Sunday, 21 March 2010

the rise of the HM4... & other notable independent marvels at baselworld 2010

Max and a mutual friend ;)

posing with his MB&F rotor ;)

among the many different releases this year, i chanced upon a most interesting picture... spaceship? phaser? star cruiser? what was it?

say hello to the MB&F HM4 movement... it looks amazing and i am looking forward
to see what the final product will be like (what size it'll be and uhm... if it can teleport one thru time and space ;)

the horological machines are just amazing timepieces to have in our universe and i am definitely looking forward to the arrival of the HM4...

[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

roger smith and sir george daniels

outside of MB&F, other notables in independent releases would be george daniels and roger smiths watch. at a cool 142,000 GBP excluding VAT and with 35 pieces made, it will only be for a select few... i admire Sir George Daniels for what he has done and Roger has become so accomplished working for and with this horological great. i wouldn't want to say anything negative about this pairing and this work :) at 142k gbp though (gulp!), its out of reach for me thankfully so not a consideration at all for the raphmeister.

romain gaulthier also revealed a new watch that shows off more of the dial. while i found the piece unique he did in the past nice(see pic below), i found the one shown at the fair a bit too much. so for me showing more is less in this case.

2010 offering...

and what is nicer to my eyes...

for live shots of Thomas Prescher's pieces at Basel, do check out my earlier post on his wonderful timepieces here.

and some parting thoughts... the watch that is as cool and innovative as the old freak is... the new freak :)

i m interested to see the mcgonigle's time only piece tuscar when its done, theres only sketches out there i believe... the harry winston opus X looks pretty bad to me right now... but the winner of the worst pieces i have seen are from artya and romain jerome(multi-year winner for this category)... thats all for basel 2010 views for now. have a good Good Friday :)

cheers, raph

Friday, 19 March 2010

A look at AP SIHH 2010 Royal Oak Offshore Releases

AP was kind enough to host a bunch of collectors and customers recently and a cool local collector and enthusiast invited a bunch of mates down to ogle and grope some fine watches ;) [thanks to the fine boutique folks and J.S.] ok to the photos and my thoughts on the watches which i didn't think much of in the photos i had seen from SIHH...

ok i admit in the metal and carbon they aren't as bad as the pics i had seen... but... they aren't fantastic to me too... for the carbon piece, the light weightness doesn't do it for me... and i didn't like the pusher parts being a lighter color than the rest of the case... and all forged carbon = a big no for me... (same as the TA)

this one i thought was much better in the metal... the dial is not so loud as the middle portion is black and not red like the carbon piece and blue like the plat one. so it looks like the RB2Ti RG with red accents and that isn't a bad thing really... but is it enuff?

this was dissapointing... of course other than plat being too heavy to wear without getting a solid workout, the blue in the middle of the dial had a plasticky toy like look to it under certain lights... not buyable to me as a whole... so the RG for me amongst these 3 if i were forced to choose ;) haha

they all of course have one thing in common with the montoya and are now the 2nd line of watches in the ROO range with an open caseback... this one housing the AP in house calibre with modular chrono... its quite good that they have the whole racing grand prix theme running strong thru all design elements but overall its a thumbs down for this line for me...

there was a watch there though that caught the raphmeisters eye... ooohhh what do we have here?

you're looking pretty fine... trounces the old scuba range (sorry for owners of the old blue, red or orange scubas... and wempe too even though it does bear some resemblance to wempe it doesn't have wempe on the dial and that is a good thing)

[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

ok before we talk more about that very nice diver... here's some wristshots first... no...


hmm maybe... maybe not (sees the price tag... yowza... ok defintely not ;)

