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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. gopherblue

    gopherblue Senior member

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    It's been too long! Days even!

    [​IMG]

    And...scene.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  2. yongsoo

    yongsoo Member

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    Take a look at Tissot's Le Locle line, here's one meeting your credentials:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. tigerpac

    tigerpac Senior member

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    Far from an expert on either but some thoughts.

    Both seem to be doing some interesting things. Speake Marin making some more affordable pieces with a very distinctive styling that seems to be love or hate. They don't speak (ahem) to me but I can see getting one if you love the look.

    Habring is sort of a cool company. You get a lot of watch cred for the money. Coming from IWC, and working with ALS and the rest of Richemont the man knows fine watchmaking.
    The split chrono is a cool complication that is usually untouchable for people who like their watches to cost less than a lot of cars.

    What you give up is some of the movement finishing, especially a lot of what is done for aesthetics on other brands. That's a personal thing, some people see the finishing as part of the experience and others think it superfluous.


    Which specific models are you thinking about?
     
  4. gopherblue

    gopherblue Senior member

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    ^ Very well-put. I started browsing Habring out of interest, and it seems like great value for money. Niche product, small-scale and limited production.
     
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  5. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Indies offer interesting designs, and with some small companies, there is potential for input from the buyer and some people like that the individual for which the company is often named might work on your watch.

    I admire the work of several independents, but there are also downsides such that I tend to favor larger more recognized brands. With a really small company, depending on how specialized the movement is, parts could become difficult or impossible to obtain if the company goes bankrupt or the main watchmaker/owner dies. If its a very complicated piece, the number of places or people that could service it or make parts for it if necessary is quite limited and the cost would be quite high. Patek, AP, VC have all been around for something roughly 140-260 years depending on the company and they will all work on any watch they have ever made regardless of its age. Its nice to know that if you invest in a high end time piece that the manufacturer will be around to support you with service and parts. Other companies if they are part of larger corporations (Richemont, LVMH, Swatch) have the financial ability to provide long term parts and service availability.

    In addition, with lesser known brands there is often a very low resale value, or they can be impossible to sell, except at a fire sale pricing. I know people here often say one should not worry about resale, but for people who tire of watches quickly and like to try different brands it can be very difficult to unload. One pre-owned watch store in my area won't buy anything unless its from Patek, AP, VC, Lange, Rolex, and Cartier. The owner said, yes there are lots of great brands but the market and interest (at least in my region) is so weak for them that he won't even make a low ball offer on other brands.

    Each buyer has to decide what is right for himself. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  6. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    This.

    A few stats from a not-so-lower-end "independent" - Greubel Forsey.

    They've been around for about 10 years, and produce only around 80-100 watches a year. Keep in mind, these are ultra-complicated quadruple tourbillons or specially commissioned pieces that involve microsculptures, and Stephen Forsey says they've been able to move every single piece they've made every year despite the hefty price tag. Might not be your cup of tea given some of their design choices, but it's someone else's cup of tea.

    So there are close to a thousand GFs out there given their ten year run. And in that time frame they have only seen THREE GFs come back to them for service. One of those included a piece from a collector in HK who just stopped by a pop-up watch workshop that GF organized; the watchmaker had to kind of beg the collector to take the watch in for service as he identified a few potential items of concern after taking a look.

    I'm not sure where the other GFs are kept, if they are even worn, or if they're sitting in vaults somewhere; Stephen Forsey and his team say that they are ready to service any watches sent to them via their dealer network, but they will have to be serviced in Switzerland given the level of complications. And I'm not so sure they are staffed up to handle a "deluge" of GFs to be serviced, if ever that happens.

    Just some anecdotes to support @Dino944 's thoughts above.
     
  7. sepp

    sepp Senior member

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    Very interesting inputs from you guys. [​IMG]

    Like most, I started out with brands that have good resale value like Pams, Rollies, IWCs etc (a very good advise from a veteran collector who told me it will be easier on my wallet once I am ready to move on to others).

    Initially drawn towards Urwerk and FPJ by their radical designs and movements - that was when their pricing was not stratospheric. (Once in awhile I do kick myself for not going in earlier).

    As I learn more (mostly through lurking in watch specific forums) my curiosity extend towards smaller but yet respected indie makers.

    Till todate, yet to own anything from them but as pointed out, the preowned pricing for them is miserable but give a very good opportunity for enthusiasts to pick around. [​IMG]

    I agreed with Speake Marin love/hate reactions - love the Serpentine but others don't really speak to me.

    As for Habring, I believe (if not all) of their movements are modified ones from bigger brands. Perhaps this will mitigate the risk of serviceability in the future?
     
