1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

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.

Tags:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rnguy001

    rnguy001 Senior member

    Messages:
    1,120
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    As an owner of the 5001 and 5004 models (both 7 day movements) I will say I really love them both. For me they have been very special pieces and I enjoy wearing them immensely. I realize (especially the BP) that they're not for everyone, but personally I think they're great watches and have been everything to me that I hoped they would. (classic, singular pieces in my collection) Admittedly they are NOT accurate at all, and as much as I adore the rest of the watch, there's no hiding that the 7 day movements just don't compare in terms of accuracy to other watches (JLC for example are deadly accurate) That being said, I'm also a big fan of IWC. I'm also a big fan of my JLC NSA and my modern 9300 Omega and my p9000 caliber PAM. I realize that these watches aren't popular with the SF forum, but I enjoy sharing them, and learning about the other brands and watches here. I guess I"m not sure why there's this resentment towards IWC. I understand their current designs and probably their direction as a brand seems to go against their history, but I'm not sure it truly justifies the animosity it sometimes gets. Aside from the huge Hollywood-ish galas, IWC has been great in promoting its watches in general, and yes as polarizing as they can be, I feel they can offer a nice change-up to other more classic models and brands out there. Whether one feels they are over-priced for what they offer is debatable, since hey do sell pretty well in the US and overseas, I do appreciate their role in the watch market as a choice for many watch lovers who appreciate their aesthetic - not good not bad, just IWC. And I agree people should be encouraged to voice their opinions no matter how taboo or harsh it may seem or come across, certainly there are many many guys on here whose knowledge and writing skills blow mine out of the water; but in the end I'm just happy to learn a thing or two here every now and then and contribute when I can. Noob? Maybe. Prick? I highly doubt. I think it's pretty obvious to everyone who the real pricks on the forum can sometimes be.. and I'll leave it at that. Wearing my BP to my friend's post-wedding brunch today. Have to work like mad in the next several days so trying to enjoy what's left of this weekend. [​IMG]
     
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

    Messages:
    68,895
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Charm City
    

    yes. i also think this is a great idea.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  3. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,093
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    

    I agree that Lange and IWC have a different finishing ethos, and understandably so--they are at completely different price points, and Lange is undeniably more interested in that which is whimsical.

    And let me just say, as an initial statement, that I really have not examined an IWC under a loupe. I still think it is difficult to compare finishing techniques on a JLC v. IWC v. GO.

    From what I have gleaned from your post, it seems that you are saying that IWC is an exemplar of the "form follows function" ethos. That it is this ethos that spurs their designs, their movements, and their finishing of those movements. In other words, finish is to be emphasized when relevant, and when relevant, it should be done well. An admirable ideal, to be sure. I think that Rolex is the perfect modern example of this ethos. However, I do not think I would put the Caliber 50010 in the same category as Rolex's 3135 (et alii). I do not really think the "purpose" of the IWC 5001 is to be a sports watch. What is its actual purpose? Is it made to fulfill that purpose?

    The purpose of the 5001 is, I believe, a “deck watch.” The movement in a deck watch was originally designed for accuracy--it is in fact synonymous with chronometry. So what does the watch do to align itself with the purpose of a desk watch?

    (1) 7-Day Power Reserve: I think that this plays well into the deck watch aesthetic. If time is of such importance, it is only logical to create a movement with a power reserve that will be difficult to deplete.
    (2) Legibility: the watch definitely strives for legibility, and I do not think there is any doubt about that.

    But what about accuracy? As other posters have mentioned, the 50010 movement is notorious for its problems with accuracy—I have heard that +10-+20 seconds a day is commonplace. In my mind, this plays directly against your “Germanic” ethos that IWC supposedly strives so hard for.

    Just for kicks, I think the PERFECT ‘case study’ for this is a quick look at the JLC P478B/WSbr (also used by VC; Dufour based his design for the simplicity on it). Specifically, lets look at the Geophysic. The Geophysic was made for scientists, and focused on “extreme precision” and anti-magnetism. The Geophysic had the following characteristics. A precise watch must be regulated, thus there was a large compensated balance, swan neck regulator, and a Breguet end curve spiral. An accurate watch should be set to the second, thus the second hand was hacking. And a precise watch should be readable, thus it had a very clear dial design and central seconds. The watch was always a tool watch though, and the bridges had anglage without any superfluous ornamentation. For example, no cotes de geneve. Why? Geneva stripes are PURELY ornamental.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I guess what I am trying to say, is that what bothers me about IWC is that the form follows function ethos is not necessarily followed up. You say that their ethos is “Germanic,” yet both design-wise and in regards to finishing the watch does not do nearly as much as it could to remain coherent. With such a HUGE movement, why isn’t the balance wheel larger? If you are going to make such a giant movement, do it for a reason!
     
