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Thread: Second time right

  1. #1

    Second time right

    I was reading a review of the new Tudor North Flag and found myself thinking that when they come to give this design a gentle revision, it will come into focus, and suddenly leap in popularity. At the moment it doesn't seem to be garnering enthusiasm beyond the specific Tudor and Tool Watch constituencies, but there's nothing in the design to suggest that a little sprinkle of stardust wouldn't transform its mass appeal.

    I was wondering: are there examples of watches that were just fine when released, but which ascended to the heavenly ranks in their version 2.0 guise?

    Here's a photo:

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    Here's the review I pinched it from: The Tudor North Flag, With Tudor's Own In-House Movement

  2. #2
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    At the moment it doesn't seem to be garnering enthusiasm beyond the specific Tudor and Tool Watch constituencies

    Oh, I don't know - I feel as though I've been reading consistent praise from all quarters. Personally, I think it's great, with little or nothing that I'd want to change. The power reserve disc is particularly nice.

    The only slight reservation I have, now that we're seeing more comprehensive pictures, is the profile.

  3. #3
    Anyone enthusiastic about getting to the point of my question, or should I knuckle down and start finding sources to justify the thought that I presented here merely as the thing that led me to what I imagined might be an interesting question?

  4. #4
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
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    Would say the second version of the Nomos Metro Datum has definitely gotten a much better reception than the first. New size, removal of power reserve, slightly redesigned date window
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    Last edited by meijlinder; Sep 8, 2015 at 01:54 PM.

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  6. #5
    In all my reading and despite lots of study, I have never been able to identify what makes a watch break out versus those that don't. Every reason I've read for a given watch not breaking out is countered by examples in the market that did despite making the same "mistake".

    Of course, "breaking out" means gaining significant popularity outside of enthusiast circles. And that requires status endorsement. So, maybe that revised Nomos broke out because the Watch Snob said favorable things about Nomos, or because Tourneau started carrying them in their stores. Or something unrelated to the attributes of the watch in question.

    As a collector of watches that never seem to be popular outside a small following, I've always wondered at the paradox of originality. The watches that break out seem to me to be the ones that offend the least, but the statement they make is one of eliminating all jarring notes. But style is a matter of adopting jarring notes in a way that achieves a dynamic balance or harmony. Shostakovich's music contains an abundance of dissonance, but achieves a deeply compelling unified whole even so. We complain about watch companies that never push the envelope, but then when they do, we ignore their products as being too edgy, bold, or otherwise different. The objective for those who design edgy watches is to somehow redefine mainstream to include them, and many waves have crashed on that rocky shore. Really, watch buyers often do not live up to their rhetoric.

    I'm trying to think of examples where the second version was more popular than the first, and the examples that come to mind, if they show any trend at all, are based on removing offending elements. The operative principle seems to be: "What kept this watch from selling before? Let's remove that!" The only example I can think of off the top of my head is a poor one, but it's one I'm recently familiar with, and that's the original Concord C1 from 2009 verses the current C1 (which was revised a couple of years ago).

    I'll show chronographs only, since that's all they have in the second version, even though I prefer the three-hand model of this watch with its superb readability. Here's the first C1 Chronograph:

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    The bezel crenelations are rubber, and the crown is huge (and also easily gripped with a gloved hand). The photo was originally linked to a 2009 blog article that was titled "The Craziest Watch of the Year". Comments on forums focus on how Concord has gone goofy and out of control.

    Here's the current C1 Chronograph (version 2):

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    The crenelations on this one are metal, and the crown is more subdued (though also harder to operate with a gloved hand). People seem to like this one better, though I don't know if it has sold any better. The second one is really just as well made, with the same movement, and some very nice details (including the Concord "C" surrounding the date window, and the octagonal subdials). The price is also about 20% lower at retail.

    Even though the second one is very nice, I prefer the first one as the purer expression of an aggressive design concept--Shostakovich conducted by Shostakovich, instead of by some second-tier conductor who tones it down, trying to get a traditionalist audience of little old ladies to accept it. (I could have gotten the second version more cheaply, but the first one--not a chronograph--seemed to me even closer to the concept than the chronograph model above).

