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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. troika

    troika Senior member

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    quick question, how do you guys clean the gunk that builds on the case and in between links? do you just bring it in for service?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  2. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Ah, the ol' wrist cheese.

    A soft toothbrush with warm water and dish soap will take care of it. An ultrasonic cleaning bath every year or two is also a good practice for the bracelet (and only the bracelet); it'll make it last longer by getting rid of the abrasive grit that causes "bracelet stretch", which doesn't actually involve stretching at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  3. Michael81

    Michael81 Senior member

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    I've used laptop cleaning fluid with good results.
     
  4. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Patrimony extra plate? I think I posted the white gold version of this, maybe a little newer, in the first page or two of the original thread as the best looking dress watch ever. It is certainly my favorite. The high point of this watch was around 2000 or so. I don't like the current version nearly as much a they changed the hands and markers. The stick hands and markers, with applied cross and thin, straight lugs are perfect (the lugs I am thinking of are just a tiny, little but different than yours).
     
  5. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    I didn't use the word "cheap". That's a word you've inserted. So you've added straw-man to ad hominem and general rudeness.

    And you've already conceded that there are plasticky-looking parts (the phrase I did use) inside Rolexes - Teflon is a plastic. By doing so, you further conceded (although perhaps you don't realise it) that in fact I'm well-informed.

    You really are tiresome. Have a look at the other comments about you on the last two pages. Everybody now is starting to wish you'd just go away.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. tim_horton

    tim_horton Senior member

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    Please speak for yourself. I don't personally know mafoofan from Adam, but he knows watches, and his input in this thread is very welcome.
     
  7. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Well a good jousting session with Foo is part of the hazing process that goes with posting in this thread, so don't let it bother you.

    There are definitely interesting points that each of your brought up, and I agree with him on some of them, and you on some.

    As for the Rolex issue, when I first read your comments on them, I really wondered what your issue was with his statement. I'm still not sure.

    Foo said , "If there is any advice I can give to others in this thread looking to spend hard-earned money on a new watch, understand who the real blue chips are. Some perhaps controversial points of view that I nonetheless standby 100%: ....4. Rolex is beyond strong. It is resurgent. The pure professional models are no brainers: No Date Sub, new Explorer, GMT II, steel Daytona, etc. Tasteful, understated Datejusts and Day-Dates are also great picks. The new dateless Oyster Perpetual is one of the best buys in the market right now. So good."

    To which you replied "On what metric do you class Rolex as "strong"? Sure, they have the highest turnover of any watch company; but given that their immediate competitors are the likes of Tissot and Fossil, this doesn't mean a lot to anyone serious about watches. Their movements are hidden away because they mostly have some plasticky-looking parts which Rolex wouldn't want people to see. And their only "innovation" consists of putting hideous new green and pink dials on boring old models."

    I can't speak for Foo, but if you spoke to many collectors, they would agree that Rolex is a great choice for would be collectors. Pricing on modern or reasonably modern pieces is "Relatively affordable," they are have an interesting history (in terms of the brand itself, the development/evolution of models, and well known people that have chosen them before there were brand ambassadors), they have a well deserved reputation for being rugged, they have high resale value, have shown the ability to appreciate in value, and appeal to a broad audience. That would seem like a lot of strong points for the brand. As for your criticism of the movements, they can take the kind of beating, I wouldn't put my so called higher end pieces through. In addition, Rolex has always held itself out as a tool watch. They finish the movements well, but they are not highly decorated and have never held themselves out as a company that makes "Pretty things." Criticizing the movement for not being highly decorated is like criticizing a Hearse for not being sporty enough. It's not its purpose. As for their innovations, they have been a ground breaking company for decades, perfecting automatic movements, water resistant watches, creating diving and GMT style designs copied by lots of companies, and more recently blue parachom hairsprings. They are a company that moves slowly and continue to add changes to watches during the life of their production. In the end, questioning where Rolex stands in the world be it in terms their strength of resale, quality, durability, collectibility etc... just makes me questions what you know of the brand...or if you dislike the brand and that colors your perception.

