Got a cool watch? Let's see it.

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Jungle Jim, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Very nice.

    I'll ask the obvious question: How does the strap get on and off the case? Spring bar between the "wire" lugs?
  2. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Loosen screws to remove the lugs.

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  3. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Hmmm. Thanks for the info.

    The wire lugs look super-cool, but the structural engineer side of me raises a yellow flag. Definitely something I'd worry about if I were wearing it during "normal activities."

    On one hand I'd want to use a thread locker on the screws to keep them in there, but on the other, they're so tiny, if you ever want to swap out the strap they might never come out.

    Good luck with yours - it's a real beauty.
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  4. Lord Explorer

    Lord Explorer Been here awhile

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    Still out. But it’s more comfortable than I thought it would be. A bit top heavy
  5. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood Super Supporter

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    The classic look is more what gets me :raabia

    I particularly like the open heart look, too. I've been saving for a couple years for this one, 1969 El Primero Chronomaster Open in Rose Gold with rubber strap:

    [​IMG]

    I gotta see her knickers
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  6. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    The screws go into the recessed “notch” and evidently hold quite well. They’ve been using them for decades without issue.
  7. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome Supporter

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    The Triumph forum knows the story of the handle well, but most here don't. I don't particularly like donkeys. Or rather, I didn't always like them. Terrorists were using animals as couriers for bombs. It made troops develop a fear of animals, and rightfully so. Donkeys were perfect. Slit them open, insert explosives, stitch them up, and let them go do what they do. Eventually they walk up to humans and go kaboom.

    A donkey had been visiting our site in a remote part of where we shouldn't have been. It was hungry and it was sad. I didn't see signs of distress other than this donkey didn't know where else to find food, so I gave in...fully expecting that I might die when I fed it. Once I was close enough to feed it, I could clearly see that it hadn't been compromised. So there I was, a guy with some food from a MRE and a donkey's new best friend. The donkey wouldn't stop following me, and eventually I got him in the wire. Locals had probably been riding him, or at least making him haul stuff, so the next logical step was to do what they had done with him. An animal needs a purpose, right? I decided to give it a go one afternoon, and spent a couple hours outside trying to get a leg over him and ride him. Somebody asked where I was at, and one of my troops responded "He's out back learning how to ride donkeys."

    Later that year, back at Bragg, I had a Triumph at work. Somebody...a HD rider...quipped that it was like my donkey down range. It was low, slow, and leaked at inopportune times. Nailed it! And so that became my handle.

    I have no intentions of donkey themed watches. In fact, I really don't want to be in the design or building business. Where I want to be is the brand strategy side of the house...something American watchmakers are truly missing the mark on. But if I made a watch, a donkey watch, it would be the tool watch that I always wanted down range. A robust mechanical movement, great lume, GMT with a chronograph function, but still thin enough to avoid the hard knocks. But it would have to be as tough as that donkey.
  8. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    I grew up in a 3rd world country (Haiti) and there were lots of donkeys around there too, typically used to carry stuff, and I remember most looking so sad, you couldn't help but feel sorry for them. My memory's pretty hazy going back 50+ years, but think we also had one a while, just wandering around the property. Not sure how or why my father got it, maybe he took it in trade instead of cash, from someone who owed him $.
  9. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood Super Supporter

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    Sign me up!

    Stream of consciousness follows:

    I don't see RGM, Vortic or any of the other independents currently making a chronograph, and what you're describing is definitely a tool watch. Do you think an American brand could produce a (maybe hand wound) movement with such complications and sell it a price point to compete with, say, a Speedmaster or El Primero? You'd have to produce the piece for ~ $3000 or so, sell it for $5000 to get budget to market and support retail.

    Older Valjoux movements are probably long out of copyright, a hand wound movement based on that with a more modern escapement, maybe lots of silicon parts since the US manufacture lots of Silicon. Need a GMT module, too. Man, that sounds like a pricey but doable thing. Gotta drive the cost of production down. Since not even Shinola has gone down the mechanical chronograph route, sourcing a non-chronometer grade 7750 which I bet they could turn around for $3000 retail, is it simply the lack of Donkey Riding product focus?

    I have a Tissot 7750 based chrono (not chronometer grade) that sold for ~ $1500. Highest grade chronometer certified 775x, with GMT (second time zone, really) sell complete watches at $6000 retail (Bremont).

    Man, if you could produce a hand-wound chrono with GMT, MSRP $5000 or so, I bet you'd sell enough with the right marketing.

    You mention American watchmakers are missing the mark. What would you do differently? Ever think about talking with US based horological folks, you need to train up more watch makers.

