where does one start?
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  1. #1
    Member zimv20ca's Avatar
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    where does one start?

    if one is planning on a once-in-a-lifetime high-end purchase, does one typically start by finding the right *model* or starting with the *manufacturer*?

    e.g. when i think about a retirement watch (down the road), i start by identifying specific models i like. an ALS here, a JLC there. but then i start thinking, "maybe it should be a Patek". and then, "but i'd really like a Lange...".

    does anyone out there start w/ the manufacturer and go from there, for the Big One?

    (am i fooling myself in thinking that there were really be only one "Big One"? i once told myself i'd stop at one Rolex; now those don't seem so $$$$)
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  2. #2
    Member 1981Eagle's Avatar
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    Re: where does one start?

    I don't look at manufacturer as much as I look at design, reputation, and how the watch appeals to me. I looked at catalogs and forums and bought and sold some (not a flipper, as I lost money on each flip) .... and my grail watch for a couple years was my Explorer II. I looked at other Rolex and they just didn't speak to me like the ExII did.

    The way I look at it, most people don't wear a watch or are wearing a fitbit counting their steps .... and they can't tell a Rolex from a Fossil .... so I don't pick a brand for anyone by myself. :)
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  3. #3
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    Re: where does one start?

    I would base the search on individual models, not brands. Look for something that hits you on multiple levels.
    Physical: dial, case, movement
    Psychological: watch history, personal ties/significance, philosophy

    Obviously the psychological elements manifest themselves in the physical ones. For instance, if you're into American railroad watches, a fired enamel dial with small seconds and arabic numerals (or at least plain white dial) would be necessary imo to make a watch appealing since that was part of the criteria for defining a railroad watch. If you're really into art deco aesthetics then you might want to focus on a watch that has a deco-style case like the Reverso, but probably not a MUT which is a little more modern/minimalist. So on and so forth.

    In my view, the more 'stories' you can tell linking your self to the watch, the more fulfilling the watch is going to be.
    Last edited by KtWUS; December 1st, 2019 at 03:55.

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  5. #4
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    I agree with the previous answers. Start with the models you really like. What interests you? Technicality? Finishing? Design? Complications?
    Then find something that makes you feel “wow”.

    Many brands have super interesting offerings and very boring/tasteless ones at the same time. Take Hublot for instance, many WIS despise the brand because of some models and advertising/branding decision, but some models are absolutely incredible and worth the price tag and a lot of care went into the materials, design and finishing.

    It is true to a certain extent for a lot of manufactures, and Patek, ALS, VC and AP all have hit and miss watches. I would strongly suggest to consider independents too for something extra special.

    All the best,
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  6. #5
    Member zimv20ca's Avatar
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    Re: where does one start?

    yes, what everyone is saying is what i do now: get interested in a model first. since this potential purchase would be a biggie for me, i wanted to be open to a new way of narrowing it down.

    e.g. if i go w/ JLC or ALS, would i later have regrets of never going for a PP?

    "everyone knows you go for Patek for retirement!" and other such BS

  7. #6
    Member Zhanming057's Avatar
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    Re: where does one start?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimv20ca View Post
    yes, what everyone is saying is what i do now: get interested in a model first. since this potential purchase would be a biggie for me, i wanted to be open to a new way of narrowing it down.

    e.g. if i go w/ JLC or ALS, would i later have regrets of never going for a PP?

    "everyone knows you go for Patek for retirement!" and other such BS
    Well, you need to do a bit of narrowing down before talking about specific models. Any dealbreaks? Any complications that you really want?

    You could decide "I want a chronograph" or "I want a perpetual" and easily still come up with 10+ models. For me, if I'm getting a grail at this point, my first consideration would be that I don't care for a brand so mundane as to be produced in the five digits - so JLC and Patek are automatically out, and Lange's production is a negative. I don't see the point of a grail if it's something that (with enough money) you could just walk into a random store in any major city and pick up. But that's just me. All I'm saying is, going straight to the big names is myopia in itself. I'd start by watching a few videos on GPHG/Baselworld coverage, figure out what the haute world is doing these days, and see what you like/don't like.
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  8. #7
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    Re: where does one start?

    You buy the watch you like the best. Easy.
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  9. #8
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    Re: where does one start?

    There is no logic when it comes to buying a high end watch, just as there is no logic with buying a high end car.

    You just go to what appeals to you and you probably already have an idea of what you want (a brand and not necessarily a model). Besides if you are getting a retirement watch and the retirement is a number of years away, then there will likely be discontinued and new models in that time, so it may be unwise to decide on a specific watch now.

    What you don't do is buy for the sake of it. Sure it might be nice to have a PP, but not if its not what you really want or like. Plus you should always get what you think is appropriate and not someone else. Another thing to consider is that if you are marking an occasion, it is the occasion that is special and not the watch.

    So, to sum up, get what you like at the time (as others have already said). Whether it costs 5K or 20K, it won't be the wrong choice.
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  10. #9
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    Re: where does one start?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimv20ca View Post
    yes, what everyone is saying is what i do now: get interested in a model first. since this potential purchase would be a biggie for me, i wanted to be open to a new way of narrowing it down.

    e.g. if i go w/ JLC or ALS, would i later have regrets of never going for a PP?

    "everyone knows you go for Patek for retirement!" and other such BS
    The fact that you are mentioning Patek so often means that you already have a bias for PP and the image it conveys. It seems to me that you are trying to find a validation on this forum to tell you that PP is not the only way to go, but your bias can be very hard to remove and after you buy an ALS for instance, you will come back to your bias and think that you need a PP (when objectively you don't).

    I do feel like a PP would make a difference for you, because of the brand name, so while I would like to offer other fantastic options, I believe that you already know you want a PP because of the image, legacy, and other reasons, and it's fine. Buy what makes you feel good, it is a consumer experience after all, and while Lange and VC and JLC make great watches, some people need to know they've bought something from a specific brand.

  11. #10
    Member GrouchoM's Avatar
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    Re: where does one start?

    You might also consider when and where you will wear your new timepiece. Once retired, your life may not offer many occasions for dressy watches.

    If there are any typos in this post, I blame Tapatalk!
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