Friday, 27 May 2011

Tudor-rific! Tudor 2011 Novelties Dinner with Sincere

My Heritage Chrono with my dinner companions' Tudor watches from 2009 and 2011 collections... the Fast Rider Chrono and the Hydronaut II
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As you know, I love the Heritage Chrono Monte Carlo that my wife gave to me late last year for my birthday [for that post & review of the watch click here] so when the invite came in for dinner to check out the 2011 range, i wasn't gonna pass it up now was I :) before diving into the post then, my thanks to Tudor, who had their CEO Philippe Peverelli present and who was kind enough to let me play around with his working Tudor Advisor, & the wonderful hosts Sincere and Rolex & Tudor.

Mr Peverelli presenting the 2011 Novelties...
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Food for the event was from Graze and i really liked the salmon appetizer and the main i selected, the wagyu beef... the baby wagyu burgers served before the dinner were nice too :) the ambience was managed well, with dim lights for the speech/presentation by the CEOs and the meals and with them coming on stronger when the watches were shown round... all in all, a fine dinner event.

Folks listening to the intro by Sincere CEO Stephan Ritzmann
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most things were decked in black and red (the brand colors) that evening...
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As a whole i find that Tudor comes out with reasonably priced affordable watches and as it has strong ties with Rolex being owned by the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation there is some sense that it can maintain a certain strength and continuity in the market, and as it also shares the excellent Rolex Service Centre for servicing, you know that fixing/servicing for your Tudor will not be a problem for some time to come. [For those who do wish to pay increasing authorised service centre costs though, i would say nearly all watch servicers can oil/service the ETA movements commonly found in Tudors]

onto the 2011 lineup then... first up we have the new fast rider chrono in white dial and black sub-dials
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it comes too on a leather strap and a fabric nato style strap pictured below...
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shame that the sub-dials aren't in white and that the Tudor Geneve is on a light silver
plaque(?) and not just in white or silver print or embossed
on the dial...
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next up are the gran tours... the fly back with a seconds counter at 9 o'clock and a 'background motif reminscent of automobile transmission belts' as per the marketing materials :)
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& the gran tour chrono... which i find i appreciated more after seeing the picture of it below for this dial version... pretty good for an affordable sporty steel watch
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the one most was interested in for the night though was the advisor... taking its cues from the 1957 model, the advisor has an alarm & a power reserve for the alarm (seen at 3 o'clock) as an added complication. other brands with watches with alarms out there are the JLC (Memovoxes and others) and the Vulcain Crickets and others in their lineup...
this at below S$10k list is a worthwhile consideration if you have a hankering for an alarm watch and some folks i spoke to at the dinner event are keen on this feature and on acquiring this when its released in Q3...

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a simple, smart looking watch for sure with touches of red as with the brand colors
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the 1957 version which was quite slim as with most watches then
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the surprise for me though was how much i liked the ladies range in the metal... i would recommend all the folks with female partners or are female reading this and considering a nice watch purchase to have a look at these watches. they come in a variety of metals and dial and strap combinations... the rose motif in the centre turns for the running seconds and it has other nice design touches like the transparent cabochon on the crown with a rose within...

the Clair de Rose is a winner in my books and priced at S$2.7k list for the all steel pieces... of course one has to consider other factors with ladies watches and i think one of them is if its desirable to the party you wish to buy it for as they may weigh different factors more highly... they may prefer something from a more known brand for a bit more for example but i say this is a good option to have in the mix before making a choice

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i didn't get a good picture of it but i loved the grey, blue and white dials and the fabric strap with a nice design sewn into the fabric
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and than it was an end to a good evening... heading back i did not forget the
goodies at the door and i must say the goodie bag did contain some real goodies :)

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the coolest thing is a belt which is similar in design to my heritage chrono strap... i took out my heritage chrono strap considering to put it on the watch but its really quite a short strap and doesn't have enough length for me to go through the second keeper and do a loop back as how natos should be worn... they should look to sell longer versions of it...

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another thing that impressed was their baselworld presentation kit which looked like a tiny booklet but you open up to see just whats below... a tiny screen playing all the ads done for the new collection... and its rechargeable via usb... cool stuff... i am thinking of taking it apart soon of course ;)
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and that's that for now at least :) i hope you enjoyed the post. cheers, raph

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Cognitive Dissonance and the Luxury Watch Purchase

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"Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions.

Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying... Experience can clash with expectations, as, for example, with buyer's remorse following the purchase of an expensive item. In a state of dissonance, people may feel surprise, dread, guilt, anger, or embarrassment.

People are biased to think of their choices as correct, despite any contrary evidence."

~ Extracts from Wikipedia on cognitive dissonance

The thing is when it comes to luxury watches, people don't want to end up with a bad purchase or something that folks will say isn't all that good. So many trawl the net and may stumble on blogs or watch forums to see what is the view of watch nuts/supposed experts & connoisseurs/folks who may say they have unbiased views etc etc on the pieces they are looking to purchase... they don't want to fall into buyers remorse and a state of cognitive dissonance, rationalising and trying to love what they actually really regret spending that much dosh on...

