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Customer Discussions > Watches forum

For the sake of argument

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Showing 1-25 of 417 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 18, 2011, 7:35:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2011, 7:39:16 AM PDT
GRiM says:
I find myself missing our old arguments about things like whether a watch winder is necessary or whether MSRP conveys meaningful information. I'm not sure why I miss them since as I recall I lost both of those, but I do.

So I'd like to open a thread for silly horological arguments by the old f@rts. It is, of course, also open to all the young f@rts and new f@rts out there, as long as you are old at heart.

Some potential topics:

1. Is Swatch Group acting ethically in restricting wholesale distribution of its ETA movements? Is it acting wisely?

2. We have been shown that the Chinese can make high quality movements. Per Tony's post on the "Experts" thread, would it be unwise to rely on them to do so? In other words, is it unwise to use Sea-Gull as your source of movement supply? How much QC would you need to do? Is anyone familiar with Sea-Gull's business ethics?

3. To Rolex, or not to Rolex? Pros and cons of that most controversial of watch brands. (Well, maybe second most controversial.)

4. If that is not dead which can eternal lie and with strange eons even death may die, does Cthulhu wear a watch and if so, what brand?

5. Is it plausible, as Hitth suggests in the Invicta community, that the criticism of Invicta is a conspiracy by the Japanese to run them out of the market? I don't think this question is any sillier than the one immediately before it.

Nota bene: For those who were not privileged to witness the debates among the old f@rts, they were quite vigorous but were always characterized by personal respect for the other forum participants, even while the differences of opinion could be quite forceful. I would hope we'll maintain the same standard.

Posted on Jun 18, 2011, 8:00:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2011, 9:45:20 AM PDT
X says:



Get well soon, GRiM.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 8:47:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2011, 8:47:59 AM PDT
I spent fifteen minutes writing a reply and wound up with an error, so they say.

At first I did not believe that we needed a new forum. I stand corrected. This just might prove to be great fun.

For the sake of argument I contend that comparing Japan with China in terms of production is like mixing apples with oranges.

Japan's model arose after WWII and was based on the United States. To compete thay had to make quality goods at an attractive price, something that they soon excelled in. To overcome the inherent stigma associated with Japanese goods at the time this was imperative.

China does not use that model. They haven't needed to. First, they had a huge native population starving for goods, period. The incentive to upgrade was not there. Second, they found that many Western nations were willing to buy what they manufactured, quality be pretty much damned, because of their cheapness. Third, their stigma in many ways worked for them --- China, cheap, if it breaks we can always get another one.

If what Tony says is indicative of other Chinese made goods, wherein does this point to continual upgrading?

Let's face it, China has earned a monsterous trade advantage with their goods as is. American companies that take advantage of China's poor wages do not do it for their own product improvement.

The first thread was more indepth that this, but have to go play tennis. I'd be interested in what you and the others think about this, GRiM. Take care, bud. LP

Posted on Jun 18, 2011, 9:48:39 AM PDT
X says:
LP: "I spent fifteen minutes writing a reply and ended up with an error..."

I beat that: I spent fifteen seconds writing an error and ended up with a reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 11:07:59 AM PDT
GRiM says:
LP, that may be generally true, but I'm not sure it is specifically true in the case of the better Sea-Gull movements. Recall the article by Lysander I had previously cited in the "Experts" thread:

The Sea-Gull and Hangzhou movements weren't provided by Sea-Gull or Hangzhou for evaluation as far as I can tell (they seem to have been sourced from the Prometheus Watch Company, which is Portuguese and seems to use Swiss and Japanese movements). So they should represent what you would expect to receive in an average watch with those movements. And Lysander found that both movements were acceptable substitutes for the ETA 2824.

Could you run into the problem Tony cites where things are fine for a while, then you start getting garbage? Yes. So you would have to invest in enough QC to check the movements. But if you are pulling them out and breaking them down to (for example) engrave your name on the rotor and perhaps adjust the timing, it doesn't seem like there would be too much additional effort involved in verifying that the parts are built to specification. It would add cost compared to just having Sea-Gull OEM it for you, of course.

