The thread about Longines VHP got me thinking about this.
Here are my key requirements. Its not just about VHP, its about a beautiful high-quality object that is ‘engineered to please’.
1) It must have time-zone (hour hand) adjust.
I Liked latest Grand Seiko LE, but because I travel a lot high accuracy is a waste of time without time-zone adjust.
2) It must be precise.
I want to adjust it once a year on New-Years day.
>At 30S before the hour I pull out a button.
>Both seconds and MINUTES hands go to 12-oclock.
>On the time-pip I push it back in .. job done.
During the next year the displayed-time must never be ‘out’ by more than 20s (watch-temperature between 10C and 40C).
It should be manufactured to 15spy to allow for inaccurate time-pip or second-hand displacements due to shock or magnetism (which are eventually automatically eliminated).
It sounds like a lax specification, but :-
>It is not surrounded by get-out clauses. A correctly manufactured watch should only fail after gross abuse (ie 1 month in a fridge).
>The customer-check is very easy. People doing 1-day tests with clever gear are welcome, but 1-day results will only demonstrate non-conformance in catastrophic circumstances
3) It must be well made
That is what I like about Grand Seiko, their web-site is all about the craftsmanship and performance of the watch. They spend a few extra Euros on making the movement look beautiful and even have a model with transparent case-back.
Longines web-site is all about horse-shows and they cannot even afford jewels (which look nice even if they are not necessary).
4) It must have a history
Key events should be recorded in non-volatile memory :-
>When adjusted and by how much
>When battery changed
>Length of time outside temperature-limits between adjustments
>When and by how much rate adjusted.
This history gives the watch a bit more personality and allows the investigation of problems (or demonstration of excellence) !
5) People other than the manufacturer must be able to interact with the watch.
For me only authorized dealer is acceptable (but not ideal) , only manufacturer is not.
By interact I mean :-
If I have a problem I can go back to the shop that I bought it from, and they can investigate and hopefully sort out the problem.
This is good for me and for the shop. If the shop does not want to be bothered they should not be dealing in luxury (high mark-up) goods !