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!!!!!!!!!!! :) [even the price is sweet on this piece. list of S$22,900]

and so i leave the boutique with the thought of getting another watch... not the one below man... the one above this comment ;) i guess whats important though is that out of the 2010 ROO range, there is at least one that beckons to be bought and that is a good thing... other folks will want the Grand Prix and some will want the blingy one below, but i'll take the simple beater diver over them any day of the week and twice on sundays :)

as always i hope u enjoyed the post and have a great weekend ahead. cheers, raph

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

have i been asleep? hmm... baselworld is almost upon uson us...

there are of course a lot of crap brands that show off their wares at basel... when i say a lot.. I mean A LOT! but lets focus on the ones that will get some attention and those that got my attention...

so first off its from the hallowed house of Patek... finally putting their new inhouse chrono cal in a men's watch... say hello to PP5170

From the press kit "Eagerly anticipated by all watch enthusiasts, the new Patek Philippe chronograph Ref. 5170 is equipped with the brand new hand-wound CH 29-535 PS calibre, with a column-wheel and horizontal toothed-wheel coupling – a movement of classical design developed and manufactured from A to Z in the manufactory’s workshops. This blend of tradition and innovation, crowned by six patents, is presented in a yellow gold case, recalling the magnificent Patek Philippe wristwatch chronographs of the 1940’s. The Patek Philippe seal guarantees the technical, functional and aesthetic excellence of this new haute horlogerie flagship model."

following 2 pics from


and my thoughts are... its nice. of course will reserve final judgement till seen in the metal but for now... its nice. as i believe it may come with a fearsome price tag, the question would be is it nice enough to justify the price tag... i think i still want the 5070G over this too :) [additional note: i believe theres an old patek that has a similar-ish dial and i posted a pic of it before, just cant find the post now :) Found it... pic below... ]


& Rolex has come out with 2 new subs and an explorer with black out numerals. i am not so hot for the explorer line but its good that its upsized to 39mm... so just showing the subs. the awful green one 1st and the reasonable black one next...

its GMTIIc sized which means its still 40mm but its supercased with maxi indices... can be viewed as a good evolution i suppose... as i m no fan of the sub with date, i wonder if the no date sub will share the same fate... [based on current info, its still staying the same :) ]

the last of the 103s i believe... i think my fave rendition of it will be the one with the thing down the middle still... but these are still gorgeous :)


& for horological insane goodness... its the haldimann...

pure technical artistry no doubt but i m not sure if this one tells(or if one can read) the time... if it does its cool and if it doesn't... hmm

and the winner thus far... the one that has me reaching for my pocketbook... this one... (but it depends on the price of course :) tudor heritage chrono... monte carlo here i come.!!

more info... from official specs: The dial, available in either grey on black or black on gray, is further enhanced with stunning orange details and features 3-D applique rather than printed pentagonal-shaped hour markers and two counters. The 45-minute counter reiterates the counter of the 1970s, dictated by the very structure of its 7734 Valjoux movement and the need for optimal legibility. The thicker, wider, sleeker watch case of the TUDOR Heritage Chrono, once 40 mm and now 42 mm, is altogether in keeping with the dimensions of today’s chronographs. also comes with a black, grey and orange fabric strap, with a newly-developed vintage– and seat belt-inspired buckle. 45-minute totalizer at 9 o’clock. Small seconds hand at 3 o’clock


the one with grey dial and black sub dials is the winner of course :)

will share more when i see more. cheers, raph

Monday, 15 March 2010

OT: two excellent ads...

this ad has been around a bit but i only discovered it recently and thought it was too cool.. so first one is a print ad for panadol menstrual... real great stuff :)

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Singapore
Executive Creative Director: Todd McCracken
Creative Group Head / Art Director: Ashidiq Ghazali
Photographer: Groovy Studio
Retoucher: Procolor
Creative Group Head / Copywriter: Troy Lim

the next is probably one of the best car commercials ever impo(wif the limited number of car ads i have seen to boot ;) the music for it is sweeping and uplifting... most of the faces captured are chock-ful of character ... and most importantly it makes u believe in the magic of the three pointed star and makes u want to(or ease the hole burnt in your wallet when u) buy a mercedes benz ;)

there is a longer version of this out there but this is better as it has the essence of it... and there is of course the one that uses Janis Joplin's song 'Oh Lord won't u buy me a Mercedes Benz' but i think this 'Faithful' ad above tops that... i do like the Joplin song though and of course its plea ;) so here goes... "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends. Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends... so oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?"

