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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. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, not really sure where to begin. The statements above seem to go beyond mere opinion and venture into the territory of inaccurate generalizations with little basis in fact.

    VC a wannabe sister of Patek and having a World Time watch and a sports watch/Me too thing? Sorry, not sure how much research you have done or what you know about VC, but VC is the oldest continuous watch company. They have been around nearly 100 years longer than Patek. Until about the 1950s/1960s, VC reigned supreme and was viewed as standing head and shoulders above Patek and AP. Patek and AP caught up in the late 1950s and 60's in terms of quality, but VC was making world time watches and clocks decades before the Patek's 5130 existed. VC has a very rich history of making complicated watches and simple dress watches which are top quality and that have a completely different design aesthetic than Patek. VC's cases and dials were often considered more whimsical than the rather stoic Patek. Not all of their designs are appealing, but Patek has had some blunders too...watches like their early versions of Nautilus watches without bracelets in the 1980s and 1990s, the Neptune, the Cabriolet in the early 2000s, etc. More than one of my local Patek ADs has expressed being stuck with pieces when Patek moves too far from the basic Calatrava formula.

    As for Patek being a family a family run business, who cares? Its irrelevant. The Sterns are smart and have done well with Patek, but they have no ties to the founding families. Phillip Sterns father bought the company when Patek was in financial trouble around the 1930s IIRC. If you want a company with true family involvement from descendants of the founding families you have to look to Audemars Piguet, or independents. I like Patek and they make a great product. However, in someways I liked them more about 10+ years ago before all the flippers/ speculators and auction houses got involved with the vintage pieces. People could be honest about their hits and misses. Now, the bulk of people say everything they make is perfect because speculators, auction houses and some dealers are constantly trying to push values of old pieces higher, so speculators and auction houses can make record profits, or so some ADs can push the sales of modern watches saying this World Timer looks like the vintage model XYZ ...if you buy this now and it will jump in value too. Suckers fall for that line not realizing the rarity of of mint condition pieces of the 50's and 60's sets them a part from the much higher production modern versions some of which will just reside in the vaults of collectors for years...so there will never been the same rarity with most modern Pateks.

    AS for Piaget or Cartier that you brand as jewelers...who cares if they are also jewelers, they are both solid watch companies with rich histories of making high quality products. Piaget has been famous for decades for making the thinnest manual wind and automatic watches. Furthermore, they have made watches using only in house movements when other top brands had to rely on outsourced based movements for some models. They are also known for their creative use of stones in their watches much of which may only be the result of their experience with setting stones for jewelry. Beyond that, if you want to discuss at least limited founding family involvement Yves Piaget was involved with the company far more recently than any family members of the Patek & Philippe clans were involved with their brand.

    Cartier is often looked down upon as a jewelry company, but often by people who know little of the brand. They forget Cartier were one of the earliest companies to move from pocket watches to wrist watches. In addition, they were making minute repeater watches and single pusher chronographs of tremendous quality back in the 1930s. Even some of my most jaded watch collecting friends who are largely only interested in PP, AP, and VC all say they have to find a mint condition Tortue Monopoussoir (single pusher chronograph) to add to their collections. Sure they make some basic time only things like the Tank Francaise and Ballon Bleu etc...but their high end merchandise is top quality. As I've covered the "Cartier is far more than a jewelry company several times in the past I'll leave it at that rather than rehash things.

    I think you should search for what truly makes you smile, and not worry about what we would think is a grail or piece to complete your collection. Most of us don't know your style, what gaps may be in your present collection and we may have different taste, but again no watch can be everything to everyone. Good luck with your search.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
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  2. Meurice

    Meurice Well-Known Member

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    You said it very well - I should buy what makes me smile, irrespective of historically correct facts or marketing blurb which constructs some "connection" to the past when in fact the company in its current state is a relatively new venture.

    I know that VC is "older" than PP and somewhen back in time was actually ahead of PP in this or that, and that Cartier made good watches a few times thoughout their history (as I said, I am about to discover what they did in the 60ies, but let's rather not talk about the Le Must series, and yes, that came up when Swiss watchmaking was on the fritz because of quartz). Surely a few JLCs and even Junghänse (the plural of Junghans - I recently discovered their "Max Bill Chronoscope" in YG!! Great stuff.) are nice. But...

    But for some reasons a very small group of manufacturers are "doing it right", hitting the nail on the head. Rolex for the Audi-like mass market, PP for high-end stuff.

    Of course, just like in the old days when RR and Bentley were under one umbrella, one brand simply existed because people would not be seen dead in the other, so that might play into the reverse-snobbery Burberry-Aquascutum relationship of PP and VC. In my opinion, VC sadly does not have "their own way" - which Breguet (think coin-like case, fine-detailled dials) or ALS (retro 1930ies Auf-und-Ab Doppelfederhaus Teutonia). VC Patri is great, although also more generic than, say, a 5196 which very much shows its 96 heritage. And don't get me started on VC's "Sport/Diver" range, even if designed by Genta, he also had his unique (Nautilus, although I would never wear one) and less unique moments. And since you mention VC's market position in the 1950ies, that was also the time when Chevrolet and Cadillac were building very good cars. Then.

    As long as a watch - or anything you buy - needs a long narrative to make it more desirable, it does not speak to me. The same goes for linking a watch's image with bomber pilots, motorcar racing drivers or successful golfers. When looking at Wempe's shop window (to take a very boring example), looking at a pedestrian Sub or a simple PP 5196 makes me think "this is a product which speaks for itself". It is much more difficult to do something extraordinary in a simple way.

