Weekly Love Affair.3

Lately I am in love with the Rolex GMT Master II Blue and Black bezel model (known as the “Batman”) and it took years to reach this point.

Rolex Batman

The reason is that my first love is the Rolex Submariner and for a long time I did not see enough difference in these two watches, but I laugh at myself now. Here is the Submariner:

Rolex Submariner

I laugh at myself because my initial reaction (“they are too similar, why would you want both?”) is probably “correct”, but with several more years gestation of a full-on watch obsession, I now appreciate the GMT for its now-clear uniqueness.

I am sure that that the Jedi mind-trick enacted by Rolex on fans of the brand has something to do with this. This mind-trick can be summarized by its two attack vectors:

(1) Unlike other brands, which release a steady stream of new models every year (whole new product lines and bold changes in core lines), Rolex changes very little from year to year.

(2) Unlike other brands, Rolex does not operate with an ethos of maximizing sales and profit, and as a result, it refuses to increase production of its sports watches (those mentioned in this blog post, and a few other models) despite multi-year waiting lists in certain cases.

If I walk into an authorized Rolex dealer this afternoon and ask to try on a Submariner or a Batman, I will be told “sorry, we don’t have any in the store and won’t for a while. Can we show you something else?”

At the same time, the list prices in such dealers stays fixed despite overwhelming, unmet demand.

This dynamic fuels a particularly absurd result: if a person does not want to wait months or years, he can buy the object from someone who already has it, but at a substantial premium to the standard “brand-new” price. Rolex itself should earn this premium, but it does not: when it supplies a watch to its dealer, the sale price is exactly as stated despite the secondary market’s urgent, premium price for the same item.

This year, Rolex announced a new bracelet for the Batman, shown here.

Rolex Batman Jubilee

There are other enhancements inside the movement as well, but as you can see, it’s still the same watch for all intents and purposes.

It has become a running joke that seeing one in the flesh is becoming less and less possible, and so we have the Internet to provide stimulation in the mean time.

Weekly Love Affair.3

Bell & Ross dials have always piqued my interest, though they are usually square in shape (a hallmark of the brand).

However, B&R has lately offered some round dial beauties and this chronograph is just amazing to look at — I really want it.

Bell & Ross

Note that many chronographs are too thick off of the wrist, but this appears to be more streamlined, which puts it dangerously close to the top of my wish list.

Bell & Ross side view

Weekly Love Affair.2

This just in from MeisterSinger — The Peter Henlein edition.

I love this watch, and only 15 are being made (image courtesy of monochrome-watches.com).

meistersinger-peter-henlien-edition

MeisterSinger is known for watches with only one hand that tells the time in five-minute increments around the dial (no seconds hand either).

Here is an example of one of my favorites of the brand:

meistersinger-day-date

In the Peter Henlein edition, the brand has added the effect of two hands in a creative and ingenious way — the inner ring of Roman numerals and a second accent on the meistersinger-peter-henlein-up-closecentral hand that points to the inner ring in order to indicate the hour.

And in order to attain COSC certification as an excellent time keeper, a seconds hand was also added, which I think is great because it provides the only continuous movement one can enjoy in a non-skeletonized watch.

I did not see information regarding the thickness of the watch (that is, how high off the wrist it wears), and I hope it is no more than 12 mm and preferably 10 mm. In any event, it immediately became the week’s love affair.

 

Weekly Love Affair.1

I saw this watch online today and it became This Week’s Love Affair for me (photos courtesy of http://www.watchesbysjx.com).

glashutte-skeletonized-2

 

It is the Glashütte Original Senator Moon Phase Skeletonized Edition and it hits hard on many of my favorite things:

  • Blue steel hands
  • Roman numerals
  • “Railroad track” for minutes
  • Skeletonized movement
  • Not just time only (moon phase is nice)
  • Mix of silver and gold

It also avoids a problem I have with other references by Glashutte, namely the more typical over-weighting (in my opinion) of the Glashutte logo. Here is another Glashutte dial so that you can see what I mean:

glashutte-big-logo

This logo in particular is like having a pebble in my shoe, and I don’t want to experience that every time I look at the watch face. The smallest design infraction (as measured by my own taste) is enough to cross a watch off of the wish list.

This makes me admire the leading watch brands in that they manage to please enough people with their designs to stay in business (though the digitization of time-keeping at the moment is certainly depressing the industry).

As is usual for high-end watches like this, the finishing on this particular movement is a delicious sight to behold:

glashutte-skeletonized-1

They don’t call fine watches “wearable art” for no reason.

I like skeletonize watches because it allows the wearer to see the movement while wearing the watch, and in this case the artwork is distinctive on both sides.

And so another watch makes it to the wish list…

glashutte-skeletonized-3