Questions for the WATCH Experts - Porsche Macan Forum
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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question Questions for the WATCH Experts

So there is this large thread about watches http://www.macanforum.com/forum/pors...ist-shots.html. This is common in about every pcar forum. Sooner or later someone starts talking about watches. Look at Christophorus that has many watch ads. Two questions for the aficionados or experts in this area.

I get the idea that watches are bling/jewelry, not really for keeping time anymore. After all, there must be a clock in event the cheapest car sold and in your house. And everyone has a clock on your phone and probably 99% of humanity has a phone. So they have to be "jewelry" or would seem so, a fashion statement of some kind, today. Not maybe three decades ago in the pre-digital age but today. Years ago, a clock in a car was a luxury option. Today, there are too many clocks.

A. First, a question on chronometers. Many years ago I got one when young. There was a reason for having it. Instead of carrying an additional clunky stop watch, suddenly there was an analog stop watch on the wrist along with the real clock on your wrist. This matters. I could go to a race track and actually time laps for the race cars in the race without holding a second watch. Today, this is replaced by the iPhone or similar, which is also a camera, video camera, iPod, and does about everything else one can think of, and does so with digital accuracy probably beyond anything mechanical. This makes chronometers as a tool obsolete.

So is it safe to say that Chronometers on a watch today is just bling? A fashion statement. Does anyone actually use them to do lap times anymore instead of something digital? For that matters, how many*people actually GO to races and watch them (but thats another subject).

B. Sizes? What's with the sizes? Recently I was watching QVC or one of those shopping channels and the watch sizes ... for WOMEN ... were insane. I think they were Invicta, which I know are mass produced watches and not the expensive stuff in the watch thread. Women's were like 38 or 40mm. What? At 40 mm, the were huge bigger than a woman's wrist. Mens were up to 52mm?

My wife today found an old watch she had she forgot she owned. It was 18mm. Petite. Fashionable as tiny. Probably hard to make and repair, analog, and manual winding. And today do women really wear 38mm watches? I know, I'm probably not "fashionable" but I just don't understand why anyone would want to wear a grandfather clock on their wrist? Am I old fashioned? Yeah probably. I'm not saying they are wrong in wearing these huge things but just trying to understand the reasoning why anyone would wear a monster on their wrist, male or female. Is it like to do wrist weight lifting?

Is it a fashion thing and in a couple of years they toss them into the trash and go back to buying smaller watches?
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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-10-2017, 08:32 PM
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I hear ya, @grim . But as someone whose reading vision is beginning to go away , I'm more than fine with 40mm women's watches. My grandmother's Hamilton, which is so thin as to nearly be a bracelet rather than a watch, is lovely but unreadable. The only thing more embarrassing than trying to sneak a look at the time during a boring meeting (on my wrist or anyone else's) is having to squint at the watch to see what it says! And as someone who likes positive click buttons, I like a true stopwatch a million times better than any phone's "stopwatch." But I too am old, and old fashioned.
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@grim I think you mean chronograph and not chronometer. A chronometer (in the case of Swiss chronometers) is a movement tested by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) with passing movements meeting standards for accuracy. I say movements becuase then don't test the cased up watches though many manufacturers do this as a separate step apart from the COSC.

A chronograph as you're referring to it is a watch with a stopwatch function and you're right, it's mostly on the watch for style. There are those among us who enjoy the mechanical aspect and will argue column wheels and cam actuation but few will use them to actually time an event. It's not really much different than someone buying a Turbo S and using it for their daily commute. They may appreciate the mechanics involved and the engineering and the car's ability but don't use it for that any of the time even though they could. At least that's the best analogy I can think of.

Sizing has gone crazy over the last number of years. Rolex's most traditional models, the Day-Date and the DateJust were 36mm for decades and have been upsized but only to 40 and 41mm respectively over the last decade or so. The DateJust was just rereleased in a new, smaller (really) 41mm size this year. Go figure. Rolex also upsized the SeaDweller. They were late to the party and subtle in their size gains. Other brands were less conservative but 42-44mm is still a common size range. There's nothing wrong with a 36mm DateJust on a man. I think that some of the popularity with upsizing is just due to the fact that women seem to have adopted men's watches for themselves after years of tiny watchfaces.

