Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
I dunno about yall but I buy from a guy on the corner with a trenchcoat full of great watches
VC makes some great dress watches, but but at this point I think both Patek and AP offer slightly higher quality in finishing and materials.
Overall I think each of the "Big Three" have a strong history for producing watches superb watches and for being creative. Each seems to appeal to a different type of watch afficionado, although there are pieces from each that one can't help but love even if one is a dedicated VC fan, PP fan, or AP fan.
As for brand ambassodors I think they have little meaning, at least to me. Afterall, they are bought an paid for. Its not the same as a celebrity buying a watch using his own money because he really likes it or it meets his needs...at least then it might have some meaning...although I'm not someone that would be motivated to buy a watch, a car or anthying else just because a famous person has one.
In regards to the Daytona, the price for a Zenith can run about the same amount as a new one. I think most would agree the in house movement is technichally better. However I think most who chose the Zenith version tend to believe the dial on this version is more aesthetically pleasing. The seconds sub dial is in a different location and the sub dials on the white face are black instead of silver. The bracelet on the latest version includes the improved clasp and solid end links. I chose the latest version, and have not looked back once.The while dial tends to be easier to read than the black dial version.
I also have a Speedy Pro with a exhibition case back. I often look at the movement of this watch. It simply looks amazing. The Speedy Pro is quite a bit easier to read than the Daytona, and this is due to the contrast of colors on the dial.
Glad you enjoyed my post on AP.
My first good watch was an Omega Seamaster in the 1980s...it was a gift and I was about 12. When I was around 13, I seemed to eat, sleep and dream Rolex. So I convinced my parents to let me cash some bonds from my Bar Mitzvah and I bought an all steel GMT Master with black bezel. I would wear it out to dinner with my parents or at home on the weekend. I didn't start wearing it until I was a junior in high school. Even when I was in school and didn't have money to spend on watches I was still looking at them and collecting catalogs.
I still have many of my old catalogs, and when I was growing up my walls didn't just have car posters on the walls,they had watch advertisements. I would check my parents New York Times Sunday Paper and NYT Magazine for watch advertisements cut them out and put them on my walls. I had ads on my walls from AP, Rolex, Corum, Concord, VC, Patek, Piaget etc. Now I have a bonus room above the garage for my watch reference matterials and I still enjoy going through them when I have some spare time.
dear god thats hardcore
my first watch was a transformers watch. I lost it while playing with it on the toilet bowl. It fell in and i couldnt bring myself to fish it out.
Then i got a mickey mouse watch for my kindergarten graduation. It was mickey on a motorcycle. youd rotate the bezel to reveal the digital time.
then i had a long hiatus--dunno why.
in HS and college I had a citizen eco drive solar powered watch. It was cool. Id love to be able to find it. I stopped wearing it thinking I was being too flashy with it and my oakley sunglasses.
Then i got the MUT moon for my wedding
and the speedy pro for my first kid
I have no idea where to head next, and I think I am craving some sort of direction
The Daytona and the Speedy Pro are both excellent choices, and any of them should provide you with many years of good service and enjoyment. I have owned a few Daytonas both the 16520s with Zenith based movement and the 116520 with in house movement. Each is a great watch, they just depend on your needs and what you want. See my comments below.
I've owned a few 16520 Zenith based Daytonas and inhouse movment 116520 Daytonas. Each has its strong points and both are great watches. I think which is better just depends on a persons taste and use.
The 116520 (inhouse movement)has a longer power reserve, better bracelet, and better clasp. If you are just going to bang around it in as a casual watch, it will certainly do the trick. If you are considering pre-owned there are 2 versions, the early models about year 2000-2004, which I find the least attractive. They had made the luminous markers on the dial wider for better viewing in low light conditions, but they kept the same hands from the prior Daytona model. That is the thin hand model, I find the hands and markers on the dial a bit missmatched on that version. Then from about late 2004 or early 2005 they changed the hands to and made them thicker and I find they look better suited for newer dial with larger hour markers...this is often referred to as the fat hand model. Other differnces between these and the prior model (beyond the movement) are all subdials were shifted upward slightly on the dial and the continuous seconds hand is in the subdial at 6 o'clock. I will say my first which was an early thin hand purchased new, did give me some problems with the chronograph, and it did have to go back under warranty to be repaired. I hadn't worn it in 6 months and when I went to used it when I would engage the chronograph mechanism, the large sweep hand would go around once and the minute counter hand would move in increments of 5 to 10 minutes. I sold this one and bought a fat hands version and had no problems, also never had a problem with any of my Zenith based versions.
