Inside A Novice Watch-Buyer’s Mind

Inside A Novice Watch-Buyer’s Mind

I have always loved watches. From the time I was young, I loved the different styles and colors, chronographs vs. dress; hell, I even loved pocket watches. But, it wasn’t until recently that I started to appreciate the engineering that goes into making a quality watch. 

Luckily, I get to hang out with the creator of spazz.com on a regular basis, so I get schooled on the in”s-and-out’s of a variety of different watches. There is so much to learn and understand, and I am taking it all in little by little. 

So, I decided to write this article to help others like me - the guys who love quality watches but don’t have the money to buy the best of the best. The good news is that you don’t always have to buy the best; just buy the best in the range that you can afford. 

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Paul Newman's Paul Newman, Newman... WTF?

Paul Newman's Paul Newman, Newman... WTF?

Hello Newman!

You knew it was going to happen one day, certainly after the idiocy we've seen with recent show-stoppers like the womanizing-country-abanding Bao Dai 6062, or the so-subtle-no-one-would-ever-know-its-a-Patek-under-a-sweater 130, that the ultimate vintage watch that people with far more money than brains will jerk each other off over, would be found.

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The Omega Speedmaster Turns 60

The Omega Speedmaster Turns 60

Regardless of industry, companies that make products are always trying to create that perfect product that can translate not only to great sales, but that can actually become an icon.

In computers, think of the iPhone. The first true Smartphone and it literally changed how every single human who has ever held a mobile phone sees mobile telephony forever.

In the automotive world, think of what it must have been like when in the early 70’s Ferrari introduced the 308 GTB. In an era where most cars were the size of small boats, here comes this sleek, wedge inspired design that literally sliced through the air standing still. It defined Ferrari for a new generation and defined what an exotic sports car is supposed to be, having influenced hundreds of designs afterward.

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Meaning of Rolex 'underline' revealed

Meaning of Rolex 'underline' revealed

When it comes to the watch collecting world, specifically the Rolex watch collecting world, the fabled 'underline' has been a mystery.  

A Submariner or Daytona or Explorer with an underline on its dial is worth easily 1000% more than a non-underline version. 

There is absolutely no difference between the watches other than the tiny bit of faded paint, but its value is, as mentioned, very different.  

Turns out it was all an elaborate April Fools' Joke by some Rolex collector! - let's call him Bubba to protect his identity. 

It was easy for Bubba to make 'underline' Rolex dials since no one expects them to be pristine and they can't be authenticated by Rolex. So a faded underline would do.  

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Happy New Year! And Materialism As We Enter 2017

Happy New Year! And Materialism As We Enter 2017

Every year we have our "new year's resolutions", but given the holiday season has just ended, which is always filled with the standard commercialism and retail therapy, I thought it might be worthwhile to give my perspective on the subject. Specifically when we refer to a certain type of spending as "materialism" - this ties in nicely with the watch world, since 2016 was officially the worst year on record since the early 80's!

First, what is materialism?

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A Split-Chrono, A Flyback Chrono, And A Foudroyante Chrono

A Split-Chrono, A Flyback Chrono, And A Foudroyante Chrono

"Hi,

I only intended to buy one quality mechanical watch, so after a lot of research I bought an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. Unfortunately I'm now hooked on watches, but I don't want to build a large collection of watches which I cannot really afford. As I really like chronographs, I would like to eventually buy a single example of a flyback, split-second, and foudroyante chronograph to complement my "basic" Speedmaster. What watches should I consider buying in each of these categories, that would be worth owning, but won't break the bank?

Robert"

Hi Robert,

And welcome to the club (there is no cure!)

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IWC Is Making A Statement

IWC Is Making A Statement

A couple years ago I wrote that IWC was back! That was when they introduced their revamped Portuguese collection, even renaming it to Portugieser. It included a slew of brand new in-house movements, and the revamping of other pre-existing movements. To refresh our memories, this is the list of what became the latest Portugieser collection:

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Bang-For-Your-Buck: Zenith El Primero 36000 vph

Bang-For-Your-Buck: Zenith El Primero 36000 vph

Quite possibly an ongoing series, today’s bang-for-your-buck is the Zenith El Primero 36000. Specifically the 38mm version that is branded “original”, as in the original case specs/design from 1969.

The history behind the El primero is legendary. It was one the first three automatic chronograph ever made. The Heuer c.11 and the Seiko c.6139 being the other two and all were released within months of each other in 1969. The Zenith is named “El Primero”, which means “the first” in Spanish, because Zenith released their prototype before either Heuer or Seiko could release theirs (although both the heuer and Seiko were available for purchase before the El Primero).

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Are We About To Enter A Watch Buyers Market?

Are We About To Enter A Watch Buyers Market?

After the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States, it is widely expected that there will be some economic uncertainty moving forward (at a minimum). This would affect the US, and by extension the world. Without going into a political rant, the reason for this is because proposed policies from the campaign trail point to an increase in interest rates, which basically means cost of living for the majority of people will go up. If this happens, luxuries are the first to get axed. Back in 2008 when the most recent financial crisis hit, the market was flooded with luxury cars, boats, and jewelry. It was only once the recovery really started to take hold the past couple years did we see, for example, an increase in watch prices to the point where records are being set all over the world.

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Top 10 Most "Attainable" Watches

Top 10 Most "Attainable" Watches

A little while ago I put together 'The Ultimate Watch Collection'. A collection where money is no object.

But, what if money is an object?

