P.999 "Starting to make sense again..."

Last year we where speechless with introduction of two new movements that where just unbelievably thick. The first around the 8 millimeter mark while the second almost reached 1 centimeter in thickness. Most stunning of all, they where (and maybe still are) meant to be used as base calibres to later add modules on top. Now let's add; 10 mm for the base, 5 mm for a 100 meters waterproof case, an extra 2 mm for a nice sapphire convex glass and a GMT or chrono module of another 3 mm. Now add this up. Hilarious...

Interestingly, almost a year later it looks like somebody has finally bashed some sense into Panerai and the P.999 seems to be what should have been introduced not in 2010 but in 2008 instead. The numbers are indeed much more coherent and noteworthy than the previous predecessors. At a thickness of 3.4 millimeters we are talking just the right size to add interesting stuff on top and not really make a burger out of it. The P.999 has also a 60 hour power reserve which is almost 50% more than the UNITAS commonly used in manual low range Panerais. Not enough to reach three days but a welcomed increased autonomy none the less. The architecture is nothing new yet without going into the debate if this is yet another evolution of a movement developed last century, I give them again browny points for the looks of their movements. Despite this being an evolution of something old (practically all modern movements today are evolutions) their looks at least are modern. I can't wait to see the finished product in Geneva at the SIHH if it looks anything like the render here than I must admit I will be impressed. My second concern will be to know if this indeed will replace the Unitas at Panerai completely. I guess that production of the P.999 is limited. By the looks of it they are trying to maximize cash just sticking it into a gold case at first. A production of 500 pieces (possibly across two years or more) is no way near enough to replace the Unitas across all lines. If the P.999 where indeed to be the replacement I can only say; It's about time.

The P.999 certainly looks great. As I said in the past, I like the looks modern and simple but well executed finishes of their movements. I am also a recent fan of the Radiomir yet this first edition (PAM00336) to receive the P.999 is inconsequential at best. A 42 mm rose gold is just not new. This could be a mistake though since looking at the past gold Radiomirs that have been ridiculously expensive have been hard sales, even back when almost everything was getting sold. If you are indeed in the market for a gold Panerai this is undoubtedly the way to go. If you are not, just pray for the P.999 in steel.


Navy Seal "ALDAO"

First, before you start reading this post I need to inform you of my bias in the matter. I confess that I am one of the "fortunate" few that will have one of these NSA on December 10th and you could even say that I share a friendship with that jeweler. Now that the cards are on the table you can take the next paragraphs as you like.

There has been quite a stir with this Special Edition "Navy Seal Alarm" at the forums lately. The piece is essentially the same as the original one except for one "small" modification. The inscription on the glass instead of on the alarm wheel. Unlike most might think, this is no small difference, in fact this was how the NSA was initially planed. The regular NSA will be made 1,500 times and 30 out of these will be made with the printing on the glass. Understandably some Jaeger Fans feel left out, yet with little reason if you ask me. I fear that if I should post this on any of the forums I might cause more harm than good I have decide to post most of the facts regarding this matter here. Even at the expense of seeming that I am trying to sell watches from a jeweler. Here is the story;

June 4th, a group of Spanish collectors have been invited by the jeweler "ALDAO" to be presented with the new "Navy Seal" collection during dinner. During casual conversation at dinner it was revealed to one of these collectors that in fact, unlike the prototype, the official production version will have the "Jaeger leCoultre" as well as the "300 meters waterproof" printed on the dial. This was certainly a step back, in fact many liked the NSA because of the printing on the glass rather than on the dial. During this revelation, the gentleman in that conversation asked if it could be ordered with the "original" printed glass. At that moment, a second gentleman asked if he too could have this done to his NSA. Shortly thereafter, and needles to say, all the others where quick to get wind of this petition and asked for the same option. As a gesture to these very good customers Jaeger kindly offered 10 Navy Seal Alarms to be discretely and exclusively sold through that jeweler. Obviously they where sold on the spot....Two months later there is word that the 10 will be no longer, instead they now will be 30. The reason being that some members of a well known international forum found out about this small series and felt left out. Understandably, they also asked to have the chance to acquire this piece. So in order not to leave anybody out of this series Jaeger decided to raise that quantities to 30 while keeping their word that ALDAO would keep the exclusive right to these pieces.

For some reason, those that vigorously voiced their desire to have the chance to get this piece have not been sharing this information with all the people they where supposed to (cheeky, cheeky...) and rightfully so some now feel left out. Here I not only include fellow watch addicts but also a certain point of sale that pressed insistently to have some of these 30 NSA. Interestingly, since he is not getting any he has simply decided not to share existence of this piece with any of his customers. Instead of sending these customers and give them the chance to own this particular piece there is just no mention of this anywhere. I am not mentioning names since without proof this is merely "here-say" yet who is involved knows what I am talking about. ;-) I have the feeling that some people have not ben completely honest here.

