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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many people don't like that some watchmakers are using faux-patina coloured lume on their watches. Two prime examples of this are some of the new Omegas and Zenith Big Pilot watches.

The Seamaster 300:

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Product


Zenith Big Pilot GMT:

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Brown Fashion accessory


These are both watches I really like and would like to have in my collection. I'll probably never buy the Zenith because of its size, but the Seamaster 300 is the top contender for my next watch. The main argument some people make against faux-patina is that any watch with it is masquerading as a vintage watch. In other words: the watch is pretending to be something it is not. Cannot the same argument be used against vintage leather straps that are so popular these days? These straps are designed and worked in so they look old and vintage. Are these straps, too, then pretending to be something they are not? Unless I'm not looking hard enough I haven't heard of many people deriding the popularity of vintage leather straps.

A Vintage Leather Hodikee Strap:

Brown Strap Watch accessory Buckle Fashion accessory


A Vintage Leather Bulang and Sons strap:
Watch accessory Tan Strap Leather Belt


I personally have no problem with faux-patina and vintage leather straps. A recent Hodinkee article (I think it was about the new Speedmaster '57) said that the vintage coloured lume is just a colour choice that was discovered through vintage watch lume aging. It is just a colour that looks nice on a watch, so why not use it? I think this argument is a bit of a stretch, but it is also hard to argue against. The vintage lume colour just looks nice on a watch.

This whole vintage lume and vintage strap issue is very similar to another, more deeply ingrained, fashion trend: the popularity of denim jeans. Denim jeans were invented over 100 years ago and were intended to be and were worn as work pants. They were valued and worn because they were made of a tough fabric that could stand up to hard physical labour in factories, farms and mines. They were not a fashion item. Denim jeans were later appropriated by youth culture and the fashion industry to signify some sort of blue collar, working class, legitimacy. Today, they are one of the most popular piece of clothing. Most jeans today come in a distressed, worked-in, vintage-looking denim. This style is a legacy from denim jeans original, and intended use.

So I put this argument to you: If you do not like faux-patina, by the same token, you should not like vintage leather straps and denim jeans (even if they are not distressed, vintage denim). They are all essentially fashion items pretending to to be something they are not.
 

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I love that Seamaster too but it would look 100% better with white lume.

We are told over and over by marketing materials and our fellow WIS, who are essentially marketing materials themselves, that mechanical watches are supposed to last generations. That's why we're supposed to be eager to pay so much more for them than quartz.

So the lume is supposed to fade on its own over the course of our lives (spent sitting at keyboards and occasionally strolling down to wherever our lattes come from rather than fighting wars and taming the ocean depths like the characters our watches are meant to evoke). Making that lume "vintage" in the first place is an attack upon our suspension of disbelief.

To me it just means something is off about the whole thing. Either old watches aren't worth wearing, or new watches aren't going to last long enough to become vintage. Maybe it's just an admission that these are fashion accessories and not the trusty mechanical companions to our lives that they're sold as. Either way I can't get into it.
 

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I love that Seamaster too but it would look 100% better with white lume.
Interesting how tastes differ - I love that color on that Seamaster and it is a struggle to keep myself from walking into an AD and picking one up at the next opportunity.

I dont like fake wabi either for all the reasons enumerated above. But in this case, i dont see this as faux wabi/patina: I see it as a thematic shoutout to an older piece, and i am ok with it.
 

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At least to me, faux patina is a gimmick and overly contrived. Aesthetically, it looks off to me as well: a brand spanking new watch with shiny PCLs, but with an "aged" dial. If I wanted a vintage look, I'd get a vintage watch. I don't like distressed straps either, but at least these are a mere accessory so an owner has the choice of using them or not.
 

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So I put this argument to you: If you do not like faux-patina, by the same token, you should not like vintage leather straps and denim jeans (even if they are not distressed, vintage denim). They are all essentially fashion items pretending to to be something they are not.
I'm not a fan of faux patina, faux vintage, faux distressed anything for the very reason you suggested - they are pretending to be something they are not. Although I can appreciate the beauty in certain true vintage items, I am typically not interested in them if the are "faux".

That said, I probably wouldn't turn down the Omega merely because of the lume, as I like the rest of the watch, but would still prefer it to have new lume. The lume on the Zenith is awful and is a big turn off for me.

As for leather straps, there are finishes that are not intended to mimic vintage but are still rather rough looking. Rustic or rough finishes do not equal faux vintage, and I'd have no problem wearing rustic finished leather straps if it suited the style.

I find it curious that you suggest that I should not like any jeans, even if they are not distressed or vintage. I don't like faux vintage or intentionally distressed jeans, but why shouldn't I like regular jeans?
 

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I believe the issue is Superluminova will not yellow and age but stay the color it is when new "forever". Therefore, if someone wants a new watch and likes the aged look, the only way to get it is to buy a watch with the color of aged lume.
Fictional character Games


For this reason, "aged" luminova does not bother me much. I don't care for aged straps, however, particularly ones with prominent horizontal stitching near the lugs (which is very popular at the moment).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I love that Seamaster too but it would look 100% better with white lume.

We are told over and over by marketing materials and our fellow WIS, who are essentially marketing materials themselves, that mechanical watches are supposed to last generations. That's why we're supposed to be eager to pay so much more for them than quartz.

So the lume is supposed to fade on its own over the course of our lives (spent sitting at keyboards and occasionally strolling down to wherever our lattes come from rather than fighting wars and taming the ocean depths like the characters our watches are meant to evoke). Making that lume "vintage" in the first place is an attack upon our suspension of disbelief.

