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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. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    That's addressed in the Last Psychiatrist article.

    The ads are in the Economist, which is read by people who will be the target demo for Patek in 15-20 years (not the current target demo, who does not impulse-buy a $40,000 watch). They're investing in their future customers and in a way, adding to the intangible value of the signal. If you don't understand why Pateks are worth it, that implies something about your own reading habits and therefore non-belonging to the target demo.

    I've seen it with strategy consultants and suitcases. I have a friend who was at one of the famous ones for a while, and visiting me in Singapore, he spent half an hour in the Tumi store. Half an hour. Bewildering!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  2. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    Dresden
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    You'd think they'd at least assemble the Bentleys in a separate room...
     
  4. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    Great read over the last few pages, guys. I'm not knowledgeable enough to chime in but I enjoy reading these opinionated debate. Clearly, some of you have a lot more hands-on experience and knowledge than I.
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not sure how the cleverness of Patek's marketing campaign indicts the watches. Seems to me if people had real knowledge of declining quality or other issues, they'd be able to speak to specifics.

    There have to be more than three or four people in this thread who actually know about watches . . .
     
  6. cyc wid it

    cyc wid it Senior member

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    I'm pretty happy to not wear a suit every day and would buy a Patek for myself, not for any "signalling" or whatever the hell else. Haven't read the Economist outside of stray articles for years.
     
  7. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    I am guessing that might be a Patek?

    Great discussion, all around. A lot of very interesting points. I think the Foo is correct - the finishing of a movement is not the end-all-be-all. Just as critical is the design of the movement. With that said - and although this is neither here nor there - Lange, although anachronistic to a fault, to some, in my opinion are at the forefront of movement finishing and design. It always impresses me how Lange constantly updates new movements from the ground up for such similar watches. Although I am certain that some of it is mere romanticism, marketing, etc., as a consumer, I feel like Lange seems a bit more willing to go that extra mile. I feel like your money goes just a little bit further with Lange than Patek. But then, a Lange is not a Patek, and similar to Dino, I grew up wanting a Patek, not a Lange.

    With respect to the finishing... I feel like both Lange and Patek are on similar playing fields. Maybe I would give Lange the edge. But Patek is no slouch, still certainly top tier. The differences are more philosophical than anything. The quality of Patek, in my opinion, has not "slipped." However, I do believe that Patek has slipped in design - but only with respect to some of their watches. I like the 5227 (although I think it is egregiously pricey), and I love the 5170 (my favorite Patek in their currently lineup... and maybe the 5712). On the other hand, the 5270 is blah in terms of design, as is the 5146, and so many of Patek's other perpetual calendars and annual calendars. The arial font, the bulge, the cut-out date, scrunchy numbers, subdial location, etc... personally, I prefer the vintage aesthetic. Hell even the 5227 is not as beautiful as some of their previous Calatravas - again, that is just my opinion. I guess, in sum, I do not believe that Patek's modern lineup is very elegant - comparatively speaking, of course.

    I mean, come on, this:

    [​IMG]

    Compared to this:

    [​IMG]

    To me, at least, it is a no-brainer. The vintage variant does not feel like it is a perpetual calendar chronograph. It has an ability to make the display of all that information effortless. You wouldn't even know it was a perpetual calendar chronograph unless you really looked at it. On the other hand, the modern iterations have a feeling like Patek is trying to show the consumer all that the watch can do. It feels less subtle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  8. tigerpac

    tigerpac Senior member

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  9. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I can't think of any Patek that I really want, although I admit I haven't tried very hard and my tastes are more circumscribed than most here. So show me them. Here is what I am interested in:
    1. Elegant dress watch - good for more formal suits. o.k. with black tie if white gold.
    2. All-rounder - very legible, all purpose watch. Should not be super delicate. OK with casual clothes and with suits, even if not perfect if trying to be dressed up. Not interested in Nautilus for this.
    3. Sports watch. Must be highly legible and durable. Nautilus isn't good here, either. Not really that legible. I wonder if Aquanaut is better.
    4. Rugged chronograph. Could wear anytime but the most formal of occasions. I assume this is where Patek shines.
    No day counters, please. Perpetuals, or even annual calendars, which have real date functions are respectable, and even admirable, though I don't really want one.

    p.s., I have something that works for each of these, except I could use a nice white gold dress watch. But from time to time, I think I could replace what I have with something nicer/better. Then I realize there is really no reason to do so.
     