[of course this could apply to any MAJOR decision that one makes and weighs up loads of pros and cons and arrives at a choice... if the choice is one that they later regret because of reality clashing against expectations than dissonance away :) noting that its generally not a comfortable state to be in]

A mate of mine made a comment recently which i still agree with ~ watch enthusiasts on the forums should be sharing about their (true) ownership experience of their watches. question is are they being truthful of their experience? they may have looked to resolve any dissonances they may have had since their purchase and now are in a state of justifying their purchase... and what better way to do that to than to justify to others. a person who owns a watch and writes a review about it would have come to terms to them making the right choice, coz how can we be wrong? :)

"Post-purchase rationalization is a common phenomenon which occurs after people who have invested significant time, money, or effort in something try to convince themselves that it must have been worth it. Many decisions are made emotionally, and so are often rationalized retrospectively in an attempt to justify the choice.

This rationalization is based on the principle of commitment and the psychological desire to stay consistent to that commitment. Some authorities would also consider this rationalization a manifestation of cognitive dissonance." ~ Wikipedia on Post-purchase rationalization...

but sharing on actual watch ownership experiences is much better on info to go with vs reviews/reports from folks 'seeing a watch for a short period of time and gushing about it' or worse 'seeing pictures and reading marketing bs about a watch (or some favorable review from a paid voice[either paid enough so that they're ok to say whatever the watch co wants them to say, or bribed with food and events/paid a little and dissonance occuring and them rationalising that the watch must really be quite good for them to accept that little bit of honey...]) and then speaking well of it'...

the real person's ownership experience matters. at the same time, this may vary from person to person as most watches are more or less unique to a degree. but if one is able to pool together a number of owner experiences than dissonances/biases may be lessened and it could possibly be accepted as a common reliable general experience one can expect to have. eg. majority of folks love their Rolex sports watches because they have proven to be reliable, accurate and robust. expectations are set...

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some people buy an expensive watch and realise that after they get it, their expectations aren't met... beautiful girls don't suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to throw themselves at u because you purchased & are wearing a brand XYZ watch... u do not suddenly become a connoisseur because you bought a seminal watch from an independent watchmaker. everyone(even the sales people at the upmarket boutiques) don't stop and comment on how your new watch looks amazing and must have been very expensive... uhm actually u get no comments on it at all from anyone except the wife who looks at it disapprovingly and a 'thats it?' expression... damn! but what was it u were lookin for? ;)

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1) sex sells - so u've seen watch events where beautiful ladies r pitching a watch to u or just wearing it... the whole lifestyle of fast cars, fine women, great food is presented to u together with your luxury watch purchase decision... yes, when you buy the watch, all you're gonna get is the watch yuh. the cars, the fancy meals, and the nice women don't come in the watch box or as invites stuck in the bag it comes with. a warranty card does though :) [well not for all but for most anyway]

2) there will always be someone to service it... its an heirloom piece, if theres no one to service it then is it meant to be a paper weight in future? well some watch companies do go bust, do get bought over and may not wish or maintain the know-how to service select movements in future, so what then? well u can go and find watch repairers who can do the job yourself but its a pain in'nit?

3) a lot of people say its great so it must be... of course seeing a watch for 30mins and owning it is completely different. so a watch or prototype that seems to work may not actually be so reliable especially if its something new and innovative and unproven... a couple of trips to the service centre later u may be kicking yourself for ever having paid what u did for it...

what should your expectations be then for a timepiece purchase? at the least i suppose u should expect that you are able to tell the time within a certain acceptable tolerance and that it should at least be reliable for 3-5 years before you have to send it in for servicing. n uhm that's it i suppose :)

enjoy your watches n life! l'chaim!


[note i have not experienced dissonance with any of the watches featured in the post as i've never owned them]

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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Off Topic: New Kicks... Boba Fetts

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adidas announced a collaboration with star wars in 2010 and since then they have come out with a number of designs for shoes and apparel. there were a lot of misses in my view and a lot that were just alrite.... but they did manage to get one of the releases right in my books... the zx800 boba fetts are the ultimate star wars fan boy/geek's adidas' :) well for this fan boy at least...

hmm boba said 'as you wish' twice to lord vader... u dun think he was pulling a princess bride on him yuh? ;) ok kidding aside, this mandalorian bounty hunter looks kickass
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Mandolarian symbol found on his chest plate...
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symbol givin big ups to a legendary Mandalorian combat master
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boba approves... and guards his new bounty

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the packaging for this rocks too... blister pack style...

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did i mention they are limited editions ;) that should get the watch collectors interested :)
another site with some good pix of these here hope u enjoyed the post :)

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


some of the rest of the series that was a bit... meh...

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