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The service record is the "other" important component of a watch's history, probably the most important once since the majority of secondhand watches don't have an interesting backstory to sell.
If Govberg's application delivers on the promise of comprehensive servicing records, they will become invaluable tools to collector and retailer alike. Adding a watchmaker directory to the database would be my recommendation, since nobody has done it to-date. Everybody wants to buy and sell, but most collectors still find their watchmakers through word-of-mouth. A watchbox with detailed servicing history and a rated list of reputable servicing options (authorized service centres and talented independent watchmakers) would make it easy for a buyer to figure out the true ownership cost of a watch that catches their eye on the marketplace. This information would prevent a lot of buyer's remorse, make well-maintained watches a bit easier to sell and put some external pressure on a few brands to shore up their ownership experience.
2 days, 11 hours ago on Is The Govberg ‘OnTime’ iPhone App The Start Of Something All Watch Collectors Need?
Vacheron Constantin is not the only brand with a limited-edition Métiers d’Art collection. However, they are, in my opinion, the leaders in this area and these intricate dials are the finest effort to-date.
The article is really well-written, perfectly capturing the timepieces' raison d'etre. However, the wandering hours module and the movement it sits upon are not really new. Revised and refined would be more appropriate descriptors. Vacheron Constantin has released beautiful wandering hours watches before, the Tribute to Great Explorers series comes to mind immediately. With the Mercator and Les Masques series, Vacheron presents two other novel approaches to simple time-telling. Some of these older Métiers d’Art limited editions can be obtained quite reasonably on the secondary market, which you should keep in mind if you find the six-figure price tags of these new releases to be a bit discouraging.
2 days, 11 hours ago on Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Savoirs Enluminés Watches With ‘Illuminated’ Dials
I probably use the word "cool" a bit too often, but these Ressence watches are cool.
However, I prefer the wiry lugs on the Type 1 to these plain ones..
1 month, 2 weeks ago on New Ressence Type 3 Watch With Oil Temperature Gauge
Christmas came early! While quintessentially Japanese, it is daring in a way that Grand Seikos are not, without being flamboyant - that space is well-served by Seiko's Galante and Credor. Reminds me a bit of a DeWitt dial, actually.
I believe this design would work well as a time-only watch too, provided Asaoka could produce the watch at a price-point that is in the same ballpark as a certain controversial British timepiece that was covered in the recent past.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon Indepedent Japanese Watch
At 50% of retail, this limited series would raise $7 million. Even 25% of that figure, $1.75 million, would probably cover the movement development costs, since we're dealing with moderate modifications to an existing design. I think Bremont could have spread the costs over a greater number of releases, but I'm not the investor.
9 months ago on The Real Story Behind The Bremont Wright Flyer In-House Made BWC/01 “London” Watch Movement
Hmm...everyone is attacking the stainless steel edition price already, so I will offer a different perspective.
Is Bremont attempting to recover all their movement development costs with this limited release of 450 watches? At 50% of retail, the total wholesale take would be a hair over $7 million. Let's assume a cool $1 million is going to the Wright family, so we're left with $6 million to cover manufacturing, R & D, marketing and overhead.
Since these numbers are made up, I will leave the exercise of guesstimating the movement development cost to the reader. A time-only movement without truly innovative architecture, finishing or materials couldn't run more than low seven figures, right?
9 months ago on Bremont Wright Flyer Limited Edition Watch
Blancpain hasn't received due recognition for their successful designs and great innovations, perhaps because they've been all over the place with their classic line, the iconic sports watches and polarizing L-Evolution timepieces. That's unfortunate because Blancpain's best designs, including these complete calendars, deserve more conversation.
1 year, 11 months ago on Innovation Spotlight: Blancpain Under-lug Correctors
A great opportunity! What's the over/under on the number of tiny screws lost?
