Saturday, 24 January 2015

Patek 3700 vs AP Royal Oak 15202 ... Patek Philippe Audemars Piguet Battle of the Jumbos! [The Sequel]

My first headsup between the AP and PP Jumbo, just a couple of posts down actually, is here LINK and from there I had posted a pic on instagram LINK and it was shared on my facebook too and Gerald, the boss at GR Luxury, was kind enough to offer letting me put the 3700 against the AP as i had mentioned that it might win in a head to head and so we come to a... 3 way high end steel sports watch GANG BANG! ;)


From left to right then: Vintage PP 3700, AP 15202, PP 5711 and a nod once again to 
Gerald Genta who is the designer responsible for both the Nautilus and Royal Oak
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 before we do a blow by blow... let's have a better look at the beautiful 3700... 
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some wonderful lines and nice brushed and polished finishes and bevelled finishes
on the case and bezel
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solid case! monocoque baby so lesser places for water to get in...
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Showdown time! Patek 3700 vs AP 15202... who is the king? 
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Timetapestry's Assessment [AP RO vs PP Nautilus 3700]: 
  • State of zen like calm: Both do not have the seconds hand needed and are better for it.
  • Case and bracelet: Both are wonderful! the different finishes and the design coming together perfectly.
  • Lume: Tritium has aged nicely on this Nautilus piece but there may be degradation in future with vintage tritium indices and a potential for it to flake off. This is true of all tritium applied lume. The newer lume used on the AP should be a type of superluminova and should maintain for a long time and i believe should not patina with age.
  • Price: This comes into the equation. As stated the RO is lows 20s in Sing Dollars and the for the Patek you are looking at high 40s or low 50s. basically costs double the AP and in this reviewer's eyes it's not twice the watch the AP is :) 
  • Aesthetics: Patek 3700 with it's distinct horizontal lines. these original dials did not have gradient dials as the 5711(darker on the ends of the dial and brighter in the middle) Nice old school font on the Patek. I prefer the AP dial with the date wheel the same color as the dial color. 
  • Movement: they essentially have the same base movement with just different ways of doing it up and making it their own.
  • What I said in my earlier vs battle holds true for the patek 3700 too of course. it will last and last well for a long long time to come.
  • And the winner? 15202 for me(please note no right or wrong but for me I just love the Royal Oak more!)
How about old vs new? The Patek Phillippe Nautilus 3700 vs 5711? Game On!

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Timetapestry's Assessment [PP 3700/1A vs PP 5711/1A] looking at the differences: 
  • State of zen like calm: 3700 without the seconds hand wins. Patek just has to drop the seconds hand in the next anniversary piece
  • Dial? both are good for different reasons. The older one has a more old school and very matte-ish look and looks the same which way you turn it. the new one is uhm... newer and shinier somewhat and looks different at different angles. it is a gradient dial as noted earlier vs non-gradient on the 3700
  • Print: Old school vs new style fonts. the positioning of the text on the dial is lower in the 3700 and is better for it. 
  • Lume: Tritium point as noted above is the same 
  • Indices & hands: Slim vs fatter... I prefer slim
  • Case: case has been upsized a little in the 5711. 42 to 43mm thereabouts and slightly thicker with the clear back 3 part construction. both are still sleek refined steel watches though and sit very flat on the wrist.
  • Price: 5711 is low 30s in SGD and 3700 is in the 40s or low 50s
  • And no winner here for me personally... i want a modern Nautilus with more of the 3700 cues (and a positive from the 15202) mashed up together perhaps :) wants:  [1] slimmer indices & hands [2] lower positioning of the text on the dial [3] date wheel same color as the dial similar to the 15202 [4] keep the gradient dial of the 5711 and the current case is fine. I like seeing the movement :) [5] No seconds hand for me
Monocoque Case and single deployant clasp and a fliplock on the clasp
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vs Sapphire case back and double deployant with flip lock too
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both are gorgeous in their own ways...
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and after it all i am left wondering... how do i afford me one of these? :) anyways if u be keen to pick this piece up it is for sale at gr luxury. let them know you saw it through this blog and get a slightly better price on it ;) cheers, raph 

“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” 
Patek's wonderful ad slogan... I'd be happy looking after this one for sure :)
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Swatch Sistem51 2015 New Models and a Singapore Swatch Club Event :)

Fresh from my sistem51 review LINK couple of weeks back, let's take a look at the 2015 new sistem51 models! I will most likely be getting one of 'em and have narrowed down to 2 definite maybes. Let's have a look