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

lovin different expressions part ii the might luxury steel sports watch

some of the finest steel tool sports watches ever made (why do i say that, coz i own em man ;) haha

following on from the last post, i wanted to zoom in on one aspect first and that is the love of exclusivity & my take on it, which is... SET IT ASIDE some of the time :) not all of the time but some of the time. now if u were focused on exclusivity you would only buy and wear the rarest pieces... piece uniques and ultra limited editions with 100 pieces or less. these may cost a lot and of course no one might know them as they're sooo exclusive ;) now even if u don't mean to be showy, if u have a lets say >$100k watch strapped on u would appreciate some recognition at least from connoisseurs, enthusiasts and watch salespeople am i right? right right right [see 'groundhog day' for ned ryerson]

ok but back to my point... u dont have to be wearing your most exclusive watch(es) all of the time. collectors invariably will have different types of watches and will love different expressions that we simply have to have. so onto this post then which is about wearing watches that many others will own as well ;) and loving different expressions part II - the luxury steel sports watch in full effect... [to read part I click here]

first of all... why steel? its just the right metal for it. with new fangled materials u aren't sure if u're gonna smash it, break it, scratch it and not be able to fix it. eg. it might require you to replace the bezel or case and thats gonna cost. with pvd dlc black cased watch u will scratch off bits of the pvd over time and if u wisht to re-pvd/dlc it, it will be at a fair amount too. even titanium if dinged may be a problem. so stick with steel. ANY watch servicer can deal with polished and brushed surfaces of the steel watch. watches that can be worn hard are made of steel not some new material that if u dropped from 5 feet would shatter. golds or platinum are heavy and more pricey and don't fit the whole sports watch thing being overly flashy and non-tool-ish at all and if u ding them u are gonna be crying.

sports watch or pseudo sports watch - u aren't meant to do anything sporty with these yuh. just like u should be using a dive computer on dives and not a rose gold dive watch from any of the haute horlogerie houses. they are meant to have a sporty aesthetic and feel about them and thats it. some have the looks of dive watches but have miserable water resistance ratings of 30m (which means you shouldn't even be bringing em in the shower ;)

so what should they have at minimum? they should have robust movements... be durable, reliable and totally unafraid of being worn hard... from desk diving to dips in the pool or ocean, from boardrooms to war zones, outer space, lunar landings to panamanian jungles or used in fighting in built up areas... they shouldn't be too costly as they really are meant to be daily wearers. all the ones noted in this post can or could be obtained below S$10k (at one point in time at least).

a great movement in a great watch... cal 321... nouvelle lemania 2310 in the omega speedmaster... the first watch worn on the moon...

these then are [to me] some of the finest steel sports watches made that live up to this and deliver in spades...
  • vintage n modern no date submariner and gmt... the vintages 5513 and 1675 are 40+ years old and are going very strong. these watches were made to last. the modern no date 14060M is just a great first real watch.
  • the omega speedmaster moon watch... what more can be said. read this review i did. if it could survive all the torture tests thrown at it and be ultra reliable for moon missions, it is the benchmark. undervalued and should be priced higher in future. lemania 2310 calibre which is a great chrono cal. just ask patek ;)
  • the PAM000 base logo... the closest thing in the current lineup to the panerai logo of past, the 5218-201A. solid case back and a decent depth rating of 300m (corrected from 100m...DOH!). yes u can swim with it without worries :)
and drumroll please... INCOMING!!!
the latest addition to the collection...
the PAM232... Panerai Special edition with 1938 pieces made in 2006 and 40 pieces Out Of Range (OOR) made in 2009 [if i am not mistaken]