    Sorry, just thinking aloud here, pretend we're all sitting around at the bar and solving all the worlds problems!
  10. Codewheeney

    Codewheeney Hoopy Frood Super Supporter

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  11. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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  12. scottcolbath

    scottcolbath Long timer

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    Yeah, I do like the look of the Air King. I've been thinking about putting my name on the list of a local AD.

    S.C.
  13. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome Supporter

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    It's doable, but not with an in-house movement. But then again, without an in-house movement, is it really an American watch?

    I don't really see that kind of watch as a mass market product if you're making it in the United States. But if you're a watch company that typically makes watches that are $20,000 or more, the donkey watch at $10,000 becomes the entry-level piece. At that price point in that kind of lineup it becomes a value proposition. It is the equivalent of the Rolex Submariner.

    I don't see much strategy going on in American watchmaking. Weiss makes a field watch. Shinola make crap. RGM really focuses on boutique pieces, but he has attempted tool watches. Nobody is bringing a strategic lineup to the table. And that is where I think the problem is.

    Much like microbrewers who start with one or two beers they know well and try to build up, these watchmakers are thinking that one or two models will carry them into the revenue stream they need to expand. It's really bad business. You're talking about one or two models that maybe, on a good day, interest half a percent of the market. You have to go bigger than that. You have to bring more models to market, even if they're made at a price point. You may only have one movement, but it goes in a field watch, a diver, a dress watch, etc. We're talking fractional percentages here, so go hard or go home.

    Then you need your unobtainium pieces. Nobody wants a Nautilus because Patek Philippe makes great sport watches. They want a Nautilus because it's the sport watch from a company that makes the most amazing perpetual calendars on the planet. Those high horology pieces that are seemingly unobtainable drive brand value.

    RGM does a decent job at driving brand value. But where is the watch in their lineup that generates massive cash flow?

    Weiss makes watches that are affordable and generate cash flow. But where is the watch that is the pinnacle of the brand? When you look at their catalog, it looks like they only know how to do one thing.

    Dan Spitz is probably going to come in with the unobtainable. He might be good only producing a handful of watches a year, but if we really want to bring American watchmaking back to the forefront, you have to have the somewhat affordable watch that generates cash flow. That is always going to be your tool watch.
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  14. spin10k

    spin10k Long timer

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    Agreed - something like the Sinn 556
  15. DeepBarney

    DeepBarney International Bumbler

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    I want an American Seiko (full price range) Truly obtainium for the everyman. Hell if making a mechanical to that low of a price point is too difficult then let the entry levels be solar quartz watches.
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  16. duc

    duc Long timer

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  17. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Four of us had this very conversation with Dan Spitz last Sunday for about an hour I’ll post more about it later due to time constraints this morning.
    Condensed synopsis:
    ) Competing head to head with the Swiss in volumes that would be profitable would take decades.
    ) Except for Rolex, “in-house movements” manufacturing is a gray area. Made in Switzerland legal standards and Made in America standards are vastly different, with the Swiss winning that battle.
    ) Diminishing future market volumes.
    ) Automation is much greater than the public’s perception. Some manufacturers continuously designed their own machinery with decades of development to achieve their quality standards.

    A Weiss, RGM, or bespoke such as Dan, may be our only reprieve.
  18. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome Supporter

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    I think it will take a bespoke watchmaker expanding the lineup downward if it is going to happen. Just like people, brands are often remembered for their worst moments. Weiss can only go so far up before they hit the point of diminished returns. But a bespoke manufacturer can move downward more freely.

    Japanese automakers knew this, and this they spun off luxury brands in the late 80s and early 90s. Nobody was going to spend Mercedes dollars for a Toyota, no matter how good it was. Lexus was the solution.

    But Mercedes can certainly sell an A class, and even smaller cars in some markets. Customers will pay more for that A class than comparable vehicles because of the reputation of the brand. That is the strategy an American watchmaker would have to pursue to gain traction in a Swiss dominated market.
  19. High Hope

    High Hope World's Best Dog Supporter

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    To make another automobile analogy, it seems that Tesla was able to come out of the box with a brand new, unproven luxury car that actually sells. Now it, too, can (and is) going downmarket. The reason, IMO? Tesla offered a unique product that appealed to wealthier people who could afford $80k cars. This wasn't a cramped economy car, but rather a full-size, super HiPo car that also was beautiful.
  20. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    IMO, and having a Mfg background, I see some factors as insurmountable.

    ) Manufacturing machinery cost/development time inhibits ROI.
    ) Brand recognition development time.
    ) Diminishing volume market vs expanding volume market. (Tesla comparison)
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