To me it just means something is off about the whole thing. Either old watches aren't worth wearing, or new watches aren't going to last long enough to become vintage. Maybe it's just an admission that these are fashion accessories and not the trusty mechanical companions to our lives that they're sold as. Either way I can't get into it.
I have often thought I would like to know what the new Seamaster 300 would look like with white lume. Anyone have any photoshop skills? This point also gets at one of my concerns in buying the Seamaster 300. Will the vintage trend go out of style and will I be left with a watch that looks awkwardly dated? This is a possibility, but I think I will be unlikely as vintage watches are every popular. It is still a risk to consider when buying and faux-tina watch.

I think you make some excellent points here, and suspension of disbelief is a big part of this hobby. For me, however, if suspension of disbelief allows me to buy a $7000 watch over a cheapie quartz, I think it will also allow me to buy a watch with faux-tina.

For me, one of the added appeals of faux-tina watches is that I'm in a place right now where I can't fully invest my time and money into vintage pieces. I live in one of the remotest and least populated places in the world. I live about 1,600km from the nearest watch dealer and there are no roads in or out of my community. There is no Fedex of UPS in my community, only the local post office, which I don't fully trust. I can't spend my weekends visiting shops and and looking for reputable watch makers to help care for vintage watches. When I'm on holidays in the summer, I want to pick up a nice piece that I know will function well for years and be covered by a warranty. I know most people aren't anywhere near my position, but there are people who share this sentiment towards watches.

My goal in starting this thread was not to convince people to go out and buy a faux-tina watch. Rather, there are some people who like to get a hate on for faux-tina (I am not suggesting that any comments above typify this), I would like to shift the discussion of faux-tina towards accepting of people liking different things.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I could live with the lume on the Omega. It doesn't look too bad at all, but IMH the Zenith is truly hideous. What were they thinking?
I read a review of this watch once, and the review commented that the shading in the lume looks terrible in person, I can believe that. Zenith does make some Big Pilots without the faux-patine lume.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I find it curious that you suggest that I should not like any jeans, even if they are not distressed or vintage. I don't like faux vintage or intentionally distressed jeans, but why shouldn't I like regular jeans?
Yeah, my point here wasn't as clear as it could have been. When Denim jean were appropriated by the fashion industry and youth culture, you could not buy distressed denim. Denim jeans were work clothes for men in hard labour jobs, not fashion. The fashion industry grabbed on to them, used them a them a signifier for working class and sold them as a fashion product (distressed and vintage looking denim came much later). This meant fashionable people started wearing jeans to say "look at me, i'm working class - just like the men who wear denim in factories, mines and on farm." In fact, these people were hippies and suburbanites who didn't really know what hard work was.

So when I buy a watch with faux-patina, I am aping at owning a vintage watch, when in fact, I don't.

The first people who wore jeans for fashion were doing the same, they were aping at being "working class," where real working class people didn't have the time or money to think about fashion. Denim jeans have been marketed to us for so long, that this history of them has been forgotten. However, there is a fakery behind them equal to faux-patina watches. In 20, 30, maybe 40 years all watches may have yellow-brown-ish markers on them and faux-tina origins of them will have been fogotten.
 

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The first people who wore jeans for fashion were doing the same, they were aping at being "working class," where real working class people didn't have the time or money to think about fashion. Denim jeans have been marketed to us for so long, that this history of them has been forgotten. However, there is a fakery behind them equal to faux-patina watches. In 20, 30, maybe 40 years all watches may have yellow-brown-ish markers on them and faux-tina origins of them will have been fogotten.
Assuming we're talking about regular jeans (and not distressed jeans which I agree has a certain fakeness to them) then I disgaree that jeans have a fakery behind them equal to faux-patina. Clothing styles borrow and evolve over time. Saying that regular jeans are fake is like saying that anyone outside of the upperclass that wears a tuxedo to a wedding or formal event is fake, or that wearing a trench coat (while not sitting in a WW I trench) is fake, or that a wearing cowboy boots outside of a ranch is fake, etc.

However I do largely agree with the rest of what you've written.
 

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I love faux patina, faux aged straps and denim. I think the look is fantastic.

My question is, what will faux aged watches look like when actually aged?


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Two Swiss watchmakers are sitting in a bar - one says "We found a gallon of old, spoiled Superluminova in the supply room. Accounting will kill me when they see this - they hate 'wastage'."

His buddy says "Hey, why not paint some dials with it and call it the 'Vintage' look. I'll even let you have some old, rangy looking collars from my Chihuahua you can use for straps.There are people who will buy anything if you market it right."

And a fad is born.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Assuming we're talking about regular jeans (and not distressed jeans which I agree has a certain fakeness to them) then I disgaree that jeans have a fakery behind them equal to faux-patina. Clothing styles borrow and evolve over time. Saying that regular jeans are fake is like saying that anyone outside of the upperclass that wears a tuxedo to a wedding or formal event is fake, or that wearing a trench coat (while not sitting in a WW I trench) is fake, or that a wearing cowboy boots outside of a ranch is fake, etc.

However I do largely agree with the rest of what you've written.
You're right, it just depends on how rigid we want to be on these issues. The spirit of my original post was that if you don't hate denim and and vintage leather straps you shouldn't hate faux-patina. Also, by the same logic you use above, watch fashion should be allowed to evolve and borrow as well, and faux-patina is just another iteration of watch fashion.

On a side note, I find your tuxedo comment quite interesting. My partner and I have decided that if we get officially married, we will not have a "traditional" wedding because they usually are so fake. We see it is a bunch of average people dressing up and acting all important for a day at a party that most people can't afford to put on. If we get married, we're just going to have people over to our house, ask everyone to dress casually and dress casually ourselves and do it with as little pomp or ceremony as possible.
 
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