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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:23 pm 
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I closed on two grail pieces of mine, actually uber grails!

The first is a watch that is commonly referred to as the finest watch ever made, only an upgraded version. The ALS Double Split in platinum with a black dial. That watch is supreme, I am so glad I did not go for the PLM!

https://www.******.com/articles/found ... less-steel

Great dimensions at 43MM, a bit thick but I really like that in a sport watch. I really do believe a sport watch has to be large, my range for dress is 40-42, sport is 43-45 with few notable exceptions to these ranges if I really like the watch, such as the Lange 1815 AC at 39.5 or the JLC Extreme Lab or PAM 127, but I digress.

Another interesting categorization to contemplate, most sane people simply categorize watches as either dress or sport, but an overly addicted and clearly demented person might categorize his collection of watches as such:

Business watches: Those that are appropriate for a classical office setting. Stern, classy, understated, and functional. Annual Calendars are my choice here. My ALS 1815 AC and Patek Nautilus AC have been my daily business watches to great effect and satisfaction.

Proper dress watches: Reserved for formal events or a conservative setting, thin and elegant with no loud colours. Some might say no complications and no date, I do not care. My Patek 5270 (a chrono) is dominating this category for me now.

Casual Sport Watch: a sport watch that is not intended to be used playing sports, rather evoking a sporty spirit to enhance mood and apparel. The Chronograph and divers are the main players here. For instance my new Vacheron Overseas chrono is a lovely and capable sports watch, with a water resistance and chronograph up to all sporting I might attempt, but I wouldn't subject it to anything other than a dip in the pool for fear of ruining that heavenly finish. Also a watch that has a complication that you do not use but enjoy having for emotional impact, ala Navitimer slide rule bezel.

Hardcore Sport watch: A watch you do wear during your sporting activities, running/diving/gym etc. I have used the excellent Deepsea in all of those situations to great effect, and I imagine I will do that even more once I get the rubber strap for it.

Beater: The watch you use while mixing cement or if you expect you will have your arms fully submerged in buckets of shrimp. I have a Seiko 5 that is a testament to Japanese reliability and an Oris Diver that makes a tank seem like a napkin holder for those lovely times.

Everyone will have different dimensions based on wrist size and personal preference, my range for sport and sport casual is 43-45, my problem previously with the Datograph, other than the extreme price, was the diminutive size at 39 or just recently 41MM. When Lange decided to break new ground and introduce the first real evolution of the chronograph they had to create a wide and higher case, to my favor and delight. This is one watch I cant believe I am about to own! So excited to get this one!

The Lange will be my main casual sport watch going forward, the Nautilus Chrono will be taking second chair.


The second incoming piece was the result of my recent experience with the Vacheron Overseas Chrono, I am so taken with that watch I started to read up more on the brand, and really fell for a few pieces. Most are out of my price range, with prices from 200-400K :shock: Truly dreamy watches though, close to Lange quality and with a charm and air to them that is difficult to explain. I also really like how they maintain classical design with no compromise, its like buying a vintage watch that was just made, if that makes any sense. I also love the fact that they have updated their sizes while maintaining classical designs.

http://watchesbysjx.com/2018/10/vachero ... eview.html

Although most of their watches that I really liked are out there price wise (or just too old looking and boring), there is one watch that seems to have everything the brand excels at, is within reach, and is an extremely limited edition. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar ‘Collection Excellence Platine’

The Excellence Platine series is similar to Langes PLM series, they take their complications and design entirely new watches, including custom cases and dials, in a seriously limited offering, in this case 100 pieces world wide, with the very highest level of finishing Vacheron can possibly offer, and then some. As the name suggests everything is made out of platinum, the choice material for the ultimate version of each of their movements will reside in, even the strap stiching is made out of silk that was dipped into platinum (apparently silk can handle that process).

I particularly liked how this model offered a 41MM conservative look, perfect to brighten up those long days in the office, with an understated yet supremely elegant look. I thought this one really was a home run for VC, it was the perfect amalgamation of classical 40s style with a modern, monotone update. The shade and quantity of blue looks absolutely stunning with that platinum! And, very importantly, this model has a feature that VC is very know for nd admired by enthusiasts, the moon phase they do is unmatched. Just unreal how beautiful it is.

The spacing of the day and month windows was modified on this 100 piece model so that they where tucked away on the sides, further updating the look of the watch, the coin edge case although classical does not seem aged at all. Unbelievable design win for VC, thankfully half the price of their highly coveted PC too!

The only downside I could find was that it was a complete calendar rather than an Annual Calendar (complete has to be corrected five times a year, annual only once). I do not understand how a brand such as VC goes about resurrecting an ancient complication (they released three other models in the same year with the same complication) but do not offer an Annual Calendar! The street price is a tad higher than the Nautilus Annual Calendar, yes that is in steel but the small amount of platinum does not account for a 40 year old complication, especially when VC have been working on other futuristic movements such as their recent Twin Beat.


