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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.
Definitely the XL
no its not. its not congruent. either you care or you dont, no one will arrest you.
I generally agree with this statement, although you'll want to consider dial design, formality of the strap versus bracelet, the precious metal used to make the watch, the height of the watch (does it slip discreetly into your formal jacket's cuff?) and your own personal preferences.
I like 36mm, and I think this particular watch of mine, for example, straddles the balance between formal wear (business suits, tuxedoes) and casual (weekend wear, shirt/jeans). Indeed, the case size is 36mm!
1. Dial design: the balance of various subdials given the perpetual calendar complication renders it for me quite appealing for formal wear, but the chronograph function gives it a "sporty" edge that goes well with casual wear.
2. Formality of strap versus bracelet: Leather straps are pretty flexible for me, perfectly at home in formal settings but also acceptable for casual wear. This one is in black but I think if it came in brown that might work even better for casual wear - but maybe not for black tie events.
3. Precious metal: This piece is made of platinum, which tends to fly under the radar (which I like). Depending on the finishing some people can't even distinguish it from stainless steel. That gives it the "sporty" edge for me that allows me to wear it with casual stuff - yellow gold might not go as well with ripped jeans. This one (for me) works just fine.
4. Height of the watch: This is where the 13mm height of this 3970P can be hit or miss. It is arguable that the sub-9mm height of the Patek 3940 is better for formal wear. But the extra heft and height delivered by the chrono movement (I have yet to see an "ultra thin chronograph") appeals to me for casual wear, while the watch is just short enough to slip under my (formal) jacket's cuff. Any taller/thicker/meatier and I think I'd be uncomfortable pairing this with formal wear.
5. Personal preference: Hey. At the end of the day the above reasons justify my use of this watch for both formal and casual wear. These are my reasons. It's perfectly fine if you disagree with me and if you think my reasoning is bullsh*t and my sense of style sucks.
I will keep on happily wearing this watch.
Hey, I wear my perpetual calendar chronos with a beat up Uniqlo undershirt (two for $12.99 baby). Can't get more casual than that I suppose, unless I took my shirt off. Standard "Frills shot" (according to Newcomer) below.
I must say, the Omega Speedmaster is the best watch I've seen on a leather strap. it's better than on the OEM stainless steel bracelet. Rolex is just the opposite. It's better on the original braclet than on a nato or leather strap.
This is absolutely madness. I, admire these folks, I do not have that much time on my hands......!
I tried to swing the Frills shot, but unfortunately, I think you have me beat on it
I think you are correct in saying that your 3970P can play in between casual and formal wear. And it is a very interesting observation. The pushers really "casualize" the piece, but by no means would I say that it does not remain, at heart, a dressier watch.
I have been thinking more and more about how complications relate to one another within a watch. I guess when Dino spoke about how he appreciates the history-design interplay (sorry for my crude, crude explanation), it got me thinking about the 'purity' of a watch.
The perpetual calendar chronograph really is fascinating in that respect. It is amazing to think that it measures seconds, minutes, hours, days of the week, days of the month, phases of the moon, months, and the year. It really is a poetic set of complications. Similarly, that is one of the reasons I am very attracted to my MUT Moon. It tracks the days of the month, and the phases of the moon--both complications relate only to the month. In a similar vein, this is what bothers me about watches like the Omega Speedmaster Moonphase, or the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar. In the case of the former, you are pairing arguably the most sedentary and poetic complications with the most erratic. In the case of the latter, you are taking a pilot's watch, which is all about being "of the moment," and placing a complication that is completely irrelevant to its primary purpose.
One of the more interesting watches I have seen as of late has been the Habring2 Foudroyante with Secondes de Mort. What a fascinating combination!
Just a couple of the evening thoughts.
If I bought that PP 3970P I couldn't afford to go to any formal events anymore... It would look great on my wrist as I sit at home eating ramen noodles and watching Wife Swap reruns, though
that sounds just like my retirement plan when i refi my house to buy a high complication PP.
If I catch you at a black tie event and that watch isn't sitting beneath your shirt cuff I will tease you mercilessly Frills. Of course I will then oogle the watch.