Why the 232 just makes a lot of sense and is Totally the Right Buy for a Panerai :) [well for me at least]

a hommage of the 3646 which was the first production Panerai did in 1938 and worn by the Xmas italian naval submersible units... its got all the DNA of that watch and the PAM21 (which is out there at asking prices of >US$200k!!??!! which is jus crazy)

its huge beautiful dial just brings a smile to my face when i look at it :) it must be love [note its on the original not so great strap that comes with the 232... over time it does take on a nicer patina though ;) ]

The 232 at most dealers is going for low S$11k to low S$12k depending on condition and whether the dealer is based in US, HK or Singapore. in 2006/7 when it was released to the market it could be had for low S$8k and some may have transacted below that. this then slow and steadily increased over time. in 07 it was goin for S$9k, in 08 it moved to high S$10k region and now in early 2010 its bout S$11-12k.

officine panerai... OP logo on crown in a great 47mm radiomir case

Some folks may be thinking why not go for a PAM210 and upgrade it to gold hands? well its a modification. not everyones comfortable with doing these mods as it makes the watch un-original, meaning it has changed from its actual form that it was sold by the manufacture or watch house. the 210 though retails for about US$3.5-4k and with the mod its just a bit more so u get a 45mm radiomir base with gold hands and sapphire back if thats what calls to u for less than half of what the 232 goes for now. but it ain't strictly original u know...

a good balance between them... one sandwich dial, one painted dial... one radiomir case, one luminor case... one tobacco dial with gold hands, one black dial with black hands... both bases... both closed backs with decent depth ratings... both with A LOT of brand DNA going for them...

yes u can even read watch books, magazines and panerai catalogues by the light of their lume ;)

to conclude... these watches are bombproof (not literally yuh so dun blow them up with c4 or somethin but u know what i'm getting at, well at least i hope u do :) ultra reliable and robust with decent depth ratings so u can lounge by the pool with them ;) if u need to rationalise your purchase and justify why u spent what u did on these babies, they certainly can do better than 'uhm they tell the time'... good looking STRONG watches that are highly versatile and go with work attire(shirts and suits) to weekend wear(jeans and berms) and all below S$10k list to boot. why don't u have one already? :) [last bit of course meant for those who don't hv a tool steel sports watch yet yuh and you don't have to restrict your selection to these. there are offerings from other brands under richemont or swatch group that may fit the bill for u. thats all then, signing out]

and one more of my raddy with new shoes baby... yeah baby yeah!! I love the smell of gator leather in the morning ;)

and a last group shot :) my steely lovelies...

cheers, raph

U want the TRUTH, U can't handle the TRUTH!!! ;)

sorry had to quote from Col Jessup there [if u don't get the reference, go watch 'A Few Good Men' the speech is a classic :) ] this post is about my perceptions & observations of the watch market in Singapore and on the notion of a willing buyer and a willing seller. It could apply to other watch markets as well but I won't choose to assume.

Some concepts to clear out of the way first.

FS prices = For Sale prices / asking prices. These are NOT transacted prices. they are just prices sellers ask. Same as you opening the classifieds and seeing folks ask for crazy amounts for properties, it works the same way for FS ads from both watch dealers to folks selling their own pieces.

