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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. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Thanks, Dino!

    You're absolutely right; the dial is the core visual element in a wristwatch, and one in which every detail counts, regardless of the style. While some manufacturers seem to be content to settle for less-refined execution these days — hey, people still buy them, right? — just consider the influence that small differences on the dial can have on the future desirability. A different colour of printing, the addition/deletion of an item, or subtle changes in arrangement can affect valuation by multiples.

    Not everyone notices or cares about this stuff, but some certainly do, and it really shows in the prices!


    Agreed about the 5170; more details below.

    I like the newer power-reserve Datograph with the baton markers very much. It’s regrettable that they increased the size, though I’d still very gladly wear it. Regarding the original Datograph with the Romans and Arabics, although it’s not my favourite combination either, it’s done competently and beautifully, so I consider it more a matter of taste than something that calls the basic design literacy of the maker into question. But yes, there’s a lot going on with that watch — again, not that I wouldn’t love to have one!

    (Maintaining one, on the other hand… oy!)




    Aye, Kap’n! Thanks, glad to hear that the discussion is appreciated.

    To be brutally honest, most specific watches don’t interest me enough to bother commenting on — I figure the industry is about 90% BS — but I do enjoy a more abstract and broader discussion of design principles. I suppose the reason I’m so picky about this stuff is because of what a watch represents to me both technically and aesthetically. It’s a tangible form of an idea as much as it is a machine, and there’s enough choice out there that there’s no need to settle for a compromise.

    Also, a watch is generally the only item on my body with any visible lettering, so I find it very difficult to overlook flaws in such a thing.


    Yes, this definitely constitutes nerding out... and I love it too!




    Skål, Anders! :cheers:

    I’m with you on the chronograph vs. calendar thing. For me, the function and look of a chrono is just so much more interactive and useful than something that only moves once a day and that you only get to play with when it needs correction. I’m infantile like that. :embar:

    A calendar plus a chronograph, with moon phase, please... that's generally impossible not to like.



    About that 5170, you probably don’t want to know what I think ;), but here goes...

    It’s a mostly-beautiful watch in either version; I also prefer the Breguet numerals on the white gold version to the skinny Romans on the yellow gold, though either obviously constitutes a top chronograph. Patek’s current manual chrono movement is the epitome of the classic horizontally-coupled column-wheel style.

    And they certainly picked some lovely dials from their 1463 model as templates for the new ones...

    Breguet-numeral 1463:
    [​IMG]
    hat tip to Christie's via Perpetuelle

    Roman-numeral and baton-marker 1463, with doctor's pulsometer (as seen in 5170):
    [​IMG]
    hat tip to Hodinkee

    5170J and 5170G:
    [​IMG]
    hat tip to Perpetuelle

    Unfortunately, the modern version doesn’t do much for me.

    It seems a bit uninspired, and it’s largely because of the pulsometer. They had a lovely watch apart from this logarithmic scale, which is charmless and sterile on the new version. Leaving aside the inexplicable selection of Arial for all the numbering except the 3, as the impropriety of its use has already been amply covered, this element just doesn’t blend in. It didn’t have to be a direct copy of the gorgeous old hand-lettered version — there are ways to impart a modern and machine-finished look if that’s what they were going for — but the new one just doesn’t fit with the rest of the dial.

    Let's take a closer look:

    [​IMG]
    hat tip to The Prodigal Guide

    Everything else is harmonious and consistent, so a completely mismatched sans-serif (particularly an inherently unattractive one that's absolutely devoid of typographic integrity) is jarring by contrast. As with a few other high-end watches I’ve seen recently, it’s as if the person who did most of the work clocked out before it was finished and left Dwight Schrute in charge of the last bit. What makes it even more confusing is that they went to the effort of altering the “3” instead of just picking a suitable high-quality typeface in the first place. The one they used to write "GRADUE POUR 15 PULSATIONS" would likely have been perfectly suited.

    I just don’t get it.

    P.S.: I realize its inclusion is optional in uppercase, but they really should have have retained the original's accent aigu on "gradué".


    To compare, take a look at the 5950 to see a current chronograph that they’ve done right:

    [​IMG]
    hat tip to perpetuelle

    The 5950 is flawless, which it damn well ought to be for half a million bucks. But their “mere” fifty- or hundred-grand models shouldn’t require excuses, either.