  4. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,093
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    

    Oh I am definitely in the same camp as you--there are several IWCs I would love to pick up, such as the 5001. That is one watch I seriously plan on kopping one day. I also think I would rock the shit out of the Big Pilot!

    I guess my problem is that they are eschewing their history for a different market. I just wish that they continued to make their dressier watches, instead of focusing all of their efforts on the "big watch trend." Why on earth does the Portuguese Hand Wound need to be 44mm?

    [​IMG]

    I just love some of IWC's historical designs, and it makes me sad that they are either getting rid of them or "overly" modernizing them. I just do not want them to deviate from their aesthetic too much. It is just frustrating when you see a company changing before your eyes!
     
  5. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,333
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    You've probably touched upon the the three elements that contribute most to disenchantment with IWC.

    1) Accuracy - for a company that use to pride itself on better-than-chronometer paramaters for accuracy, the performance of recent movements has been disappointing.

    2) For those that were "with" IWC before the current direction shift (my lovely and elegant 3531 would have no place within their current design aesthetic), the change isn't geneally welcomed as a positive.

    3) IWC used to impress as a serious manufacturer dedicated to horological advancment. Now they present as almost frivolous with their endless parade of celebrities, glamour parties and fashion model shots. The focus seems more on branding than upon craftsmanship. It may well prove to be ultimately successful for their bottom line, but has (as you noted) been polarizing.

    All that said, I don't think IWC attracts nearly the flack of some other premium brands. Their watches still have the cool factor. Were I in the market for a big pilot watch, the Big Pilot would be high on the list.
     
  6. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Entertaining.
    [​IMG]
    I find your defense of IWC's interesting in terms of them being as you describe IWC as on a "More serious, engineered approach." IMHO, that might seem more true if their collections had not become more a styling exercise (and a tremendously disappointing one at that in recent years). Not to mention in terms of more serious approach...these guys milk everything they can out of silly looking limited editions....the Prada Edition, the Cousteau, the Boris Becker, etc etc etc.

    I see nothing wrong with more hand workmanship and as you suggest embellishment. In terms of honesty, lets not forget, the less they do to embellish or decorate a movement,the less labor intensive and costly it is for them and the faster they can pump them out.

    As for Lange not being as you say "Honest." Well I suppose from a puritanical view of using only what is necessary in a watch, maybe that makes sense. But at the price range they are competing in, their movements should look beautiful, impressive, and be a distinctive.
    Thanks Stitchy
    +1
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Not at all. Rolex finishing is abysmal. It has improved over the years, but it is not finely executed. Very rough and irregular.


    First of all, accuracy in timing is not the same thing as precision. Accuracy refers to how likely the watch is to keep with actual time. So, if watch gains 5 seconds one day, then loses 5 seconds the next, it can be said to be highly accurate, as it's net gain/loss versus the actual time is zero. However, such a watch would be highly imprecise. A watch that gains 5 seconds regularly everyday is far more precise and more difficult to engineer, even if it is less accurate. Rolex has always prided itself on accuracy. But the reason why other finer, higher-end companies can say they build finer, better movements is because they tend to be more precise.

    That said, you are right: the 50010 movement is not well-regarded for accuracy. But we were talking about finishing quality. Even if a shoe doesn't fit right, we can still judge how well it is finished. So too with watch finishing. Whether you think IWC finishing actually achieves the goals it reflects is a separate issue from how nicely it is done.


    Again, you are confusing engineering with finishing. See above.
     
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    The Portuguese was born as a big watch. At its inception in 1938, it was 42mm. The big watch trend came decades and decades later.
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Again, there is quantity and there is quality. You wrongly assume that more embellishment is necessarily more labor intensive.
     
  10. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

    Messages:
    11,983
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Has anyone dealt with Matthew Bain for vintage / used pieces? References?
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    You aren't getting it. They do things that nobody else does, including those priced above them. The screwed chatons are laughable since they mimmic a method of securing jewels that is no longer necessary and which nobody has used in decades. Why? Because Lange today has no genuine heritage. It is a re-imagined company, like Breguet, trying to draw tenuous connections with a distant past. The original Lange never made wristwatches and went defunct before screwed chatons became obsolete. The blued screws are similarly silly.

