Bringing something to the table – Part 3

This is the third and final article in the “Bringing to the table” series of posts. The aim has been to give some insight into why a specific watch finds itself as part of my collection.

This third article will look at just two watches – the Ref. 3448J and the 5712A. The former has been in my collection for several years while the latter is an addition this year.

Each watch collector is uniquely different. Each has his own specific triggers that fire off different neurons that lead to us wanting a watch. There is no right and no wrong, just individual preference. With that in mind, it follows that each of us perceive features of a watch that are unique to us and trigger unique reactions. When a watch comes along that fires virtually all of these pleasure neurons in one go, it marks something unusual. Typically, one sees a watch and it has features that we like. More than often, it also has some features that are less positive. However, it is indeed rare when a watch comes along and it appears flawless to our perception. When that happens to a collector, he knows about it.

For me, this happened when I saw the Ref. 3448J.It is exactly how I think a perfect perpetual calendar watch should look. It is, to me, flawless. To be fair, within the Patek Philippe history, I would classify the Ref. 2497 and 3448 as the two perpetual calendars that stand as examples of perfect perpetual calendar watches – the first manual wind and the latter automatic. If I was making the same assessment of perpetual calendar chronographs, the Ref. 2499 would be what comes to my mind as the perfect watch.

Ref. 3448J

When I saw the Ref. 3448J, I knew I had found the “centre” of my collection. It was a watch that I knew I wanted above any other. Its vintage charm. Its superbly enamelled moonphase. And what I saw as a perfectly balanced dial. When a watch has a moon phase, and I mean any watch, it is absolutely essential for me that the moon phase is executed in a way that makes the watch. I am not sure I have seen the moon phase complication executed better than on the Ref. 3448.

Why did the Ref. 3448J make its way into my collection? Fundamentally, I think many collectors are in search of “something”. That “something” is often psychological. It can also be something about a specific watch too. With the Ref. 3448, I found what I knew was the “centre” of my collection. By that, I don’t mean the “best” or the “most expensive.” Those are actually superficial descriptions. Rather, I mean a watch which hits at the very heart of why many of us collect. A watch that we perceive as flawless.

Every aspect of the Ref. 3448 appears flwless to my perception

Even the double-hallmarking is a pleasure

The second watch in this review is my Ref. 5712A. To be fair, I have a mixed history with the Nautilus range. As a genre, Nautilus has become over-hyped. Having said that, one cannot deny that the Nautilus has a persona that can be quite positively infectious. Nautilus captures the essence of casual sportiness. Or perhaps I should say sporty casualness. Sporty chic maybe? Uhmmm, the more I think about it, the more I realise that the difficulty in framing the Nautilus as either a pure sports watch (which it is not) or a pure casual watch (also questionable) is what causes many so much difficulty in embracing it.

I know one collector who argues that if you want a sports watch, then buy a Rolex not a Nautilus. Such a view is short-sighted. It fails to understand that tastes vary from one collector to another. It also fails to understand just exactly what Patek Philippe aim to achieve with the Nautilus. The Nautilus is how Patek Philippe interpret sporty watches. If one wanted a steel, round, bezelled, insert automatic that could withstand deep diving, then sure go for a Rolex. But if you want a sporty watch that captures something quite different, then maybe, just maybe, the Nautilus fires enough taste neurons in your brain to make you love it. For me, this is why the Ref. 5712A is in my collection. It gives me a sporty yet casual watch that I can wear on virtually any occasion. White metal and blue dial also ticked some boxes for me….LoL

A watch that moves seemlessly in any company

Having now reviewed several of the watches in my collection, I hope it has become clear that I have a specific philosophy on collecting. It can be boiled down into one sentence. I buy what makes me smile. It really is as simple (or complex) as that.