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Thread: Is it a Rolex or an Everest?

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Now that, I think, we can all agree on.
    Well, not all:-)
    Actually they make popular, quality watches which they then market well and continue to flourish in a saturated market place while others flounder and some have succumbed. It causes some people some heart burn which they try to relieve by repeatedly regurgitating the 'marketing' comments. I can just hope they feel better and sleep better after that. Because Rolex ain't going anywhere and hate to see quite a few losing sleep over it.

  2. #52
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    Well, I for one read you wrong. Seeing verbal irony where there was actually heartfelt emphasis. My mistake, my apology.

    Which makes two apologies in one day. I must be on a roll.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Well, not all:-)
    Actually they make popular, quality watches which they then market well and continue to flourish in a saturated market place while others flounder and some have succumbed. It causes some people some heart burn which they try to relieve by repeatedly regurgitating the 'marketing' comments. I can just hope they feel better and sleep better after that. Because Rolex ain't going anywhere and hate to see quite a few losing sleep over it.
    Not that Rolex take credit for a wide range of stuff they have no justification for taking credit for. Ironically, the one thing they should take credit for they never do.!

  4. #54
    [QUOTE=M4tt;5078028]Not that Rolex take credit for a wide range of stuff they have no justification for taking credit for. Ironically, the one thing they should take credit for they never do

    Ha! We can argue about this all day and night.
    But, there is no point in it beyond a certain limit.

  5. #55
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    [QUOTE=RAJEN;5078038]
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Not that Rolex take credit for a wide range of stuff they have no justification for taking credit for. Ironically, the one thing they should take credit for they never do

    Ha! We can argue about this all day and night.
    But, there is no point in it beyond a certain limit.
    I agree. Once Iíve posted Borgelís patent for an entirely waterproof wristwatch using precisely the same case principle used by the Oyster or Dennisonís patent for something that looks rather a lot like the Oyster crown or Breguetís rotor wind or the definitive proof that there was no Oyster on the summit in 1953 and so on ad nauseum, there really is no point in further discussion.

  6. #56
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    [QUOTE=M4tt;5078154]
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post

    I agree. Once Iíve posted Borgelís patent for an entirely waterproof wristwatch using precisely the same case principle used by the Oyster or Dennisonís patent for something that looks rather a lot like the Oyster crown or Breguetís rotor wind or the definitive proof that there was no Oyster on the summit in 1953 and so on ad nauseum, there really is no point in further discussion.
    I wonder if you saw my thread regarding Rolex?

    (Shameless thread link!)

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-winding-watch!

  7. #57
    [QUOTE=M4tt;5078154]
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post

    I agree. Once Iíve posted Borgelís patent for an entirely waterproof wristwatch using precisely the same case principle used by the Oyster or Dennisonís patent for something that looks rather a lot like the Oyster crown or Breguetís rotor wind or the definitive proof that there was no Oyster on the summit in 1953 and so on ad nauseum, there really is no point in further discussion.
    I don't think it is any secret how the Oyster case came about- it was a marriage of Borgel's case and the Perregaux-Perret screw down stem system. Brought about by Hans Wilsdorf. Or you are claiming the stem system was developed by Borgel too?

  8. #58
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    Wow fascinating bobble thanks for linking it.

  9. #59
    [QUOTE=bobbee;5078208]
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post

    I wonder if you saw my thread regarding Rolex?

    (Shameless thread link!)

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-winding-watch!
    Interesting stuff
    I think Umbongo best summed it up in that thread.
    Last edited by RAJEN; 17th April 2019 at 20:18.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Ironically, the one thing they should take credit for they never do.!

    What's that then Matt? I'm hard pressed to think of anything they've done first and arguably the only thing they've best is marketing.


    Bugs me that Rolex still imply they were with Hillary

    https://www.rolex.com/world-of-rolex...and-poles.html

  11. #61
    [QUOTE=bobbee;5078208]
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post

    I wonder if you saw my thread regarding Rolex?

    (Shameless thread link!)

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-winding-watch!

    Great thread, worth a bump I'd have thought!

