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Dino944

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It might make sense for me to wear my explorer while skiing, but I can't see myself wearing it mountain biking, wake boarding or even mountain climbing, to be honest. If Rolex made a new and interesting watch design, I could consider it, but we all know they won't.

When you partake in this consumerist hobby, you have to decide what you care about and what you don't. It's largely based upon artifice and/or emotions. There is no genuine practical reason to wear a mechanical device. This is the part I struggle with the most. When I look at what's "better", I find I have to draw a pretty narrow set of criteria in order to not throw my hands up at the whole things and question why I even like watches. Everyone has their own set of criteria, and I think that's perfectly ok.

For me - I find that the vast majority of the high end mechanical wristwatch world is ultimately not that interesting because it is based upon a worldview that I largely no longer subscribe to (to the extent I ever did). If you accept that certain elements of traditional watchmaking are requisite or desirable, than you end up defining the solution space. I think that's largely what has happened with most of the traditional watch houses. What I like about RM and others is that they are questioning what that solution space should look like. I don't agree with RM's choices, but I do largely appreciate the approach they're taking - modern technology to solve modern problems, but still requiring mechanical timepieces as the outcome.

Let me give a counter example. We recently talked about the greatest pateks. Some might say that I should aspire to a split seconds chrono PC because they're hard to make and therefor a test of a watchmaker's skill. Lange might say the same about their triple split. But in both cases the desirability of the product is largely based on the implicit understanding that they are hard to do. If swatch came out with a super simple mechanical version of one of those designs, they would no longer have the same level of interest. I appreciate the challenge involved in designing and constructing those pieces right now but feel that they are only compelling solutions to a problem if you accept Patek/Lange/traditional watchmaking definitions of the problem itself.

RM is interesting to me because they identified a "problem" that I care more about. They obviously still face the same challenge that all mechanical watches face - my $150 solar g shock does it better and is actually built with modern technology.
After reading your post, it seems like you wouldn't wear your Explorer to go mountain biking, wake boarding, or mountain climbing (one of the things that made the Explorer famous), because it's not interesting or a new enough design. But I'm not sure what problems a new design would actually solve for you as you go mountain biking or mountain climbing?

Sure, many people, myself included probably consider traditional criteria when evaluating a watch. Design, workmanship, functions/purpose (if it is a diving watch, GMT, chronograph etc), history, etc. I probably consider standard old school ideas as a way a measure a watch against competitors just as I would use certain criteria if comparing suit brands, or other items.

I guess I look at RM and I struggle to see that they solved a problem, beyond you finding them interesting. IMHO, RMs simple time only watch is their best looking watch, most of the others I find relatively gimmicky and unattractive.

Most of my friends think an iphone or even apple watch, does the trick and there is little need for a watch (especially an expensive watch) these days. In some ways they are right, but I can still put on a 10+ year old watch and it functions looks great, and still make sense for my purposes. I've gone through several iphones over the years and the old ones are basically useless today.
 

9thsymph

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RM is fashion.

Awesome fashion!

Why isn’t that enough?

But that’s what it is.
 

NakedYoga

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Next step is an initial price quote and confirmation of specifications. Then they provide a mock-up of the watch. You get two rounds of revisions before details are locked in and the price is finalized. You pay half upfront, which is non-refundable, and pay the balance on delivery.

I’ve heard of instances where clients receive sample dial blanks to choose between, but I don’t know if they’re going to do that for me.

Also, fun stuff: the watch gets its own unique reference number.
Sounds like a fun project.
 

TheFoo

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Sounds like a fun project.
The process, details, contemplation, etc. are indeed a lot of the fun. I’ve never been someone able to find much success with instant gratification. The good news is that I spend less this way (well, maybe more in larger but less frequent chunks).
 

UnFacconable

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After reading your post, it seems like you wouldn't wear your Explorer to go mountain biking, wake boarding, or mountain climbing (one of the things that made the Explorer famous), because it's not interesting or a new enough design. But I'm not sure what problems a new design would actually solve for you as you go mountain biking or mountain climbing?

Sure, many people, myself included probably consider traditional criteria when evaluating a watch. Design, workmanship, functions/purpose (if it is a diving watch, GMT, chronograph etc), history, etc. I probably consider standard old school ideas as a way a measure a watch against competitors just as I would use certain criteria if comparing suit brands, or other items.

I guess I look at RM and I struggle to see that they solved a problem, beyond you finding them interesting. IMHO, RMs simple time only watch is their best looking watch, most of the others I find relatively gimmicky and unattractive.
I wouldn't wear my explorer mountain climbing for the same reason that almost no one wears a sub to go diving (@ronscuba). When I say new design, you are probably thinking a typical Rolex in 304 steel with an oyster case and oyster bracelet. I am thinking of something that's actually different but it's preposterous to even discuss since we all know that Rolex isn't interested in making new watches.