Sistem Pink SUTR401 ~ one of the potential buys! fun and bright colors 
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Sistem Green SUTG400 - another interesting piece, green with orange accents and markers
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Sistem Cream SUTM400 - this looks good too and i like the look of the movement... 
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Sistem Class SUTS402 - movement side same as the blue piece from 2014(one i own) with a dial change
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Sistem Chic SUTB402 - dial change for the black piece from 2014
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it's cool to have more models to choose from for folks to land a design they like. May take some time for these pieces to come to Singapore though... when i know you will know if u readeth the blog :)

The 2015 material with me cause I decided to attend a cool swatch club event. It was great meeting the fine team at Swatch and a putting faces to names :) kudos to the team for a fun event! Thanks to Charles, Michelle, Bronza, Alex, Audrey (& sorry if I missed out some as I didn't get introduced to all) for hosting us. 


Venue for event at Orchard Gateway outlet 
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Charles welcoming us and introducing the new 2015 collections
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Gran Turismo range with some fun pieces with speedometers on the dial. to have
 a closer look at these 2015 ranges, check out this post from watch insider LINK 
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Spring Breeze - the display setups are cool
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my pet and me - this range had a lot of cute pieces
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Chinese New Year Piece - I love the goat! :)
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the piece with the nice box it comes in
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Valentine's Day watch set for the young lovers out there :-* note the multiple keepers
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Some games where winners take home a swatch from the new collection.. Alas I gave it a go at
 one of the games but it was not to be mine... Better luck next time :) 

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Good meeting some other swatch club members Melvin and Evangeline(hope I spelt your names right :) at this event and that's it for this short post and looking forward to my next Sistem51 Swatch purchase in 2015! Cheers, Raph

Some better pics of the displays thanks to Bronza! cheers

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Seiko SBDX012 and the Marine Master 300m / MM300 range [ 6215-7000, 6159-7000, SBDX001, SBDX003 ]


Seiko announced a new limited edition 50th anniversary diver watch in Sep 2014 and from the press release on Seiko's site LINK, it will be available from 23 Jan 2015. Price is noted at 280,000Yen + tax or about US$2,350 and S$3,150 IF you can get your hands on oneSeiko dealers in Japan will likely have very low numbers allocated so it will be hard to find one for sure as 1,000 pieces will be snapped up very quickly or has already been fully allocated. Price wise the regular SBDX001 retails for 250,000Yen or about S$2,800 but can be obtained at a discount and can be purchased new for about S$2-2.3k range plus or minus or about 15-30% discount off retail[range is wide coz all sorts of sellers are out there selling to folks outside of Japan]. The SBDX012 will definitely have zero discount.

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before going any further though... A HAPPY NEW YEAR! [non-MM300 Seiko diver 6309 8110 doing
the wishing below. i don't normally buy the local papers but got it just for this shot ;) ]
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ok onto the SBDX012... this is most likely gonna sell out immediately...

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Comes with bracelet and urethane strap with gold buckle
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same monocoque case as other MM300s
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and the non-regulated, lightly decorated 8L35 movement as it's beating heart
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The earlier SBDX003(released in 2000, limited edition of 500 pieces) retailed for less on launch at 200,000yen
~ US$1,900 then but price has doubled since to about US$4k now
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Note this SBDX012 and SBDX003 are just cosmetic changes to the non-limited edition, regular production model SBDX001, which has standard white accents.

Difference from SBDX001 to SBDX003 [side by side comparo here LINK]

  • Gold accents for the hour marker, hands and lettering in SBDX003
  • No bracelet for SBDX003
  • 2 line text on SBDX003
Difference from SBDX003 to SBDX012
  • Gold print for the bezel font is true to the origin pieces - From Seiko's site, translated by google "the character on the bezel is subjected to a golden finish by anodic oxidation treatment of laser...  By the electrolytic treatment anodized material, a surface treatment for generating the artificial oxide film. Color is born by the refractive index of the light..." 
  • Bracelet included
  • 4 line text on the SBDX012
  • red light marker on the seconds hand
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from left to right 6215-7000, 6159-7000, sbdx003(Limited edition 500 pieces), sbdx001 
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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]
the vintages are very rare birds in good condition... 6215 7000, 6159 7000, sbdx003

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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]
Casebacks of the 6215 7000, 6159 7000, sbdx003

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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]