1 year, 11 months ago on See Us Learning To Build Watches This Week #fcwatchweek
@Kris C I like the analogy, even if I disagree with you. The strap is from a Breguet Marine, but for some reason it came with the watch when I purchased it from the previous owner. While an odd pairing, the quality of the strap is quite excellent, so I decided to stick with it. The blue and gold colour combination has grown on me.
Conventionally, I would suggest a black strap if the watch is being worn with a suit and tie or a brown strap otherwise.
2 years ago on Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques Chronograph “Retro” Watch Review
What a neat little complication - I don't think the bulging disc ruins the case and I really like the clos de Paris dial finish. If only the images were transcribed on a transparent sapphire disc against luminous backing...
2 years ago on Konstantin Chaykin Cinema Watch
Nice watch. I prefer black date windows too, but the white background does make it easier to read. The Valgranges movements are great - they give Longines a competitive advantage by ensuring the date windows and subdials are not crowded inwards.
What's with all these dress watches with thick cases though? A 14.4 mm thick case won't slip under many a shirt cuff. Great-looking if the sleeves are rolled-up, but the watch strikes me as more of an all-rounder, not a dress watch.
2 years, 1 month ago on Longines Conquest GMT Watch Review
I like the classic aesthetic that GO is slowly spreading throughout the Senator line. The micro-adjust bracelets are really solid and comfortable too. What GO really needs to do this year is refresh their website and ensure the pages can display on Apple devices - every year I cross my fingers and hope.
2 years, 1 month ago on Glashutte Original Senator Panorama Date Watch
Great contest idea: If you place the watch on your wrist and a prominent mole lines up at the 12 o'clock on the mystery dial, you get a free watch, free wrist shave and your wrist is photographed for feature in an ad as the unofficial brand ambassador. Those with sunspots only need not apply.
(Beautiful watches, both of them. They don't look great on all wrists, however.)
2 years, 1 month ago on Rotonde de Cartier Mystery Watch Versus The Levitas
Jet engines, these are not. Was it a flying cathode ray tube or a loudspeaker that provided the inspiration? I kid because I really do like it. I think the square hoods take the quirkiness to another level...in a good way.
2 years, 1 month ago on MB&F HM4 Final Edition Watch Hands-On
Love those sci-fi inspired lugs! Are you saying that this your daily wearer now, Ariel? I'm really going to have to step up my blog game!
There's not much to criticize here and I can see that even the little details, like the curved hands to prevent parallax distortion, were addressed properly. The watch looks a touch chunky in your profile shot, but the specifications suggest a perfectly-proportioned case.
2 years, 2 months ago on De Bethune DB16 Tourbillon Regulator Watch Hands-On
The case is the best feature of this watch - that texture helps it stand out from other black composite watches. It doesn't seem to wear too big, even at 49 mm,but the case is thick for only 70 m water resistance. My other gripe is the date location - it looks a bit odd extending from the 4 o'clock index. Some of their smaller watches get the date placement right (e.g. at 6-o'clock), and the hand lengths are correct, so there's a nice foundation to work from here.
2 years, 2 months ago on ITAnano/iTime Phantom Carbonio Watch Review
Great review Max. I think a bit of red paint on the tip of the date indicator would have been a nice touch, but I agree that the dial is nicely-executed overall. The fake gator straps seem to be standard amongst some other brands' watches in the low end luxury bracket, although at nearly 3k USD MSRP, it's a bit less excusable. As for the basic rotor, I feel it's more honest to outfit a basic movement with a basic rotor. Better to put a few more dollars into the strap!
2 years, 2 months ago on Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic Moon Phase Watch Review
It's quite interesting to note that the case is smaller than the bezel - I assume this helps the watch fit nicely on smaller wrists. So, any live shots of this piece?
I haven't been around these parts as much lately because I've just started a watch blog: The Ticking Truth. The flavour is slightly different (more Canadian), so encourage all of you to check it out and let me know what you think:
2 years, 3 months ago on De Bethune DB28 Skybridge Watch Hands-On
@antjay If you have to ask...
2 years, 3 months ago on Romain Gauthier Logical One Watch: How Sensible Is It?
