Why do so many watch names include the word “master?” Examples include the Trainmaster, Marinemaster, Misslemaster, Worldmaster, Master Compressor, Speedmaster, and Yachtmaster. I have heard that the Trainmaster name is linked to Webb Ball’s involvement with standardizing watches after a train collision. Other watches, such as the Benrus Skymaster, seem to have been advanced for their time replica watch.
Does the term master have a technical meaning? Or is it a marketing ploy similar to the phrases craft and artisan?
The term has no technical meeting at all that I am aware of. Probably it’s used, when it’s used, as a way of lending an air of conviction to a wristwatch. As part of a compound name it reinforces the hopeful notion that whatever the primary function of a watch, it’s supremely (or so the brand hopes) suited for that role.
Thus the Replica Seiko or Fortis Marinemaster watches make you the master (you hope) of the Seven Seas; the Yachtmaster makes you the master of, well, a yacht; the Trainmaster makes you the master of trains, should you have any interest in being one, which seems increasingly unlikely these days. The whole business with Webb C. Ball is a bit exaggerated by the way; the train accident in question did not happen because of an engineer’s stopped watch and Ball was not the first to suggest and attempt to implement a time service for railroad watches although he was certainly a major figure in creating wide adoption of a time service system.
The Speedmaster ironically is best known for its use as a piece of equipment issued to NASA flight crews, where the only speed-specific part of its design (its tachymetric bezel, which allows the user to measure speeds over a measured mile of anywhere from 60 to 500 mph) is rather conspicuously useless.
I’m ‘blessed’ with three boys as the fruit of my loins. They’re still quite young, and thus far my watch collection is unimpressive: a couple of vintage Glashütte (pleural is the same as singular I presume), an old Girard Perregaux (for which the word vintage is too good), and a modestly interesting modern Tag Heuer (but probably by my, not snob standards)
I reckon that I can swing a bit of watch spending past the CFO if I angle it as an investment piece to pass on to each of my offspring. They are all very different people, and as such they give me the opportunity to explore three quite different avenues. Setting aside the notion of watches as investment per se, I wondered if you had any improvements on my position so far; in each case I’m open to new, used and vintage, and would be looking to spend only 4 figures.
Child one is a quiet, reserved type. He doesn’t take risks and reminds me most of my brother the architect. For him I wondered about a low end Patek Philippe (of almost any description- I find them all pretty much boring but solid and fairly beautiful). An A Lange would probably meet similar criteria (albeit way more interesting to me) but is probably out of the price range.
Child two is the apple of my eye. He’s outspoken, outgoing, and is the most likely to follow in his father’s footsteps as a hospital doctor. For this one I had more diverse thoughts: on the one hand a used Ressence (which might just fit in budget) because the whole thing is just so showbiz, but the ETA movement makes it feel a little ‘gourmet burger’. On the other hand, I wondered about something like a Jaeger Memovox or Amvox alarm, because, well, they’re loud. Notionally, he’d be the one to inherit a minute repeater, but if I had the money for a new Porsche, I’d be buying that instead.
Child three is my cage fighter. He’s simple and tough. I suppose ideally he’d just be getting a g-shock (which I know would be approved), but in the spirit of fairness I had thought of something like the Rolex Milgauss, or the Patek Aquanut (though the latter may not be obtainable).
Well God send you are not as candid with your children as you are with me, because I suspect numbers one and three might find knowing that number two is the apple of your eye sours the notion of a watch as a gift a bit! You haven’t said what their ages are but rest assured, the character of children can seem so well established as to be writ in stone when they are seven, only to have changed out of all recognition at seventeen … and then again, at twenty-seven. So don’t be too hasty to read the enduring moods of a particular age as permanent character traits. Also “pleural” I assume is a slip of the pen, understandable from a medical man (for our readers, “pleura” is an anatomical term, referring to a type of membrane).
Assuming however that the traits you limn will indeed be enduring, for the eldest I would recommend the Lange Saxonia Thin 37mm; for the follower-in-your footsteps, a Patek or Vacheron (the steel triple calendars from Vacheron that just came out would suit very well, as a matter of fact, for not terribly much more than the Lange) and for the third, the Milgauss, which is a far more interesting watch than the Aquanaut and which has the advantage of having technical superiority to both the Lange and the Vacheron as a way of making up to him a bit the price difference. That’s two steel timepieces and one in gold, with enough difference between them to make each seem a unique and special bequest when the time comes, and to make them interesting for you to wear in the meantime.
I wanted to ask you about Replica Audemars Piguet’s Millenary Chronograph Reference: 25822OR.OO.D067CR.01. I would love to one day but the royal oak thin but it’s way too expensive for my current means. This one, though very different has caught my attention and looks really appealing. I am not seeking approval but more on the history of their millenary collection, quality of movements and overall do they belong in, for the lack of a better word, a good watch collection. Thanks.
The Millenary collection was first introduced in 1995, but the case shape is much older: from the 1950s, when Audemars Piguet, along with Patek and Vacheron, were experimenting enthusiastically with unusual case and lug designs. I find them very interesting. They have very little to recommend them from a resale value and can be had in some cases, depending on the model, for pennies on the pound with respect to the original asking prices, but they represent a wonderful connection to a time when Audemars Piguet was actually willing to do some, anything, other than yet another Royal Oak or Royal Oak Offshore model. The fact that the latter sell is no excuse for the utterly sterile lack of imagination of the company’s designs in their most current collection.
Now whether or not it has a place in your collection, or in any collection, depends on who you are and what you collect; if you collect Replica Audemars Piguet and are tired of seeing octagons, why the Millenary definitely has a place. It also does if you want a quirky watch with an interesting past. Personally I would rather have almost any Millenary than see yet another Royal Oak variation. I can’t fault AP for producing so many Royal Oak and Offshore variants from a survival standpoint; their job is to sell watches, after all. But at some point they’ll have to find a way to wet the whistle of the watch buying public for something else, or they run the risk of turning into Panerai – only with only one model to their name, not two.