To see some examples of FS prices go to these sites: Watchnet Luxury Time , Chrono24 , or Watch Forums with a Buy and Sell corner/marketplace... Timezone, Watchprosite, Watchuseek,, etc

Real transacted prices = what the price really is. the prices that are actually done for a specific piece in its specific condition. No one publishes this as when a FS post is closed, nobody reports as to what the final price was done at. Of course for some pieces its even more difficult to establish the real price as they don't pop up to the market often or rarely do. for those perhaps there is no choice but to look at auctions but even then the auction prices may not be true. But for some pieces, eg. more well traded Panerais, APs, Rolexes, Pateks etc, their market prices can be somewhat established by the range of FS or real transacted prices(if u can get this info from a dealer) setting aside those that fall out of a certain mean. i.e. you will hear someone make a good deal of selling a S$10k watch for S$12k (hey thats 20% more) but if its a one off case and the buyer was a SUCKER than its a question of whether you can find more of such suckers. if buyers bother to do their homework, the S$10k price should be it.

some BUYER categories:

(A) I'M RICH BEEYATCH - the kind that has money to burn and don't care about asking prices so much. they never or rarely ask for discounts and buy whatever they want to buy. For rarer pieces, they are also open to paying premiums. Whats real wealth if you don't flaunt it a little ay? Best egs i know of would be Chinese tourists in Singapore with loadsamoney (dun ask where it came from yuh ;) or our friends from neighbouring South East Asian countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia etc) and sometimes even to our other North Asian friends that make their way here. Bring on the pricey Pateks and the blingy bling.

[Side point: The Chinese Are COMING!!! Luxury goods is the game and China is rising in it. they have overtaken the US and now are behind Japan only. the wealthy there are spending loadsamoney on luxury products, some as gifts, some for personal use and uhm well i am sure theres a fair amount that go into luxury items coz of money laundering or tax evasion.
Based on the Hurun Report that looks at China's wealthy, out of 825,000 wealthy in China, 520k folks have between USD1.47 to 7.3mn, 165k folks have USD7.3 to 14.6mn and 14ok people have over USD14.6mn. now thats a lot of multi-millionaires but of course at the highest end they have a fair number of billionaires too. and of course again theres the undeclared rich folks :) ]

"i want some of these 5970s" overheard from a Chinese tourist with a BIG suitcase ;)

(B) Typical Singaporean Watch Buyer - the "best deal" mindset is in play here. any watch shop or dealer they go to they will try and press the price and see how much wiggle room there is. some will push a little harder and some will just stop at getting a little. Sales people can gauge this type of buyer of course and what tactics are needed to keep them satisfied without the shop making too little.

(C) The Passionate Idealistic Buyer (ie. dumba$$) - They believe watches should cost a certain amount based on their assessment of the value of the watch and it should command that price. eg. i look at Watch A and noting the level of innovation and technical creativity excellence that goes into it I price it at $X, where the real market price is $X-Y. Another watch its clearly art and should cost $Z but the market could be $Z-Y again. These are also influenced by list and Authorised dealer asking prices which are a reflection of real transacted prices but it could be because the buyers are all from Category A!! damn.

A note here I am a combi of B and C :) Sometimes get it right and sometimes being a dumba$$ on the assessment of pricing. I am pretty much familiar with some(note i said some and not all) Panerai and AP models but thats about it. Rolex is hard to call these days.

Onto the SELLERS... Some truths (in case u were blind to them :)

Watch dealers all of em, authorised or grey, are in it for the money. Some may say we wish to educate and enlighten, but its really saying that we hope you drink our kool aid and buy what we tell u to buy at the prices that we say it is. They aren't non-profit organisations and most or every event / every act is for one thing only, to get more revenues and profits. its not for love, its for money. some try to hide it some don't bother. some are better at hiding it than others.

Nothing wrong with this yes. If I went into business selling watches, I would want to profit from it as well and think up all means to do so. One of the oft used tactic is to keep them wanting more, keep em hungry (but not for too long lest they go for other prey). You want this watch? its not available. We're sold out. but let me know what u're looking for and i will see if i can get it for you. All this said while there are 10 pieces of that watch in the shop safe just as an eg. What they get then is some leverage on the relationship when they produce the watch to you and are willing to give you the best price they can offer. But this is just one eg. Do what needs to be done to sell the luxury watch. Assess the buyer, what sort is he and go in for the deal.

