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I'm planning to reduce my collection down and pick up a single watch that I plan to wear for as long as it suites me, hopefully for at least a year or two. However, this will be the most I've so far spent on a luxury watch since I've started collecting about two years ago starting with my humble but missed Omega Speedmaster Reduced.

My tastes mostly lean IWCs, I've owned a few of those and some Omegas. I'm looking for something sporty but with a long tradition and name. I like the fact that Blancpain has so much history and the specific watch I'm looking at, the Fifty Fathoms pretty much invented what we know today as the modern dive watch. I do like that they can lay a claim to the oldest watch company today although it is not an uninterrupted history like Vacheron and Constantin who can probably lay claim to being the oldest.

I like the styling of all of them greatly although aesthetically I probably find the order VC, AP, FF. But this is like asking which of your beautiful children is more beautiful, to my eyes they are all modern classics.

I like the movement the most in the Blancpain because it's the closest claim to being in house and it has a spectacular power reserve as well as a reputation for being very robust and hardy. The case also has a display back which I enjoy and since it is DLC with a sapphire bezel and crystal, it should be almost wear proof save dings.

I believe the Piguet 1185 powers both the VC and the AP. I imagine the VC is more modified from the standard as they have a big date? What does AP or VC do to the movements they receive from Piguet if anything?

I feel in terms of reputation, the AP has a greater reputation in the US, VC seems to be mostly unknown here except vaguely as one of the big three. Blancpain is probably the least in this debatable category.

Thoughts?

Anyways, the three watches I'm looking to purchase this month or next (not my photos):

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph:



Blancpain Fifty Fathoms "Dark Knight"



Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph

 

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My heart tells me BP, my head says if its the one watch, then the AP is probably the one I'd pick... (stainless steel bracelet vc Rubber on the VC) Slightly more versatile watch.
 

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my ranking is :
BP
VC
and a very far off AP (just my opinion as I dont feel warmed up to it compared to those masterpieces from the other two brands)
 

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From your list I would go with the ROC. I prefer the regular FF over the "Dark Knight" and IMO the most atractive feature on the Overseas is the bracelet.

The ROC is powered by the F. Piguet 1185, which is the thinnest integrated automatic column wheel chronograph movement to date. The movement is finished by AP and has a long track history. It´s also the base movement in a number of fine sport chronos, the VC Overseas and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Chrono included.

There is an interesting article about the FP1185 here:
http://www.timezone.com/library/horologium/horologium631672754676986923
 

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The Piguet chronograph movements (1185 & 1285) are the ones that constantly break in Omega Planet Ocean chronos if I remember correctly. For that reason alone I'd avoid them. I do like their 3 hand calibers though.
 

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The Piguet chronograph movements (1185 & 1285) are the ones that constantly break in Omega Planet Ocean chronos if I remember correctly. For that reason alone I'd avoid them. I do like their 3 hand calibers though.
Omega caliber 3313 uses as a base movement the Piguet 1285, not the 1185. The 1285 it´s also the base movement for Omega calibers 3200, 3201 without a rotor, 3202, 3205, 3301, 3303, 3313 and 3603.

These are the movements inside the Speedy Broad Arrow, Double Eagle Chrono, Chronoscope, PO Chrono, Railmaster Chrono, AT Chrono, Seamaster Chrono and Speedy Co-Axial to name a few.

The 1285 and 1185 are two very different movements. For example the 1285 has 33 jewels and 1185 37 jewels. The 1285 has a bi-directional winding system and the 1185 doesn't. The 1285 has a height of 5.4mm and a diameter of 26.2 mm and the 1185 has a height of 5.5mm and a diameter of 25.6 mm. The 1185 has a beat rate of 21,600 and the 1285 of 28,800.

As far as I know, the Piaguet 1185 is not used as the base movement for any of Omega´s line up.
 

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As far as I know, the Piaguet 1185 is not used as the base movement for any of Omega´s line up.
I've never heard a bad thing or bad reputation about the 1185-- it's considered one of the finest chrono movements ever created. If it wasn't it wouldn't be so widely used by high end brands like AP, VC, Blancpain, and Cartier.
All the problems are with Omega's versions of the 1285-- and the problems persist, even though Omega claims to have addressed them. In fact, from what I've heard, Omega's move to convert the movements to co-axial versions has just made the problems worse.
 

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The VC is ugly. It depends on how big your wrist is and how big you like a watch. If you have a 7 inch+ wrist then maybe an FF if you like a big watch. If you dont then an AP. I think the FF has a beautiful design, its a shame the only size is 45mm.
 

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All superb pieces but my personal pick without a doubt would be the Fifty Fathoms. I'd prefer the SS over the DLC. Second choice would be the VC and last would be the AP. Seems like everyone has an AP now.. Regardsless I think anyone of these pieces would be an excellent choice. All these brands are top notch!!
 

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One of my 'Goal' watches is that VC, i'd place it at No1 (with bracelet though), then the AP then the BP.
As with most of these things it's purely personal, i'd get a bracelet on any watch, just my preference.
 
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