What gives? I asked around, and was told that a great deal of enthusiasts and collectors find older movement designs have a certan charm to them, and that they seek thesse out. Not unlike those collectors who would prefer a Lemania powered uber PC over an in house one. That just seemed odd to me, but the watch had so much going for it I decided to just accept I will have to correct it five times a year. I hope that does not annoy me to the level I cant enjoy the watch. I was swept off my feet though when a Vacheron rep told me the concept tp remember when understanding the Excellence Platine projects is that they are a remake of 7 legendary movements that have secured the brand the reputation it enjoys throughout history, and that they will not offer the same models in a better finished or executed model again. That might explain the contrast between such an obsolete movement and the futuristic Twin Beat, it might be VC closing a chapter and looking to the future. The new Overseas certainly seems to comply with that new design language and youthful take on dial colour and much larger size. If that is the case this series might be a real collectors dream piece down the road.

Very excited about these two, but will have to sell a few of the existing collection to come up with the remaining cash, as I only could put down 50% of the price of the Vacheron, and I already traded 12 watches for the Lange Double Split. Tough choices, but I did say I wanted a smaller and more impactful collection.

Anyway, I really would like your opinions on the Vacheron. If you have the time do some reading and let me know your thoughts. Also, do you classify your watches and if so what are your categories? Always interesting to hear how others mights segregate and aproach their collections!

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Last edited by Altair on Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Just noticed how that article did not portray the moonphase. Odd as it is a standout feature and the saving grace of the watch:

https://www.ablogtowatch.com/vacheron-c ... ine-watch/

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:06 pm 
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That VC is a very nice looking watch, although if I'm picking up a VC on a strap, it's either the Historiques Triple Calendar or the American 1921. I realize those watches aren't for everyone though but I love their retro style.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:12 pm 
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Those are both beautiful watches that show truly high quality craftsmanship and design. I keep looking at picture of the movement on the Lange and all I can say is that it is absolutely stunning!! That has to be one of, if not the, prettiest movement out there. Congrats on both of those watches and I can't wait to see some live pics and first hand impressions once you have them in your possession!

I tend to agree with your general watch categorizations from a traditional sense, but it plays out very differently for me in real life and within my own collection. I tend to be a lot more flexible and loose with my categorizations and will wear most any of my watches regardless of whether they would be dressier or sportier in most any situation. I generally think a lot of the historical social norms on dress have been significantly relaxed (at least in the US) and therefore in my head so have categories. Work environments have become much more casual, fancy restaurants went from requiring jackets to allowing sneakers, etc. I tend to fall in the casual category so I don't find a need for many of the traditional categories in my own collection.

I won't ever own a true dress watch in the sense of having a thin watch with no date in a sub 40mm size. Last time I wore a tux I wore a navitimer on a black calf strap. Going forward it might be the AP millenary in that situation. The only thing that dictates what watch I wear in the formal setting is the thinness and whether it will fit under the cuff of a dress shirt. I don't care about complications or flashy or whatever else is typically frowned upon under the traditional definition of a dress watch. However, after wearing it with a tux those watches aren't reserved for a dressier setting as I will still wear the Navitimer and AP with jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt as well. I generally don't reserve specific watches for specific scenarios and will wear any of my watches on a daily basis.

I do reserve a beater category though. Watches that I will wear in any situation and don't care if they get banged up. And if doing a true sporting event or out on the water I would rather leave the watch at home and not think about what damage I might inflict on it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:34 am 
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jnelson3097 wrote:
That VC is a very nice looking watch, although if I'm picking up a VC on a strap, it's either the Historiques Triple Calendar or the American 1921. I realize those watches aren't for everyone though but I love their retro style.


Great pieces, but a bit too vintage for my taste. The Historiques wears smaller than its 40mm dimension as it is thin and all dial. Looked ridiculous on the guy I saw wearing it.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:57 am 
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First off, Altair -- big congrats on those incomings! Real beauties, to be sure. I think I could stare at that movement on the ALS all day long! Hope you'll be posting photos once they are finally in your possession.

As to watch categories, I think you've pretty much done a fair summary. I'm with Natesen, in that, for me, these categories become a bit blurred in practice. I don't think that there is a single watch I own that I wouldn't wear in a casual setting, although some would certainly look a bit dressier than others. I don't have a "proper" dress watch in my collection, as I don't really have the need for one -- not enough to make this the focus of a new acquisition, anyway. Certain watches, like the Cartier Drive, serve this purpose just fine for me, and also serve perfectly as day-to-day business watches. I actually store my collection in three different groupings. "Dressy Chronographs" (which includes chronos that are on the more dressy side of casual); "Three Handers" (which becomes my way of referring to my non-chronos, and includes watches with other complications, like the JLC Geophysic Universal Time); and "Utility/Sport" watches (which include more robust chronos, like the Chronomat, as well as dive watches). Incidentally, to this day, the Avenger Seawolf serves as my ultimate "anything goes" watch. This system allows me to go to a particular watch box and then get a bit more specific from there, depending on the occasion.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:54 pm 
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Thank you Moana!

