Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wishing all readers and friends Happy Holidays!! & notable mentions in 2010

i've been MIA for awhile and a couple of readers and friends have dropped me a line to ask if alls well. on a whole, things are generally alright rite now but i have been busy dealing with 'stuff'... there seems to be alot of stuff to deal with but i did want to do this end of the year note, uhm, before the end of the year :) so without further delay, the notable mentions for 2010 :)

oh it so reminds me of the watchmen's night owl but it is cool and if you are a bored gajillionaire than you should definitely get this for the wife :) mb&f rewriting cool. tip of the hat to max busser & friends and boucheron for this. anything by MB&F is worth taking a look at in my opinionPhotobucket

so what are the noteworthy watches for 2010 for me? & what would get into my recommended 'to buy' list. (some recommendations from last year here... the usual patek, rolex, audemars piguet, jlc, vacheron constantin, dufour, halter, greubel forsey, peter speake marin, urwerk, roger smith, kari voutilainen, mb&f should remain there...

before i go further huge congrats to greubel forsey for the golden hand award at the GPdH de Geneve watch event. do check out my report of meeting Stephen Forsey HERE the winning watch is their new historique... a beauty. if you have the dough then watches from Greubel Forsey should be considered... Photobucket

In the below $10k category, select Rolex models, select Seikos(not the Grand Seikos for me, u can get a Rolex for that money ;), vintage watches, some panerais and iwcs in this price range are worth considering :) Omega is doing well in the sub-10k range and since it's bond's brand of choice due to all the marketing $$$ paid to the studios, its also now a hot brand in China. smart marketing boyz there.

if you really like green, then this is da GREEN BOMB!!! the incredible Hulk! :)
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the most notable addition to this category though is the Tudor Monte Carlo. From a modern collection that I would never look at to buying a watch from them. Top marks to the Rolex owned company...

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For some years I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex watches, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous. I decided to form a separate company, with the object of making and marketing this new watch. Its called the Tudor Watch Company." –Hans Wilsdorf, Founder Of Rolex [March 6, 1946} Looks like they're getting back to business :)

In the S$10-20k, you get into the realm of the realm of the AP RO Jumbo, or Offshore pre-owned, rolex daytona, Rolex Explorer Orange Hand and the notable new mention in this category is a non-mechanical watch... the Devon Tread 1... it is cool and its only a question of whether it speaks to you... i think the new greyish ti VC Overseas also pops into this cat as well. (both Devon and the VC pics are in the post 3 posts down and were GPdHdG competition candidates)

nicely done... good use of the dual time module which is the same one as in the AP RO dual time...

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Up one notch and we're in the S$20-50k: AP ROO[new base ROOs or more the LEs], Patek Nautiluses and Calatravas, VC patrimony, Historiques and the gorgeous 1921. a very hot price category. gold daytonas beckon as well and the basest of the base RMs. I would say the 1921 is a hot contender in the classic range and the AP ROOs for sports watch...

a lovely dress watch. it beats the simple oversized Patek cases with their small movements for me and goes head to head with the entry level FP Journes like the Chronometre Souveraine and Octa Rdm

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>S$50k: "thats a BINGO!!!" as colonel hans landa would put it :)
i would take a version of the mb&f 2 or 3... patek 5070G, 5970P or G (they're all popping up at auctions) and there are too many other 4 digit references to remember from patek if u can afford em ~ minute repeaters, perp calendars and grand comps galore, paul newman daytonas, and a new addition of the freak diavolo.

5070G... deserving of its popularity but that premium over list is just making it difficult for working folk like me to ever get one :(Photobucket

i may not have the diavolo nor will i buy one at >200k list but i am most happy with the freak that i have :) its the first freak... hmm if i use the word silicon and enhanced in the same sentence what comes to mind? :)
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ok, gonna get some rest over the weekend before the Christmas week ahead and then theres New Year on the horizon.

My wish for you as we come to another years end and Christmas is that u have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year ~ Here's to 2011!!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Origins... An extract from the Archives at Bienne...

