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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. PapaRubbery

    PapaRubbery Senior member

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    One will probably outlast the other, if german engineering is to believed! Haha

    I definitely want the sapphire back. That's non-negotiable.

    As for getting it engraved on the opposing side to the crown - would a proper high-end watch repairer (not a stall at a mall place) be able to do this, or is this something I would have to send away either to Nomos or someone similar for?

    Cheers for the response, and welcome to SF [​IMG]
     


  2. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    This is a good point, and one that I find interesting when surveying StyleForum.

    When talking about clothing, there's a definite tendency on SF to value or prize small, independent clothing manufacturers over big firms - hence the appeal of places like Vanda in Singapore, Panta, Howard Yount and Yellow Hook in NY and, of course, a whole range of places in various towns and cities in Italy.

    However, when it comes to watches, much of SF has a definite tendency to prefer watch companies that are often owned by large conglomerates such as Swatch, Richemont or LVMH, rather than watches from small, independent ateliers.

    Of course, that is a generalisation, but I nonetheless find it quite striking that a lot of people on SF are willing to go to great lengths to try small, often out of the way places so as to get a jacket, suit or tie and to then proudly show their wares to others on SF (not that there's anything wrong with that - I do it, too!), but then with watches, to stick to brands like Omega, Panerai, JLC, Zenith and so on, which are all owned by one or the other aforementioned conglomerates.
     


  3. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Congrats and wishing you all the best. Sorry but I'm not a fan of engraving watches for any reason. However if you must do it, don't do it on the side of the case. That's a poor choice IMHO. Either have it discreetly done on the case back or I suppose the clasp might work. Although I'd probably prefer an embossed strap, it does the trick without permanently marking the watch case. If the strap wears out, you can order a new one in different color or skins and have those embossed when the time comes. If you must engrave the actual watch I'd contact the manufacturer about it before going aftermarket. Or if you want something unique contact J. C. Randell (sp?). He is highly recommended by JLC and does amazing work...although he is quite pricey. Then again you get what you pay for (don't have someone at the mall do it). Congrats again.
    Everyone is different, so other SFer's preferences may differ greatly. However, I buy watches I like based on movement, originality, design, history (of the company & historical significance in the world of horology). The fact that a larger company owns the brand is not a concern and in many ways is an advantage. It often guarantees parts availability, distribution chains, and that its a brand that will continue to survive, and that one will always be able to get the watch you choose serviced. A friend bought a watch several years ago from a small brand with poor distribution and limited parts availability. He cracked the bezel, and can't get a new bezel. So he is stuck with a damaged watch. In addition, while some independents make many or most parts themselves, some are still dependent on outside sources for various components. A friend who bought a $130,000 tourbillon from a small independent discovered that when he want to have certain things customized. The other issue is resale. If you know it's a keeper, great. However, later on some people, decide to sell or trade watches for a variety of reasons. Watches from major companies tend to be far better known, have a stronger following, good auction histories that can be followed, and much better resale than independents or lesser known brands. I'm even aware of a few watch places that will only buy Patek, Lange, AP, VC, Rolex and Cartier due to their strong customer bases and collectibility. These stores won't even consider anything from Zenith, Blancpain, Omega, Breguet and several other really highly respected brands ( they even told my friend they had no interest in his limited edition platinum JLC Master 8 Day Reserve). I'm sure independents would also be turned away. A preowned Tourbillon from Patek, AP, Lange, or VC will always be worth a lot of money and collectors will chase after them. My friend's $130K Tourbillon from a small independent, I bet would take along time to find a buyer, and struggle to find any one that would would pay more say $35k, because its so obscure, demand is relatively low. The same watch from a well know and respected brand could easily sell fro 2-3 times as much. Independents can be great. They provide interesting concepts, exclusivity, customization, and can make you feel like you really mean something to them. However they often have some serious disadvantages . As for comparing them to preferring clothing from small clothing companies.. That's different in that one rarely considers resale value, service centers or parts for used clothing. If someone likes buying independents that's great, as long as the reconize doing so can have disadvantages. In the end everyone has to decide what will make them happy , whether its a watch from and independent or a watch from a better known company under the umbrella of a bigger company.
     