My AD received the Vacheron and informed it was ready for pickup. I can’t wait till I get it in my hands!

What a stunning business dress watch! No one does classy like Vacheron!

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Really looking forward to this one and the Lange! Cleaning up the collection was far overdue but so far working out great. By end of 2019 I should be very close to my perfect collection!

It’s moments like these that make me think of all those horrid lonely nights, struggling with physical therapy and pain management. I remember thinking that I would never be happy again, yet life tends to reward those who persevere!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:21 am 
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Beautiful watch Altair! Very clean for a perpetual calendar dress watch.

But most importantly it's good to hear that you overcame a tough portion of life and came out a stronger and happier person with a positive outlook.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:45 am 
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Congratulations on the acquisition, the Vacheron is a beautiful watch. I recently became enamored with perpetual watches and that one is absolutely beautiful, and as Natesen said very clean! I absolutely love the dial with the baton markers! Just yesterday, I was looking at the Vacheron "56" model line which offers a complete calendar in stainless steel case, a lovely watch, I just have a hard time dealing with the arabic numerals! However, it is a little less taxing on the wallet!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:33 am 
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Thank you. I am finally back home and immediately put on the Vacheron, wore it today to work and simply blown away! The quality of this top tier model from Vacheron is on par with Patek and Lange, the quantity of the movement finishing is not though. Somewhat spartan actually.

Image

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This just might be the most stunning classic watch I have ever seen. The case finishing is breathtaking, the contrast between the polished facets and the matt platinum dial is a joy to behold. Although this watch seems simplistic in pictures, in the metal it has so many fine details that are brilliantly executed it’s almost overwhelmingly beautiful. I did not expect it to draw attention, but I have been getting compliments all day, and a few colleagues asked about the brand and model.

I am very impressed by how dedicated Vacheron have been by making every last detail from platinum, including the hands and indices. Finishing platinum is quite the chore, and to see how they finished the hands in both polished and brushed finishes really does demand respect. VC truly are masters in finishing! One of their hallmarks has always been their incredibly detailed and unique moonphase displays, and this one finished in platinum takes it to a new level. I do wish it had the characteristic sad moon they are famous for though.

The strap is a thing of beauty, the shade of royal blue compliments the platinum perfectly, and the shiny stitching really does look like solid platinum ( it is platinum, but I did not think it would look like it). It’s also the first time I have seen a strap finished with alligator on both sides ( exquisitely finished I might add)

Image

Pictures do not express how luxurious and reflective the stitching is.

Image

I wonder why not calf underside?

Image

As you can see from that last picture, the movement is somewhat under decorated for this price point. Vacheron are known for remarkable movement finishing and I wish they showed a bit more of that, instead they relied on a huge gold rotor that is decorated with impact, the movement itself shows some unique thought, with gold and platinum components. It does have an interesting look and with a loupe, the quality is perfect, I mean Lange perfect as far as I can determine.


All in all a remarkable watch, a study in understated elegance! The use of platinum, royal blue alligator, finesse in case and strap design and size, coupled with the classic minimalist design give this watch a noble character that is without peer.For my size wrist the watch diameter of 42mm is perfection, substantial without being obstructive, comfortable without being diminutive! There are very few watches I connect with immediately, the moment I strapped this one on I knew it was a permanent part of my collection.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:28 pm 
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This is quite a beautiful piece!!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:29 am 
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Thank you. Yes it is quite stunning, much more so in person.

I also took delivery of two very nice pieces that I was waiting for ever for and got a watch back from servicing at the same time! Watch overload this weekend!

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I am still forming my opinion on the Moser Tourbillion. I will say right off the bat that it is very good value and a stunning watch with the fume dial and the involved details on the case. The polished surfaces are immaculate and beautiful, true mirror finish! The only thing I am not loving are the brushed portions, their brush work is subpar to even Rolex or Oris, looks cheap upon inspection with a dull tuna can look. This is my first ever watch from an independent, and I understand such shortcomings are the price to pay for exclusivity and uniqueness. I shall report back when I have spent some time with this watch.

The other two watches where the blue Skydweller, which I ordered when it was announced. Since I was not willing to pay over retail it took this long, and only netted a 5% discount, but at least I did not cave and fall for the insane overpriced prices most are paying.

I have always considered this, alongside the DeepSea, to be the best Rolex models. Now that I have them I can confirm that is true. Stunning watch and a great value!


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The AP Royal Oak came back from servicing looking absolutely brand new. Kudos to AP for such an exemplary job refinishing the case to just bought status! I wore this piece hard and it was in bad shape, wish I took a before picture!


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