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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If this subject has been previously broached on this forum, I appologize for being tedious.

About a hundred and twenty years ago pocket watches began being strapped to wrists. This one inovation spelled the end of the pocket watch. There were fantastic pieces made that are still being traded on eBay today. I think the most expensive watch in the world is a piece by Patek made for an American president whose name escapes me. It has an incredible number of complications, but I don't believe that Patek makes any pocket watches today. Time moves on.

I've noticed that few young people wear watches, but all have cell phones. My cell keeps better time than all of my watches because it updates to the atomic clock time pulse. I've recently explained my fascination with mechanical watches as an obsession with exquisit kenitic art. Are we living in the golden age of mechanical wristwatches? Will they become completely anachronistic like bowties or top hats? Swiss manufacturing is consolidating, a sign I believe of troubles with this trend. I don't know about Seiko's outlook or how the income is trending with Japanese watchmaking, but they can't be immune. There are no remaining American watch companies except a few small boutique watchmakers. China is moving in on the remaining market.

Does this mean our collections will increase in value over time? Will watchmakers become few and far with repairs increasingly difficult? Are there enough of us to keep this alive? Crystal ball thoughts? Will wristwatches become cell phones(I can never find my **** cell how about tying it to your wrist)? Is Seiko's Astron the trend to more and more electronic features and an end to the mechanical?
 

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The Patek you refer to wasn't for a President, it was for tycoon Henry Graves. He ordered it to one-up his buddy who had just received a PP.

Mechanical watches survived the quartz infiltration and are getting more popular, not less. As men age, most seem to become more & more fascinated with craftsmanship. Cars are one item - a guy can usually afford a nice machine when he hits middle age. A good watch is something else the gear head in us appreciates.

Let me use an analogy or two I've said before:

A digital camera can take a more accurate image of boats in a harbor than an impressionist painting. That doesn't mean I'd rather look at a photo than a Renoir or Monet.

A gas / electric hybrid can efficiently get me from point A to point B. I'd certainly enjoy a drive in a vintage Ferrari more though.
 

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Interesting questions to ponder!
Humans are great dreamers, but lousy doers. By the year 2000 we were supposed to have our own flying cars and space-ports ala George Jetson....we're still using the internal combustion engine, aren't we? I believe the same will hold true for the wrist watch. At least for a while. The death of the humble wrist watch has been predicted before and I'm sure it will again. It will eventually die as a timepiece and morph into some sort of multi-multi-tasking thing unrecognizable by todays standards, but I won't be around to see it, and I'm not leaving this earth any time soon!

I look at it this way: The current trend is the appearance of individual brand boutiques from some pretty heavy names in the watch industry. I can't see them spending that kind of money if their product was in danger of decreasing in popularity.

FYI there are 4 pocket watch models on the current Patek-Philippe website...the 972, 973, 980, and 983 all using the caliber 17 movement
 

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Celebrities, NFL, NBA and baseball stars - all young- all with cell phones - wear expensive mechanical watches. Take a look at Letterman or Leno any night and see a constant parade of young stars with nice and expensive mechanical watches. Yea, they will be around for a long time to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Patek still makes pocket watches???

Now isn't that more stimulating than "what watch are you wearing"? I wonder what the yearly % of sales for Patek's bottom line their pockets ammount to? It's strangely comforting to know they are still making them. I wonder what the interval was from the introduction of the automobile to the end of the family horse. Is it even relevant? I have a grandaughter who is 19 and soon there will be great grandchildren. What will be on their wrists? One of my collection? Crystal ball stuff.
 

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Watches are appealing as art, mechanical marvels, a practical tool, jewelry, and a status symbol. For guys specifically, and lets be honest, most watch nuts are guys, a watch is one of only a few things we can use to "accessorize". Women have an arsenal of purses, shoes and jewelry they can alternate, whether dressed formally or casually. For guys in a casual setting, for me at least, I can pick among my watches. Usually I end up matching whatever clothes I wear to what watch I want to wear that day. If anything, the desire for cheap utilitarian watches will decrease as phones replace all their features and usefulness. A fine mechanical watch, or even a mid range Seiko or Citizen will always be desirable because the desire doesn't stem from just wanting to know what time it is.
 
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