  4. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    i never NEVER decide what watch i like or dont like based on who owns the company. all the manufactures that we speak off were at one point independents themselves. over the years they were bought out so that their tradition could persevere with capital needed to forge ahead into the future. there is a reason a manufacture gets bought by a conglomerate. consistent production of good looking quality watches with a history.

    i like what i like based on looks and movement, thats it. ownership means nothing to me. happens to be, that many of the watches i like are made by brands that are owned by conglomerates. there are plenty of fine looking indi watches out there, but for me, many of them just seem a tad off in some way in their aesthetic. often a quirk that does not appeal to me. but it has nothing to do with the fact that the brand isnt owned by a conglomerate.

    in other news, i spent the day in NYC and did some watch trying on/oogling. more info and pics tomorrow. :)
     


  5. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    First off, Congrats on your recent engagement! Wonderful that your wife-to-be is acquainted with the tradition of the groom receiving a watch. I was recently in a similar position to yours. I agree with Dino. Get a brand name classic watch (Patek, Lange, AP, VC, Rolex and Cartier). I went Lange. Although, it seems the "Nomos Tangente Glasboden" is not in that price range. You might want to consider pricing up, if possible, or buying an estate piece / used. This is a special item, and you want it to last. I also agree with Dino - Do not alter the case or the buckle with inscriptions. If you must inscribe something, add it to the inner band (that is easily replaceable). Best wishes on your new journey!
     


  6. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    any buying?
     


  7. dlm4114

    dlm4114 Senior member

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    The entry price points for indie ateliers can be pretty high IMO, at least for the ones where you wouldn't have to sacrifice quality relative to the brands you listed. A lot easier to justify taking a bit of a risk with a shirt or a pair of pants, at least for me. I'd love to get into indies down the road though. I think Audemars and Patek are still independently owned, too.
     


  8. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    noap :(
     


  9. PapaRubbery

    PapaRubbery Senior member

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    Embossing the strap does seem a less permanent solution to personalising.

    I know JC Randell - outside of our budget I'm afraid.

    Thanks for the congrats! I'm very lucky!

    Cheers for the congrats. She's wonderful; I'm very happy. She's definitely marrying beneath herself. Her loss! Haha.

    Nomos isn't in the price range of Patek (her old man wears a 20k+ Patek that is lovely, but is waaaay outside of our price range), and for the money, I can't find any minimal dress watches with equally as good movement. Basically Patek, Lange, etc are outside of our price range. We're only young, starting out - not have more than $2k to drop on a watch.

    I'd prefer not to buy used, especially unseen. The second hand watch market in Australia is non-existent compared to the northern hemisphere, which really limits me.

    I know Nomos isn't as big name as the other brands mentioned, but I think it provides a fantastic watch for the price point. I can't find anything similar in design for the money, and I've actually handed it and was very impressed. I tried on other watches of similar style, and didn't think that they commanded the price difference - especially for an entry level dress watch.

    Thanks for the post. Much appreciated!
     


  10. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    As is Rolex, too, interestingly enough.

    I definitely agree that it can be expensive to buy a good "indie" watch, but so also can getting good clothes from a small atelier.

    I know it's a generalisation, but it is nonetheless interesting to see how some on SF fetishize the purchasing of clothing from small, independent ateliers and pay many thousands of dollars for the privilege (plus having to wait for a very long time to receive the clothing, in some cases), but when it comes to watches, they stick firmly to tried-and-true, large and well-known brands.

    Of course, I do understand that watches are not precisely the same as clothes and I certainly take Dino's point that it can be much easier to get parts for watches from large companies, and that resale value is also much more consistent. People are much more likely to resell a watch than a pair of Ambrosi trousers!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013


  11. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Hey guys, recently posted this review over on Watchuseek. Figured I would post it for y'all too if you want to read it! Oh, and it is a review of my Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon.


    Howdy partners! Well, I am now in my sixth month of ownership of my Jaeger LeCoultre MUT Moon [hereafter “Moon”], and I figure it is about time to give you fine ladies and gents my review. My review of the Speedy was well received, and to be honest, it is a fun exercise. Plus, I always appreciate reading all the great posts that you fine folk make on this forum!

    Before I delve into the deets, let me give you some brief ownership history. As it stands now, I own an Orient Mako, a little quartz Bulova, a Seiko 5, an Orange Monster, an Omega Speedmaster, and the Moon. Departed is my Damasko DC56 [which will be repurchased!] and a JLC Master Control [also may be repurchased]. I have had my hands on Rolex, various Omegas, etc., so I like to think that I am fairly qualified in my assessments.

    Enjoy! Also, I apologize in advance for the length!

    Pre-Purchase Expectations:

    As stated above, I used to owned a JLC MC, and I sold that off to fund the Moon. So at the very least I wanted to fill the hole in my collection that was previously filled by the MC. I also wanted something that was brand new. I purchased my MC second hand, and it always bothered me that some of the little nicks in the case were caused by the previous owner. I am insane like that. I wanted a dress watch, but I wanted something that could be dressed down. So, did it accomplish those goals?