I agree that China has huge structural issues around the rule of law, environmental protection, intellectual property, human rights, etc., etc... I wouldn't invest there. But they do seem to be turning out acceptable watch movements, at least in some applications.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 11:15:08 AM PDT
GRiM says:
Come on, X, #4 was my best question.

At first I thought a Seiko perpetual kinetic was the obvious choice. If dead Cthulhu lies dreaming for all eternity until the stars align, he needs something with a huge power reserve and a perpetual calendar. Hopefully the occasional fitful twitching in his demonic slumber would keep the power reserve topped off.

Then it occurred to me that a Rolex Sea Dweller might make more sense. With the infinite resources of the inky void available to him, he should have a watch that demonstrates he's at the top of the Great Old One food chain... a watch that sets him apart from lesser evil gods like Hastur or Dagon or some other octopoid monstrosity.

But finally I concluded that the logical choice was Invicta:
1. Cthulhu's origin is unclear. The same is true of the average Invicta watch. Both probably come from somewhere horrible.
2. Cthulhu's size and shape appear to be mutable and not governed by the natural laws of our universe. The same is clearly true of Invicta's MSRP.
3. Cthulhu enters the minds of his prey by sending maddening suggestions in the night. While I don't think ShopNBC has yet found a way to insert their advertising directly into viewers' dreams, I'm sure they're working on it.
4. Cthulhu has been known to devour his worshippers. That seems to pretty closely resemble Invicta's customer service practices.

Posted on Jun 18, 2011, 12:17:40 PM PDT
X says:
GRiM: Your development of your fourth point is a true gem. Learning with humour: the best form thereof.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 3:43:28 PM PDT
Good stuff, GRiM (LOL)! Once Pascal reads this he'll know that auditors, while not particularly human, can be both witty and clever at times. LP

Posted on Jun 18, 2011, 7:10:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2011, 7:30:04 PM PDT
cactus says:
its old but a great read.
please know that this is just my informed(?) opinion. not to be taken offensively.
im gonna stand by my quality issues with china. there is just no reason for them to be good. their workers just want to eat, not be proud. in japan its unthinkable to build ANY product deemed substandard. the swiss? its about pride.. i wont tell you that china cant or dont, but in the long haul you are gonna see mucho middlebags. trust me , i weld on their pipe all of the time. its deplorable. what ive seen with china is decent build as far as tools and everything else but the horrible metals and other materials used. its all kind of like a mini-facade in everything of theirs that i touch. looks good, feels good, falls apart.
the problem with global economics is that it aint global. everything is fine until you have a problem and when you do its on your street. with a watch your dealing with a small machine whos main attribute is consistency. there is the root problem. you just wont see it. it reminds me of the ussr. they could do it but in the end there was no good reason to.
and sea-gull? aint that what we in michigan call "sky carp"?
pull out a 100 dollar seagull and its seiko counterpart. straight off the shelf at the store. before you pick one remember that your taking it on a long balloon ride with your buddy cyrus harding and you wont be around civilization for quite a while. which one will you take?
please know that im not knocking a country or anyones watch. im just wondering where the motivation would be for a consistently reliable product...and i just dont see it. i have also never seen a product outsourced to china sustain or improve quality. ever.

cthulhu straps a specially made i-pad to his wrist with an......expansion band. speidel.

edit: what i saw japan do is take poor raw materials and engineer the heck out of them. they used terrible steel to build excellent cars and other products. their engineers dont waste a thing. with china i see stolen ideas built as fast and cheap as possible. thats only what i see though. just my opinion.