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i have identified my speedy as 'a posible kwisatz haderach'...

now for the folks on this blog who've read dune or watched the movie or are frank herbert fans, u would know about paul muad'dib, the atreides and harkonnens and such... if u don't know anything about this though then no matter... the kwisatch haderach was like the messiah in that story or 'the one' in the matrix and in dune as in the matrix, there was the notion that there could be other possible kwisatch haderachs...

long story short, this watch wasn't gonna ride no sandworm or show up no bene gesserits but it could have been one of the ones that went into space and on the moon as buzz aldrin's speedy did... the reason is because it is from the same year of manufacture and bears the same model number as the ones that got to the moon on apollo 11... so it could have traversed thousands of miles... could have... when i purchased it though it didn't come with a book on where it was shipped to, who was the first person who bought it and where they bought it from, who has worn it since, cherished it at one point and decided to sell it at another throughout its 41 year history... etc etc etc... so what info could i get about its past?

hey isn't that the guy in desperate housewives and how i met your mother? the older ones among u may remember twin peaks too :) Photobucket

provenance is important if u're trying to sell a watch (note i have no intention of selling my speedy) and cause of this, more and more companies out there are offering the service of providing a record from their archives if they have the info properly maintained. i guess i wanted to know more so any little bit helps and my speedy came without any boxes or papers so this would be a paper from Omega recognising its 'citizenship' so to speak...

how do u get an extract of the archives from Omega?

1. go to this LINK and follow the instructions online.
2. have the following info ready:

  • Movement number 2XXXXXX8 (from the watch movement)
  • Reference number: 145012-67 SP (from the caseback)
  • Case material: Staineless Steel (duh)
  • Short description: Speedmaster Professional with Cal 321 (u know it :)

and after you make an order for it... u will receive an email with the following info:

____________________________

We hereby confirm your order of the following extract:
Extract from the archives / Movement number 2XXXXXX8
Reference number: 145012-67 SP
Case material: Staineless Steel
Short description: Speedmaster Professional with Cal 321

This service costs CHF 75.00 or the equivalent in local currency.

The Extract of the Archives is not a Certificate of Authenticity and does not guarantee the authenticity of a watch or its component parts.

The Extract of the Archives contains detailed information from our archives which relates to your watch and how it left our facilities in Bienne, as well as the exact production date of the watch but do not include the delivery country due to the fact that often the final destination for a watch is not the country of delivery from the factory due to distribution agreements regarding some countries.

Signed by Alain Monachon OMEGA MUSEUM - Archivist

_____________________________________________________

so it arrives after a couple of weeks... an extract from the archives... it provided me 2 pieces of information that i didn't know. my watch was born Oct 29 1968 and it was shipped to America(huge kwisatch haderach possibility ;) and a paper from Omega to say its one of theirs...

u will have to determine for yourself if it matters, but for me, i am happy to have this piece of information on my vintage speedy

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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

one watch model to ROO-LE them all ;) [all bad puns r intended]

Royal Oak NY La Boutique... Small-ish PVDed black RO... one of the first black oak LEs together with the End of Days
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition or ROO-LE are a bit of a mixed bag. on one hand many of them are great looking timepieces and the RO and ROO are a very strong foundation for building a wide range of variations from simple color or material changes to more exotic design departures... on the other, AP has the privilege of being known by many collectors as a LE factory churning them out year after year. they also seem to have only one watch model commanding any real attention in their lineup.

so before going further, introducing the latest to join the LE lineup... the Jarno Trulli AP ROO LE
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your retailer needs a LE, here you go... a highway needs an LE.. what color would you like it in? i'm a huge star and i wants my name on the back of the watch and some funky dial changes, there you go. u can buy one for all your mates too :) if it sounds like a joke, it kinda is but i think from APs perspective they don't care so much as the unlimited Limited Editions just keep on rolling off the line and get snapped up. the octagonal ROO with its hexagonal screws just rocks which is why they are milking it. what it also means is fans of the design have a WHOLE wide range of RO and ROOs to choose from which is no bad thing...in a way.