The 16520 (Zenith based movement), is a more collectible watch (production numbers I believe were much lower, due to Rolex relying on an outside company for the base movement, and there are several variations). The earliest models had bezels calibrated only to 200 and the word Cosmograph is separated from the Superlative Chronometer writing. These are among the rarest. I believe these also did not have the oyster lock clasp, and the bracelets were complete brushed. There are other variations that come along like the "Patrizzi" dialed Daytonas where the white subdials turned brown with a lot of exposure to sunlight due to a defect in the dial...these are very expensive and sought after by collectors. Then there is the orientation of the 6, 9 and shape of numbers in the subdials. All of these had old style Clamshell bracelets except for the last serial numerbs that start with I believe an "A," which got solid end links. Also, around 1992/93 the clasp became an oyster lock (safety latch clasp). Thats just the "Cliff's Notes" version of variations and why some people collect these and values have gone up roughly 2-3 times the original MSRP in some cases. I wore a 16520 everyday for 5 years, and it was dead on accurate and took whatever punishment I could dish out. Personally, I think they are the better looking of the 2 "modern Daytonas." I think the smaller lum markings on dial and thin hands look better than that of the 116520, and I like that the subdials are symetrically placed on the dial rather than shifted upward, and I like the subdial colors black and white, more than silver...but those are just personal taste. The movment in the Zenith based Daytonas had several changes, the largest being a reduction in beats per hour from 36,600 to 28,800 for better reliability and servicability. There are a bunch of other changes that were made that really make the movement probably the most labor intensive movement in terms of hand workmanship that has come out of Rolex in the last 20 years or that will come out in the future. If someone wants to know those changes let me know, I have a list at home....otherwise no need to get into that right now. Overall, the white dial of either version is easier to read(I've owned both colors), but for some reason I've always favored the black dial. If someone likes the hunt of searching for a watch, then searching for really rare versions it will provide a project as it will probably take some time as many collectors have already snapped them up.
In the end both Daytonas are great. I've enjoyed each them.
Very detailed and informative post, as always. I'll let you guys know which way I eventually go. This feels like a longer term purchase... if this was like some of my recent purchases and trades, the deal would be done by now. But for some reason I can wait. What is this? I seem to have developed patience and a capacity for delaying gratification, haha!
awesome! we are kindred spirits of sorts.
Definitely! Maybe brothers separated at birth (and by about a dozen years).
I've been a regular lurker in this thread for quite a while and I must say the knowledge presented in many people's posts is astounding and so incredibly interesting. This is by far my most frequented thread on SF.
I do have a question for those more knowledgeable on the subject though; I'm aware VC, AP and PP are regarded as the 'Big Three', however having seen ALS' watches I'm curious why it isn't included in this grouping of prestige watch companies. Is ALS regarded as higher or lower on the totem pole than the Big Three? And on the same note, I notice that Breguet is rarely discussed in this thread. Where do they stand among these four other watch companies?
glad you enjoy the thread! its awesome isnt it!!!
ALS is really right up there. iirc as a german company, they were shut down during the second world war and remained so for a while. it was not til many years lather that the brand was revived. i think the term "big 3" is not centuries old, maybe mid last century or so? and i imagine that when it was coined, ALS was not what we know it to be. but i think they are right up there.
brequet, also, were only recently revived by nicholas hayek sr (rip) and and the swatch group. i am not sure id put them in that class though. not sure why either, but they strike me as just slightly below. but i am sure that is arguable. as to why we dont see them so often here. idk. they make some truly fantastic models, and if i had the coin, i would have a few.
hope that helps.
Welcome! I too came out of lurking status only a few weeks ago, after reading this entire thread and learning much. I ended up spending quite a bit of money on some fine watches, but feeling very, very happy every minute of the day that the pieces sit on my wrist. Far happier than when the money was sitting in a brokerage account (and sometimes growing, sometimes not)...
Welcome to the thread. Don't get too hung up on the phrase "The Big Three." There are several really great watches from other brands, in particular AL&S.
I agree largely with what Stitchy has said, and in addition to AL&S being shut down for many years, I was always under the impression that the Big Three was a term coined to describe the top SWISS brands. There were lots of watch companies and small watch makers all over Switzerland in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the quality of the watches, technical innovations, and maybe on some level history of producing top products, led to the belief that the the 3 Swiss Companies producing the very best watches back in the early 20th Century were PP, AP, and VC.
I think Breguet makes some very nice watches, but at times their quality and innovations have been a bit lacking compared to PP, AP and VC. AL&S by many might be considerd a notch above Patek, AP, and VC in terms if finish and quality...but they are German not Swiss, and there were long periods in the 20th century when they were not competitive with the so called Big Three.
Am I wrong or do we see very few Daytonas here?
you are not wrong, but there have been a few. ddd has one i think, a few others. truth be told, there are not a whole lot of watches that more than one or two people here share, and with the relatively small amount of posters here (in comparison to all the high end watches out there and all people in the world that buy high end watches) there are only a limited number of watches that are owned by SFers at all.
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