Watches in the wild (Mexico City continued, Volume 5)

Disclaimer: Jaeger LeCoultre Master Geographic pictured above is my most worn watch this week.  One of the great underrated references from a great underrated watch Maison.

This is the fifth in a semi regular digest of cool watches I happened to see this week.

 Past posts in this series have been hashtagged to #watchesinthewild and you can click through for part 1part 2part 3, and part 4.

As always, general policy is that I never ask for wrist shots (because approaching strangers and distant acquaintances to talk about watches is already weird enough) so all pictures below are sourced from the internet.  People are mostly cool, I try not to annoy them.

As mentioned in my prior update, I spent last weekend in Mexico City, a city so fruitful for watch spotting that it earned a second go around.  Most watches pictured below are from there.

Tag Heuer Formula One Red Bull Racing Chronograph
 

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Observed in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia on the wrist of an American tourist in the Mayan section of the museum.  A friend of mine has one very similar to this one.  

I am no Tag Heuer expert (@chronotriggered and @SurferJohn  are the true experts) I find that Tag is a company that seems content to swim against prevailing Swiss luxury watch company strategy, particularly around usage of quartz and outsourced movements.

For example, what other major Swiss luxury watch brand would create a line of watches which are predominantly quartz Chronographs?

I admit when looking up this watch (I was very aware it was a Formula One but little else) I had no idea just how broad the Formula One product line up was, across all manner of bold and beautiful colors.

And you know what?  I actually rather like it.  I don't think it's the most interesting thing that Tag Heuer can do horologically, but they're....fun.  And if there was ever an overly serious hobby that could use a bit of fun, it's watch collecting.

As the recent thread around the Mario Kart cobranded watch would suggest, I think they can only really fail when they get too conservative design wise. To me, the Formula One line is at its best when it embraces its loopier side.

It made me wonder who in their right mind would spend $2k on a scalper supplied MoonSwatch when they could have one of these at the same price.

Speaking of....

Omega Moonswatches (Pluto and Earth)

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Observed in a restaurant in Polanco on the wrists of two young parents with two very well behaved children.

Being the father of young children myself, I have great admiration for any parent who takes their below 5 kiddos to a restaurant.  It's pretty much a crap shoot as to whether you'll exit the restaurant with any human dignity whatsoever.  At any rate, these are fairly recognizable watches, in large part because of the speedmaster shape and bright colors.

On the day these dropped, I, not being on social media in any way, casually dropped by the Swatch store in San Francisco to take a look.  I figured I might have some very casual interest in the Mars version.  I've never had a red watch before, so I figured $250 was a pretty low price of entry on something that might hypothetically be collectible some day. I was stopped a block away by the police who asked me if I was heading to the Swatch store in Union Square and then subsequently advised me that I should avoid the area because of a scuffle out front.  And thus ended my interest.

I won't make any specific comments on the MoonSwatches themselves (they've been beaten to death by others) but I do like that he bought one for himself and one for his wife.

But most of all I hope he bought at retail. 
 

Graham Chronofighter

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Observed in El Palacio de Hierro Polanco in the kids section.

This watch is so bonkers that even though I've never held one in the metal, I could recognize it instantly.

If Panerais are streakers in the town square, Graham Watches are naked skydivers screaming at the top of their lungs all the way down.  The left handed crown, massive overengineered triggers along the side, and bold Graham branding on the a very boldly sized watch, are just lovely little amusements.

I often imagine the stereotypes of people who wear different types of watches.  Rolexes are worn by rich Muggles.  Omegas are worn by watch tech snobs.  Pateks are for royalty, APs for nouveau riche. Grand Seikos are worn by neeeeerrrrrdddds.

To me, Graham Chronofighters are watches worn by people who are overly knowledgeable about merits of specific WW2 fighter aircraft. 

(What?  No I'm not talking about me.  Look, the Vought F4U had the best K-D ratio in the war AND it was carrier capable.  Of course you're a P-51D fan.  Don't be so basic.)

The gentleman was carrying his daughter through the kids section while she clicked the chronograph trigger over and over again.  The look of proud satisfaction on his face is one that I have recognized on myself time and again.

I wonder if he got (or kept) the watch because he knew his daughter would love it.  I wouldn't put it past a happy father.

Patek Phillipe Nautilus 

Rolex Submariner Batman

Cartier Tank Louis

FP Journe Elegante

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Observed within five minutes of each other  next to a wall of flowers across from the Berger AD on Masryk Street.  Let this point forever more be known as "Hype Watch Corner."

Any opinions I could offer on these watches is awfully loaded so I'll only do a couple of quick hits.

The PP Nautilus is my 2nd favorite of the big 3 integrated sports bracelet watches (in order VC Overseas, Nautilus, with the RO bringing up the rear).  But if we're going to share secrets that are going to get me booted from the watch club, I think I'd get more joy out of  a Parmagiani or a Piaget Polo and a Mercedes E-class of my choice.

The Batman is my favorite of the recent vintage Rolex GMTs.  It nails the bling/toolishness of modern Rolex very well. I occasionally toy with standing in line for this one.  Thankfully for my pocket book, I never really find reason to.

I love love love the Tank Louis Cartier.  It's the most classic version of the world's most classic wrist watch.

I am, by no means a quartz snob, but it does feel like profit margins in the Elegante must be awfully high even by hype watch standards.  Still, a very beautiful watch and I remain a big fan of tonneau shapes.

Seiko Spirit Chronograph (SBTR013)

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Observed in an open air restaurant in Polanco on the wrist of an older gentleman.

Once upon a time when I was a less focused collector than I am right now, I owned no fewer than a dozen quartz, mechaquartz, and mechanical/automatic chronographs.  At least 8 were Seiko or Seiko powered.  This was one of them.

