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Thread: Stealth Wealth Watch Brand

  1. #1
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    Stealth Wealth Watch Brand

    A friend asked me to define a watch brand that would command respect among collectors but not display an image of excessive wealth that comes with the more expensive/exclusive Swiss brands. Perhaps an IWC, JLC, A.Lange & Sohne or Grand Seiko may fit the bill, any suggestions would be welcome please.

    Thanks,

    Terry

  2. #2
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    I'd say pretty much anything other than AP, PP, Rolex and to a lesser extent Tudor and Omega.

  3. #3
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Credor. Ultimate stealth wealth.

    If not FP Journe, Roger Smith, a complicated Patek which isn't a sport model. Depends on budget.

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    Stealth Wealth Watch Brand

    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Credor. Ultimate stealth wealth.
    I agree with this. In fact I'd go as far as to say the Eichi II (which I absolutely adore) is the ultimate stealth wealth watch full-stop. It's a simple three-hander with no branding other than the "CREDOR" on the dial that from a distance to the uninitiated might look like a plain £100 fashion watch rather than the five figure, hand crafted, platinum-cased marvel that it is.

    Last edited by Zakalwe; 24th June 2019 at 17:26.

  5. #5
    Parmigiani or maybe Urban Jurgensen
    Glashutte original also in the running for me at least

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Genta View Post
    I'd say pretty much anything other than AP, PP, Rolex and to a lesser extent Tudor and Omega.
    I agree with the above.

  7. #7
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    Off the top of my head, Moritz Grossman.

  8. #8
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    Credor, or Voutilainen for something elegant and simple that doesnít shout wealth. Ressence for something that costs £30k but looks like you paid £30 from a department store. Charles Frodsham if you want the absolute best and donít mind the wait list.

  9. #9
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    Dunno about respect, but Moser is pretty stealth

    Average person probably thinks it's a swatch.



    Or a fancy gold plated thing


  10. #10
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    If itís the general public then Iíd say Patek.
    Had a mate whoís got a Rolex who told me he heard about the ultimate watch called a Patek! It made me giggle.
    Obviously thereís stealth and real stealth but for the general public if itís expensive and it ainít got Rolex, Cartier , Omega , Breitling , Tag ( Iím being serious ) brand recognition is very low. So VC and AP would be broadly unheard of.

  11. #11
    Philippe Dufour Simplicity. Job done

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    Iím like this a bit. Itís all degrees I reckon.

    90% of folk out there wonít know what a Vach, JLC or Piaget is
    95% wonít know what a Lange, Breguet or Glasshutte is
    The 99%ers have been mentioned above

    I put myself between the last two. Bizarrely Iíve always thought Octo Finissimo is the ultimate in understated luxury even though itís from such a well known name. This might be because two of the biggest timers Iíve ever come across had them and Iíve never seen another.

    And as for Ressence mentioned above, am I alone in thinking theyíre great?


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    If heís after collectors who are gourmet rather than gourmand, then Breguet. Specifically vintage Breguet. Or perhaps a century old Gold Borgel with an original Benson movement. In short something genuinely different, beautiful and that requires more than money to recognise and acquire.

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  15. #15
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    I like my Omega Aqua Terra skyfall.. it's not as flashy as the seamaster diver or Rolex etc.. guess it depends on budget

  16. #16
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    Thanks for your input gents greatly appreciated. I will acquaint myself with some of the suggested manufacturers.

    Terry

  17. #17
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    At a 'more normal' level, I think Zenith fit this criteria. Unless you have more than a passing interest in watches they slip under the radar whilst being a little different.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkJS View Post
    At a 'more normal' level, I think Zenith fit this criteria. Unless you have more than a passing interest in watches they slip under the radar whilst being a little different.
    I once owned a Zenith Elite RDM in Platinum, absolutely stunning quality and it looked superb! Sadly I was welded in the grip of ‘flipperitis’ at the time and like many other corking watches I had in this period of madness, it quickly went on it’s way.

