Saturday, 30 May 2009

a short take on the patek nautilus 5712R

a very nice nautilus... the rose gold patek 5712R
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to start off, i must say this was one of the watches i was eyeing to buy at one point... the 5712 in steel is what was touted as the hot one and its prices reflected that. but it was the 5712 in rose that attracted me more. after having handled all 3 variants, the steel, white gold and rose gold versions, i would say that the rose gold version appeals the most to me.

as with most pateks, it exudes quality and class and the colors and textures on this one are really cool. the sturdy brown leather strap with orangy thread, the warmth and lustre of the rose gold case cut in the interesting lines of the nautilus... i LIKE It!

its sporty rugged and classy... its probably going head to head with the royal oaks in rose gold eg. the 15300 in rose and the dual time rose... but is much more pricier... hey its a patek alrite :)
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the Geneva seal... it makes a lot more sense to me than a PP seal. whats the value of a seal that you do to certify that your products are good or of a certain standard?? it doesn't make a whole lotta sense to me. i guess patek had to move away from the geneve seal coz of roger dubuis, cartier etc using it and in some way riding off Patek's association with the seal... eg dubuis saying 'our watches are as good as patek coz see, we have the geneva seal' ... DREAM ON dudes. but the PP seal? not an answer in my books...

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the calatrava cross... beautiful as always
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good quality throughout, even in the deployant clasp... and just in case u forgot what watch it was u had on... NAUTILUS etched in to remind u :)
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borrowing a movement shot from the WG piece... same movement of course 240
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and 2 full frontals to end off... the lovely rose
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and the cool white gold... too cold for me this one...
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hope u enjoyed the short look at these pieces. cheers, raph

a recommended watch dealer: www.watcharena.com.sg

[note: i do not get paid to advertise and get nothing from this. its a recommendation to help other Singapore based watch lovers (he doesn't deal with individual buyers/sellers who are overseas unfortunately). most pieces in the shop are well priced are as far as i know (some RMs and AP Limited Editions may be on the higher side though). of course i hope that continues to be the case and please do your own market research on price for a piece if u intend to buy one from this raphmeister recommended shop ;) cheers]
[to substantiate my claim, i'll point out a few pieces... lange dato plat at 99% condition all box and papers going for S$51k or about US$35.5k (this is the lowest i have seen anywhere from all dealers or private sellers in the world)... rolex milgauss gv brand new v series S$9.3k. gmtiic brand new v series S$8.7k]

a bricks and mortar shop at 290 balestier road. watcharena is a wholesale /retail outfit. its located at a place with probably zero walk-in traffic and only interested folk would make an effort to go out of the way and get there...
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check out some of the watches on offer and their contact details at their website @ www.watcharena.com.sg in terms of whats on the shop front? its A LOT of Rolexes :) and some other popular makes
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some other interesting pieces i spied in the displays follow...
firstoff the Audemars Piguet Team Alinghi Carbon... this one i believe offered at a good price...

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AP Royal Oak Offshore Shaquille O'Neal Limited Edition

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AP ROO Orchard Road La Boutique

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AP Rose Gold Rubberclad

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A Brand New Unworn Rubens Barichello II Ti... A Grail ROO for many (was once a grail ROO of mine too but no longer as my taste has changed since)

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Royal Oak City of Sails

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seems i was stuck in front of the Audemars Piguet display :)
there are Pateks too... a PP 5100 and a 5059 and some nautili

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and the said Lange... any Singapore WIS who wants one should go grab it ASAP (after handling my friend's dato loads i know for sure that this is not a watch for me so some lucky WIS out there should head over now! ;)

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A bit about the owner then...

