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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. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Ah, the font.
     
  2. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Incompetent, lazy design is rampant the watch industry, and I think it's going to negatively influence the collectibility of a lot of current watches. Arial is particularly bad in this aspect, as it's the exact typographic equivalent of a fake watch due to its origins.

    My more detailed previous thoughts on the matter:

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/36253/the-watch-appreciation-thread/31800_100#post_7138507
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/36253/the-watch-appreciation-thread/33700_100#post_7257981

    I only say this stuff because I actually do like watches, and it wouldn't be a difficult problem to fix if the companies started to recognize it. :)
     
  3. kimmo

    kimmo Senior member

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    I like the general design of it, now that you pointed out the date window, it looks worse in the steel version than in gold.

    Lots of text on the dial can f**k up a lot of nice watches, that's why I have to see that in person. All the watch pictures are always blown up macro shots and eg text and date windows look much more prominent than in the real world, where the general form and feel is the most important thing.

    Nice to see @Belligero still on form, though!
     
  4. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    The date display just looks lame; they could have made something that had a touch of charm to it but instead it's a dreary, lifeless affair. It's generic — there's no beauty to it.

    Look at what Lange does with theirs:

    [​IMG]
    photo nicked from timeandwatches.com, though I doubt it's their original image

    It's gloriously drawn and distinctively Lange. It helps give the watch its considerable warmth and character, and is most definitely not the same typeface that's on your parking ticket.

    (Coincidentally, JLC is the company that developed Lange's big-date system, but they cheap out and use mundane Times New Roman for its implementations on their own watches, which is one reason I never warmed up to my Reverso GMT.)

    Similarly, Rolex is another watchmaker that doesn't use the default Windows setting, and their signature date wheels are exemplary:

    [​IMG]
    image credit: Solomotos on Relojes-Especiales.com

    [​IMG]
    image credit: *Philip* on VRF

    Thoughtful elements like that are what can elevate a great watch from being another meaningless consumer item to something special — and at this price level, it's all about having something special on the wrist.

    I'm not saying that JLC has to copy what others are doing, but it would be nice if they put some thought into it and came up with something of their own that has a bit of style.

    I know this boring typographical stuff doesn't matter to most people, but to me, a ~$10K watch should be produced to a higher standard than "whatever, man". Collectors are among the ones that certainly do notice these details; look at the changes in valuation that tiny differences such as "fat font" bezel inserts, open vs. closed 6s/9s, or "Submariner" being printed in white vs. red can make.

    Given that it doesn't even cost much to do it with skill and beauty, the only reason I can see for some manufacturers to neglect such a fundamental part of watch design is ignorance — unless they really are that stingy. :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
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  5. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    I see your point regarding the typeface within the window. I misunderstood and thought it was the window itself you had a problem with which to me looks OK though with my eyesight date windows are generally useless.
     
  6. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Indeed, though the window itself is merely uninspired and perhaps slightly awkward, it's not glaringly misplaced — and it could certainly be worse:

    [​IMG]
    image credit: wthejournal.com

    :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  7. Kaplan

    Kaplan Senior member

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    Always interesting to hear your take on fonts and design elements, Belli.

    And while I really like the new RO Jumbo - and I think it does a lot of things right - it's one of the reasons I prefer the original:

    [​IMG]

    That 7 :satisfied:

    (And I'm probably in the minority, but I also much prefer the white date wheel.)

    Do you know which font(s?) are used on the Mk XV?


    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    That's exactly what I'm talking about. Every detail counts on a watch, and you can tell that AP had someone skilled involved with the date wheel. It's completely in keeping with the character of the design, distinctive, and subtly stands out. I like the white date wheel, too; those groovy bespoke numbers are good-looking enough to warrant a bit of highlighting. Great example!

    For the Mark XV, the lettering and numbering appear to be one of the bolder weights of Helvetica (the "R" is a giveaway), the date wheel is whatever ETA supplied (looks like a lighter Helvetica weight), whereas IWC's logo and signature are likely customized or — less likely — a fully bespoke commission.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
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  9. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    @Belligero damn, I thought it was particularly fun (in a good way, as in impressive and interesting) to read your detailed answer to the font comment. To be really honest about it, I never really gave a second thought about the matter, but then again, I never bought a watch that cost more than 1200$ either. When you commit to spend above 5000$ on a timepiece, I guess these are the little details that matter and can either inspire your purchase or completely ruin the appeal for a certain model/line-up!

    From now on, I will try to commit to notice such minute details when I try to understand how I feel and why about certain timepieces!

    [​IMG]

    (the amount of knowledge and nerd-ery in this thread is awesome, by the way!)
     
  10. Dachshund

    Dachshund Senior member

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    I love it when @Belligero goes napalm on a badly chosen watch font.

    "not the same typeface that's on your parking ticket" - [​IMG]

    I'm wearing my Rolex 'old timer' today with dat beautiful 70s date wheel font.
     
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  11. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    Entertaining analogy, but easy to explain. The RO has been around since 1972, and although it took a few years to catch on in popularity, by the 1980's it was already a strong seller for AP, and it eventually had a successful spin off the RO. The Nautilus, although its been around since around 1976/1977, was the "Ugly duckling" in the Patek family, often maligned by Patek collectors as an unattractive, entry level Patek. However, about 12-15 years ago with rumors that Patek wasn't going to produce steel watches and the demise of old Nautilus line along with the 3712 after just a year of production, resulted in speculators going crazy, and interest in and values of these once largely ignored models skyrocketed. So they experienced the transformation to desirable "Beautiful Swan" after more than 20 years of production.