    As for your discussion about Seiko/Grand Seiko, where you said, "... they can probably claim to be more innovative than Rolex - especially in recent years - and in the case of their Grand Seiko models, better finished. Everything, and I mean everything, is done in-house. By just about any criterion important to a real watch-lover, they should be held in higher esteem than they are. So what gives?

    Well, Seiko certainly builds a really high quality watch. In certain price ranges, you probably can't buy a better watch. However, when you ask why Seiko isn't held in higher esteem than it is...its simple if you can buy a Rolex, a JLC, Omega, IWC, or some other "luxury watch" most people will go with the one that has greater status or that was their dream watch. When I was young, my dream watch was a Rolex (I never thought I would be able to afford something finer). Its the same with cars...Acura built the NSX in the 90's. It was a far better car than a Ferrari 348 or Porsche 911 (964), but after a year or so its sales fell drastically. It was a better car, but an Acura/Honda wasn't most people's dream car. There was even an advertisement around the time that Japan was sending some really good affordable sports cars to our shores such as the NSX, RX7 Twin Turbo, Toyota Turbo Supra, and it showed I think a Porsche, a Ferrari, and a Lotus, and it said,"When you were growing up, did you really dream of owning a Honda, a Mazda, or a Toyota? We didn't think so." Then it had the name and phone number of the exotic car dealership. So in the end, right or wrong, status and snobbery do come into play when you talk about products in a certain price range. People want what was always perceived as special,...not something from the higher end division of a brand selling average items too. People often bring up Montblanc watches. Sorry, to me they are a pen maker, and its not a watch brand that has much meaning or significance to me. So if you are suggesting the issue with Seiko is that it's from Japan, that's nonsense.

    In the end, these are items that have to have some romance to them. No one needs a super expensive wrist watch to tell them the time. So it has to go beyond accuracy, innovation, and being made in house. There has to be some element that makes it special, luxurious, something you dreamed of owning. Otherwise, why spend it on a watch. When I was a kid I looked at Rolex ads and saw adventurous people wearing them. I read the catalogs and saw they were used for racing, deep sea diving, exploring caves, and cool people like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman wore them. I'm not saying these are brilliant reasons for liking certain watches...but you have to start somewhere.

    Over time I learned far more about watches, who made the movements, whose were better finished, that the finishing was more of an issue for accuracy and efficiency many years ago, but today its more a thing of beauty. I buy what I like, I expect it to be well made and keep good time. The finish, and what is acceptable depends on the price and what I want. I don't need Lange decorations on a diving watch. I do expect a higher quality finish on a higher priced, high end dress watch. In the end, will the difference between the finish of a Patek movement vs a VC movement, or a FPJ movement be something I can detect from wear or will it take away from my enjoyment of a watch I like, absolutely not.

    I agree with much of what you said in several of your posts, but the statement that I think was your best and something I think most of us here try to follow was when you said, "Basically, what I'm saying is that it's ok to buy a watch simply because something about it excites you."

    Anyway, welcome to the thread!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
    6 people like this.
  8. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    @Dino944 , that's a fantastic post and a cogent rebuttal of my own comments. I'm not going to bother with Foo any more, but your opinion I respect.

    At some point I will get off my bum and post some pics and words about my own collection. But not now - there's this annoying distraction called "making a living" that's about to get in the way.

    Cheers!
     
  9. Mr. Moo

    Mr. Moo Senior member

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    Great post, Dino.

    Don't sell Foo short, Coxsackie. He may be bristly but he does know a good deal about watches.

    Though... he did buy a PAM372 for "purposes of appreciation in value" I believe... could be wrong.

    Still have the 372 and that nice gold Tank, Foo? Any new pieces since then?
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    "Bristly"? Nah. Boorish and uncouth. Plenty of people know a lot about watches, but only some of them are gentlemen.

    Anyway it's no longer any concern of mine, as he's blocked. And he's welcome to block me too, if he prefers.

