First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase - Page 5

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  • Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Pam00392

    36 36.00%
  • Montblanc Timewalker Chronograph 9669

    9 9.00%
  • Rolex Datejust II

    55 55.00%
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Thread: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

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  1. #41
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by jayb1314 View Post
    I would consider replacing the Montblanc with an Omega Speedmaster Professional but the issue is, I don't want two watches with black faces...which is why I chose these three and the face colors.

    I understand that there are a handful of variations of the Speedmaster and Pro but I feel like if you go for it, you get the manual wind, the way it was conceived. I do like their co-axial movement but haven't actually seen one in person...they also come a hair larger at just over 44mm. The original only comes in black or brown (looking at their website) and I would enjoy either a silver face or a blue face and then I could get the all silver DJ II.
    If you happen to like the design, the Speedmaster is an awesome choice to have in your collection. I love mine. I think this is one of the best "mainstream" watch designs ever. The matte black face, thin white stick hands, crisp white font on the dial, and perfect proportions make it so easily readable. It's a masterpiece. (Mine is the "original" 3570.50, with the manual-wind 1861 movement, hesalite crystal, etc.). You can't go wrong with it. It's just wonderful. If the original with the plastic crystal and solid caseback is not your cup of tea, you can also get it with a sapphire crystal and a sapphire display back, which has all of the nice design attributes of the original, but offers something different for a daily wearer. Or there is the new co-axial version, with the 9300 movement, which is also awesome. To me, the design isn't as "perfect" as the original because the proportions are not as mathematically perfect, but the essence of the design, the crispness, the legibility all remain intact, and the quality in-house 9300 movement, with silicon balance spring, 60-hour power reserve, yadda yadda yadda, more than compensates for that little bit of authenticity missing from the original.

    If you don't want two black dial watches, may I suggest the Datejust II in silver dial with the non fluted bezel? It looks to me a hair sportier than the fluted bezel version, very much like a Rolex Explorer, and is really a nice, perfectly balanced watch that strikes a nice compromise of dressy and versatile. That would be my pick of the Datejust II litter, but we are again talking personal tastes here...

  2. #42
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Well,I won't call speedy legible in comparison to most Panerai,particularly to the simpler marina models like 392,IMO the hands of speedy is a bit too skinny to tell the time at a glance,but I do agree that it has that classic look and proportion (particularly the pro) and it looks fabulous on different straps..

    I tried the classic speedy pro and the newer 9300 speedy,the legibility of the 9300 is better due to the less subdial,and it has date,but the case felt unnaturally thick and the side profile is not as nice as the standard speedy pro

    Having stated that,I'm not speedy hater,I'm thinking about trying and possibly getting the new ceramic model,too bad it is only available with 9300 movt so the watch will be on a thicker side....

  3. #43
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    I caste my vote for Rolex. Not that I'm biased towards it as a status symbol, but that I find it more attractive than the other options. All appear nice.

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  5. #44
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    To directly answer the question you asked:
    1 - Rolex
    2 - Panerai
    3 - MB
    That sequence because I think the Rolex deserves to be first as it's the only true "big boy" in the group. The MB last because stylistically, it won't give you any options the Rolex won't also have available to it. That puts the Panerai second by default.

    I'm going to ask your forgiveness for some of what I'll write below because you've already said you have your heart set on one of the three watches you pictured. Please know that I'm saying what I will becasue it's honestly what I think. But in accordance with your request, I do also identify which of the three you've cited I'd choose.

    I like Montblanc's Timewalker watches mostly for their design. The little bowl case on the Timewalkers is nifty. I just happen to like this chronograph far more than the one you pictured. The main reason I'm saying this is that is because the Nicolas Rieussec (NR) is MB's first foray into manufacture, and it's a damn fine job that they did as well. It's a chrono that I can actually get into, and I really don't care for chronos because I genuinely like far cleaner designs. Yet there's something catching my eye about this one whereas the one you pictured looks mostly like any other chrono. That the two watches can be had in the same price range is just another reason I'd go for the manufacture one instead. I just feel like if you are going to buy a "big boy" watch, that means buying a manufacture watch; it doesn't mean spending a lot of money to get mechanical bits that are made by the same folks making guts for anyone who wants to buy them, even if the buyer tweaks them later on.