Posted on Jun 18, 2011, 8:03:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 18, 2011, 8:04:53 PM PDT
cactus says:
there is no japan conspiracy. unless by conspiracy you mean orient blowing their doors off. btw orient cs. s@cks too.

pro: any good watch is a good watch. if people wanna pay it great.
con: 10 grand for a 2 grand watch. and there isnt a little gray old man building them on top of some mountain. they are a factory.

swatch--whats theirs is theirs. i think they are rolling back control and having a come to Jesus meeting with the rest of the world of watches. maybe they want more control on the swiss mark and maybe they are unhappy with some of the things they have seen. or maybe they are trying to elevate the price on the swiss mark. it could be dangerous as they could create a vacuum at a strategic price point and lose more than they gain. this is where germany would have a huge game to win. i would like to see that because they know how to build them they have great engineers and the infrastructure to pull it off.
plus i dont think they drink too much outsource kool-aid.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 9:25:56 PM PDT
1. Swatch group is certainly within their rights to chose not to supply the competition as generously as they have. I suspect it might not be wise in the long run, as they are supplying the competition with motivation to start making their own movements. Sooner or later some European or US company will decide there is a market worth busting into there. In the short run it is very smart, as they can gently nudge the prices up without challenge from other European and US companies. Of course, if they retain the production capacity, they should be able to flood the market again, exploiting their capacity for economies of volume, if a serious competitor emerges. Ethical? In the long run, perhaps more ethical than they wish to be, as some real European or American competition would create a more ethical market (from my perspective).

2. Not familiar with Sea Gull's ethics, but PRC business ethics is one of those blank books (note the various toxic toys exported and the environmental devastation they've inflicted on their country). The QC would be the sina qua non of depending on them for parts, but as far as market manipulation goes, they would not hesitate to muck about with the market if it is within their reach.

3. Not to Rolex, unless, of course, it is a vintage one in very good condition. Even then, the market is almost as inflated as US real estate in 2007. Rolex has turned itself into a Ponzi scheme where value is based on Rolex owners telling each other wonderful fables about what a great deal they got, when they spent 5 times what the watch is intrinsically worth to get the stodgy little crown logo on their time piece.

4. Romain Jermome. They embody madness in so many ways. And of course, only someone with nearly limitless power can afford them.

5. "Hahahaha. Oh, wait. You're serious. Let me laugh even harder. AHAHAHAHAHA!"
I think it is interesting that Hitth's profile is a cipher, without any preferences, personal data, or history. Almost like someone in a social media marketing company slapped that profile down just to make comments in support of a client's marketing campaign.
No, Invicta is a conspiracy by Invicta to treat customers without respect, and to maximize profits without a reliance on repeat business or customer support, as indicated by their dismal record with BBB and TrustLink.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 9:57:44 PM PDT
Pascal says:
LP is right GriM, I was truly impressed with your analogies. Never thought a bean counter could be so creative in bashing a company that is doing such a good job at bashing itself.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011, 11:06:07 PM PDT
Weef says:
1. Is it acting ethically? Is it acting wisely? Only time will tell.

2. Don't know...but I liked Tony, a.k.a sirweldsalot's answer! Apparently my nephew who lives and works in Beijing agrees with him tremendously and wholeheartedly!

3. To be honest, I really do not know what this means "To Rolex or not to Rolex." I guess I have already been guilty of "Rolexing." Please forgive me, I still have a fever...

4. Cthulhu WHO? Eeek! Ask me about Spongebob instead! Spongebob Squarepants is not dead and has produced more reruns on Nicklelodeon and still makes me laugh! I think Spongebob can Rolex or not Rolex if he wanted to whereas this Cthulhu character would probably just hang out with the the others on with his Invicta.

5. I really don't give a flying %$#@ what Hitth thinks, nor do I give a heck about Invicta. Ooooppps, I meant no disrespect towards Hitth or I*****a, just expressing my opinion. I just don't like that he commented something to Pascal about a book review when we should be talking about Watches!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 6:11:45 AM PDT
GRiM says:
Ah, controversy!

Tony, when I bought my first Sea-Gull over a year ago, I fully expected it to be a piece of junk. I bought it as an experiment. And the ST-16 movement in it is not as good as an ETA, but does not appear to be a bad movement. In addition, at least in the US, Kevin Ma provides great customer service.

As far as the more advanced Sea-Gull movements, Lysander's reviews are widely respected in the WIS community. If he says he considers the ST-21 to be functionally equivalent to the ETA 2824 and the ST-18 to be equivalent to the 2892, I'm going to believe it until I get better evidence to the contrary.