a not so commonly seen LE... the bartorelli which was sold as a set with 2 other LE watches... a grand lange 1 and an iwc big pilot in a set of 3..
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limited to 50...
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an F1 fan? u can get the RB2 Ti or the latest Grand Prix watches or the Jarno Trulli. A gun and covert ops lovin dude? theres the Survivor to keep you company. love some red on the dial of a watch, u can choose from the Scuba, Masato, Shaq, RB1, all the Alinghis, Singapore GP, the Tour Auto, Panda(regular ed), Las Vegas, Orchard Road LE, Grand Prix... hmm did i miss any? whatevetr the case, thats a lot of watches with red on the dial :)

once a hot watch...
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and a current popular model...
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but it don't matter as i said before... they'll still sell and they'll still continue making 'em and why bother about it? they may come with a variation that really sings to you down the road... all u gotta do is just hope that its associated to something reasonably cool and not a... uhm highway :)

thats all folks and i leave you wif a few more pics of the la boutique... a granddaddy of black RO/ROO LEs...

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Friday, 24 September 2010

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve 2010...photos of some of the pre-selected watches in the metal

Rafael Nadal's stolen RM27 found!!! or not :)
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as noted earlier the watches of the GPHG 2010 are in town (see 2 posts donw) and i went by to check em out. the lighting was pretty bad for some of the displays for the watches but i did my best to get reasonable captures and sharing them with you...

note that not all the watches were photographed and only those that i like or have some interest in are shown in this post.

for others that i like and have been photographed better before, their review/photos can be found here...
- Greubel Forsey DT30° Edition Historique
- MB&F HM 4 and Frog
- Thomas Prescher Triple Axis Tourbillon

on to the rest of the watches then...

this pic was not taken at the exhibition but is my mates watch... a beautiful dive watch from AP
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sporty lookin... i have a thing for the retro feel of the gulf colors
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A nice lookin dual time... they are getting better at getting this right all the time... better than the RO dual time with the same movement perhaps? hmmm...
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super light but extra heavy on the bank account... half a dollar and less than 30grams??!!Photobucket

the freak diavolo... i love the freaks :)

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monaco v4... gear driven and now in rose gold...

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hautlence... i prefered the aesthetic of their first watches more... these don't call to me much and i heard reliability is questionable...Photobucket

the Devon Tread 1... i will say it is interesting and congratulate the first owners of it in Singapore who will be getting it in October...Photobucket

good to see it and know that my take on it is right... i don't think much of it...Photobucket

sadly i couldn't get a decent pic of this voutilainen... it does look interesting...
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a lot of folks love the laurent ferrier releases... for me i think they are ok... the story is on the movement side i suppose... the front side is no great shakesPhotobucket

the journes caught my eye too... the battered resonance ;)

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a striking striking watch...

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chronometre bleu dark and...

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...lighted

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the vagabondage... nice name and an interesting look for a journe...
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i really really wish i had the opportunity to get better shots of the watches but some of the displays were just too dark. hope u enjoy the snaps.

have fun during the Singapore F1 week :) cheers, raph

Yes please. I do wish to look after it for the next generation :)

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quality... its an important word. people come to expect it of the expensive toys they pay for. from your exotic car to your pricey watches, one hopes that the big bucks put down for em mean that they are made to certain standards and are of a certain... quality...

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Patek Phillippe is a manufacture that knows what quality is about. some of their classic pieces down the years are made to very fine standards and have an excellent level of finishing. the one thing i wanted to point out though in this post is what struck me when i held the 5276... a new nautilus with the annual calendar complication released this year... it was the visible quality of the dial...

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now it shouldn't come as a surprise that the dials of Pateks are made to such standards as the Stern family that owns them now were once Patek's dial suppliers. they would then logically continue in their strengths on dial work. sometimes your mind doesn't think of these facts and its when you hold up a watch, the quality of how its made, how the light reflects off the surface of the dial and its appliqued indices... it makes u believe that all the money put down for it is all worth it and invariably puts a smile on your face :)

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just a lovely piece...

