Why is it that some watches are just beloved by advanced watch collectors, and most other people mainly just hate them?
It’s not just their price tag. There might be enough starting collectors who have enough financial possibilities to buy them.
It’s not the complexity of the movement or functions; a lot of these watches are quite simple in their functions and possibilities.
It’s not the value of the (casing) material which has been used; stainless steel is good enough and often preferred.
So what is it then? Which watches am I talking about anyhow?

Vacheron Constantin - Overseas

For instance the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus or the Vacheron Constantin Overseas (former 222 & 333).

So, are it the double names which all of these mentioned manufacturers bear? I don’t think so; there are similar models to mention from manufacturers like IWC as well. Anyhow, without exeption these are historic brands which have earned their stripes and use their experience and knowledge in these models.

Without exception the mentioned watches are technically and constuction-wise very advanced. Interesting movements which are metaculously finsihed, and casings and bracelets having an advanced construction and ditto finish as well.

These are watches which you don’t like at first glance; you have to grow into them. Your watch knowledge has to climb to a certain level before you’re able to see and evaluate the beauty and quality of this kind of watches.

What do you think, am I just telling stories – you just like a watch or you just don’t like it – or might it be possible that you might like a watch later, which in the beginning you didn’t like at all. Most watch models don’t ever get the time for that anyhow, they are promoted away due to the next fashion wave or colour.

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We would be glad to receive your thoughts in the Comments on this matter.

Gerard Nijenbrinks

Gerard Nijenbrinks

Gerard has been in the watch industry for over two decades now. He runs an on-line watch shop from The Hague, The Netherlands, and besides that he has journalistic and photographic activities in the field of watches. Collecting watches since he was six years old (true!) and triggered by a friend, he bought his first 'real' watch in the late eighties; an Omega Speedmaster Professional with glass back. This was the first watch of a nice, even today ever growing, collection.
Gerard Nijenbrinks

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  • John

    Very regconizable and what a coincidence‚Ķ..the Royal Oak and the Nautilus is exactly the two watches which I share the same experience 🙂

    I am into watches since about 8 years and I am a wearer and not a collector (By the way I am a big Panerai fan) I really hated the mentioned two models untill about half a year ago.

    The Nautilus was a weird overpriced watch with a weird watchhead, not to mention the Royal Oak, which I thought it was really “F O U T” (that’s Dutch for ugly). “”Those ugly bolts on the outdated bezel. Kind of a German design, which was for me “net niet”, makes me think of those 2 part BBS rims…..and ofcourse way overpriced”” Uhmmm…….., never saw en felt these watches in person BTW.

    Since 4 years I wear Panerai, liked big watches since then. Sold my Luminor Marina, about a year ago and bought my ultimate dreamwatch: the Luminor 1950. Always thought that the Luminor Marina (Casework and dial) was well-finished, but the 1950 was really for me the “”best finished watch money can buy” . Those erotic 3D cutted shape, that unbelievablye domed crystal, that unconventional sandwich dial.

    Uhmmm (once again 🙂 )‚Ķ‚Ķtill 6 months ago;‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ.. I saw the Royal Oak Offshore for the first time in person, and even more important; I‚Äôve had it on MY wrist. Suddenly ‚Äú‚Äùevery man may meet his match‚Äù‚Äù (baas boven baas) actually gets a meaning to me. I think for the connaisseurs, I don‚Äôt have to add more to this story :-)‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ‚Ķ

    I became interested in smaller watches like the RO Jumbo and the Nautilus. Can’t afford, but it’s nice to dream about.

    Sold my 1950 a few months ago, because I found out I hated the dialdesign. At this moment I have a Luminor Base and I am really satified with it.

    Regards, John

  • Interesting write-up G. I don’t see myself as an advanced watchcollector, because compared to you and some of our mutual acquaintances (like Bernard) and others, like Chuck Maddox, I am just around the corner (collecting / heavily interested since about 6 years).

    However, like you probably know, I liked the Royal Oak watches since the beginning of my watchmadness. I still have the AP brochures from years ago.

    I think there are two options here. Either you like the AP RO or you don’t. Like the Citroen XM car, you are into those or you find them to be damn ugly. The other option is like you wrote, you eventually grow into them.

    Same goes for me for the Vacheron Overseas models and the Nautilus. I never tried a Vacheron, but I am confident I soon will, I like the design a lot as well as the brand’s history and view. Same goes for the Nautilus, although I have handled the small version a few times (from Henk E.). The Nautilus Jumbo is one of the few Pateks I would even ever consider to buy if I (ever) had the money. The other Pateks are great and undoubtly the best finished watches, but too small for me.

    I was / am quite into steel luxury sportswatches with an integrated bracelet, like the IWC Ingenieur Jumbo (as I wrote a few articles ago, hit the search button on the right to look it up) and the ones you mentioned.

    However, my budget is far away from those. A Royal Oak Jumbo is over 10K and the others are just as expensive. Finishing for my (professional) bachelors degree wasn’t that long ago so my salary is quite in the ‘starters’ category. Anyways, as soon as this changes, a Royal Oak will be one of the first watches I will buy (if my bankaccount allows it).

    Like John wrote, “can’t afford, but it’s nice to dream about”. That goes for me as well.

    Anyway, my situation was a bit different regarding these watches than your ‘suspecting’-story. Let’s say I can imagine what your saying is true for most watchcollectors. So to me, it’s the price tag why I don’t have one (yet).


  • georges

    Some brand aren’t really manufactures like Audemars Piguet or even Vacheron Constantin.How they don’t use their own moevements.Base 889/2 for the AP and base piguet 1150 for the Vacheron. Plus these watches aren’t really something original or that recognize by collectors taht i am not astonished that some peopole don’t like them.You probably buy a brand but other people don’t. For a 10000$ price tag, a watch must have an in house movement and not be just a name with high price tag.