Now it's certainly true that the ST-18 and ST-21 are simply copies of ETA movements with very slight modifications, although I believe the ST-25 is proprietary (for that matter, they put a lot of their own engineering into the ST-16).

Is Sea-Gull at the level of engineering skill of Seiko? I'm sure they're not. I've said before that I think Seiko is the Rodney Dangerfield of watchmakers, and if the Spring Drive had been developed by Rolex every WIS in the world would be drooling all over it. Seiko more than any other watchmaker out there is innovating in materials and design.

But it looks like Sea-Gull is making perfectly adequate movements that could substitute for ETAs. While many or perhaps most Chinese companies are producing garbage, it seems probably dangerous to over-generalize. (For instance, Paul Chen's Hanwei forge appears to be producing very good katana-style swords at prices that are accessible to the average person.) Is there a risk that if you sourced from Sea-Gull at some point you would find yourself getting garbage? Yeah, probably. Thus X's response of "lots" with regards to GC...

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 6:14:55 AM PDT
GRiM says:
Van, I forgot about Romain Jerome. Between their Titanic model (Cthulhu does lie dreaming in his sunken house in R'lyeh beneath the sea) and their moondust model (reflecting Cthulhu's origins from beyond the stars) I think you've got it nailed. Also, it occurred to me that water resistance would be a problem for Cthulhu's Invicta down there in R'lyeh, since apparently Invicta's divers have been known to leak.

Posted on Jun 19, 2011, 6:45:11 AM PDT
cactus says:
because this is a grizzled codger thread...
allow me to complain about yesterday.
what went right:46 year old garden tractor is up and working like a swiss...knife?

what went wrong: body work on my truck is taking longer than expected and the cab corner wont be painted till noon which means ill have to drive my other truck to work tomorrow because im dropping off my car to get the a/c fixed. dang!
WATCHES: the mtg i got was fine until i replaced the batt. and lubed the seal ect. and THEN when i put it back together every darn case back hole stripped out!! so i ordered a screw assortment and most likely i can make it work. this is the first time this has ever happened to me. *grumble*
BACK IN MY DAY, you could change a watch batt. and not have to spend 5 bucks on screws. and a man could drink 2 pots of coffee and still fiberglass the cab corner on a gmc truck. this worlds going to hell, i tell ya. darn kids!
have a grouchy one--tony

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 7:36:12 AM PDT
GRiM says:
...And a happy old f@rts day to you too, Tony. ;-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 7:44:23 AM PDT
GRiM says:
Weef, I agree that I greatly prefer to keep our watch threads free of politics (even if they are also often free of watch discussion). So I will confess that after reading Hitth's response to Pascal's book review, I took a look at the book Hitth recommended and wrote a negative review of it. That was probably an uncharitable thing for me to do, and if I weren't an unkind person I might be able make myself feel bad about it. But I'm going to pull out my auditor card here and armor myself with LP's very incisive assertion that I'm not exactly a person at all, but merely a fairly good facsimile thereof. (I believe Dilbert's phrase was "smart but sadistic trolls with many humanoid characteristics." Terry Pratchett's view of us is somewhat less flattering.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 7:56:00 AM PDT
Too lazy to go back and read everything, but I do believe that I am missing something in this discussion. Who is Hitth and why don't you like him, GRiM? How do you even pronounce his name?

Guys, it's much easier on me when we cite books, people, and characters that more than just two people know about. From now on I suggest that we limit ourselves to Darth Vader, Rhett Butler, Eddie Fisher, and Yosarian. This will enable me to continue offering sage advice and sound insight (lol). Thank you. Your help in this matter will greatly facilitate my irreplaceable presence on this forum. Ta Ta. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 10:58:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2011, 5:12:50 PM PDT
GRiM says:
LP, Hitth has participated in this forum twice. He contradicted a statement Doug made in the FAQ about the quality of flame fusion crystal, then backed off when Doug provided support for his statement. He popped up on one of the threads a little bit ago to note that he had commented on one of Pascal's book reviews. And he started a thread in the Invicta community suggesting that the criticism of Invicta is a conspiracy by the Japanese to defend their market position.

