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Are Oakley Watches worth the price? - Page 4

post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaGWiRE
I've been hanging out on timezone a bit, and a lot of these guys are fascinated by good movements and complicated watches. I think it has to do more with the fact that when some people are spending a lot of money on an watch, they want to know they are getting something special, or what you may call "state of the art", not something that you can find in cheaper watches (the quartz movement that is. Although there are some cheaper watches that are automatic, I think it's safe to say most are quartz. I do not beleive the cheaper automatics have as good an power reserve as the more expensive ones) The omega speedmaster professional is the same watch that was worn on the moon more or less, and it is manual, which I consider crazy because I doubt I'de ever wind a watch everyday, but the watch seems to be very popular among watch enthusiasts. Kind of my reminds me of vintage recievers/amps on here. Plus, from my understanding, for timepieces, quartz is an rather new technology with the first R&D beginning somewhere in the '50s (I think, wikipedia says that Seiko created world's first quartz wristwatch in 1969.)
Yes, quartz is pretty new. Seiko was the first, but was not the first electric wristwatch. That would be the Hamilton Electric that came out (IIRC) in 1957. Not that great of a design. It is a lot like a traditional watch, except that it has two hair-thin brushes that contact the balance wheel and drive it as a small electric motor. They're easily bent and, being brushes, are prone to wear out. In fact, they were designed to be replaced every year or two. Unfortunately, they were very delicate and the watches were prone to problems. They're a big part of what killed Hamilton financially- a poor rep and lots and lots of warranty claims.

Bulova did them one better in 1959. They used a newly-developed IC to drive a coil on a tuning fork. The vibrations turned a pawl wheel, which then drove the hands. This is the famous Accutron. Great watches, very durable. Aside from the Speedmaster, they were the only other watch approved by NASA for the space program. Accutron 214 movements were also widely used in satellites as well as clock and timing panels inside spacecraft. The 214 is so good that the ones used in the space program were the same thing available to the public. Very durable, as well. My old watchmaker, Doc (wish he was still with us) used to keep a battered 214 under the counter. Every so often, he'd throw it across the room at the wall to demonstrate how tough they are. That watch was seriously abused, and it never stopped. Another cool thing about the Accutron is that you can hack them to be very, very accurate. More accurate than most quartz movements, even. The other nifty thing about Accutrons is that they hum at 360Hz.

Jag, if you like space-related watches, check out the Accutron Astronaut. No winding necessary, and they're great watches. I've had one for a few years and just love it. You might also want to look at the Fortis Cosmonaut line. Fortis supplies watches to the Russian space program. They're pretty nice, and they're automatics. If you really want to get into it, dig around for an old Poljot Shturmanskie chronograph. That's what Gagarin was wearing when he took his ride.
post #47 of 65
All that expensive watches are really is jewelry. With other kinds of jewelry, like gold and gems, it's easier to see where the price comes from, because we have carats and other objective measures. Gold is expensive, nice gems are expensive. An automatic watch movement is very complex and inherently more expensive, so in some ways it's the closest thing we have to a measure of "specialness."

What's inside a watch matters for this reason: people don't buy jewelry just for image. If all that mattered were image, everyone would be buying jewelry with cubic zirconia and thin gold plating. From more than a few inches away, no one can tell the difference. The "image" you would project would be the same. People buy real jewelry because it's special in its own right, intrinsically. A quality, rare jewel is something special. A fascinatingly complex mechanism is special in the same way. It's the pinnacle of an art, the intersection of engineering and creativity. Even if the watch is not windowed, you know that complex set of gears is there, ticking away, a heartbeat.

Like Oakleys, it is possible to pay a lot of money for a ring set with cubic zirconia or manufactured diamond. It looks good. But it doesn't feel the same.
post #48 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik
Yes, quartz is pretty new. Seiko was the first, but was not the first electric wristwatch. That would be the Hamilton Electric that came out (IIRC) in 1957. Not that great of a design. It is a lot like a traditional watch, except that it has two hair-thin brushes that contact the balance wheel and drive it as a small electric motor. They're easily bent and, being brushes, are prone to wear out. In fact, they were designed to be replaced every year or two. Unfortunately, they were very delicate and the watches were prone to problems. They're a big part of what killed Hamilton financially- a poor rep and lots and lots of warranty claims.

