interesting and helps minimize any negative visual effects of the case.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    All true, but the CB is 39mm, so the 8.6mm difference will look meaningfully smaller compared to the 9mm difference in the 37mm Saxonia.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. DLJr

    DLJr Well-Known Member

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  14. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'm glad you found some of my posts helpful...although they may not always be helpful to one's bank account. [​IMG]

    For me it often is the small details between various models, that make one version more or less appealing to me. I find the differences between the 16520 and the 116520 are really significant enough that one can own and enjoy each of them for different reasons. I find the subtle differences of the 16520 far more pleasing to the eye and there is a charm to it being the last piece to have lots of hand workmanship. While the 116520 does offer certain practical improvements such as a longer power reserve, larger lum markers, and many prefer its machined clasp and solid link bracelet, although I found the bracelets of my earlier Rolex watches more than capable of standing up to whatever punishment I subjected them to. So both pieces have a place in my collection.

    I do envy the ability people in other markets have to obtain the earlier all brushed oyster bracelet, jubilee bracelet, and extra dials. As you know Rolex USA has very strict policies/restrictions about selling additional parts or parts that were not specific to a particular model. I'm not really a jubilee bracelet kind of guy, but I do think it provides an interesting option for a 16520.

    I'm sure you will make the right choice about which models get moved out of your collection. I have to agree I'd move out some of the modern pieces. Good luck and enjoy your pair of Daytonas.
     
  15. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    All good points D and Foo.

    I think that 9mm is an acceptable amount. Perfect? Nope. But for $15,000, I can certainly live with it. I would rather have a watch that is 37mm, with a smaller movement, than a watch that is 34mm with a perfectly sized movement, all else being equal. I thought the movement in the Traditionelle Small Seconds was on the smaller side of things, but it certainly did not bother me.
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    You already have the Patrimony? Why even bat an eyelash at the Saxonia, then? I'd take your existing watch any day.
     
  17. tim_horton

    tim_horton Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. I would also rather have the Saxonia Thin be 37mm with the current movement that is a bit undersized and be priced at $15,000 than the Saxonia Thin be 37mm with an all-new movement made for the new size but be priced at $24,000...
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  18. DLJr

    DLJr Well-Known Member

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    Eh, I'd rather just save up more and get something where there isn't anything that bugs me when I look at the watch. I'm a small timer, so at 15K I certainly don't expect to be compromising on anything.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    100%.

    Whether $15k or $25k, that is a lot of money to spend on a watch that is a compromised design. It only really makes sense if you must have a new Lange for some reason.
     
  20. Nikolaus

    Nikolaus Well-Known Member

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    exactly what I was thinking while reading this whole discussion reaching the length of chicken guts.
     

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