Saturday, January 30, 2016

What do you see at SIHH!?

I am not an expert horology, just experience over the past years of watch collection and trade and learn to understand a bit about watch trend, values and hints on investment.

The following comment is only personal idea and does not intend to make any impeachable criticism on any watches… as what Chinese says, you don't like does not mean everyone doesn’t like…You don't like Stinky Dou foo!
Well, to someone that is likely the best delicacy for pleasing the tongue…hmm..


Starting with IWC and Jaeger-Lecoultre first,  Both watches have released pieces that adhere to their tradition. 
But not in the same way.

IWC has released some new pilot watches, which are as new as they can be. IWC is running out of new concepts and ideas. The pilot watches they have released are old wine in a new bottle. The novelties they have offered make us feel that the brand is running to an dead end, lost in the Bermuda Triangle.

For Jaeger-Lecoultre, an understated brand we have always admired, it has released a few new Reverso watches to celebrate its 85th anniversary. The one I like best is the Rose-Gold-Only Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar for the 85th anniversary. It has a nicely grained white dial which is very striking and it is adorned by a grained moonphase disc. The Reverso is a true classic. This complete calendar watch is another iteration of the spirit of the Reverso.


The other watch I would like to see it in the metal is the Master Ultra Thin Date with a champagne sunray dial in steel. It has a champagne dial. I have been searching for such a combination for a while and finally here it is. The ultra-thin case is beautifully hand-finished. The curves and the thin case just look perfect on the wrist. I view this watch as an affordable version of a watch with a champagne dial offered by a big brand other than Patek Philippe. Why Patek Philippe? Because I like their honey-gold dials. Honey-gold is a bit similar to the champagne dial JLC is offering.


Of course I have to mention the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar with a black dial. With its $20000 USD price tag, it is hard to beat.


I must mention Montblanc after talking about JLC. Mr Jerome Lambert, former CEO of JLC, is now CEO of Montblanc. He seems to be always able to have the Midas touch. Montblanc is offering its Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Annual Calendar Chronograph this year at the price at $10,450 USD. Of course one may argue that the movement finishing may not be top-notch.


However, Montblanc is doing a good job by offering affordable complications in steel but not only in white gold, rose gold or platinum. Imagine such complications offered by Patek Philippe or A Lange, they would cost you a big fortune. While I do like PP and Lange watches a lot, it is hard to convince myself to buy their watches at such price points. People with a similar mentality may become Montblanc’s potential customers.


I do not think the perpetual calendar watch offered earlier looks very handsome. However, Montblanc has definitely improved on this annual calendar chronograph. The dial looks more balanced and the moonphase display at three o’ clock gives you a sense of sincerity.


It gives you a feeling that Montblanc has devoted time and experience in designing and contemplating how the watch should look like. These things do not happen on watches that simply convert an ETA module movement and put a lot of complications on the dial.


In the annual calendar chronograph, Montblanc is also offering an affordable worldtimer, which will be a competitor of the also new Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time which has a jumping second hand instead of a sweeping second hand. It offers a gold rotor and a well-decorated movement.


Audemars Piguet is offering the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph. The watch comes in four colors, namely blue, yellow, green and orange. The blue version is the most appealing to me. The other colors are sharp but the blue one looks more promising and classy. It will look very nice when paired with a light blue hornback alligator strap. 


Panerai is another brand that is running out of ideas. While sticking to its heritage is not wrong, releasing novelties that look basically identical to their current models is not the right direction. Yes, there are improvements on the movements. However, there is nothing very significantly exciting nor new. I seem to be seeing this brand coming to its end very soon.


Penerai is releasing the Pam663 and Pam662 in this year. Both watches have brown dials that resemble the dials discolored because of the radiation in the powder of the lume on vintage Panerai. They look good. However, what more leverage does Panerai have? Which vintage models can their future releases resemble?

Will their future models resemble a recently released model that resembles a vintage model? The bubble has burst.


Jason L, HK Snob

HK Watch Fever





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