Pros and Cons of the MM300 series

Pros 

  • Great looking(to me) sporty dive watch at approximately 44mm * 15mm [50mm lug to lug], cool styled case with brushed and polished surfaces and a nice dial and hand design. 
  • Strong lume - may matter if you're diving with it and not so much if you ain't
  • High quality movement, the 8L35 which is an un-decorated Grand Seiko movement calibre 9s55, beating inside which means it should be highly accurate. As noted, the movement is un-decorated and that won't matter as you won't be seeing it. Has decent 50 hour power reserve, quick set date, movement hacks and is an automatic with manual wind. Accuracy per Seiko : Average daily rate +15 seconds to -10 seconds
  • Monocoque case ~ better water resistance
  • Unidirectional bezel moves smoothly, 120 clicks all the way round. 
Cons
  • Crown is similar to lower end Seikos and owners have had cross-treading issues in the past where one may screw it in when it isn't aligned and strip the thread in doing so. Not as robust as it should be and not sure if the SBDX012 addresses this. No logo on the crown means it's a bit on the plain side.
  • Bracelet has been noted to be one of it's weak points. A bit light and flimsy-ish when paired with a heavy body. Clasp isn't that great as well compared against new clasps eg Tudor's clasps but it does have a ratcheting divers extension. Fit at the lugs has been an issue for some as well. 
  • Bezel coating(which is some paint acrylic or lacquer thing) will scratch and the only option is to replace the whole bezel which will be costly. quote some years back was around us$300+ for the bezel which is just too much to pay. There may be aftermarket options though which will cost maybe half of that... maybe.
  • Top heavy watch (Weight 210-ish gms with bracelet) and rather narrow lugs so it may move abouts on the wrist or not be comfortable worn for long. Lug width is 20mm and should be 22mm. hmm can 2mm make so much difference? u betcha :)
  • Non-regulated movement and folks have reported weak to high levels of accuracy. Why, why would you not regulate the movement? 
  • Japan Domestic Model(JDM) means there may be limited servicing options other than sending it back to Japan and I have heard the Seiko authorised agents Thong Sia has not been keen on helping out at times. if they do help to send it back then the cost(per a local owner) could be about S$600 for a full service(a few years back) which is >25% of the purchase price new and maybe 35% of the price pre-owned? that is a lot to pay relative to the price of the watch...
  • Thick case and sits pretty high on the wrist so prone to being knocked around. Also may not fit under shirt cuffs.
  • Brand association with cheap quartz watches... folks not in the know disrespectin the mighty Seiko brand! this is for noobs and not folks who know watches and that Seiko can make fantastic mechanical watches at different price points above the US$1k / US$5k marks and even higher.
  • Lume is applied by hand and some folks have had dials with uneven lume or found it not to be applied consistently.
  • Non-sapphire crystal. it's hardlex and is not as resistant to scratches as sapphire but it's pretty hardy so this is a minor niggle.
Hmm noting all these pros and cons, especially the potential high cost of servicing/refurbishing, I will skip over the SBDX012 at whatever high after market price it will go for and maybe target a MM300 used and in decent condition for about S$1.6-1.7k range or get new for S$2k... oh well, we'll see what the year brings ;) ending off with some Seiko diver history below from Seiko site and well wishes to you for a great year ahead with many, many, many fine new watches! Cheers, Raph


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Saturday, 27 December 2014

Patek Philippe 5711 The Nautilus Jumbo versus AP Royal Oak Jumbo 15202 ... The Ultimate Head to Head

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In terms of steel, time and date only high-end luxury sports watches, two timepieces stand head and shoulders above the burgeoning pack, and stand as watch icons, classic timepieces that have weathered the decades and have only added to their story, nay, legend since their inception. Both birthed in moments of genius by GĂ©rald Genta, the Royal Oak coming in first in 1972 and the Nautilus, as a much needed challenger from Patek, in 1976 and both designs inspirations attributed to portholes (note: the royal oak one has since been noted to be inspired by a connector on an old dive suit)


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I've done a pretty in-depth review on the Royal Oak already LINK1 LINK2 so this post will focus a bit more on the PP and the comparo between em. For history and fanfare that will induce you to buy the PP(you have been warned), please read Wei's excellent article here LINK   


So this post is to address the question, which is better between the two of these titans? let's first look at a couple of factors NOT to address them by before we get to those we should. 

  • Price: Price-wise the Patek is about S$10k more than the AP both in retail and discounted prices(these may vary) but my view is if u r stepping up to consider either of them as a purchase, then S$10k should not stand in the way of you choosing your ultimate/dream steel sports watch.  
  • Pedigree: From a pedigree perspective, both houses are pure watch houses and manufactures and have always been seen as being at the top of the haute horlogerie chain. Both have strengths in different areas that they have exploited well and have grown tremendously during the boom times through the strength of their brands, stories and offerings. for more history on the Royal Oak click here LINK 
  • Note: This post is only assessing the blue dial version of the Patek Nauty, the white dial doesn't do anything for me personally. For the RO, the only current Royal Oak model that is should go into a head to head with the PP 5711, is the mighty 15202.
Ok, so onto the factors to assess: 

(1) Aesthetics: 


Both watches are updates to the originals designed by Gerald Genta and they both remain true to the originals on many counts but where there have been updates, AP did the right ones and Patek made a few questionable choices... What is with that seconds hand man? 