    Here is something that you may find interesting to read about the NR I suggested: Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Automatic reviewed - Monochrome Watches . Here are a few other observations of the NR:
    http://montblanc.watchprosite.com/sh...ti-819573/s-0/

    Here is something a regular-Joe kind of person wrote about his experience with a Timewalker. Something he's sharing may help you to decide. (That is, of course, if anyone spending $5K+ on a watch can be called "regular" in terms of anything besides their bowel functions...LOL) http://montblanc.watchprosite.com/sh...ti-679943/s-0/

    I also like that MB are great at telling a story and finding some sort of "history" even if it's not entirely their own. Chronograph literally breaks down as "to write time." MB is first a pen company, so it fits. It also fits that MB is horologically "hanging its shingle" on chronographs, so it fits into something of a "story," if you will. For the watch I'm suggesting, MB has also plumbed the annals of history and found this dude (Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). His story is interesting and ties in just right with MB and their chronograph. He would be very, very proud. The NR watch makes me almost certain poltergeists are real for his ghost surely provided the insights and inspiration directly to the craftsmen at MB, an outfit that made it's name with pens and about as suddenly as ALS, sprung into the top tier of watchmaking with the NR watch.



    As for the Panerai, well, I just can't bring myself to see spending that kind of money on an ETA Unitas gizmo inside, not when a Rolex is the alternative for a first "big boy's" watch. I would be a bit keener on the PAM 419 for it's essentially the same price as the one you mentioned, but it's a limited edition. That makes it a limited edition item from Panerai that is within economic reach of mere mortals. I'd pick the Florence version, but you can pick whatever city suits you among Florence, Genève, Madrid, Paris, New York, Beverly Hills, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Taipei (see pic below). The engraving on the case back is cool IMO. Also, if one is going for the PAM 419, if one hasn't already missed the boat, one needs to jump on now as the opportunity may be hard to come by later. Of course, there's nothing wrong with a Panerai, but as a "big boy's" watch, it isn't, unless you are referring to the size of the thing. It's pricey to be sure, but put next to two genuine big boys, it doesn't cut it for me, even having a movement that resembles one of Panerai's vintage movements. The Panerai will be a durable watch though; that's what they are supposed to be and they live up to the expectation.




    So that finally brings me to the Rolex. Of the three you identified, I'd pick the Rolex, but the reason is more because it wins for me by default than anything else. It's manufacture; you know that. It's tough and will take a beating. You know that too. It works as a dress watch (to a point; I wouldn't tell someone to wear a Datejust with a beautiful navy suit, white, tab-collared shirt, woven grey silk tie and French cuffs; and certainly not with black tie or any double breasted suit, but then you said you don't dress that way...) and as a casual one. It's the watch that all other watches are either "better than" or "not quite on par with", or "as good as," which still really means Rolex has the upper hand (however slight it be) in any comprehensive comparison between it and any "as good as" watch. (FWIW, I'd say the MB NR is better than a Rolex, certainly the finishing of the movement is.) The Datejust styling is timeless, so you can't go wrong there. Indeed, the worst things you can say about a Rolex are (1) that it's an obvious choice, and (2) that it's ubiquitous, especially Subs and Datejusts. The thing is that it's an obvious choice the same way potatoes are an obvious accompaniment to steak; there's just nothing not to like. If there were something wrong with it, it wouldn't be so often the choice. In comparison to the two other watches you posed, it's a far better route to go for buying one's first "big boy" watch because it actually is. It's pricey just like the other two, but when you spend the money, you are getting what folks who buy upper tier watches are seeking, except maybe the exclusivity (that' the downside to ubiquity) in the most absolute of senses.