Speake-Marin and Piaget are my choices. Piaget's ultra-thin watches are impressive in-person. I'd like them to shrink their best design, the 43 mm Altiplano, down to 39 mm. Also, could you ask them about the feasibility of a dress chronograph with a thickness under 9 mm. Their target market of 1 person is dying to know.
RGM has a shaped caliber - I'll echo the hive mind. I like to read an in-depth report on the watch it is placed in.
2 years, 3 months ago on SIHH 2013, You Control The Watch Coverage
As a thin-wristed individual, should I feel left out? #wristfail
I like the approach taken to establish the angular look.
2 years, 3 months ago on Girard-Perregaux “New” Sea Hawk Watch Hands-On
Great post! I will nitpick the final comment though as value and price do go hand-in-hand to an extent though. Taking 2000 as the base year, the 2012 CPI was roughly 133.3. While the average watch MSRP might only be up 33%, the eye test suggests this is not the case at the high end.
Essentially, if the price of luxury watches is vastly outpacing the rate of inflation, the value equation is heavily skewed towards pieces produced during the early days of the current mechanical watch rennaisance (1990 - 2002, say). For example, one could purchase a 1990's Ulysse Nardin astronomical complication from auction for under $20k. The same watches in its most modern iteration is likely to set a collector back double or more, even in refurbished condition. While some of the price movement can be explained by the migration towards in house movements and the associated R & D costs, I remain unconvinced. Most of the new inhouse movements are no finer than the old F Piguet and Lemania options.
Outside of the few JLC Extreme LABs of the world, it is entirely possible that value is absent amongst modern luxury watches in the $20k+ price bracket.That may be why collectors complain about price rather than value.
For a future post, I challenge you to define value in the $100k+ price bracket beyond "how many axis the tourbillon spins upon".
2 years, 3 months ago on What About Value? Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Value!
Aw nuts! If this fine repeater won't be out in time for Christmas, what am I supposed to ask Santa for?
Good call in the ultra-thin chronograph movement - the market* is dying for an entry in that department, but will it utilize cam-switching to shave off a few microns?
* my dream market, where sensibly-sized watches are rewarded with sales
2 years, 4 months ago on Piaget Emperador Coussin XL Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Watch
Interesting designs - the watches looks more complex mechanically than they actually are. Well done on turning the modeling shots from troll bait into a signature.
2 years, 4 months ago on SevenFriday Watch Review
Nice design! Marks off for the chronograph seconds track being cut off and the excess thickness. Would gladly wear this watch.
2 years, 5 months ago on Omega De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph Watch Review
Design-wise, this is not my favorite PSM - that distinction belongs to the Thalassa M2. Regardless, the design is unique and the choice of movement is reasonable given the price point and low production numbers. I appreciate the transparency as there's no shame in using a modified thirty party movement if it's up to the task and the finishing is good and functional (a la IWC ). The 5-day power reserve is a nice bonus, but not entirely useful for a time-only automatic watch. Although nobody cares, the proportions are better than the original Pioneer Spirit, so I'm sure this model will sell out. I wouldn't be so sure that the TT738 is equipped with the PSM signature rotor though as that would be a bit profligate.
2 years, 5 months ago on Peter Speake-Marin Spirit Mark 2 Watch
I prefer the AP Schumacher by a shade to this Hublot F1. While I prefer the 3-6-9 register layout, the Hublot's dial is a touch too colourful and busy for my tastes. Certainly an exceptional sports watch for those who can lay out 30k USD without batting an eyelash.
2 years, 5 months ago on The Hublot F1 King Power Austin Limited Edition Watch
@Kris C As I've mentioned before, I wonder why Ball management believes the outcome of this branding cooperative will be closer to Breitling and Bentley than, for example, Panerai and Ferrari.
I like the designs, so that's a start.
2 years, 5 months ago on Ball For BMW Watches Hands-On
Cartier has chosen to outfit this mainstream luxury watch with a fine chronograph movement - a pleasing decision as many watches in this price category opt for a modular solution.
