The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    I would rather like a base PAM too, but then there are a lot of things I would like...

    Seems to me that the general standard of reason and intellect in TWAT is very respectable. Most of us, I think, are pretty realistic about how big brands work these days, or have always done perhaps: the balance of effort and expenditure between product development, marketing, and servicing existing customers, is a careful one. In various management offices, I'm sure people try to calculate a formula that sets the maximum product profit against the minimum expenditure on service required so as not to put off repeat business or diminish the brand too much. In that equation, sponsoring a James Bond movie and getting X new customers x Y new sales margins per customer, might well give a much bigger figure than spending Z on a new level of service commitment to encourage repeat business.

    The bigger the company, the worse the service is not always true. But the bigger the company, the more they can choose to drive new sales as a priority over serving existing customers. I wrote above about how the Omega mega-agent where I live gave me such a shitty deal on service, while the smaller outfit they succeeded sorted me out in no time. It's just how they have to work. The smaller outfit has lost brands and volume, and needs me to like them because one day I might buy another of their watches if I know they'll look after me. But the bigger one knows that a lot more people have heard of Omega these days who weren't into watches but now recognise the brand, and might choose them over Rolex or a fashion brand where they wouldn't have before. That's cost them, centrally in advertising, and locally in opening very stylish new boutiques in expensive locations. But that will pay. Servicing mimo's cheap, ancient watch won't necessarily make him by another one.

    So we make our choices. Bigger companies are sometimes going to seem indifferent. We need to research who the agents are who give good service where we live - certainly i'd be interested in Rolex knowing their local facilities, but won't touch Glashutte or Blancpain with a shitty stick knowing they their (same as Omega) agents have no real service centre here. And on a broader level, we learn about these stories and experiences from TWAT. Because TWAT never leads us astray and is always wise. If only that had been true in other examples of my past life.

    P.S. What would offend me about the $10k watch, is that I cannot say how it is substantially different from this $1k watch. Never mind the materials; I think there's a point when you buy from a large company that they have to be special enough, and different enough, to justify their marketing-budget-driven premium. And that ain't it. The base PAM might be...
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013


  2. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    I agree. I actually think that the new Panerais coming out are very fairly priced, especially the ones with the same in house movement.
     


  3. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    And again, look at how much they've invested in exclusive boutiques (one just opened where I live), product placement (awful Transporter movies etc.), and generally trying to reach a mass, non-afficionado market.

    That expenditure gets recovered somewhere. It can't all be on volume; some of it has to be in price increases built on a new perceived desirability in the brand. Oh, and another strange dynamic to be balanced: sometimes a brand is more desirable simply because it has risen into a certain price bracket. And if only the "we liked them before they were cool" nerds have ever paid less, you can tell your new customers this is just they way it's meant to be.

    As for Panerai in particular, I think Stitch is right. With a variety of base models going cheaper than the cheapest Rolex or an average Omega, with their styling and individual brand personality, they don't seem like a bad deal at all if you like them.
     


  4. Devoti

    Devoti Well-Known Member

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    I will have to say ceramic is an amazing material and definitely can see reasons why watchmakers are attracted to it. It has excellent machine qualities, it can be harder than steel, excellent abrasion resistance, it's not effected by temperature or humidity, can have very low electrical conductivity and it's non-magnetitc. Sounds like a dream material for a watchmaker but there is a serious degree of different types & level of ceramics. It's a shame the selected ceramic is cracking but I bet after some tweaking they can sort it out. Top ceramics is very expensive.

    As a performance standpoint, ceramic can be very desirable but I'm not sure using ceramic would equate as a luxurious material for a watch but more as a performance material, I think it's safe to say that a $10K watch is a luxury item. Having said that, trying to introduce cutting edge materials is never cheap.

    I totally agree with mimo. A $10k watch should be better on all accounts (looks, performance and quality) compared to a $1K watch but I guess that's very subjective.

    I would hope that manufactuers would immediately warranty the cracked cases as that is far from normal or expected from a watch case.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013


  5. Devoti

    Devoti Well-Known Member

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    I agree Panerai is priced reasonably compared to it competitors.
     


  6. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    I agree with you on warranting cracked cases. In my opinion, this is verging on a defective attribute of a watch, one that frankly could be resolved through litigation. If a car has a manufacturer's defect, or a bag has a defect, normally there is a recourse for that defect. These watches are self-proclaimed tool watches designed for wear in intense environments. The inability of these watches to withstand the abuse that they are advertised to be able to withstand is something of a misrepresentation.
     


  7. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    Ceramic has its virtues. Harder than steel? Yes. More abrasion resistant? Yes. More impact / fracture resistant..... um... did I mention how abrasion resistant it is? [​IMG]
     


  8. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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  9. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    i dont know a ton about the subject, but i dont think ceramic is a great material for cases. i think as accents, like bezels and inserts, and maybe as certain movement parts is where it is best used.

    obviously there are many grades of ceramic but i think it is much harder to work on if anything does happen, if at all, and im not aware of steel cases actually cracking when dropped, like ceramic. ymmv.
     


  10. Devoti

    Devoti Well-Known Member

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    What Wes_SS7 had to go through (imho) is totally unacceptable at customer service standpoint from a respected watch maker. Cracking a case under normal use should be no fault of the owner unless Panerai clearly spells this out while trying to sell the item, that it will easily crack. That gives the potential buyer the option to proceed buying the watch and knows they have to be cautious, then the onus falls on the watch buyer.

    I would think watch companies have to respect the implied public perception and expectations that overwhelmingly watch cases don't crack (crystals yes), so not notifying the customer of this while trying to sell the watch should be considered misconduct/negligence of the watch maker and it's retailer. Then trying to charge the customer $8,700 for replacing the case is simply evil.

    The poor guy is stuck deciding if he should spend another $8k on a watch he can't really wear.
     


  11. Axelman 17

    Axelman 17 Senior member

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    I would kill for a ceramic IWC 3705.
     


  12. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    There are a couple of threads in another watch-related forum discussing the merits (or lack of it) of Patek Philippe cufflinks. Now, I am a big Patek Philippe fan - for their watches. I cannot see myself spending $4,000 to $5,000 on a pair of PP-crafted cufflinks. Just can't. Can I distinguish much better craftsmanship in PP cufflinks versus others made in similar precious metals? No, really hard for me to say. Same reasoning above re: paying a premium for a timepiece that does not seem to be substantially different from cheaper ones.

    Now, I may just be ignorant about the true merits of Patek Philippe cufflinks. If so, I am always open to learning new things.

    I mean, I really have no say in the matter if you want to spend your hard-earned money for a pair of diamond-encrusted Nautilus cufflinks that compliment your 5712, like in the picture below (from PuristSPro).......

    [​IMG]

    But, it's just not for me.

    These $125 cufflinks actually fascinate me a bit more, especially since the movement actually works (I believe), if you wind the "crown":

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013


  13. Hayward

    Hayward Senior member

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    That sort of cross branding is a sure sign of loss of focus.
     


  14. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    i quite like the PP, AP and breguet cufflinks, i have seen.

    id have to be balling pretty hard to get them, but if i was, i would.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013


  15. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Were you referring to my post about Patek Philippe cufflinks? I don't necessarily see it as loss of focus: Patek has been making jewelry to complement their timepieces for more than a hundred years. I can't imagine it constitutes (or that they expect it to become) a significant chunk of their revenue base.

    It's just not for me.
     


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