    And therein is the reason why above I said had you suggested the MB NR watch instead of the one you did, I'd have chosen it over the Rolex. The exclusivity factor. I'm going to be honest here. I can honestly say that I don't know one single person who spends $5K+ on a watch and who doesn't also want to feel like they are special. I don't mean special like Prince Harry. I mean special as in they'd just as soon not see their watch on the wrist of every other Tom, Dick and Jane upper middle income passerby in the street, in the theatre, in the restaurant, in the office, at the gym, at the car dealership, in the grocers, at their kid's school or athletic events, etc. Indeed, a large part of why I bought a Milgauss was to have a Rolex that was obviously different from the ones I saw all over the place. Yes, I really liked the green crystal; that also had a lot to do with it. I love my Sub and Air King, but I hate seeing essentially those two watches over and over.

    Now, that isn't something I would say to a person who just approached me and said they like this or that Rolex and asked if I thought it a good choice as a high quality watch. I would without hesitation tell them, yes, and encourage them heartily for they wouldn't be making a bad decision, and by that point, they already had their heart set on a Rolex. I'd be the last person to say something to put doubt in their mind about their choice; I know they'll love the watch.

    Lastly, I like the MB NR because it'd different in a lot of ways (you'll have discovered plenty about that if you've by now read the links I provided.) Plus, by starting out with a watch that isn't what folks would typically expect to see, you'll have something unique to share with other WISs whom you encounter. Yes, they'll know what it is, but they won't have likely seen one up close and on someone's wrist. What new thing can you possibly have to say about a Rolex Datejust? Believe me, if you go with the MB NR, you'll have a blast being the guy with something different. The other thing that'll be very helpful to you about wearing the MB NR is that you'll get used to making choices that are the expected ones. That's a hurdle that can be hard to jump, and for good reason, for the expected choices -- PP, ALS, JLC, VC, AP,Rolex, Omega -- are all very fine ones indeed. At the very least, it'd be interesting to just about anyone for you share a little about good old Nicolas or the quick little tidbit about the etymology of chronograph and how it connects to MB. And all that is stuff that's fun to share and it doesn't get anywhere near the fact that the watch is a serious, high-end piece. The whole MB "story" and the watch's story is stuff that most folks don't have the first idea about.

    (FWIW, two of my kids used my watches, or more accurately their brand namesakes, as subjects for school papers. I found that quite flattering, but it proved interesting for them and for their peers and the teacher liked that they chose figures who weren't generally known to the rest of the class. So that's part of why I suspect the MB NR will add some fun to the ownership and wearing experience.)

    So there you go. I know you'll love whatever you decide to get, so no worries there. I'm sure you'll make the right choice for you.

    All the best.

    PS: A word about "occasion" watch wearing.

    I won't say that anyone will ever kick you out because of your watch. They won't. We both know that. That's not really what I think "occasion" wearing is about. I will say that on certain occasions, when others see you wearing a very expensive watch ($5K - $10K isn't the most one can pay, but it meets the "very expensive" standard for this purpose) and it doesn't really fit the occasion or the attire, it won't be beyond them to wonder why if you will spend that kind of money on a watch, you didn't at least spend $50 and buy an "occasion appropriate" piece to wear that day. I would wonder that too. I would also assume that someone wearing a pricey watch that doesn't fit the situation is doing so to be showy or doesn't really have the good sense to have bought something less pricey so they'd also have had budget left to buy something else that would suit the occasion at hand. <winks>

    With the watches I've discussed above, you should have no real issue with that so long as you aren't planning to go rock climbing with them or something similarly physical and outdoorsy. Also, I wouldn't really think any of them to be black tie watches, most especially that if we are taking the Panerai. If you can't reliably say when your next black tie event will occur, don't worry about it because it's irrelevant what watch you wear to the one formal event you attend every 4 years, or whatever. If, by contrast, you expect soon to be doing the charity benefit circuit or some other social cycle that includes a lot of black tie stuff, do one of two things: spend less on this watch if you must have a somewhat pricey formal watch, or buy something for some de minimus sum that is thin, clean faced and elegantly designed. In those circles, nobody will hold it against you, or even give it a moment's thought, that you don't have a chi chi formal watch, but they will wonder things -- they still are unlikely to actually say anything -- if you wear an inappropriate chi chi watch.

