Category Archive 'Watches'

29 Sep 2016

The Hermeneutics of the Expensive Watch

, ,

rolex

Matt Meltzer wore expensive watches (rented from this company) on several different occasions, and found that people treated him “wayyy differently.”

Many long years ago, an art dealer friend from Yale asked me to accompany him to look at a collection, pretending to be a wealthy interested collector. (I forget exactly why bringing along a ringer was desirable.) Before we departed for the meeting, my fashion-plate art dealer friend looked me over, decided my contemptibly ordinary Tissot wristwatch would never do, and hurriedly lent me a solid-gold Corum to wear.

My poor old Tissot finally died of old age, I replaced it, and the next one died as well after about a year. I bought a Timex, but I didn’t much like it, and it died even quicker. Going to a watch dealer to get new batteries put in constantly seemed to be a nuisance, so I decided finally to buy a better, more durable watch. I was also really sick of scratching watch crystals and needing to get them replaced. An expensive watch commonly has a practically-indestructible artificial sapphire crystal.

My choice (pictured above) was perhaps boringly conventional. I bought the gold-and-steel version of the Rolex DateJust with the Jubilee band.

Rolexes are sport watches, which you can wear doing manual labor and outdoor sports. The gold raises the watch’s formality just enough that the same watch is also perfectly appropriate for formal evening wear. With this model, one only needs one watch.

Once I started wearing my Rolex, I began noticing covert wrist glances from other people at business meetings and social occasions, and before long I found myself also taking other peoples’ wristwatches as a strong clue to each individual’s professional and social level, overall affluence, and adult sophistication. Wear that Rolex or Girard Perregaux, and you will catch new acquaintances making small facial expressions of approval after that covert questioning glance at your left wrist.

When you reach a certain point of middle-age, not owning a real watch, i.e. an expensive name brand watch, tends to suggest that you have never at any one time had a whole bunch of free cash and/or that you are some kind of Puritanical hippy with an ideological thing about high-end consumerism.

Pari passu, wearing too complicated a watch tends to make your viewing audience suspect that you are a Walter-Mitty fighter pilot/racing driver wannabee. Wearing a truly hideously expensive watch avec complications tells people you are a deranged watch collector who probably has a hedge fund. A watch is a form of self-expression that requires some exercise of personal judgement and taste.

I must confess, though: Watch prices have gone up so much that I would never ever buy my Rolex today.

25 Aug 2015

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175

, ,

TheGrandmasterChime

Built to celebrate the company’s 175th anniversary, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175 is so complicated that it is absolutely fascinating to watch it being designed and built.

Link to the 10:37 video is here.

Patek Philippe page

It is also so expensive ($2.6 million) that buying one would give Donald Trump pause.

I thought the end result is all-in-all a bit too much, but I still loved watching the video.

The video link came to me in an email from a fly rod building list.

22 Nov 2011

Hublot Building a Watch With Complications Based on the Antikythera Mechanism

, , , , ,

The Hodinkee blog recently reported that the Hublot watch company of Geneva is building a new ultra complication watch as a tribute to the Antikythera Mechanism.

The finished product, scheduled to be unveiled at a show in Basel next Spring, will combine a watch with the functions recently identified by archaeologists in the Antikythera device.

Past discussions of the Antikythera Mechanism.

Hat tip to Paul Ceruzzi.

06 Mar 2010

Conspicuous Timekeeping

, , , ,

Karen forwarded from Gizmodo this expensive gadget, the Thomas Prescher Mysterious Double Axis Tourbillon (link).

This wristwatch, which its maker prefers to call “a mysterious kinetic sculpture,” has its escapement beating visibly in the center located between oscillating weights and the time and calendar faces. The works are artfully concealed within the frame, and the wearer can apparently read the time from either side or position. The effects of gravity are negated by a tourbillon design causing the carriage “to rotate around itself.”

The Prescher Double Axis Tourbillon costs a mere CHF 330,000.00 (a bit more than $300,000) in yellow or red gold, slightly more in white gold. What it costs in platinum, you probably don’t want to know.

Somebody must still have this kind of money.

Hat tip to Watchismo.


Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Watches' Category.

















Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark