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Thread: Do you like your watches to tell a story, or do you like them to tell your story?

  1. #1
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Do you like your watches to tell a story, or do you like them to tell your story?

    I have a very small collection including a couple of vintage watches that I enjoy because of their age and history. Recently I've bought two new watches from an AD (there's a first time for everything!) and I'm enjoying the fact that I have owned them from new. The vintage watches tell a story but the new ones will eventually tell my story.

    This has got me wondering what to make of the recent heritage/anniversary re-editions. Where do they fit in and what story do they tell? Does their faithfulness to the original watches make them retro-cool or will they never be as cool as the originals?

    I recently read this review of the Speedmaster 60th anniversary edition that made me smile:

    "Vintage watch guys say they like patina on watches because it shows the watch has had a life. That it's been through some stuff and would have stories to tell if only we could listen. That's mostly a lie. We like stories, but with few exceptions we don't want the submariner that was dragged against rocks at the bottom of the ocean every weekend since 1960. We want the one that sat in a safe and was worn on special occasions, with nice matching creamy markers, a crisp unpolished case, etc. We tend to value condition over all else. We want new-old-stock. This looks like a NOS 2915. And that's incredible."
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 11th February 2018 at 22:00.

  2. #2
    Grand Master
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    I don't think reissues will ever be as cool as originals but they're different beasts. You don't have to be as mindful of them because they're made using modern tech but with a nod to past history and designs. Usually ones that have endured.
    I'd like to hope that mine have a mix of their own histories and mine.

  3. #3
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    Some of the TAG / Heuer reissues are excellent, and so are most of the Longines offerings. They offer the opportunity to own a watch in the style of the original but with all the durability of a modern watch.Thatís got to be an appealing proposition for many and I can definitely relate to that.

    Part of the appeal of a genuine vintage watch is the history, you always wonder who owned it and what stories it could tell. In my early days of collecting this was a big draw, I revelled in the mystique and the kudos of owning a watch 30-40 years older than me, itís something I enjoyed and sadly itís something Iíve lost. I still like old watches but nowadays I think purely in terms of the condition of the watch, the history/back story doesnít even cross my mind, all I see is whatís in front of me on my bench in February 2018.

    One watch will always stick in my mind. Back in the mid-90s I bought a 1925 ladies gold watch at an antiques fair for my former wife. The watch was a typical gold watch from that period but the condition was unbelievable, it looked virtually unworn and was obviously all original, a time- warp watch if ever Iíve seen one. Clearly, it had spent around 70 years in a drawer, there as no ageing whatsoever to the dial. Thatís strange, so say the least, and I couldnít help wondering whether the watch had a very sad history. Whoever had received it originally had never had chance to wear it often, or chose not to wear it. Whichever way you look at it the back- story canít have been cheerful, I doubt wherher anyone had fun owning or wearing the watch.

    Trust me, itís far easier when you donít over- think these things.

    Paul

  4. #4
    A very good question...

    I like "my" watches. In so far as they become mine over time and in an odd way i like the idea of handing them down. My father in law recently showed my son his watch (his best watch not his working watches as he said) and even a young lad is excited at the idea of owning this watch that is now something more than a simple time piece...

    Most watches I buy are bought to celebrate an event, but i don't have that many compared to some on here. Some I grow to have a real affection for and I keep. Others do not, for what ever reason, and are slowly moved on though i'm in no rush and hardly a "flipper".

    So I like my watches to tell "my story".

    Equally, apart from a very few I suppose I find most watch "stories" which are supposed to be intrinsic to the watch to be pure marketing fluff. Not that I'm wholly immune to branding and fluff but some of it is just silly and almost all of it is highly tenuous.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    I don't think reissues will ever be as cool as originals but they're different beasts. You don't have to be as mindful of them because they're made using modern tech but with a nod to past history and designs. Usually ones that have endured.
    I'd like to hope that mine have a mix of their own histories and mine.
    I'm not too concerned about the story. More concerned that a watch records the time with reasonable accuracy. Agreeing on the re-issue comment. They will never be as cool or desirable as an original. They're just a marketable and affordable copy for those with an interest in the legacy.

  6. #6
    I just was given a brand new Speedmaster, as a present for my 50th birthday. I could have chosen a vintage one, and there were beautiful examples for sale. However, I deliberately chose a new one, because it was a present that now travels with me, and tells my story from day one.

  7. #7
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    The reissues are just replicas imo. Aged lume to make it look old, is like buying ripped or worn out jeans. I prefer to buy selvedge raw and wear them in myself. There are exceptions however. Like the AP Royal Oak 15202 Jumbo which was reintroduced a few years ago which does not have any of these false ageing or whatever and even the reference remains the same. A pure modern reincarnation. That one i can agree with.


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  8. #8
    Master Rocket Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    The reissues are just replicas imo. Aged lume to make it look old, is like buying ripped or worn out jeans.
    I think that's a little harsh, and that's coming from another Selvedge denim fan!

    I don't see the lume as being aged, it's just a nice colour. I think this quote (from the same review as my initial post) puts it quite well:

    Probably the most controversial element of the design, the ‘fauxtina’ as some call it, I would argue really has to be seen to be appreciated. It’s not bright or garish yellow, and complements the overall aesthetic of the watch. I try look at it purely as color. White is a color. So is beige. In this case, the beige contrasts nicely with the polished silver hands, white subdial hands, and stainless case. That little bit of color prevents the watch from feeling cold and brings out the brown tones in the dial. I love the look of aged tritium and radium. I'm not specifically interested in the chemical changes in the compound that caused tritium lume to turn gold, but I appreciate the warmth that it brings to the dial.


    Also, the modern lume won't go puffy and crumble away over time, that is not a good look IMHO!

    I also really like the colour of this JLC Tribute to 1931 and nobody seems to mind the brown/aged lume on this one!



    https://www.watchtime.com/featured/v...ibute-to-1931/
    Last edited by Rocket Man; 12th February 2018 at 22:04.

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    In general I dislike fake age lume and I think it was manufacturers trying to cash in on vintage watch trend for a period which is likely fading. Watches which pay a bit of homage to historical models whilst being its own thing does it the best E.g. Tudor pelagos snow flake hands and indices


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  10. #10
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Man View Post
    I think that's a little harsh, and that's coming from another Selvedge denim fan!

    I don't see the lume as being aged, it's just a nice colour. I think this quote (from the same review as my initial post) puts it quite well:

    Probably the most controversial element of the design, the ‘fauxtina’ as some call it, I would argue really has to be seen to be appreciated. It’s not bright or garish yellow, and complements the overall aesthetic of the watch. I try look at it purely as color. White is a color. So is beige. In this case, the beige contrasts nicely with the polished silver hands, white subdial hands, and stainless case. That little bit of color prevents the watch from feeling cold and brings out the brown tones in the dial. I love the look of aged tritium and radium. I'm not specifically interested in the chemical changes in the compound that caused tritium lume to turn gold, but I appreciate the warmth that it brings to the dial.


    Also, the modern lume won't go puffy and crumble away over time, that is not a good look IMHO!

    I also really like the colour of this JLC Tribute to 1931 and nobody seems to mind the brown/aged lume on this one!



    https://www.watchtime.com/featured/v...ibute-to-1931/
    It's a matter of opinion, of course, but I hate faux aged lume and trying to deflect the inauthenticity of it by saying "Oh, it's just a nice beige lume" is disingenuous.

    It's there to make the watch look old, not because someone at the factory has a beige fetish...

    Everyone has a pet hate, but this is one that ranks far above cut away numbers (which I thought I had a problem with until this fad developed!) for me.

    So, yes, some of us do have a problem with it, regardless of how expensive the watch it - In my view, it's even less acceptable on a JLC than an Invicta - They should know better!

    To answer the OP, I don't really worry about it - I simply buy watches I like - I loved the earlier Cosmonautes, so I have a 1967, rather than a new one, but I don't really think about its 'story', it's just a lovely watch to me.

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 13th February 2018 at 11:43.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    It's a matter of opinion, of course, but I hate faux aged lume and trying to deflect the inauthenticity of it by saying "Oh, it's just a nice beige lume" is disingenuous.

    It's there to make the watch look old, not because someone at the factory has a beige fetish...

    Everyone has a pet hate, but this is one that ranks far above cut away numbers (which I thought I had a problem with until this fad developed!) for me.

    So, yes, some of us do have a problem with it, regardless of how expensive the watch it - In my view, it's even less acceptable on a JLC than an Invicta - They should know better!

    To answer the OP, I don't really worry about it - I simply buy watches I like - I loved the earlier Cosmonautes, so I have a 1967, rather than a new one, but I don't really think about its 'story', it's just a lovely watch to me.

    M
    Nope.
    The 605 has beige lume because it suits the anthracite dial.
    It's a modern watch with no pretence of reissue heritage or age.

    Sometimes it just works better in the eye of the manufacturers (and buyers) than white which can look sterile.

  12. #12
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Nope.
    The 605 has beige lume because it suits the anthracite dial.
    It's a modern watch with no pretence of reissue heritage or age.

    Sometimes it just works better in the eye of the manufacturers (and buyers) than white which can look sterile.
    Not sure what a 605 is.

    You surely can't mean the "Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931" when you say "no pretence of reissue heritage or age"?

    M.

  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Nope.
    The 605 has beige lume because it suits the anthracite dial.
    It's a modern watch with no pretence of reissue heritage or age.

    Sometimes it just works better in the eye of the manufacturers (and buyers) than white which can look sterile.
    Nope.

    I'm with Snowman When it comes to that particular example. It would be interesting to work out how many watches used faux lume, let's say, 10 years ago.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    Not sure what a 605 is.

    You surely can't mean the "Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931" when you say "no pretence of reissue heritage or age"?

    M.
    No. I don't.
    I'm referring to the modern non reissue Panerai 605 which has beige lume to tone with the dial rather than because it's pretending to be old.

    Don't know which watch LMAO is on about being with you on but I'm not discussing the Jaeger.

    Ed - in fact loads of the pams including the likes of the carbotech which is marketed as a cutting edge modern piece are using beige lume. So it's not all related to faking age.
    Last edited by verv; 13th February 2018 at 13:07.

  15. #15
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    None of my watches 'speak' to me, is it something I said?

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  16. #16
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    No. I don't.
    I'm referring to the modern non reissue Panerai 605 which has beige lume to tone with the dial rather than because it's pretending to be old.

    Don't know which watch LMAO is on about being with you on but I'm not discussing the Jaeger.
    Ah, ok, but are you sure about the Panerai?

    "The new Luminor 1950 3 Days movement with a 47 mm case offers a historic case which marks a transitional phase: while having the characteristic Luminor features, the 1950 style case has a rounded, cusp-shaped caseband, which was evidently derived from the cushion form of the Radiomir (thin wire lug case) case."

    Sounds like it's aiming for a retro style to me.

    M

  17. #17
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    Yes I'm sure. And I'm even aware of the case classifications.

    This is also a 50s case.

    http://www.panerai.com/en/collection..._pam00578.html

    Which old reference do you think it's faking?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    No. I don't.
    I'm referring to the modern non reissue Panerai 605 which has beige lume to tone with the dial rather than because it's pretending to be old.

    Don't know which watch LMAO is on about being with you on but I'm not discussing the Jaeger.

    Ed - in fact loads of the pams including the likes of the carbotech which is marketed as a cutting edge modern piece are using beige lume. So it's not all related to faking age.
    This post reminds me of a pair of very similar Radiomir 1940s, both 42mm.

    One comes green lume and a green strap, and one comes with beige lume and a black strap. (Think there's a difference in the movements used, though both manual iirc)





    The green is 574 with the P.1000 three day manual.

    The beige and black is 512 with 60 hour P.999 manual
    Last edited by Der Amf; 13th February 2018 at 13:34.

  19. #19
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    ^^^^^^

    The PAM00574 has quite an interesting manual movement, when you pull out the crown the seconds hand automatically zeros at 12, making time setting that little bit easier. The PAM00574 is / was about £1000 more than the PAM00512.

    The PAM00512 has just a 'normal' manual wind movement, with a 3 day or so power reserve, lovely watch I had one for just over a year, then sold it on. I wish I hadn't as it was a limited run and hard to get hold of

  20. #20
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Yes I'm sure. And I'm even aware of the case classifications.

    This is also a 50s case.

    http://www.panerai.com/en/collection..._pam00578.html

    Which old reference do you think it's faking?
    I was just considering the description I found, which seems to suggest it is a 'vintage' style release (unlike many others which aren't).

    I know little about Panerais, but it seems they make similar looking watches without the brown/beige lume.

    Anyway, it's a personal dislike on my part.

    If people like it, fine, it'd be dull if we all liked the same things (and this forum the poorer for it), but I still think it's disingenuous to pretend it's not to give a watch a 'vintage' look, in the vast majority of cases, at least.

    M

  21. #21
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    This is an IWC 'F A Jones'....after the founder of IWC. IT was a limited run from 2005, and incorporates key features of the Portugeiser...including a mechanism with a design back to the 30s. I still see it as a new watch, not a 'replica',of anything.


