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Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

My overall philosophy when it comes to giving people advice on what watch to buy, is not actually to tell them what watch to buy. Instead, I try to have conversations with people about why I like the watches I do, and hope that they can use that information to make good watch choices for themselves. With that said, I personally have a serious head start on most timepiece enthusiasts out there given my level of exposure and experience handling a large volume of different watches. The purpose of this particular series will be to share some of the larger types of features you can find in watches available today that I am the most excited about as a watch collector.

Some of these timepiece features are easy to find and affordable, while others fall into more exclusive categories that make them covetable and possibly worth saving up for. It is important to note that my interests and taste change from time to time. Just as I have different tastes today as I did a decade ago, in a decade from now I may very well have a revised list of features in watches that I am excited about as an enthusiast and a consumer.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Performance & Accuracy In Movements

I struggle with accepting the primary weakness of mechanical movements compared to electronic ones – and that is that they are simply not nearly as accurate or reliable over time. With that said, our shared fondness for analog things means that most watch lovers cannot escape the ultimate allure of a machine whose operation we can see and understand with our eyes. That means while I accept that a mechanical watch isn’t going to be as accurate as most quartz movements, I very much want mechanical movement makers to keep trying. That means watches whose movements emphasize performance overall, especially accuracy, really interest me.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Perhaps it is my adhesion to the notion that the most important value a watch has, is being successful at its primary intended function – to tell the time. Something about my character (perhaps it is a male thing) doesn’t allow me to really take something seriously unless it has a utilitarian value. Thus, I am totally OK being interested in pretty tools, but pretty things with no tool function are often ignored by me. With that said, it should be predictable that watches with innovations in accuracy capture my close attention.

I make it a point to talk about movement performance because it is actually one of the least talked about things in the watch industry. Stories about truly better watch movements are much less common than new aesthetic designs and decorative materials. Nevertheless, at least a few times a year, something new is released with a novel concept or mechanism which helps a mechanical watch movement be more accurate.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

These technologies vary from materials (such as using silicon over metal in certain applications), to the design of entire systems (such as a brand new design for a balance wheel). More often, new designs and materials are combined together. The danger for watch collectors is to separate meaningless innovations from practical ones. By this I mean that not all innovations in watch movements actually make them perform better. Watch buyers need to do their research and carefully read claims made by manufacturers to understand if a new movement system actually does something, or is simply designed to do something. Watch makers routinely fail to include information about how their movements actually perform aside from details such as operating frequency speeds and power reserve times.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

When it comes to accuracy or isochronism, brands tend to be silent. One reason for this is totally understandable – and that is the fact that two identical watch movements can perform differently based on how well they are regulated as well as how the user treats them. More on point is the simple fact that because most people who wear mechanical watches do not rely on them as a primary time telling tool (for most people that item would be a mobile phone), watch makers do not feel compelled to go in-depth into the actual performance. The romance of pursuing greater mechanical watch performance is enough to sway most collectors it seems. Actually achieving greater performance is more challenging.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

I’m actually keen to eventually see an all, or mostly silicon movement. It really doesn’t matter to me whether or not the movement is entirely one material or another, but I’d like to see at least one family of mechanical movements that uses as little metal as possible. I’m not suggesting we encourage movements made with alternative materials “just because,” but rather a focus on weight savings, service reduction, and performance increase above adherence to watchmaking tradition. I’m not saying that I wish all watch movements were like this (there is still a big place for a beautifully decorated artistic traditional movement), but I don’t think someone should have to pay for a Ulysse Nardin Freak just to have a truly modern, performance-oriented mechanical watch movement that uses non-metal parts. I’m not even against high-grade forms of plastic, assuming they offer pure performance increase potential.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Investment in making mass-produced mechanical watch movements more and more accurate and better performing is in a sense a futile effort (or at the least a strange business decision). We don’t live in a world where any type of mainstream community relies on a mechanical watch for accuracy. People needing accuracy know where to go to get it. Thus, only those who can get away with charging luxury prices are incentivized to innovate when it comes to performance. Ideally some of those technologies will trickle down into more affordable timepieces.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

This all makes me think about the story of the co-axial escapement that was invented by the late George Daniels. For years, Daniels failed to sell the technology that made your basic watch movement better to any brand willing to industrialize it. The problem was that even though Daniels was able to prove (by making a few of his own) that the co-axial escapement was an improvement over the standard escapement design (which hasn’t been seriously improved in 100 years or more), it cost too much to make per watch for it to be cheaply implemented.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Eventually, Omega purchased the co-axial escapement technology from Daniels, but it took them years to properly implement it, and it was only after years of George hearing countless rebuttals to his arguments. Today most new in-house made Omega movements contain co-axial escapements and many watch lovers take the name for granted perhaps not understanding what it is. Indeed, the challenge for Omega is to easily explain a technology that doesn’t offer performance you can see, but that’s supposed to keep something more accurate overtime while needing less service.