Of course there are some who are not so hungry and don't bother with these things at all. This is the price if you want it at this then fine, if not its ok. Some can hold stock without issue and some just want to do the turn. sell and move on. Sales people and branch managers have sales quotas too yuh and after they see you for a bit they probably start to see $ signs as to how much you contribute to their quotas or have potential to in the near or long term. The smart sales folks who are in it for the long haul look to establish long term relationships with local watch buyers, recognising that a person who is hot for watches will spend a certain amount of money on watches in a year and they would want them to keep coming back to them. nothing wrong at all in this as its their business.

integrity is important though so hopefully they know not to screw customers over on things like servicing costs. one can hope and pray :)

Authorised Dealers in Singapore for a fair number of luxury watch brands (note their sites aren't updated so regularly yuh): The Hour Glass , Sincere Fine Watches , Cortina
I have purchased watches from the first 2 but not Cortina so far. I have helped friends close deals for all 3.

View on grey market dealers

They are opportunists and theres nothing wrong with that. They look to profit from arbitrage opportunities where in one market, Market ABC, a commodity costs $11k and in another, Market XYZ, it costs $16k, they buy said commodity from Market ABC and sell it to someone looking for it in Market XYZ at $14k and make themselves and the buyer in market XYZ happy. Win win no? They could be buying from Authorised or grey market dealers or pre-owned pieces in Market ABC but often they will be selling to retail buyers in Market XYZ to make the most profit.

Some grey traders do play certain games though to boost market price of pieces. like using folks to post WTB ads or do supposed deals of watches on the net at certain prices to give the impression that the watch was done at that price. Just watch out for these and don't get suckered as much as possible yuh. [of course the opposite exists as well where some folks might want to try to push prices down by doing the opposite but these things rarely succeed.]

Hmm actually its kinda like Watch House A buying its own pieces at auction at inflated prices. After the auction is done and memory of who actually paid $X for it is faded, people will only remember that model went for $X. Sellers of that watch might only emphasise the amount paid and never mention that it was bought by Watch House A. Easy to burn folks who don't do any homework with this.

Another tactic is selling watches not as described. Eg. A used watch as new. A polished watch as non-polished, a serviced watch as unopened and LNIB etc.

Again although some get up to shenanigans, most of them are fine but its hard to vouch for anyone as your experience with them may differ from my experience with them. So while Person 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 had a good deal with them, Person 6, 7, 8 may have had a bad experience with them so it is tough to make any recommendations.

So to non-authorised dealers in Singapore [Note all this is information available online HERE or at or sales sections. I am just putting just a little bit of it on my site. I am not mentioning all in that web page here but those i have had some exposure to or had good or fair dealings with.]

