Spotter’s Guide To The May 2019 Watch Journal

I had the pleasure of reviewing the new skeleton watches from Jacquet Jaquet Droz in this month’s Watch Journal. They’re not exactly my personal style (I’ve been dividing time between a Tudor Black Bay Bronze and a hilarious, but super-useful, gold-ion-plated Seiko Casio “All Metal” G-Shock) but if you like the idea of wearing something completely unique and easily recognizable, you’ll want to, uh, borrow twenty grand and buy one!

25 Replies to “Spotter’s Guide To The May 2019 Watch Journal”

  1. Pete D.Pete D.

    Jacquet Droz is an underrated brand with absolutely no idea how to tell/sell their story (unlike some manufactures) and yet JD clearly knows what they’re doing. Their “bird repeaters” are absolutely staggering inventions and the firm even has the history to back them up. On the plus side, their pieces are a steal on the secondary market. On the downside, they’re pretty damn inside baseball and a bit plain at that. Maybe the skeletonisation is fun ? If fad-ish…

    • AvatarTyguy

      My daily driver is classic Pepsi GMT Master one. But I have been eying the Tudor Black for quite a while. I really love bronze but I wish it had a matching bracelet. I just can’t deal with leather or fabric since I’m around water so much. I like heritage but I’m like the dial it originally came out with, yet the slightly less pretty current model has a much improved movement.

  2. AvatarThomas M

    Haha. Watch “reviews”, if you’re going to whore yourself out writing PR puff pieces, at least get the name of the brand correct. What a joke. What a giveaway.

    Pete D: what story? Some bull from Swatch group?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      How hard-hitting does a piece on a completely unnecessary item for the ultra rich need to be? You want me to take it to the Challenger Deep?

      You’re free to read the piece, where I address both the quick-bake aspect of the brand and the fact that it, like the Parmigiani manufacture I discussed the month before, simply makes Gilded Age toys.

    • Pete D.Pete D.

      @Thomas : JD has a story like Lancia has a story (if Lancia still made the Stratos – like JD still makes the bird repeater)

      @Jack : Why do Gilded Age toys have to be “simply” toys ? What could be more necessary than art ? To quote CS Lewis, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Lewis was wrong. Friendship, or at least reciprocal relationship, is undoubtedly an adaptive human behavior that has survival value. All human societies create art so that’s also likely adaptive.

        • Pete D.Pete D.

          I took the first half of Lewis’ quote to be facetious, or at least rhetorical. That anything could give value to survival is at best a philosophical trompe d’oeil. It’s certainly no Darwinian/Freudian explanation of cause.

  3. AvatarPaulyG

    As my daily watch is a Garmin 920XT, your mention of the Seiko G-Shock in gold metal made me search out information on the $600 watch instead. Clearly someone at Seiko has a sense of humor. I may have to pick up one of those.

  4. Avatarrambo furum

    I looked this thing up. Wasn’t there a time when the slenderness of a case was a sign of refinement and luxury? Why is this thing a chunky 12.3mm thick, which is almost half an inch and a good 1/16″ thicker than my old brick of a smartphone? I barely wear my old chronograph because the ~11mm case thickness is cumbersome.

    • Pete D.Pete D.

      Luxury != refinement, at least not today. Richard Mille is the hottest “fuck you money” watch in the world at the moment and their most popular pieces are like 16mm thick. Barbaric ? Impractical ? Ostentatious ? That’s the Gilded Age for ya.

  5. Avatar-Nate

    Wow ~ 20K for a _wristwatch_ ~ my mind simply boggles .

    I could have my roof completly re done and prolly have my car repainted for that much .

    I think my $35 used Chinese ‘Waltham’ day/date wristwatch will have to suffer a few more decades of yeoman duty…..

    I was getting the battery replaced and noticed what I thought looked like a fine watch : Citizen black dial like the U.A. Army used long ago for $165 .

    Blue Collar dreams I guess .


    • Avatarmdm08033

      My dislike of watch batteries drove me to invest in my first automatic almost 20 years ago. I got lucky when Fossil was selling off new old stock of their recently acquired Zodiac brand Swiss watches. I ended up with a Calame with a Swiss made ETA movement and front/rear sapphire crystals for $99. Lifetime battery free watches and welted shoes don’t have to be expensive, you just have to keep your eyes open and learn to spot quality.