Bulova did them one better in 1959. They used a newly-developed IC to drive a coil on a tuning fork. The vibrations turned a pawl wheel, which then drove the hands. This is the famous Accutron. Great watches, very durable. Aside from the Speedmaster, they were the only other watch approved by NASA for the space program. Accutron 214 movements were also widely used in satellites as well as clock and timing panels inside spacecraft. The 214 is so good that the ones used in the space program were the same thing available to the public. Very durable, as well. My old watchmaker, Doc (wish he was still with us) used to keep a battered 214 under the counter. Every so often, he'd throw it across the room at the wall to demonstrate how tough they are. That watch was seriously abused, and it never stopped. Another cool thing about the Accutron is that you can hack them to be very, very accurate. More accurate than most quartz movements, even. The other nifty thing about Accutrons is that they hum at 360Hz.

Jag, if you like space-related watches, check out the Accutron Astronaut. No winding necessary, and they're great watches. I've had one for a few years and just love it. You might also want to look at the Fortis Cosmonaut line. Fortis supplies watches to the Russian space program. They're pretty nice, and they're automatics. If you really want to get into it, dig around for an old Poljot Shturmanskie chronograph. That's what Gagarin was wearing when he took his ride.
I was in a store, the Fortises sure are nice, although they are a bit bland, I think I will get an Omega speedmaster of some sort.

Just curious, what's the history of automatic like? Is that also an new technology, or was it intergrated a long time back with manual wind watches?

*sorry for going off topic.*
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY
People buy real jewelry because it's special in its own right, intrinsically.
I would edit: People buy real jewellery because they think it's special in its own right.
post #50 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfrenchman27
Do they even make good sunglasses? I mean, anyone who is serious about sunglasses buys Bolles over overpriced Oakley tripe...

As for watches, I do not see the appeal; at these prices, the competition is endless, and I don't see what makes Oakley watches unique.

-Matt
I know that for you it's all about price, but having read the Pilot test results, ummm... no. Trounced Bolle for quality, sorry. What makes their optics unique is that the layers are not glued together, and there's no distortion.

Just because you don't want to pay for it doesn't make it tripe.

Let's see, since I know you won't want to dig around for the Private Pilot test results, and of course Oakley is the only company to post them because obviously, it's bragging rights:

Polarized:

Oakley Big Square Wire 2.0 Final Score: 97.2
Bolle Sidney Final Score: 66.3 (left/right definition was 50.0 compared to Oakley's 100. That's twice the distortion for your viewing pleasure)

Men's Sport:

Oakley Splice Final Score: 98.1
Bolle Downdraft Score: 73.3 (again, the definition was half that of Oakley)
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaGWiRE
Just curious, what's the history of automatic like? Is that also an new technology, or was it intergrated a long time back with manual wind watches?
The automatic was invented and sold in 1770, but it didn't hit the mainstream until the 1920s:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_watch
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeresist
I would edit: People buy real jewellery because they think it's special in its own right.
Jewelry, like any whimsical object with no specific utility, definitely sells partly on a social value system. However, it's also true that actual rarity is also a large part of the romance. (DeBeers wouldn't be so aggressive at limiting the world's natural diamond supply if this wasn't the case.) Fantastic synthetic diamonds have been produced for years, but people still prefer the real thing.
post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfrenchman27
Do they even make good sunglasses? I mean, anyone who is serious about sunglasses buys Bolles over overpriced Oakley tripe...
They are a bit expensive but objectively the sunglasses can be excellent (optically).

The watches, no, there is nothing special about them except for their "styling"
post #54 of 65
I'd never buy a Tag... theyre ridiculously overpriced. They're all generic looking copies of the Submariner, with a standard quartz movement.. and they dare charge people 800$+ for them (to their credit, people do pay such prices...)
post #55 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ls20
I'd never buy a Tag... theyre ridiculously overpriced. They're all generic looking copies of the Submariner, with a standard quartz movement.. and they dare charge people 800$+ for them (to their credit, people do pay such prices...)
Funny you say that. I was speaking to a friend on timezone and amazingly he said that Tag is in Tier 4 with Breitling and Ball / some other companies. Tier 3 is apparently Omega, Rolex, Panerai. Tier 2 1/2 is Cartier. Tier 2 is Jaeger LeCoultre, International Watch Company. Tier 1 is Patek Phillipe, A. Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin and probably Audemars Piguet.

