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@zznhl1 Actually, Picasso and Dali are surprisingly affordable.
1 month ago on Explaining What’s Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014
I think with the advent of the internet, the gray market eventually just becomes, "the market." These artificial restrictions end up going away. There's something very offensive about buying a legitimate product and being denied service or warranty because it was purchased through a non-blessed sales channel. Camera manufacturers have done this for years. If you bought the gray market version at a better price, you had no warranty, even though it was their product and they acknowledged it as such.
The problem that the manufacturers face is ending up in a world where the sales channel is, "You can buy this from anyone, and we're anyone!" Value is in part perceived from some scarcity, so they have to create the reputation of "you can't get this from anyone but us," which is the factory-owned boutique or direct sales route.
But what about what are essentially dead-brands-walking that need to re-invent themselves?
What about the process of establishing a new, different, reputation that is a split with the past?
I'm thinking of Bulova. Bulova had a long and storied tradition as one of the fine American watchmakers, with a claim to being approved for NASA instrument use on the Moon Mission, and they squandered it. Now they're going through the hard process of clearing old stock, changing retail channels (please, no more selling at Kohl's and Ross Dress For Less), and weeding out the ghastly designs and materials.
They have a harder mission than a young, new brand, because they have to not only stay true to their new selves, they have to change everyone's minds that they aren't their old selves.
Smartwatches are another difficult one to square with this "build and maintain the reputation that you are true to yourselves" position. The smartwatch reinvents itself with each new technology advance, and the real reputation work here is, "sport dedicated, vs dress - interact-with-it-all-the-time, vs. passive information when you need it" philosophies. It's nearly impossible to make a timeless smartwatch because the technology shifts require it to be timely.
I'm uncertain that the best prices are in the US Market. I say this because if that were true, Costco wouldn't have been able to make money on the arbitrage of supplying gray-market Omega watches to US consumers. A former employer who bought a Rolex Submariner would have bought one in the US instead of in a boutique in China. Although, the Chinese people I know are masters at knowing which market to buy in, Singapore for this, HK for that, Taiwan for other types of goods...
I'm very sorry about this. Please use this courtesy car to travel through time to the event. :)
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Omega Watches Event In Los Angeles: Join Us On June 14th, 2014
Che wore a Rolex GMT Master and a Submariner, not exactly timepieces available to the proletariat.
3 months ago on Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución Watches For South America
@Fraser Petrick The problem making a device for diabetics is regulatory approval as a medical device from all the various government agencies around the world.
4 months, 1 week ago on Motorola Moto 360 Watch Debuts Google ‘Android Wear’ OS: The Smartwatch For Everyone Is Here
Simple, well-made, timeless are all words that describe the L1. I like it very much. I wonder if the minute hand might be a little longer, but this is very well executed.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Maurice de Mauriac L1 Watch Designed By Fabian Schwaerzler
@LapYoda AP Royal Oak screws actually are aligned. The screw slot is parallel to the side of the octagonal bezel all the way around the bezel. Why Hublot doesn't align the H slot in their bezel screws, I do not know. AP made the task easy by using the hex head.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Hublot Big Bang Ferrari New Ceramic, Titanium, And Gold Watch Models For 2014 Hands-On
@mcv1973a Could be– but then I'd want to see a Ricky Bobby / Kurt Busch themed one. That'd be more tasteful (!) than something like the old Jeff Gordon DuPont colors, I suppose.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review
@MarkCarson Seriously, what are the great racing liveries that non-racing fans can identify at a glance? Gulf Racing, the Porsche Martini-Rossi... and the Porsche factory racing Pig-in-butcher-markings?
@MarkCarson Before they were Porsche 917 colors, they were the Gulf Racing colors of the legendary (I sense a theme here) GT40 that swept LeMans four years running. When Ford made the Ford GT a few years ago, they sold several in that livery. John Mayer, watch nerd and musician, bought one.
There's also the Steve McQueen connection, which ties us back to watches, the TAG Monaco, McQueen's Submariner... I digress.