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  10. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Now here is a thoughtful, well-considered perspective. Agree with you for the most part.

    I like Lange very much, but the philosophy behind the brand and design is off-color to me. Don't like the synthetic history and overt grab at superficial symbols of tradition. Can border on pastiche.

    Agree that Patek case and dial design were generally better 10-15 years ago. But quality and caliber design has only marched forward. I would also argue that while Lange certainly puts more emphasis on finishing flourish, Patek movement design and innovation is far ahead, which returns to your point about differing philosophies. Lange will always be tethered to forcing the appearance of tradition in a way that Patek needn't be. This forces compromise in design. The three-quarter plate and screwed chatons are good examples. With modern alloys and techniques, you don't need a three-quarter plate for stability or durability, but it adds thickness and makes the watch harder to service (also, it's less pretty to look at). Screwed chatons take extra effort too, but for what? They aren't needed to secure the jewel bearings anymore. This is ornamentation some might see as "going the extra mile," but I see it as less honest finishing and a diversion of resources. Also, at the complicated end of the spectrum, I think its safe to say Patek is undisputed king.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Dopey, just so happens I was working on a post with current production Pateks I like. May not all fit your specific requirements, but take a look.

    5196
    [​IMG]

    5296
    [​IMG]

    5227
    [​IMG]

    5711
    [​IMG]

    5146
    [​IMG]

    5170
    [​IMG]

    5235
    [​IMG]

    5396
    [​IMG]

    5327
    [​IMG]

    5370
    [​IMG]

    5950
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Quoting and responding to my own post, just because.
    1 - the gold standard for me is that Vacheron ultra thin posted above, in white gold. Does Patek have anything as nice?
    2. This is an open category and maybe Patek has something that I haven't thought of. Lots of room in this category - hard to beat a simple Explorer or Datejust but I wouldn't be surprised if Patek has a nice, legible solid time only that I haven't thought of.
    3. Like the above, Rolex seems to be the best bet here with either an Explorer or no date sub. What does Patek have?
    4. Interested to see what people say. Seems you have the Daytona/Speedy in one corner and something fancier but a little more delicate from Patek in the other.
     
  13. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks. These are the two winners for my interests. The first is good for category 2 - legible all rounder. OK in gold or steel. The chrono is also great (I don't have any interest in the more complex chronos), but, wow - not cheap.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
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  14. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Before getting into all of this, I guess I ought to preface the below. What maddens me about Patek is not that they are not beautiful, well finished, etc. What irritates me is that they just aren't as well designed as they should be for the price that you pay. I can't help that they pay heed to "modern" tastes, often at the expense of design. If you look in their archives, there are just better examples of just about everything in their current lineup. And the fascination with "Arial" font is absurd. Are they doing this with Paint?

    Again, would I kick a Patek out of bed? Hell no. And there are certain models I think are gorgeous. I would sell my liver for the 5170. But their tip-top models fall short in terms of design, and they do so in a manner that is not forgivable to me.

    For example. In my opinion, the 3940 is worlds above the 5396. Better font, subdials look cleaner, etc. Just not sure how you can have this disconnect?

    One of my goals in life is to acquire a Patek at some point. But in my opinion, my $10,000 JLC MUT Moon is more elegant than a $50,000 Patek. There is something deeply, deeply wrong with that.

    5196
    [​IMG]

    5296
    [​IMG]

    5227
    [​IMG]

    I actually quite like the 5196, 5296, and 5227. A bit drab, perhaps. But still nice enough. My favorite of the three is the 5227. That is probably one of my favorite current references.

