Referring to the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Vacheron Constantin Overseas (222)*, Robert-Jan Broer wrote,
“Why is it that some watches are just beloved by advanced watch collectors, and most other people mainly just hate them?…..These are watches which you don’t like at first glance; you have to grow into them. Your watch knowledge has to climb to a certain level before you’re able to see and evaluate the beauty and quality of these kind of watches.”(*All Genta designs by the way.)
I have to agree. I discussed this with Thomas Mao the founder of The PuristS last year, and I said that I, for one, really could not get on with the look of the Royal Oak, let alone the Offshore! He remarked that he’d “heard that a lot” and yet many who had said that had come to own one of the above watches in later life apparently having U-turned their earlier unenthusiastic aesthetic opinion.
As for me, I’ve never really liked the above watches and have to say I still don’t. Only perhaps less aggressively. Some angles and views do appeal (like with Angelica and Lauren). So that means I obviously have to conclude that I have not yet attained the required “level” to “see the beauty of these kind of watches!” But maybe I'm on my way....? Maybe they will grow on me, we shall see, but I wonder how many readers there are out there who share my aesthetic reticence towards these watches. I also honestly wonder how many worship the name on the dial more than the watch (see previous blog article!), or wear these having been programmed or led to aspire to them. It is fascinating to ponder the latter comment in light of an apparently loose lipped or perhaps unashamedly arrogant watch company CEO who said to Jaw of The PuristS, “We decide what is fashion. Consumers want and need the guidance from us.”
The Nautilus, Royal Oak and Overseas are clearly good designs I just don’t really like them personally. One thing is for sure, they are at least, balanced, striking and unique even if they don’t flick my switch and you only have to look at a derivative design like the Girard Perregaux Laureato (that looks like a toned down Royal Oak with a Nautilus bracelet) to realise they are something that is a good design even if you don’t like it. It is a similar case for the design perfection of the Jaeger LeCoultre RDM as opposed to the similar, but flawed (dare I say, hideous?) VC and Zenith 'RDM' efforts.
So maybe one day... Mmmmm that new Nautilus (3712/1a) is looking more attractive by the minute.
Click for a super hi res pic from AlbertoS and some more here by Suitbert Walter.