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The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    stitchy - yes, you did describe this type of shopper. And - no disrespect to Rolex or to this type of buyer either - I suspect that for the $5,000 to $10,000 price point, a brand like Rolex will have many, many, many buyers who are like this.

    I'm not sure this holds for watches priced at higher points, or other manufacturers. I'd be willing to bet a large number of first-time Rolex buyers are like this. Again, no hate for the relatively uninformed buyer: it's their money to spend. For a variety of reasons, the relative prestige attached to Rolex, its popularity and the price point of some of its most popular, classic models lends itself to this.

    Disagree?
     
  2. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    The Tyre-Kicker's Diary

    Dear Friends,

    As I mentioned above, I spent the last two days in Dubai for administrative reasons, without an awful lot useful to do. I did catch up with an old friend or two, but rather than sit in my hotel room on the computer and do something productive, I basically spent most of my time in the Dubai Mall. Aside from a few shoe shops and a movie, my time was dedicated pretty much entirely to wasting the time of salespeople in watch boutiques.

    That perhaps came out a little meaner than I meant it. During the day time, mid week, these places are very quiet. Sales assistants are standing around to attention, mostly a bit bored, and more than happy to chat about their collections, comparisons and competitors, with someone who now has (thanks to you guys), at least the basic knowledge of a new sales assistant! And my tyre-kicking wasn't entirely insincere, of course. I might be broke right now, and the tiny acquisition I have in mind over the next few weeks might be laughable compared to the wonders that I saw this week. But as others have mentioned, anyone who's interested in a watch is a potential customer. Business has good years and bad years. And for my next good year, someone's going to benefit, at least in some small way. And it's likely to be one of them.

    From my point of view, I got to hang out in some very well decorated and pleasant surroundings, drink some surprisingly decent free coffee, and chat to some pleasant and knowledgeable people about things in which I have developed an interest. I was able, like a small boy sitting on a fire engine, to have the fantasy experience of putting insanely complicated and expensive things on my wrist. And perhaps more importantly, to establish from among those things I think I might be able to buy one day, which would actually work for me, and which wouldn't. From the sales assistants' point of view, they got to be seen to be busy by the boss, with someone who was polite, friendly and I hope stimulating company, and who they could reasonably hope will be a customer some day. That is, of course, if they care: companies in this region pay zero or terrible commission, so it's often just a wage game. In which case, I think they just enjoyed having a visitor to talk to.

    I'm conscious in all this that our friend Nuke has had a terrible experience of being (mis) assessed by sales assistants and ignored. I, as someone with small change in my pocket and less in the bank, was treated well everywhere. It helps being forty-one, of a certain physical presence, and the confidence born of age and experience to wander into such a place like I'm expecting a round of applause. Good shoes and a recently tailored Canali sports jacket also helped, I imagine. That I'd thrifted the latter (first time in my life!) for ten bucks the week before was known only to me, but the adjustments worked well, and as I was probably the only man in the entire "World's Largest" mall wearing a jacket, certainly by choice, I suppose I would have made an impression. I only hope that a shorts-wearing Chinese billionaire wasn't ignored at some stage because I was taking my time!

    There were a couple of things I said that got me taken seriously as well, I think: asking about specific models and what's new, gave the sales assistants somewhere to start and showed I had at least a passing interest in the brand. Wearing a watch with a story (my 43 year old Omega) was a nice ice breaker too. Also, I asked about the reasonably priced pieces and only admired the great wonders in their cases. Until we had a rapport, after which I'd say quite clearly that I would probably never be able to buy such a thing, and then ask to have a look anyway just for fun. That is not a concept alien to shop assistants, and perfectly acceptable once they've found you to be a pleasant person and showing a genuine interest - even in their entry level models.

    Anyway, tyre-kicking tips over. Time to talk about some specific watches. I'll do each boutique as a separate post, but spoiler the content so I don't stuff up the whole page with my ramblings. Also because the pictures might be large - my Blackberry camera is useless, for which I apologise in advance. I'll therefore upload full size to compensate for the blur and poor quality!

    And to close this introduction, a repeat of yesterday's: I didn't see anything I actually thought I'd ever buy in Blancpain, so flat out asked to see the minute repeater just for my own amusement. I only went in because I saw it in the window. As the place was entirely empty, they were only too happy. Here's a rotated pic for better viewing. I have to say, it is a remarkable looking beast:


    [​IMG]




    Now, onward: first stop Cartier.
     
