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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. ~ B ~

    ~ B ~ Senior member

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    So I was at the launch of the new JLC Geophysic 1958 last night in Singapore - had a great time checking out the watches and catching up with old friends. The new watches are quite pretty - simple and elegant. Although considering they are priced similarly to time-only Reversos in their respective metals, I think I'd still choose a Reverso. The new 1948 is tres chic.

    There was this badass leather bound JLC traveling trunk, which they apparently give you if you buy 3 grand comps (no kidding!). Looked like something Vuitton would have made a century ago.

    Will post some pics when I get them from the camera, but in the meantime here're a couple random shots from my trip to the VC factory in Plan-les-Ouates. You can see the room where they assemble their high complications (they have very cool watchmaking tables that have all sorts of neat gadgetry), and also a shot of the futuristic Piaget factory (taken from inside a car speeding past)


    [​IMG]
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  2. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    exactly this. an 18k case will show those little dings and dents much faster than 14k


    as opposed to their el-cheapo models, lol. :p

    ---

    dino - spot on. most of the older 14k case i see, are indeed pocket watches.
     
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  3. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    LOL my bachelor's degree is in chemistry, but I haven't worked in a lab for years, and never really focused on metallurgy.

    Plus, most of my watches are stainless anyway :embar:
     
  4. 518aata

    518aata Senior member

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    I bought a gold and stainless Datejust in Paris in 1983. All of the middle links were gold, except the two that joined the band to the watch, which were stainless. When I asked the AD why that was, he told me that, while DJs sold in other countries were made of 14kt, the ones sold in France were required (by law!) to be 18kt. So that the French Rolex dealers would not be at a price disadvantage to their competitors in other countries, they saved money by using two stainless links.

    I have no idea whether this was true, but I thought it looked odd. So, about a year later, I ordered two 18kt links and had the two stainless ones replaced. I don't remember the exact figures after these many years, but I do recall that the cost of the two links was about 1/4 the price of the watch!
     
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  5. ~ B ~

    ~ B ~ Senior member

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    lol yeap! I thought that too - for the prices they charge if I was CEO of Lange I would put this badass gold all across their range. That would give their entry-level models a greater competitive edge against their rivals.
     
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  6. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Sorry, never heard of that, nor have I seen it in any Rolex reference books. I've also never seen a tutone Rolex from the late 70s or 80s that had 2 links in steel rather than gold. In addition, I'm not sure how making 2 links in steel would be much savings. The gold links on all tutone watches in the 1980s were hollow, so there really wasn't that much gold being used for 2 links.

    Back in the early 1980s, a tutone Sub or GMT was about $2500 and in steel about $1,350. That was before a discount and back then you could get discounts of 25% on all steel watches. Tutones you could easily get for about 30% off, even in the early 1990s.

    Your story is entertaining, but I'm just not sure how true or accurate it really is. Still entertaining. [​IMG]
     
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  7. cyc wid it

    cyc wid it Senior member

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    I majored in material science and engineering... not that I have any idea about how to solve your challenge frills.
     
  8. qubed

    qubed Well-Known Member

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    So, what would the melt value of a gold Rolex (+bracelet) be these days? platinum?
     
  9. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    With over 150 g of pure Au in an 18K DD II, it would be about seven kilobuxx, and the beastly platinum model contains almost 250 g of pure Pt so the raw metal value would be over thirteen grand at today's price of $1466/oz.
     
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  10. qubed

    qubed Well-Known Member

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    So discounting the actual value of gold, that's a ~20k premium for the new GMT. ouch.
     
  11. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    And double that for the Playtona. My word. But I guess the key word is "differentiation". And the weight of them - wow! You'd certainly know you were wearing it. I kind of like the sound of that - feeling what others can't see.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  12. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    I'm not saying that their premium is proportionate to the input costs, but don't forget that gold and especially platinum are very expensive materials to work with, all things considered. The logistics are much different than cheap materials where the swarf can be scrapped, like stainless steel or titanium. The security measures aren't exactly free, either. Also, platinum is a true bitch to machine; it takes Rolex three times as long to fabricate in that material compared to 18K.

    If you're just considering raw material costs, then they're a raging bargain compared to what some strap watches go for. I absolutely love the Datograph, for example, but with its display back saving further metal, I'd be surprised if the amount of raw platinum used is even 25% of what's in the similarly-priced 116506.

    But then again, you don't exactly buy a precious-metal watch because you're trying to save money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  13. bkotsko

    bkotsko Senior member

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    From a machining standpoint, the precious metals are MUCH easier to machine.
    Au<Pt<SS<Ti
    I know there are different handling requirements, but from a machining and finishing standpoint, I would much rather work with the precious metals.
    edit: The Pt and SS may be close, but are both difficult for different reasons.
     
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  14. Keal19

    Keal19 Senior member

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    deleted
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  15. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Regrets, I should have included "finishing" in that statement. That's what accounts for most of the extra production time with Pt once the basic machining is complete.
     
  16. 518aata

    518aata Senior member

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    I recall paying about $1600 for the two-tone DJ. I don't remember how much less that was than the US price, but it was enough to get me to buy it in Paris.

    As I said, I don't know whether what the dealer told me was BS, but that's what he said. You may choose to believe it or not, as you wish.

    For what it's worth, a quick search came up with this discussion on the NAWCC board about Rolex's selling 14k and 18k in different countries at the same time: http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?71035-Rolex-Datjust-14-or-18K-gold. There's nothing about the mysterious stainless link issue. . . .
     
  17. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Hey NS:

    Thank you very much for the write up! I really appreciate it, it was great seeing all those pictures.

    I particularly liked seeing more pictures of the VC Traditionelle SS in Platinum. What a gorgeous watch! The rose gold variant is definitely still on my radar. Any comments about the weight of the platinum iteration?

    I would love to see the PP museum some day. I am sure it is pretty unbelievable.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to write all of this up.
     
  18. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Well, if you got it in steel and 18 kt vs steel and 14kt, then even if it was the same price you got a good deal as your watch has a higher gold content.

    I have heard lots of salesmen's sales talks, sometimes it is true sometimes it is BS. Its an entertaining story. Whether its true or not makes little difference to me, but again it was entertaining.

    I thought you meant actual links in the bracelet itself were steel, which I had not seen. I did not realize you were speaking of the little attachment piece between the bracelet and the clasp...that I have seen in SS on tutone bracelets of the past.
     
  19. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    I think he meant the end links:

     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  20. hermes man

    hermes man Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    my new Omega Z-33 Spacemaster :slayer:
     
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