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January 02, 2013



Whoever wrote that is one wise dude.

Actually, I think you can sometimes get a good watch for around $150, but they're usually watches that are normally around $200 that you get a deal on, like my SNAD05 which like the Black Monster is another classy $200 watch (I spend $150 on it).


It all boils down to status and image though Jonny. Once you spend $45,000 on a car----what makes another one worth $80,000? Probably exclusivity. I remember when Porsche came out with the Boxster, and I visited a friend of mine in Austin, TX. He was (and I think still is) a car guy---and as we drove around, I noticed a few Boxsters and pointed one out----I believe a nice yellow one. He and I had talked about the Boxster before it was introduced, looking forward to it. But at that point in time, after they were available and on the road? His comment was "I'm back to liking the 911. Those Boxsters are all over the place." As I recall, he also loved the Acura NSX, an "affordable" supercar. Why? "You don't see many of them." Maybe that's why I like my Tauchmeister/Aeromatic watches. In the U.S., they aren't ubiquitous.


I guess I just don't care about status and image. For some watch collectors of a more upper class income (let's use the "Obama Definition" of $200K+ per year), a $200 Seiko might be considered a cheap watch because it isn't $1,000 or more. But that's absurd, of course, because a Black Monster or a SNAD05 is a quality timepiece, but for some who equate price-tag with quality, they just cannot see this.

The status and image is just that...an image, a perception, a chimera as Jeff likes to put it. Quality is relative, and follows a kind of diminishing difference, sort of like a skill. For example, the difference between a $300 and a $200 watch is less than a $200 and $100.

To put it another way, the more expensive the watch the more the percentage of its cost is based upon name, image and status.

For me all of that really doesn't matter. I'd love to own a Breitling Super Avenger because I think it is a cool looking watch, not because they cost $5,000 and that "means something." Actually, what it means I find somewhat abhorrent. It means "I'm wearing on my wrist something that could feed an entire African village for a year." Of course my hypocrisy is still present, but not as extreme.

The only element of expensive watches that "gets me" is that they're out of my reach, which increases my wanting of them. So for example, if I find a $300 watch that I love I know that I can get it, that it is within my means, but if I find a $3,000 watch that I love, there's a different kind of pull because I can't justify spending that kind of money on a watch in any way, shape or form. Not being able to have something makes its allure that much greater.

Now for luxury watches, which I define as costing $1,000 or more, I don't really have a problem because they're so out of reach that I don't even really think about it. I'm OK saying "maybe someday." But semi-luxury watches ($500-1000) are a bit more challenging because I could buy one without threatening my finances too much, if only through selling a few watches.

So I resonate with you, Angelo, in your liking your Tauchmeister/Aeromatic watches for their uniqueness and rarity. That's a kind of image and chimera that I can buy into, at least much more than status and wealth. Some of my watches I buy for their classic look, like the SNAD06 or SSC015, but some I like for their unique styling, like the Black Monster or SKA425. If different watches all "say" something to the wearer, I'd much rather have my watches say "You're a unique individual who walks your own walk" than "You're a rich guy who can easily feed an African village for a year but chooses not to."


I have a black Monster outfitted with a "Watchadoo" band, which I occasionally wear. I have to report that my Monster isn't an accurate timepiece. It loses at least one minute per day, so I typically wear it for a day, and store it.

I like the heavy feel (like my 2006 Sea Dweller) and the bright lume on the dial. It's a handsome, and manly piece.

The (Monster) watch is three-years-old and has always been babied.
The "rubber" watchband which it wore out of the Seiko factory, rotted
within the first six months of ownership-enter Watchadoo from Australia.

I plan to hold on to this watch (sometimes an expensive watch isn't wise to display). This Monster of mine then steps in to give the Rolex and Breitling a day off and does a good job as it loses that one minute while looking good.


I'm not saying the Seiko Black Monster is as good a watch as a Rolex or Breitling, but to what degree it is worse.

Seiko Black Monster: ~$250
Breitling Super Avenger: ~$5000
Rolex Submariner: ~$8000

The Breitling costs about twenty times as much as the Seiko, and the Rolex thirty or thirty-five times as much. What are you getting in a Breitling that's worth $4750 more? Or a Rolex that's worth $7750 more?

Let's say there are a few factors:
- Style
- Quality - build, timekeeping ability, etc
- Craft (hand vs. machine finished)
- Name/Image

First of all, the first factor is rather subjective or at least not as tied to price as the other factors. Without having never owned or even held a Rolex or Breitling, I'd imagine that the quality of build and ability to keep exact time is superior on a Rolex or Breitling. But the the vast majority of price difference are due to the latter two factors (and I'm not even sure Breitling are hand-finished).

When you're paying $8000 for a Rolex, more than anything you're buying a name, and an image attached to that name. Secondarily you're paying for a timepiece that took hours to craft due to hand-finishing of parts that you'll never see, which is part of that image - knowing it was hand-finished.

To some extent you're paying for quality of build, but not really more than a $500-1000 watch. And you're not really paying for style because other watch companies make very nicely styled watches for one-twentieth of the cost.

So again, the vast majority of the price comes down name/image and hand-finishing, and neither are all that important to me. If was a multi-millionaire I would buy more expensive watches than I do now, but probably no more than $1-3000 or so, and my main interest would still be style first and quality second. Name/image would be a non-concern, even a turn-off to be honest, so I'd probably never own a Rolex no matter how much money I had.


Rolex are mass produced, made by machines. An average Seiko of a few hundred dollars properly calibrated will go toe-to-toe with any COSC certified "high-end" Swiss watch.


I will add Ulysses----even considering my late wife's Rolex that I still own (mentioned here previously)----a really well made quartz watch will ALWAYS be more accurate than an automatic or mainspring watch, no matter how well engineered that mechanical watch is. The quartz technology/movement----if it's done right (and Seiko does it right) is just ultra accurate and it's been that way for decades. Geezer: Regarding your Seiko that loses a minute a day----maybe you can set it a few minutes fast and wear it a few days before giving it down time! I actually don't mind having my watch fast by a couple minutes----helps discipline me to be on time for meetings and the like. My very rational friend says that is ridiculous----keep your clocks and watches set to the correct time and have the discipline to be early or on time. But I'm not the only one who feels this way----setting that alarm clock a few minutes fast gives me a cushion in the morning!


Angelo, I like your idea. I'll do that next time I release the Monster. You're absolutely right about quartz movements. I'm considering adding a Citizen Ecozilla to the stable.

My father left me his Rolex Air-King when he passed.
His watch was built in 1960-1 and has been serviced three times in 52 years. Today it loses under a minute every week. It looks new by the way.

Since I was a kid I wanted a Rolex like Dad.
I haven't been able to shake the love of those watches. I have several. They make my knees buckle, like when I see a pretty woman!

Rolex is a tradition for me. I do like the quality Asian watches like Orient (Seiko), Citizen, and Casio.

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