Velociphile's Journey into Watches

Adhoc stuff about wristwatches. The technology of horology, escapements and patents to the industry and the market. Try me in Japanese or Chinese

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Shill Hits the Fan

I'm very pleased the somewhat bizarre symbiotic relationship between auction houses and watch houses I reported two years ago has finally hit the mainstream media. But guess what, newsflash, it's not just Patek Philippe.

Speedmaster put me onto this article by the WallStreet Journal which has set alight a fire around many places. Enjoy.

A pox on your houses.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Re-Issue for 2008

Finally after months of speculation after years of lobbying and with the promise remaining unfulfilled by the intriguing new Diver range, JLC have finally announced that Polaris will be reissued for SIHH 2008. Here's hoping it wiil look something like the original.

I hope they've been listening and will produce a true homage piece for this cult watch.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Silk Purse - The Balonium Mag Bang Ver 2.0

Hublot have announced a new watch called the Mag Bang which continues their dull theme of apeing the Royal Oak albeit without nicely aligned bezel screws. It's a big fuss because apparently alloying magnesium and aluminium together is some kind of breakthrough which Hublot have achieved. I'm not going to repeat the tedious hyperbolic press release here.

Anyway rather than the fact that it's a poor R.O. copy, interestingly, Hublot have chosen to describe the movement (upper left) as 'in-house', thereby creating an uproar as it has opened up the can of worms that is the definition of 'in house'. Good luck to them. Eyes, over, wool, pull? Stupid think they we are?

We have been here before (at least twice). Take a look and you may be guilty of thinking the movement reminds you of the mundane but effective ETA 7750 (lower left drawing from ETA).

My view is simple. The predominating IP in this design is from outside (ETA/Valjoux). All the tricky side of it, the tolerancing, productionisation and so on was hard won by Valjoux a long time ago. Making it to drawing is easy peasy; simply substituting another material and upgrading with a few bushes and bits and bobs no great shakes. I have no evidence but would surmise Hublot still buy in the geartrain and possibly escapement from ETA. And, you can anglage and polish it till you can see your face (think Lemania 2310 in Patek 5070) but it doesn't change its genes and the fact that Hublot had NO part in creating the base clever, super cheap and effective tractor. However, admittedly, what they've done is at least one step - no let's be generous two steps - up from buying in a finished movement.

In the end, YOU pays your money and takes your choice. No thanks.

Thanks to Speedmaster putting me onto this one.
 


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