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  3. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    too much. thats for sure. lets see if she can wear less next time.
     
  4. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    cant speak on this exact model, but the VC overseas can be had for 10K if youre diligent.
     
  5. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    yes, rolex probably gets the brunt of these customers in the 5-10k range. in the 2k range it goes a lot to TAG. and then omega steps in. but the guy i dealt with had watches with MSRPs of 16.5k and 20.1k, with tax that akmost 40k, and i gather he payed damn close to full retail. i am quite certain this customer exists in every price point. there is a lot of money out there. almost everyone knows luxury watches are cool and wants one, and plenty of people with cash to spare fall into this category ime. they just want to play the game a little, have some bling on the wrist yadda yadda yadda ...


    :nodding:
     
  6. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    mimo, didn't mean to truncate the well written intro to your diary, but just wanted to say I'm looking forward to the rest of the chronicles!

    'Grats on the tailor-adjusted thrifted Canali jacket!
     
  7. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    She agrees.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Frilly! Complete chance thing in the most unlikely location; some taking in around the middle and I'm delighted with it - half lined, open weave, patch pockets...perfect for high temperature smart casual! So...

    To be honest, Cartier was kind of ticking a box because it was there. I've tried on a couple in my local AD that were sort of fun, but nothing that set my heart on fire. I like that their style is distinctive, but it's not really me. What I really liked in there was more in mind as potential gift for Mrs mimo. And who cares about that, eh? She wasn't even there.

    So I went in anyway, looked at some of the exotic stuff but didn't trouble them (there were some customers in and I didn't want to waste the time), but I was intrigued by just one thing: the Santos. For more than one reason. It's funny that Ms "Weirdgums" Upton appears to be wearing one; that's why it was on my mind - I was just looking at them. The reasons were firstly, that it was one of the few manly-sized steel watches in the boutique (I did like the Tank Solo I tried a few months ago though), and that I'd always thought of the Santos as a tiny watch. This is a chunk of steel:

    [​IMG]


    It's kind of cool, but it's not me. Too big for formal wear, and I'm just not quite buying the look as a casual piece. I like it, but it could never be love.

    Here's the second reason for my intrigue, though, going back to the conversation about Tommy Hilfiger's dispute: take a look at that octagonal crown, and those screws in the bezel. I can't help but wonder why Audemars Piguet aren't suing Cartier [​IMG]

    Not much going on there. It gets better though, I promise:
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  9. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    ive had that santos.....twice....once in SS and once in 2 tone. i fucking love it. i try to deny it, but i cant. I absolutely fucking LOVE that watch. I can almost guarantee ill have it again one day too.
     
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  10. Newcomer

    Newcomer Well-Known Member

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    Going out for a little vacay, but I will be sure to keep up to date! I have a feeling that the next few days will have some mighty fine discussion...

    Enjoying the stories so far Mimo, I will comment in earnest once I return!
     
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  11. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    travel safe! if you pass thru my city, look me up
     
  12. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    this!
     
  13. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks largely to Dino's most eloquent and informative evangelism, I had to see a Royal Oak in person. My local AD has a couple of APs, but the only ROs are either ladies', or freakish Offshore models - the kind of thing that Derek S would buy if he won the lottery, and wear to the beach with mink-lined budgie-smugglers and a tiara.

    But in pictures at least, the one that I like most is the RO chronograph. I like the standard one too, but the simple date (sorry, "day counter"!) irritates. In the chrono, it is neatly pushed into the background by the subdials and location. So, simple question: do you have a steel RO, please sir? And they did. Two.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    So this is it. I like the white dial because it really shows up the "tapisserie" and makes the subdials stand out nicely. Also, everything Dino said about the quality of this thing is serious. The first thing I noticed was that the edge of every link in the bracelet felt sharp and neat against my hand when I picked it up. The case, obscured here slightly by the plastic cover, is just perfect. It's an extraordinary piece of manufacturing.

    There's a problem, though. It's big. This is the current standard RO, and at 41mm, it's not what I wanted it to be. What I love about the RO, like the Nautilus or Daytona, is that it works as a sporty, distinctive dress watch. You can wear it with a polo and jeans or a suit for a meeting just as easily. Except now you can't because it's too big. It doesn't slide under the sleeve easily, and with the shiny multiplier effect of the integrated bracelet it shouts pretty loud from your wrist. That's what the ROO does, and why I don't like them. Disappointment. BUT there's a smaller one. The "unisex" 37mm model. Not in the chrono, but same case to try and here it is:

    [​IMG]


    Now, I wear a 35mm dress watch quite a lot, so I'm used to smaller watches. And this 37mm RO was once upon a time the standard, I think. It's pretty good. Almost. Because somehow, maybe it's just the size inflation in modern watches, but it's not big enough. Now it's subtle under the sleeve, it feels nice enough. But it's somehow lost its manly sportiness. What I'm asking myself is whether I want the one that no longer exists: the single size of yesteryear, the 39mm they don't make any more.