    Moreover, the finishing quality is not as good as the likes of Patek. Viewed closely, it is simply not as fine and careful. It is just more flashy. Like an alligator suit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  12. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks Moloch [​IMG]
     
  13. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Are you really going to stand on a "soap box" and say that a more finely decorated movement can be done in less time and is less labor intensive? Spin it any way you want, its not really credible. All of the honestly, sparsely decorated movements don't mean very much when there are serious complaints about accuracy, and when much of their production is a sad styling exercise. I see too many inconsistencies with the brand as a whole to believe in your IWC honesty campaign. Sorry, but I miss the IWC of 10+ years ago.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    NO. Jeezus. How are you getting confused by this? What is more work: a greater amount of poorly executed embellishment, or a lesser amount of better executed embellishment? This is not rocket science and I don't know how to make this more simple to understand.

    Quantity of embellishment and quality of embellishment are separate issues. You are conflating the two.
     
  15. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

    Messages:
    5,093
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    

    :lurk:

    :foo:
     
  16. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Yes, I know Lange, Blancpain, and other companies were closed down for many years and are resurrected brands. I guess I'm not really offended by companies borrowing from their past. It's not something exclusively done by Lange. On some level its a function of marketing adding some romance or flavor to a brand. With the exception of independents that truly have not been around long enough, most companies have gone back to their past with recent creations. Rolex...brought back the Milgauss a few years ago after an absence of 25+ years, Patek's 5070 was based in a design that was decades old, VC has an entire collection called Les Historiques, and IWC's Portuguese, Ingenieur, and Pilot watches are all based on the past. As for functionality, look at the Big Pilot it has its huge size for legibility and gigantic winding crown for use when you wearing a flight suit and gloves. Interestingly, unlike Breitlings and GMT Masters (both smaller and with normal winding crowns)...I've never seen an actual pilot wearing an IWC BP. In addition, I'd venture to say no BP owners have ever set their watches while wearing gloves to make good use out of that over sized crown. So its mostly an exercise in style not function.

    As for whether Patek's movements are truly superior to Lange's I won't venture there. It seems to be a heated debate between owners of each brand, and I don't own either. I can say a few lucky acquaintances of mine that collect, have owned each, have written articles about watches, and have been to the factories. In summary, they have said their styles are different but among the non-independents they each represent the best of what is available. I take that for what its worth. There are some Pateks I'd prefer over Langes and there are some Langes I'd prefer over Pateks.
     
  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Again, you are missing the point. I don't have a problem with resurrected watch companies. What I'm saying is that the extra embellishment that Lange uses should not be confused for superior finishing. Things like the German silver plates, blued screws, and screwed gold chatons are not commonly used by anybody but Lange. Lange uses them to connect with their pocket watch movements from before the advent of wristwatches (which they never made). Others don't use them because they are outmoded, unnecessary, and were never part of the tradition of making wristwatch movements. As features, they are flashy and easy for a less knowledgeable observer to notice. But they do not reflect better finishing. Patek does not make a lesser finished watch because they neglect to use faux screwed chatons, and neither does IWC.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  18. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

    Messages:
    8,333
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario, CANADA
    This.
     
  19. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I'm not confused. Perhaps you have confused your your opinion/taste, for fact. I understand you believe that Lange's finish is flash, poorly executed, and possible poor quality. Our disagreement is over the decoration of the Lange. You don't like it and find it and find it lacking in honesty, and I disagree with you on the quality of their workmanship. Your question, "What is more work: a greater amount of poorly executed embellishment, or a lesser amount of better executed embellishment?" Only makes sense presuming that I am in agreement with you that its poorly executed. I don't agree with you. If you were in agreement with me, the statement would read more like, "A greater amount of well executed embellishment takes more time than a lesser amount of good embellishment." Adults can disagree. As for IWC's lesser amount of (in your opinion) better executed embellishment, it might have some meaning if the accuracy of the movements were not a problem and they weren't going into styling exercises.

    My intention is not to frustrate you, although based on your condescending tone, I have. I wish you well but I think we will have to agree to disagree.
     
  20. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

    Messages:
    3,662
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    No, I am not missing the point. I get and understand everything you have said. I've never said that Lange was superior to Patek because of its use German silver plates, blued screws, or gold chatons. I see it as a different style and I appreciate that it is different. There are lots of stoic well finished movements from Swiss brands, but I also appreciate that the Langes are different. You and I seem to disagree on the level of quality of the Lange movements...and I can accept that. Personally, I find Patek and Lange on par with each other even if you do not.

    IWC...I think has a variety of issues that has resulted in me no longer desiring to own anything from their current collections.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by