    BTW thanks for "stoic" - a very good description of the 1990-2000 Patek style. When everyone is funky/innovative, being stoic is quite unique.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  3. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Well-Known Member

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    Wow, some of you guys are very specific when shopping for a new watch. Me, I ask myself: "do I like it or not?" and the rest is history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  4. Meurice

    Meurice Well-Known Member

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    Hi Shawn, it is part of the fun...
     
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  5. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    Well finally today I talked to the head technician at the Omega boutique. He said after having some more time with Speedy, he does not recommend service. Said that it's not a chronometer and you shouldn't expect it to act like one, that they all run a little differently in different positions and mine seems to average out to keeping as good time as any. He said he re-tested it today in multiple positions and it was averaging out to +0. But after a few days it tended to be -3 to +8.

    Wacky old 1863. Guess it was much ado about nothing.
     
  6. Dino944

    Dino944 Well-Known Member

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    While I appreciate your view and opinion, about VC, I challenge you to spend some time on TheHourlounge learning about VC. I can accept that you aren't into the brand, or you feel they do not have their own way, but that isn't accurate. As brand they have nothing to do with Patek or copying Patek. They have their own distinct style and designs. The tear drop shaped lug is something they were famous for using over the course of many decades and they were still using on various models until about 2005. I imagine we will see it again at some point. Using shapes outside of round is something they are famous for (although they do make lots of round watches). I do like VC's orginal sports watch the 222, but I am not a fan of the subsequent sports watches that followed. However, you should be aware that NONE of VC's sports watches were designed by Gerald Genta. The original 222 sports watch release around the time of the Nautilus was designed by another famous designer Jorg Hysek. People frequently and mistakenly think it was designed by Genta, but it was not.

    Regarding ads and long naratives Patek is far from being above that nonsense. Tugging at the heart strings showing a dad and his son on a yacht, with the tag line, "You never really own a Patek, you merely take care of it for the next generation." The best part of the ad was a funny variation about that ad campaign someone posted on another forum saying, "You never actually own a Patek, you merely pay for Phillip Stern's future generations."

    As for the Les Must Series...the Swiss watch market was at its worst at that time. There are tons of hidous desings from AP, Patek, VC, and other brands. Patek made Nautilus models that cost a fortune to service or change batteries for so those are virtually worthless. It was an age that brought this version of the Elipse ...yuck. The original version of the Elipse is a Genta design. This is Liberace inspired sibling.
    [​IMG]

    You mention Patek circ 1990 - 2000, but I would not say it was the best period at all. It brought the hideous Sculpture watch and the Neptune
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here are a few other Pateks I could live without such as the elongated Nautlius.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I like Patek, they make a high quality product and my father has owned a few, but I don't give them a pass for their mistakes and I think they offer very little value for what you get when buying a current new watch. I don't want this to seem like I'm anti Patek, I am not. I just think if you are going to give them all the credit for being what is right in the world of watches, you should hold them equally responsible for there blunders...of which there have been many. Sadly, we live in a world where due to auction price values on rare pieces or limited production pieces...many people hold them above all others or as perfect, and they simply are not. If they were perfect I don't think they would have provided the world with this Patek Limited Pimp edition.
    [​IMG]

    Again wishing you much fun and enjoyment on your journey to find the right watch.
     
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  7. Kid Nickels

    Kid Nickels Well-Known Member

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    ^ nice post Dino. Those are all purty turrible lookin'!


    Agreed. Stay away from that Starliner shit.. it's terrible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  8. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    I love that Ellipse
     
  9. PartagasIV

    PartagasIV Well-Known Member

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    Very happy.

    [​IMG]

    edit: clearly didn't capture the brushed finished dial, sorry for the cheap pic...
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  10. jbarwick

    jbarwick Well-Known Member

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    I always find the argument that Rolex is the Audi (presumably the A4) and BMW (3-series variant but is that still a 4-door?) funny. There is a huge difference between a $300 lease payment and a $5,000+ watch.
     
  11. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Well-Known Member

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    I think it more likely refers to a comparison to other cars and their price ranges.

    Rolex = BMW, AP = Bentley
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  12. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Omega = Audi. VC = Mercedes
     
  13. Jmm722

    Jmm722 Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying Mercedes is better than Audi? Or more expensive?
     
  14. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    More of a brand personality comparison. Less certain of the VC comparison. Maybe they're the Aston Martin. But Omega is definitely the Audi and Rolex the BMW.
     
  15. Jmm722

    Jmm722 Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha, I can definitely see that. Rolex and BMW definitely have a bigger "look at me" status to the general public. Before anyone attacks me, Rolex makes nice watches and I like a few of them. I'm just saying what the average person views is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  16. aleksandr

    aleksandr Well-Known Member

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    Wait what?? Stereotyping watch and car brands?? I would have thought better of TWAT.
     
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  17. aleksandr

    aleksandr Well-Known Member

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    This looks like something one could get at the mall for fifty bucks or so.
     
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  18. tricky

    tricky Well-Known Member

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    Crap I had hoped Rolex would be a Porsche.
     
  19. no frills

    no frills Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to all the recent kops!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. jbarwick

    jbarwick Well-Known Member

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    Well that clears up the car/watch references. I can't believe I didn't see it without someone having to spell it out.
     
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