    Post-Purchase Pros:

    Timekeeping and Movement:

    The watch keeps great time. Between +0 to +1 seconds a day. No complaints here. Both JLCs I have owned have absolutely killed it when it comes to keeping good time.

    Movement is great. Very nicely decorated for the price point. I wish there was some anglage on the bridges, but for a watch under $10,000, I really cannot complain about the movement and the finishing. The date changes instantaneously at midnight, which I am also a huge sucker for. I think at this price point that is a nice addition.

    [​IMG]http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab60/JoshuaMcd6/P1010674.jpg

    Case:

    The case is legitimately a work of art. It really cannot be described as anything other than a masterpiece. The MUT case is almost painfully elegant. Far and away my favorite part of the watch. The first word that pops into my mind is ‘multifaceted.’

    The angles of the case change from the bezel to the caseback around five times (see ghetto diagram). It is a detail that really pops in person, but is difficult to really identify in pictures. I tried my best though in the following picture!

    [​IMG]

    The lugs are also wonderful. Compared to the fairly angular lines of the case, the lugs smoothly sweep downward in a beautifully organic shape. The lugs are very delicate, and match nicely with the fairly narrow bezel. I would not hesitate to call them sensual, as much as I hate to describe watches as being sensual. Hopefully the lady friend never reads this review! I honestly dare you to find a more attractive case for a dress watch.

    [​IMG]

    Dial:

    What is there to say about the dial? It really is about as perfect as it gets. The only text on the dial is the “JL,” the words “Jaeger-LeCoultre,” and “Automatique.” No frivolous text here. The lower part of the moonphase subdial has a very fine circular guillochage. And the date ring has a nice almost enamel look to it. It looks quite striking adjacent to the sunburst silver dial. Let us also not forget the hands. As usual, the blued second hand is gorgeous, and the brushed / polished dauphine hands are beautiful. Perhaps I would prefer the hands to be a bit thicker, but there is NO DOUBT that it is not painfully elegant as is.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Crown:

    The crown is also beautiful. Very nicely shaped, and very detailed. The crown does have some “con” elements listed below.

    Objectively Beautiful:

    So this is kind of a silly category, but this is the only descriptor I can think of. There are plenty of watches on this forum, and while there are many that I love, there are many that I dislike. There are some like the Milgauss with its lightning bolt hand and green crystal that are quirky, charming, and oh-so intriguing. But while some may love the Milgauss, others may think it is childish, immature, comical. In the same vein, while I really dig Panerai, there is no doubt that it stirs strong emotions. Same thing with my Orange Monster. I have worn it and people have legitimately wondered what on EARTH I had strapped to my wrist.

    On the other hand, this watch… it is absolutely, undeniably, objectively beautiful. I am not saying that it is or should be on everyone’s wish list, but it is a nonconfrontational, elegant, and aesthetically pleasing watch. It is not very quirky, it is very traditional, and it is very well executed. There is no way that someone could look at the Moon and say, “wow, look at that monstrosity.” There may be some who think it is a bit old fogeyish, and I will not deny that. But there is something nice about strapping a watch to your wrist that is not going to be offending anyone. I would feel comfortable wearing it around anyone, anywhere.

    Another plus is that the Moon will likely age well. Here is how I look at it. Right now the Moon is an athletic 21-year-old brunette with beautiful, fair skin, some freckles, and a thin frame. How will she look in 20 years? Who knows! That is one of the beautiful things about life. But all things considered, she has the attributes that would enable her to look more like a Cindy Crawford than a Nicole Kidman (see: Omega Forum). There is a much higher chance that my Moon is going to age better than my Orange Monster. That aspect of the Moon really does appeal to me.

    Strap:

    Strap and deployant are great in my opinion. They both wear very well. I think that the quality of the strap is significantly better than my last JLC. Pics of both included for purpose of comparison.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Post-Purchase Cons:

    Crown:

    This is the one primary issue I have with the watch. The crown is TINY. Like teeny tiny. I know, I know, it is an automatic, and if you wear it enough, this is a non-issue. But still, setting the time is a major pain in the ass. One good thing though is that it only has one position, so at least it has a sturdy feel. But you know, aesthetically, the crown is just a great size. So it is a bit of a trade off.

    Moonphase:

    I know this is a bit nit-picky, but the moonphase appears kind of static. Unlike some ‘super high-end’ watches, the moonphase does not have applied stars, nor is the moon applied. I think that a more textured moonphase disc would be more harmonious with the guillochage on the bottom of the subdial and the sunburst texture of the dial itself. Is this a dealbreaker? Absolutely not. But it is definitely not as dynamic as the moonphases on other timepieces.

