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WIS and the Watch scene

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  • WIS and the Watch scene

    I have been thinking for a good while that real WIS are no longer on the watch forums, with the exception of a few like us old timers. I tried unsuccessfully to sell on WUS for over a year a few watches, one of them pristine and completely refurbished by the factory, yet nobody bites. They all seem to be enamoured with these chinese micro-brands, and caught up in the delusion that somehow the cheap watches they are all in pursuit of are equal to much higher quality watches. In my experience, the good stuff comes at a cost - no matter what you are interested in buying, but most don't seem to understand that. There is a lot of engineering and design involved in higher priced watches, as well as higher costs involved in producing them in minute details. For instance when considering a Rolex, most don't take into consideration white gold hands, platinum inlaid numerals on the bezel, in house movements created from scratch by Rolex - they only see the final price and choke. All the sudden they decide that cheaper watch 'looks as good' as that Rolex, is a lot cheaper, and buy it - thinking they got a watch that is as good as the Rolex, but are just kidding themselves. Meanwhile the watch they purchased has an inferior mass produced movement, inferior stainless steel, rhodium hands etc.. I suppose I am just ranting, but it's kind of good to rant every now and then

    I need a new watch

  • #2
    I think that the popularity of Rolex makes some people underestimate the quality and engineering that goes into a Rolex.
    I am living the dream in Hawaii.


    • #3
      Thoughts from a heretic.

      I can understand your rant, T. However, there are some very good watches out there in the sub-1k bracket. (I won't mention a Glycine DC-4.) Precious metals are nice, but take them away from a Rolex and what do you have? A Tudor at half the price or less.

      I have been many things during my checkered life, and one of them was an official at the 96 Olympic shooting venue. I mention that because the job forced me to deal with the Swiss timing guys. Good dudes, but they exist in a bubble. Paid very well (my counterpart had a 60' sailboat in the Greek isles for family vacations) and generally work no more than 10 months a year. Watch company bosses think it's perfectly all right to designate a basic model as luxury and jack the price accordingly. Even the Japanese are catching the bug. A 6105 reissue costs between 4k and 5k. An original in excellent shape runs less than $1500.

      Yes, there's junk out there, but there ae some very good watches at around $1000 or less. Some folks buy cheap for the very reasons you suggest. Others buy in that range because they appreciate the watches and Swiss pricing forced them to notice the smaller less expensive brands.

      As for the WIS, there's still some around, but I think it's a good question if others left the hobby or the hobby left them. Before the economy tanked for a while, Omegas, for one, were on the high end of reasonable. Now that it's recovering, Omega prices have doubled. I do find it's interesting that prices for basic Omegas such as the Speedy Pro have dropped somewhat in the last year. or so. We'll just have to wait and watch. I will say that the guys that buy on the boards don't have the money they used to have.

      Will it ever come back to the way it was? Dunno. I was reading in Watchtime last night that Swiss watch company markets are changing and shrinking. Maybe the companies will wake up and adapt.

      Last edited by George W. Olney; 11-14-2019, 05:13 PM.
      Cardigan American Princess Celeste says, "It's too quiet. You guys get up off your butts and start doing things."


      • #4
        I just used Rolex because it's basically a good 'bar' to judge from. The reason for the white gold hands and so forth is that corrosion is basically done away with when you use those types of metals for these things. I can recall many a Rolex 1665 Sea Dweller with badly corroded handsets on the market because back then they used rhodium. Rolex learned to deal with this, gradually tweaking things and perfecting them. 904L was also a first for Rolex, because the aerospace grade stainless is much more corrosion resistant than 316L (which is marine grade).

        Seiko on the other hand makes a lot of great watches - the big difference is you're really not getting your money's worth in most of their watches now. For instance the Seiko Marinemaster SBDX014, as much as I love it, the 'rose gold' isn't even gold. How long is it going to last? It's not an inexpensive watch, but not overly expensive either. Yet, I think they could at least plate in real gold to justify their price point.

        Glycine - since you brought it up, is a great value for the money. Swiss made and maybe not all the precious metals etc., but the price reflects this. They are not out of their minds to ask what they do for their watches. Fortis could also be grouped into this bracket.

        Back to the chinese micro brands though - those guys seem to believe they are getting higher end quality for a cheap price. That was mostly my point.

        I need a new watch


        • #5
          Not to mention … these young kids these days don't even wear watches …. and if they do, it's a smart watch that's synched with their IPhones. I'll stick with my Samsung android phone and my Seiko auto diver.
          Brandon (and Maddie, RIP)