My GOD, your three-watch collection is INSANE. I hope you put those in a safe at night and keep some firearms for defense...lol...That's a really good way of looking at the watch hobby. You can really dive off the deep end there if you don't know how to hold yourself back. I used to be very voracious with the watch collecting before I realized I'd been running after the flavour of the month rather than buying watches I genuinely wanted, and, as a consequence, I've slowed down over the years. Reading too many watch blogs, and looking at instagram too much gives you a strange kind of void that never gets filled so I really do agree that you should enjoy what you have now rather than constantly looking forward towards the next acquisition...super unhealthy even if the high from buying a new one is always so addicting.
Anyways, just to return the favour for a trip down memory lane from your SBGM235...here's the actual uncropped photo that I use for my profile picture. Just a few watches from my collection. The cable on the Hifiman was all matchy-matchy with the strap I commissioned for the A. Lange & Sohne so I was like...seems like a good time to try my hand at amateur smartphone photography. Did not turn out as well as I wanted. Kind of oversaturated, and it's all melty looking (moreso when zoomed) from the software OIS cause my hands are stupidly shaky.
Photo Description aka How insane I am:
(Center) A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Tourbillon 730.025 - The most understated watch of the bunch. The only tourbillon I have that has hacking seconds. The papery white dial is actually a powdered silver dial, but it's notoriously difficult to get the powdery rainbow sheen in camera shots. It only ever appears under higher intensity lighting conditions. The dauphine heat-blued sword hands are some of the nicest I've seen too. As always, the tourbillon portion is always a joy to observe in action. Case finishing is a mixture of difficult rounded-angular chamfers on the lugs, and alternating between mirror and brushed finishes. Elegant and understated as is the A. Lange & Sohne Style. Stock black alligator strap OEM is most likely Camille Fournet (supplies a good chunk of ultra high end brands as their OEM strapmaker). They do custom leather straps for 200-300 eur on average.
The custom red alligator strap is from a Vietnamese Etsy seller (SC Leathercraft) I've been admiring for their workmanship. The raw materials may not be the finest, but the stitching, and edge painting are immaculate especially for the price...even compared to some hallmark bespoke/high-end leather leather goods makers like Ortus Japan (2 year waitlist), Fugee (6 year waitlist), Camille Fournet, Jean Rosseau, Jean Paul Menicucci, Acate Borsa, etc. etc. (I'm big on leather goods, and men's fashion too). His calf leather offerings are quite impressive though. Manages to source some impressive Barenia/Novonappa calf from Haas tannery (They supply Hermes). Also offers Shinki Hikaku Shell Cordovan and Horween Shell Cordovan, and some italian calf offerings that are less well-known but highly regarded in men's style and leather enthusiast forums.
(Right) Patek Philippe 5711-1A-010 "Nautilus" in Blue (2020. 4th Silent Revision. Discontinued and replaced with 014 Olive Green dial variant) - One of the nicest watches in my collection, imo. Most people would call it overrated and deeply overpriced from online photos, but it's a different beast on hand. That blue dial catches light like no other watch in my collection...it'll take on any colour that has blue mixed depending on the light. Can go from being sunset orange to deep purple depending on whether the street lamp is yellowish or orange in hue. Can turn into a bright tungsten blue or even a minty seafoam green in cooler fluorescent light and more. It's notoriously difficult to capture its dynamism in any photo. It's also got a sunburst effect that's slightly noticeable in the picture. The micro sunburst etching is so fine that you'd never see the markings unless you really work it on a professional camera set up. The minute finishing and chamfering of edges in nearly everything makes it a worthy counterpart to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Angular, but rounded is the name of the game here. It's simplicity and 8.3mm thickness give it an edge, imo, over the more complicated variants that Patek sells. Some become too thick or have too many complications that break up the coherent beauty of the dial that I never really took to them as much I did with the base Nautilus.
(Left) Rolex 116610 Submariner "Hulk" (2020. Discontinued) - Probably the most recognizable of the bunch. It's classic Rolex. Does all the fundamentals well, but gives off a heavily machine-finished vibe so people are rightfully justified in their assessment that you're partly paying for Rolex marketing making it recognizably prestigious. The watch itself is still a joy though. Platinum dusted bezel markers, and the shiny ceramic bezel make a very good contrast to the green dial. It doesn't change colour anywhere near as much as the Patek, but the sunburst is incredibly nice irl. It's not like a rough sunburst where you can see the etch lines, but more of coherent gradient when light hits it which I assume to be a consequence of having a platinum-gold dust mix sprinkled on the dial before the painting process. The choice and contrast of bezel-dial green is something that's always been something I admired.
Arachne Audio Cable - It's a relatively affordable cable I commissioned from Arachne Audio over on Etsy cause a friend told me they were new on the block; did great work; and expedited shipping is included in the 100+ eur price. Very sturdy ribbon braided high-purity OFC cable with a heavy anodized aluminium Viablue Y-splitter and dual Rean (subsidiary of Neutrik) 3.5mm TRSS connectors. On the heavy side though so don't leave it free-hanging or else it'll make the headphone a lot heavier compared to the stock HE1000 V2 cable which is ultralight. I use a hifiman XLR cable for balanced
Hifiman HE1000 V2 - The silent revision that was reported in a Chinese forum sometime around late 2020 with the mesh window shade changed to a cloth window shade. Driver magnets are less visible. The pads have had the velour front changed to polyester, and are no longer just glued to the pads so it holds itself together better. I have a sneaking suspicion that the recent revision may have had a bit of trickle down from the HE1000SE cause it's stupidly easy to drive for some reason. A volume-maxed mid-priced Huawei P9 smartphone (still has headphone jack with Audio IC) can drive this to acceptable loudness so I have a hard time believing they didn't do something to the drivers compared to the old HE1000 V2s I heard. The [properly amped] sound signature and drivability has more in common with the reviews of the HE1000SE than it does the reviews of the HE1000 V2 (before all those revisions), and I've read every review I could find on both.
As for my audio hobby, I've also really wound that down too. So much so that I plugged my HE1000 V2 into a 5-year old Huawei P9 smartphone on a whim one night; maxed out the volume; and managed to really enjoy the music for once (I'm not kidding. Every song was toe tapping levels good to me). Suffice it to say the HE1000 V2 sounded like an HD600, but I'll be damned if I wasn't actually having fun. Chasing sound quality and looking for differences had been stressing me out to the point where I probably didn't pick up my headphones and explicitly avoided using my main speaker rig 95% of the time. The stress of forcing myself to listen was so strong that I was pretty much having anxiety attacks from trying too hard. Not really easy to enjoy the sound quality when you get all short of breath while your nose gets clogged from hyperventilating. Ironic really, I probably thought I'd been chasing the virtue of sound quality when in fact I'd probably been chasing my own tail for a whole decade. Live and learn as you get older, I suppose.
Edit 1: Wanted to really geek out over my other hobbies (watches, and leather).
Edit 2: Added hyperlinks on the leather stuff should anybody be interested.
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Watches - another passion of ours, it seems...post your pics!
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