#TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Here you can post stuff that is not related to Christopher Ward
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missF
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#TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by missF »

What are you part of?

This is a question about being a watchie. I’m interested in what you’re invested in when you buy, wear and enjoy watches?

Here’s the background to my question. I am enjoying wearing my AT so much at the moment - and a big part of that enjoyment is coming from the fact that it houses a the co-axial movement. I feel connected to what I think was quite a ‘big idea’ (YMMV). I’ve always kept aware of the marvels of movements, but not in any huge depth. I’ve said before that I get as much marvel out of the existence of the Sellita SW200 as I do from a watch that is built in-house. The fact that tiny mechanical machines can keep ticking regularly and accurately is a smile for me, because my world is a bit more complicated than that…

But George Daniels created the co-axial escapement, and people on watch forums will undoubtedly discuss forever whether it does a ‘better’ job than the traditional lever escapement. The opinions vary widely. But that’s just it - there’s no ‘truth’ - only opinions. Everyone has their own narrative (YMMV). I have no problem with whatever your narrative is.

The narrative that I invest in is that any world (not just watchie world), progresses via evolution or revolution. Probably evolution is a very useful thing for most things. Progress without the ructions. But jeez I’m also all for revolutionary steps and the people who take them. Looking for ‘incrementally improved’ ways of doing things is great human endeavour. Looking for ‘new’ or ‘altogether different’ ways to do things is the endeavour of great humans.

I’ll keep my metaphysics in checK here :lol: All I’m saying is that I bought into an idea here. I can’t read and absorb great texts though I definitely will try to read more about George Daniels. Because in spite of all my romance about revolution he spent his life creating hand made timepieces. A less revolutionary endeavour I couldn’t imagine. And his revolution came only on the back of this immersion. The co-axial escapement was the result of long years of work, and just as much commitment and effort to actually bring the idea to the appreciation of the watchie world. In our modern world it’s too easy to think that we can sit on our asses and this sort of revolution will just happen. Or even worse - that we can just settle for plodding that gets us nowhere. Or worst of all that we can buy this sort of success…

Here’s my thought that has just come to me as I write this - I hold thoughts and things to be somewhat the same. When I spent a stupid amount of money on the AT I ended up buying an idea as much as I did a mechanical object. But I hold the idea in mind and appreciate it every time I check the time and appreciate the machine inside.





FFS… I’m such a gobsh*te….
the dog’s just reminding me that I need to balance these thoughts I wake up to with important things like having a big stretch and making sure I get out for some fresh air… :lol: :wave:
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by iain »

I’m interested in the background to a watch but only if I’m interested in the watch itself.

I have an El Primero and I love the history behind the movement but I bought the watch first and foremost.

I have an IWC mark and like the history behind the mark series but didn’t buy it because of this. I bought it because of the watch itself.

I bought a speedmaster and loved the whole moonwatch thing. However I didn’t like the watch and the history wasn’t enough to make me want to keep it.

I had a Seamaster with the coaxial movement and I did really appreciate this aspect of the watch. However the Seamaster has some rather ugly design elements, in my eyes at least. The watch was sold and again it was down to the watch itself.

While I can understand your thought process I’m afraid I’m in a different place and if the watch itself doesn’t cut it, the background story won’t help.
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by missF »

“I’ve been thinking about what people say about me,
and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s true”



George Daniels :D
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by missF »

iain wrote: Tue Nov 07, 2023 10:06 am While I can understand your thought process I’m afraid I’m in a different place and if the watch itself doesn’t cut it, the background story won’t help.
Totally appreciate this. I love the look of the AT too. I bought into the look of the watch first or I wouldn’t have bought it; the proportions and how it fits my wrist next. Being captured by the movement and the background and idea was a bit of a surprise to be honest. But for me it’s the ‘idea’ as much as the ‘thing’ that I believe will have this watch on my wrist for a long time. The idea for me (the narrative) is the spirit that moves into some watches and not others. YMMV :D
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia »

Gosh, where to begin? A few things I’m passionate about, I guess…

All things mediaeval. Monasteries, castles, courtly literature, plainchant, early clocks with no minute hand…MeisterSinger.

The sea. The Longitude problem. John Harrison. Marine Chronometers…Ulysse Nardin/C9 SS.

Space flight. Apollo. “Time the burn, Jack”…Speedmaster.

Travel. Golden Age. Ocean liners. Death on the Nile…Cartier Tank.

And the brand thing. I wanted a high-quality, left-field brand that enthusiasts would know about but most people wouldn’t. The Ulysse Nardin came along to fill that space. There were more obvious and more expensive candidates…

And I wanted a Cartier because it was…a Cartier! The fact that it has turned out to the nicest watch I have ever owned, as well as being the most accurate mechanical, is pure bonus.

It in the end it’s as @iain says. If I didn’t like the watches I either wouldn’t have bought them in the first place or I wouldn’t have kept them.
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by Stif »

missF wrote: Tue Nov 07, 2023 9:17 am What are you part of?

...




