1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

The Watch Appreciation Thread - Part two (Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre,

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mimo, Feb 12, 2016.

Tags:
  1. crdb

    crdb Senior member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    I should probably point out at this point that Montblanc pens are not particularly liked amongst pen collectors, at least from my brief foray into that world. The reputation is for cheap resins and large mark-ups for the nibs offered, compared to a brand like, say, Omas (and to continue my Japanese tangents, I'd personally prefer a Pilot Namiki). This is unlike Rolex who - presumably, based on serious collector interest today - still produces high quality goods (by the standards the community uses to define "high quality").

    Signalling is always subjective, there is a target in mind and who that target is determines the value of something as a signal.

    What I was hinting at is that if Montblanc as a brand is much better known to, say, your cousins in the Midwest than JLC (like Walmart or Toyota), you'd be better off wearing that if you want them to notice your watch. But the JLC will be more impressive to the middle upper class professionals in international capitals like New York or Tokyo. Similarly, within that set, a Reverso could be seen as common (I definitely think of the IWC Portuguese as the "McKinsey watch", for example) and taste could be signalled by having a limited edition or particularly renowned vintage Patek in which case your target is those with the education and experience to recognise the piece and its importance (based on your posts, you'd be in that set, but I would not).

    To give one last example, in France shortly after the GFC, Sarkozy's electoral strategy of promoting entrepreneurship and business kind of backfired (because now it was all about state intervention and "fixing the economy") and he became victim of a propaganda campaign from his opponents involving...

    [​IMG]
    ("a day a watch")

    I vaguely remember (but can't find it) a clip by the Guignols de l'Info where he was going wild sniffing handfuls of Rolexes. It's amusing that he was branded as "nouveau riche" considering his long bourgeois family history and past as a lawyer (the ultimate middle upper class bourgeoisie of taste), but that's for another discussion; what is important is that at the time in France it was probably not a good idea to rock a Rolex in public and for a while the brand was considered "classless", at least watching it all unfold from thousands of miles away.
     
  2. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

    Messages:
    7,958
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York City, NY, USA
    

    well, if we lump Ralph Lauren in there, it's probably more recognisable than Rolex, but that's Ralph Lauren as a clothe brand vs. Rolex as a watch brand, Montblanc these days seems more like a general luxury brand (outside clothe).
     
  3. Bower

    Bower Senior member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    I agree with Montblanc becoming a more general luxury brand, the same than Cartier
     
  4. Thin White Duke

    Thin White Duke Senior member

    Messages:
    804
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    I like that line by Harrison Ford to Greg Kinnear in the remake of 'Sabrina'. Ford's character, an old money wealthy man with zero interest in the frivolities of name brand items ... "You're standing there in your ... Rolex jacket or whatever"

    Anyone interested in a Mont Blanc watch PM me!
     
  5. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    oops post didn't come out. I'll try later
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  6. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

    Messages:
    2,510
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    

    Never heard that before; can you explain?
     
  7. carlos20co

    carlos20co Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Colima, Mexico
    My first automatic watch

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    3 people like this.
  8. mimo

    mimo Senior member

    Messages:
    7,382
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Interesting thought, as they're all owned by Richemont. All the watch brands in the group (Lange, VC, JLC, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, IWC, Panerai, B&M) live in one division if I understand correctly. But Cartier (who I'm told account for half the whole group's revenue), and Montblanc, don't - even their watch departments. Van Cleef & Arpels, too.

    So it wouldn't surprise me if the driving force behind Montblanc's diversification into watches isn't looking at Cartier as a great model. Dunhill, too - another design brand that went from motoring accessories and saddlery to tobacconist and clothing designer. Even Purdey's - the shotgun maker - have their name on exclusive country clothing these days. So the idea seems pretty sound - to take something with high brand recognition for excellence in one product, and stick its brand on other products to sell to people for whom the brand already represents quality.

    Of course Cartier has been making watches for a century, but that's not the point. They didn't always make iPad covers, but someone might still buy one - if they think Cartier is a brand that promises a good product that they can be proud of. Everyone knows a Montblanc pen, and to most people it represents a very nice one. I can see why people are starting to buy their watches, just like they buy their briefcases, wallets, and will perhaps one day buy their ties and belts and maybe even suits some day.

    I think there's a tendency to be in a bit of an echo chamber talking to people who love watches. Most people who really like watches and are prepared to spend thousands of dollars, think Rolex makes a good watch - and I know there are many here. But of the million watches Rolex makes every year, I'd be surprised if even a single percentage point were sold to "watch buffs". Most people who buy a Rolex do so because the brand is strong and they will be confident that they're getting something special. I'm sure Montblanc know that most of their customers will be people who know nothing about watches, but think the brand represents something similar. And to be fair, even if I don't like the designs, those customers might end up with a decent watch nonetheless - unlike the more cynical offerings under the label of Armani, Ferragamo etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. mimo

    mimo Senior member

    Messages:
    7,382
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    People think of Rolex and Breitling as being worn by obnoxious sales people who got their first big bonus. I think he meant that management consultants buy the IWC when they hit middle management. Funnily enough, the only person I know with a Portuguese is a mid-level guy at PWC...