The computer design and modeling age offers more tools than ever to the traditional watch maker space to innovate when it comes to making higher-performance movements. Nevertheless, developing and testing is expensive and very time consuming. Few watchmakers big or small are willing to take the time to disrupt their existing technology with something new – especially since most of the world will not really take notice. Nevertheless, as a serious enthusiast I am always on the lookout for features in watch movements that truly help them offer more accuracy and overall performance.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Wear-Resistant Materials

A nice patina on a vintage watch can be cool, but at the same time I really don’t like to see my own watches age with time. Therefore, I am constantly on the lookout for watches made with wear-resistant materials that defend against scratches, scrapes, dents, scuffs, discoloration, or damage in general. Timepieces are a real investment, and unless you are intentionally investing in something that will age with time (such as a bronze watch case), I think most people are like me in that they want their investment to look sparkling new for as long as possible. Few things feel worse than seeing that first hairline scratch on a metal watch case.

Features In Watches Worth Collecting According To Ariel Adams Part 1 Featured Articles

Ceramic as a watch case material became popular mainly because of its wear-resistant properties. While a good hit can shatter ceramic, most people tend to agree that its incredible scratch resistance makes for a worthy trade-off. Ceramic also benefits from having a finish and color that will not really age with time. If there is anything that many vintage watches will teach you, it is that many colored materials lose or change color over time. Color stability isn’t always easy to find, but ceramic has it. A perfectly white ceramic case today should remain perfectly white (not yellowish) and polished for a very long time.

About the Author

Fueled by an unshakable love for horology and a general curiosity for intricate things, Ariel Adams founded aBlogtoWatch in 2007 as a means of sharing his passion. Since then, ABTW has become the highest trafficked blog on luxury timepieces, and Ariel has become a contributor to other online publications such as Forbes, Departures and Tech Crunch, to name just a few. His conversational writing style and inclusive attitude brings a wider appreciation for watches the world over, and that's just the way he likes it.

Follow me on Google+ Ariel Adams

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  • johngage1

    I can only speak for myself as someone who collects both vintage and modern timepieces but I find a great deal more pleasure from vintage. There’s the excitement of the hunt, the feeling of relative exclusivity, the need to educate oneself, having a modern timepiece knowing anyone can purchase them provided they have the funds leaves me cold and empty. You admire the build quality of modern timepieces but for some reason I don’t feel the same passion. I guess the wonderful thing about our hobby is that there is room for everyone.

    • Today’s avant garde design watches are tomorrow’s collectables. Look at how long it took AP to sell the first production run of Royals Oaks. And that the PP Nautilus only be came Patek’s best seller years after it was introduced. Ariel’s point of being adventurous is well founded (says someone who designs watches that are a bit out there – for now). Cheers.

  • ProJ

    I find design plays the number 1 role in watch collection. The watch has to look good overall. Number 2 is the wearbility, which would include things like case diameter and thickness, weight, bracelet adjustability etc. Number 3 is the practicality. What functions does it offer? Date is essential to many people. Rotating bezel adds a nice bit of functionality. WR is an important element in practicality. Etc.
    At the end, we buy what we like, but we like what we think we need. Decisions in this world are not purely intellectual nor they are purely emotional.

    • Right, emotional is the want for a given watch. Functiona/practicality (lack thereof) is what keep us from buying a watch we otherwise are emotionally drawn to.

  • benjameshodges

    Great article. Couldn’t agree more with the section on brands striving for better accuracy.

    • Yep – I would love to see the “industrial movements” (commonly avaiable) from the Swiss, Germans and Japanese all have silcon escapements, at least 72 hour power reserve, etc. And GMT movements where the local time is easily changed (+/- an hour either way) via the crown without effecting the 24 hour hand, annual calendars that are only a bit more costly than date only movements and column wheel chronographs with vertical clutches as the baseline. Wishing and hoping 🙂

      • I would agree. I would also question why we don’t see more of these features standard in the industry. Maybe very few people in the industry are aware of what the majority of consumers would consider “basic” at this point in time, given current technology. Maybe they don’t care. Or maybe they go to lunch every day with this knowledge, but consume too much wine, schnapps, or sake, and have to start all over again the next day.