    (I suspect my PS won't really matter because you said above that you don't live such a formal life. And if you are my age (54), apologies, I didn't mean to be a pedant. You did your research, and hopefully the liks I provided aren't redundant for you.)
    Last edited by tony20009; October 18th, 2013 at 08:37.
    jayb1314 likes this.
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  6. #45
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Rolex datejust II smooth bezel, it comes with blue parachrom hairspring and paraflex shock absorbers. 100 meters waterproof.

  7. #46
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Out of the 3, I'd pick the Rolex Datejust II by default.

    If you decide to replace the MB with the NR or Twinfly as previously suggested, then I'd pick either of the two ;)
    Last edited by entropy96; October 18th, 2013 at 08:05.
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  8. #47
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by HRC-E.B. View Post
    Here's a response to another uninformed comment. Montblanc has never been a watch company. Montblanc did nothing more than canibalize a well respected movement maker (Minerva) to buy themselves the ability to sell so-called "in-house" movements under their own established luxury brand. Louis Vuitton could have done just the same.

    I'm not saying it's a "bad" product. I'm saying that high price in the watch world has a lot to with pedigree of the product and, in the watch world, the Montblanc brand simply does not have the pedigree to command the kind of prices that it asks for its watches.
    Off Topic:
    Ok on the pedigree point. Then again, ALS didn't all that long ago have a pedigree either, in large measure because it didn't exist, and that means that ALS we see now is not the same as the one that was founded some 150+ years ago.

    I will also say that I can't disagree about the Minerva purchase, but one thing about which there can be no doubt is that if one buys something, that makes it one's own. That MB purchased their in-house capability does stop it from nonetheless being in-house. That you know it's Minerva they bought says more than adequately enough that that there is no shortage of pedigree behind what MB is doing.

    In the world of business, companies diversify. MB clearly had a manufacturing capability long before they started to make watches. MB clearly was a player in the luxury goods market before they made watches. It might be nice that a watch company organically develops it's manufacture cred, but however a company comes by the capability one can't take it away from them. Would you suddenly hate Company X products if they just up and bought PP, lock stock and barrel? Of course not, you'd think of Company X's products and PP and keep buying them. Well give MB their due and think of them as Minerva products and evaluate them accordingly. In house means the company whose name is on the dial is the company that made the innards behind that dial. MB most certainly has products that meet that definition. And they certainly meet it more so that Panerai does with the PAM we've been discussing.

    Or is it that you like PAM watches, some of which can still be had with Minerva movements inside, but now that MB owns Minerva and that's rubbing you the wrong way? The whole world of watches, especially at the high end, is incestuous. At a time, some Panerai had Rolex movements inside them, for example. I get the pedigree thing, but at some point, one has to accept the fact that one doesn't need a pedigree to make an outstanding watch, and if one consistently makes outstanding products, one is building one's pedigree. But first, one must also manage to stay in business for that to mean anything.
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  9. #48
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
    Off Topic:
    Ok on the pedigree point. Then again, ALS didn't all that long ago have a pedigree either, in large measure because it didn't exist, and that means that ALS we see now is not the same as the one that was founded some 150+ years ago.

    I will also say that I can't disagree about the Minerva purchase, but one thing about which there can be no doubt is that if one buys something, that makes it one's own. That MB purchased their in-house capability does stop it from nonetheless being in-house. That you know it's Minerva they bought says more than adequately enough that that there is no shortage of pedigree behind what MB is doing.

    In the world of business, companies diversify. MB clearly had a manufacturing capability long before they started to make watches. MB clearly was a player in the luxury goods market before they made watches. It might be nice that a watch company organically develops it's manufacture cred, but however a company comes by the capability one can't take it away from them. Would you suddenly hate Company X products if they just up and bought PP, lock stock and barrel? Of course not, you'd think of Company X's products and PP and keep buying them. Well give MB their due and think of them as Minerva products and evaluate them accordingly. In house means the company whose name is on the dial is the company that made the innards behind that dial. MB most certainly has products that meet that definition. And they certainly meet it more so that Panerai does with the PAM we've been discussing.