I don't dislike him. But when he commented on Pascal's book review, he recommended the 2011 edition of Project Censored. I spent some time investigating them and had uncharitable things to say about the organization and its publication, which I said both in response to his review on Pascal's page and as a review of the book itself.

Van doesn't believe Hitth is voicing real opinions, but rather is on Invicta's payroll. I think he's just misguided (I'm encouraged in that belief by his appreciation for Project Censored), although I don't rule out Van's hypothesis.

If you're not familiar with Terry Pratchett, you should be. Add him to your reading list while you're waiting for The Poison Egg (any day now...)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2011, 5:04:24 PM PDT
Thank you, GRiM. It seems to ring a bell now. I do believe that I'm in need of a sledgehammer to do the bell ringing at this point. Must have missed altogether the Japanese conspiracy charge. If I miss a couple of days I do not catch up, but start in where things have left off.

My reading is almost a hundred percent biographical/historical. Seldom do I read fiction anymore. The Poison Egg will be an anticipated exception. Right now I'm reading a biography on George Washington and one on the Bosnian War by David Halberstan.

Fictionwise my tastes have long run to Agatha Christie, E. Queen, and Clive Cussler. Though when younger I did like Doc Savage.

If I'm not mistaken you have mentioned Terry Pratchett before. One day soon I'll have to get something by him just to see what you see in him.

Thanks again for clearing that up, bud. It was confusing me. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2011, 12:25:12 AM PDT
GRiM says: "Van doesn't believe Hitth is voicing real opinions, but rather is on Invicta's payroll."
Actually, I very carefully avoided saying this. I pointed out how Hitth creates the perception of this being the case.

And I have to second GRiM's remarks about Terry Pratchett. I have accepted Cohen the Barbarian as my personal inspiration and role-model.

Back to the watch of Cthulhu. Obviously, it should be a quartz as these are know to inspire gibbering madness in horophiles. Since he lies sleeping, an alarm seems in order. Multiple time zones are a must so he can track the hour in R'lyeh where he lies for nameless aeons, the plateau of Leng, unknown Kadath, and in the frozen darkness of Yuggoth. And speaking of darkness, first rate illumination seems in order, such as tritium. Obviously, a time piece of Popoffian proportions is in order and fitting for the towering ancient. Since he awaits "a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready", an astronomical function would be a worthwhile consideration. And like anyone involved in ocean activities a tide display would be well considered. I can't think of one watch that meets all these requirements, but Diesel Multiple Time Zones Men's watch #DZ9053, a G-Shock Gulfman Tide and Moon Watch, or a Black Stainless Steel Classic Alarm would all deserve consideration.

Posted on Jun 21, 2011, 12:40:54 AM PDT
And regarding the conspiracy against Invicta; a zaibatsu ("financial clique") of Seiko, Citizen, and Casio plotting in secret to deploy their ninjas, hackers, and other minions to destroy the threat that Invicta poses to their horological hegemony.

High comedy: when a one sentence summary of the plot causes one to giggle.

Yes sirree Bob. We're here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2011, 6:02:31 AM PDT
"Popoffian proprotions..." I like that, Van. I would suggest, however, that the Black Stainless Steel Classic Alarm, at 40mm, does not meet that implied requirement.

Hope all is going well for you, my friend. LP

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2011, 9:11:46 AM PDT
What can I say? I was trying to get at least two of the key traits (in the case of the Traser, tritium illum and an alarm) in each watch I threw into the nameless void of discussion.

Life goes passably well. My Army reserve students occupy my time this week, then it is back to the ROTC kids. In the past week, I've gotten two letters from former cadets who enlisted and are in training. My son just got back from his first international flight by himself (at age 15), so life in the man-cave is back to what passes for normal. He had gone to visit Mom and his sister in Korea. I'll be visiting the ladies at the end of July, so I have that to look forward to. That should be an interesting departure, as I'm putting the boy on a plane to visit his uncle in Boston, and I am leaving for Korea and we're both going to be on planes with the same departure time.

How about you?

I must be off. Time to go teach.
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