        • I don’t know how accurate this figure is, but I heard once that to develop and industrialize a brand new movement costs around a million USD. So the development costs may be the biggest inhibitor. More so than the increased production costs once up and running with a well debugged movement design. I suspect that so long as the 30 year old movement designs keep selling, the movement makers don’t have much incentive to spend hard cash to advance the baseline state of the industry.Which is sad. Better tech could be what would excite potential buyers to get another watch and help end the current slump. Aloha.

          • Maybe a new movement from scratch Mark. But I think that’s a bit overstated on purpose. At any rate, we were speaking about the addition of features to what would in all likelihood be an existing base caliber. This is something that would cost far less than seven figures. Take care.

          • I’d be happy for Zenith to make a chronograph from their Defy Lab silicon movement that runs at 15 Hz. Aloha.

      • Luciano

        Agree, but not sure if the annual calendar issue is a cost or a price driven topic. For the most part I believe it’s just a way to justify higher prices. We see the same for tourbillons.

        • Yep – which is why I asked for annual calendar with “only a bit more costly”. You are right that the asking prices are out of line based on the slight increase in component cost to manufacture. Cheers.

      • Gokart Mozart

        I agree to a point but a column wheel chrono with vertical clutch may not be that match more to produce buf the Swiss cos will try to double the price compared to 7750’s at least.

        Anyway what is wrong with a 7750 based chrono. Exhibit A and B (on the left)

        • What’s wrong with a 7750? Pusher activation force primarily. Plus as a general rule, vertical clutch chronographs has no jitter on start which horizontal clutch watches often do. And yeah I know the 7750 used a tilting pinion engagement but it is more like a horizontal than vertical clutch. And the 7750 is a very thick movement.

          • egznyc

            Yep, the thickness is really a drawback. Of course, a central minutes hand would also be a real draw, particularly if possible for only slightly more than a subsidiary dial.

          • I hear that – The Carl F Bucherer Manero (on some references) come with a central chronograph minute hand. A real draw for me.

  • goju1

    Are you sure that George Daniels sold the co-axial escapement to Omega? I have seen a video of him stating that he did not have a copyright or patent on it. I understand that he collaborated with Omega to develop a process for mass production but I don’t believe that anyone can own the rights. He may have been paid as a consultant but not for the rights to manufacture. Perhaps you can provide more information?

    • With or without the legal protections of a patent, Mr Daniels clearly invented the co-axial movement and spent a long time trying to “sell” it to various major watch brands. Fortunately for him and us, Omega finally took him up on it. And as I understand it, Roger Smith is still free to use it also.

      • Spangles

        Could someone else adapt it?

        Like a start-up or ebauche maker?

        Because that would be amazing.

        • Raymond Wilkie

          Omega originally used the modification at 28.800 bph and later to 25.200 which George daniels recognised as being a improvement and therefore necessary.

        • Gokart Mozart

          They should be able to, once the patents expire. I don’t think there is a reason for example Rolex to make their own version. Rolex was another company that turned down George Daniels invention. Idiots, but to be fair there were alot of idiots including Patek I think.

          If I understand correctly I think Roger Smiths latest watches have a slightly modified version to improve its performance.

          Another example of something similar is the IWC split seconds chronograph initially used in the Il Destriero Scafusia grand complication initially and then other IWC’s.

          It was invented by Richard Habring, but would not have been able to use it in his own watches. He had to wait before he could use it and then modified to improve it, in his Doppel Chrono 3.

        • As I understand it, the the manufacturing tolerances for a co-axial escapement are even more demanding than a conventional escapement. So you pretty much need to already be in the game as an “assortment” maker (like Nivarox). But yeah, it would be great to see the co-axial out there in more brands/watches.

          • Spangles

            Thanks for the reply Mark, much appreciated.

      • JLG

        I’m not here to distribute awards but I modestly think you sir have the most positive, constructive and pleasant contribution to the comments section. I wish some of those who unleash their frustrations, personal defeats and bad temper on blogs and websites would learn a bit from you. cheers

        • I’m only being nice because I want everyone to pre-order a watch on the Kickstarter project I’m launching in about a week to 10 days from now, ha ha.

          Seriously, thanks for the kind words. It’s too easy to get snarky and I’m far from perfect in this, but I try to keep it civil. Those that irritate me just don’t get much response from me in the way of replies or up votes. Is that being passive aggressive or am i just trying to act like I’m above all of it? LOL

          I try to treat people as I would face to face. And I like to think that we are all here to share our passion for watches and can be open enough to learn from each other. There is so much to know and so little time – it keeps ticking away.