    As a Smiths fan I can say that I don't think that most British of brands added anything to the sum of watchmaking knowledge: top man Robert Lenoir was ex-JLC and when Smith finally brought out an automatic it was a copy of the IWC Pellaton system. No innovation but all in-house.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    What's that then Matt? I'm hard pressed to think of anything they've done first and arguably the only thing they've best is marketing.
    This:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...nd-its-profits

    It tickles me pink that this shameless token of conspicuous consumption is In fact all about redistribution. They rob from the rich and give to a wider range of people than you’d expect.



  13. #63
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    [QUOTE=bobbee;5078208]
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post

    I wonder if you saw my thread regarding Rolex?

    (Shameless thread link!)

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...-winding-watch!
    I read it the last time, but itís even better the second time. Cheers.

  14. #64
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    [QUOTE=Rev-O;5078244]
    Quote Originally Posted by bobbee View Post


    Great thread, worth a bump I'd have thought!

    As a Smiths fan I can say that I don't think that most British of brands added anything to the sum of watchmaking knowledge: top man Robert Lenoir was ex-JLC and when Smith finally brought out an automatic it was a copy of the IWC Pellaton system. No innovation but all in-house.
    Iím not sure Lenoir did the watch movements. I explain why here:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...eger-leCoultre

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    This:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...nd-its-profits

    It tickles me pink that this shameless token of conspicuous consumption is In fact all about redistribution. They rob from the rich and give to a wider range of people than youíd expect.


    Salute!
    As usual, you are a mine of information. No irony here.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    This:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...nd-its-profits

    It tickles me pink that this shameless token of conspicuous consumption is In fact all about redistribution. They rob from the rich and give to a wider range of people than youíd expect.


    Excellent research and writing as usual Matt, I doff my cap and bend a knee, for I am not worthy.

    Enough reason there to not only buy a Rolex, but to wear it with pride.

  17. #67
    [QUOTE=M4tt;5078396]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post

    Iím not sure Lenoir did the watch movements. I explain why here:

    http://www.intlwatchleague.com/showt...eger-leCoultre
    Funnily enough I've just spent most of the morning riding a motorbike with a Rotax engine




  18. #68
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    Funnily enough...


  19. #69
    Good choice! Is that the two stroke?

    Gary at Sportax has all the parts

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Good choice! Is that the two stroke?

    Gary at Sportax has all the parts
    Nope, itís the one that used to have roughly the same Rotax engine as your Armstrong until they replaced it with the 650 Suzuki engine. Itís all the geometry of the old works BSA with mono shock, a modern engine and components. Lovely.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Nope, itís the one that used to have roughly the same Rotax engine as your Armstrong until they replaced it with the 650 Suzuki engine. Itís all the geometry of the old works BSA with mono shock, a modern engine and components. Lovely.
    Bloody hell that sounds fun. Disc brakes and carburettors are a nice combination.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    Bloody hell that sounds fun. Disc brakes and carburettors are a nice combination.
    Many years ago I had a series of oil in frame conical hub BSA B25 and B50 gold stars which I adored. They were stupidly tall, the conical hubs were bastards to set up just right but worked beautifully and they would pull Ďsmoothlyí from about 500rpm to about 5000. They vibrated like hell and were out of puff by about ninety, but surprisingly competent in between. I loved them.

    The CCM R30 feels so similar between about 1000 and 4000, at which point it takes off like a scalded cat. Itís very tall, very light and responds faster than anything Iíve ridden before. Yet it still feels like what the old SS Goldstar would have evolved into. This is hardly surprising given that CCM were BSAís works department prior to the collapse and were bought out by their best works rider who kept them going.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I agree. Once Iíve posted Borgelís patent for an entirely waterproof wristwatch using precisely the same case principle used by the Oyster or Dennisonís patent for something that looks rather a lot like the Oyster crown or Breguetís rotor wind or the definitive proof that there was no Oyster on the summit in 1953 and so on ad nauseum, there really is no point in further discussion.
    Youíre absolutely correct on everything you refer to, and there are of course examples of other Rolex innovations where similar statements can be made, but it somewhat ignores the point that an idea remains only that, just a notion, no matter how laudable. Until it is made tangible, in a real-world, reproduceable, practical, kinks-worked-out, mass scale itís a nothing of nothing in consequence, and getting to that stage is no small feat either. Patents which never really went much beyond the page are legion. I absolutely applaud those of invention & genius who drive progress, but I think credit should also be given to those who take an idea, improve upon it and make it real & workable, which is arguably what Rolex have done well.