Am I only only one who perfers small, simple, "uncomplicated" watches for black tie?
Not at all! The only watch among mine that I ever wear with black tie rig is my Breguet Classique. Time only, small seconds at 6. Hand wound white gold on black croc. Small, simple and elegant. Even then, it feels a little wrong to wear a wristwatch.
If not small, then at least proportionate to the wearer, and not obviously large. I would certainly agree that a slim watch with no extraneous pushers, bezel or other jiggery-pokery, looks more formal. I'd also suggest a black leather or croc strap is most "dressy", or even a steel one. And going further, I don't think gold works with black tie. The black and white minimalism, I think, begs for platinum/white gold/silver. Considering black tie is evening wear, I'd consider a moonphase witty, but really a simple two or three hand Calatrava, Patrimony...maybe an ultra-thin JLC...would be just lovely.
That said, I have none of those, but I haven't been to a black tie do in a while either. I don't drink, and find the sight of inebriated bankers in novelty waistcoats and nylon socks doing the Macarena, quite revolting. But I'll endure one again sooner or later I suppose...
Edit: Just saw Flake's post above. Great minds...
My black tie watch is a gold vintage Ulysse Nardin manual wind. Time only, very thin, 32 or 33mm with a 16 mm strap. Alas it is in Chicago and I'm in Hong Kong or I would post a photo.
Newcomer - I am a big fan of your MUT moon! Congrats again!
There is something to be said about whether aesthetics sing to you or not - and the combination of specific complications is part of this. For several posts, Dino944 stated how the Patek 5059's choice of cutting off the "15" and "17" in the retrograde date function didn't sit well with him visually: I had the same visceral reaction when I saw the 5059, and I really tried to like it as it has great virtues (the officer/hunter's case is to die for). I tried wearing it over and over again (six times) - but at the end it didn't sing to me as "perfect" versus, say, the 3970's overall design and choice of complications.
Similarly, I checked out the 5496P before deciding on the 3970P. This monster retails for $115,000 (still in production!), could probably be acquired for under $100K, and features a slim profile but a larger (for Patek!) case at 39.5mm. It WEARS and LOOKS large, especially on me. And yet...
When I wore it on my wrist a few things bothered me:
1. There it is again, look at how the "15" and "17" are cut off by the leap year window. This is the successor to the 5050, and that feels much more balanced to me. I am sure it is a deliberate design decision to cut the "15" and "17" off because the 5050 is SMALLER at 36mm and yet does NOT cut off the "15" and "17":
2. Check the strange spacing comparison between the "day" window of the 5496 at "9" and the "month" window at "3." For whatever reason the fonts seem differently sized or spaced, so that the "day" fonts are bigger and spaced further apart while the "month" fonts are packed more tightly together. Threw me off a bit.
Check how the 5050's fonts are much more symmetrical.
3. Finally, there just seemed to be a lot of empty space in the 5496's dial. Is it a function of trying to preserve the 5050's "relatively ascetic" look while enlarging the case diameter by 3.5mm? Maybe. Still, it felt too empty. I almost prefer a simple, clean Calatrava face than adding stuff that don't quite mix well and leave me... wanting (to Newcomer's point).
Anyway, these were my niggly thoughts about the 5496P. I'm sure some people love it. If it sings to you, that's fantastic. It's got to feel perfect for you, there must be no tradeoffs, there can't be a single feeling of "man this watch is awesome, but...." ... not at these price points.
What a coincidence, I just refi'd my house.........................................
That's kind of how I keep the calories at a minimum. Wait. Each pack of Ramen has 700 calories and lots of sodium. Well, Nissin's Ramen at least. Beef flavor.
And I like eating two packs at a time...
Oh man. Now I have to rethink this whole ramen diet...
Jacket cuff, jacket cuff, DLJr! See how careful I was in the post above to write "jacket cuff"!
There is totally an argument to be made for small, simple watches for black tie!
I don't know if he watches trailer-park TV, but there is evidence that Frilly has indeed taken steps in that direction. And he's bought three of the damn things. The Daytona appears to have been relegated to "daily ramen beater"...
Bravo to you for wearing a 32 or 33mm piece in this day and age of ever-enlarging watch faces! Love that!
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