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Thread: Watch details you like

  1. #1

    Watch details you like

    I am wearing my X-33 a lot and have decided that while I could get a nice ana-digi G Shock that “does more” for somewhat less, I just like the pushers on the Omega a lot. Very solid, and satisfyingly clicky. Such details matter.



    Plus I like the “nub” on the case at 9 o’clock, which makes it easier to press in the crown, which is a thing with this model.

    I decided from this reverie, that much of watch obsession is trying to find something where all the details are satisfying. A fruitless endeavour, akin to the fictitious Frenhofer in Balzac's The Unknown Masterpiece. The artist so obsessed with perfection he spends 10 years in solitude creating the “perfect” portrait. When he finally finishes it, the painting is a disappointment. His continuous repainting had completely obscured the original brilliance.

    It doesn’t end well. Solitude and obsession and the pursuit of ideals often doesn’t.

    There is perhaps some parallel here with our search for the one perfect watch. Perhaps it is better to enjoy the imperfect ones, but with their pleasing details…?

    Another one, not expensive, which I like. The humble original Seiko Monster.



    What I like about this is the crown. Specifically, that the designer made one that echoed the scallops of the bezel. There are watches at 50 times the cost of this that have a generic crown. Somehow, someone at Seiko managed to get this one commissioned, and just for the cheapo Monster. We are indebted. More of this quiet flare Seiko, if possible.

    A final one, and another Omega. Yes, the Speedmaster:



    Here the pleasing detail is the text. Initially the balance of weight between it and the three sundials is most obvious. But then you notice the lines of the imaginary triangle containing the text meet the pinions of the 3 and 9 o’clock dials. It’s perfect. More impressive given the mix of fonts. It defies the rules and ought to be a terrible mess (and we all know chronos where the dial is exactly that) but isn’t. Details matter.

    To circle back to Balzac, there was a limited edition (350 copies) of The Unknown Masterpiece illustrated by Picasso and released in 1931. There are copies in MoMa, Harvard Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other places.

    Picasso had read the story, of course, and although later he was dismissive of his illustrations, he may have been deeply influenced by the story of the madness of pursuing perfection in art. At the beginning of the tale, Frenhofer is introduced as working in a house believed to be 7 Rue des Grands-Augustinis in Paris. This very house was later leased by Picasso, from where he produced the anti-war masterpiece Guernica



    Picasso at work alone, on perhaps his most well known masterpiece, at the location of The Unknown Masterpiece.

    Details matter.

    Any other watches you like with pleasing details (details only!) I'd be interested to learn about.

    TT

  2. #2
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Watch details you like

    Impressive. You are probably the first non native speaker I meet who read this little known short story. And since details matter, Frenhofer’s masterpiece, la belle noiseuse, is the title of Jacques Rivette’s adaptation of “le chef d’œuvre inconnu”. Jacques Rivette was one of the pillars of the Nouvelle Vague (new wave) in the 60s, along with Truffaut, Rohmer, Chabrol, Godard, Resnais, etc.
    The same Rivette who, when a young film critic, slaughtered Henri-George Clouzot’s les diaboliques, another masterpiece this time of film noir.
    Clouzot went on to direct Le Mystère Picasso, which allows me to tie this note to yours, despite the lack of horological content.
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 15th March 2022 at 09:27.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  3. #3
    Thank you. I only read it in translation, but it still stirs, and is almost wantonly quotable.

    For all human sentiments there is a time of early blossoming, a day of generous enthusiasm that gradually fades until nothing is left of happiness but a memory, and glory is known for a delusion
    Which you can read as a reflection on many profound things, or in my case, TT's doomed approach to watch collecting.

  4. #4
    A great post, thank you, Tokyo Tokei.

    There are some things that I like about watches that are hard to photograph - the one that leaps to my mind first is the bezel action on a Damasko watch. I've owned three or four DC66s, currently have a DC82 on my wrist, and the action on these has always been a wonderful combination of precise, easy to operate and difficult to mistakenly move. There are, I think, ball-bearings in the mechanism, and these make operating the bezel a pleasure. They're bi-directional - do the diver's watches have a uni-directional bezel?

    Last edited by Qatar-wol; 15th March 2022 at 09:51.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post
    There are some things that I like about watches that are hard to photograph - the one that leaps to my mind first is the bezel action on a Damasko watch.
    That’s exactly the kind of thing, thank you. Something that makes you appreciate the design, the process, or the execution. Some such details are not visible, which is why it’s especially nice to have them pointed out.

