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TheFoo

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I read that article and found the following interesting (discussing the evolution of Patek's 3940 over a 20-year period:


I will grant you that it's entirely possible that Patek has chosen modern generic fonts, including the much-reviled Arial, out of some sort of purposeful approach but that doesn't mean people have to like it.



You don't appear to be aware of the arbitrary nature of your commentary. You criticize Lange for its flashy finishing without stopping to acknowledge that in 2021 almost the entirety of finishing, beyond the very basic machining done by the likes of Rolex and ETA, is all for show. Pick your Patek - it doesn't have a better service life or performance than the simplest Rolex coming off the robotic assembly line in 2021. If there is a non-aesthetic benefit to Patek's superior finishing in 2021, I don't think I've heard of it. Of course you can choose to eschew gold chatons, blued screws, etc. in favor of the finishing details you like for whatever reason you like, but that's based on your personal priorities. Yet you continue to stridently argue that Patek's finishing choices are somehow objectively superior to Lange and others.

You talk about Poundbury as if the appropriate reference is Lange, but in reality Poundbury represents all mechanical watches built in the last 50 years. There is no reason in 2021 for anyone to produce a mechanical watch, least of all one with the sort of savoir faire that Patek is so proud of. You are certainly more than welcome to enjoy Patek and to prefer Patek to Lange for all the reasons you do, but don't be surprised if other people disagree with your arbitrarily justified positions and have their own arbitrarily justified positions. I know you will return to your stock response that I'm arguing against discernment and any objective criteria, but that's a weak argument and I think you know that by now.

There are many different paths to watch enthusiasm. Everyone else here is fairly transparent about their preferences but you seem to be alone in arguing that whatever arbitrary preference you seem to have at the moment is somehow objectively superior and beyond dispute. If you were sitting on a 3448, I have no doubt that you would reverse your argument in favor of it over the 5396 and would be telling us all about its superior balance, font style and unobstructed dial elements. You are certainly free to prefer the 5396, but don't call it Patek bashing when everyone else prefers the 3448. It often feels like you're on a HS debate team and feel compelled to argue an arbitrary position to the death. It's cool, you do you. But don't be surprised that it's entirely unconvincing.
There’s just a lot that you don’t understand, which leads you to accuse me of arbitrary opinions.

Rolex finishing is highly functional. Properly finished parts reduce wear, mitigate against corrosion, and increase efficiency and precision. It is not for show. You cannot even see the damned movement in a Rolex.

Lange finishing is not merely “flashy”. What you don’t seem to grasp is that it expresses a falseness relative to their own brand, place in time, and development of the wristwatch that is not true for Rolex, IWC, Patek, Seiko, etc. I have spelled out my critique. It is not dissimilar to a distaste for McMansions. You can like McMansions all you want, and argue it’s all personal preference, but don’t pretend I’ve been vague or unspecific or ungrounded in my position.

As for the 3448–no, not such a huge fan. I would take the 5396 any day from a purely aesthetic perspective. Your assumption that such is disingenuous is exactly that—an assumption. And a boring, pedestrian one at that.

Now, a 2449? That would be a different matter entirely.
 

Drek Galloche

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What? Who said that? All I said was that there is something to be said for aloof/generic font choice, not that anything is more “exclusive” or definitively better versus worse.
So what was the point of juxtaposing Hermes deliberate font and calling it more marketing driven vs. Patek generic font and calling it more aloof if not to compare one against the other? If you have no preference than were you just making random observation on the matter of fonts expressing no preference to either?
Employing generic elements of the design is not aloof it is generic and characterless., imho.
 

TheFoo

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So what was the point of juxtaposing Hermes deliberate font and calling it more marketing driven vs. Patek generic font and calling it more aloof if not to compare one against the other? If you have no preference than were you just making random observation on the matter of fonts expressing no preference to either?
Employing generic elements of the design is not aloof it is generic and characterless., imho.
My point was simple: there is a give and take when carefully designing a highly specific font versus using one that is more universal and off-the-shelf. You are trying to twist/reduce this to a mere matter of better or worse at the expense of nuance and multi-faceted consideration—which, by the way, is the common and typical way that online hobbyists approach watches.
 
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Drek Galloche

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My point was simple: there is a give and take when carefully curating a font versus using one that is more universal and off-the-shelf. You are trying to twist/reduce this to a mere matter of better or worse.
I dont thin choosing generic fonts was a fuck you by Patek. It would have been very cool, but then I would have to dismiss their choice for being delibrate fuck you to other watch brands, and thus marketing driven and not aloof at all.
 

TheFoo

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I dont thin choosing generic fornst was a fuck you by Patek. It would have been very cool, but then I would have to dismiss their choice for being delibrate fuck you to other watch brands, and thus marketing driven and not aloof at all.
Then you don’t get Patek. The company’s entire ethos is a gentle, aristocratic fuck you to everyone else.
 