Funny, although Omega really doesn't have any watches under a thousand I think, and neither does Rolex. Not sure about Panerai. My friend gave me a whole lecture about Rolex, as if they were the bose of watches .
post #56 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaGWiRE
Funny you say that. I was speaking to a friend on timezone and amazingly he said that Tag is in Tier 4 with Breitling and Ball / some other companies. Tier 3 is apparently Omega, Rolex, Panerai. Tier 2 1/2 is Cartier. Tier 2 is Jaeger LeCoultre, International Watch Company. Tier 1 is Patek Phillipe, A. Lange & Sohne, Vacheron Constantin and probably Audemars Piguet.

Funny, although Omega really doesn't have any watches under a thousand I think, and neither does Rolex. Not sure about Panerai. My friend gave me a whole lecture about Rolex, as if they were the bose of watches .
I will generally agree with his list... Im a big fan of IWC, Lange, and Patek. Though I see Cartier as more of a jewelry maker than a watchmaker...

All are above my current budget, though, except a nice IWC...
post #57 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanY
Jewelry, like any whimsical object with no specific utility, definitely sells partly on a social value system. However, it's also true that actual rarity is also a large part of the romance. (DeBeers wouldn't be so aggressive at limiting the world's natural diamond supply if this wasn't the case.) Fantastic synthetic diamonds have been produced for years, but people still prefer the real thing.
I saw an interesting doco on artificial diamonds. Apparently it's almost impossible to tell them from the "real" thing (except that the lab-grown diamonds are usually flawless, and manufacturers microscopically sign their work). DeBeers is in a panic.
post #58 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeresist
I saw an interesting doco on artificial diamonds. Apparently it's almost impossible to tell them from the "real" thing (except that the lab-grown diamonds are usually flawless, and manufacturers microscopically sign their work). DeBeers is in a panic.
Really? Does that mean there is a large possibility a lot of people are being scammed? I know with suff like gold, platinum, silver, etc, you simply weigh it and figure out if it's got the proper density that matches whatever element your talking about. Not like people check, and I know that my aunt for example has bought some thing she was told were gold wich ended up not being when she checked them out.
post #59 of 65
Yes, manufactured diamonds can be indistinguishable from real diamonds, since they are diamond. The main distinguishing elements are the flaws in the real ones, as Eyeresist points out. The same is true of natural diamonds which can be treated with radiation to produce "fake" colored diamonds, which are rare in nature. Though it's important to realize that there really isn't a worldwide shortage of standard natural diamonds; the limited supply is largely due to the machinations of the DeBeers quasi-monopoly (both on the production end, keeping production off the market, and on the consumption end, where they work to limit the secondary/resale market). The diamond industry is really quite sordid, from all kinds of angles.
post #60 of 65
Jag- for a quickie on automatics, they were first developed by Harwood back in (I think) the '20s. They worked well enough, but never really caught on. In the '40s, you started seeing more of the "bumper" automatics. Instead of a rotor that goes all the way around, there's a sort of hammer-shaped lever that swings back and forth over a fixed arc, bumping into a spring at each end. These work relatively well. You can get a vintage Omega bumper reasonably, and I had one for awhile. It was a good watch.

But the real advance came about in the post-war '40s. Eterna developed a rotor that swung a full 360 degrees and wound in both directions. It's an elegant and beautiful movement. So good, in fact, that Eterna spun off a company that makes movements called ETA. You've probably heard of it. The vast majority of automatics these days use a variant of the Eterna auto. It's a brilliant design.

Speaking of which, a used Eternamatic is an excellent watch. As good as the new Swiss ETA-based autos, and you can get them for $100 or less on eBay. A steal for the quality. I particularly like their Kontiki models- those were developed for Heyerdahl's Kontiki expedition in 1947. And if you're not familiar with the Kontiki expedition, go get the book. It's a truly exciting adventure story and it really happened. There's a happy ending, too, but that's not ruining anything.
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