          • JLG

            well good luck to you! do let us know please about your project.

          • I will – it will be a Sponsored Post about 3 days into the 30 day funding period. Just be on the look out for the “Octagon Watch”.

          • JLG

            Great. Looking forward.

          • If you are super-curious:
            We are shooting the video for the Kickstarter project in 9 hours from now.

          • JLG

            WOW! very very nice work really. impressive. all the best to you. I’ll make sure to also tag interested people.

          • Thanks – I will need at least 30 backers to make my funding goal.

    • SuperStrapper

      Stories are what his book is seriously lacking. I’ve read it 3 times but its basically a textbook. Would really benefit from some sidebar conversations about stuff like this.

      Not to downplay how awesome the book is. Every serious watch lover should Have one.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      The coaxial escapement was invented ( independently ) by the wonderful George Daniels (19 August 1926 – 21 October 2011) in 1977 and patented in 1980. The escapement was commercialised in 1999 by Omega SA when it introduced the first mass-produced watch incorporating the technology. it is the only other escapement produced at industrial scale, other than the Swiss lever escapement.
      Patents in the UK last 20 years… no idea about other jurisdictions Daniel’s may have filed in.

  • aWtchslvr

    I have nothing to say about vintage, futuristic or freak. Taste is absolutely personal. But there is something plain clear to me: I do not purchase luxury (expensive) watches if they do not offer a significant technical improvement. In special when the same watch doubled the price in a few years…

  • Ginojin

    4. Crown on the dial

  • Mark1884

    Emphasis on “according to AA”

    • Raymond Wilkie

      Your point ?

      • Mark1884

        The point is, it’s too pointy!

        • Raymond Wilkie

          I’m not being drawn into this.

    • Beefalope

      Yeah, what is your point? It’s an opinion piece.

      • Mark1884

        You answered your own question.
        It’s an opinion piece, no more valid than my opinion. This blog seems to showcase the watches the owner likes, not so much what the readership likes.
        I do not agree with the “watches worth collecting” by the author. I don’t want his “concern” over my manner of dress or vehicle I drive. If I want to live in a “self made fantasy” that is my business.
        If I feel that I need counseling, I will seek that out. The author seems to feel that he is uniquely qualified to address every issue now confronting the watch industry.
        I enjoy this site, but am sometimes annoyed by the “expert” advice.

        • SuperStrapper

          Then why did you read the article. You’re aware its voluntary?

          • Mark1884

            Never thought of that, thanks

          • SuperStrapper

            Not a problem.

          • Beefalope

            That’s a fine question. People always seem to miss that part.

          • SuperStrapper

            It gets in the way of expressing petulance.

        • Beefalope

          I think it would help to lighten up, sir.

          Yes, it’s an opinion piece, and it’s up to you to decide how much validity it has. You’ve decided it doesn’t have much validity for you; that’s fine.

          And yes, the blog showcases watches that the owner likes; what the readership likes varies. It’s his blog, and it’s his prerogative to write about what he likes. If you want to write about what you like, then you can start your own blog.

          If you don’t agree with him, that’s fine. Nobody is forcing you to. And certainly nobody is telling you that you need counseling.

          The author didn’t write here about all that afflicts the watch industry; he simply wrote about what he looks for in a watch. I’m not sure why you’re ascribing intentions to him that he doesn’t have.

          I don’t understand why you’re so upset about this, sir. This seems to me to be more of a you issue than it is the author’s issue.

          • Mark1884

            Please don’t patronize me.
            You are correct. It is an opinion piece, and I think not much is valid about it.
            Perhaps the owner should be less concerned about watches he likes, and more concerned about the likes of the readership. After all, we are the ones that keep his site going and keep the bills paid….. correct?

            The author seems to be writing in areas that are out of his depth. Analyzing the watch industry and suggesting fixes seem humorous to me. Now he advises about which watches to collect, and dabbling in psycho analysis of overly nostalgic persons???
            Please don’t take yourself too seriously. Just write about watches ok.

            You can take your condescending attitude and stuff it.

          • Beefalope

            You’re a delight.

          • Ariel Adams

            The number one question we get asked in e-mails is for specific advice on what watch to buy. People literally say “what watch should I buy.” We can’t give personalized advice like that, but I can write an article like this and tell people what I personally look for in a watch. As someone who is more comfortable with your tastes and has more knowledge about timepieces than your average consumer, this type of advice is less useful to you. Though I encourage you to consider the importance of helping other would-be collectors reach a similar level of taste comfort as you seem to exhibit. While at the same time not being as critical of others who simply like different things.

