WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER JUDGE A WATCH UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN AND WORN IT-or until a bona fide watch expert has

New Patek headquarters, Plan-les-Ouates, CH.

Patek Philippe released their newest watch, the 6007A as a tribute to their new headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates, CH. Because of the current situation and the cancellation of Baselworld, the watch was only released online via the Patek Philippe website with a few pictures, a video and a small blurb. Once watch journalists got word of this new release, news spread like wildfire because watch enthusiasts were particularly thirsty for new releases or news this year, especially from Rolex or Patek Philippe. The reviews in major watch publications were neutral and focused on the technical specifications and not a subjective review, since no watch journalist had ever seen or worn the watch, understandably. However, the comments that followed from the general public were quite negative especially from Hodinkee’s review.

The comments focused predominantly on the watch’s 28000 USD price. The naysayers found that for a stainless steel watch with only the date complication, simple design and with the old 324SC movement, it was overpriced. Some really disliked the design and compared it to a Vacheron-Constantin fifty six series, an Omega Aqua Terra, a JLC model or even a Citizen. They argued why someone would pay so much for the brand Patek Philippe when one could easily pay half as much for the other brands for a similar looking watch. They argued that Patek produced a mediocre stainless steel Calatrava, overpriced it and collectors would still buy it because it is a limited production and because of the Patek name.

While I do agree that the 6007A is somewhat overpriced, what about other brands? They are after all, businesses that need to make a profit to not only run their business but give their employees a good quality of life. I am not sure of the profit margin for a standard stainless steel Rolex Submariner but I’m sure it’s over 50%. Stainless steel is the cheapest of all metals to obtain but difficult to manufacture because of its hardness.

I must also comment that the 6007A looks nothing like a VC 56, JLC , Omega or any other watch. As we all know, watch collectors often obsess over the idiosyncratic details and differences between models which only adds to their uniqueness and collectibility. The 6007A is vastly unique from those other models that were deemed to be similar, if you scrutinize its details with a loupe. I was quite appalled to hear watch enthusiasts compare the 6007 apples to other brand’s oranges. They are simply different and not comparable in all aspects of design, colour, price range etc.. The only commonality was stainless steel. What this watch should really be compared to is the new stainless steel A. Lange and Sohne Odysseus which is an equally polarizing watch and in the same price range. Initial reactions to the Odysseus on Hodinkee were negative as well and with time even Jack Forster warmed up to it after a week on the wrist.

My argument is that a watch enthusiast cannot legitimately comment either way, good or bad, on a timepiece unless they have seen it and worn it in the metal. Because of this unique and mostly horrible year, no journalist or anyone had ever tried on this new release. The Patek Philippe website also did not help by posting poor quality photographs that look more animated than real. The video also does not show a true representation of a real watch and I am skeptical as to whether the images are of a real watch or an avatar.

Real photos by Deployant. It is stunning.
You cannot tell me this will not look better in real life than in this photo!

A watch is made to be worn and visualized by real human wrists and retinas. Any subjective opinions by a journalist or member of the public should be reserved after having held, worn and examined the watch. I would only trust any review unless the author had gone through this essential test drive.

Much like clothes, shoes, cars, or any other expensive items, I prefer to try them on for size, comfort and general wearability before I make any comments about them, much less purchase them. I simply cannot get a feel for these goods nor can I experience all their inconveniences by simply googling them. Many people can just order luxury goods on Amazon and even watches without having tried them on based on reviews and hearsay. But if I’m to spend that much money on a luxury good, the least I could do is try it on as the minimum due diligence. And having done that, I have often changed my opinion thereafter. I fell in love with the 116508 green Daytona after having seen it in the metal after not being interested at all initially. The opposite holds true too, being disappointed with the breadth and thickness of the SkyDweller after lusting over its annual calendar mechanism.

While we exist in the digital age where we are transmitted terabytes of information daily, that information may not be entirely accurate or accurate at all. We are heavily influenced by mass reviews and subjective opinions that may be accurate or may be a chain reaction started by one disgruntled customer and then snowballs. More likely than not, this is a biased representation of society and not a scientific survey with a sufficient sample size to fully represent the full population represented statistically by the Greek letter sigma (not to be confused with sigma dials). Digital viewing of a new timepiece denies us of the four other senses except maybe taste but someone out there surely must have tasted a watch. I digress, but no digital world class photograph or video has ever come close to providing the full sensual experience of viewing a watch under natural light. Neither can the feeling of wearing a watch be described adequately by words alone. It’s just one of those experiences, like peering over a beautiful mountaintop, that you have to do in person.

The 6007A, is one such watch where a subset of the watch population is completely put off by its initial price and simplicity, but in my opinion having seen it in the metal, customers will swoon and the popularity and value will skyrocket (like the Odysseus) due to those very same reasons. Think Royal Oak 5420ST, think Rolex Daytona, think Nautilus which as we all know did not begin successfully.

I find the intricate inner railroad track chapter ring to be much more detailed than on a macro view. It contains very fine ringlets which give it luminous character. The luminous numerals and hands remind me of a sort of Calatrava Aquanaut. I have also dubbed this watch the “James Bond Patek” for obvious reasons. The central carbon tapisserie pattern is also quite unique and reminds me more of a mosaic or ceramic tiling which distinguishes itself from the AP Royal Oak square tapisserie dials. The caseback is a decagon, a polygon of ten sides which is also found in the 6006g model. This surely must be of some special significance and I can only postulate that it may represent a new design from the new Patek edifice. Coincidentally, reviewers did not like the new building but I find that the new building is exactly like this watch and like the brand Patek, in that it is simple, understated and need not be overwhelming to be beautiful.

And that blue, what can I say about that hue of blue? Like the watch, it is not an experience that cannot be fulfilled online. When I see that hue in person under the naked eye or under a loupe, I will want it and I will want it badly. Obtaining it though, is not the same as wanting and wanting online is never the same as wanting in person or in the metal.

2 comments

  1. You make a great point. There are so many people willing to give an opionion about what they see, yet real evaluation often takes time. This is why I tend to pay a lot more attention to reviews from people who own a watch. Sometimes, it can take a while for me to really get to know a watch. Snapshot evaluations by so-called experts are 10 a penny. I also wonder how many of these evaluations are from people who have never had a Patek on their wrist.

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    • Yes fully agree. We never buy a watch without researching it which takes time. I also think that none of these people have ever worn a Patek for any appreciable amount of time and don’t understand why they are priced so high. It’s unfortunate but some will never get the chance so we are lucky.
      BTW great brand new 5065!!! One day let’s hope to own all aquanaut models. Looking forward to your next insight.

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