  19. #19
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    Loads to choose from, I like the gronefeld stuff at the mo. https://www.gronefeld.com/

  20. #20
    Invicta would fit the bill, IMO.
    I personally think the whole idea of stealth wealth is a little bit BS.
    Expensive but less recognisable or expensive and unnoticed or expensive but recognisable by some but not all are different things.
    It all depends on the persona, how one carries one self and the rest of your ensemble.
    There are plenty of Rolexes outside of Sub/SD that may not be recognised.
    What is the idea behind stealth? To avoid undesirable attention or all attention?
    Is there pleasure to be gained by wearing a 54,000 Credor and have people think you are wearing a $100 watch and having a secret laugh to oneself?
    Wear what you like without giving a thought to what others think. For yourself. For your pleasure.
    No need to play games. Obviously safety should be considered as well as in rare cases appropriateness.
    If you like Credor, sure wear a Credor. Not to hide the fact that you are wearing an expensive watch while getting appreciating glances from WIS.Otherwise just wear a cheap watch, unless you get your jollies just by knowing you are wearing something expensive. Or you want the WIS amongst general public to know you are wearing an expensive watch.
    Yes, there are hundreds of expensive brands/models that average Joe may not appreciate the worth/price of but am not sure why that would be a consideration.
    Any person who is afraid of stepping out in a Rolex/a tasteful but recognisable watch ( safety aside ) should probably not leave his mom’s basement.
    Last edited by RAJEN; 25th June 2019 at 07:23.

  21. #21
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Invicta will just look like a Rolex.

  22. #22
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    Roger Smith, Paul's brother...

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    Invicta would fit the bill, IMO.
    I personally think the whole idea of stealth wealth is a little bit BS.
    Expensive but less recognisable or expensive and unnoticed or expensive but recognisable by some but not all are different things.
    It all depends on the persona, how one carries one self and the rest of your ensemble.
    There are plenty of Rolexes outside of Sub/SD that may not be recognised.
    What is the idea behind stealth? To avoid undesirable attention or all attention?
    Is there pleasure to be gained by wearing a 54,000 Credor and have people think you are wearing a $100 watch and having a secret laugh to oneself?
    Wear what you like without giving a thought to what others think. For yourself. For your pleasure.
    No need to play games. Obviously safety should be considered as well as in rare cases appropriateness.
    If you like Credor, sure wear a Credor. Not to hide the fact that you are wearing an expensive watch while getting appreciating glances from WIS.Otherwise just wear a cheap watch, unless you get your jollies just by knowing you are wearing something expensive. Or you want the WIS amongst general public to know you are wearing an expensive watch.
    Yes, there are hundreds of expensive brands/models that average Joe may not appreciate the worth/price of but am not sure why that would be a consideration.
    Any person who is afraid of stepping out in a Rolex/a tasteful but recognisable watch ( safety aside ) should probably not leave his momís basement.
    This is an oft repeated meme but it's not that black or white for most. Most people won't want to wear a watch if they think that the reaction from a certain proportion of onlookers will be 'you flash c**t'. What an acceptable proportion is will vary from one person to the next but for very few will it be 100%.

  24. #24
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    Tongue in cheek .....Anonimo ....when they really were .


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  25. #25
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    Whilst "stealth wealth" might be a pleasing meme, what we are talking about here can variously be looked at as pure snobbery (guilty as charged), or, more positively, motivation in the upper areas of Maslov's hierarchy -- or just plain orneriness in not wanting to follow the herd.

    I have definitely tried to assemble my little collection on exactly that principle: things I think are rather fine which not everyone in the pub (or possibly, no-one else in the county) has got.

    As the main brands to avoid (Rolex, PP, AP, Cartier) are "French speaking", I have largely (but not exclusively) looked to Germany for some great "under the radar" manufacturers. I now have beautiful offerings from GO (3), DornblŁth (1), and Moritz Grossmann (unbelievable workmanship, 2 + 1 on order). Swiss brands Zenith (as mentioned above (1)) and Moser (1). Future targets include another Moser, Journe and Czapek.

    All of these (and several others mentioned by other respondents) fulfill your friend's criteria.

    HTH

  26. #26
    Surely Grand Seiko is the answer to this.

  27. #27
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    If you can't buy one in Goldsmith's or the other usual suspects 99% of the general public won't have a clue!

    That said, if you pull up in an expensive car, wear fine clothes and fancy shoes I'd imagine that any watch you wear would be seen as expensive or 'luxury'.

    I normally knock around in jeans, polo shirt and trainers so I reckon most people assume my decent watches are fake or aren't interested at looking at my wrist in the first place.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by relaxer7 View Post

    I normally knock around in jeans, polo shirt and trainers so I reckon most people assume my decent watches are fake or aren't interested at looking at my wrist in the first place.

    I think that is the sense of this thread. If you are wearing your F P Journe, anyone not affected by WISery is going to think it's a fashion watch if they notice it at all, but we sad people are going to give it the admiration it is due (without mentioning it of course).