    They do make it in gold, though. So I tried the one they had, on a strap, but I think the point is made:

    [​IMG]


    That's the size! Apart from the strap's being too tight, it was perfect. Also, I might be swaying to the blue dial having seen this. It's pleasingly warm and loses none of the texture. I'm told it's the colour of the original RO too. So this, in steel, on a bracelet? Now only available used? But for about $12k. That's cheaper than a new Daytona. Actually, it's about the same as a nearly-new Daytona. I have learned something new here. I know the size that looks and feels right, and it's not what I expected. And I know that I no longer automatically want a Daytona if and when I look for a watch in this category - and there's a choice for the same price.

    (Travel safe, Nuke!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
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  14. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    good stuff mimo, i look forward to hearing more. great watch, but i do think that cartier looked big on you though.
     
  15. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like justifiable homicide. I heard about that happening ...man, I'd just have get you and a few of my other watch buddies on the jury!
    A large case with older small movement always bothers me, but that just means there are fewer pieces you and I have to get into steel cage match to see who gets it [​IMG]

    To be honest, I don't think my collection would really change much or at all taking whether I took resale value into account or not. Yes, its a good feeling to know that your watch has retained a large percentage of its purchase price. It may also make Mrs. Dino feel better about my having a watch collection. Still, I bought what I liked, and many of the factors involved in the purchase were history of a brand or design, quality, versatility, and whether such a piece would add something interesting to my collection. For example, I bought Rolex watches because of their quality, design, history, movement, versatility for my lifestyle, and price. Something like Panerai has great resale value, and many of the same attributes I've mentioned for Rolex. However, in many of their "Lower priced" watches the Unitas & ETA movements bothered me. Its a great watch and I don't say that about the movement to disparage the brand, but merely because one of my favorite SA's used to always try to get me to consider one saying they are as rugged as a Rolex, different styling and great resale value. A design or brand either works for me or it doesn't.

    In addition, Patek makes a great watch, it has better resale value than most comparable VCs. Yet, I just wasn't interested in the Calatrava (which was in my budget years ago). I really preferred the designs of my Historiques Carree and my 1972 (Asymmetric). The Calatrava is legendary and a great watch, but I just wanted something completely different from what were my daily wearers, which were round, so I chose non-round watches. Maybe someone with more sense would have bought 2 Calatravas and maybe they would be worth more than my VCs, but I really like my VCs. I made my purchase knowing that a PP would probably retain more of its original purchase price, but I was just so enamored with the VC designs which I found to be a bit more lively and younger looking (to me) that I went for the VCs.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with considering resale value as part of a purchase. No one wants to spend good money to hear that their high end watch is worth the same as a casio/timex etc. I think when I was younger and maybe would need to trade 1 watch to get the next it might have made more of a difference to me, but it was not one of the main factors in my choice of watches. I just think the resale value should can be a collateral factor to consider but it should not be the major factor in deciding which watch to buy. People and trends are fickle. Pateks weren't always fetching what they do today, and maybe years from now it will change and some other brand will be the perceived top dog. If you buy what you like, no matter what happens with the value you will be happy because its a watch you chose for your self and have enjoyed. Its just some icing on the cake if it maintains or accrues in value.
    I think the biggest factor in price will be availability. I've seen limited editions, that although limited were quite easy to obtain, even a year or two out of production. While it may not be the most accurate way to gauge price on the "Greek Edition" is to look for auction results of other limited edition Overseas they have made in recent years. They have made limited editions, that are basically the same color watch with a different color dial, several times now (maybe VC is following AP's lead with all the Offshore Chronograph limited editions).

    I like VC, I own 2 of them, but I can't say the current Overseas line has been one of my favorite designs from them. I did try a few on, and it I didn't like how it sat on my wrist. Also, while I understand the purpose of the varying sizes of subdials, they bother me. You definitely need to try one on in person, even a standard model and see how you feel about it.