In other words, if we wanted to build a watch collection of 'attainable' watches, where attainable isn't necessarily cheap, but that a person making an average salary could, with time, save up to buy at least a couple, what would that look like?

Well, I'm about to tell you (in no particular order), and yes there are watches in this list that overlap with the "ultimate watch collection", and thats because money isn't everything.

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More Money Than Brains: $11 Million Steel Patek 1518

More Money Than Brains: $11 Million Steel Patek 1518

I love watches, but if you read my posts you also know I'm not one of those Horological Douchebags (HDs), that is constantly pushing the pissing contest many people with more money than brains tend to have with great regularity.

And without repeating myself (you can read older posts for that), let me present to you the most recent example: the Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in stainless steel.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid As Watch Hobbyists, And Those Who Profit From Them

Common Mistakes To Avoid As Watch Hobbyists, And Those Who Profit From Them

I am literally beside myself when I browse around online, or happen to stumble upon conversations regarding watches by so called “experts”. The amount of junk thats out there dressed up as fact, when in reality is nothing more than some self-perpetuation prophecy designed to mold and shape public opinion in a particular direction is sickening.

It’s as if over time everything has been turned on its head. What used to be considered important is now less so and vice versa. A whole new formula has been created and passed around, which is then used by those receiving this “advice” against their own interests.

At Spazz.com we call those responsible Horological Douchebags (“HDs”). They don’t want you to think for yourself using logic, but rather they want you to trust them blindly. They’ve “been there”, so they "know of the mistakes" they don’t want you to make (wink wink).

But you still have a brain, don’t you?

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Patek Philippe 40th Anniversary Nautilus Raises Flags

Patek Philippe 40th Anniversary Nautilus Raises Flags

Earlier this month Patek Philippe launched two new Nautilus variations to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Nautilus: the 5976/1G and the 5711/1P.

In just about every way, this release raises nothing but flags for me, and I’d love to share the reasons why. But first, the general specs as they were presented in the official press release

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Dead Brand Chronographs

Dead Brand Chronographs

An interesting subject in collecting vintage watches for me has always been those so called "dead" watch brands that made chronographs pre-1970's.

Once the quartz crisis took hold, only a few managed to actually survive, and the majority of those were bought by the Swatch Group or other large conglomerates. 

The rest, all gone (unless their names alone have been revived for some marketing reason).

Names like Nicolet, Gigadnet, Wakmann, Cyma, Gallet, Zodiac, etc. There were literally hundreds of these brand names that popup up pre-1970s. Some were owned by bigger brands, for example, Wakmann, which belongs to Breitling. This brand was used to assemble watches in the USA to avoid certain taxes when the watches entered assembled.

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Icons: Seiko 6139

Icons: Seiko 6139

Seiko is a brand that is often times overlooked and even disrespected.

Part of the reason why is totally justified. Seiko invented the Quartz movement and that almost single handedly wiped out the entire mechanical watchmaking industry.

Something that would have been unforgivable.

And they also make a lot of inexpensive, i.e. "cheap" watches.

But as described in an earlier post here, Seiko, despite it's flaws has true pedigree and has made more than it's fair share of worthwhile horological innovations.

One of those innovations was their very first automatic chronograph movement, which debuted across Japan in 1969, the calibre 6139.

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The 6 Master Complications

The 6 Master Complications

A watch's primary function is to tell us what time it is. This is why telling the time is not considered a "complication".

But anything beyond that is.

And some complications are much more difficult to make than others. And combining more than one of these complications into one watch is absolutely spectacular, hence, it's own category: Grand Complications (minimum 3 complications to qualify).

But even doing one of these things well is a challenge, and making them all, even in individual watches make for quite the repertoire.

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The Ultimate Watch Collection: Summary

The Ultimate Watch Collection: Summary

Today, a convenient summary!

I think the following summary, in chart form should be a lot of fun. And as you will see, it makes it real easy to visualize alternative combinations. I.e., if you prefer the Calatrava to the Reverso, cool. In your personal chart/list, you could just swap them, and it'd still make sense...

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Lemania: History and Follow Up

Lemania: History and Follow Up

As a follow up to a previous article where I discussed the connection between the Omega Speedmaster manual movements, and the Vacheron Constantin 1141/1142, and the Patek Philipper CH 27-70, since they all used the same Lemania based caliber, I also 

thought it’d be a good idea to give some more background on who Lemania was and is, especially their intimate connection with Omega via the SIHH.

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Cousins: Vacheron Constantin 5000T, Patek Philippe 5070, Omega Speedmaster

Cousins: Vacheron Constantin 5000T, Patek Philippe 5070, Omega Speedmaster

One of the things I’ve learned as I continue my journey in the watch collecting and watch hobby world, is that there really was a “golden age” of watchmaking. This golden age reached its summit somewhere around 1970 after Seiko released the world’s first commercial Quartz wristwatch on December 25, 1969, which in turn started what was dubbed the “Quartz Crisis” (how's that for a Christmas present!).

The “Quartz Crisis” referred to the fact that many manufacturers of mechanical watches, some that had been around since the 1800’s started to disappear by the hundreds as people started buying Quartz watches in favor of mechanical ones. Some companies survived of course, but the majority that did were gobbled up by large conglomerates such as The Swatch Group, who bought Omega, Longines, Breguet, to name just a few, or Financière Richmond SA who bought IWC, A. Lange And Sohne, and Vacheron Constantin, again to name just a few.

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