    The VC sport watches are the least well known, because VC just couldn't get their act together when it came to sports watches. They changed direction drastically every 5 -10 years. Here is a list of sports watches offered during roughly the same production period as the Nautilus - the 222 , the Chronometer Royal, the 333, the Phidias, the 1st gen Overseas, and the current Overseas.

    Just a few pix to show what VC offered from the late 70's to present for sport watches.
    The 222

    [​IMG]

    The Chronometer Royal, a bizarre very Nautilus looking design

    [​IMG]

    The 333
    [​IMG]

    The Phidias
    [​IMG]
    then thankfully the first Gen Overseas
    [​IMG]



    Just curious what you heard about VC servicing? I don't think I've heard anything drastically different than say service on Patek or AP. Its more costly than servicing a Rolex, Cartier, or Omega, but the Big Three's points are generally higher for watches and I would expect the same of their service costs.

    Are many of your friends watch people? If not they probably wouldn't easily identify much other than a Rolex. However, if you look above, one of the main reasons Overeas may be less recognized, possibly even by watch collectors is they do not have a history of sport models evolving or existing for long periods. VC has generally scrapped their sport designs and come up with something different every 5 -10 years.

    If you love the current blue Overseas, and prefer buying new, then purchase now while its readily available. If you like it, but you are not sure about it, you can always wait and see if a new model is released for 2016. If you don't like the new model, you can search for a preowned or NOS version of the blue dial Overseas. Good luck with whatever you decide [​IMG]
     
  12. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    I'm pretty much ambivalent these days about the Rolex cyclops, but I do love me some open 6's and 9's.

    Sexay!
     
  13. Winot

    Winot Senior member

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    Did you notice though that the Rolex date wheel in @Belligero's post above has open 6s and 9s except for the 26.

    Sloppy.
     
  14. DLJr

    DLJr Senior member

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    When I was in Denmark last year, I remember being in the lobby of the hotel starting to walk to the bar (with a waiting area between, so I was not very close at first) and I noticed the light coming in to the bar reflect off of a watch. The gentleman wearing it reached for his drink, and it became quite obvious it was a 15400. They are a beautiful watch for sure, but they call a lot of attention to themselves. Obviously what calls attention to it is also what makes it beautiful, not trying to say anything negative, just commenting on how easy they are to spot. His friend, who he was obscuring, was wearing a Rolex Smurf. I was bottom feeding with a Speedy.
     
  15. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    You're right!

    WTF, CROWN?!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  16. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    I love the stylized 7 in the original RO. It seems watches back then be it the RO or the or say a vintage Orange Hand Ex 2, Sub, GMT etc, had more stylized numerals (Love the open 6 on vintage Rolex watches). Perhaps as much as it was a conscious decision to used very stylized numbers, it was also a sign of people's taste be it clothing, hair cuts, cars, or numerals on watches.

    I think the original RO is a fantastic design, and the original Orange Hand Ex2 is a very cool watch. As much as I like the original designs, I think it was the right choice for AP and Rolex not to offer exact replicas of their original RO or Ex2. There is something special about having an original piece from the 1970's and something had to be done to distinguish the ultra rare vintage models from modern pieces. Whether someone has cared for a vintage piece for decades or spends serious $$$$ to buy an original today, it would be a bit unfair to that person if for a fraction of the price for AP or Rolex (or other brands) to offer an exact replica of these now highly sought after rare watches. So giving people something modern and close to the original, but changing details on them preserves what is special and distinct about the originals, while offering others an opportunity to sample a modern version at a more affordable price.
     
  17. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    I suspect the reason the fonts used in the 70's and earlier were more individual, even bespoke, was because computer aided design did not exist then. I remember working in a drawing office on a drawing board on paper (or acrylic) with a pen or pencil. If I go into our drawing office now there is not a pen to be seen and even final designs rarely make it to paper but are spirited around the world electronically.

    Also I believe some of the most objectionable fonts including the knock-off that belligero despises we not even invented then.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
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  18. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    Comic sans, anyone?
     
  19. Keith T

    Keith T Senior member

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    But on a more serious note, and this is not entirely new ground: what's a good example of a modern / current-production watch that is destined for "classic" status in 2050?

    I mean, I love my (newish) Reverso, but it's hardly changed from JLC's initial design many decades ago.

    In other words: where's the "future old money" right now?
     
  20. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    I guess I don't get the whole "They call a lot of attention to themselves." I can understand if you and Tried and True were saying they are more common than sport watches from PP and VC.

    However, calling a lot of attention to themselves or having issues about the light reflecting off some guy"s watch. What watch doesn't reflect light? Almost any modern Rolex would reflect more light with PLCs and polished lugs. But back to offerings of the Big Three - the 15400 has a polished edge around the bezel and some polished beveled edges on the case and bracelet but it is mostly brushed surfaces. It has more brushed surfaces than a Nautilus (which has a thicker polished edge around its bezel, and large polished center links. The Overseas entire top surface of the bezel, case sides, lug sides, and beveled edges of the lugs and bracelet are polished as are the indentations forming the Maltese Cross shape in the bracelet. I would think that a Nautilus or Overseas would reflect at least as much light.

    Calling attention to itself...sounds more like something an individual would do rather than an object, which is entirely possible. I've seen very loud flashy guys who wear super large watches (not even particularly nice watches) occasionally sitting at bars in some hotels or restaurants jangling their watches on bracelets with too many links, and maybe some waitress who likes fashion watches may make a comment...but that is about the guy seeking attention not the watch.

    I always find it interesting to spot a nice watch on someone in the wild. I would have thought most watch guys would be excited to see nice watches in the wild, but somehow now it seems like now its a negative if it can be spotted. [​IMG]
     
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