Now, to further MarkCarson's criticisms, I must chime in on some aspects of the design that I find in questionable taste. The face of the watch looks to be modeled after a human face. The roman numerals are the "hair", the bi-compax layout represents the "eyes", while the lower baton markers are the "smile". However, I too am baffled with the choice of a multiple date window. A single date window could have stood in for a "nose"; instead, the multiple date window reminds me of a "toothbrush moustache", a particular style of facial hair that was rendered eternally-unfashionable following the downfall of THAT infamous German despot.
Overall, a very fine watch that is let down by the incongruous date window.
2 years, 5 months ago on Cartier Calibre Chronograph Watch
The reviewer does an excellent job of describing the value-added features of the case and dial. I'm not convinced the case and design are exceptional enough to justify the $5,500 MSRP, but I would understand if others saw it differently.
2 years, 5 months ago on Bell & Ross WW1-90-S Review
@MervinChan I agree with you - it does seem a bit odd, especially when the competition has successfully framed chemical treatment (bluing) as a cost-cutting measure. However most of the people who care about the chemical bluing would have already dropped the watch from consideration due to the modular movement. Those people would rather spend an extra $15,000 for a similar watch with a finely-finished integrated chronograph movement.
The potential purchasers who are willing to look beyond the modular movement architecture are unlikely to care about the treatment of the screws so long as they're nicely-finished. The more pertinent question is...are there enough of these people to ensure this model is profitable?
2 years, 5 months ago on Girard-Perregaux 1966 Chronograph 42MM Watch Review
I personally prefer manual chronographs with integrated column wheel switching. For those who are less fussy about movement design, the 1966 Chronograph is an attractive piece. I prefer the proportions and aesthetics of the 40 mm version, but the date is a nice feature to have.
The overall design works - thank god, no triple date cutput - but the watch is so large that the lugs will hang over all but the largest of wrists. Although fashion is a matter of opinion, I have to point put that even Ariel does not quite seem to believe that his wrist is man enough to pull off this watch. It would be mighty swell if the fashionable watch diameter started shrinking a wee bit, so IWC can release a Big Pilot that is large without looking compensatory on a seven inch wrist.
2 years, 5 months ago on IWC Big Pilot Top Gun Watch Review
I've visited some of the online sites, for example Piaget's, and I've noticed that it is still impossible to buy the nicest and most expensive pieces directly online. The pieces available online are generally also available elsewhere at significant discount, so I don't think the big brands are really serious about direct online sales.
Yes, collectors who can afford five- and six-figure watches are willing to travel to make major purchases, but I wouldn't assume the status quo is the best approach.
2 years, 6 months ago on Video: The State Of Online Watch Sales & The e-Future Of Luxury
Anybody with skin in the game is going to have some bias, although that bias will be of a different nature to the commonly-encountered brand bias that we typically like to whine about.
I'd be interested in reading the full member report as well. Even if we all have a qualitative idea of where the industry is headed, it's nice to attach some firmer numbers to the narrative.
From a Google search for "bird pun":
"Only John can put a swift end to this. He should too,oriole quit reading it."
2 years, 6 months ago on Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Automaton Watch
I'm digging the design. No mention of the slightly-short minute-hand?
Longines' new vintage collection features some really nice pieces and the rest of them are conventionally-oriented; this piece does not need mass appeal. Any chance we'll see an updated 13zn movement? Those chronographs have a cult-like following.
2 years, 6 months ago on Longines Avigation Type A-7 Watch
Ariel, please inform Zenith that I would be willing to conduct an objective on-the-wrist review of this timepiece. I consider myself a budding chronograph afficionado (if there could be such a thing) and I realized that my remarks above were a bit harsh. Only hands-on testing could qualify statements such as, "That should however lead to a lot of space in the case for the gongs as well as air space for sound to reverberate."