    But, I love my Rolex, and I'd also love a Portuguese. And I'm not a salesman or a management consultant. I'm a bum. With nice shoes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
  10. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

    Messages:
    3,016
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit-ish
    

    Very cool. I really like that Multifort and don't think I had seen one as a chronograph before.
     
  11. crdb

    crdb Senior member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    I was in the US last year and noticed that the malls have RL stores, usually with a few steep discounts. I'm not up to date on which segment which Ralph Lauren caters to (certainly the polos and T shirts don't seem the same level as RLPL) but the fact is the American middle class has ample access to affordable Ralph Lauren. However, Montblanc does not (AFAIK) sell $20 pens, which may be the difference in brand perception, and the shops are harder to find (usually in airports and the CBD of major cities).

    A parallel might be Volkswagen. You might be telling yourself your Phaeton is basically a Bentley but the public just sees a large Passat (which I think is, to Phaeton drivers, part of the appeal).
     
  12. crdb

    crdb Senior member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    I know quite a few McKinseys, or "ex-McKinsey-ites" or whatever the term is these days, and by far the most common watch I've observed in the EU and APAC is the IWC Portuguese (don't know enough Americans to comment).

    My guess is that it represents a solid but not Rolex-common brand (although I know at least two McKinseys with small steel Rolexes), at a high enough price point to be a good signal (in the middle upper international professional class) for disposable income, whose design is "classic with a twist", and with enough variations that you can pretend to buy something unique and not copy all your colleagues.

    I came to the same conclusions when I started my career when thinking about "what watch I should buy when I have the disposable income for it", so I'm guessing IWC's marketing machine has done some very good work.

    Case in point I was meeting the head of marketing for a travel company and noticed he was wearing the Uniform: IWC Portuguese, white shirt, jeans. Naturally he had worked at McKinsey before. I looked up his Portuguese and it was, as I thought, a limited edition that came out at the time he was at McKinsey.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017
    2 people like this.
  13. dddrees

    dddrees Senior member

    Messages:
    9,161
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    

    Actually since they are owned by Richmount I have little doubts about the watch being decent.
     
  14. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Yes, I am aware Montblanc are not particularly loved or considered special by pen collectors. Although, I have to tell you and I'm not a pen collector, my Dad is, and he was very disappointed with the Omas set he bought about 20 years ago and said he'd never buy another from them. The fountain pen didn't write well skipping at times, the ink didn't flow smoothly He claims he has less expensive pens that write better including several from Montblanc. I think Montblanc pens are sort of like Mercedes...not exotic, not rare, but a decent day to day pen without spending thousands (unless one wants to). My Dad also likes Namiki, Montegrappa, Cartier, and a few other pen makers. He has been collecting pens on and off for better than 40 years.

    Thanks for clarifying what you meant by signalling. I don't wear watches for that purpose, but the idea that some people do is interesting. I wear what I feel like wearing that day, or maybe if I know a friend/fellow collector might appreciate a watch I have, I might wear it the next time I see him so he can check it out...but I wouldn't considering that signaling, as I am intentionally wearing the watch to show to a friend.

    I remember seeing that photo of Sarkozy. Thanks for sharing that example. Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. crdb

    crdb Senior member

    Messages:
    712
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Interesting, thanks for the data point on Omas. I own none of these, seeing as the only writing I do is government forms and the occasional cheque or contract signing (I do have a $1 Chinese copy of a Parker 51 for that). Pelikan, Visconti and Schaeffer are also mentioned by collectors.
     
  16. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Yes, I'm not a pen guy either. I know what I know about them from my Dad. Yes, he has a few Pelikans, Schaeffer, St. Dupont, and a bunch of others that escape me at the moment. About 10 years ago he gave me a pen and pencil set made by Porsche Design, I never used it, and for the life of me I have no idea where I put them. So I just stick with the free pens at work. Besides, with my interests in watches and cars, I don't think my wife wants me getting into another expensive hobby. Cheers!
     
  17. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
    68,895
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Charm City
  18. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

    Messages:
    2,510
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    



    Many thanks - I know quite a few McKinseyites, but I have not seen many wear IWC. Interesting analysis though.
     
  19. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I missed this earlier, and probably just coincidence, but I have a friend who has worked at PWC for nearly 20 years and the first good watch he purchased on his own was a Titanium IWC GST chronograph (same movement as the Portuguese chrono). After a promotion, a few years later he got a JLC Squadro...and then more recently after a big promotion, a JLC Perpetual Calendar in rose gold.
     
  20. carlos20co

    carlos20co Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Location:
    Colima, Mexico

    Thank you, I really loved it since the first time I saw it. It's a really nice watch.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by