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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks --

Now that we seem to have settled the white-gold vs. platinum issue per my prior thread (conclusion: only difference is cost and slight color hue), I'm seeking help choosing my first high-end piece. My problem is nothing is quite perfect, and I don't really want to drop $20-40k+ on anything but perfection. Perhaps this group can help me identify an option I've overlooked, or shed some light on my concerns regarding the finalists here.

My criteria:
- Purpose: Mon-Thurs wear to the office (a hedge fund, usually jeans + dress shirt + chukka boots or fancy sneakers), Fri = fun/casual watch,
- 40mm max (7" wrist)
- Must have Date
- Preferably platinum, white gold okay
- Preferably (I think?) manually wound
- Prefer an "iconic" watch, to keep forever, to build my collection around
- Nothing too flashy (the Partners at my fund are relatively low key and I'm not out to win any pissing contests)
- I'm only 32, so appropriate for a young guy
- Ideally ~$20-30K gray-market/used, but $50K tops

My 10-20 year goal would be to have a collection of 7-11 watches, focused on 2-3 manufactures (Nomos + 1-2 others).

Choosing a brand: I have always loved Lange and more recently JP Journe. I'm of German heritage, and like the idea of building a primarily German watch collection, and love the Lange finishing. More recently I've been smitten with Journe watches, as I feel like their design sort of mirrors my rather eccentric personality and Dali (my favorite artist). But I'm really torn here. I have an aversion to Rolex and Patek.

Top Contenders (in rough order of preference):
-- Lange 1 Daymatic Blue Dial: I strongly prefer the inverted dial placement (for easy reading at a glance under cuff), but I'm put off by the automatic winding. It just feels "wrong" for my first high-end watch. But maybe I could be talked into it being grab-go convenient? I'm leaning to the new blue dial version, but wish it were in a platinum case and buying new means I'll take a depreciation hit. I don't really like the platinum version, not enough contract between hands/dial, though it's a contender.
-- Datograph (original): This is my grail. But at $50K used it's REALLY pushing the limits of financial sensibility and what I feel like I can get away with wearing at my net worth. Would I feel like a poser wearing it? It's also really chunky -- a tight fit under a cuff and the panda dial seems to attract more attention. But it's perfect. I love chronographs. But maybe my 2nd Lange for if/when I become a Managing Partner?
-- FP Journe Octa Lune: 40mm version is now special order only and 42mm is too big. Also automatic.
-- 1815 Annual Calendar: Something about the stigma of an annual calendar bothers me. Also white gold. Feels like a watch I'll flip in 3-5 years (when I outgrow the mid-term complication, but maybe that's okay). The date also isn't that legible at the end of the day. But it's just like the Porsche Boxster of high-end watches.
-- FP Journe Chronometre Bleu: Love it. Maybe my second favorite watch overall. But no date. I really want a date.
-- Lange 1815 Up/Down: Love it. But no date. Also not sure where this fits into a collection long term. With the Up/Down it's not quite a dress watch, and without the date it't not really a work watch. I almost think I'd prefer a Saxonia Thin here.
-- Zeitwerk: So bad-ass. I just love it immensely. But no date. Too big. Too flashy. Too Casual. My 3rd Lange?

Watches I think I've ruled out:
-- Saxonia Moonphase: Too formal looking, and the dial just looks to big/empty.
-- Saxonia Annual Calendar: Too formal. Old design.
-- Regular Lange 1: Left-hand offset dial just doesn't work for me.

Maybe another way to think about this is: I'd like one of the following two long-term grail collection. Where do I start given current requirements for a daily-wear piece:
If Lange (German driven collection): Saxonia Thin, Daymatic, Datograph, Zeitwerk
If FJP (eccentric driven): Chrono Bleu, Octa Lune, Tourbillon Souverain or Sonnerie Souverain....
 

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I vote the Lange 1 Daymatic. Between Journe and Lange it's tough to find the combo of things you want in your price range (i.e. date + manual) so this one seems like the best compromise to me. You can still pull the crown out and wind it anyway, right?


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Daymatic moonphase would be another option, it adds a bit of color to the dial which it needs

Blue daymatic is nice, just wish it came in rose gold!
 

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Have you had a chance to try all the watches on your list on yet? If you're planning on having this first purchase (ALS or FPJ) pretty much decide your collection going forward (and flipping halfway through to the other collection is out of the question), then I'd weight how much I felt about the manufacturers watches I want in aggregate. For instance, you may prefer Lange 1 Daymatic Blue dial to Octa Lune but if getting Lange 1 Daymatic Blue Dial necessitates not getting the FPJ CB then maybe get the octa lune instead. On the otherhand if getting the Octa Lune & CB means you're closing the door to a Datograph and that is your #1 watch then stick with ALS.

Personally I'd probably mix and match from the two, and get something like the CB or something to enjoy from FPJ until I felt comfortable getting the grail (datograph).
 