I would also wear this watch with red, white, and blue stripes and the numeral 53 on the dial. I would smile every time I glanced at my wrist if I had that.
Baume et Mercier describe the movement as:
Movement Designation: Automatic, self-winding, IWC 35750
Finish: Circular-grained finished plate and bridges. Open worked oscillating weight adorned with "Côtes de Genève", snailed decor and PHI symbol.
Power Reserve: 42.0 hour
Frequency: 4.0 Hz / 28800.0 Vph
With the balance wheel at 12, and the large rotor bearing, this looks like it could be an ETA family movement. with IWC attention to precision. I believe they either order gear trains to a higher spec than ETA normally delivers, or they replace those parts with higher spec ones on their own.
5 months ago on Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review
50 units a year is pretty substantial for handmade work.
THAT BALANCE BRIDGE.
7 months ago on Voutilainen GMT Six O’Clock Watch Hands-On
I'm glad to see such a tasteful dial, but one of the things I'm picky about is the NATO strap.
You can use the most supple leather in the world, but when you stitch with nylon thread and then melt the ends of the thread to secure it, you've ruined the strap. The hard melted ends then scratch my wrist and forever remind me of the poor materials choice.
Sure, I know the strap is replaceable. I don't care. If it has melted thread, It's a bad first impression. Every part of the consumer experience, even in a cost-reduced watch, needs to be paid attention to.
7 months ago on AVI-8 Flyboy 4021 Automatic Watch Review
7 months ago on Van Cleef & Arpels “Cerfs-Volants” Kites Watches Hands-On
Seiko has been running advertisements on Hulu+ showing off the Astron, highlighting Solar, Kinetic, and GPS, explaining the different technologies a little.
It's been really interesting seeing a Seiko watch advertisement every 10 minutes or so.
7 months, 1 week ago on Seiko Astron GPS Solar 2013 Watches Hands-On
I wonder if OWC got the BBC licensing, or this is sort of a stealth homage. What's the packaging like?
I recognized the dial immediately as having been influenced from the pocketwatch David Tennant used in the episode Human Nature - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Nature_(Doctor_Who_episode), seen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/gallery/concept_2007/730/37.jpg
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Are You A Time Lord? OWC Watch Honors Doctor Who
@Fraser Petrick Wait until 2017, and you can have the Aqua Terra without the bumblebee markers. I have no idea if they'll offer you the bracelet with polished center links, though.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Hands-On With Omega’s Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch
@MarkCarson Have you given any thought to 3D printing some new platters for your music box? There's no technical reason they have to be made out of metal, although 3D printed ones might wear out more quickly.
I think it'd be entertaining to put on a platter of music that's more recent following the platters you inherited.
7 months, 4 weeks ago on MB&F MusicMachine By Reuge Hands-On: The $13,000 Music Box
The MB&F Music Machine is the modern day equivalent of the Jaquet Droz automata. There's no practical value, but it showcases the expertise and attention to quality that MB&F put into the Horological and Legacy collection.
The owner isn't using this as their only source of music or entertainment, but it is marvelous to look at, to ponder the mechanicals, to appreciate the precision with which it was made.
@Superstition @vmarks http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20130114383 is the link to the patent application that Rolex filed in May. They haven't made a watch with this (yet) but it would keep the crown pointing up.
The point of the application is to be able to have the crown pointing up without having to do intense quality work involved in doing this without the invention - it would mean indexing the tap that cuts the threads in the case for the crown tube, indexing the die that cuts the threads on the crown tube, and indexing the die that cuts the threads inside the crown. That's a lot of work to get precisely right, and the invention in the application appears to solve the problem without making it this hard in production.
8 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches
@Superstition @vmarks It does. But they have a patent application on a crown that will always point up when you screw it down. They haven't made a watch with this implemented yet.
@Ulysses31 @trj66 It's a good question why Rolex hasn't moved to silicon springs and parts. I don't know the answer, but I do wonder what are the failure rates?
Rolex has moved to their parachrom and paramagnetic branding around springs and anti-magnetic movements, and haven't done so across their entire line. Parachrom is Zirconium and Niobium alloy fused at 2400 degrees C. The research that was required to make a hairspring like this is nothing to sneeze at- surely its an innovation.