adrian's a cool chap if you haven't met him before... an entrepreneur and a fair dealer, he started out in 2001 buying over a business and he's been at it since. as noted above, the prices he offers for most pieces are good and more than fair compared to many others. of course don't go in there and lowball the guy, he's fair not stoopid yuh and he knows his business :)

having had a casual chat with him, i think that he started out looking at watches as a business but has grown to appreciate them more and more for their art and value. he personally has a preference for some rarer patek references like the 5970 and the 5070, lemania based pieces, and who can blame him, they are fantastic watches impo. he is also into the sportier watches out there from Rolexes, to APs, to Panerai and such.

a shop with some nice pieces run by a good guy. nuff said... Recommended! :) cheers, raph

a meal with a sick puppy...

i met up with a mate of mine who's an ex-colleague... call sign 'sick puppy'... he had gone fishing last nite till the wee hours of the morning and had minimal sleep... in his sleep deprived state he asked me out for lunchies and we caught up over some prata, teh halia and milo peng... he had been rockin a rolex gmtiic for awhile but he surprised me today with something green... i of course proceeded to turn green wif envy (kiddin yuh ;)


a paw shot... pups rocking the MIIILLLGGGGAAAAUUUUSSSSS!!!
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i once owned this watch of course and think that its a GREAT Rolex... big thumbs up :)
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lunch companions... the beast and the green fairy ;)
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and the reason why i won't be tempted to buy the gv again or the patek i desire this year is because of the 2 things in the next picture... first is the freak, my major watch purchase this year and second is the wedding band signifying a promise to my wife, who will devise new means to make my life a living hell if i decide to spend more on watches... we can't have that now can we :)
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Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Audemars Piguet You...

the offshore variants continue to come off the mill and its coming to be a bit of killing the goose that laid the golden egg... others may argue though that AP sells each and every one of their limited and unlimited ;) editions so why does it matter... i dun have a strong stance on this anymore, bring on the multicolor ROOs i say, more choice for us all (but please don't over price them just because of a few color changes... i mean how much does orange, yellow and red paint cost? :)

of course this one has forged carbon case and ceramic bezel going for it... surprisingly non limited(although it costs about the same as a limited ed roo) and nice... as mentioned previously, i would make the hands yellow too
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different print ads from the usual water and ROO theme ;)
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next up the don ramon de la cruz limited ed... (makes me think of the other don dude in zorro ;)
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i am not even interested to know what the LE celebrates or is about...a retailer, an association, a rich persons pet project, whatever... its just another LE. it looked pretty fine in press pics and AP's rose gold ROOs are typically very nice...

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but this live pic of it is a bit of a let down... just doesn't pop in this pic... i suspect it may be much better in the metal though :)
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Monday, 25 May 2009

small... medium... and XTRA LARGE!!!

so i got round to fondling a couple of watches this week... hmm may not be the best word to use... but mates of mine know that i do get turned on by inanimate objects ;)

referring to my last post then, if someone were to ask me, what are the pieces you are saving up your bullets for raph? well there were 2 on the list... and they have fallen off the list because one was too small... one was too medium with a number of issues and thats it... no other key targets... for now at least...

there was also one XTRA LARGE one i saw this week. it is not a target. its is huge and i don't believe its a wearable watch for me and many others. However there is one saving grace... it looks HOT in pictures! :)

the moral of the post then is simple... u always have to see your targets in the metal before deciding to buy and repeat after me 'always try before u buy'. hope u all enjoy the following pics. cheers, raph


lets start with the small one first... doesn't look it actually but it looked comical on my wrist... floating in wide open space...
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lug to lug width and diameter is bigger on my 36mm vianney halter classic..
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doesn't look that small but on my wrist it didn't work at all...
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and because i told him it was not to be... he quickly proceeded to give me the finger .!.
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next up the uber gorgeous lange dato... medium sized german hottie...
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ooh u sexy thing... ultra cool front
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and jawdropping back...
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individual u say?... i'm a believer :)
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but too many things didn't work for me for the Lange Dato... it wears small. although 38.5mm it visually looks smaller on my wrist compared to my FPJ Octa Reserve de Marche... i would think its because of the fat bezel on the dato and the black dial that does it. If I am plonking down fifty large (in sing$) for this piece it has to not have so many things to nitpick. (case diameter should be bigger for its thickness, thinner bezel would be nice, sub-dials some light brownish color, luminous! hour and minute hand, too dense - like wearing a platinum ingot, and the plat seems to scratch pretty easily, my mates piece was pretty badly scratched from shirt cuffs. my fpj plat is in much better shape)

