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Thread: What attracts you to a high end watch?

  1. #1

    What attracts you to a high end watch?

    Let's assume you had the disposable income to do so, and not get into "Well, if money were no object" discussions.

    What factors would make you most likely to buy?

    --Looks
    --Name brand
    --Company history
    --Movement
    --Unique features
    --Finishing
    --Other?

    Obviously, it might be a combination of all of them, but what's most important?

    For me, it's definitely looks first, then finishing. I'm not big on complications, I don't have anything more complicated than a chronograph or a big date (not counting my Chinese tourbillon!). Third, when I'm looking at high end stuff, would probably be company history, but I wouldn't hesitate to ignore that if I really loved the watch.

    What about you?

  2. #2

    What attracts you to a high end watch?

    Depends on the watch. When I bought the Zenith, it was movement, company history, looks, the deal, finish, and all the rest. When I bought the Cartier, it was looks, company history, finish, the deal, movement, and all the rest. When I bought the Concord, it was the deal, looks, finish, the deal, looks, movement, company history, looks, the deal, and all the rest. When I bought the Ebel Tekton, it was like the Concord, though the movement ranked higher. The Ebel Chronosport was curatorial--I consider it to be the pinnacle of achievement for a brand I collect, but I like its looks and the Zenith movement is irreproachable. Those are my five most expensive watches at retail, in current dollars.

    But I don't score. I can only sort it out after the fact. I rarely walk into a store with the intention of buying, unless I'm going back for something I had seen there recently. The important elements all have to be there in a combination that compels action.

    The one common element is an unusual opportunity for something special. That means a rare chance to get a great price (why I added "the deal" to your list), or to get something otherwise difficult to find.

    Rick "who has only bought one new watch at retail" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  4. #3
    Nice post, Rick. I hadn't thought about the deal, and also hadn't thought about it from the point of view of a collector who is looking to fill in gaps in their collection. I don't think of myself as a collector, I only have one brand that has more than one spot in my watch box (Zenith).

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  6. #4
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    Interesting ponderables there. I can't allow myself to slide any further into that realm than I did with my Nomos. I can say I loved the simplicity, the design, the fact it was a visually stunning in-house movement (their zeta, auto date) and I liked the youthful attitude of the company, and the history of the town of Glashutte.

    If I were to go any farther down the high-end temptation, the watch would have to have all the boxes ticked off. For me that would mean a company with deep respected history, such as Patek, Vacheron, maybe JLC, Zenith or AP. Also the watch itself would have to be classic and timeless, so no garish showy designs like a Bang, Uwerk or even the Royal Oak (I'm not a Genta fan, alas.) The design would be simple and thin, classic, understated. A beautifully finished in-house movement would be a requirement, preferably visible.

    Also, I tend to be a bargain hunter, and I usually buy my more expensive watches used (usually I prefer vintage anyway); so like Rick, a good deal does matter.

    Threads need pictures, so here's the guts of my not-really-high-end Nomos Ludwig auto-datum. Anything more expensive than this should look at least as nice.

    Last edited by skywatch; Aug 17, 2015 at 07:38 PM.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  8. #5
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    Movement/Case and their Finishing features would be top in my priority list. That's where the major premium of a HE watch comes from and that is key to me.
    Second for me would be history, rarity and collectible value - making only 10 watches is great, but its more special if those 10 are collectible movements or worn by steve mcqueen (or something along those lines).

    Looks/size would be third, mainly because I wouldn't choose a HE watch just based on looks. E.g. even if Steinhart introduced an awesome looking bezel on their Sub homage, I would still prefer to buy a Sub.

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  10. #6
    For me, what really defines a high end watch is the finishing and the movement. When I first saw a Voutilanen in person, the thing that struck me most was the finishing. You could tell that a lot of attention went into making sure the watch was absolutely perfect. I could have gazed at those hands for a long time. I imagine the same would hold true for a watch made by Roger Smith or Philippe Dufour.

    History is far down on my list. As you may guess by the names mentioned above, I appreciate the skills of the individual watchmaker rather than that of a brand with long history. Not that the history is meaningless and doesn't translate into technical know-how passed down from watchmaker to watchmaker, but the accomplishments of those individuals leave me in awe.

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  12. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyB View Post
    For me, what really defines a high end watch is the finishing and the movement. When I first saw a Voutilanen in person, the thing that struck me most was the finishing. You could tell that a lot of attention went into making sure the watch was absolutely perfect. I could have gazed at those hands for a long time. I imagine the same would hold true for a watch made by Roger Smith or Philippe Dufour.

    History is far down on my list. As you may guess by the names mentioned above, I appreciate the skills of the individual watchmaker rather than that of a brand with long history. Not that the history is meaningless and doesn't translate into technical know-how passed down from watchmaker to watchmaker, but the accomplishments of those individuals leave me in awe.
    You know, the problem with guys like Voutilanen and Dufour is, they make watches that almost no WIS can afford, and we're the ones who would appreciate them the most. There oughta be a law. Or at least a 90% discount for us.

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  14. #8
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
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    Okay so here's a high end we watch that I could potentially afford with some creative accounting. (thanks for the image, kibi).

    What I like about it: the case, dial, markers, hand... everything. Brand name? Dunno. Maybe a bit. But people on the street have never heard of JLC; obviously WIS will appreciate it. If someone did a cheaper version that I liked as much I'd buy that today, but if I could afford it I guess I'd have the JLC. Frederique constant and montblanc both do moonphases that are nice, but not quite as nice as this. History? No. If I liked a high end nomos (what's the price of entry? ) I'd but it.
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  16. #9
    Here's a little dial and movement eye candy from my VC. Just bought a cheap little macro lens for my iPhone, only played with it for a few minutes yesterday--I can probably do better with more practice.

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  18. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Okay so here's a high end we watch that I could potentially afford with some creative accounting. (thanks for the image, kibi).

    What I like about it: the case, dial, markers, hand... everything. Brand name? Dunno. Maybe a bit. But people on the street have never heard of JLC; obviously WIS will appreciate it. If someone did a cheaper version that I liked as much I'd buy that today, but if I could afford it I guess I'd have the JLC. Frederique constant and montblanc both do moonphases that are nice, but not quite as nice as this.
    My problem with this watch is very practical--I can't read the bloody date without a loupe. 'Tis beautiful, though.

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