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Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:54 am
by ticou
I thought I'd look outside of bikes and see comparison's with other high end interests. We all like Music, and a nice watch now and then. Of course ultra top end Hi-Fi, with the likes of Burmester, McIntosh and Sonus Faber, can set you back £50K for a CD player alone, and with watches £20K is the start line. But if we judge our best bikes at between £2.5K to £10K, what do we get in the other two?

If I wanted to get a genuine Hi Fi system, the start line would be around £3K-£6K. Most folks would say that Rolex is the finest quality watch, nestling just behind the trinity of Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantine and Audemars Piguet, and perhaps two or three other marques, and that goes from £5K-£9K, as long as you don't go to solid gold or with jewels.

Hi fi of course can go wrong, but you'd expect a decade out of it at least, and Rolex are deemed suitable to pass on to your grandkids, yet as the dosh goes upwards in our sport, it appears the durability goes downward. Some of us cling to steel hoping this will reverse the trend, yet a h/made frame by a master will still set you back £3K. Beauty is also important, essential with watches, slightly less so with hi fi, yet the beauteous Campag is over shadowed sales wise by Shim.

Are they our wiser cousins? I think so.

Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:54 am
by Weenie

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:50 am
by Pharmstrong
Wiser cousins? Ostentatious tat.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:21 am
by echtogammut
Rolex is a bit like Pinarello, high quality but mass produced. There is nothing wrong with either, but they both are seem a bit overpriced when you look at the volume sold. There is a Rolex made about every 30 seconds (based on Rolex's production number / number of work hours), similarly Pinarello cranks out frames at high rate, but both sell at boutique prices. Vacheron and Audemars are more like the Parlee and Calfee brands, they produce a lot lower volume, have more artistry and like showing off their internals (in the case of bikes the carbon weaves and unique carbon parts). Also the people buying Vacheron or Audemars tend to be obsessed by the complications and build, much like Parlee/Calfee people are looking for something more special either in fit or design. Then there are the Patek Philippe or Franck Muller watches, which are primarily analogues to the custom steel frame builders. Volume is very low and people are willing to do almost anything to get on that backlog list. They are not looking for the most high tech device, but want a functional work of art. A person wearing a Patek Philippe Celestial is making a statement that only a very small number of people would recognize, so it is more about a personal love than just showing off a flashy toy. Similarly someone with one of those ultra-limited steel frames may not be recognized by the Pinarello guy as having something more exclusive, but he knows how precious his toy is.

I take exception to putting Rolex remotely near Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin or a Audemars Piguet. In my opinion they are a bit like the Bose of the watch market. Everyone knows them and they have sold an image of being great, but there is nothing special about them and there are a lot better watches in their price category. For men's watches, they are essentially a Soviet Tank watch, which is a fine, solid, massive piece, but lacks any real sophistication. Of course that is my opinion and I am sure others will disagree, although I will still be right.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:33 am
by de zwarten
You can get a Colombus XCr frame with lifetime warranty for 1500 euro around here (i.e. they will repair it no matter what, as long as they are in business) .

And you can still build a school in Africa for less than any of those Hifi systems. Maybe something much more challenging, inspiring, complex and gratifying in life than talking about stuff only the 0.01% in this world can buy. Think about that, too.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:21 am
by ticou
Chaps! I never said I'd buy Rolex, Burmeister etc, a £150 Seiko does me just fine, and as a cyclist I don't exactly spend all day listening to high end hi fi either. I agree with Echto that Rolex are mass produced, and the movements look a bit ersatz compared to a Lange etc, but they look good, and they last eons.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:00 am
by ultimobici
Talking of watches, can anyone in the London or Home Counties area recommend a watchmaker to service an Oris Big Crown? I want a hands on place, not someone who farms it out. TIA

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:04 pm
by sungod
there's http://www.antiquewatchcouk.com/watchrepairs.htm who do oris i think, haven't used them myself

i have used http://www.newcavendishjewellers.com/co ... vices.aspx they do not do it in house, but my experience is the results are good - after dissatisfaction with the muppets that selfridges used, i had both my breitling and the gf's omega serviced via new cavendish, excellent job in both cases

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:09 pm
by Flasher
However, Rolex steel sports models are a wise investment, you will never lose your money on one, bought one mid-90's could easily sell it for 3 times what it originally cost, wish I could say the same about my bikes!

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:33 pm
by stella-azzurra
Watches, cars, bikes are generally commodities. Most commodities depreciate in value over time. They are not assets. Assets are designed to generate money: real estate, stocks, mutual funds, business.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:41 pm
by Geoff
You forgot espresso machines and motorcycles...

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:10 pm
by ticou
It's been pissing it down all weekend, so I've been admiring my steel, which like a Rolex has appreciated over time, is even prettier, and cost a third of the price. The cheapest Rolex I could find 2nd hand was £2995, from 1999. Some of the Sub's from the 70's are £40K! I like the idea of an explorer 2, but not the price. It's those schools in Africa.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:24 pm
by tymon_tm
huh i like watches, but for me these are just about form - don't they all show the correct time? personally Festina works for me just fine (nothing to do with cycling, just pure aesthetics)

audio? Harmann Kardon does the job well. i paid like 1,500 euro for the whole 'set'

IME there's a (price) level beyond which you just pay for a brand or some bling effect that doesn't improve the performance at all. i bet 99% can't feel the difference between a 1K and 10K audio, just like they won't appreciate a 1K bottle of wine.

and do they last? i still have an old audio set my dad bought in the mid 80's - it's almost as good as HK bough like three decades later, and will probably still work when and if my kids get around to it. watches will work forever if you don't throw them under a truck.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:32 pm
by tymon_tm
stella-azzurra wrote:Watches, cars, bikes are generally commodities. Most commodities depreciate in value over time. They are not assets. Assets are designed to generate money: real estate, stocks, mutual funds, business.


think of Mercedes Gullwing, Aston Martin DB5, Porsche Carrera GT or some old Bugattis. their value does increase over years. some cars, like rare Ferraris or Lambos (Reventon) are bought as assets in the first place - put in fancy garages and never ever driven.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:02 am
by stella-azzurra
Aside from the fact that all of the commodities you list can only be had by the 1%rs in this world

How do you think those commodities were bought in the first place?

Answer: by acquiring assets first!

:welcome: to finances 101 :D

BTW Jay Leno would think otherwise about storing those cars.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:28 am
by Maximilian
Leica cameras and lenses. I don't own any and probably never will but my are they beautiful. Jaeger-Le Coultre Gyrotourbillion, beautiful.

Re: Bikes, Watches and Hi Fi.

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:28 am
by Weenie