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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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    Then for you the SD4000 probably works much better. Pic from a friend of mine who picked up his SD4000 in Hong Kong the other day: [​IMG] Lugs really are sleeker than the SubC ND: [​IMG] If the lugs bother you so much, there is always the case of a friend of mine who took his GMTc to a local watchmaker in the Philippines AND HAD THE LUGS TRIMMED DOWN. Boom. Liposuction for chunky lugs. Here is his GMTc beside the SD4000: [​IMG] Rolex might not be happy with this aftermarket modification, but I guess stranger things have been done...
     
  2. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has not yet owned a Rolex with the chuckier newer lugs, I am used to narrow lugs of the older Subs, GMTS, SDs. However, seeing a GMTC with narrow lugs looks very strange to me. Its lugs actually look narrower than those of the SD 4000 next to it. Oh well, as long as he is happy with it that is what matters.
     
  3. DLJr

    DLJr Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, i won't be modifying it. I will be trying the SD at some point though. If I don't like it, I know what my move is from there and it's still pretty good if not better, so it's no big deal. Plus, who knows, maybe over the years Rolex moves back to something between this gen and the previous gen of the Sub.
     
  4. Farhad19620

    Farhad19620 Well-Known Member

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    A strange thing with watches, I have lost thousands of pounds on watches that I have bought and sold over the years but on this one I have been offered three times the amount I bought it for but still do not want to part with it! [​IMG]
     
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  5. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    It's more of a design than a quality difference to me.

    The current Submariner's sliding adjustment in 2 mm increments kicks ass all over the place, but I have no preference between the old and new bracelets as far as actually wearing goes. Aside from the closure system, the main difference is just a bit of weight. The hollow- and solid-link versions are equally strong, equally durable, and they look exactly the same other than the clasp. I wouldn't say that anything has changed when it comes to the quality of manufacture. Compare a brand-new example of each, and they're both perfectly machined. I have the original 35-year-old bracelet for one of my GMTs; the clasp is still fine and closes with a nice positive snap, so it's tough to complain about the quality of that bit, either.

    If kept clean (to clear out grit that vastly accelerates wear) and not worn loose, either type of bracelet can easily outlast the owner.
     
  6. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    Yes but tell us how you really feel!
     
  7. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    I feel that I like both of 'em? [​IMG]

    Just wanted to say that the older style of bracelet is A-OK. too.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  8. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    I'm just teasing! IMHO you're in the top 1% of posters who actually elaborate quite well on aspects they prefer and don't care much about. [​IMG]
     
  9. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    My friend, I think you are reading a little too far into what I said. I said "There is a tremendous jump in the quality of the current bracelets vs. the old." That is not to say that the old bracelet can't hold up to a variety of activities and be an integral part of a watch worn daily for many decades. Your view of my statement would be the same as if I said, "The latest Ferrari, has a significant increase in horsepower over its predecessor"...and then interpreting that to mean that I have suggest its predecessor had an inadequate amount of power, when the truth is Ferrari is simply being competitive with other performance brands. The same is true of Rolex, its bracelets and clasps evolved, because they had to in order to be competitive with other brands, most of which were using solid links in all of their bracelets and had machined clasps rather than stamped steel pieces.

    I would beg to differ that its a quality difference as much as a design difference. You and I could bicker over what a design difference means...the they are still using an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet on the bulk of their mens watches. However, they have evolved to include solid center links and a revised clasp system. Is that purely a design difference...or is it a design difference that results in an increase in quality, or at least a perceived increase in quality to the average buyer?

    I can recall people on other forums questioning how Rolex at its price point, higher than Breitling in many cases, or IWC, could justify its pricing as the clasps were stamped steel and the center links of the bracelets were hollow. Even a friend who owned a few Breitlings, a Zenith, and an Omega questioned this (although he later bought a 16570 with SEL bracelet and hollow center links. BTW he loves that watch). My response was that I had owned Rolex watches and used them as daily wearers for more than 2 decades without any issues involving the bracelets or the clasps. They were able to withstand anything I could dish out! In addition, I pointed out that for several years until Rolex bought Gay Freres (bracelet company, ending them supplying bracelets to other brands), Rolex, AP, PP, Heuer and others may have used different bracelet designs, but all used the same basic folding blade clasps. AP and PP only changed that to a machined inner part for their clasps around the very early 1990s (that would be nearly 20 years for the RO). As said earlier, Rolex eventually made changes to remain competitive in the market place.

    While I do prefer the SEL bracelets simply for their looks, the old "Clam shell" style end pieces served me very well. I've owned several Rolex watches with the clam shell end pieces and I still have a 16520 Daytona with clam shell style end pieces and I adore it.

