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      07-24-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
tony20009
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What are your expectations when you buy a watch?

Quite simply, what specific things (tangible and intangible) do you expect to gain in return for the money you spend on a mechanical watch?
  • When you spend $500 or less?
  • When you spend $501 - $3000?
  • When you spend $3001 - $6000?
  • When you spend $6001 - $15,000?
  • When you spend $15K+?
For myself, as goes watch performance I have two types of expectations.

  1. Physical performance -- this is pretty much the same no matter what I pay for a watch. I mostly expect that thing thing won't fall apart in the course of using it. Since I don't live an especially rugged lifestyle, I have no reason to expect that even the cheapest mechanical watch should be unable to meet my expectations. I'm well aware of the stronger and less strong ways to assemble watch components -- screw pins vs. pressure pins to hold bracelet links, for example -- but these days, even the least "tough" of them, when properly executed are more than sufficient.
  2. Timekeeping performance -- I expect 30 seconds per day accuracy from watches costing less than $3000. Above $3000, I expect chronometer grade (or better) timekeeping accuracy.
What I expect in terms of physical, functional and ergonomic design, and aesthetic design, (and the resulting execution) is a whole different matter. The more I spend, the more I expect in each of those dimensions. There are too many factors to list individually by price range, but I can offer some examples:
  • Functional design -- At some point above $6K, I expect the outer edge of a rotor to be weighted with gold rather than, say, lead or some other non-luxury metal. Similarly, for a dive watch, above $100, I expect the rotating bezel not to rotate on its own so long as I'm awake when I wear it.
  • Physical design -- Above $6K, I expect the maker has put enough thought into the dial so that s/he doesn't have to lop off part of the numbers that denote the hours on the dial of a chronograph watch. If that means using baton markers instead of numbers, so be it, but seeing 1/3 of a "4", for example, just doesn't work for me, at least not at $6K+. As another example, I'd have to get well below $50 before I would not expect the design of the lugs to be such that pressure pins won't securely hold the bracelet to the watch case.
  • Ergonomic design -- At $500+ I expect that there's nothing physically harmful or painful associated with wearing the watch. For example, the crown shouldn't be so sharply cut that when pressed against the back of my hand, it abrades or actually cuts/tears my skin. Or, a design on the caseback shouldn't scrape the skin on my wrist/arm as the watch moves up and down over time.
  • Aesthetic design -- I expect that visual balance -- be it asymmetrical balance or symmetrical balance -- exists among the elements of the watch's face. I won't buy any watch that doesn't have this quality. I'd sooner the watchmaker omit a feature and retain the visual balance than include it and mess up the visual balance. One pricey example of a very well made watch that is visually a disaster, and not just because I don't like "exposed guts" watches, is Breguet's GMT Tradition model.




    As much as I don't at all like watches that expose their insides, I at least can't say of Breguet's uncomoplicated Tradition that the visual balance is not a total disaster.



    Breguet's Marine GMT is another.

All the best.
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Last edited by tony20009; 07-30-2015 at 10:43 PM.
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      07-24-2015, 05:33 PM   #2
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The Zenith's that had the windows in the dial were a little too funky - wouldn't have refused one...even turbion windows are getting a little common...but these Breguet with exposed bridges seem super nice, they have awesome hands and those coined edge cases look perfect.
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      07-24-2015, 05:37 PM   #3
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Well...under $200...durability.

Rolex GMTII/Daytons...style.

Looking at a VC Patrimony because I'm getting older
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      07-24-2015, 06:31 PM   #4
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I have a lot of dive watches. They just appear rugged and most are symmetrical in design. Round cases with a rotating bezel. Without subdials or chronometer features. Submariner and Planet Ocean comes to mind along with all the other similar dive style watches.

No matter the price, I like something that looks clean. Easy to read and more simple vs complex/gaudy. I don't like odd proportions and sub dials.

But looking to branch out. Maybe something dressier but still sporty. IWC seems pretty appealing to me - I like that they tend to be more classical styles but still modern looking.
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      07-24-2015, 06:35 PM   #5
tony20009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C5driver View Post
Well...under $200...durability.

Rolex GMTII/Daytons...style.

Looking at a VC Patrimony because I'm getting older
Off Topic:
Awesome watch and one about which the only negative thing I have to say is that it's expensive. I toyed with buying a VC, but didn't because the thing I think that sets VC apart from its closest peers/competitors is that VC offer artful and very stylish watches whereas PP, AP, JLC, and ALS really don't.

For example, each of those makers, along with many others, offers something that roughly looks like a Patrimony or Traditionnelle. None of them offers anything that looks like VC's Malte, Historiques, 1972 or Metiers d'Art models.

I'm a firm believer in buying from a maker that which reflects the maker's distinctive competency. Many makers have among their core skills the ability and track record of making fine watches. VC is just one such maker.

Of course and by all means, buy whatever you want. I don't really care what you choose. I'm merely sharing my thoughts for there's no such thing as a "bad" VC watch to buy. At that level of watchmaking, it's not about what's better and what's worse. I'm merely suggesting that you may want to try on some of the less dear conservative and traditionally styled watches before you spring for a Patrimony.

Since you are considering a Patrimony, I suggest taking a gander at a Piaget Altiplano. It to has the contemporary-ish conservative looks of an uncomplicated Patrimony, and it adds in the craftsmanship "chops" of being ultra thin and automatic, although there is also a manual version offered. (The face of the manual and automatic are different.) I also suggest checking out an AP Jules Audemar (JA) because in addition to getting AP's 2120 movement (it's the movement in the RO "Jumbo" (152) which is the one collectors generally seek over the 3120 (154)), although if you aren't a stickler about keeping on a strict service schedule, the JA may not be your best choice.

I think the clear bang-for-the-buck winner in conservative, uncomplicated, round-type watches that use markers rather than digits/numerals are the JLC Master Control and JLC Master Ultra Thin.

I point these things out not to criticize the Patrimony but only to share what I know about the watches. I don't think, as I wrote above, that "which is better" is at issue in any way. It's just a matter of knowing what one is getting before one spends the money, going into things with "eyes wide open," rather than going in thinking X and after paying, discovering Y.

How does that apply to VC? VC has for so many, many years, like no small quantity of their competitors, used JLC, Lemania, and F. Piguet based movements that they (VC) in turn finish and install in their watches. VC's access to Lemania and F. Piguet ebauches (complete, but unassembled, unfinished watch movement parts) has waned considerably, but not so re: what they can get from JLC. Both are members of the Richemont Group. In fact, VC has used so many "other folks' " ebauches that I can't even keep up with them, and long since gave up trying. (http://forums.timezone.com/index.php...89#msg_7038220)

There's clearly nothing wrong with choosing the Patrimony, and if there's something you seek in the Patrimony that no other maker offers, well, you don't have any choice -- you have to buy the Patrimony. So what I'm saying is that before you plunk down $15K+ on a Patrimony, be sure that you know what VC have stuck inside it and whether you are willing to pay VC ~$5K - $8K more for what you can get by buying a, say, JLC, Breguet, or Blancpain.

All the best.
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      07-30-2015, 09:52 PM   #6
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For some reason, really digging the manufacture royals watches. But target is an ap royal oak 154000 with black dial as band. Just something about it in person.
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