How “holy” are the trinity brands
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  1. #1
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    How “holy” are the trinity brands

    It’s often irked me to read references to the classic trinity of high end watches brands formed by Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet as being “holy”. By referring to them as a “holy trinity” it has seemed to me that one was implying some sort of religious significance to these watch brands.

    As profound and powerful one’s enthusiasm and devotion may be to horlogerie, it’s safe to say that the line should be drawn at revering watches and their manufacturers in a religious manner. In fact the second commandment could be interpreted as forbidding it.

    However, it occurred to me that the logos for both Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are inspired by religious iconography. Patek has the Calatrava Cross...



    ... and Vacheron uses the Maltese Cross.



    Without going into the history of why each brand chose these symbols as their logos, it’s safe to say that in two of three cases there may be reason to see some religious dimension to the trinity. I guess I will have to hold back on chiding anybody that refers to those three top brands as the “holy trinity”, even if it’s more of a holy duo plus one.

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    I'm not sure if many people actually associate the "holy" part in holy trinity of watchmakers with any religious significance... it's just a figure of speech. At least I've always viewed it that way.

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    Holy smokes. The gawds must be pissed right now.
    guspech750 likes this.
    I don't have too many watches! I have too few wrists!

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    This line of thinking may seem a little crazy, but it may be of interest for collectors to know the “military monastic” origin of the logo of the watch sitting on their wrist, especially for a brand like Patek, banking heavily on history and tradition.

    https://www.watchprosite.com/patek-p...62466.9148351/

    https://www.watchprosite.com/patek-p...41596.3317316/

    It seems that Vacheron’s reason for using the Maltese Cross has a technical dimension, since one of their key movement components resembles it.

    https://blog.crownandcaliber.com/sto...stantin-cross/

    It just goes to show that if you dig a little, most of western civilization has some link to Christianity and it’s no surprise to find them in historical watch brands. However, I’m guessing that many buyers and collectors pay little consideration to the fact that they are wearing symbols with religious and military origins rooted in Christianity.

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    I always thought calling them "the trinity" was itself a reference to the "holy trinity". So I'd prefer to refer to them as "the trinity" because I agree there's nothing that makes them "holy" per se. I always felt like "holy trinity" implied there was some other trinity of watch brands too. I've seen some people try to differentiate between "grail" and "holy grail" for the same reason. I'd prefer just "grail" and "trinity".
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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    Who knew all this is based on a symbol from ancient Babylonia...
    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...ian-cross.html
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  8. #7
    Pun
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    Quote Originally Posted by adk225 View Post
    Who knew all this is based on a symbol from ancient Babylonia...
    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...ian-cross.html
    Interesting information. Thanks for posting.

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    Pun
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    I agree with general consensus here that holy Trinity has nothing to do with any religion nor the symbols of two major brands have anything to do with Christianity in modern times.
    Finding religious relevance in such words or symbols is spreading context to vague boundaries.

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    I still think Piaget belongs in that group.

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    Re: How “holy” are the trinity brands

    Quote Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post
    I always thought calling them "the trinity" was itself a reference to the "holy trinity". So I'd prefer to refer to them as "the trinity" because I agree there's nothing that makes them "holy" per se. I always felt like "holy trinity" implied there was some other trinity of watch brands too. I've seen some people try to differentiate between "grail" and "holy grail" for the same reason. I'd prefer just "grail" and "trinity".
    I agree. I’ve always found it irritating when people refer to finding their “holy grail” in a watch. Sure, there are religious connotations to the word grail one way or another, but I think it’s best to abbreviate in order to bring it further away from the religious context.

    Quote Originally Posted by adk225 View Post
    Who knew all this is based on a symbol from ancient Babylonia...
    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/...ian-cross.html
    I guess it’s true that Christianity does not have exclusive use or authority over cross symbols. But the Maltese Cross and Calatrava Cross are versions that are definitely specific to Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchbreath View Post
    I still think Piaget belongs in that group.
    No way. Some of their pieces may qualify, but their modern chronograph movements struggle to keep up even with the likes of Rolex or Omega IMHO.

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