    In contrast, a 'Museum Collection' Doctors watch, which Omega say is based on a 1938 model. But it never existed in that form, it's an amalgam of several designs. I like it a lot, but for me it's not authentic in the way the IWC is.
    In the end, they are watches, you get along with them, or you don't. And no fake lume in sight. As for Panerei, it's another case of you either like them or you don't. Not for me.


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    Last edited by paskinner; 13th February 2018 at 14:46.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    I was just considering the description I found, which seems to suggest it is a 'vintage' style release (unlike many others which aren't).

    I know little about Panerais, but it seems they make similar looking watches without the brown/beige lume.

    Anyway, it's a personal dislike on my part.

    If people like it, fine, it'd be dull if we all liked the same things (and this forum the poorer for it), but I still think it's disingenuous to pretend it's not to give a watch a 'vintage' look, in the vast majority of cases, at least.

    M
    Sunburst dials are the antithesis of vintage Panerai and as such aren't released as heritage models, regardless of what a couple of sentences about case shape may suggest.

    Accusing people of being disingenuous and that all watches with beige lume are pretending to be vintage is fallacious. Time has moved on since that was a fair comment. Even Seiko is jumping on the bandwagon so it's definitely becoming more mainstream away from reissues.



    If you don't like it, fine.
    I've said before that this shouldn't bother anyone, but disingenuous and etc is irritating whether it's dressed up as opinion or not.
    Last edited by verv; 13th February 2018 at 15:32.

  23. #23
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Sunburst dials are the antithesis of vintage Panerai and as such aren't released as heritage models, regardless of what a couple of sentences about case shape may suggest.

    Accusing people of being disingenuous and that all watches with beige lume are pretending to be vintage is fallacious. Time has moved on since that was a fair comment. Even Seiko is jumping on the bandwagon so it's definitely becoming more mainstream away from reissues.



    If you don't like it, fine.
    I've said before that this shouldn't bother anyone, but disingenuous and etc is irritating whether it's dressed up as opinion or not.
    You've picked a pretty rare example there, I'm not saying there aren't some (I recall seeing an Oris too with such lume I think) , but most watches with this lume have some kind of 'heritage' or 'vintage' moniker.

    I don't like it, it's true, if people do, that's fine - Not really sure why anyone would be defensive about it being 'faux vintage' if they do.

    It's not like anyone would ever think "Oh you have a genuine '50s watch on" (if that even mattered to anyone) on seeing a watch with such lume, it's just a part of the 'vintage' look that manufacturers have cottoned on to and whilst I rather like many of the cues many draw on, this never looks right to me.

    It's not even as though it's really the right colour to be faded, aged lume.

    That said, if people find white lume too jarring (and I can see that) and they need (or a dial design does) a significant amount of lume on a dial, I'm not really sure (aside from a mild green) what a good option is.

    M

  24. #24
    Master Der Amf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    That said, if people find white lume too jarring (and I can see that) and they need (or a dial design does) a significant amount of lume on a dial, I'm not really sure (aside from a mild green) what a good option is.
    How about beige? Its a nice warm off-white, without excessive character - will blend in nicely

  25. #25
    Master snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    How about beige? Its a nice warm off-white, without excessive character - will blend in nicely
    - Other than baby pooh brown...

    A less brown, cream, perhaps.

    I fear we're going in circles though - I didn't intend to offend those who like the colour, I just find it jarring in a different way to those who find white so.

    Especially, when it's applied to an obviously 'vintage' style model, where the newness of the watch is at odds with the colour that doesn't look right for aged lume (to me, anyway).

    M
    Last edited by snowman; 13th February 2018 at 15:55.

  26. #26
    Grand Master
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    Cool

    Gp just calls it beige.


  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by snowman View Post
    If people like it, fine, it'd be dull if we all liked the same things (and this forum the poorer for it), but I still think it's disingenuous to pretend it's not to give a watch a 'vintage' look, in the vast majority of cases, at least.

    M
    While l understand and appreciate the posts to the effect that (like green) beige is just another colour, l feel l have to jump to your defence in this instance and agree that - when used to imitate aged lume (which clearly happens) the shades of brown we see recently are everything you have said they are.

  28. #28
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    I don't mind beige/brownish lume, it can really work on some dials, especially light-coloured ones, but what I haven't yet seen discussed is whether such lume is intrinsically less bright compared to non-dyed lume. If that's the case, I for one would like it less because it would be a compromise between form and function.

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