FFS… I’m such a gobsh*te….
What a great question and discussion starter for a Tuesday morning (I'd agree with your second point there if you'd posted it on a Monday AM though :lol: )

I think this kind of touches on almost a 'who are you?' kind of question... I've always been a nerd. A geek. Whilst I don't do huge amounts of DIY I am utterly in awe of how things work. As a kid I loved reading magazines about engineering - how internal combustion engines and televisions worked fascinated me. I loved to read books about magic tricks. I went on to study physics, astronomy and electrical engineering at my first run at university (although being a teenager got in my way a bit...).

Watches fascinate me in the same way - not just the tiny cogs in a mechanical movement but the electronics in a quartz are wonderful too - just because they're cheap, common and mass produced doesn't mean it isn't amazing that we can produce such accuracy!

Modern watches fascinate me for more than just their internals though - Christopher Ward are a great example to point to for why. The Lightcatcher case - the detail and craftmanship that's gone into the design and the different facets of the finishing! Applied indices / logos - the absolute perfection of the positioning to give such an effect. The wonder of quick release spring bars and bracelets that can change size with a gentle shove!
Oooh I just love it all! That we can get such wonder and beauty from a super expensive and downright gorgeous movement like an Omega Co-Axial is amazing. That we (humans!) can get decent enough accuracy from hundreds of tiny parts in a mass produced Selitta or Seiko movement is just as wonderful in a different way.

Right - that's me started on full on gobsh*te mode for long enough too - I'm meant to be at work!
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by strapline »

Well Lindsey, first off, I really like your AT. And I find myself thinking more and more about an Omega with a co-axial movement. After all it's unique, and patented I guess by Omega? I'm not sure any other manufacturer offers something similar? It seems strange to think that George Daniels took this modification to the trad lever escapement to various high end watchmakers, including Rolex, and was politely shown the door. His movement allowed for less friction in the escapement, thus ensuring less wear and tear and longer periods between service intervals. I guess when you want your customers to be tied in to reasonably regular and often costly services, this must have come across as counter intuitive.

I like the fact that George Daniels was something of a maverick. He was almost like a Willy Wonka of the watch world. He did things a little differently, and I'm sure Omega will be eternally grateful that he did.

Des
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by watchaholic »

Wonderful topic Lindsay. :clap: I said, I believe shortly after I bought my AT, that I did not consider myself an Omega fanboy, but I did give them a massive amount of credit for recognizing the co-axial movement for what it was, and bringing it to commercial viability. But, I was a huge fan of George Daniels and that this is as close as I will ever get to owning one of his masterpieces. I won't try to add to your descriptive adoration of the man and his lifes work. I'm no writer. I am a tool guy, as supported by the two Zeniths in my collection. I do remember reading an interview in which, to @iain point, the dial had to be considered one of if not the most important aspect of any watch. If one does not find that attractive, it will never be bought, let alone worn. I remember that because we all tend to equate his work to his movements, but he put a great deal of thought into the design of the dial as well. That said, the AT is the one watch I own that I have considered putting on a winder, just because I think the co-axial escapement is that good. I have such a wide variety of styles and movements at this point I really am very happy with the place I'm at. If I do buy again it will have to be a very special piece, with a movement to match.
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by NigelS »

I understand and agree wholeheartedly with the ideas and thoughts you so cogently express in your OP, Lindsey. Backstory is one of the most important things that drives my purchasing, as well as quality, design, size and comfort. I have just bought a very well preserved Seiko Grand Quartz from 1975, as hereunder. I researched the watch and the history behind it throughly before I bought it, not only the brand (Grand Quartz actually replaced Grand Seiko for a few years in the late '70's and GS wasn't reintroduced until 1988) but because this and other Seiko and Citizen quartz watches were the ones which so very nearly knocked out the Swiss Watch industry until White Knight Nik Hayek came galloping over the horizon. It is also a prime example of Taro Tanaka's 'Grammar of Design' which set the style for the premier brands from Seiko which are still followed to a great extent today. As a matter of interest, when it comes to CW, let no-one say the company has no history: the Sellita/ETA/Eterna connection goes back to 1856!

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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by MistaFroggyG »

I’m relatively new to watch collecting (despite loving watches my whole life) and that probably is a factor in this, but I feel that some brands lean so hard into the history of a watch model as a marketing tactic that it’s really cheapened the whole history thing for me.

I think a lot of it is that I don’t care about the brand prestige, I care about the quality of the product and making moontains out of history molehills is how many brands try to increase MSRP.
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Re: #TuesdayThoughtForTheDay

Post by missF »

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts yesterday. I wrote a hopefully pretty open-ended mindspew and I’m glad you all saw space to manoeuvre in that and didn’t feel like I was just trumpeting a position. @MistaFroggyG I totally appreciated your post because there has to be some tension in the discussion otherwise I’m just blaring and telling you what to think. I absolutely agree that ‘applying history’ as a marketing tool doesn’t impress me. But knowing that the ‘Willy Wonka of Watchmaking’ ( :lol: : ) invented the movement - well it doesn’t make me super impressed by Omega - it just makes me think about George Daniels, genius and thinking outside the box in general.

I think if I owned a Bel Canto I’d feel something the same.
:D
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