    [​IMG]

    Versatility:

    Do not kid yourself. This is not a versatile watch in the least. I know, I know, you do not buy a JLC Master series watch and think that it is going to take you everywhere. But I owned a Master Control for the better part of a year, and I found it to be FAR more versatile. Maybe it was the thicker bezel, maybe the date window, and maybe the Arabic numerals, but that piece was far more successful when it came to versatility. This one feels a little bit awkward when it comes to dressing it down. Of course, I will still wear it with khaki shorts and a polo, but it definitely does not mesh as well.

    In order to wear it casually, I actually switched it to a tan ostrich strap. I really enjoyed wearing it this way, but I recently switched back to the black strap. There is no doubt in my mind that this watch was born to be worn on a black gator strap. I think that a navy gator and a dark brown gator would also be successful, so that will likely be a future purchase. I knicked the lugs a bit trying to change the straps, so I have decided to keep it on the black strap for a while.

    [​IMG]

    “In Between” Comments:

    Just some little asides I thought I would throw in, neither negative nor positive necessarily. First off, the lug width is surprisingly large for a thin, 39mm watch. Lug width is 21mm! For comparison, the JLC MC was 40mm in width, and took a 20mm strap. As I said, this is neither a negative nor a positive. It is just something I was a little bit surprised about. When I first looked at the side profile of the watch, it kind of reminded me of one of my heftier friends wearing a white, spread colored shirt and a bowtie for the first time. He looked dapper, but there was a lot of “empty space,” if you catch my drift. I kind of get the same feel when I look at the side profile of the watch. Fortunately, the empty space here is an absolutely beautiful crocodile strap, which is lovely to look at. This is just something I really did not notice until I wore it for a few days!

    Another thing. There is no lume. Personally, I would be annoyed if there WAS lume on the watch. But I know that for some of you cats that is a deal breaker.

    Another thing I think bears mentioning is that the moonphase and date are set through pushers at ~ 4:00 and 7:00. They are unobtrusive, and they actually look very nice set into the case. In a way it would be nice if the crown had two positions, and rotating the crown clockwise and counter-clockwise set the date and moonphase. In other words, for the watch to function similarly to the FC Slimline Moonphase that just came out. Personally though, I do not mind setting the date and moonphase with pushers. I actually prefer it on this watch, because I would rather not be fiddling with the crown all the time.

    Final Thoughts:

    All in all, I cannot recommend this watch more. It is an absolutely stunningly beautiful JLC. I know that this review was a bit harsh, but I think people need to be fully informed before they make a purchase of this magnitude. If I were to go back in time, I would do it all over again.

    Just one final thought. I have not bonded to this watch as much as I would have hoped yet. With my Speedmaster, I really did bond with it very quickly. But I also think that the Speedy is a much more charming watch. I have not had the chance to really wear the Moon everyday though, although that will be changing soon when I start my new job in September. So I will be sure to keep this thread updated when it comes to describing how I feel about the watch over time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013


  12. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    Rubbery,

    I think maybe some replies have mixed up two different subjects! I don't think anyone is classing Nomos as an obscure independent maker. But in response to your original question, how about this: keep your original strap and clasp in the box, and have your new "testicle owner" (too right) order a custom strap for you. That way she can choose any customisation you want, and you will always have the original watch and strap in unblemished condition. On the other hand, you will also have a strap that is unique to you, perhaps in an unusual colour, leather or stitching, and/or with an engraving on, say, a deployant clasp. And if you get another watch later with the same sized lugs, you can move the strap to that one.

    ScottW,

    That's a great find. I think Dino's arguments about independents are definitely sound, but when you can pick up something like that relatively cheaply, from a company that's now been in business a while, and that uses a lot of generic parts, the risk seems negligible. Anyway, congratulations, I love it.
     


  13. Devoti

    Devoti Well-Known Member

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    Newcomer,

    Nice review, well done. We need more like this.

    Cheers
     


  14. mimo

    mimo Pernicious Enabler

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    +1

    A quick phone snap of "Old Faithful"; giving me pleasure today for no particular reason.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013


  15. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    It's simple really.

    Independents mostly fall into 2 distinct categories - breathtakingly expensive unique pieces or recased ebauches. The latter are often in case designs mimicking the successful models released by other established brands.

    The former group precludes most folk for obvious reasons ($$$, or lack thereof), ditto for the latter group (zilch resale value, zilch integrity).

    The ones that don't quite fall into either category - e.g. Nomos for low-mid end, Dornblueth for mid-high end, and Grand Seiko for high end - are more in demand, and rightly so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013


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