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the backs no slouch either... though it has the lamentable PP seal... as with all new watches since that replaced the geneva seal... Photobucket

Friday, 17 September 2010

check dis out... Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2010 pre-selected watches

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For a list of the watches that should be on display (i haven't gone by to verify it yet) do check out the pre-selected watches at this LINK.

so if u wanna see some really really really expensive watches from a host of different brands do check it out :) cheers, raph

a bit more info...

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Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Perfect Birthday Gift... My Tudor Monte Carlo :) & A Review of the MonteCarlo Grey

Brand New U're Retro... Brand New U're Retro... Easily one of the best releases for Baselworld 2010Photobucket
a short personal note: so i turn 35 today... and my wife has blessed me with a wonderful gift of a much desired timepiece... not just something u walk in to a shop and get mind you (well for now anyways :) as its one of the hottest watches for 2010... the tudor heritage chronograph monte carlo.
35 years... its pretty close to a mid-point in life plus this year also marks a key turning point. i closed one chapter of life yesterday and am looking forward to starting the next soon.
Life is full of surprises, ups and downs and but through this past year i have learnt to come to value certain things more and definitely look to do the right thing for me and my family's future. the recent past also has contributed some important lessons and new insights in both my personal and professional life and also in my relationship with my God. ok enuff of all that and to a review proper :)

baselworld 2010... a star of the show (for me at least)

something happened earlier this year at the basel watch fair... the buzz wasn't around the other fancy booths of the big brands with super huge marketing budgets and not even around the rolex display... the interest though was centred on the two new chronos that were shown to the world by a company owned by them.

the design is an evolution of the much desired vintage oysterdate chrono that most refer to as the monte carlo. any vintage rolex lover worth his salt knows this is a prized piece to have with its distinctive dials and colors. so the new monte carlo has landed and it is DA BOMB!!!

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some Tudor history: Founded in 1906 and sold to Hans Wilsdorf, owner of Rolex in 1936. Many early watches had Rolex oyster cases and bracelets.
wristshot... camera loves watch... wrist loves watch :)Photobucket
tudor delivered this one-two punch in the sub-CHF5000 price range which is significant.[Singapore list price is S$5,671 (or $5.3k + 7% GST... damn that GST), i think in switzerland its goin for CHF4200, In Australia its AUD5.3k. No US list as they do not distribute in US.]
this watch eats up the competition in this range and can knockout some of the ones above it. just a very strong desirability at its price and value point. for some who were fearful of getting into vintage rolex not knowing what you're gonna get with all the mixed up dial swops and movement exchanges and missing box and papers and questionable provenance and dodgy everything, this is a possible answer. hot vintage looks without any possible pain from going vintage.

Note: The S$4-5+k range is a very important one as its the kinda range that
(a) some partners budget to buy a nice gift for their man eg. as an engagement present to make up for the rock the guy got as an engagement ring, a present for an occasion (eg. anniversary, birthday etc)
(b) folks who just start working for awhile and are looking to buy their first 'real' watch

two of the best modern watches in the sub US$5k range... both are keepers more so than all other watches in my small collection, for sentimental reasons :) Photobucket
one more shot of my first real watch :)
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two versions were introduced. the black glossy dial which is more modern-ish looking and the matte grey dial which is all vintage loveliness. my sense is that most vintage rolex/tudor lovers will gravitate to the grey dial and more younger folks will be more keen on the black dials (just a BIG generalisation which may be totally off :)
at this price point, it and the submariner shown in this post are at the top of the 'to buy' list i would give to anyone looking for a brand new sub-S$6k watch. omega speedmaster, tag heuer gulf monaco, iwc eta based chronos - pilots and portuguese, panerai 000 base logo are some of the others to note.