I love Seiko in all of its iterations.  Cheap Seikos, pricey Seikos, classic Seikos and weird ones.  To me, it is a brand that exemplifies by you can't evaluate watches based entirely on specs.  They're fundamentally emotional and Seiko tugs the heart strings better than most.

Ultimately, this is an homage of the steel bezel Daytona.  It's well made and an absolute strap monster. I loved this watch well and eventually gifted it to my brother-in-law.

If you're looking at the Seiko Solar Speedtimer but have a bit of nostalgia for the older looking bare steel bezeled chronographs of perhaps a decade or two ago, give this one a look.

Black Bay Chrono reverse panda

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Seen at a pizza restaurant after pumpkin patching with my daughter.  Had a lovely and short conversation with the owner before running back to my kid (parenting comes first after all).  

Said that he got it a couple weeks ago and that he missed the panda version by a couple days.  I told him that I definitely prefer the reverse panda to the panda. 

Aside from the Pro and the GMT, the BB Chrono is the best exemplar of how good a watchmaker Tudor is and has become.

BB Chronograph has all the awesome attitude of its true design ancestor, the Rolex Daytona ref 6263 "Big Red" and the excellent internals to match, derived from the modern and powerful Breitling B01.

Anyway, it was a lovely conversation with a lovely gentleman who indulged my curiosity.  We waved goodbye as we parted ways.  I love these small pleasant encounters that are part and parcel of watch spotting in the wild.

What cool watches did you see this week?

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How is the bracelet on that JLC? I’ve been considering getting one for my jlc sector

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TrynaZeke

How is the bracelet on that JLC? I’ve been considering getting one for my jlc sector

I'm not sure which bracelet goes with the Sector dial but mine is this one (shown on JLC Hometime).

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It is a frankly exceptional bracelet with one major flaw.  Looks great, exceptionally well made, secure, has two toolless micro adjusts (sort of the Rolex easy link thing) so getting a perfect fit is painless.

The one big niggle is that it's pin and collar links.  You only have to deal with that once but they are a real pain.

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Hard Clap GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I love, love, love these posts!

I wish I had you around whenever I see a watch on someone's wrist.  I can never make out what the watch is, and I don't have the guts to walk up to strangers to ask them about their watches!

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HotWatchChick69
Hard Clap GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I love, love, love these posts!

I wish I had you around whenever I see a watch on someone's wrist.  I can never make out what the watch is, and I don't have the guts to walk up to strangers to ask them about their watches!

It's just a thing I do...it's better than spending time on my phone playing a mobile game or watching a video.

Whenever I get down south, find me a great watch spotting corner and I can point things out as they walk by 😉

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Edge168n

I'm not sure which bracelet goes with the Sector dial but mine is this one (shown on JLC Hometime).

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It is a frankly exceptional bracelet with one major flaw.  Looks great, exceptionally well made, secure, has two toolless micro adjusts (sort of the Rolex easy link thing) so getting a perfect fit is painless.

The one big niggle is that it's pin and collar links.  You only have to deal with that once but they are a real pain.

Thank you! Hmm if i pass by the AD i will inquire about their latest model mc date with bracelet just to try on wrist

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@Edge168n, another spectacular post!

Tag Heuer Formula One

I spotted this watch on the wrist of an Italian officer at the dining hall.

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Garmin Insinct

Another watch that I spotted in the dining hall.

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G-Shock DW5900

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Seiko Chronograph

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Random Others

Apple Watch x 10,000

G-Shock x 1,000

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@Edge168n  Very cool post.  I always notice when someone is wearing a decent watch.  The best watch spotting is in Tokyo, IMHO.

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“Rolexes are worn by rich Muggles.  Omegas are worn by watch tech snobs.  Pateks are for royalty, APs for nouveau riche. Grand Seikos are worn by neeeeerrrrrdddds.”


absolutely beautifully spot on 🤣 delighted to be on Nerd camp 4 lyfe

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And VC are for the oldbloods. The secret shakers and dealers of the world. In fact, if there is an Illuminati they'd probably all be wearing a VC. 🧐

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Fantastic post 👏!  

Been a dry week and no proper watches in the wild sightings for me.

I suppose I did see a dozen or so apple watches and maybe the odd low end Garmin (a 220?) but nothing that was interesting enough to engage my brain cells. 

You were spot on with watch owner stereotypes.  I‘m saving funds to join the NNNEEEERRRD crowd someday 🤓 🤷‍♂️

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TalkingDugong

And VC are for the oldbloods. The secret shakers and dealers of the world. In fact, if there is an Illuminati they'd probably all be wearing a VC. 🧐

Not Illuminati, the Stonecutters:

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A friend and budding watch enthusiast has been searching for a moon phase for a while. This week he landed one and I can't help but be envious.

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A Graham Chronofighter in the wild! I’ve yet to see anyone with one, so I’m still angling to be the only one in my extended circle. 
I am very partial to a Chronofighter, I’ve let 2 through my grasp over the years and I’m still kicking myself.

Humbled for the shoutout by the way. 🤝

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watchobsessed

@Edge168n, another spectacular post!

Tag Heuer Formula One

I spotted this watch on the wrist of an Italian officer at the dining hall.

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Garmin Insinct

Another watch that I spotted in the dining hall.

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G-Shock DW5900

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Seiko Chronograph

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Random Others

Apple Watch x 10,000

G-Shock x 1,000

I see a lot of casios too.  I would love to shoot them out more but I always wait for something a little more unique!

Awesome spots!

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SurferJohn

@Edge168n  Very cool post.  I always notice when someone is wearing a decent watch.  The best watch spotting is in Tokyo, IMHO.

100%. There's probably a book to be written about watch spotting in Tokyo and then a follow-up on used watch shopping there.