  6. #6
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Tutima's hinged pushers, from their Bund, military and Commando chronos (and I assume later M1 ones, but have no experience of those).
    They are little hinged marvels, rotating round their anchor points at the lug end of the case. Because of their advantage, they seem to have used quite strong springs resisting their action, so they do nothing until they give with a very satisfyingly sudden click.
    They are also quite large and flat, making them easy to find and use.

  7. #7
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    I agree with the pushers on a Tutima, they have a fantastic action, it’s unlike any other Chronograph I own.
    The bezel action on a Pelagos is the best I have ever encountered, the little indent at 12 means you can feel when the lume pip hits 12 without looking, it’s a great touch. Likewise the ceramic bearings in the clasp, they have very smooth but positive action.
    But the shape of the hour hand on the Auto CWC diver is my favourite watch feature
    It’s subtlety different from the quartz and all the better for it. There is no logical reason for it, it is hardly noticeable, but for some reason I really love the shape. It makes the watch even more pleasant to look at IMO
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 15th March 2022 at 10:51.

  8. #8
    Tutima pushers and Pelagos bezel and clasp, more good details! And impossible to note from pictures.

    One detail I like, which is visible but nonetheless often overlooked, is a capped seconds hand. A thing on some of my Grand Seiko quartzes:





    Looks clean, and now I always notice its absence on other watches.

    TT

  9. #9
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Tutima pushers and Pelagos bezel and clasp, more good details! And impossible to note from pictures.

    One detail I like, which is visible but nonetheless often overlooked, is a capped seconds hand. A thing on some of my Grand Seiko quartzes:





    Looks clean, and now I always notice its absence on other watches.

    TT
    I was going to say the exact same thing re capped seconds hand. On non tool watches this makes a subtle but perceptible difference to the overall feel of quality and attention to detail.

    Pic of mine taken just now

  10. #10
    I like a well done combination of finishes on bracelet/case. One of my favourite watches at the minute does this very well. Great combination of brushed and polished surfaces. The case is mainly brushed with a lovely polished chamfered edge. This edge continues/flows onto a polished edge of the mainly brushed bracelet. The centre links also combine a lovely mix of finishes. Sometimes the little details make all the difference.

    Last edited by Mr Tetley; 16th March 2022 at 16:42.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Along the same lines as those you pointed out, TT: the wedding cake stack of hands on my Muhle is pleasing.


  12. #12
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    I also really like the downturned lugs on the larger part for the Bremont range.
    They are formed from the front of the case, and sweep down over the case barrel (which is a separate part) towards the back, and apart from being a very elegant solution, they look great.



    I might add that imho, the ones on the S500 case do not look great. At all

  13. #13
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    I enjoy subtle touches and little points of detail that you notice occasionally (on both watches and elsewhere) but which sadly in the hurly burly often go unnoticed.

    I like the hour indices on my Seiko 6106 9010 which have been shaped to allow the hour hand to be longer, they also appear to be exaggerated, almost to make you notice them as they are quite large given the dial size.

    This is a great topic for a post and I look forward to further content.

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  14. #14
    I'm constantly impressed by the handset on the MM300. It's special, in a good way.




  15. #15
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Not a watch exactly but related, I maintain that the little square hole on the end of the Barton rubber straps is a stoke of genius. It holds the keeper firmly in place. Such a simple solution to something that always aggravated me with straps. I have no idea if Barton was the first to do this (probably not), but it's the only brand where I've personally seen it.

    Picture below pinched off Google for the sake of an example.


  16. #16
    Master 50kopek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    Not a watch exactly but related, I maintain that the little square hole on the end of the Barton rubber straps is a stoke of genius. It holds the keeper firmly in place. Such a simple solution to something that always aggravated me with straps. I have no idea if Barton was the first to do this (probably not), but it's the only brand where I've personally seen it.

    Picture below pinched off Google for the sake of an example.

    I'll just steal your image for a detail I like: the blue saturday and red sunday on the day disc of many Seiko's. Especially on dressier watches it adds a nice splash of colour for two days a week:



    (Picture from watchvault.com.au)

  17. #17
    Journeyman Dean Learner's Avatar
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    Have to say for me it's the crown guard on my Anordain. Being a hand winder it's a little pleasure to run my thumb over the top of the smooth surface and feel just enough bite on the crown protruding above the guard to facilitate winding. Such a small detail that you don't notice till owning it for a while and having other hand wound watches to compare against.