For their 50th anniversary of the nauty, they should just remove the seconds hand and maybe change the date disc to have the colors be the same as the dial (or what AP did right with the current excellent 15202). 


Dial wise, both are simply wonderful. Patek with the horizontal bars and kind of a gradient shading to it with it being lighter in the middle and darker at the edges and AP with the beautiful mini tapisserie dial... both look amazing when the light hits them and moves across them at different angles.


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Overall look wise, both are super refined in these slim forms, but the Patek is even more refined than the AP and is a very 'dressy' sports watch. The AP has a more rugged harder look with the hexagonal screws and it's bracelet link design. 


Side note: what was updated from the Nautilus 3700 to 5711? 

  • Seconds hand added - Minus: the watch looked better, more zen like without the second hand. This is the same for the AP RO Jumbo
  • Dial changed - Plus: the 5711 dial looks great under different light and the dial has more life to it in that respect.
  • Change to PP 324SC movement -  movement height 3.3mm - Minus: I just prefer the JLC 920 calibre, dubbed by Patek the 28-255C (Same base calibre as AP 2121 still found in their jumbo - movement height 3.05mm) slimmer on rails and the way PP had made it theirs looked great too. But this is just the romantic in me talking and in reality both movements (the AP 2121 and the 324SC), well serviced, will keep time fine and last for a long long time.  
  • Sapphire caseback & non-monocoque case(same as AP) - monocoque construction meant it's made from a single piece of steel and had better water resistance in the way that it had less points of entry. 
Result: Tie - Too close to call it... AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!


original cork case was excellent
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Example of monocoque per AP with the RO in the past
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Patek Philippe's 324 SC
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Audemars Piguet's excellent AP 2121
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(2) Case, Bracelet and Comfort: 


Both wear very well on the wrist. Slim beings and they sit comfortably on smaller to larger wrists. The Patek bracelet is amazing and has a satiny quality to it and different finishing styles. The AP bracelet is such a thing of beauty with it's range of finishings too and it's ability to catch the light in mesmerizing ways. It is also very refined and they are just 2 of the best out there. 


Some have said that the RO due to it's lug design may not work on smaller wrists as well as the Nautilus, but i think we are talking really small wrists and you should try it on for yourself to assess if this is an issue for you with the latest version of the 15202 Jumbo. Both have double deployant clasps and are good that way. 

Result: Tie - Both are awesome!



slim and refined...
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ditto
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(3) Long term wearibility and chances of passing on to the next generation: 


  • Operation wise, the normal quickset date on the PP is better than the 10pm-2am back and forth to change the date on the AP. A slight niggle for the classic 2121 movement. 
  • Power reserves are about the same: AP with 40hrs and PP with 35-45hrs. 
  • Water resistance should not matter for both(AP at 50m and PP at 120m) because it would not be wise to exercise or go swimming in it impo. There are other watches to excerices/swim in. 
  • Well serviced, these watches can be passed on to the next generation... and they will, or should, love you for it :) 
Result: Tie - These are classics for a reason. You can wear them all the way till you shuffle off this mortal coil... and then your kids can wear them and so on. Folks could wear these watches their whole life and in my mind they would still look amazing 30 to 40, or a 100 years from now. 


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Conclusion: 
Wait a minute, i read through all of this and you're telling me that they are EQUAL? I think you know what I am going to say next so let's validate it. 

They are both great watches and to the question which is the one for me(or you), the answer is which design do you like best and puts the bigger smile on your face when you wear it. It's a personal choice and no one can ever criticise your taste with either of these watches on your wrist.

You can't make a wrong decision if you are deciding on a purchase between these two great timepieces and that's the best part. 
Availability wise, supply for both these models are controlled but it looks to be a bit tighter for Patek just based on what has been noted by Patek publicly about not wanting to be a one trick pony and general observations from watch lovers. 

& that's it. Buy em both if you can afford it & are inclined to I says! and for this watch nut, coz i can only own one of 'em, it's the AP for me ;) hope u enjoyed the post. cheers, raph 



the one that puts the bigger smile on my face
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corners like it's on rails... wait a moment, it is on rails!
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