    Rick "stealing DA's idea to voice his own rant of the moment" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

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  8. #6

    Second time right

    To further Rick's thoughts above regarding wanting companies to push the design envelope a bit further and then criticizing/ignoring them when they do, something that has always struck me as odd is that the watches often highly valued by collectors are those that nobody wanted in the first place. The rare copies by virtue of their undesirability suddenly become desirable.

    Can you imagine the response a modern day double Swiss Rolex would get? Nitpickers would condemn the presence of the second Swiss at the bottom of the dial and they would languish in the display case until sent to a gray market dealer to move the unwanted stock. And then 50 years later, those same nitpickers would battle one another for the privilege of owning such a rarity.

    To bring this post back on point, I can think of two models whose second coming was more welcome than the first. The Ploprof and the Milgauss. Neither one was all to great a seller when originally offered, but through the kind lens of time, those models started looking much better and were brought back by their respective makers in updated form.

  9. #7
    The first time I heard Shostakovich's long, messy, visceral Fourth Symphony, it was conducted by Ashkenazi - a good substitute for the very dead Shostakovich, as he too brings out the true tone whilst having an indifferent technique. So, very authentic. However they had the good sense to pair the work with Mozart's Fifth Violin Concerto, which aside from its own sterling qualities, sweetened the pill a little.

    I went away and did lots of googling on the North Flag and found quite enough to reassure me that I didn't have the only pair of eyes finding it a little too rigorously toolish. I'm sure that Tudor are far more interested in sales figures than in Damasko-like toolish credibility, and if they find a way of adding a little bit of Mozart to the Shostakovich, they won't be at all disappointed in themselves as the sales figures leap from solid to KER-CHING.

    When I first heard that the Nomos Metro had been a great success, I was quite surprised - lots of reaction to it had been huh? I would love to see which Nomos models sell well globally and which meet with success purely in the Fatherland. Me, I love the design of the new Minimatik, but I'm not sure I've yet seen a single person on IWL saying the same

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  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyB View Post
    To bring this post back on point, I can think of two models whose second coming was more welcome than the first. The Ploprof and the Milgauss. Neither one was all too great a seller when originally offered, but through the kind lens of time, those models started looking much better and were brought back by their respective makers in updated form.
    I can't get over how few of the original Genta-reboot of the Ingenieur IWC sold in the 70s (in steel: 550)

  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    The first time I heard Shostakovich's long, messy, visceral Fourth Symphony, it was conducted by Ashkenazi - a good substitute for the very dead Shostakovich, as he too brings out the true tone whilst having an indifferent technique.
    I heard the Shosty 8th conducted by Shostakovich--Maxim Shostakovich, that is--about 25 years ago. It was a remarkable performance exceeding the usual attainment of that particular orchestra. I've also heard Ashkenazy work wonders with that orchestra. But each conductor has his strengths. Neeme Jarvi, leading the Scottish National Orchestra, just seems to channel Prokofiev directly. He was also a composer not afraid of dissonance. And the Vaughan Williams 4th Symphony needs the composer himself (in the seminal 1937 recording) or John Barbirolli (in the late 50's recording) to really say what needs to be said. Richard Hickox did okay, but that work was not the high point for that most famous of Vaughan Williams conductors--Adrian Boult. Plenty of dissonance in that work, too; so much so and so bold a statement that the composer was known to have said, "I don't know whether I like it, but it's what I meant at the time." (He resisted the claim that it was about war by insisting that it was "about F minor"--one of the great quotes from a composer). Not everything can be the Tallis Fantasia.

    When I first started listening to serious "classical" music, I quite liked Mozart. But the more I have listened, the more I have understood and appreciated later and more tonally challenging works. I still listen to Mozart from time to time, but even for that period I might prefer Haydn. There's a lesson in that, but now I'm merging two threads.

    Rick "wondering if second editions are sometimes bold compositions conducted timidly" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Sep 8, 2015 at 06:26 PM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  12. #10
    If I understand your question properly,and we haven't drifted too far yet...

    I think this watch was not too bad when released but needed some 'tweaking'



    But maybe they could have added crown guards, better hands, and a larger crown - all of which, of course, made their way onto subsequent models fairly rapidly - certainly both version 2.
    I guess one could make a point for stopping while you're ahead because eventually they saw fit to add a date - with cyclops - , green versions, gold, and even pimpalicious two tone models.but these had to be in the versions 3 and above.

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