For starters, why won't Rolex make a carbon case? RM has carbon cases that weigh just a few grams and also form the baseplate for movements. That's interesting. A small change in lug width, bezel material or whether to polish centerlinks is not compelling to me but that's all Rolex has for us. Apart from incremental improvement to its movements, what's the most interesting thing Rolex has done in the last few decades? Probably ceramic bezels. And ... that's it. I think the Pelagos is more interesting than anything Rolex has done in a long time.

To some extent, discussing my views here is like talking about which bespoke suit is best for playing basketball. It makes sense that most people enjoy mechanical watches in a way that's congruent with the watches being offered by the industry leaders. I am more interested in the mechanical side (but not the traditional hallmarks of movement quality like hand finishing and 18th century complications) than the aesthetic details. I recognize that puts me on an island in this thread.

RM is fashion.

Awesome fashion!

Why isn’t that enough?

But that’s what it is.
That's besides the point I've been making. I don't even like the way RMs look so fashion is not part of the appeal for me at all.

I don't dispute that the vast majority of people buy RM for reasons unrelated to my interest. This thread is primarily jewelry-focused (when people aren't discussing their relationship with their ADs) and I brought this up as an alternate discussion point that I found interesting but obviously it's not resonating with other people.

I think one of the reasons I haven't bought a new mechanical watch in a few years (I think my last purchase was in 2016) is because my interests don't line up that well with what the watch industry is selling. I find RM's product positioning, if not always the end result, to be something I do find interesting.

I have an appreciation for mountain bikes for some of the same reasons and it hasn't escaped me that unlike mountain bikes, mechanical watches really aren't the best tool for any particular job. I still enjoy this thread and reading what you all are talking about even if I don't aspire the own the jewelry that seems to be popular with most watch enthusiasts.

I’m not going to argue. I would, however, ask you to read your own comment a few times and ruminate on it...
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

RJman

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It's 2022, why doesn't Rolex have a new watch line for the X games generation?
INTRODUCING NEW ROLEX XXXTREME, BRAH! POWERED… BY THE BLOCKCHAIN! FORGET COSC! THIS WATCH HAS A DIRECT LINE INTO ROGAN! AND IT’S SUPLEX-PROOF SO YOU CAN GET YOUR BJJ IN! SEE IT ON THE WRISTS OF CONOR MCGREGOR AND GINA CARANO!!! AND IT’S VACCINE PROOF!! NATURAL IMMUNITY BRAH!
I predict the Journe bubble is going to pop particularly spectacularly.
you saying the mania’s… gonna ad-Journe? I’ll show myself out.
Some watches will help you run .000001298 faster, but this mf will save your life in a finely calculated engine burn situation...
What about the Breitling emergency watch? That thing is supposed to be able to save your life!
 

9thsymph

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INTRODUCING NEW ROLEX XXXTREME, BRAH! POWERED… BY THE BLOCKCHAIN! FORGET COSC! THIS WATCH HAS A DIRECT LINE INTO ROGAN! AND IT’S SUPLEX-PROOF SO YOU CAN GET YOUR BJJ IN! SEE IT ON THE WRISTS OF CONOR MCGREGOR AND GINA CARANO!!! AND IT’S VACCINE PROOF!! NATURAL IMMUNITY BRAH!
you saying the mania’s… gonna ad-Journe? I’ll show myself out.

What about the Breitling emergency watch? That thing is supposed to be able to save your life!


Yeah, but Breitling brand identity is gauche as fuck...sometimes death is better than watches unworthy of IG. I mean, IG aside, it’s not an investment piece...have you been paying attention to anything?
 

9thsymph

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Has anybody seen that recent Hodinkee feature with Ben C and Ed Sheeran?

At one point Ed is kind of like “I’m a douche bag and RM is too douchey for me, so...draw your own conclusions...”

Ed is a douche. So, no need to take him too seriously here, but a point is being made...
 

9thsymph

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(Ed is actually really great in the video, but the point remains...)
 

Texasmade

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INTRODUCING NEW ROLEX XXXTREME, BRAH! POWERED… BY THE BLOCKCHAIN! FORGET COSC! THIS WATCH HAS A DIRECT LINE INTO ROGAN! AND IT’S SUPLEX-PROOF SO YOU CAN GET YOUR BJJ IN! SEE IT ON THE WRISTS OF CONOR MCGREGOR AND GINA CARANO!!! AND IT’S VACCINE PROOF!! NATURAL IMMUNITY BRAH!
totally fux bro!
 

bdavro23

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Not commenting on the issue of whether these athletes wear these watches for "performance" or just for money.

I'd like to see Phil Mickelson wear his ubiquitous Cellini during an actual tournament and not only for the cameras when he lifts a trophy.
So, interestingly, Phil wore the same Celini for so many years, in part, because wearing a watch changes the effective swingweight of the clubs. In other words, wearing it/ not wearing it/ wearing a different watch would change how the clubs felt when he swung them. Nothing insurmountable obviously, but creatures of habit, etc.

I think he changed to a newer white gold from the yellow gold one he used to wear fairly recently, but I'm not certain.
 

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