2 years, 6 months ago on Zenith Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph Watch
Fantastic design! Also, the price is competitive compared to other minute repeater chronograph watches. What is with the giant-sized dimensions though? The repeater mechanism adds to the thickness, but there is no need to retain the automatic functionality as collectors of six-figured timepieces prefer manual wind movements. Removing the automatic rotor would bring the thickness down and the diameter could be reduced accordingly.
Even the classiest timepiece in the world will look ridiculous when the lugs are hanging off the edges of the wearer's wrist. The Terminator has plenty of great AP high complications to choose from already, so how about something sized for the average Joe the Plumber? This is an exceptionally beautiful timepiece that would wear as well as it looks if it was sized at, for example, 41 mm x 13 mm.
Why would Chopard launch an online store where the rarest and most-desirable pieces are unavailable for direct-order? The main objective of this online boutique is not to facilitate online sales, is it?
I really like the LUC Engine One Tourbillon and the LUC 8 Hz, and I was devastated to discover that I could not have them shipped to my door as an impulse purchase duo.
2 years, 6 months ago on Chopard Now Selling Watches & Jewelry Online In The US
Really great design, with two minor flaws:
1) minute counter subdial should feature detailed markings, not running seconds subdial
2) no sub-seconds markings along outer dial
The first flaw should be fixed, for sure. There is good reason to consider leaving the main dial as-is though because it is very clean.
Finally, the watch would be much more versatile if the case thickness could be reduced to the absolute minimum given the movement.
2 years, 7 months ago on The Christopher Ward C900 Single Pusher Chronograph
@Kris C While you can discern the individual "ticks"' it looks ok as long as the movement of the chrono hand isn't jerky. The low beat rate must have been adopted, so the watch looks historical, so I would have gone with a co-axial button on the crown instead, despite this approach being technically superior. The overall impression is clean and attractive and the price is reasonable. Ace.
@DangerussArt This particular brand appears to prioritize security and utility over luxury, which is what I'd want from a six-figure safe. That being said, the last line shamelessly betrays the objective of this entry. A stand-off "experience test" between six unaffordable safes, each manufactured by a different brand with a different philosophy, would have been much more interesting, albeit a waste of this site's resources.@DangerussArt @DangerussArt @DangerussArt @DangerussArt
2 years, 7 months ago on Brown Chronos Safe: Secure Watch Home
Interesting piece, but the lume on the cool hour hand would be a bit tougher to read in the dark. One thing to remember with Limited Editions is that the designation doesn't mean much in most cases as manufacturers will set the edition size to ensure there are enough pieces made to satisfy demand.
2 years, 7 months ago on Vostok Europe Anchar Diver Watch Review
Too late to the party! There are people willing to spend six figures on individual timepieces, but they'd be looking for something with pedigree or true innovation. Besides, the C1 Quantum Gravity can be had LNIB at significant discount.
2 years, 7 months ago on Cecil Purnell La Grande Date Tourbillon Watch
Perhaps you could ascertain a little more with regards to the material's composition and uniformity by taking a hammer to one of the spare links. Overall I like the design of this piece quite a bit. It doesn't get my pulse racing, but it is a solid-looking piece.
2 years, 7 months ago on Rado D-Star Plasma Watch Review
Addendum: Looking back at Ball's pricing strategy - aim at the price BMW owners want to pay for a watch - I think they've done their homework. Now they just need a Biver to magically conjure up the supporting brand identity.
2 years, 7 months ago on Ball Watches For BMW Cars
The partnership allegedly failed because the assumption that Ferrari owners would buy the watch was fundamentally wrong - Panerai wasn't exotic enough for their tastes. For non-owners, why drop $15k on a watch that says, "I can't afford the car."
Is history repeating itself here? Ask yourself how BMW owners and BMW aspirationals will approach these timepieces. I really like both BMWs and Ball watches, but I question the fundamentals of this marriage.
Down the road, who do you see as BMWs "Hublot" when they're on the rebound? Let's assume Hublot doesn't pull a Tiger Woods - Perkins waitress.