Drek Galloche

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Then you don’t get Patek. The company’s entire ethos is a gentle gentile, aristocratic fuck you to everyone else.
I think I would have gotten it being from Boston, but I might have grown a thick skin.
 

9thsymph

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I posted an article from A Collected Man on watch typography a few days/weeks ago. Very astute and in-depth observations. One could argue, as another poster suggested, that Patek is purposefully choosing very ubiquitous/anonymous fonts. That means something different today versus 50 years ago. Look at the reverse: where the likes of Lange and Hermes come up with their own custom typography. To me, this ultimately gives the impression of a far more commercial and marketing-driven watch, whatever the other aesthetic good and bad. I’d rather the font choice appear more aloof if that means a watch that isn’t over-slick.

The 3448 in question happens to use font consistent across the logo, date read-out, numerals, etc. However, with most vintage Pateks, you’ll find this is not the case.

Overall, I obviously disagree with a lot of what people have said about modern Patek and the 5396 specifically. Much of the criticism, if I had to guess, is more about taking down Patek and less about anything actually wrong. For example, take “finishing quality”. It is commonly lamented that Patek finishing isn’t what it once was. However, nobody who has ever inspected a 3448 or a Patek of similar vintage could honestly say it is, in the totality, better finished than the company’s current watches. Overall, case, dial, and movement finishing in today’s Pateks is far more refined and precise. Not even debatable. For instance, you might see more evidence of machine marks here and there, but the chamfers are sharper and more consistent. Does that trade-off make for better or worse finishing? Holistically, today’s production looks more refined than the old stuff. No Patek has ever been made that would meet the hand-finishing standards that Dufour employs today.

From a design perspective, I see the 5396 as a nicely executed evolution of the 3448. The read-out of the date is harmonized/improved and the addition of a 24-hour indicator is highly useful.



Picking this back up because I think it’s an interesting topic and I think some of the other responses didn’t trace the connection to watches.

There’s no mystery what I think about this urban development project. And I suspect many others here would agree that a fake town with fake buildings and fake history is not tasteful. However, I rarely see folks apply the same judgment to watches. Why the difference? I don’t really see one.
"Much of the criticism, if I had to guess, is more about taking down Patek and less about anything actually wrong. "

But you posted two Pateks and people admired one, while deriding the other (or at the very least preferred one over the other), sooo...not sure how your take away was about dissing Patek...
 

TheFoo

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"Much of the criticism, if I had to guess, is more about taking down Patek and less about anything actually wrong. "

But you posted two Pateks and people admired one, while deriding the other (or at the very least preferred one over the other), sooo...not sure how your take away was about dissing Patek...
Surely, you don’t need me to spell this out further. We’ll see with your next post.
 

Dino944

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Ah, and this isn’t your first time bashing Patek.

Honestly, I still don’t see how the date window on the 5396 is even a problem compared to those flaws.
If you can see the overlap on the Lange 1 as a possible flaw, but you can't see the obvious blunder in them cutting a date window into the band of the 24 hour counter, then you have an extremely serious case of selective blindness. Ooooh it's a Patek...I own some, so they can do no wrong!

Yes I've criticized Pateks in the past and recently, as I don't love much of what they are producing these days. My favorite recent watch from them is the 5712/A1. I've also liked some Calatravas and complicated pieces of the past. I just like some of their older pieces far more than their current ones. I've criticized AP for making far too many insignificant limited edition Offshores that all look the same except for the color stitching on the straps. I've criticized older RO Jumbos which had unattractive shortened stick markers so that a needless 1/10/15/20 could be put around the dial, or the fit/comfort of some of their older older clasps. I've criticized IWC and VC for the direction in which most of their collections have gone (there's basically nothing I want from IWC these days, and VC - the only one I really like these days in the 1921 American). Cartier, there are some models that do little for me, but they are often pieces that are far less expensive than what it costs to purchase a Patek, AP, VC etc. If looking at higher end mechanical watches from them, my favorites are the CPCP watches. Not to mention, if one really doesn't like the details of their dials, hands, crowns etc. on one of their precious metal watches, one can always commission a watch...AFAIK, you can't do that with 5396.

"I think when people are attacking it for being a critical failure of design, something else is going on." Might be the funniest thing you've said in a while. Something else is going on, like what? A Foo watch thread conspiracy? You posted pix of the 3448 and 5396 as a comparison in design. I'm not sure why you can't accept that more people preferred the design of the 3448. Yes you have now provided an analysis about harmonizing a full date, and being easier to read, etc ...but at the end of the day, it's still to many a less attractive design.
 

9thsymph

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If you can see the overlap on the Lange 1 as a possible flaw, but you can't see the obvious blunder in them cutting a date window into the band of the 24 hour counter, then you have an extremely serious case of selective blindness. Ooooh it's a Patek...I own some, so they can do no wrong!

