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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: GPHG's 2023 nominated timepieces

So there's a tension between utility and aesthetics with jewelry. My wife, for example, has to take her wedding ring off at work a lot because her hands go... sensitive places, shall we say but even in normie-land, crazy-stupid rings aren't uncommon. See also: earrings, bracelets, whatever.

This is especially problematic for accessories with nominal utility - belt buckles, pens and in particular, watches.

It's not uncommon to make cuff links out of lady's watch movements. It's highly uncommon to actually make them tell time. Cartier put a clock on a pen (I opted not to buy the straight line engine that made that pen) but it looks fucking stupid. The real problem is that the luxury industry is so completely compartmentalized that there's no real synthesis going on anywhere... and the places that do all their own stuff are invariably watchmakers, invariably male, and invariably fine purveyors of what I call womanbane.

There's a real love of mechanics for mechanics' sake and any attempt to make that oh, feminine or, you know, not fuggly is generally not attempted by anyone without a Y chromosome. Thus does the whole industry arc further and further away from the aesthetic sense of half the population. This is best illustrated by Richard Mille - the company has been run by the daughters of the founders for about four years now and yet the closest they can get to "aesthetically pleasing from a normie standpoint" is "how about pink." You have to keep in mind that for rank and file jewelers, "hinges" is a dark art...

...so you think they'd be blown away by shit like this but instead they hate on it and scream "kill the witch."





spencerflem  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Mille stuff is wild

I feel like theres some design overlap between

and the first watch I ever owned

Also wow that automaton is cool. Reminds me of the sorta stuff they used to do in Victorian times, neat that that whole tradition isn't lost

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I could speak at length about design language. The watch I wear has been made by five different companies at three price points over the past 70 years.

The motion of the Automate Fee Ondine was done by Pierre Junod, who is a master badass.

The other acknowledged master of automata is a friend of mine. She taught me guilloche.

I have another friend who made most of his money as a "paper engineer" - as in, he designed pop-up books. It was this connection that got him hooked up with Brian Selznick when Brian was busy trying to help the Franklin Institute restore The Maillardet. As a result Andy got to spend two weekends getting the thing presentable for the bicentennial... and ended up being the model for Hugo's dad.

uhsguy  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What do you mean by normies? At least on the west coast normies just buy brands like Apple and Nike. I’ve seen like 1 louis vuitton handbag at work that may have been real. The target demo for the jewelry you are showing off would be making 1m+ annually and is over 50.

The jewelry is really interesting as art but I have trouble imagining anyone wearing it except someone who earns an order of magnitude more than I do. I guess I just don’t get invited anywhere cool like that.

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

By "normie" I mean "people who don't stick their fingers up vaginas for money." As in, "even jewelry worn by normies is often impractical." "normie" has nothing to do with people buying watches off the GHPG list and you know it.

"I've seen like 1 Louis Vuitton handbag" makes "I guess I just don't get invited anywhere cool like that" self-evident. I wear a Frederique Constant I bought drunk off eBay for $140 but I have friends that make hundred thousand dollar watches.

Said-same friends do not wear hundred thousand dollar watches.

But then, I do have a friend whose watch collection is in the millions.

he does not make watches.

uhsguy  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I do see expensive watches a lot more than Hand bags. Pilots have a lot of excess money but I can’t say they have refined tastes. The Rolexes and the Nikes are basically the same in terms of people buying them because other people will recognize you are wearing an expensive thing personal style is mostly an afterthought. I’d love to know what the target demographic is for custom watches with no brand recognition. It’s gotta be a whole social class level above those that wear the branded stuff. Same way celebrities can wear replica Nikes but normal people would get laughed at for wearing fakes.

spencerflem  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tbf, I would have expected jewelry worn by medical professionals to be *more* practical than for everyone else, so I kinda get the confusion.

Thats interesting that watchmakers dont wear fancy watches, I would have guessed they did. I guess part of the mystique about buying a 200k watch that you're joining an exclusive club and having the club include the ppl who make things for you isnt as glamorous

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's what I'm saying. Her ring is practical AF but her corner-case is so corner-cased that it's impractical for her.

So here's a red pill for you. Pretty much everything you've ever seen, aside from computers and game consoles, is costed at "what did it cost us to make it, parts and labor" times roughly 40 percent, and sold at "what did it cost us to buy it" times roughly 40 percent. At least, that's the model - that way you can knock up to 25 percent off for sales and you make a little money. And that's why you rarely see discounts below that on anything that isn't going to literally or figuratively spoil - until the inventory is written down to nothing, it's a wash at 40 percent.

An iPhone 14 Pro Max costs Apple about $460, for example. They will sell it to you for $1099. $464 x 1.4 = $650 cost; for the factory $650 cost x 1.4 = $908 for the Apple Store (or whoever). Remember, Apple was the company that said "phones aren't loss leaders for carriers" because up until the iPhone, phones were literally sold at below cost to get you to sign up for AT&T or whatever. And this is the segment with the most intensive competition in the world, using the hottest components, with the most brutal marketing from the biggest companies in the world. And even there, the 40 percent rule holds.

So. Apple makes almost all their shit in house. Nearly zero watchmakers do. We buy our hands from here, get these guys to make our dials, get these other guys to make our bands, who get these guys to make their buckles, etc etc etc. Most watchmakers are assemblers, nothing more. And uhh.

Got a buddy. Buys his cases for $2000, buys his movements for $2000, buys his bands for $100, spends 32 hours on a rose engine to make the dial, sells 'em for $28,000. $28,000/1.4 = $20,000 - 4100 = $15,900 / 32 = damn near $500 an hour making that dial. Not a bad rate, eh? Except he pays someone else so his cost is probably $350/hr which roughly half goes to the employee (taxes and stuff are crazy) is still $175 an hour to sit there doing the ergonomically worst job in the world for a week. Dude's probably taking home about $4500 a week.

Except he's not. 'cuz that guy? He's a bunch of high school students. Myeah. My buddy is making HELLA more than 40% profit. Know what? he wears his own watches. Compare and contrast: Max Busser did an instagram spread of all the Horological Machines once. Someone asked "yours?" and he responded with "what do you think I'm made out of money?"

Aston Martin went public in 2018 and published their profits. It worked out to about $72 a car. Now on the one hand, there's a lot of shady accounting. But on the other hand, you wouldn't expect to see it in a "buy our stock we're profitable" prospectus. Automotive profits are pretty well-understood; the car industry is large and transparent. Jewelry is not. Did you know that Rolex, much like the NFL, is a non-profit? Look at all the money they hide I mean all the altruism they do!

Serannian  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

damn. i need to start selling bespoke LARP shit soon.

kleinbl00  ·  22 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honestly? You got a market for it?

There was a surprisingly large contingent of SCA folx in New Mexico. Big meets. And there was a jeweler there who made pretty much nothing but shit for SCA peeps. Most of his shit's gone?

But this is definitely cast off one of this pendants.

If you know what you can make it for, and if you know what you can sell it for, and if you can sell enough to make it worthwhile? It's a business. Something people don't realize is that a lot of the watches on this page are made in quantities of 50 max, more likely 10, most likely 1.

uhsguy  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you Simplify non-profit you the shareholder gets nothing and management eats all the profit it makes a lot more sense. When I was a kid I thought it was an organization that was supposed to do social good and that is incorrect.