I get it. Girard-Perregaux uses silicon. Patek Phillipe uses silicon. Ulysse Nardin uses silicon. Jaeger LeCoultre has a movement which requires no lubrication at all.
But Rolex gets some of the credit here, too - The Spiromax balance spring made of Silinvar that Patek uses? this patented silicon-based material is the result of research financed in partnership with the Swatch Group and Rolex.
@Ulysses31 Investing in exorbitantly expensive testing equipment co-developed with Comex (who we last publicly saw as a Rolex-Comex relationship in the 70s with some dive watches) is too decadent to care?
I'd say that there's a very conservative approach to outward design revisions, with Milgauss or the flowered dial Datejust representing the biggest visual move away from a traditional Rolex. But Yachtmaster II and Skydweller are engineering leaps away from the conventional Rolex, and Ariel's trip shows the investment in manufacturing processes back up these engineering innovations.
"One way of looking at Rolex is that they are an extremely competent and almost obsessively organized manufacturing company - that just happens to make timepieces."
This is a powerful statement. There's almost an unspoken 'want to buy one?' that follows it in my head, one that says, "We make the best manufactured things on Earth, we're fanatical about attention to detail and quality. Oh, and we make wristwatches. Wouldn't you like to have one?"
Not that I own one, I don't. This same kind of statement would be just as powerful from TAG with their new calibre. But Rolex clearly know why they exist and aren't afraid to invest in anything they perceive as quality. This shows in the application of robotization and in the research department where they have patent applications on better shock resistant movement mountings, down to the application on keeping the Rolex crown pointed up when you screw down the crown after setting the watch.
It wasn't always this way.
Prior to 2000, Beyeler, Singer, Lemrich, ZJ, Metelem and Stern all did work for Rolex as outside suppliers. Prior to this, Rolex did not make dials in house. It used to happen that dial manufacturers would create speculative dials and shop them to the watchmakers, bringing around albums (a catalogue) of dials with new designs for the coming year. It wasn't unusual for dial makers bring this round, let the buyers at Rolex peruse them and purchase an exclusive on a particular design.
In 2008 Jean-Pierre Jacquet was sentenced to four years in prison for his company's counterfeiting Rolex Daytona watches using some legitimate Rolex parts resulting in a counterfeit branded product that was assembled in Switzerland using real parts. The counterfeiting crime was discovered around 2002, but it's possible it could have been going on earlier. Nicholas Hayek likened it to the Cardinals robbing the Vatican bank.
It looks from my reading as if Rolex had already begun moves to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but this revelation probably accelerated their acquisitions.
Rolex severed its relationship with Singer and Stern, and bought Beyeler, bringing their operations in house. Rolex went on a buying spree, acquiring:
Beyeler - dials (cases and bracelets as well) - acquired 2000
Bonchini - crowns - acquired 2003
Gay Freres SA - bracelets - acquired 1998
I don't remember who they bought for making hands, or that they necessarily needed to- once they have the dials in house it's easy enough to use many of the same skills to make hand sets.
@DG Cayse @MarkCarson When you put an engineer in charge of a brand, you run the risk of getting a technically superior product, a technically identical product, or a carefully cost-reduced product, and you don't know which without knowing what the engineer values most.
Of course, you can get the same or worse results if you put a marketing-type in charge and they value high margins at low MSRP/RRP which leads to flagrant, careless cost-reduction measures. Thank goodness that didn't happen here.
Frequently, engineers aren't designers. Perhaps that explains some of the familiar design cues you can see here and in the Confidence X line they make.
8 months ago on Kentex Marineman Sapphire Ceramic Watch Hands-On
@Kris C I understand what you're saying. The reason why they apply for a patent first is that they want the shock-resistant advantages to be a Rolex-only advantage (or to collect license fees from others who would implement it.) So they have to apply for the patent first in order for there to be any legal protection for the idea. Otherwise, competitors could buy a Rolex, copy it (I agree, there doesn't appear to be any great technical hurdle to copying here) and Rolex couldn't do anything to prevent it.
