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 Gérald 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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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Papa Palheta Review ... Coffee at Chye Seng Huat Hardware Shop ... What was that?

need... coffee...
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"What do I get for $10?" A cup of quality artisanal coffee at...
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Papa Palheta... for more info on the place click LINK 
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and uhm since this is a watch blog... let me correct the shot 
above... ahh that's better ;) Rolex to the rescue
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Kidding aside(for now), this will be a more pic heavy with short notes post on my virgin experience at papa palheta with some seasoned playas (read coffee connoisseurs) i must say special roasted artisan coffee is new for me as i am a kopi-c, teh halia (& an occasional latte lah) kind of guy so this was an interesting experience for me... let's brew on!

this all started with the innocent question'where can i get good coffee?' i was
then thrown in the boot of a car and whisked away to a hardware store... u
heard right... chye seng huat hardware store at 150 Tyrwhitt Road to be precise
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after being freed from my binds, i explored the grounds and chanced upon
some machines that looked to be used in the splitting of atoms... 
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or it could be for roasting coffee beans... ok, probably the latter :)
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but i was recovering from my concussion now and it was 
time to order... do i want bright, balanced or bold?
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and do i need anything sweet... lovely cakes & pastries 
crying out 'eat me! eat me!'
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and i decide on something from the menu... i've had a hankering for good 
pancakes for awhile now and these were excellent! fluffy and yummilicious... 
oh i can't go back to mcdonald's pancakes no more... u've ruined me papa
palheta! absolutely ruined me... oh that fluffy tasty goodness
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and for the coffee i went with Bright 'Nekisse'... Conversation with the barista
went sumthin like this -> R: How do you pronounce it? B: neh-kiss-say
R: Neck-kissing? B: [no words... probably just obsequiousness in taking
my order and amazement at my mastery of the African tongue :) ]
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i didn't get the fruity notes but more of the syrupy and jammy note probably because of the 
lovely syrup i had with the pancakes... ohhh pancakes... overall this style of coffee isn't really for me 
as i am not a kopi-o guy which this is essentially, a high end kopi-o :) i will try like their flat white or cold
 brew or somethin else the next time. we went down when it wasn't too packed and that was a good thing...
was nice and chill. saw some folks eating a breakfast plate with lovely scrambled eggs & 
that's what i'll be having next time i'm down coz... 'i'll be back' 
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sharing some shots i took around the premises... annex and the makan and drinks area is on the ground floor
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hmm what's upstairs? let's go check it out
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first there was the staircase proclamation... took time reading the staircase... 
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u've got the general co selling interesting items... an eclectic mix including some local 
artisan offerings like leather products LINK and even fragrances LINK
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and sphinxy darth vader! ooh the temptation is strong with this one...
damn it's close to $500..hmm these are not the sphinxys you are looking for 
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and these cool artsy plates. one with a Singapore hdb motif on it. almost got that set & may do so next time
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and some d-i-y tools on sale(hey it's a hardware shop after all no? :)... wait-a-moment!
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they also have c-platform which is used to do their classes in
and there are a fair number of them (if interested see LINK)
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overall it's a cool place for brunch or lunch and i had fun trying something new i.e. more atas/chi-chi coffee :) close your eyes n u r transported to the wild plains of Africa on drinking pure raw coffee brewed with barista love at just the right temperatures for everythin ;) kidding aside it was good fun and that's all there is to it really. happy holidays! cheers, raph


Huat Ah!

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

"A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, Every One! [ An End Year Roundup and Review of Swatch Sistem51 ]

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas... [Audemars Piguet Royal 
Oak 15202 Jumbo with Christmas lights in the background that the 
missus had put up sometime back]
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I end this year in a similar way to how i started 2014 LINK ... with a post with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Swatch Sistem 51 views and pics. I also reflect on a few simple truths as we approach the end of 2015... but first, Well wishes to you and yours for the New Year and a Merry Christmas(for Christians or people who celebrate it!) hmm what has changed? oh i am keeping a beard! :)


of course many other real and fictitious interesting(& non-interesting) people have beards 
too. the beard does not make one interesting of course but it's a breakaway from the norm and 
staid archetypes... i may not keep it for long(it's up in the air) but while i have it, i'm lovin' it
[don't ask why i had this collage done up] 
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ok enough of that and bloviating on some simple truths... 

(1) "don't believe the hype, it's a sequel"
actually even if it isn't a copy of a copy of a copy doesn't mean it's any good. lots of things out there are hyped up. from food, apparel, lifestyles, and watches of course, to sell sell sell. especially with marketing teams out there trying to create greater demand than supply for goods with inflated selling prices relative to their costs of production... we all just have to be more discerning i suppose, and separate the wheat from the chaff.

"I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of... wherever" fight club


(2) relate-tivity... Q. should i be 
(a) more relatable to the youth of today [keepin up with the kardashians and be a swiftie(who i absolutely adore ;) etc] or 
(b) maintain old skool references that people of my time will get (yippy kai yay... nothin?) or 
(c) drop references that people who know good(to me) stuff will know and appreciate [references to star wars, pulp fiction, godfather, princess bride, love in the time of cholera(the book), U2, radiohead, jimi hendrix etc etc etc(did u get yul brynner in the king and i on that last one? nevermind)] or 
(d) all of the above...
A. i'll try and go with (d) in some sorta way

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate... 
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, I shake it off, I shake it off ~ Ms Swift
[note: please do not shake too vigorously with a grand complication on your wrist yuh ;) ]

(3) "That's right, man. I like to read!" [James Franco justifying to Danny McBride why he still has certain type of magazines in his house in 'this is the end' :) ] 

well the reality seems to be that people are reading less. there is also less dialogue and meaningful engagement in an online, google and social media driven, virtual world. google to get what you want, hit the sites and youtube vids and that's normally enough. 


most folks want things simplified and easily absorb-able. hence the rise of short-form blogging platforms like instagram... a means of viewing an orgy of images of cool stuff, bacchanalia or whatever and driving marketers to create associations of their products with what is or who is cool to, once again, offer up their wares. 