    5711
    [​IMG]

    I love the 5711. Always have.

    5146
    [​IMG]

    Date window on the 5146 bothers the hell out of me. Not my favorite reference. Annual calendar as well... meh. Stylistically, I don't think it is a very good watch. Feels like it was made for their customers. Everything seems tacked on.

    5170
    [​IMG]

    The Creme de la creme. The 5170 is the best current production Patek. One of the few greats from their current lineup.

    5235
    [​IMG]

    I enjoy the 5235. I think it is neat. Probably wouldn't buy it though.

    5396
    [​IMG]

    The date window on the 5396 is just unnecessary. Not a big fan of the GMT function on this one. Still, not bad. I think that they have done previous iterations (sans date window) that have looked more elegant.

    5327
    [​IMG]

    The font on the 5327 is garbage. The breguet numerals are nice. Hate the date wheel.

    5370
    [​IMG]

    5950
    [​IMG][/quote]

    The 5370 and 5950 are both superb. Some of the best modern references.
     
    2 people like this.
  15. smittycl

    smittycl Senior member

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    Channelling the Watch Snob! I love it! Glashutte Original is reallythat bad? Not so sure. Rolex (I have a Sub date in SS) is fadish and way overpriced. Apparently vintage Rolexes are overpriced as well. Still love it, though.

    Neat forum.
     
  16. DLJr

    DLJr Senior member

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    Not surprising, we have very similar tastes Nuke. The 5146 is just a very unattractive, poorly designed (aesthetically) watch IMO. 5396 and and 5327 (Belli ruined this one for me) are both lacking in dial aesthetics as well.

    That 5170 though, yum.

    That said, I'm a big watch dumb dumb with nothing to really add to the conversation. I'm a watch purchaser, not a collector or trader. My biggest criteria will always be the smile it puts on my face (not that I won't research and over analyze everything else about it too).
     
    3 people like this.
  17. Winot

    Winot Senior member

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    I bought a dress watch earlier in the year. Wanted something slim, gold, no date and ideally no second hand. Was convinced I was going to end up with a Patek - I love the vintage Calatravas. But when it came to it, the older models on sale were too small and I didn't like the UFO-profile of the newer models. Ended up with a Saxonia Thin because I loved the case design.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. marvin100

    marvin100 Senior member

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    " I don't know what the Dad in that picture does for a living, but you can be sure it involves a lot of money and the son will inherit it, along with a boat (below) and the means of production (not pictured)."

    Hahaha The Last Psychiatrist is a treasure. Loved him/her for years. Thanks for the reminder!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  19. crdb

    crdb Senior member

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    Well it does not "indict" the watches. In fact, my point is that signalling has real value even if it is invisible and hard to quantify by outsiders; and that a lot of the Patek value is in these intangibles. As such Patek's marketing enhances the watches.

    You might buy a Patek for at least two reasons. Either you know a lot about watches (as you and others seem to) in which case your watch culture pushes you towards certain brands and models for heritage and/or intrinsic quality considerations (cf your discussion of unnecessary screws, and "declining quality"), or you don't know much about watches but buy the "top one" in the general mindset because you can finally afford it and you have a spot free in your hierarchy of needs for a nice watch. Quick, what's the top sports car brand? Bet its most common colour is red. If you think it's German, I'll grant you that one as well.

    In the second case, Patek's marketing and myth building are relatively important, but another variable is conquering the minds of people like you who are known as topic experts. The non-expert will either know you (maybe a colleague at the bank, a family member, a squash buddy) or read your posts and this will be a major part of the purchasing equation. If this thread agrees that Patek are "the best", then it becomes the best in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy - see Semogue shaving brushes and Meermin shoes.

    I'm curious about your opinion of the Frank Muller Crazy Hours.
     
  20. Best4Best

    Best4Best Well-Known Member

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    I have a Frank Muller crazy hour watch....I love it. Always sparks a conversation. Get the old models, not the new oversized in croc print


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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