    If you try hard enough you can pretty much strip any idea ever back to someone else, in a Ďstanding on the shoulders of giantsí fashion. Leonardo Da Vinci may have sketched an aerial screw, but Iím not crediting him with inventing the helicopter.

    ďIn science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the World, not the man to whom the idea first occursĒ - Sir Francis Darwin

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer View Post
    You’re absolutely correct on everything you refer to, and there are of course examples of other Rolex innovations where similar statements can be made, but it somewhat ignores the point that an idea remains only that, just a notion, no matter how laudable. Until it is made tangible, in a real-world, reproduceable, practical, kinks-worked-out, mass scale it’s a nothing of nothing in consequence, and getting to that stage is no small feat either. Patents which never really went much beyond the page are legion. I absolutely applaud those of invention & genius who drive progress, but I think credit should also be given to those who take an idea, improve upon it and make it real & workable, which is arguably what Rolex have done well.

    If you try hard enough you can pretty much strip any idea ever back to someone else, in a ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ fashion. Leonardo Da Vinci may have sketched an aerial screw, but I’m not crediting him with inventing the helicopter.

    “In science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the World, not the man to whom the idea first occurs” - Sir Francis Darwin
    Absolutely.

    That's why, for example, in 1924, Odell, the last man to see Mallory alive was able to say precisely the time he saw him using an entirely waterproof pocket watch licensed from the Borgel 1903 patent. This sort of watch had been standard issue to the British Army for decades and remained so for decades. Rolex even cased watches in this licensed case before ripping it off.

    Mallory, of course, was wearing an example of Borgel's earlier 1895 patent waterproof watch. A case so effective that when they found his body in 1999 and the tangled hands were removed, it started running. Both watches are in the RGS collection in London. Here's one of mine:



    It's the 1895 patent version, 104 years old, still waterproof, and identical to the one worn by Mallory for several years in the Royal Artillery and up Everest repeatedly:



    I'd call that real and workable, wouldn't you. My oldest Oyster, coming in at a mere ninety years old isn't quite coping as well:



    Both the 1895 and 1903 patent cases in both pocket and wristlet versions, along with similar waterproof efforts by Dennison, among others, proved themselves beyond question during WWI and were ubiquitous. Rolex struggled to achieve representation outside of POW camps in WWII, let alone WWI. Unless you can find an issue watch until the very limited dive watch issue. They were just too small to get a look in and then just too expensive to be a sensible proposition.

    Rolex recent success has little to do with their pre war watches. They were a tiny company who didn't make their millionth watch until the early fifties. Their biggest success was that Wilsdorf handed the company over to a well chosen committee with a very conservative remit. While this slowed their growth over time and made them more conservative it meant that they hit the seventies oil shock and quartz crisis with no debts, no shareholders and a substantial capital reserve. Thus, what killed most of the Swiss industry put them in a position to capitalise. Which they did.

    I'm delighted that you like Rolex, I do too. But the history of horology is a damned sight more interesting, longer and more storied than you might expect. There's more to horology than an eponymous rehaut.

    Rolex are a latecomer who played catch up well and, for reasons that had less to do with the watches than many would like to admit, ended up being the best known mass market manufacture. In fact the case could be made that that real roots of Rolex”s success is found somewhere between Wilsdorf being both very charismatic and very focussed and the half a century long relationship with J Walter Thompson, that no one has ever heard of. There were plenty of companies that made attractive, innovative watches and plenty that were used to do cool things, but none who used universal product placement and advertising so often or well

    I think Everest has been done to death, but I'm always willing.

    I loved the trout stream metaphor.
    Last edited by M4tt; 20th April 2019 at 07:10.

  25. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I'd call that real and workable, wouldn't you.



    Nice watches and a nice read, but youíre missing my point - though perhaps I could have been clearer.


    I didnít call into question the application of any of those individual innovations quoted & expounded upon, and there are other patents which are cited as precursors to Rolex which in reality were never really delivered upon or at least never to any enduring amount or final format.


    I was trying to make the point that Rolex have taken those and others - Ďborrowedí in some cases (though theyíre far from alone), and purchased rights to in others - then refined, improved upon, further innovated & combined them all into something altogether better. That is an achievement in itself.