With Websites(u can click on the links to see whats on offer):
  • watcharena - i have had reasonable deals done with them. Note i receive no benefit from saying so yuh. decent selection of AP, Rolex and some other interesting pieces as well, do check out the link. Have instalment plans with certain cards at extra % costs.
  • hobbylink/watchlink - more PAMs and AP focused with some Rolex and IWC and other makes. Have instalment plans with certain cards. 4% for 6 months instalment, 5% more for 12 months and 6% more for 24 months. Sam is a good guy to deal with.
  • ace-time - good range with high end AP and Pateks. have some really nice pateks from time to time. eg as of this posting they have a 5970P, 5070P, 5070R, 5960R, 5980(just sold), 5070J, 5712G, 5960P. Now if i had the $$$, it will be the 5970P or 5970G(when thats available again. and if u need a sporty patek, the 5980 or the 5712 will do u good ;)
  • heirloom gallery - specialises in vintage pieces. Shawn is tops in Singapore for vintage lovers. my cal 321 speedy which is a prized piece to me is from him.
  • passions - pretty wide selection. has instalment plans too.
  • jw watch - a noted repairer and servicer in singapore
Without Websites:
  • Kenneth Chen & Barry, Collectors Haven, 5 Balmoral Crescent (Inside VIP Hotel) Singapore 259895 Email: Tel: 68366789/98580988 - Deals with a range of watches and has a fair bit of PAMs and APs. Kenneth has been good to deal with for me personally and a good guy to speak with.
  • Horological Restoration Centre at Lucky Plaza #02-102 Tel: 68362179 - Diversified offering.
Without Websites & Panerai Focused
  • William Loi and Philip Loi Email: Philip Loi Tel: 96382438 - Only deals in new pieces from ADs and does not do pre-owned. Good dealing with them personally.
  • Time Will Tell, Richard and James, 35 Selegie Rd, #04-09 Parklane Shopping Mall, Tel: 63331608 - Call before u go down as their opening hours seem erratic.
The thing is you can get good deals from some of these folks. An example: lets look at richard mille timepieces. i do like the styling of many of their pieces but the prices are staggering. take the RM11 for eg. it is the hot watch for them with multi-color variants popping up. list prices for it in gold is above S$140k and in Titanium around S$130k if i'm not mistaken. at the boutique, i think you won't be getting much in way of discounts, maybe 10-15%. Authorised Dealers may start off with a 20% discount wif a little bit of wiggle room because the margins are so damn high. lets say for eg the best deal from them is 20%+5% its still above S$105k. the grey market guy is offering the same piece for high 70s in titanium and low 80s for gold. So for a gold RM11, you could make a 20k saving right off the bat. Thats one steel AP ROO there :)

a slightly more expensive RM11 variant...

& you can get burnt too... Example 1: You buy a watch from them and when you want to sell it back to them or trade with them for another piece, they will tell you that theres not much demand for this model anymore and they have so many of these type of pieces in the shop blah blah blah. so u can get screwed too with those who deal with pre-owned pieces. Example 2: when you pop into the shop, shop owner comments on what a great watch it is and how its doing so well on prices. next time when you come in to want to sell, they say this is the price I will take it in at which is a super crap price. sh!t happens.

Luxury... exclusivity...

For the watch brands to control this circus on pricing, they have to maintain supply at the right level. work together with their authorised dealers for the right balance. its luxury, so they have to work together to manage the products' exclusivity, manage the discount policies in place in different markets closely and ADs will need to inventorise effectively.

ok enough of that. this is all NOT what's important to folks who are passionate about horology and do genuinely love timepieces. this is just sharing of info and a view and you may disagree. End of day, I still hold by and recommend that u (1) buy what u love, wear what u buy and enjoy it. if for any reason you need to sell a piece u buy one day than at least know what u may be in for. (2) go into the purchase eyes open, dun do it for investment but know what it may cost you. other than servicing costs every X number of years(u determine X), theres the potential gain/loss (mostly loss or >90% of the time it will be a loss) on the secondary market if u have to move your watch one day [Eg. Sure by all means buy Watch X from XYZ company because you absolutely love it but do it knowing that you may lose more than 30-40% of what you really paid for it if you do wish to sell it right after you purchase it. if u buy pre-owned its not so bad a hit as compared with buying brand new though yuh], either for another watch u want or for a rainy day(which i hope never happens to anyone i know or u dear reader :)

thats it for now. let me know your thoughts if any. cheers, raph

highly exclusive but more importantly... real art in the watch world... skip over the bs for a change :)

Monday, 1 March 2010

one of the best Panerais is also one of the least costly ones...say hello to the PAM000

If you only knew the POWER OF THE BASE!!! the Panerai PAM 000 Base Logo... true to the heritage of pre-Vendome Panerai... the original logo 5218-201A...