      After three automatic watches plus my father’s Seiko diver, I’m outta the game, but it’s fun to look.

      • Avatarrambo furum

        Dislike of watch batteries? That’s sort of like disliking car batteries. Yes, the little cells give out after a few years of incessant service, but I was quite happy to pick up a watch that had not been touched in over a week and have no concerns that it would need setting or any attention whatsoever. I’m happy to trade a chronic issue in for a rare acute one.

        • Avatarsgeffe

          ^ This.

          I know that to a watch connoisseur, a battery is heresy, but it is easier than having to use a winder, plus isn’t a quartz movement going to be more accurate (much less a watch which can read an atomic clock signal)?

          I love Swiss watches, and have a twenty year-old Tag Heuer with date, a Tissot chronograph, and a Victronox Chronograph, and would like an Omega or Breitling when a have a few thousand dollars I’m not doing anything with! But I’ll take a quartz movement any day!

          • Avatar-Nate

            To be honest I loved my $32 Timex self winding day/date watches, they were American made and cheap service by mailer to Littlerock, Ar. was great .

            Then my son’s school chums spotted and stole them all (I had several ready to go) and Timex stopped making them, after a few years I began buying $6 Chinese Waltham watches that at least _looked_ like I think a watch should look….

            SWMBO caught me looking at rectangular Breitlings one day and insisted on buying me one ~ under $400, I thought it exorbitant, everyone at the shop was flabbergasted….

            I still have it but only wear it to weddings etc….

            Too nice to want to let it get beat up .


          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author


            Mechanical movements require far more intervention than battery watches. Nobody ever suggests that you send your Casio F-91W to the authorized service center for a $650 tune up every five years, yet that’s the standard procedure for Rolex/Omega/IWC

  6. AvatarJustPassinThru

    Since my 1992 Casio “World Time” watch gave up the ghost (LCD screen started leaking internally like squid ink) four years ago, and no replacement is available (it really was useful, especially to an outdoorsman – the thermometer was accurate to within two degrees; and the time-zone bounce-back-and-forth worked for working two time zones, which I did)…

    …since that happened, I’m contenting myself with marked-down $5.95 digitals off the Wally World clearance rack. They get marked down after spending a certain amount of time in-store.

    They generally keep good time for a year or so, and then it’s cheaper to replace them than to replace a battery. And at some point, a wristwatch will be totally useless – with cars, motorcycles, ovens, conputers, CPAP machines, probably refrigerators, recording and often displaying time.

    Yes, I get the social bennies from obvious conspicuous consumption, but I don’t see any true benefits. Not for me, now, and not for most people, here going forward. To cite Jack’s phrase of many months ago: A Hard Reset is coming.

    In his defense of the article, many interests are key to good mental health. Even when obsolete or frivolous.

    • Avatardejal

      I have 2 inherited 1920ish mantel and wall pendulum clocks. Not expensive when new and not expensive now. I spent more on getting them to more or less keep time then they are worth because they are part of the family.

      I’m in western Mass. From where I am, there’s one clock repairer in Pittsfield, one in the Worcester area and one on the Connecticut shore that are easily derivable (CT not so much) . I brought them to Pittsfield. Husband and wife business in a store front. This was a couple of years ago. They wanted to get out of the game and no one – including their kids – wanted any part of the business. Beautiful clocks. The guy showed me coo-coo clocks he was rebuilding. There’s no market for this kind of stuff anymore. A natural territory for Pittsfield would be Albany, NY. Still not enough business.

  7. AvatarAndrew

    I like my *Casio* G-Shock GW-5000-1JF. It is my first G-Shock and a MTG is next. Got hooked on Casio after using a cheap $23 Casio with solar & atomic timekeeping and 14 years later it’s still within 1 second of the cell phone and no battery changes. I’ll be sad when the atom clock is shut down.

  8. AvatarBill Malcolm

    Assuming the company can spell its own name on its product, then your invention of a modified one is incorrect. Jaquet. There is no extra “c’. Jaquet Droz.


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