High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

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AJC
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High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by AJC » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:40 am

High End Watches: Tell Me Why?!
MARTIN GREEN — JULY 25, 2014

http://revo-online.com/high-end-watches-tell-me-why/

Ask somebody the time and instead of a flick of the wrist, you often see a quick grasp into a pocket to reveal a cell phone or other mobile device emerge to answer your question. What the quartz-crisis did for the mechanical watch, current days should do to watches in general and confirm once again the faith of the mechanical watch; they are DEAD!

Yet even with a slowed down economy in most parts of the Western world, the annual reports of the mighty luxury conglomerates show a different fate for watches, especially mechanical ones. Swatch Group reported an increase of sales over 2013 of 8.5%, totaling CHF 8.456 million, of which CHF 2.314 million is profit. Richemont, another luxury conglomerate heavy in the watch industry, reports similar findings (their financial year ends in March, so exact number weren’t available yet). So how can an industry that is supposed to be dead be so vibrant?

An obvious answer can be found in the saying “Dress to impress”. People simply use a watch as an accessory to show off wealth and social status, since everybody already has the iPad and other electronic devices. But this can only be the truth for part of the people that buy high end watches, who will also focus on brands and models that are well known and noticeably expensive. What is noticeably expensive is a concept that can vary wildly. Watch connoisseurs can cradle an Urwerk 103 like it is their new born child, while your fellow passengers on the subway think you got lucky with the claw machine. Yes, perception of luxury can be that different and it is all based on information.

Even when you are not a watch connoisseur, stories about how mechanical watches come to life are often fascinating, and so is the history behind many brands and models. Thanks to amazing magazines, rich online sources and forums buzzing of activity, a lot of these stories are told, re-told and, perhaps most important, saved for future generations.

Although an important part of what keeps the heart of mechanical watchmaking beating, they have not become folklore. It is more than stories and anecdotes of “the good, old days”, illustrated by some iconic watch models and historic brands. Mechanical watchmaking has elevated to the status of being an art. In practical sense it is almost as useless as a painting on the wall; of course it can tell time, and depending on the complications it has much more, but it is surpassed by far superior technology. Even, or perhaps especially, that three-axle tourbillon submerged in a gravity reducing oil with a six digit price-tag must admit his master in terms of accuracy to even the least expensive Hello Kitty-quartz watch on the wrist of a 7 year old, but that is not the point. The point is that human hands, with the assistance of elaborate machinery which was made with human hands….at some point, can dream up and make such a miniature device!

By moving further away from the necessity of mechanical watchmaking, we embrace it more. Like that painting is more than just something to cover an otherwise bare wall, is a mechanical watch more than just a timekeeper. It is a companion, a piece of mobile art around the wrist, ready to be enjoyed when ever we want to take a micro-break from the hectic life inflicted upon us by all those electronic devices around us, who keep reminding us of the state of the world around us, professional and business.


That is why high end watchmaking is so vibrantly alive today. Released by the chain of having to be a practical, sensible object, watchmakers can venture off into new directions, creating watches that aren’t there to tell time, but to capture a unique combination of rare crafts as being a time-capsule. And then the question all of a sudden becomes; High End Watches….tell me why not?!

http://revo-online.com/high-end-watches-tell-me-why/
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biglove
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by biglove » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:45 am

Would largely agree.

Mechanical movements are an incredible testament to human ingenuity and the pursuit of artistic and functional perfection.

It is rare that I check the time on one of my automatics that it doesn't cross my mind what an amazing machine it is.

I enjoy the winding, the feel of different movements and their response to winding and setting time. Enjoy holding one to my ear and hearing the sounds of the machine at work. Watching the second hand sweep and imagining the movements behind it.

They are art!
"I believe in a God who doesn't need heavy financing." Irwin M. Fletcher, Fletch Lives, 1989
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Ocean
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by Ocean » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:09 pm

I don't know about you gentleman but I don't wear much jewelry. I wear my wedding band and a watch normally. I do own a nice necklace, bracelet a nicer wedding band and cufflinks do I wear them occasionally.

The other question is what is high end? The answer is different for each one of us and what point we are at in are lives. Disposable income is what we truly are talking about.
I can remember less than five years ago if I spent fifteen hundred I was spending too much and 75 for a beater now I have spent up to 10k and a beater to me is around 350.00 a couple years ago I would have said never to either of these.

350.00 would have been a a better watch in my collection. Now the average price is 1000.00 to 2000.00 but my disposable income is more now than back then. To me this question is going to evolve for everyone and both up and down.
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kahuna74
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by kahuna74 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 pm

Ocean wrote:I don't know about you gentleman but I don't wear much jewelry. I wear my wedding band and a watch normally. I do own a nice necklace, bracelet a nicer wedding band and cufflinks do I wear them occasionally.

The other question is what is high end? The answer is different for each one of us and what point we are at in are lives. Disposable income is what we truly are talking about.
I can remember less than five years ago if I spent fifteen hundred I was spending too much and 75 for a beater now I have spent up to 10k and a beater to me is around 350.00 a couple years ago I would have said never to either of these.

350.00 would have been a a better watch in my collection. Now the average price is 1000.00 to 2000.00 but my disposable income is more now than back then. To me this question is going to evolve for everyone and both up and down.


Ocean, this is so right on the money. I still have not broke the 1000.00 mark for a watch. In fact 800.00 is the must to date I have spent. To me that's my high end. I would say three or three fifty is my low end these days as well.
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by Mortuus Fakeuus » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:22 pm

I have only a few quartz watches left in my thankfully-shrinking collection these days, but they are special quartz watches, like the Chr. Ward COSC chronograph (the red one). The vast majority of my collection de montres are vintage mechanicals or autos, with a pretty decent number of contemporary auto/mech pieces that I had no resistance to. Are they "luxury watches?" For some of them -- with names like Movado, Rolex and even my lone Versace -- the answer is an obvious yes, either because of their brand recognition, their quality or both. The others? To me they are, but it's more a question of appreciating them for what they are and how they work, while their cost is largely secondary. I hope that makes sense... :face:
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by aztecknight » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:21 pm

I agree with Ocean. High end is relative. My "high end" has been creeping up in the last few years. As to why, I think the article capture it well. To me it goes beyond utility and that is one reason I have to go more and more expensive to satisfy the intangible components of a watch or watch brand. History, horological significance, prestige, innovation all figure into my purchases now for the most part.
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Re: High-End Watches; Tell Me Why?!

Post by AJC » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:20 pm

As a young step dad my taste usually outweighs my wallet. But I do an alright job satisfying my urges staying under the $1,500 mark. Honestly anything fancier than a Speedmaster might not match my attire.

This is the highest my end has ever been:

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And currently:

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