Now back to the watch; I mentioned in a post back in February that I do think that the printing on the inside of the glass simply completes the watch in a very special way. I hope that it's understandable to anybody that if given the opportunity to have the watch as I saw it (and fell in love with) I would naturally go for it without hesitation. There have been some people voicing their concern regarding the anti-glare coating, or rather lack-off, on the inside of the glass due to the printing. It is true that for some reason you can not have both. Yet, I had both versions in my hand... the one with the printed glass wins hands down, despite the fact that it is not coated. Because the dial has a mat-black finish the lack of anti-glare on the inside is really no factor at all. Actually the only time I have missed a coating such as this on the inside of a glass was on the AMVOX1 LE in Titanium. The grey shiny surface was sometimes a problem but only when walking outside or if you had halogen lamps right above your head. Other than that it was just fine.

Now to the sales pitch; The watch will be delivered to all those that bought the watch at a dinner after a whole-day event hosted by ALDAO and Jaeger leCoultre in Madrid on December 10th. The event in it self is a mystery but according to the people organizing it it will be well worth the afternoon and following dinner. The price is the same as the regular Navy Seal Alarm. I am not certain if the are many left but here is the way (if you are interested) to get in touch with them and if possible still get your hands on one;

ALDAO Joyeros

c/ Gran Via 15
Tel; + 34 91-521-6925 (ask for Jorge)
eMail: aldaojoyeria @ gmail.com
Web: www.aldaojoyeros.com

Good luck to all, may the hunt last for ever!

Jaeger leCoultre...

The ABSURD at its best

...?!? So let me get this straight, there is a shortage of 5070s and considerable problems to replace it with a non-Lemania manual chrono, and Patek blesses us with a Lady's manual chrono?!? I wonder if they made any research regarding the market's need for something like this. If they indeed made some research, whoever came up with this brilliant moment of infinite clarity deserves to be skinned alive. Here is when you hear from you average run-o-the-mill moron say; " Patek is Patek..." Incidentally, the truly dumbest comment you can make about any brand to date. If you ever hear this moronic statement, turn around and walk away... you are in a conversation with a retard. Anybody that says "Patek is Patek", "Rolex is Rolex" or "AP is AP" simply is an idiot, no doubt. What does this mean anyway? That "whatever is whatever" is always great or always bad? What a stupid thing to say... Anyway, let's leave morons aside and continue discussing this latest strike of "genius" by Patek.

The movement is really something that most of us, manual-chrono addicts, were longing for from Patek. 2010 was (and still might be) the year of the 5070 replacement, yet instead of presenting its successor we get hit with a whole truck full-o-nonsense. Nonsense, why? Simple. What woman would buy a 50k watch (about 75k in US currency) that is completely deprived of sex appeal or glamour what-so-ever, and on top it's a manual? Manual!?! Pssst, psssst... guys at Patek, women that like watches and like to buy things like this have tastes closer to men and generally dislike diamonds on a watch. Women that like diamonds on a watch want a watch that is featured in Glamour magazine and definitely must NOT need to be winded every day. Plus, let's face it, this piece is UGLY. It looks like a Daniel Jean-Richard, a Millenary and Aerowatch had a child in a nightmare-love-trangle. Yuck! What a waste of a perfectly beautiful movement.

I sincerely hope that Patek have something good for those of us that are waiting for the 5070's replacement next year. If they don't, many are going to fall on them like a ton of bricks since most already believe they are a year late. Patek's stand at the Basel fair 2009 was already a disappointment.

Well, now what? Should this movement be replacing the 5070's Lemania... don't you think after "this" it is slightly demeaning?

Patek Philippe...

P.s. Incidentally, I am going over the articles and I am just barely done pissing my pants. Apparently the design team was made up entirely of women "... so as to leave nothing to chance". What a pisser!!! They surely "left no chance" instead of "leaving nothing to chance". To make sure I wasn't biased I showed this to my wife, with my best pokerface (I swear!). Needless to say, she just looked at it in disbelief. At the risk of sounding misogynistic, I can honestly hope this "team" does not bless us with more of their creations. This Lady Chrono will be available only at the new Art-deco Salon in Paris (would love to see it. Did I mention that the one in Geneva looks like a brothel?). Expect this 7071R to be at the nº10 de la Place Vendôme a long, long... very long time.