Sometimes a product can become bigger than the brand that created it, and that spells stormy weather ahead. Those of you above a certain age will recall the photocopier, and the phrase Xerox it. Well Xerox as a company is so successful at selling its famous product that people used the company name as a verb. This is an issue because the firm might lose intellectual property rights to the name Xerox if it enters the dictionary as a verb. Younger readers will by now be thinking of Google of course, but Alphabet too knows the story of the photocopier and has no excuses to be caught with its pants down in such a way.
No company in traditional watchmaking has this somewhat happy problem, but plenty have icons that define their brand in the 21st century. One such icon resulted in this story so yes, I am here to praise the Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A, and applaud the company for retiring it. I’m no watch nut, I confess, and that is one of the reasons I am penning this story. The editor wanted someone without vested interests or biases. The editor advised me that I should declare that I also am not interested in the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711, nor do I own any version of it. The recent news about its coming withdrawal from the brand’s catalogue has caused waves of consternation that will likely roil the depths of certain watch collecting pools for years to come. However, the broader sea of watch lovers is likely unperturbed. I am here to offer a very particular perspective on the possible whys.
I am probably only interested in vintage watches, and from only a few brands, and almost never luxury sports watches. On the advice of some collector friends, I feel like I should also say that I am no writer. This editorial comes to you thanks to the editor, who put my thoughts to paper. Should this missive annoy you, the points are mine but the words belong to the editor. I have of course read and approved the version you are reading.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Can your watch stand the test of time? With regular servicing, yes it can. We take a look at the service journey offered by Rolex World Service
Unthinkable as it may be, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A is bowing out. Let the celebrations begin
The fourth of Bell & Ross popular skull-clad collection takes a futuristic twist
Longines newest recruit marches on in the Heritage Collection
BOOT CAMP MENTALITY
The world may change but one genre stays: military-themed watches. We skim the surface for some casual and fun options
Bell & Ross becomes official partner of Patrouille de France
The Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge puts time into motion, literally
Our search for the next big thing enters its second year. Here are 10 contenders for future must-haves
The year’s maiden trade show, the LVMH Watch Week 2021, was presented to us in the comfort of our homes
We bring our odyssey in 2020 novelties to a close with a few punchlines. This list of fun tickers is a tribute to the many watches of 2020 that sparked joy
ROLES AREN'T FOR KEEPS ON ‘CROWN,' EVEN NEWCOMER PRINCESS DI
For viewers, “The Crown” offers a peek into a modern royal family’s life and times, or at least an engaging dramatization. For the cast, it’s meant the lofty equivalent of gig work as the Netflix series ticks through the decades.
All Greek to Us
Without caving to time or trends, Baltimore’s Greektown lives on.
Printing is not Dead
HP AND XEROX AREN’T QUITE THE BEACONS OF INNOVATION THEY ONCE WERE, BUT THEY’VE STILL GOT A GIANT PILE OF MONEY WORTHY OF A TAKEOVER FIGHT
Old SCHOOL ties
As bells ring out to signal the start of a new academic year, we explore eight of Hampshire’s historic schools
Making waves: should South Africa's livestock exports by sea be allowed to continue?
South Africa’s exports of live animals by ship to the Middle East presents a major new opportunity for the country’s red meat farming industry. But the initiative has generated huge controversy within the industry and from animal welfare experts. Lloyd Phillips looks at both sides of the story.
SALMAN RUSHDIE Y LA DEMENCIA TELEVISIVA
Una original relectura del clásico de Cervantes adaptada al siglo XXI, de la mano de un autor que otrora estaba en la quiniela de los Nobel y fue perseguido por los fanáticos islamistas.
The gentleman builder
Weighing up the wonderful and not so wonderful memories.
Patek Philppe’s Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore was rich in much more than superlative watches
Making A New Icon
Patek Philippe’s Ref 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar expands the watchmaker’s useful complications.