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grey sub-dials on black... the black dial is more glossy and the grey one is matte...
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what I like about it- very well made case and bracelet and clasp. solid and substantial feel to it. pushers are cool and the finishing of the case excellent.
- i like the fact that theres no bubble/cyclops over the date on the sapphire as i am no fan of it.
- the dial is gorgeous...
- the size at 42mm and 22mm lug width is perfect and somehow it even sits well with my thin wristed friends
- AR coating on the inner crystal only which means one doesn't have to deal with scratches or clouding to AR outside of it coz theres none...
- crown and chrono pushers sit on the same plane (not that it matters to me) and no digging of them into the wrist
a beauty of a dial
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i like the knurling and the case is wonderfully made... check out them lines...Photobucket
luminous beings are we
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enameled tops for the pushers
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what i don't like about it so much (but this is nitpickin yuh)
- the bezel shows 1-12 gradations, a tachy bezel with units per hour may have been more suited... not 100% sure until i see it realised though as it may make it too busy...
- the nato strap is similar to other nato straps but the ones i put on my 14060M submariner were thin and that was fine because the Sub wasn't real heavy and all, but this watch is pretty substantial and it should have come with a zulu strap(which is thicker) with the same color pattern... and uhm thats it ;)

with tachymetre bezel... hmm it may work better...
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quick fact: they called the 1st gen the home plate as well cause of the baseball home plate shaped indices. this version the 70330 resembles the 1st gen monte carlos the most with the home place indices. the bezel is different though

and the stuff that some may care about that i don't care about
- its an ETA 2892 with a Dubois Depraz chrono module on it and some wish it was integrated. (hey the DD chrono modules work for the AP ROO ok ;) and the ETA 2892 is a workhorse i tells yer. and honestly RSC will be servicing it and will do a bang up job so why moan?

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movement images from user 'AddictX' timezone.com
what happens after the novelty wears off from being one of the first couple of folks in the world to get these? or after it becomes more... how should i put it... common ;)

i realise i have a head for remembering useless information but i forgot the rest of this movie except this one scene and even then the words i remember may be somewhat off (which doesnt really matter as i like it this way more) but here goes... a movie with sean young and gil grissom, i mean will petersen. 2 guys at the party spot sean walking by...

Guy A: Now that... is a gorgeous woman.
Guy B: Ah (dismissively)... you take away the make up, take away the fancy clothes and what do u have?
Guy A: Gorgeous Naked Woman...

Now how can u disagree with that? :) ok so the point i was trying to make is this. after the 'its so cool i got it first before so many others and there are sooo few of them around' aura has faded, u will be left with a gorgeous watch and that is no bad thing :)

Note: the earliest delivery i have seen is Jun in other markets. for Singapore the earliest deliveries was in early Sep this year.

Features:
- Homeplate style indices similar to the first generation Monte Carlo dial
- Rotatable bezel which can be used as a 2nd timezone reference - read the hour off the bezel indicator and minute as per normal
- Unique 45-minute counter
- ETA 2892 movement with a Dubois Depraz chrono module
- 42mm (without the crown), lug width 22mm and 50mm lug to lug length
- Knurled winding crown and enamelled screw pushers
- No Cyclops – Yes!!
- Automatic two register chrono with date at 6 o'clock
- Steel Oyster bracelet and inter-changeable NATO nylon strap

quick factiod 2: the car in the ads is a rare Porsche 910 aka Carrera 10. Only 15 of them were made in 1966/67. the dude in the pic is tim wheatley and other than modelling the watch i uhm know absolutely nothing about him :)

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but it goes well with other car makes too yuh ;)
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Home plate? more like Home Run ;)
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what does it mean for the vintage tudor monte carlos then?

1st auction since it started really hitting the markets is the antiquorum auction on sep 15 and in this auction lots 294 and 295 were the heritage chrono and 296 the vintage oysterdate chrono...

and the results are as follows
294 - new MC Black dial - estimate US$3-5k - Sold at US$4250 ~ S$5700295 - new MC Grey dial - estimate US$3-5k - Sold at US$4500 ~ S$6050296 - old MC Ref 7032 with homeplate indices - estimate US$6-10k - Sold at US$19375* Note all prices include 20% buyers premium

so what do the results mean? the new monte carlos are selling for about list as the folks in US figure they can travel out to get it at list (over time) so why pay more?
the vintage price is still healthy which is a good thing :)
Lot 296 Vintage MC
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image courtesy of antiquorum.com

now how about 'em heritage snowflake submariners? hmmm :)
vintage-y lookin super luminova a la panerai may work better though
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