Yes I've criticized Pateks in the past and recently, as I don't love much of what they are producing these days. My favorite recent watch from them is the 5712/A1. I've also liked some Calatravas and complicated pieces of the past. I just like some of their older pieces far more than their current ones. I've criticized AP for making far too many insignificant limited edition Offshores that all look the same except for the color stitching on the straps. I've criticized older RO Jumbos which had unattractive shortened stick markers so that a needless 1/10/15/20 could be put around the dial, or the fit/comfort of some of their older older clasps. I've criticized IWC and VC for the direction in which most of their collections have gone (there's basically nothing I want from IWC these days, and VC - the only one I really like these days in the 1921 American). Cartier, there are some models that do little for me, but they are often pieces that are far less expensive than what it costs to purchase a Patek, AP, VC etc. If looking at higher end mechanical watches from them, my favorites are the CPCP watches. Not to mention, if one really doesn't like the details of their dials, hands, crowns etc. on one of their precious metal watches, one can always commission a watch...AFAIK, you can't do that with 5396.

"I think when people are attacking it for being a critical failure of design, something else is going on." Might be the funniest thing you've said in a while. Something else is going on, like what? A Foo watch thread conspiracy? You posted pix of the 3448 and 5396 as a comparison in design. I'm not sure why you can't accept that more people preferred the design of the 3448. Yes you have now provided an analysis about harmonizing a full date, and being easier to read, etc ...but at the end of the day, it's still to many a less attractive design.
Exactly. This really isn't difficult.
 

UnFacconable

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There’s just a lot that you don’t understand, which leads you to accuse me of arbitrary opinions.

Rolex finishing is highly functional. Properly finished parts reduce wear, mitigate against corrosion, and increase efficiency and precision. It is not for show. You cannot even see the damned movement in a Rolex.

Lange finishing is not merely “flashy”. What you don’t seem to grasp is that it expresses a falseness relative to their own brand, place in time, and development of the wristwatch that is not true for Rolex, IWC, Patek, Seiko, etc. I have spelled out my critique. It is not dissimilar to a distaste for McMansions. You can like McMansions all you want, and argue it’s all personal preference, but don’t pretend I’ve been vague or unspecific or ungrounded in my position.

As for the 3448–no, not such a huge fan. I would take the 5396 any day from a purely aesthetic perspective. Your assumption that that is disingenuous is exactly that—an assumption. And a boring, pedestrian one at that.

Now, a 2449? That would be a different matter entirely.
I never criticized Rolex finishing so now you are just tilting at windmills. I said that anything beyond the machine-finishing they do is essentially aesthetic and non-functional. It's in the very post you quoted. You can pretend that the reason peoople don't kowtow to your arbitrary yet strongly-held beliefs is because you are so much more knowledgeable but even Philip DuFour who you name-checked sees the beauty in Lange finishing.

Your argument about "falseness" is akin to saying a centuries old architecture firm would get a pass for building a Victorian house in 2021 whereas a modern architect would be execrable. In the real world in 2021, all mechanical wristwatches are anachronistic, whether they are from historic houses like Patek or faux-historic ones like Lange and arguably Breguet. You seem to be arguing that before we can determine whether a home is a mcmansion or a new classic we need to look at the architecture firm's provenance. It's your choice to prefer a Patek based on what you consider to be superior "authenticity" but there is no objective truth there.

Again, I have no quarrel with you preferring the watches you prefer. It doesn't change anyone else's opinions. The 3448 is worth far more than the 5396 and no amount of campaigning by you on an obscure thread is going to change that. Where I, and many others, take issue is with your attempts to pick and choose which "objective" characteristics you happen to believe are paramount at any given time and bludgeon those who disagree with you. Whether you are arguing that multiple Rolexes are each objectively the Rolexiest or whatever other opinions du jour you hold, it would be a lot more genuine if you acknowledged that your preferences are individual and what your reasons are for holding them.

If you came here to say you prefer the 5396 to the 3448 for the reasons you stated (24 hour subdial, windowed date, aloof fonts, whatever) rather than attempting to browbeat other people, no one would be complaining. Lots of people like ugly watches here and rarely piss people off. You manage to piss people off by demanding that everyone bow to your arbitrary conceits.
 

montecristo#2

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I posted an article from A Collected Man on watch typography a few days/weeks ago. Very astute and in-depth observations. One could argue, as another poster suggested, that Patek is purposefully choosing very ubiquitous/anonymous fonts. That means something different today versus 50 years ago. Look at the reverse: where the likes of Lange and Hermes come up with their own custom typography. To me, this ultimately gives the impression of a far more commercial and marketing-driven watch, whatever the other aesthetic good and bad. I’d rather the font choice appear more aloof if that means a watch that isn’t over-slick.
This seems to be an amazing rationalization. Personally I think most Pateks look pretty good. Some are great. But I’m not sure how their relatively lazy font choices are much of a positive versus their more thoughtful competitors. At least they didn’t choose to use Impact as a font, although you probably would have rationalized that as a superior choice in much the same way.
 

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