and we come to the last piece... the mac daddy... the beast... the hockey puck... huh??!
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before we check out the rest of the better pics of it... 2 comparo shots with its granddaddy... yes it is a descendent of the submariner... kids these days are getting bigger and its not for the better
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but it does look pretty fine in photos (not praising my photo taking yuh, i was just surprised how fine it looked in pics is all) ;)
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Thursday, 21 May 2009

falling secondary market prices...

while not saying all watch prices are falling in this current market, (which isn't true, have u seen the huge amounts of $$$ the rare/super rare Pateks are going for at auction during these times!!??! gravity defying stuff...) in general, many watches in the sub us$50k range are dropping in price based on my view of the secondary market.

surprisingly, Rolex, which is many a times touted to be as good as currency, is taking a big hit with some pieces falling from premiums to list to discounts on list, which is a lot of change. an example would be the milgauss gv which i once owned... why is this so?

falling prices on the gv... can be had new for less than S$10k
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markets came a tumblin down


of course everyone knows of the sub-prime crises and the ensuing financial meltdown resulting in big names dissapearing and some losing their former lustre. but other than financial markets, the luxury watch market took a big hit as well. supply is increasing and demand and buying sentiment in general has fallen for most. some watches that were easier to move in the past sat in shelves and counters or in owners watchboxes as they tried to get sold but there were few takers and many bargain hunters low-balling on prices... (a lowballer in case u didn't know is someone who asks to buy your watch at 10k when you have advertised it for 15k. they are totally not worth wasting your time to reply in an email. but many try their luck of course :)

as the stock markets seem to have such a huge impact on watch prices, as and when there are bear market rallies or even some signs of hope of recovery, people seem to flock back and buy the pieces that they have been eyeing awhile. made a little money on the capital markets and rewarding themselves with a fine timepiece. nice ;)

AP Royal Oak Offshore prices vary a lot and price movements are dependent on popularity of piece to piece...
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so what to make of all of this?
and whats the right way about it?

the thing is, unless the watch is worn by some super duper dude or lady, or its some super complicated or super rare Patek, don't be looking to acquire fine timepieces as investments. don't set the expectation that the price on a piece you acquire is gonna go up and you won't get dissapointed.

buy the watch coz u love the watch... because it speaks to you... it sings to you... and you can't put it back in its case, u want it on your wrist. you enjoy its beauty, its concept, the integrity of the watch maker or house selling it. the art of it all... everyone has different tastes and motivations for their purchases and the good thing is that there is a huge variety out there to satisfy most.


vianney's pieces sadly don't seem to do so well on the secondary market... but i believe its because it sells at quite a premium at the authorised dealer...
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so sharing some simple pointers that work for me

- cash is king in these times so store up your bullets i.e. cash, for special targets and wait for them to pop up at good prices.
- don't impulse buy (if u still are doing so) spend just that bit more time researching, experiencing the piece and consider your purchase more (especially bigger ticket items).. go for fewer but more quality pieces.
- some watches are art and as with art prices... if they are exceptional or exclusive pieces, and the integrity of the artists'/houses' work stands strong, then prices should hopefully not dip too much. but there is no guarantee... a watch is worth how much one is willing to pay for it...

buying what you love should not be a losing proposition of course and i hope what advice i have is of help towards that end. enjoy your watches in good health :) cheers, raph


the arctic freak on cool white strap ;) folks still looking for this one so it should maintain at a certain price point
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prices on vintage rolexes have come down too...
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