Having a 60% better watch in a drop to a hard surface does seem like a big deal. I can understand why Rolex would want it for themselves. The only other improvement on that kind of scale was the old Wyler Incaflex balance springs, where they dropped a watch off the Eiffel tower and it continued to keep time after impact. The Incaflex used spiral arms to connect pinion to the outer balance wheel instead of the more common straight spokes and the spiral arms would flex a little in a shock, absorbing the worst of it.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Rolex To Create New Shock-Resistant Oyster Watch Case?
@gleam True - but fitting a 20mm wide movement into a 28.5mm space would mean two very wide and flat rings in this invention, or a third ring to fill the gap.
It would also have to have hands that extended out past its 20mm diameter and a datewheel that would reach past. That would require the center mounted datewheel rather than the normal datewheel for a man's Rolex which has a retaining ring and jewels that overlap its edges.
Thanks for bringing this up, I'm going to be thinking about it now.
Omega’s support of Orbis International and its Flying Eye Hospital seems relevant.
Omega continued to develop its partnership with filmmaker/ecologist Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his GoodPlanet organization. In June, the Planet Ocean film directed by Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot and produced by Omega was screened at the Earth Summit in Rio. This is from Omega's annual report, 2012.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Manchester United Gets Bulova As Official Timekeeper And Global Watch Partner
I have Pebble, MetaWatch, Nike Fuelband, and Fitbit. I've owned Jawbone UP and Fitbit Ultra in the past.
I also worked on Renew SleepClock (which uses radar to detect sleep cycle rather than something you have to wear like UP.)
The main thing to remember with any of these Quantified Self devices is where your data goes and how useful it is to you.
That is, if you use Fitbit, your data is in Fitbit and maybe Loseit.com. If your data is in Runkeeper, that's it. Similarly for Basis or UP. The most meaningful use of data is when it can be correlated with other data. If your food data that's automatically scanning barcodes is in Loseit, your weight info is in withings and runkeeper, your activity is in Nike or fitbit, then it's hard to really get a sense of what you're actually accomplishing or monitoring.
Note: Renew, the one I worked on, allows you to export to Runkeeper and CSV files readable by Excel and google docs. The point being, we have all these great devices, but your data has to be yours, not trapped in a silo, and especially not trapped in silos that don't talk to each other.
1 year, 2 months ago on What Are The Best Personal Analytics Smartwatches?
Where's the rotor? How does this differ technically from the 2842 used in the 1990s-present Swatch automatics?
1 year, 3 months ago on Baselworld 2013: Swatch Sistem51- Only 100 Swiss Francs for a Mechanical Watch!
The car comparison is worth looking at.
Maserati uses Ferrari engines.
The MINI started its rebirth in the early 2000s using Chrysler engines rather than BMW (family) ones.
The legendary DeLorean used a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo joint concern motor.
Lotus cars ship in America with Toyota motors installed.
Ariel Atom ships in its original form with a Honda motor installed.
This sort of companies-buying-motors-from-competitor marques is pretty analogous to the ETA situation. But there are other variations on this theme:
Tesla shipped initially using their own motor, but the body and suspension of Lotus.
Chevrolet Cavalier was sold and branded as Toyota Cavalier for the Japanese market.
And there was the NUMMI, which produced the same car labeled as both a Toyota and Geo (first) and Chevrolet (later, when the Geo brand was eliminated.) Pontiac Vibe = Toyota Matrix. Geo Prizm = Toyota Corolla.
Porsche produced the Boxster both in Germany and outsourced to a non-Porsche-owned factory in Uusikaupunki, Finland (Valmet) - Is a Porsche made outside of Zuffenhausen really a Porsche? Yes, but somehow one contracted out feels similar to watch houses contracting out to buy ebauches.
Toyota and Subaru currently have this relationship. When you buy a Toyota GT86, you're getting the Subaru flat 4 boxer engine.
Conclusion: Car companies will sometimes source powertrains from their erst-while competitors just as Swiss Made watch houses will source ebauches from ETA, or perhaps Sellita when SWATCH group decide to cease all external movement sales.