    It's really a watch that just keeps growing on me over time. Lovely thread OP.

  18. #18
    Grand Master
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    That is a great design feature, but I’m guessing you mean the minute hand as the hour hand won’t be anywhere near the indices.

    Quote Originally Posted by sish101 View Post
    I enjoy subtle touches and little points of detail that you notice occasionally (on both watches and elsewhere) but which sadly in the hurly burly often go unnoticed.

    I like the hour indices on my Seiko 6106 9010 which have been shaped to allow the hour hand to be longer, they also appear to be exaggerated, almost to make you notice them as they are quite large given the dial size.

    This is a great topic for a post and I look forward to further content.

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves
    Cheers,

    Ben



    ..... for I have become the Jedi of flippers


    " an extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife "

  19. #19
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    I like the white frame around the date on the Barakuda.


  20. #20
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    I like the white frame around the date on the Barakuda.

    Amusingly, it's the one thing I didn't like on my Seamaster GMT
    (stock photo)

    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  21. #21
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben4watches View Post
    That is a great design feature, but I’m guessing you mean the minute hand as the hour hand won’t be anywhere near the indices.
    Yes, indeed I did mean the minute hand.

    Foreign sun and Estrella have reduced my cognitive powers somewhat so I stand corrected

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  22. #22
    Nice post
    One detail I like above all others ( other than crown and bezel action) is the actual bezel itself
    And my favorite is H2O’s turbine bezel




  23. #23
    Master pinpull's Avatar
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    Very simply, white hands (preferably filled with Superluminova) against a black face.

    I find my 1861 Speedmaster Pro and my Hanhart 417 superbly readable in this configuration.

    Polished steel hands IMHO get a little lost sometimes…

  24. #24
    Master ed335d's Avatar
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    The dials on old Caribbeans





  25. #25
    Master Halitosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qatar-wol View Post
    ...the bezel action on a Damasko watch. I've owned three or four DC66s, currently have a DC82 on my wrist, and the action on these has always been a wonderful combination of precise, easy to operate and difficult to mistakenly move. There are, I think, ball-bearings in the mechanism, and these make operating the bezel a pleasure. They're bi-directional - do the diver's watches have a uni-directional bezel?
    I have a Damasko DSub1 and the bezel action is indeed uni-directional. I also agree it's precise and feels like a fantastic piece of mechanical design.

    Another watch element I really enjoy is the improved anti-reflective coating on the crystal of the latest model Rolex Submariner. It makes the face of the watch a distinctly deeper black when viewed side-by-side with the previous model.
    Last edited by Halitosis; 15th March 2022 at 19:56.

  26. #26
    Master sish101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed335d View Post
    The dials on old Caribbeans




    Love those dial pictures. Where they enamel?

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves

  27. #27
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sish101 View Post
    Love those dial pictures. Where they enamel?

    Sent through the ether by diddling with radio waves
    Tiny glass beads in paint - similar to what used to be used in road markings to increase reflectivity.

  28. #28
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    The Air-King “script” font on the dial of the 114200.


  29. #29
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Great post TT. Reminds me of my morbid thoughts when I was a teenager. When I said to my class mates, “the sea would be full of plastic and the air full of fumes and the Earth would remove us from its surface because we have become the parasites that we are”, they didn’t believe me.

    As regards watch details I like - one comes to mind. The bezel of my long gone Breitling B-1 with dual gearing making it super smooth. I loved to play with this feature, so tactile and sensuous.





    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 16th March 2022 at 00:17.
    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”. HHGTTG

  30. #30
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    I like that they put the chrono 1/10 markers around the date window on my Rainbow El Primero

    Cheers,

    Ben



    ..... for I have become the Jedi of flippers


    " an extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife "

  31. #31
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    I tend to like some features others actively dislike...

    Aesthetic:

    Round date windows - sharply squared-off just looks so jarring in a lot of watch designs.
    Date at 4 or 4.30 - I can't explain it, it just looks better, especially on divers.
    Skeleton hands - so long as they are clear and still have plenty of lume, they add to the visual appeal.
    'Castellated' bezel grips - simple, strong corrugations around the edge look good, feel tactile, and work well.