    Or is it that you like PAM watches, some of which can still be had with Minerva movements inside, but now that MB owns Minerva and that's rubbing you the wrong way? The whole world of watches, especially at the high end, is incestuous. At a time, some Panerai had Rolex movements inside them, for example. I get the pedigree thing, but at some point, one has to accept the fact that one doesn't need a pedigree to make an outstanding watch, and if one consistently makes outstanding products, one is building one's pedigree. But first, one must also manage to stay in business for that to mean anything.

    Here's a question...is the p.9000 Panerai movement still a variation of an ETA movement or is it completely in-house? I was under the impression that it was in-house based on what I've read and what I've seen.

    Also, the MB Timewalker Twinfly and Nicolas Rieussec are totally in house movements? I apologize for my ignorance but thought that perhaps the Twinfly was just an add on variation of the Valjoux 7750 that the Timewalker Chrono already housed.

    What a great response!
    Last edited by jayb1314; October 18th, 2013 at 15:07.

  10. #49
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
    Off Topic:
    Ok on the pedigree point. Then again, ALS didn't all that long ago have a pedigree either, in large measure because it didn't exist, and that means that ALS we see now is not the same as the one that was founded some 150+ years ago.

    I will also say that I can't disagree about the Minerva purchase, but one thing about which there can be no doubt is that if one buys something, that makes it one's own. That MB purchased their in-house capability does stop it from nonetheless being in-house. That you know it's Minerva they bought says more than adequately enough that that there is no shortage of pedigree behind what MB is doing.

    In the world of business, companies diversify. MB clearly had a manufacturing capability long before they started to make watches. MB clearly was a player in the luxury goods market before they made watches. It might be nice that a watch company organically develops it's manufacture cred, but however a company comes by the capability one can't take it away from them. Would you suddenly hate Company X products if they just up and bought PP, lock stock and barrel? Of course not, you'd think of Company X's products and PP and keep buying them. Well give MB their due and think of them as Minerva products and evaluate them accordingly. In house means the company whose name is on the dial is the company that made the innards behind that dial. MB most certainly has products that meet that definition. And they certainly meet it more so that Panerai does with the PAM we've been discussing.

    Or is it that you like PAM watches, some of which can still be had with Minerva movements inside, but now that MB owns Minerva and that's rubbing you the wrong way? The whole world of watches, especially at the high end, is incestuous. At a time, some Panerai had Rolex movements inside them, for example. I get the pedigree thing, but at some point, one has to accept the fact that one doesn't need a pedigree to make an outstanding watch, and if one consistently makes outstanding products, one is building one's pedigree. But first, one must also manage to stay in business for that to mean anything.
    It's not that I like Panerai all that much, to be honest. I find them to be a bit of a fashion watch capitalizing on current fashion trends (i.e., large watches), even if they reinstate classic "old" designs. One can say they are a modern reinterpretation of old classics, but at least the name is that of a watch company.

    To me, Montblanc watches is the product of a company entirely known for something other than watches, saying: "Hey! Look! We can also sell you a watch."

    I know it may not make sense to many, but if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a watch, I'll buy it from a watch company, thank you very much. (By the same token, I wouldn't buy any Omega jewellery or any other by-product sold by any of the watch companies). Try and go to a Montblanc boutique and ask watch questions; see what kind of responses you get and how knowledgeable the salespeople will be.

    In all honesty, their designs are very nice, the movements appear to be of a high quality. To me, it's just that it's being "pitched" under the prestigious Montblanc name (which is not a horology name) that's bugging me. If Montblanc had made the acquisition of Minerva and sold the product under a legacy watch name, I would feel differently, as weird as this may sound.

  11. #50
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    Re: First "Big Boy" Watch Purchase

    The Panerai P.9000 movement IS manufactured in-house, it is not a modified Unitas/ETA. I haven't experienced the 42mm models but I know the >=44mm models are a chunk of manly steel. I lean towards the Radiomir series which are a little thinner (read more elegant) and can pass for a dress watch.

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