    Passable water-resistance is fine, but itís some way off making a bona fide dive watch.


    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I'm delighted that you like Rolex, I do too. But the history of horology is a damned sight more interesting, longer and more storied than you might expect. There's more to horology than an eponymous rehaut.



    Easy, tiger. Youíre making a couple of erroneous and condescending assumptions that I suffer from Rolex fanboy-ism and myopia to anything else. Iíll happily praise & kick Rolex - or any other brand - where I feel itís warranted.


    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    Their biggest success was that Wilsdorf handed the company over to a well chosen committee with a very conservative remit. While this slowed their growth over time and made them more conservative it meant that they hit the seventies oil shock and quartz crisis with no debts, no shareholders and a substantial capital reserve. Thus, what killed most of the Swiss industry put them in a position to capitalise. Which they did.
    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post


    In fact the case could be made that that real roots of RolexĒs success is found somewhere between Wilsdorf being both very charismatic and very focussed and the half a century long relationship with J Walter Thompson, that no one has ever heard of.


    There were plenty of companies that made attractive, innovative watches and plenty that were used to do cool things, but none who used universal product placement and advertising so often or well.



    Exactly, but I donít see why Rolex should be criticised for doing both well, isnít that the smart business play? (Criticised for the content of their marketing at times, yes, but thatís another issue).


    You state that Rolex are where they are today through good leadership, prudent stewardship in difficult times, shrewd brand management, partnering correctly, focussed product development etc. like thatís an easy, fortuitous irrelevance to dismiss. Ability without application goes nowhere.


    Itís a bit like criticising a winning football team for their goalkeeper making a series of brilliant saves - thatís not mere luck, itís part & parcel of a wider team effort, as much as a strikerís technical ability.


    What does it matter that JWT were engaged for marketing purposes? Do you think anyone looks at ĎThe Gherkiní and Millau Viaduct and supposes Norman Foster mixed the cement himself?


    Itís overly simplistic to say that Rolex prospered through the Ďquartz crisisí via blind luck, just sitting on their hands and being the last ones standing.


    Yes, Rolex are masters of marketing, both fair & foul, and it has played a huge amount in their success, but it doesnít change the underlying quality of the watches themselves, and how they have been technically developed to that position over the decades. If their watches were a load of cr*p supported by hyperbole Iíd view them differently.


    Itís subjective on the one hand to rake through historical sources on the internet as a means of criticism in a relatively narrow factual aspect, yet on the other provide little credit for both modern development and historical achievement.


    Quote Originally Posted by M4tt View Post
    I think Everest has been done to death, but I'm always willing.



    Oh, I have zero doubt of that, and I hope that you do continue - I enjoy the more substantial threads on here, and your contributions to them - but as youíll be keenly aware, horology didnít begin & end on a mountain in Nepal, anymore than it does with Rolex.


  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    Nice watches and a nice read, but youíre missing my point - though perhaps I could have been clearer.
    Your point seemed pretty clear, that patents were all very well, but that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    an idea remains only that, just a notion, no matter how laudable. Until it is made tangible, in a real-world, reproduceable, practical, kinks-worked-out, mass scale itís a nothing of nothing in consequence, and getting to that stage is no small feat either. Patents which never really went much beyond the page are legion.
    I pointed to a couple of patents that were directly relevant to the Rolex Oyster and demonstrated that they had ben fully developed into practical functioning watches. This is a small subsection of practical waterproof watches. I didn't mention the Wittnauer All-Proof, the Taubert decagon the Fortis Fortissimo

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    I didnít call into question the application of any of those individual innovations quoted & expounded upon,


    You certainly seemed to.

    and there are other patents which are cited as precursors to Rolex which in reality were never really delivered upon or at least never to any enduring amount or final format.
    Are there? I'm trying to think of patents that were precursors to the Oyster or Perpetual that were not fully developed and great commercial successes. I can't. As you've made the claim, perhaps you can give me an example or two?


    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    I was trying to make the point that Rolex have taken those and others - Ďborrowedí in some cases (though theyíre far from alone), and purchased rights to in others - then refined, improved upon, further innovated & combined them all into something altogether better. That is an achievement in itself.
    Well, into something different certainly. Better seems entirely unclear to me. Personally I think that the 36mm Oyster case is a beautifully balanced and profoundly attractive case. However, it's just one among many. They always were. It's unhelpful that the name 'Oyster' has been applied to a variety of cases with entirely different construction methods and materials.