    Practical:

    Ceramic bezel inserts - have their faults, but the fact they scratch way less easily than aluminium is the big bonus.
    Large, grippy crown - easy to use, simple as that.
    Crown lugs - they never need spoil the look of a watch if done right, and just make it robust.
    Drilled strap lugs - adds practicality without diminishing looks .
    Hardened steel cases - honestly, why does anyone use anything else? Stupidly expensive watches as easy to scratch as a £50 Casio? WTF?

    Tissot got it so right with the last generation of Seastars - only omitting the hardened steel, which at the low price, I can live with:


  32. #32
    Journeyman
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    I like chamfers on watch cases... clever use of different finishing on a watch to create visual effect...

    Sent from my SM-G998B using Tapatalk

  33. #33
    Master
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    I love the way that the dial on my CW Super Compressor changes from dark blue to turquoise depending on the angle you view it from.




  34. #34
    Master RJM25R's Avatar
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    Glidelock.

  35. #35
    Holding and winding my GS SBGW001 is satisfying indeed.
    None of my others come close.

    Edit - I find the interaction from winding and setting integral to the pleasure of ownership and a reliable truth-teller of quality. A lot of things all have to be well executed for the watch to deliver that just right feeling.
    Last edited by forpetesake; 17th March 2022 at 13:12.

  36. #36
    Master
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    I don't currently own any watches with the 'feature', but I do like it when the white borders of the hands match the white outline of the indices, like the Tudor Pelagos or the Seiko 7c43 divers.

    Pics pulled from the internet for illustration:





    Conversely, I'm not a fan so much of applied indices and matching hands though, but then my preference errs towards more of a tool watch aesthetic.

    One of the things that I dislike about the SKX007/009 when I've had them in the past is the white border to the indices but chrome-edged hands, it just looks unbalanced to me.

  37. #37
    Master Routers's Avatar
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    Really like the machined bezel on my Oris ProPilot.


  38. #38
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    Easy/quick bracelet extension e.g the mechanism on the current Seamaster 300M. They are a pleasure to use and a feature I look for now- I can’t believe how few companies include this feature especially until recent years.

  39. #39
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    I’ve been racking my brain to find something to contribute, as what attracts me is the whole watch package.

    After much analysis, the Monster’s hands forming this at 12 does make me smile




    Dave


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  40. #40
    Master earlofsodbury's Avatar
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    Cannot unsee:


  41. #41
    Craftsman kinyik's Avatar
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    The sapphire dome on this squale does it for me.


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  42. #42
    Master zelig's Avatar
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    I'm a sucker for a power reserve the messes up the dial symmetry ...

    ... er no I'm not - as I may have mentioned that briefly before

    I do like cases with an angular design, dials with multiple layers - or unusual colours.

    Some examples

    Angular cases...







    ... as mentioned above - the attention to detail on the date window

    Dials with layers ( I must find a better photo to illustrate this )



    Colourful Dials ( not black or white )



    ... & I really like that they took the effort to match the dial & date wheel colour on this Chronoswiss





    ... & there is something just right in the way Breitling do Analogue - Digital



    z
    Last edited by zelig; 27th March 2022 at 12:08.

  43. #43
    Not quite in the spirit of the thread, as it's less of a feature, more of a... an occurrence? But I like it when all the hands line up, as on the Monster, above, and here, from today - all four hands!


  44. #44
    Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    I’ve been racking my brain to find something to contribute, as what attracts me is the whole watch package.

    After much analysis, the Monster’s hands forming this at 12 does make me smile




    Dave


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That's cool. Reminds me of a rocket.

  45. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    I also really like the downturned lugs on the larger part for the Bremont range.
    They are formed from the front of the case, and sweep down over the case barrel (which is a separate part) towards the back, and apart from being a very elegant solution, they look great.



    I might add that imho, the ones on the S500 case do not look great. At all
    Agree on the lugs. It’s the slight cut out under the lug that I particularly like.


  46. #46
    Master
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    I like the way the bezel on the 58 has a different click when the triangle reaches 12 so you can align the bezel without looking.

    Sailing with the 58

  47. #47
    I like the way the EZM2 date window has no border and the red numbers match the red writing on the dial.



    I’m also a fan of an open 6 or 9



  48. #48
    Master spuds's Avatar
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    Any watch supplied on a curved-end strap.

    The gap if it’s not curved drives me nuts!

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