        • SuperStrapper

          “The blog seems to showcase the watches the owner likes, not so much what the headship likes”

          You speak for everybody now? You’re suggesting they please all of the people all of the time. Mission impossible.

          • Mark1884

            I’m sorry, I don’t speak for the “headship”

          • SuperStrapper

            So, everybody but.

        • Ariel Adams

          Let me put some of this into context because I think it will explain our intentions. What we observe in much of the larger publishing world (especially traditional fashion or lifestyle magazines) is that the publication more or less says “this and only this is cool.” While a particular name might not be associated with the article, the publication is essentially telling the reader the item they are discussing is desirable, without going more into it. At least this has been our experience in a lot of instances.

          For that reason we try to make it clear when we give advice or a suggestion who is making the suggestion and what their tastes are. This is so that audience members know whether or not the person giving advice has tastes which are similar or dissimilar to theirs. It is entirely possible that your tastes are not well-represented by someone on our editorial team. Not because we don’t like your tastes. I can totally understand feeling left out a bit if you don’t see your opinions more frequently represented, but it is merely because at this time we don’t have a writer whose tastes are perhaps more like yours. So in the comments you can add your two-cents, and if you feel as though you want to share relevant and helpful “expertise,” then we invite you to do so.

  • Spangles

    How to buy a tacky, expensive watch

    • SuperStrapper

      Is that the name of the piece you’re going to write one day?

      • Spangles

        It’s practically already written, you could say!

        • SuperStrapper

          You could say whatever you like. Doesnt make it true. Or is your subjective opinion some kind of rule.

          • Spangles


  • SuperStrapper

    I’m very excited to see what zenith does with their new technology.

    Nice article, good Sunday read.

    • Ben


  • Berndt Norten

    When I comes to giving advice to those who give advice I advise you don’t say ‘when it comes to.’ What was wrong with ‘concerning’ or ‘regarding’? The first sentence of this article speaks to the need for a copy editor:

    “My overall philosophy when it comes to giving people advice on what watch to buy, is…”

    Delete ‘when it comes to’

    Replace with ‘regarding’

    Three words of excess verbiage eliminated


    • Raymond Wilkie


      • Berndt Norten

        Look up the meaning of the word

    • Shinytoys

      how’d did you like the watches…?

      • Berndt Norten

        Couldn’t hack through the thickets of verbiage. Gave up

    • BobHoover Tiangco

      It’s like Ariel is having these “Jerry Maguire” writing episodes more frequently now.

    • Ayreonaut

      “There is never any point to arguing taste with a fellow person.”

  • Ross Diljohn

    I came here to disagree but wound up nodding along in agreement. Accuracy,materials and aesthetics are what most watch discussions,internal and external, focus on.

    • Raymond Wilkie

      The voice of reason !

      • Ross Diljohn

        High praise.

    • DanW94

      Agree, but price also seems to be a popular topic. Often a contentious one at that.

      • Ross Diljohn

        Amen. It’s often the case these days where I love the watch but can’t believe the price tag. There comes a point where you have to wonder if they are either insane or joking.

  • Marius

    The watch features listed in this article are quite useful; however, I’m not sure if “collectors” are actually attracted by them.

    Firstly, as Carlos Perez from TimeZone repeatedly pointed out, there seems to be a misunderstanding as to what collectors really are. As Perez explained, a collector focuses on “assembling a set of closely related watches” such as the various Royal Oak references produced by AP, or various Reversos, or Rolex GMTs, or high-grade dress watches from the 50`s. The collector that this article mentions is not a collector per se, but rather a person who gathers random watches. The fact that you own, for instance, a Submariner, a Speedmaster, and a Nomos doesn’t mean that you have a collection — you simply own a group of unrelated watches. Similarly, a Mercedes E-Class, a Range Rover, and a Porsche Boxter don`t constitute a car collection.

    Furthermore, most of the elements presented in this article are actually disuasive for a collector.

    Performance & Accuracy. Sure, having an accurate caliber is great, but that’s rarely the primary reason for buying an expensive watch. The reality is that technical improvements become quite cheap once they’re industrialized. For instance, in 2007, when the UN Freak debuted, silicon components were extremely costly. Nowadays, even an under $1,000 Tissot Balade features a silicon hairspring. The same applies to the coaxial escapement. On the other hand, highly-finished high-grade watches such as a Lange 1, or a P. Dufour were, are, and will always be expensive because the craft and handwork involved is getting rarer and rarer.

