Marco Koskinen, Your Man In Switzerland

Is Silicon The Snake Oil You Want to Pay For In Your Collectible Watch?

snake oil
I don’t collect watches but I have a few motor cycles. To me a bike that’s not running is not a bike. It’s a stock of spare parts, at best. My wife sees it more as a waste of space and money. The value of all my six bikes, together, does not come close to the price of a decent watch. Still, would I have bought any of my two-wheelers if I knew it had a crankshaft made of sugar and I’d have to send it to Japan every time it decided to snap. Would the sugar-crank factory still supply their thing in twenty years?
If you regard your watch as something with a two year life span. As a phone or a laptop, and throwing away 1000$ every 24 months does not bother you, silicon, pvd, glue etc. are perfect materials for building a watch. But, I don’t see any way crappy materials raise the value of a watch. It can look dead tricky, be different and sound like a joint venture between CERN and NASA but it’s not good watchmaking. Like having more than one tourbillon in a watch, it’s trying to reinvent the wheel, complicate things without gaining anything in the way of precision or quality. I do understand that watches can work as proof of technical ability and be super interesting and collectible because of their complexity but you want to be able to maintain and keep the watch working for generations to come for it to be an investment.
After-sales service is a major problem in watchmaking. The watch brands say they don’t make any money with it. Independent watchmakers are refused spare parts. Clients have to wait forever to get their watches repaired. I don’t think using novelty materials in valuable watches is the way forward…


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