    While I find the Oyster bracelet from a functional or durability standpoint didn't necessarily need the change to solid bracelet links, the old hollow Jubilee bracelets, really needed this change. They often seemed to suffer from far more significant bracelet stretch over time than their Oyster siblings.

    In the end my comment wasn't to belittle the older style bracelets (several of my own watches have them). It was simply to describe my opinion of changes such as solid center links, a machined clasp, and a new adjustment system. [​IMG]
     
  10. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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    1964 Seiko World Time.

    Just back from a movement service and sporting a new sharkskin band.

    50 years old. +/- 8 seconds per day.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Gianni Cerutti

    Gianni Cerutti Well-Known Member

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    Very beautiful...fantastics
     
  12. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya, and I agree completely. I didn't interpret your post as belittling the older bracelets; the main thing I wanted to communicate to the prospective buyer is that either type is great on the wrist so the older bracelets are definitely worth considering. Hope you don't mind if I nerd out a bit on this...

    The new clasp is fantastic. It certainly results in an increase in quality perception, and there's no doubt that it was due for an update. Stamped bracelets work great, but they've had their day.

    All things being equal, I'll definitely take the new bracelet, but on the Explorer for example, I'd much rather wear the classic 36 mm version, stamped clasp and all, than the current disproportionate 39 mm one.

    Now for the nerding-out part. The term "stretch" is a misnomer. Hollow vs. solid makes no difference since they elongate by material loss due to abrasion. They're in tension so extra metal in the middle is irrelevant, and you can easily check that by measuring a completely worn-out link vs a new one; the exterior length will be identical.

    Anyway, they're all strong where it counts; the weak point is the pin (not the link), and Rolex uses fat, solid screw pins. It's remarkable how many other bracelets are heavier and bulkier (and look like they'd be stronger), but are inherently much weaker due to using wimpy split pins held in by friction.


    PS: Jubilees definitely tend to look shagged-out faster. They're flexier, have more wear points, are more common in much the faster-wearing bi-metal option, and I see a lot worn way too loose. That, coupled with the fact that people actually keep them long enough for wear to become an issue, is what earns them their reputation for being stretch-prone.

    The newer solid-link Jubilees will stand up better to neglect simply because they're less prone to getting dirt in between the links. On the other hand, a well-maintained example of either style worn snugly on the wrist will last ages. An ultrasonic bath every year or so helps a lot.

    Keeping any bracelet free of grit and not letting it flop around on the wrist is essential if you want it to last.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  13. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    *Nerd download*

    *Delighted feeling*

    I love this thread.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  14. jbarwick

    jbarwick Well-Known Member

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    Sam here. This bracelet talk reminds me of my cycling friends discussing different chains for their bikes.
     
  15. Winot

    Winot Well-Known Member

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    We'll I bought it and am very happy with the way it looks, I have to say it hasn't been keeping good time. I am travelling a lot this week but it is still gaining by up to 5 minutes a day which obviously isn't right. That said, in the last few days, it seems to have settled down. Is this possible with a new watch? I seem to remember that my Panerai took a while to settle down.
     
  16. Winot

    Winot Well-Known Member

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    And here's a quick wrist shot:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. mrkrob

    mrkrob New Member

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    I assume the bottom one is the ref 3992?
     
  18. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    Ya know, they're exactly the same as far as "stretch" goes and the same term is even used in cycling. An image of a chain getting pulled slightly longer during a low-gear uphill grind is intuitive, but just like watch bracelets, it's wearing away of material that really causes it:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, sounds like we are on the same page. As for using the term "Stretch" relative to the bracelet, I was using it in the generic sense, as I believe most people would understand that term. However, I am aware its actually just wear points affected by dirt/grit between links/pins, and bracelets that are left too large, but that the bracelets do not actually get longer.

    I've owned several older style Oyster bracelets and never had any problems with them. I've never let grit/grime build up, and the bracelets were properly sized, so I've never experienced any noticeable level of stretch even after more than a decade of regular use. More commonly I've seen very bad examples of stretch on older Jubilee bracelets. I've seen a few old Jubilees were so bad that if you held the watch case with the crown pointing to the sky and left the bracelet dangling, the clasp was pretty close to being perpendicular to the watch case. Although, that was a very extreme example.
     
  20. Belligero

    Belligero Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely; I meant to address the general audience with the remarks about wear and elongation. "Stretch" is a perfectly fine and common term to describe it. The only real issue is that it can make the problem seem inevitable, when it's in fact very preventable.

    As you've experienced, it doesn't take much to keep them from grinding apart. Unfortunately, some do end up severely neglected anyway. Here's an example...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
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