Are warranties the only benefit of paying full or close to full price for a watch? No. Over the years, I've learned of a lot of other interesting benefits that watch customers get from buying timepieces at authorized dealers and/or single brand boutiques. These are benefits that vary by store, city, and brand... as well as the consumer. So I can't really promise that any of these benefits will apply to you if you buy a watch directly from a brand or at a brand boutique, but there is a good chance at least some of what I am about to discuss will be a welcome surprise when buying a watch through an "official channel."
6. Piaget Altiplano 900P “World’s Thinnest Mechanical Watch” Hands-On
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JR: Both modern and vintage Patek Philippe watches are bringing extraordinary prices at auction. Speaking of modern watches, it is basically a commodity based pricing structure. In such an international marketplace, collectors are well aware of the value of watches in the secondary market. However, the days when one could buy a Patek from a retailer with the intent to sell for an immediate profit are gone, with the exception of a small handful of rare references. The reality is that people should buy a modern production watch to wear and enjoy, and pass down to the next generation.
The 43mm wide case is certainly modern in size and at 14mm thick, it offers a substantial presence on the wrist. The case and dial are historically-themed and the CCCP Heritage is available in a range of styles. This version comes in gold-toned steel with a white dial and matching gold-toned hour markers and hands. The hands could be longer but the overall dial presentation is attractive and on-point with the theme of the watch. An interesting detail are the hour markers. Remember that this is a vintage-theme watch, so I actually find it appropriate the that hour markers are produced with a metal that offers a slightly tarnished, aged look.
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ABTW: What is Palm Desert best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
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ABTW: Obviously, you were able to purchase the grail. Is it something you still have today?
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Other than that, I'm with Matt in trying other combos, and I often wear one of his lighter brown straps on my black dialed steel watches with a black buckle. I dig the contrast it adds to the watch strap.
Meanwhile, a significant portion of the lower-end of the luxury market remains underpinned by the ever-faithful quartz movement. As they say, "you can rely on a quartz, because it never changes," and "you know exactly what you're getting, as quartz has been pretty much the same for years..." Well, that is by no means entirely true, as proven by the collaboration of Swatch Group members ETA and Certina. The PreciDrive from ETA is a quartz movement able to achieve chronometer-like accuracy, and while it may not be a new release exactly (it's been around for about a year), it deserves attention for the effectiveness of its thermo-compensation mechanism, for the novel way it incorporates ceramic components into its design, and that it offers 1/100th of a second accuracy at a relatively attainable price point.
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While COSC is responsible only for testing watch movements, METAS is a much larger organization that is involved in a great number of different sciences that require exact measurement: METAS' involvement goes from "legal metrology" related to weighing instruments, electricity, and a number of other sciences through chemistry and optics, all the way to frequency and time. What matters to us most is, of course, the latter: timing.
If you aren't familiar with how these high-end analog/digital SuperQuartz movements work, it is simple. First of all, note that Breitling offers a few different quartz movements - such as some with just the crown and others with pushers as well. The main time is displayed using the analog hands, but deeper functionality is available via the two LCD screens. Functions include things such as a 1/100th of a second chronograph, countdown timer, alarm, dual time zones, full calendar, and some additional functions "useful to pilots." What is more important is the thermo-compensation element to the movement (the "Super" in SuperQuartz) which greatly enhances accuracy over standard quartz movements. For this reason, Breitling is able to get its SuperQuartz movements COSC Chronometer certified.
People who love watches and often buy and sell them prefer to work within their own community when dealing with buyers and sellers. This is because of the inherent feeling of trust and mutual understanding - though, it can be risky. However, for the most part, if you are in an established watch forum community dealing with a known entity, you are going to be okay. Watch forums are very often the source of some of the best pre-owned watch deals around, because owners want to quickly sell them to fund something else. The fact that many sellers are on a time crunch is to your advantage. This is especially true when they lower the price a few times due to lack of interest.
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There are some subtle cues, such as indices that mimic a diver down flag, and a nice selection of customization options (more on that in a bit). The most interesting bit of styling, though, is courtesy of the dial. It has a texture unlike anything I have seen before. Taking a closer look at it, you can see that it very much imitates the look of wet sand (such as you would find underwater). This is, of course, a nod to the watery tendencies of the watch, but it also gives a nice bit of texture to the dial without obscuring legibility.
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To honor the Scheufele family's 50 year legacy at the helm of Chopard, the brand created a limited edition L.U.C chronograph that combines design elements from the early sixties with those of a modern Chopard chronograph. The Chopard L.U.C 1963 Chronograph commemorates the year that Chopard was sold to Karl Scheufele, father of the current co-presidents, Caroline and Karl-Freidrich. With a classic charm, period-inspired movement, and modern proportions, the Chopard L.U.C 1963 Chronograph is a fitting nod to the last 50 years of Chopard.
It is interesting from a watch lover's perspective to see the wrist becoming a hot piece of real estate (once again) for gadget creators, and this is not even including the quickly emerging smartwatch world. The Nixie drone isn't a watch, and as of now, it doesn't tell the time (though I bet they could include a small LCD screen in the future). It is however part of a new universe of devices that may live on your wrist or elsewhere on your body. While wearable tech isn't per se new, I think it will experience a new golden age over the next decade.
As noted, the floating lugs do make for a more comfortable fit even on smaller wrists, but when they have to articulate at a higher degree, the cylindrical case tends to stand out high. Regardless the rugged looks, the watch will likely have to suffer being hit into objects – like door handles, chairs, and other obstacles. Using a more positive approach, I would say the face of the watch looks like a porthole on a spaceship - that weird kind that resembles a normal ship but just happens to be able to travel through space and time.
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