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I have to raise an eyebrow when someone talks of putting their eggs all in one or two baskets, so to speak.
A great looking watch is a great looking watch, irrespective of which brand name is written on the dial, so don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!
There is nothing wrong with Lange & Sohne or FP Journe, but I’d encourage you to look beyond place of manufacture or novelty value of non-centric rotors and dials, since you could save yourself a fortune by just going for one of the calibre Royal based Peguignet models.

In that regard, here’s a few brands and models you might also find compelling as well.

Chopard LUC Quattro
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/chopard/luc-quattro-8-day-power-reserve-platinum--id3112242.htm
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/chopard/luc-quattro-8-day-white-gold-198-mov-limited-1860-pcs---161863--id1893807.htm
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/chopard/luc-quattro-8-day-power-reserve-limited-edition-in-oro-bianco-18kt-ref-161863--id6310495.htm

Moser & Cie
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/hmosercie/monard-date-18k-white-gold-rhodie-dial--id6357580.htm
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/hmosercie/endeavour-big-date--id6802803.htm
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/hmosercie/monard-big-date-2011--id4133258.htm

Urban Jurgensen
https://www.chrono24.co.uk/urbanjuergensen/2340--id6919125.htm


But here’s a Lange you may not have been aware of – https://www.chrono24.co.uk/alangesoehne/112049--id6879779.htm
 

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Even if you could afford it, for your first foray into high end, I'd be wary of diving in with a high value piece.

You aim to acquire a collection in the coming years, so I think you should 'build up to' rather than 'build around', as that is going to be more fun. You wouldn't want to peak too early!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First, thanks all for advice so far. I’ll try to reply to each of you.

Also more context. My current collection includes the following (in order of wrist time): Nomos Tangente, Nomos Weltzeit Nachtblau, Breitling Chrono SuperOcean (white w/ blue subdials, college graduation gift, weekend watch), Sinn 556i on Nato (my beater), 1950s gold Universal Geneva (my grandfather’s watch), Zenith x Hodinkee El Primero LE (might sell to fund next purchase).

Even if you could afford it, for your first foray into high end, I'd be wary of diving in with a high value piece.

You aim to acquire a collection in the coming years, so I think you should 'build up to' rather than 'build around', as that is going to be more fun. You wouldn't want to peak too early!
Great Advice! I am indeed warry of diving right to my grail. I just don’t know how I feel about wearing a $50K piece that’s worth as much as my car just yet. And honestly, I probably shouldn’t be. I think spending $10K-$20K feels reasonable, $30K+ a stretch. I do worry, however, that ANYTHING other than the Datograph will leave me a little unsatisfied. And if so, why buy anything at all?

But there is wisdom here for sure – my tastes may change over time and as my interest/knowledge deepens, so wade in…. I made this mistake when I started collecting wine, buying too many high-value bottles while inexperienced, many of which I no longer have an interest in drinking.

Given the options I proposed, which do you suggest is the right place to start given gaps in existing collection? Daymatic seems like the winner here (and matches my specs), but $35K isn’t a drop in the bucket. 1815 Up/Down and Saxonia Thin could be good starter Langes and I could see a place in my collection for the FJP CB no matter what direction my collection goes, but lack of date makes them less ideal for daily wear. I hate pulling out my phone to check date and sometimes it’s not handy.

I have to raise an eyebrow when someone talks of putting their eggs all in one or two baskets, so to speak.
A great looking watch is a great looking watch, irrespective of which brand name is written on the dial, so don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!
I don't mean to imply that if, for example, I went Lange with this purchase I'd never buy an FPJ or Ferrier. All I'm saying is the way I think about collecting things is kind of OCD and I like to have representative samples of things. I like the idea of having 3 great watches from 3 great brands (ideally all with some theme) more than 9 random great watches.

Have you had a chance to try all the watches on your list on yet? If you're planning on having this first purchase (ALS or FPJ) pretty much decide your collection going forward (and flipping halfway through to the other collection is out of the question), then I'd weight how much I felt about the manufacturers watches I want in aggregate.

I’ve tried most of the watches on, except the Original Dato (what if I don’t like the fit, GASP~!). I tried the 41mm Up/Down Dato in RG and liked fit, though it was a bit bulky. I also haven’t tried the 40mm Octa Lune, only the 42mm which was definitely too big. Others I’ve tried, though sometimes in yellow not white metal.

In terms of other brands, and some of the other brands suggested. I’d like to stick to something that’s truly haut hortologie (so no Heurer, etc.). I’m kind of undecided on going more niche/indy than FPJ. I really like some of the Laurent Ferrier (especially the Regulator) and some of the Urban Jurgensen’s, but I worry about long term serviceability, etc. Though having an all “Indy” collection would be kind of cool, as a theme.... just not sure I’m there yet.
 