  29. #29
    I don't understand the concept of buying a Credor partly because it looks like something a lot less expensive. You need to have a hell of a lot of cash to justify the 10% difference in look vs a Daniel Wellington watch to justify it costing 100 time the price. Pretty absurd

    Most people won't know Zenith, IWC, Nomos, Glashutte. You don't have to spend 5 figures to get something that flies under the radar

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliverte View Post
    I don't understand the concept of buying a Credor partly because it looks like something a lot less expensive. You need to have a hell of a lot of cash to justify the 10% difference in look vs a Daniel Wellington watch to justify it costing 100 time the price. Pretty absurd

    Most people won't know Zenith, IWC, Nomos, Glashutte. You don't have to spend 5 figures to get something that flies under the radar

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    That is a fair point.

    Then again, the whole concept of spending thousands of pounds on outdated wrist furniture whose primary function has been replaced by a device everybody carries around in their pocket anyway and which is outclassed in its main purpose by a £50 Casio is utterly absurd to the 99% of people who aren't WIS'. So the hypothetical Credor Man wanting to spend £50 grand on a plain-looking (at a glance) watch is no more or less absurd than most of the rest of us. He's just richer.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post
    That is a fair point.

    Then again, the whole concept of spending thousands of pounds on outdated wrist furniture whose primary function has been replaced by a device everybody carries around in their pocket anyway and which is outclassed in its main purpose by a £50 Casio is utterly absurd to the 99% of people who aren't WIS'. So the hypothetical Credor Man wanting to spend £50 grand on a plain-looking (at a glance) watch is no more or less absurd than most of the rest of us. He's just richer.
    Perfect (if depressing) logic.

    But . . . . looked at as jewellery



    .
    Last edited by Yokel; 26th June 2019 at 13:35.

  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post
    That is a fair point.

    Then again, the whole concept of spending thousands of pounds on outdated wrist furniture whose primary function has been replaced by a device everybody carries around in their pocket anyway and which is outclassed in its main purpose by a £50 Casio is utterly absurd to the 99% of people who aren't WIS'. So the hypothetical Credor Man wanting to spend £50 grand on a plain-looking (at a glance) watch is no more or less absurd than most of the rest of us. He's just richer.
    We read and hear so many variations of this theme- quartz is more accurate than mechanical, wristwatches are unnecessary etc that it sounds boring, unimaginative, uninteresting and lazy even if there might be a smidgen of truth to it.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    We read and hear so many variations of this theme- quartz is more accurate than mechanical, wristwatches are unnecessary etc that it sounds boring, unimaginative, uninteresting and lazy even if there might be a smidgen of truth to it.
    It's not a criticism. I've not been here long so I could all too easily be guilty of trotting out well worn tropes. However, a different but equally well-worn trope on another watch forum I frequent is watch collectors - who are almost by definition a weird bunch, compared to the average Joe - calling other watch collectors weird/absurd/deviant because of the choices they make with respect to their personal watch collecting. Which was what my post was aiming to highlight.
    Last edited by Zakalwe; 26th June 2019 at 13:46.

  34. #34
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    Apparently these look like Daniel Wellington's

    Guess it's why one of the reason's I like VC over AP, it goes under the radar when compared to its peers. Apart from in Singapore when I was stopped several times by local's to discuss VC, Lange & PP due to me having one on my wrist




    Moser is very much under the radar & so is Grand Seiko like previously mentioned, people see the Seiko and automatically discredit it

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post
    It's not a criticism. I've not been here long so I could all too easily be guilty of trotting out well worn tropes. However, a different but equally well-worn trope on another watch forum I frequent is watch collectors - who are almost by definition a weird bunch, compared to the average Joe - calling other watch collectors weird/absurd/deviant because of the choices they make with respect to their personal watch collecting. Which was what my post was aiming to highlight.
    You will find that it is true to some extent here as well. I think that is a function of Internet fora. Everywhere there will be forum favorites, certain things that are favored by majority, certain prevailing prejudices and certain attitudes. Thankfully there are enough members here to have at least some diversity even though their voices might be drowned out by more vocal majority at times.

  36. #36
    Master
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    For once, the answer to a watch question is not Rolex!

    For the average Joe, I think Mark lowman summed it up pretty much perfectly.


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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellgal View Post
    And as for Ressence mentioned above, am I alone in thinking theyíre great?
    You're not alone. Ever since I handled one at Salon QP, I wanted one.

  38. #38
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    It has to be this watch. I visited my local Rolex AD last week to send my watch in for a service.

    I spoke to the new manager who had only started a couple of weeks previous. When mentioning that I only wanted a very light polish, she said that there was nothing to worry about because the watch is "stainless steel Sir".

    This was after examining my watch for a couple of minutes. Her colleagues were in fits of laughter and I thought that you can't get more stealth than this.

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  39. #39
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    I would have thought that Blancpain & Sinn would fly under the radar of most people not interested in watches.

