So, I am the proud owner of a White Birch and love it!
However - there's always a however, isn't there - I am thinking about parting with my SLGH005. Why? For very idiosyncratic reasons:
(Look, I know how utterly ridiculous that is. I mean, it's like saying, "I only collect rookie year baseball cards of left-handed pitchers born west of the Mississippi." But, you know, we gotta come up with some bullsh*t organizing principles with which to guide us through life, otherwise the universe, and our very short time in it, is all just chaos and savagery, right?)
The one thing holding me back from letting it go is the dial. It's out of this world. Which is why I commissioned a custom Shirakaba dial build from @Gasworks. Check it out! It's awesome!
My thinking was that if I could have a custom mod made for me, with equivalently gorgeous dial, then I could easily let go of the SLGH005 - after all, if you don’t care about the movement inside a watch, at that point, all you care about is the finishing, the design, and… the dial, right? And a dial is a dial is a dial, right?
Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s worked out. The @Gasworks White Birch custom mod is a phenomenal watch. It's beautiful, the fit and finish is wonderful, it boasts a reliable NH35 movement, and the price @Gasworks charges is criminally low. However, no matter how good Chinese fast prototyping and advanced machining has become, the Shirakaba-ness of the aftermarket / mod dials available to purchase is ultimately incapable of matching that of the handmade craftsmanship, coupled with the massive R&D budgets and MEMS technology, of the real deal from Grand Seiko.
Which is mind-blowing to me. Over the course of the past year, I’ve purchased something like ~50 Chinese fakes… eh, Chinese replicas... of Rolexes, Omegas, and other Swiss watches to hand out as gag gifts and stocking stuffers for family and friends. And, in each and every case, if you asked me to put them side-by-side with my real Swiss watches, I would give myself a 50/50 chance of being able to identify the fake - in other words, zero ability above random chance to distinguish real from fake, because the fakes are simply that good.
Not so with the SLGH005. I mean, you would think that all their “craftsmanship” and “dude spent 15 years learning how to rub a stick made of ancient dogwood on the case to get it perfectly shiny” was all just marketing schtick. But, weirdly enough, it ain’t. It’s real. Apparently, no matter how good the Chinese manufacturing, it still can’t replicate this:
So, where does this leave us? I don’t know, man! All I know is this:
So, time to sell / trade-in the SLGH005?
P.S. Charity auction for a Baltic Bicompax 002 goes until Friday, June 24, 12pm PT. Win a watch and dictate my user handle here on WatchCrunch! And get a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur.
The Artist formerly known as @Omeganut