    Wear-resistant materials. New materials clearly have advantages in some areas, but overall, they still can’t beat the classics i.e. steel and gold. For instance, Hüblotters Magic Gold is very scratch-resistant, but due to its somewhat olive color tone, it doesn’t really look like real gold. So, you’re paying a huge premium for a gold watch that doesn’t really look like one. Similarly, ceramic is also highly scratch-resistant. However, its quite brittle, and if you crack the case, the only option is to entirely replace it, which can be quite costly. For instance, a friend of mine dropped his Omega DSOfM, and the case cracked. The Omega service center quoted a servicing cost of almost €6,000.

    • Ben

      Although I do not have a Dufour, I do have an FPJ Bleu and the accuracy of +/- 2 seconds/day, or my GMT Rolex, JLC geophysics accuracy is very important to me. I regularly time my watches on my Lepsi and love the accuracy and beauty of them all. PS, I do not use my phone to tell time.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Agree about new materials, yes they may be beneficial, but what about in 20, or 50 or 100 years time?

      It Salon QP I was speaking to one of the main guys from Urban Jurgenson and discussing technology, and he said This is one of the reasons Kari V would not consider using silicon at the moment. What happens in 50 years if the sillicon balance wheel breaks, will you be able to get a new one or will someone be able to make a new one? Will silicon be obsolete, how long will the components last?

      I agree especially for watches like this and Dufours etc. One of the reasons I really like Julien Courday’s.

    • Agree on all points save one, the collector’s one. The car is the element linking car collections not necessarily their make or their qualities. Remember there are stamp collectors, China figurines collectors, even old shoes collections (Toronto even has a museum dedicated to this). A collector is simply a better organized hoarder really.

      My point, the finesse of the collection might be in question, but it’s still a collection nonetheless.

  • Marius

    According to this article:

    “I’m concerned about some people who I see as being overly nostalgic, falling into lifestyles where they wear old-style clothing, drive old-style cars, use old-style furniture, and wear old-style watches. I’m not trying to fall into my own trap about commenting on the taste of others, but I do think that such existence to a degree is living in a self-made fantasy cocoon.”

    Nick and Giles English (aka Iceman and Maverick) won’t be too pleased to read this comment. No sireee, they certainly won’t.

    • Mark1884

      These hucksters are way too nostalgic!…… I am concerned also.

    • Beefalope

      The problem with Bremont isn’t the design. Overall, I think Bremont has some of the best designs in watchmaking.

      Rather, the problem is with the shallow salesmanship, phony brand heritage and obscene prices.

      • Tea Hound

        Overall, I think Bremont has some of the best designs in watchmaking.


        • Beefalope

          I don’t think we’d have anywhere near as much of a problem with Bremont if it wasn’t all the ridiculous BS associated with Bremont — and which Bremont is responsible for. I don’t own a Bremont, but I may buy one used at some point, since some of their chronographs in the $2k range used are solidly built and well-designed.

          But if someone claims that Bremont is a company run by a couple of snake oil salesmen who are better at marketing than making watches, they’ll get no argument from me.

          Then again, that is true of the VAST majority of the watchmaking industry.

      • Watching Time

        In all fairness, most of the brands have fake heritage at best. The majority of them went bankrupt during the quartz crisis and the only link to the historic company is a name that was purchased by someone who restarted the company. I own a few “Brewmonts” as well as a few Rolexes, PP, ALS. Branding is not worth getting caught up in. As long as you like the watch and it’s quality is high, I say go for it. Bremont takes a lot of heat for its prices, but owning two, I have no issues for the quality. I could get “more bang for the buck” buying a Swiss brand with heritage but the brand name offers little connection to the original heritage. I like Rolexes because they are classic designs and high quality. I like Bremont because I like the designs and I like the attention to detail. People also hit on Bremont for overpriced movements. I get it; it’s the hear of the Watch. But why fix what isn’t broken? Many of these in-house movements are re-inventing the wheel, again, for the sole purpose of branding. The in-house movement craze doesn’t meet my “willingness to pay.” Rather, I just buy what I like.

    • Gokart Mozart

      What about Rolex. Every single Oyster just looks like slightly blingier version of what went before for the past 70 years.

      Also Chopard. The Milli Miglia range enough said. Maybe they could change the rubber strap design from vintage tread to the latest Continental or Pirelli.

      • Beefalope

        That’s an entirely valid point. Rolex is more in the business of selling prestige and nostalgia than it is in the business of selling great watches. Not once have I ever looked at any Rolex and thought, “This is a spectacular watch.”