  40. #40
    100% this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zakalwe View Post
    I agree with this. In fact I'd go as far as to say the Eichi II (which I absolutely adore) is the ultimate stealth wealth watch full-stop. It's a simple three-hander with no branding other than the "CREDOR" on the dial that from a distance to the uninitiated might look like a plain £100 fashion watch rather than the five figure, hand crafted, platinum-cased marvel that it is.


  41. #41
    White gold, I guess?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
    It has to be this watch. I visited my local Rolex AD last week to send my watch in for a service.

    I spoke to the new manager who had only started a couple of weeks previous. When mentioning that I only wanted a very light polish, she said that there was nothing to worry about because the watch is "stainless steel Sir".

    This was after examining my watch for a couple of minutes. Her colleagues were in fits of laughter and I thought that you can't get more stealth than this.

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  42. #42
    Still a Rolex.

  43. #43
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    Breguet or Lange


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  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by pete-r View Post
    Roger Smith, Paul's brother...
    Actually, he is Annaís brother ;)
    It's just a matter of time...

  45. #45
    Master PreacherCain's Avatar
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    Hard to improve on Grand Seiko, for my money - indeed, on Seiko full-stop. They do interesting things of good quality at a price point few others can match, it's all in-house manufacture and they have a style for every pocket and taste.

    The wider "stealth wealth" thing is an interesting phenomenon. I don't particularly like wearing flashy things, and I don't enjoy drawing attention to my ability to spend money on shiny trinkets like watches, but I am absolutely snobbish enough to LOVE it when a fellow watch nerd notices and appreciates (say) my GS Snowflake or 1969 step-dial Speedy... It's nice to feel like an insider, like one of the cognoscenti. Of course, "wear what you like, and like what you wear" should always come first, but for me there is always a certain degree of others' perception baked into that equation.

  46. #46
    Lange and JLC would be my vote. Moser, Glashutte Original, and Parmigiani also contenders. All are definitely for the connoisseur and respected.

  47. #47
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    Greubel Forsey.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    A friend asked me to define a watch brand that would command respect among collectors but not display an image of excessive wealth that comes with the more expensive/exclusive Swiss brands. Perhaps an IWC, JLC, A.Lange & Sohne or Grand Seiko may fit the bill, any suggestions would be welcome please.

    Thanks,

    Terry
    Budget is key I feel especially if you want to explore the Independents but I still think you could wear a JLC, IWC, Lange and Sohn or GS, amongst others, without it being an image of excess, as most people haven't got a clue anyway. If he also lives in Perth, then I don't think he should worry at all even if he fancies a good ole Rolex. Everything is much more low key here, in my opinion.

  49. #49
    Why not wear a Casio.

    Everyone, who is not a WIS, will assume it is a cheap watch but you could be wearing a really expensive watch.

    Take Casio's MRG line, it was always the top model in their line up but in 2007 they switched to it being an all analogue watch, pushed the quality up even further, using hardened titanium plus DLC and Zaratsu polishing etc. The Zaratsu polishing is contracted out to the same factory that does the Zaratsu polishing for Grand Seiko.

    The quality is absolutely fantastic which you can only appreciate when in hand.





    You can get this one currently a watch that is will be unique due to the slight differences in the 'hammer' craft that was used on the model, hand craftsmanship and expensive.







    "Casio calls this hammer-beaten-metal technique ďtsu-i-ki,Ē and it has been used in various types of Japanese traditional craft as well as in similar forms elsewhere. The work is done in Kyoto, Japan, by metalwork craftsman Mr. Bihou Asano. Beating metal with a small hammer is among the only ways to get it shaped in particular ways without stamping or machining Ė so we even see it today in custom car creation. The intentionally organic look of the beaten metal is interesting, and overall, the titanium and copper alloy watch has a unique mixture of modern looks with a sort of aged appeal."

    Of course the watch will cost about £6000 and there you have the ultimate stealth watch, a watch that 'everybody' knows is dirt cheap but actually isn't.




    Mitch

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Genta View Post
    I'd say pretty much anything other than AP, PP, Rolex and to a lesser extent Tudor and Omega.
    Oh I don't know about PP, a white gold calatrava wouldn't catch the eye of a non WIS, it's just a plain watch on a leather strap. I'd go even further and say an Aquanaut or Nautilus are rare sights in general, so most wouldn't spot them. The Aquanaut is a "chunky" watch on a rubber strap (most non WIS think the best watches are all on bracelets, IMO thanks to Rolex and their ubiquitous Oyster. The Nautilus is very 70's design and light, I think most would see it as a retro item, and cheap as posh watches are heavy, aren't they! :)

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