    Something to be careful about is sometimes watches made for a certain market, can have a limited appeal to collectors. It may have great appeal in Greece, but I do not know if it will the same appeal outside of Greece, unless there is something different other than dial color. For instance, if it were the only Overseas offered in Platinum...well that would add some significance to the model beyond it being for the Greek market. That's not to say only Greek people would find the color scheme attractive, they may (I like blue dials and I'm not Greek). However, whether a Japanese or South American collector would have an interest in the Greek Overseas, I am not sure. I think you just need to be careful that you don't get oversold regarding price, because someone is playing the "Its a limited edition card." Just playing devils advocate.
    Can you blame him? Yes, Arnold is well known for wearing a gold Day-Date (there are numerous ads showing him and Jack wearing Day-Dates).
    +1

    Definitely try on an Overseas before pulling the trigger. Although, I realize part of the appeal is its for the Greek market, I've always preferred the previous model of Overseas (but there is no Greek market version of that watch).
     
  16. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    ^^not a fan of the RO chrono, but the RO is fucking gorgeous. still want one of those.


    the kind of thing that Derek S would buy if he won the lottery, and wear to the beach with mink-lined budgie-smugglers and a tiara.

    oh and fuck you. :lol:
     
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  17. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    also...to answer the question stitch asked earlier....I make most of my watch purchases based on knowing i wont lose my ass when i resell or trade. Im never gonna be a 1 watch guy...and i probably will continue to flip them for the rest of my life. For instance...as much as i love that GP you posted, id never buy it. unless i was able to get it for a disgusting price. Like 2K or under. but at the MSRP? not a chance. Id rather get the similar VC Patrimony and know that it will hold its value in the event i get bored and want a new watch. (i will)
     
  18. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    (Stitch, you're right, it just didn't sit right on me - anyway Derek likes it, so what to do?)





    Now this really piqued my curiosity. I know very little about this maker, and this is the only boutique in the Middle East, recently opened. Again, I had to tell the (desperately bored) sales assistant that I'd just come in out of curiosity. But we had a very pleasant chat. What I ended up trying was the cheapest thing in the room. But it was the only one I could imagine wearing. Given the price, I'll be imagining for quite a long time. Recognise it?

    [​IMG]


    Yeah, well as the name's on the top, I supposed you will! I love that lethal-looking rotor! I'm not a huge fan of skeletons in general, but this is a real work of art. The front isn't bad either.

    [​IMG]


    According to the salesman, this case is unique in that it's made from three separate pieces of titanium i.e. not machined from a single piece. It certainly makes it very light - wears like a Casio! It also gives it very strong, mechanical-looking angles all around. It's not especially useful I suppose, but if you were a real big shot collector, it's certainly cool. This is the model 10, and of all of them, the most wearable I could see (for my taste). It also has a successor, which I think is the 29 if I remember correctly....oh yeah, it's written on the dial. Here they are, side by side.

    [​IMG]


    Honestly, I think the old one is nicer. The day counter on the new one is too bright. But I suppose these things don't set out to be subtle! Anyway, something new seen up close. Not many people try on a Richard Mille. Now I have, and it was fun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  19. DerekS

    DerekS Well-Known Member

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    ^^RM really makes some incredible watches....id never wear one though...too futuristic looking to me.... but theyre surprisingly light arent they?
     
  20. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    Mimo, AP still makes a 39mm RO, its the ultra-thin 15202 Jumbo. Its production is far more limited than that of the 41mm 15400 and from what I have heard, you rarely see them at AD's. AP is sending most of their Jumbo production to the AP boutiques. In addition, I prefer the dial of the Jumbo as it has the smaller original size Clous de Paris. Its size allows it to straddle that fine line of being able to look great with jeans but elegant enough for a suit and tie. I find the 15400 is now a bit more sports watch oriented (although it still will work with a suit), and looks a tad less dressy in the new size, unless you are built like a line backer in the NFL. Also, if one is choosing a blue dial, its important to note that the RO Jumbo 15202, the RO 15400, and RO Chronograph all use a different shade of blue for their dials.

    I like the RO Chronograph, its a great sports watch. It shares the same base movement as the Overseas (F.Piget 1185), but I prefer it to the Overseas Chrono. I find it a bit more understated, especially when both are on bracelets. The current Overseas bracelet is a bit too blingy for my taste with the Maltese Cross shape flowing through the bracelet design.

    In the end the fit and finish are simply superb no matter which model one is viewing. I've said it before but its worth repeating, IMHO its a watch where you can really see why it costs what it does.
     
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