Remember, way back in the 50s, a man's watch was most often 33mm. Many men find the 36-40mm range the sweet spot with the dressier watches at the smaller end and the larger their "tool" or sports models.
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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 12:03 AM
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Hey grim,

Here's my 2c. I own two self winding mechanical watches (Oris Artix GT and Hamilton Khaki Titanium) as well as an older quartz watch (Tag Heuer Kirium)

Chronometers

So in chronos, AFAIK there is the highest level of accuracy in a mechanical watch which is a "chronometer certified" watch. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certified_chronometer

Looking at watches more broadly than just chronos, three watches in general sorted from least accurate to most accurate:

1. Mechanical (I believe this is interchangeable with "automatic" and this is where chronometers would also fall under)
2. Quartz analogue
3. Smart watches (which would periodically poll with atomic time so it's always accurate)

I assume quartz digital have identical performance as their analogue counterparts.

Size

I'm a guy and I prefer ~42mm (no bezel) and ~44mm (with bezel) watches.

Two of the most recognisable watches are the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Speedmaster and are both smaller than 44mm so it really is a matter of taste.

There are some more fashion orientated watches like TW Steel and Fossil which make huge ones.

I personally buy mid-level mechanical watches for the look. They are more hassle than a quartz watch and less accurate but I like the engineering that goes into something that can run "forever".

I am a bit of an anti-snob when it comes to watches as I think both in-house movements and a large number of complications, both of which raise the price of watches are a deterrent - not a selling point. I would rather have a well engineered ETA movement (owned by Swatch Group) that has performed proficiently in thousands of watches over the years.
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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 02:00 AM
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Hi Grim,

I don't hold myself as a watch expert but have a pretty good watch collection and have bought and sold watches for the last 20 years. Another passion like my Porsches
A chronograph will usually display hours, minutes, and seconds and is used as a stopwatch. I use the chronograph to keep track of parking meter time or road trips for elapsed time. One trick I came up with is the use of the seconds hand as a date indicator. This hand usually sits at the 12 o'clock position on the watch. If a watch doesn't have a date display, you can start the chronograph function and let the sweeping second hand start going around the watch dial. Stop the seconds hand at the number on the dial that corresponds with the day of the month. For example, if it is the 14th of the month, stop the second hand on the 14th minute marker on the dial. You can now look at your watch and see the time as well as the date. If you wear the watch the next day, just start the chronograph again for 1 second and stop the seconds hand. Now your watch shows the 15th as the date.

As far as size goes, it is very subjective. I think the best size for a mens watch is 40-42mm. I have other bigger watches but they aren't as comfortable as the 40mm.
Some people with small wrists can't wear the bigger watches. Just my 2 cents...
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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 07:13 AM
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A watch can be jewelry (bling) as well as a highly accurate timepiece. Size matters on what looks good TO YOU as well as how big your wrist is. There are 140# guys & 220# guys
A fine mechanical watch such as Rolex, Omega will not be near as accurate as a $10 Quartz Timex. (The cheap Timex probably won't last though) I think Quartz watches are accurate to ~ 15 sec/month. Mechanical watches can gain or lose several seconds per DAY. Yes, even if it cost you 10K!

You may not be aware of High Accuracy Quartz watches (HAQ) These are accurate to ~ 10 seconds per YEAR.

I have a Certina HAQ Chronograph & Chronometer watch. I used it to check the accuracy of my Macan speedometer at various speeds. There are some watches that get a radio signal from the Atomic clock & will remain extremely accurate & should never require adjustment.
(If accurate time is important to you... & it is not important to everyone, one of these small desk clocks that get the Atomic clock signal daily can be purchased for ~ $20)

Watchuseek, The Most Visited Watch Forum Site ... In The World
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https://www.walmart.com/c/kp/atomic-clocks


Here's another use for the chronograph function:
begins @ ~ 1:10
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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosmoss View Post
@grim I think you mean chronograph and not chronometer. A chronometer (in the case of Swiss chronometers) is a movement tested by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) with passing movements meeting standards for accuracy. I say movements becuase then don't test the cased up watches though many manufacturers do this as a separate step apart from the COSC.

A chronograph as you're referring to it is a watch with a stopwatch function and you're right, it's mostly on the watch for style. There are those among us who enjoy the mechanical aspect and will argue column wheels and cam actuation but few will use them to actually time an event. It's not really much different than someone buying a Turbo S and using it for their daily commute. They may appreciate the mechanics involved and the engineering and the car's ability but don't use it for that any of the time even though they could. At least that's the best analogy I can think of.