It's not just ETA. JLC has sold movements to other brands for ages.
What I wonder is, does the impending restrictions on ETA movements lend itself to an opening in the market? Should a manufacture exist solely to produce ebauches and sell them to those who currently rely on ETA-Valjoux? Produce a clone or new design that happens to maintain the ligne, dial feet locations, stem height and canon pinion diameters, and you'd have drop in replacements. I think Hublot has already done this as an in-house for their chronograph, but no provider that I know of exists solely to produce replacement ebauches other than Sellita.
1 year, 3 months ago on NOMOS Tangomat GMT Watch Review
I was surprised by the DateJust II recommendation - it's too large and the proportions look wrong, especially when compared with the classic DateJust.
There's nothing wrong with the original DateJust size. If you want the bigger watch, Submariner, Milgauss GV or Explorer II with the large orange GMT hand are all better choices.
1 year, 5 months ago on Guide To Buying Your First Rolex Part 2:<br />What To Buy
This and it's grandfather, the 6541 Milgauss, are among my favorites.
1 year, 5 months ago on Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Watch Review
@geoffbot I hope you enjoy your new watch.Manufacturing costs are not increasing, or not increasing dramatically. The BRAND that I had in mind when I wrote my comment has increased prices by 2000 USD since I began watching a specific timepiece at the local AD counter. It debuted at 6250 USD and is now at 8200 USD. For exactly the same watch that has been sitting below the glass counter.Costs increase for a few reasons:1) company needs increased margins to please shareholders/fill owners pockets/fund future development/marketing needs2) company needs to increase costs to cover increasing replacement costs - this is why gasoline/petrol prices go up. The replacement cost for materials/labor is higher than the cost of what it was to produce the unit on sale today.3) company raises prices to create a worth that isn't present or wasn't present in their initial go-to-market strategy.I'll elaborate a little on (3). A 1950 Bulova Director (10K case, 15 jewel swiss manual wind) cost $33.75 when new. Adjusting for inflation, that's 288.27 USD in 2011 money. A watch that cost $950 in 1980 should cost $2,795.16 today. Instead, the price for that model's replacement costs $7,500.A common practice in non-watch industries is to price goods at a price 80% of the target consumers can bear. This strikes a balance between selling enough and leaving some demand that people can strive for. In luxury goods I can see charging a higher price and setting that ratio so that less of the potential consumers are able to afford the product.The problem is two-fold. 1) It's really disheartening to see a product that was within budget and reach get re-priced out of reach. Instead of making the consumer aspire to ownership, it makes the consumer turn away. 2) Especially when there's no apparent justification, such as the replacement cost mentioned above.It's possible to say, "sure, you're just not their target customer." And I could live with that, although I would suggest that they're shrinking their market drastically.Another user pointed out that buying used was a good solution. And it is, but it does nothing for the manufacturer who has essentially lost a sale. You could argue that they never would have made that sale anyway, but I think they would have had they not raised prices each year, widening the disparity between used and new. You can also say that they'll get service fees. Even if there's huge margin in service, it's not as high a profit as they make on the initial purchase.
1 year, 6 months ago on What About Value? Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Value!
Another interesting part of the "luxury AD experience" is the experience of going to the counter and being told "you should really buy now, BRANDNAME is raising the prices in the near future and we'll have to charge you $1000 more next month."
Contrary to pressuring ADs to not discount, they're pressuring dealers to raise prices so that even fewer in the market can consider their products an option.
I understand that ADs are at the mercy of their contracts with the brands, but the brands should understand that having their representatives have to say this doesn't make them look good. It makes them look like they view sales as an unwanted unnecessary evil they have to engage in.
That experience doesn't increase desirability of their products, it's off-putting. It increases pricing, but not necessarily the value.
If manufacturers don't like customers, and they don't like service, and they regularly anger consumers by changing parts at service that consumers prefer to have been left well enough alone, it's a wonder they're in business at all.