        • Ian john horwood

          Did you know rolex is a registered charity not owned by the founding man’s family etc or shareholders. The founder of rolex Was a german living in england and of course not even swiss. The rolex brand name was a made up name from this man, the rolex name absolutely has no real meaning what so ever. Rolex has no real swiss horoligical beginings of course, just one man’s dream of making the best watch in the world. Rolex has 60% profit on every new watch sold from its dealers. A £7000 new rolex after expenses cost £4200 to bring to sale. These are just a few things most people actually dont know about rolex and are ignorant of the facts. Rolex was not an original prestige swiss brand in as most people seem to think. Even Seiko has real history and beginings in watch making than mighty rolex. There are even more things to know about rolex that most people dont even know about, and things about seiko people don’t know about.

          • Beefalope

            Your point being?

      • TrevorXM

        Not sure what your post has to do with Marius’ post which was all about fake lifestyle style.

    • Tea Hound

      The ‘Lady Bremont’ above was nearly the cause of a savage double-divorce in the English household when the two fragrant Mrs Englishes overheard Giles and Nick recounting how “they’d turned on their old girl, both got right inside her, and taken her up to heaven as she growled her appreciation, and twisted and turned under their caresses..”

      It was only when the troubled spouses realised the stains covering their husband’s trousers were actually engine oil that the collective penny dropped. To celebrate, the English Brothers released the limited edition Bremont “Take Her To Heaven And Back But Explain To Your Wife Who ‘Her’ Actually Refers To Before She Throws Hot Coffee Over You” Pilot Regatta Formula One three hander. It didn’t sell, but the marketing folk at Sellita were, once again, glad of the business.

      • Marius

        Hahaha! Excellent comment.

    • I will never part with my Oracle and Nak Tri Tracer decks, you hear me? NEVER !!!!!
      (nurse, quickly, me meds!!!)

  • mtnsicl

    I’m concerned about some people who I see as being overly nostalgic, falling into lifestyles where they wear old-style clothing, drive old-style cars, use old-style furniture, and wear old-style watches.

    God forbid people should actually use things that they like for as long as they can, instead of tossing them in the trash.

    • Beefalope

      I don’t think that was his point. I think his point — and it is a valid one — is that some people have the notion that only old things have value. These are the same types of people who only listen to classic rock and think that all new music sucks.

      Sure, there are a lot great old things, but there are a lot of great new things, too. This shouldn’t come down to a battle between old and new. It should be more about what is good, regardless of age.

      • Mark1884

        See, that is the problem. You are trying to think.

      • mtnsicl

        I really don’t think he should be conserned about it. If people want to buy used watches as opposed to new ones, that’s their own business. And, we all know that’s what that comment was all about.

  • Tea Hound

    My overall philosophy when it comes to giving people advice on what watch to buy, is not actually to tell them what watch to buy.

    Whereas mine is to buy whatever Rolex you can afford, enjoy your life, and ignore all the idiots telling you to do otherwise.

  • My strategy in watch collecting, not that anyone asked, is to first and foremost purchase styles that appeal to me, asthetically as well as functionally, and represent some milestone in a brand’s lineage. For example, the TAG Aquagraph is arguably not only the finest dive chrono ever produced, but also one of the top five models ever released by TAG. I love everything about it, hence, it’s in my collection.

    A Link, however, isn’t, not will it ever be. Neither will any contemporary model from TAG because there is nothing to love. At least not from me – you (whoever you may be) might absolutely be in love with a skeletonized Carrera 01. In that case, you should go buy one, because in the end, opinions are like genitals- everyone has them, but no one is interested in having someone else’s forced down their throat.

    • Beefalope

      Well, I wouldn’t say that no one is interested in having someone else’s forced down their throat.

      • Fair point; some people pay extra for that.

  • What’s with the new font? Can’t read it, very uncomfortable.

  • egznyc

    I am happy wearing weird avant-garde watches as well as more traditional watches. I don’t feel that I should limit myself to vintage – or vintage-style – or modern; I will seek out both because I enjoy variety, as long as I find something that appeals to me. Am I nostalgic? Sure. But I also like something that’s edgy. Depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to be backward-looking and sometimes forward-looking. Anyone got a problem with that? 😉

  • Nick Granville

    ” ….such as using silicon over metal in certain applications”. Let’s be clear, silicon IS a metal. The form used in watches is most commonly an alloy, being a mixture of silicon metal with other metal(s).