  8. Steel28

    Steel28 Senior member

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    Had to say good bye to my white dial 116520 Daytona last week. Will post some pics of my new incoming Swiss beauty :slayer:
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  9. tigerpac

    tigerpac Senior member

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    It certainly doesn't hurt. I'm not familiar with the exact modifications but in general I would think this would make things a bit easier.

    I've met quite a few watchmakers at various functions and several noted that unless you're dealing with very high, very specific in-house complications, a master watchmaker can way more things than they're often given credit for.

    If you found a breguet pocketwatch that needed restoration you could get it done, it might be expensive but you could get it done. The same should be said about an independant today. The caveat being perhaps if it has a lot of silicon parts those might be hard to replace. This is why several of the current greats including Kari Voutilainen and FP Journe don't use silicon. (Conversely, they might be easy to replace with advancements in production and/or 3d printing)
     
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  10. gopherblue

    gopherblue Senior member

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    Dino's comments are very good ones regarding small independents and service down the road. Rather than quote him (I think he's blocked me for some reason--probably because I call out blatant and incessant navel-gazing by certain others...even as recently as today), I'll build on what he said.

    Assuming that the base movement comes from a larger, well-established brand, yes, there is a likelihood that parts will be available for smaller boutique independents. Additionally, there should be service know-how related to that movement, either from that larger house or from a well-regarded independent watch repairer. However, the risk is that you're assuming the larger brand will allow their folks to service a watch that isn't theirs, even though it may have their movement at its heart. Also, as many of these independent brands use the base movement as a foundation and then heavily modify them, you may find that the resulting movement only shares some DNA with the original movement, and thus many parts or modules may not readily have parts available in the future should the independent maker close up shop.

    That said, some independents are worth that risk, especially if you are buying for love and not investment. Additionally, even if the maker no longer exists, you can always have unique parts repaired/fabricated, but it will be at a very steep price.

    I'm with you, though...I have several watches from major brands, but my real desire is to acquire a couple from independents. Someday an FPJ will be in my sights.

    Post script: As soon as I got done writing this, I saw that @tigerpac beat me to the answer, with a more useful and eloquent response.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  11. tifosi

    tifosi Senior member

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    Yeeesssss!!!!
     
  12. no frills

    no frills Senior member

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    Let's see it!
     
  13. tigerpac

    tigerpac Senior member

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    @gopherblue Oh I don't know about more useful or eloquent but thanks!

    Also, I'd certainly recommend getting an FP Journe!
     
  14. Steel28

    Steel28 Senior member

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    hopefully towards the end of this week!
     
  15. gopherblue

    gopherblue Senior member

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    I should have looked out for you at the Journe event last week. I was the tall guy in the brown SC with a beard and black glasses.
     
  16. troika

    troika Senior member

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    Hanging out this weekend...hoover dam and grand Canyon

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  17. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    I can tell you that there have been a couple sitting in my local AD for a very long time indeed. But it does mean I get to play with them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    But you'd have to be a very particular kind of rich dude to buy one, I think. Either very impulsive and whimsical, or just a long way down your list of desirables.

    My amateur opinion on indies is quite positive, though. Firstly, of course not all indies are small - Rolex, the king of watch brands. Breitling another with big brand presence. But even with smaller ones, I think it's just a matter of balancing your risk - whether depreciation or long-term support - against the price bracket and the enjoyment you'll get from it. I love my Stowa, with an ETA movement that will be supported forever, and a price that makes it easy to digest either way. Troika's Sinn above, is the next step up and I think the same applies. Nomos a bit more expensive, and technically in house, but they don't make particularly complicated watches and cost less than a Tag.

    So what the heck? If you can afford a watch, want to keep it and wear it, and are attracted to a particular maker, then buy it. I can see the residual value issue if you're the kind of person who buys and sells expensive watches. But if you're just collecting a few that you like, I think the fear of depreciation or servicing for your grandchildren is low on the list of priorities: as long as it's not a watch for which you're having to break the bank.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  18. tigerpac

    tigerpac Senior member

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    FP Journe knows how to throw an event! The Jewel Suite in the Palace?! Beautiful. The Elegantes are pretty interesting ladies pieces

    PM'ed you a pic of me with the big guy for next time. Thereby saving the thread a terrible pic :)
     
  19. sepp

    sepp Senior member

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    The complexity of these beauties.

    One can tell time with his mobile phone and one can choose to do it with his GF....those who don't get it, won't. [​IMG]
     
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  20. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    ^^ Quite. For "normal" people, a $100 mechanical Seiko seems like an expensive anachronism (no pun intended...)

    Anyway, another one for the edge of the bell curve:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    I found these things much more awesome in the flesh. But I can't get past the feeling that this second one looks like a cockroach. Freaky.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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