    Passable water-resistance is fine, but itís some way off making a bona fide dive watch.
    Absolutely. However the original Oyster was very far from that and was no more waterproof than the 1903 Borgel case. The first bona fide dive watch, was the Omega Marine in 1932. Although the Brook and Son Submarine was the first designed to be waterproof under more than atmospheric pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    Easy, tiger. Youíre making a couple of erroneous and condescending assumptions that I suffer from Rolex fanboy-ism and myopia to anything else. Iíll happily praise & kick Rolex - or any other brand - where I feel itís warranted.

    That's certainly not my intention. I thought I was responding to your claim, quoted above, that

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    Patents which never really went much beyond the page are legion.
    By pointing out that the patents relevant to the Oyster had all been roaring commercial and practical successes. I assumed that you were unaware of them, for obvious reasons. I'm pretty sure I didn't accuse you of anything beyond assuming you didn't know how far those patents had been taken.




    Exactly, but I donít see why Rolex should be criticised for doing both well, isnít that the smart business play? (Criticised for the content of their marketing at times, yes, but thatís another issue).

    Where did I criticise them?

    You state that Rolex are where they are today through good leadership, prudent stewardship in difficult times, shrewd brand management, partnering correctly, focussed product development etc. like thatís an easy, fortuitous irrelevance to dismiss. Ability without application goes nowhere.
    I didn't criticise them for that. I was making the point that it wasn't their manufacturing or design that made them the success they are, but other factors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    Itís a bit like criticising a winning football team for their goalkeeper making a series of brilliant saves - thatís not mere luck, itís part & parcel of a wider team effort, as much as a strikerís technical ability.
    I'll say it again, I didn't criticise them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    What does it matter that JWT were engaged for marketing purposes? Do you think anyone looks at ĎThe Gherkiní and Millau Viaduct and supposes Norman Foster mixed the cement himself?
    You do realise that this is just a series of straw men?


    Quote Originally Posted by Stringer
    Itís overly simplistic to say that Rolex prospered through the Ďquartz crisisí via blind luck, just sitting on their hands and being the last ones standing.
    I certainly didn't say that they did. I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt
    Their biggest success was that Wilsdorf handed the company over to a well chosen committee with a very conservative remit. While this slowed their growth over time and made them more conservative it meant that they hit the seventies oil shock and quartz crisis with no debts, no shareholders and a substantial capital reserve. Thus, what killed most of the Swiss industry put them in a position to capitalise. Which they did.
    Which is really quite different.

    Yes, Rolex are masters of marketing, both fair & foul, and it has played a huge amount in their success, but it doesnít change the underlying quality of the watches themselves, and how they have been technically developed to that position over the decades. If their watches were a load of cr*p supported by hyperbole Iíd view them differently.
    That's precisely my point. The watches are perfectly good, though rarely that much better than the competition, supported by hyperbole. And in fact beyond hyperbole. There are points where the advertising is simply false.

    Itís subjective on the one hand to rake through historical sources on the internet as a means of criticism in a relatively narrow factual aspect, yet on the other provide little credit for both modern development and historical achievement.
    No, for all the dysphemism, there are objective facts about who made what first, about who wore what where and so on. There are objective facts about the hyperbole of Rolex's advertising and so on.

    As for providing credit, you clearly missed my translation and praise of Rolex's constitution. We were not discussing modern developments.

    Oh, I have zero doubt of that, and I hope that you do continue - I enjoy the more substantial threads on here, and your contributions to them - but as youíll be keenly aware, horology didnít begin & end on a mountain in Nepal, anymore than it does with Rolex.
    I'm keenly aware of that.

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...nd-Really-Wear


  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffcotton View Post
    Unbelievable win for Tiger. If youíve ever noticed most players do not wear a watch when playing, with the exception of Bubba Watson, but when the players are giving their post match media interview, they always have a watch on and generally make it really obvious to get the watch in camera range. Watch Rory next time, he discreetly scratches his nose to give the watch some air time.

    I bet their watch collection are amazing.......
    Phil Mickelson usually wears a manual wind Cellini while actually playing.


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