    Honestly, none of the current basic-complication models from Patek does much for me; I used to like the 5130 quite a bit but I’ve lost interest. The aperture-display annual calendar tends not to make for a very good-looking watch — at least not anything they’ve made to date — and the alternate chrono with the minutes and hours on the same axis has yet to be used in a design that’s up to their old-school standards.

    If it seems like I'm being a bit hard on Patek, it's because I am. With their pricing and diamond-cartel-like self-regard, the product has to be beyond reproach. I just don't see it in most of the current range. I've discussed this with others who feel similarly, a few of whom are in a position to buy and who have passed on a modern Patek simply because of not loving the dial.

    Although I lack enough of a self-preservation instinct to get much use out of a Patek Philippe myself, I’d be keen on the 5070 if for some reason I was seriously considering getting one of their chronographs. What are your thoughts on that model, or Lange's newer Datograph?



    In fairness, the 5170 isn’t a mess like the 5140, but they still managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with it. I would have a tough time not seeing it as a flawed imitation of the 1463, despite its excellent movement.

    It's a very nice watch... but if there's any doubt, then there is no doubt.

    :teach:
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    5 people like this.
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    are we still talking about font? :devil:
     
  3. rydenfan

    rydenfan Senior member

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    certainly appears that way
     
  4. tifosi

    tifosi Senior member

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  5. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    The font and face design are surely among the most important things to consider far more important that the colour of the strap.;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
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  6. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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  7. CMT1

    CMT1 Senior member

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    There has been some awesome Patek content these past few weeks. Before the dial and font discussion I would never have seen past my starry-eyed infatuation with these exceptional timepieces to perceive any shortcomings, and now I find myself appraising every watch dial I see. This thread is an amazing resource of perspective and information.

    I thought I'd share this - I decided to hunker down and get my Google Analytics IQ certification, and have been studying for the past few days. Yesterday I went a bit stir crazy and took a few watch shots to give myself a break.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I sorely need the break, but I'm glad to report that I passed the exam this morning. :)

    As always I hope is well, gentlemen.
     
    5 people like this.
  8. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Moderator

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    Fantastic news CM, congrats! Great pics too, recipe for success there! :slayer:
     
  9. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Fantastic share - and pics! Congrats, CMT1!!!
     
  10. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Very nice photos! Congrats on passing your exam! [​IMG]
     
  11. CMT1

    CMT1 Senior member

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    Thanks guys, I'm glad the intensive push paid off. I couldn't be happier to have handled this before the weekend and I'm looking forward to relaxing, and concerning myself with just about anything other than Google Analytics. :slayer:
     
  12. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    So last night I had much fun hanging out with Nicholas Manousos, who brought this fun item with him:

    [​IMG]

    A 3D printed fully functional tourbillon, x1000 its typical size.

    Video on YouTube here:

    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]

    Not just a WIS, the dude actually went to watchmaking school. Also teaches/relays concepts very well. Fun times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    4 people like this.
  13. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    CMT, everything about that post is awesome.
     
  14. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Oh alright. Not in the mood for "toys"? Here's a tourbillon from Bovet that showed up last night. MSRP in the $200Ks.

    [​IMG]

    Hat tip to my Insta friend @horologyandtechnology for the pic.
     
  15. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    need better pic. where is that HD frilly quality?

    also, im kind of a tourb fanboi, but that guy is not doing it for me. : (

    i do like the pocket watch/wrist watch combo they make. that is them right?
     
  16. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Stitchy - yes, that's them (Bovet). Horrible picture quality I know. I'll ask my friend for a better pic.
     
  17. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    I've got to say, and maybe I will catch some flak for this, but Bovet did not impress me in the least. I thought they were egregiously overpriced, hefty, gaudy, hideous things. Not a fran.

    With that said, today I finally had the chance to try out the new C-Dweller. I thought it was absolutely stunning. Definitely my favorite recent Rolex, by a wide margin. I loved it.
     
  18. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Not catching any flak from me. [​IMG]
     
  19. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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  20. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    i find that a lot of the uber high end watches from the smaller specialized boutique brands tend to be that way. for me, what often sets the brands we know and love apart from the rest is simple design aesthetics, and knowing when to restrain.

    its said about public speaking and writing, that often what you dont say is just as important as what you do say. the same holds true for design, in my book.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
    1 person likes this.
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