    Let's move on and talk about watches some.
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I didn't buy the Panerai for value appreciation. I wanted an archetypical model, and the 372 is almost dead-on for the original 6152. Also, as it was about to be discontinued, it was my last chance to buy one new.

    Both that watch and the Tank are gone. Both great watches--the Tank in particular. Set my sights on another target. We'll see if it works out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Great post, Dino. I couldn't agree more.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    As a watch noob making tentative steps in the thread, I disagree. Examples:

    On the face side, I think the Urushi lacquer collection (SARX029 and the like) and to a lesser extent the enamel dials (SARD007, SRQ019) are both original and uniquely Japanese in spirit. I personally like them but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and/or dependent on many other variables (culture, personal history, zeitgeist...). My favourite car brand is Morgan and I don't know many others who agree...

    On the general innovation side, Seiko Tunas were the first deep divers without helium release valves after 7 years of R&D (https://monochrome-watches.com/history-seiko-tuna-dive-watch/).

    On the finishing/ultra high end side, I don't really want to step into a discussion where my knowledge and experience is really quite far behind some of the posters here, but at the very least I'd put forward the Credor Eichis (https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/with-the-seiko-eichi-ii-versus-dufour-and-ferrier).

    As for Pateks (I know the discussion is coming to a close) this is an interesting argument for why they are likely to retain or gain value for a long time: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2011/11/luxury_branding_the_future_lea.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  14. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    No disagreement from me about those Seiko examples; that's exactly why I qualified my statement with "generally". A few other old-school professional diver's models such as the 6215 and 6105 are noteworthy, too. Like I said, they do make good watches, and not all of them are semi-plagiarized or wacky-looking.
    ;)

    As for Patek, thanks for the article; that was an entertaining and accurate read. I've said before that Patek has brazenly appropriated the De Beers "A Diamond is Forever" campaign, which turned a niche luxury product into a must-have for aspirational types. They've even apparently hijacked the photographer:

    [​IMG]

    Personally, I find Patek's ads to be shamelessly manipulative, but I suppose that's the whole point.

    Perceptive and incisive though it is, however, the article doesn’t address their strategy of driving up auction prices by bidding on their own pieces. It's a powerful (and unethical, in my opinion) way to convince buyers that it's not totally irresponsible to blow the college fund on a fragile white elephant; after all, it's a surefire investment! :fonz: In my experience, sales staff are typically quite keen to impress this point on prospective owners.

    Given the legitimate rarity of good examples of Patek's truly collectible pieces, inflating auction prices has been effective in creating this perception. But there's no way that they'll be able to buy up all the untouched modern stuff sitting around in safes (presumably as investments) these days. There will be some spooked owners if those start entering the secondary market in bigger numbers. And regardless of how one feels about their finishing, there's no doubt that the visual design quality has taken a nosedive in many cases; these are no longer watches that will age gracefully as a rule. Credulous new buyers might not notice these things, but the serious collectors who influence secondary market valuation tend to. Just consider how much small dial variations can affect pricing.

    And just wait until some of these aspirational new owners get the bill after waiting around half a year or more for service on a basic modern piece. Or even worse, a basic older piece; a simple time-only pocket watch that a client brought to the local watchmaker got a 140,000 NOK (over €15,000) take-it-or-leave–it service estimate from Patek, which is far more than its market value. Of course they’ll service anything they’ve ever made when they’re charging that kind of money for it.

    No doubt that Patek's brand is strong, but they'd better make sure that the watches live up to the hype if they want to maintain their reputation for the long haul. Right now, they appear to be extremely complacent.

    Thanks again for the article; there was a lot of substance there and I genuinely enjoyed reading it. You may appreciate this slightly-more-cynical take on the campaign: The Toast — Women About to Commit Murder in Patek Ads

    Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about being a "watch noob"; forums are full of folks with mega post counts who still don't know shit about shit. In fact, racking up tons of posts is often a sign of spending too much time typing and not enough time reading. It's much more worthwhile to have discussions with people who actually listen.