"All the ways you wish you could be, that's me. I look like you wanna look... I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not" tyler durden ~ 
fight club


and uhm speaking of folks selling stuff, we come round to reviewing a watch i bought this year, the...
Swatch Sistem 51! First blogged in Jan with tech specs in that post here LINK and finally 
making it's way to my hands in October from the orchard gateway store which had a cool sistem51
 setup and all the range on offer in quantity
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Purchased and worn for more than 10 days on and off since then. Note this review is based on the piece i picked up and your results may vary as it is mass produced by the machine. [i just heard the terminator music in my head... te-teng teng teng-teng*2] 

Pros: 
+ Lotsa Power Reserve at 90 hours or 3.75 days
+ Low cost and low price ~ S$209 retail [i think if you get it at takashimaya during the sale and you are a taka card member you get a 10% off so that's a good deal]
Accuracy: High accuracy for my piece. looks to be less than 5 seconds plus or minus daily(see below timing challenge) which is excellent!
+ see thru case back and transparent rotor 
+ A good sized 42mm case and it's light because it's plastic fantastic!
+ They came out with 4 designs for the first release. This blue one is my fave and the red a close second. i hope for other models to come out. There are no issues reading time coz of the white dots at the hour mark on the bezel.

Day 1(16Dec): [fully wound - and in sync to the second as of 16Dec14 715am] and then worn for about 12 hours
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Day 2(17Dec): minus 4 seconds [checked at about the same time and worn for another 12 hours]
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Day 5(21Dec): swing to plus 4 seconds [ left in several random positions and picked up 
~84 hours since it was last worn] time stopped a couple of hours after

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open case back
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Cons & Other Thoughts: 
- Alignment is a bit off on my piece. i.e. at the 60min mark, the hour hand should be dead centre at the hour marker, let's say 12 o'clock... that doesn't happen for my piece and it points to somewhere behind the hour mark
- Hermetically sealed means it can't be serviced so within warranty, it's a replacement and out of warranty... it's to throw it away and buy a new one. I hope future ones won't be hermetically sealed so servicing is an option. With 51 parts it should be simple to service. This is the biggest con for me as it's not built to last even though it's a mechanical. 
- Not a con: Some folks commented on the noisiness of the rotor but i don't find that to be an issue at all on my piece when worn on my wrist in a typical low noise office environment. 
- Some of the bits on mine aren't in the best shape. see the movement pic below. 
- Swatch lugs and strap attachment design means you can't easily switch to other straps or nato etc. the strap it comes on is some silicon thing so may not last too long. 

alignment issue... hour hand not spot on in the centre at the 60min mark
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movement... a bit rough but it's kinda be expected at this price point but still...
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wrist shot... good sized and light and comfy
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a closeup of the dial... it's some constellation thing... i like it!
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so what am I supposed to get for my S$209? Innovation! First ever fully automated assembly of a 
mechanical movement • 51 components • 1 central screw • 90 hour power reserve • 100% Swiss made 
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Overall: It's a clear buy for me. Either in these current 4 models based on your preference or for the ones that may come in future(?). it's definitely a significant piece for swatch and should be owned by most cognoscenti and swatch lovers, a cool mix :)   

The only issue I have for mine is the hour hand alignment niggle and it's a question whether i should get it replaced coz of it. Note 3 out of 3 watches I saw in the shop all had this issue though and i took the one it was least pronounced in... hmm it should something that is checked for before sealing up these watches if not already part of the QC process.

and that's it. thanks for continuing to read the blog and hit me up on facebook and instagram @timetapestry if u haven't already :)  here's looking forward to a great 2015! cheers, raphael

press info on sistem 51 : 

Thirty years ago Swatch turned the watch world upside down. Today, Swatch Sistem51 presents a new point of view, sets new standards and celebrates the Swatch credo: simplify and innovate. Never before has simplicity been made so intriguing and surprising. 

Sistem51 is an automated (self-winding) mechanical movement made from 51 components – no more, no less – made possible by a simplified and more efficient design. Most mechanical movements have at least twice as many parts; some have more than 600! 51 is the magic number (and Swatch’s lucky number, too). 

Sistem51’s components are welded together to form a single assembly centred on a single screw. When Copernicus put the sun at the centre of the solar system, he changed the whole way we perceive and understand life. Sistem51 is a Copernican idea in contemporary terms! 

Sistem51 is a world first: it is the only mechanical movement ever made whose assembly is 100% automated. The high-tech escapement has no regulator; the rate is set at the factory with a laser, making the manual rate adjustments normally required by a mechanical watch unnecessary. The movement features a 90 hour power reserve. 

Sistem51’s movement is made entirely of ARCAP, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc with exceptional anti-magnetic qualities. And since all movement components are hermetically sealed within the case, no moisture, dust or foreign objects can interfere with its operation. The resulting inner peace guarantees the movement a long, serene life and enduring performance. 

Swatch Sistem51 offers one last surprise – transparency. A distinguishing feature of Swatch, the transparency of Sistem51 creates a unique look, distinct from any other Swatch. Automatic movements are driven by an oscillating rotor; the rotor in Sistem51 is a transparent disc that rotates in both directions around the central screw. This signature feature opens up fascinating views of the movement beneath it, a movement whose visible surfaces are printable. The design reaches beyond appearances to reveal the innovative depth of the watch itself. Finally, and this is no surprise, Sistem51 is 100% Swiss made – a guarantee of quality, end to end.


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