[note: if some of the lines in this post look like they came from a somewhat popular intergalactic space opera(in a somewhat butchered form) , it may just be your imagination... these are not the droids u r looking for... ;)]

i find it interesting that one of the best pams in the current lineup is also one of the cheapest... list price for this is about S$6k which is still on the high side for a base eta unitas handwound movement but nothing compared to the rest in the stable that go for a lil or a lot more..with the same movement but different cases, dials, see thru casebacks etc.

if dealing with an ah-beng or ah lian in singapore for this reference, please call it "jee-lo jee-lo jee-lo" yuh ;) jus kiddin

now panerai has a workhouse utilitarian movement finished by machines to passable standards. its nothing to look at really so why bother having a see thru back? unitas and swan neck for those with open case back for many in the historic range like the 112, 111, 176, 177... no great shakes and while it may be a nice to have for some its really ok not to have it... the pams of old had them solid case backs as it should be... real divers watch for real men ;) just like the Base Logo ;) gives the watch a nice healthy heft :)

do not underestimate the power of the BASE!!! [closed case back... how it should be... there's nothing much to look at with the pam unitas anyway]

now the grail for a number of panerai owners is the 5218-201A going for US$30+k to 40+k(people can ask for it what they want, question is what is someone willing to pay) n the closest thing to it in the current lineup from panerai is the PAM 000 Base Logo Luminor... differences are the 'Panerai' word directly above the logo, superluminova instead of tritium, L Swiss Made L on the dial instead of nothing n dats it i tink... in terms of getting the essence of the panerais without paying an arm n a leg, the PAM000 just makes a whole lotta sense.

the one that costs an arm and a leg :)

'The Base is Strong with this one...' Officine Panerai logo... an O and P with arrows pointing to up and down to denote that they rule both the skies and the depths of murky waters... GRRRR!!! ok it is really coz they made equipment for air and sea as well as cool watches :) a lot of significance n something that ties it to its past... THE LOGO RULES! 'Search your know it to be true'

painted dial... both the sandwich n painted dials work for me. this one is nicely executed and i believe suits this model to a T... additionally the more i see it the more i prefer painted. the sandwich dials just don't pop like the painted do...

'Impressive... Most impressive'... distinctive luminor style case... 44mm... a reasonable size in todays big watch lovin world :) oh and no seconds too... serenity now ;)

brushed crown guard... the crown guard of which is a panerai invention n trademark so any other watch thats not a pam with it is a fake-o replica...

ease of changin straps means u can mix it up..sometimes going sporty, sometimes stylish, sometimes freaky :) 'You refer to the prophecy of The One, that will bring balance to the Collection. You believe it's this BASE?'

final note... the 000 is better to me than many other more expensive PAMs out there and it doesn't matter if i could afford a more expensive model, i would rather wear this than many in the pretty vast panerai catalogue... and thats the true power of the base :)

Some nuggets and advice to end off:

- authorised dealers typically get 2 to 3 pieces of PAM000 a year. customers can go on the wait list for these after putting deposits but they will have to wait till panerai delivers the pieces... the ADs will sell these at list which is around S$6k. non ADs will sell it for pretty close to this as well...

- Japan was and probably still is one of the hottest markets for panerai... (no relevance to the pam 000 but thought it was an interesting point of note :)

- PAMs secondary market values are pretty damn strong. eg. even though pieces like the 127, 217, 249 have softened a little, they are still way above their original lists and there are folks out there who got it at discounts to list or at list in the past. its a healthy profit for them if they wanted to flip these. yes even better than modern day Rolexes. SHOCK!

- if u r thinking of buying a replica for this DON'T!!! here's why... after owning this watch for a bit it will most likely either lose a lil bit of value (perhaps less than 10%) or hold its value through time as the list prices rise... so if wearing this for a certain number of years leaves u with a watch at about or slightly less value then its like wearin it for free in a way for that time. if u get a shitty rep, the best ones will cost u S$500 perhaps and it'll need fixes here or there and it may run like crap and it is totally a piece of crap. so end of day just get the gen ones ok :) pay a lil more for something thats right and thats real.

thats all for now. hope u enjoyed this short review & sharing on the PAM000 :)

cheers, raph

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