    And it certainly beats:
    "I've pretended to listen to what you're saying just enough to misrepresent it, and now you're going to hear what I want to tell you, because I'm as stubborn as an old donkey."
    :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  15. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    @Belligero The women in these ads look like Cersei...

    I thought this one was the topper: https://www.quora.com/Why-would-anyone-buy-a-Rolex-watch/answer/Suzanne-Sadedin and a bit of a cold shower for me on first reading.

    My explanation for the lack of warmth towards Seiko is basically that they are too cheap. A large part of the value of a Patek - which you call a bug, and that I'd call a feature - is their commitment to keep prices high, whether by limiting supply, bidding up second hand stock or ensuring certain quality standards. Mind you, it's just one of several variables driving demand, and demand for high end Seikos is high enough. But not as high as for Pateks.

    The intangible part of the price is very real as outlined in the Quora answer. You need the thing to be expensive and scarce so that it can act as a signal.

    The back story is just there so as to present a placeholder for the intangible value. Did you know they bend the leather around a Bentley's driving wheel with a silver spoon, by hand? You are shown this when you tour the factory as a prospective Bentley owner, at least so I was told as an engineering student. It's a rebadged VW Phaeton, or at least used to be, at several times the cost, but, silver spoon, leather. Note - this is NOT a criticism, merely an observation - one variable amongst many. Intangible value exists because we want it to exist. Brands pay money to create the idea of intangible value around certain products because we pay them to do so, because there is genuine social demand for status symbols just as there is genuine demand for the virtual yet very real value of money. You can't eat coins, and a Rolex is "worse" engineering-wise than a G-Shock, both at telling the time and surviving a few years without maintenance. So why do both exist? There is demand for a store of value independent of its intrinsic qualities and there is demand for status symbols (relatively) independent of their utility. Enter Patek, Rolex and LVMH, pragmatic sellers of dreams.

    Where it gets interesting is how conspicuous consumption is a status marker in some parts of the world and a marker of low status in others, where culture (i.e. scarce access to a certain type of education - cue Yes Minister's "he wouldn't know, he went to the LSE") is the real signal because access to this education is correlated with belonging to the social class that runs the country, and you cannot easily acquire it ex-post. Yuri Modin, who handled the Cambridge Spies and headed Active Measures, even claims that Cairncross defected because of the heavy social pressure he was being subjected to within the British intelligence establishment for his social background and accent; ironically considering their political leanings, he never really meshed with the Four for the same reason. On the other hand: https://www.quora.com/What-does-the...ook-like-in-your-culture/answer/Feifei-Wang-6

    I'm trying to wrap my head around these ideas at the moment to factor intangibles into my business. We like our design - it's sparse, clean, very fast, utilitarian, and all the friends we showed it to - usually CEOs of tech startups, with a technical background - also like it. Then we showed it to our wives and their friends (closer to the target demo)... ouch. Intangibles. They literally won't trust the site because, for example, we don't use a custom font (shaves a few ms off the page load time if you use the browser's default). I need a theory of intangible.
     
    2 people like this.
  16. Akeem

    Akeem Senior member

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    I love the 372 for the same reason. But are you sure it's discontinued? The dealers have not mentioned anything of the sort to me.
     
  17. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    As an ex Phaeton owner I understand your comment crdb but even VW did the the same if you went to the transparent factory as I did to see my Phaeton during production and press the button to bring the body and engine together. All very seductive.
     
  18. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    The ad campaign ("You never actually own a Patek Phillippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.") is brilliant. I am skeptical that is going to continue to work. Look at the wrists of millenials today. Your son either is going to wear the latest iWatch, or is not going to wear a watch at all.
     
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  19. Winot

    Winot Senior member

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    It's not about actually passing the watch on though. It's about giving the present generation a warm feeling that their expensive purchase isn't solely a selfish act.
     
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  20. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    Damn, that's service. Which country was that in?

    I think the core difference is that the VW special projects like the Phaeton and Veyron are loss making (adding value to VW in other ways, mostly free headlines and perception of engineering excellence, like F1), whilst Bentley relies on the intangible value to make its margins work even with low volume.
     

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