    • Greg Williams

      To be really clear, silicon is a metalloid. With 4 valence electrons, like carbon above it, it can give or receive electrons. Metals are just givers. Because it is larger than carbon, being one row down on the table, it is a better giver so it is a metalloid and not a non-metal like carbon. Going down two more rows gets you to tin (Sn), a metal.

      Your point about silicon acting as a metal in the alloy commonly used in watches makes sense. I admit I do not know for sure what form is used in watch parts so I defer to your expertise.

  • JLG

    Every time I see an article by Ariel Adams, especially the psychology related ones, I eagerly look forward to reading the comments section! I admit I don’t read the article itself. The interesting things happen below.

    • Tea Hound

      A little known fact is that Ariel Adams’ pieces are actually written by Amazon’s Alexa on her lunch hour when she’s chewing the fat with Siri and Cortana. The comments section is written mostly by Microsoft Tay, hence the stroppiness, except for the ‘Marius’ ones that are written by the Thai Federation Of Gender Fluid People Of Negotiable Affection (T-FOG-FPONA for short), and the Dinkee H.O. ones that are actually, oddly enough, written by Ariel.

  • Tea Hound

    Just when I think the watch industry couldn’t scrape the barrel (pun intended) with any more desperation, along comes Zenith with their astonishing Defy Lab. I just hope they have the collective balls and cash to do more with it, or to license it to someone who will. But look… they’ve released yet another bloody El Primero variation. Of course they have.

    But I truly don’t understand watch collecting at present: who’s buying all these Hodinkee $60k limited editions? Who really keeps up with the near-infinite Omega Dark Side Of The Balance Sheet Speedmasters? Who’d want a watch vaguely associated with an ageing actor who seems to be willing and able to do pretty much anything for cash, as long as it doesn’t show in the USA? When Hublot releases their ‘Weinstein Glory Days’ watch with a strap made with real seasoned casting couch leather, complete with official and documented ‘signs of mutual consent’, who will buy it? Because someone will. If you ‘never really own a Patek’ then why the f**k does it cost so bloody much? Why aren’t you being paid to look after it for the next generation?

    So my advice is if you want to get a true future collectable, then get as many of the following that you can afford:

    – Anything by Roger Smith or George Daniels. Pay whatever is being asked. Post photos here, including at least one wrist shot. Rally round to help Raymond work through his joy.
    – The Zenith Defy Lab with silicon balance – history will judge this as a real turning point. Pay whatever is being asked.
    – Any four watches by Rolex, except Cellini. No diamonds, and at least one mixed steel/gold variant. Pay Retail and not a penny more. Wear them all, enjoy them all.
    – The Tag Connected watch, 2nd generation. Keep it boxed, don’t dream of wearing it – it’s a wrist horror after all, but in 50 years time it’ll be akin to the original HP calculator watch: a quirky evolutionary dead-end and slightly valuable.
    – Eight Casio G-Steels – the last useful analogue-digital combi watch before cheap smart watches make them utterly irrelevant. Keep these boxed to sell as batch, to a future pony-tailed idiot from Hoxton.

    That’s it.

  • Mikita

    Save $10k and do the following:
    1) Find a minty JLC Reverso for ~$3k and grab it.
    2) Find a minty Rolex Sub 14060M for ~$4k and grab it.
    3) Find a minty IWC Mark based on JLC caliber for $3k (do your best!), grab it and put on a bund leather strap.

    * watch snobs covered – check
    * inhouse staff – check
    * diver – check
    * dress – check
    * casual pilot – check

  • Larry Holmack

    Wells…ol’ Lar cain’t nar ‘ford none of them there fancy watches….but I’s a dun collect oder stuff…lik’in dat dere copper what’s I makes my still’s outta. Now’s maybe I’s can make some of y’all what’s luvs da ‘shine yer own still…what you’s can make yer own shine ta sell ta the more fancyfied folks what lives around ya! Maybe’s I can werk a trade for one of yer nicer Invicter’s fer a still!!!
    Well…”Get’er dun” der feller’s…and have’s y’all a good week!!!

  • I apply the same principles as a bird here.

    1. It has to be shiny!
    2. Red or yellow accents are a must!
    3. The odd well done (read shiny) blue dial will also make the cut.

  • Juan-Antonio Garcia

    Late to the discussion, but to me, I have a simple but golden rule to watches worth collecting, I collect the ones I like.

    • Marco Sampuel

      Isn’t it the only thing that matters?

      • Juan-Antonio Garcia

        Sadly is not a universal rule.

  • My father collected watches for a 30 years and he has a pretty good collection. But I don’t have so much money to collect a rare one.