What's so amazing about the Worldtimer is that all of the functions can be operated by the crown. There aren't any pushers or bezels to twist, and no secondary crowns to turn parts of the face. It's really quite an achievement. The incredible thing about this opportunity is that it's a dream come true for so many of us timepiece fans.
The very idea that a person would be sent to Switzerland, work alongside craftsman, getting their assistance and assembling a watch would be enough for many of us. The idea that you get to keep the watch is almost an unexpected bonus. See, it depends where you place the value - on the education or on owning the timepiece.
1 year, 7 months ago on GIVEAWAY: Travel To Geneva, Build An In-House Frederique Constant, Keep The Watch
@MORGENWERK @nateb123 can you tell more information about the source of the movement? About product support and servicing? I'd like to be sure that any watch I own can be supported or serviced for years to come.
1 year, 8 months ago on Morgenwerk Satellite Precision Watch Is More Accurate Than Your Mobile Phone
@nateb123 What a great reply. What product categories do you normally produce products for? What do you think the FOB cost for a movement like this is, as opposed to the msrp they're asking?
@nateb123 The band detail between the lugs isn't great, but the dials and hands aren't bad at all. They're certainly not the retro or minimalist style I usually look for, but the M2 dial is just about my speed. If the band antennae detail gets better since these are pre-production, I'd be even happier.
Where is the contact information for Morgenwerk? If I wanted to buy, how would I go about this?
A product like this is really about a few things: preservation of a company's history, honor and respect for great craftsmanship, and the thing which attracts us to mechanical watch-works in the first place - the ingenuity that goes into making an intricate piece of machinery accomplish a task beautifully. It's in line with the same reason watchmakers used to make automatons.
Preservation of company history is so important. Even in a short period like 4 decades so much information can be lost, especially as a company changes owners (not talking about G-P here) - whole company archives can just vanish if great care isn't taken to preserve records, documentation and past products.
1 year, 8 months ago on Girard-Perregaux Vintage Pocket Watches Hands-On
1 year, 8 months ago on MTM Silencer Watch Giveaway Winner Announced
Classic watches like this are beautiful.
1 year, 8 months ago on GIVEAWAY: EHF Horlogere Mk Zero Watch
I'm waiting for the politician that wears a Nike+ type device (bracelet, etc.) and talks about personal fitness. Hey, it could happen.
The Nixon isn't a bad choice.
1 year, 9 months ago on Mitt Romney’s Election Time Wrist Watch
I think one of the hallmarks of Harry Winston timepieces is that each one is unique, has luxury finishes, and a different designer each time. If I were the owner of the brand, I would capitalize on pushing the names of the designers to the front. A brand like Bell&Ross (commented on this yesterday) exists to make vintage inspired, aviation inspired watches. Winston exists to make unique timepieces with the best materials and tasteful design, changing designs and complications frequently. They should spend their efforts talking about finishes, materials, complications, and designers.
1 year, 9 months ago on Harry Winston Ocean Triple Retrograde Chronograph Black Zalium Watch
The most important thing for any business is to know why they exist, and from that everything they make becomes obvious. If they exist to make vintage aircraft instrument inspired timepieces from high quality parts, this watch makes sense - but it makes ones like BR01-92 Airborne 415 "Skull & Crossbones" not make sense. It looks as if the playful skull and crossbones have fallen out of the lineup, so the marine, instrument and vintage lines make coherent sense. If they try and do more playful ones, I'll have a harder time taking them seriously.
1 year, 9 months ago on Bell & Ross 126 Sport Watch Review
@PhilMaurer I've bought individual parts and done my own assembly, and I've also bought directly from yobokies, a seiko parts provider and modder.
1 year, 9 months ago on Marvin Malton Cushion Watch Winner Follow-Up Review
Thank you all for reading. I'm enjoying the watch immensely. I appreciate Ariel's editor's notes: This is the first exhibition backed watch I've had for longer than a few minutes at the AD's counter so noise is something I should probably have found some other watches to hear and measure decibels for comparison.
The quick releases on the strap are new to me. Perhaps if a manual had been included this feature would have been documented. I do have a spring bar tool but it will be nice to not have to use it.