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Hi Wintershade, just a note. The FPJ Octa Lune (off-center hour and minutes), the Octa Automatique Lune (central hours and minutes) and the Octa divine (another dial with central hours and minutes) are all standard at 40mm and 42mm. They may be out-of-stock at a given boutique, but none of them are special order only, unless a bespoke dial is ordered.
 

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Have you considered the Patek 5227G? I think a great piece and checks most of your boxes except the German part and it's an auto. I think dresses up or down.
Good Luck with the hunt..
 

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That is quite a long list for someone spending an insane amount of money on a watch (not that I fault you, I'm working on one myself). You have the benefit of being able to try on practically any watch without leaving your own city, so I would go do that. I am planning a big purchase for my 40th birthday and I actually took a weekend and flew to NYC to try out watches I was interested in. I came back with a very short list of finalists (2), and have basically narrowed it down to the one I want. I have a few months to go so if I still love it more than anything else after waiting months, I'll know it's the one. Right now it seems like you are sort of throwing darts just because you know you want a fancy watch. Go try them on and find out what you LOVE and MUST HAVE. All the watches in your list can't possibly fit that profile.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That is quite a long list for someone spending an insane amount of money on a watch (not that I fault you, I'm working on one myself). You have the benefit of being able to try on practically any watch without leaving your own city, so I would go do that. I am planning a big purchase for my 40th birthday and I actually took a weekend and flew to NYC to try out watches I was interested in. I came back with a very short list of finalists (2), and have basically narrowed it down to the one I want. I have a few months to go so if I still love it more than anything else after waiting months, I'll know it's the one. Right now it seems like you are sort of throwing darts just because you know you want a fancy watch. Go try them on and find out what you LOVE and MUST HAVE. All the watches in your list can't possibly fit that profile.
It?s a long list, but I love them all! Just not only one is perfect for my current needs :-/

But your idea is great. I have an upcoming trip to NYC for business. I?ll block off some time one afternoon and visit all the boutiques and go with my gut. Trying various pieces on here & there with weeks between makes it hard to compare.

Good luck with your decision as well sir.
 

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It?s a long list, but I love them all! Just not only one is perfect for my current needs :-/

But your idea is great. I have an upcoming trip to NYC for business. I?ll block off some time one afternoon and visit all the boutiques and go with my gut. Trying various pieces on here & there with weeks between makes it hard to compare.

Good luck with your decision as well sir.
You might find you will surprise yourself. I didn't expect the final two watches I settled on would even be on my list at all. And the ones I was so sure I would love, well, I just didn't love.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You might find you will surprise yourself. I didn't expect the final two watches I settled on would even be on my list at all. And the ones I was so sure I would love, well, I just didn't love.
You?re definitely right about that. I visited a couple ADs while in Chicago this weekend and found myself most drawn to the 1815 AC, which might now be in the lead. It really does a great job riding the line between sporty/dresssy and actually meets all my requirements. I think I can get past the ?poor man?s perpetual? BS, because let?s face it, Lange isn?t a poor man?s anything.

I was completely unable to tell difference between WG and Platinum except for weight. And I ruled out the Platinum Lange 1, it just looked to formal for some reason.

I won?t see the blue dial a blue dial Lange 1 until I visit NYC in Nov, but the AD suggested that blue might not be the best choice for my first Lange. He said in 5 years, will blue watches still be ?in?? Something to consider... I live blue, but what do you all think? Maybe go classic white or black for 1st, timeless Lange?
 

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Buy what you like – you might be dead in 5 years time, so dial colour is the least of your worries!
If you want to change it, you can sell the watch or ask Lange to exchange the dial (if they will) at the same time as it’s being serviced.
Even if brown becomes the new blue in 5 years time, there’ll still be people who’ll want the discontinued blue model instead, which’d work to your advantage!
As much as ADs sometimes try to play devil’s advocate, take what most say with a huge pinch of salt. This one is possibly trying to dissuade you from buying elsewhere because they have a model variant he hasn’t in stock or can’t access (Boutique only editions).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If going Lange and annual calendar, why not the Saxonia? The big date is far nicer than the (illegible) date on the 1815, IMHO. Just don't pay anywhere near retail for it.
I appreciate the suggestion and I haven?t yet seen Saxonia AC in person, but I?m partial to sportier dial, price, manual winding of 1815. Plus (even used on chrono24), the Saxonia AC in Plat used is close enough in price enough to the original Datograph that I?d probably just save for the iconic Dato instead. But I will try to find a Saxonia is AC before finalizing decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Buy what you like – you might be dead in 5 years time, so dial colour is the least of your worries!
...
As much as ADs sometimes try to play devil’s advocate, take what most say with a huge pinch of salt. This one is possibly trying to dissuade you from buying elsewhere because they have a model variant he hasn’t in stock or can’t access (Boutique only editions).
Both GREAT points. Thank you. I?m probably over thinking all of this.....
 

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Other option from me if you are ok to have a glance at it, the vintage zenith el primero espada far less tahn 20k but what a watch and very rare less than 5000 made
 
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