Sizing has gone crazy over the last number of years. Rolex's most traditional models, the Day-Date and the DateJust were 36mm for decades and have been upsized but only to 40 and 41mm respectively over the last decade or so. The DateJust was just rereleased in a new, smaller (really) 41mm size this year. Go figure. Rolex also upsized the SeaDweller. They were late to the party and subtle in their size gains. Other brands were less conservative but 42-44mm is still a common size range. There's nothing wrong with a 36mm DateJust on a man. I think that some of the popularity with upsizing is just due to the fact that women seem to have adopted men's watches for themselves after years of tiny watchfaces.

Remember, way back in the 50s, a man's watch was most often 33mm. Many men find the 36-40mm range the sweet spot with the dressier watches at the smaller end and the larger their "tool" or sports models.
I'm with you, I despise the chunky oversided watches that have been trendy in recent years. No thanks. That and I hate the squared edges on a lot of them as that's rough on clothing fabrics, like pockets. I'm 6'3" and not skinny. So it's not a proportion issue. I've seen skinny guys with boat-anchor sized Breitlings and I just have to think it's a "compensating for something" issue.

My daily wear is a Chopard mille miglia that's about 38mm. The only downside is it has the brushed stainless face and it's sometimes a little tricky making out the time with the white hands. Truth be told I never use the chronometer functions.
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Thank you all for responding. So, yes, sorry. I said chronometer and meant chronograph, the watch face with the multiple dials. As discussed, I see no real purpose for them anymore. Even in the youtube clip provided by @iconoclast , that's not analog. Its a digital watch. He could have used his iPhone. The day "everyone" had a smartphone in their pocket or purse became the day an analog chronograph became obsolete. So, its for fashion today. That's fine. People buy stuff for fashion reasons all the time rather than for functional reasons.

@997TTurbo good trick on use of the chronograph.

@iconoclast . I know the accuracy is not an issue. Who really cares if something is a few second off in "real life" nobody, yet accuracy is an advertising selling point.

About watch face size:

@Tim Griffin it really is a matter of taste. I've reached that conclusion too

@Rosmoss - good explanation on the growth of watch face size. Easy to follow. Thanks

@Louie Zoi - My grandmother's Hamilton, which is so thin as to nearly be a bracelet rather than a watch, is lovely but unreadable. Agreed. The watch my wife found looks more like a bracelet and I think that is exactly the goal. I think they strived to get them small intentionally. Then again, I could never read it nor have to. SHE has to read it

@wkearney99 I hate the squared edges on a lot of them Not only that but if something is clunky and raised to high, it catches on everything if you have been wearing something thinner.

Obviously, for men, the face size has a purpose. If its for business attire and has to be a bit more formal, some clunky large thing might be out of place. OTH, if you are actually scuba diving, you want some huge thing you can easily see. I know some people buy diving watches and will never be in the water but that's their idea of style and its their money.

But for the women, I just don't get it. Today I saw a woman outside with a MASSIVE watch face sticking out larger than the sides of her wrist in some glowing color. Her choice. I think its just looks stupid but she doesn't have to impress me. I also saw, late last night on tv, an advertising for 5 of very large dials for women in different colors for the remarkable price of like $12 each bundled so it was like around $60. A different color depending upon your outfit. I think maybe as time goes on the trend will reverse itself and the fashion will go back to a more timeless size that never goes out of style. What's "in" today will be "out" tomorrow.

In the meantime, I just think a large face watch on a lady's wrist, maybe fashionable today, will become a thing of the past in the future.
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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 10:31 AM
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@grim that is a very interesting topic and it is something that I have always wondered about.
I am an engineer and apply that philosophy to most aspects of my life. There are three components of my tenet;
1) What is the Objective?
2) Question everything
3) Does it make sense

So for me I have a stainless steel Casio G-Shock Digital watch that I have had for about 10 years. It is still perfectly accurate with a large digital display with several different timing/alarm capabilities. It is a watch and it tells the correct time.

That is also the reason that I bought a Macan. It is a well engineered multi-functional vehicle that can be used in most all situations.
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My daily wear watch is a 2005 vintage Omega Seamaster Professional Co-axial Chronometer, good to 2000 ft. AKA the Daniel Craig Bond watch. It is a COSC certified movement, is good to +/- 30 seconds a month (runs fast, which is easier to correct for). It's classy, not to big for my slim build and bulletproof. And it can be sold for a significant fraction of its original price unlike a Timex or Casio (if you are into collecting and care). Like all good mechanical matches, it should be serviced every 5 years to keep the seals and gears in good shape.
@grim , wear what you want. Like ties and suits, watch fashions go in cycles. If you have 3 or 4, you can always be in style. And if you are ever stranded on a deserted island, only solar powered or mechanical watches will ultimately continue to work. So there's that.
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