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NRG
15-01-2009, 15:47
My Kontra B is getting long in the tooth so will need attention soon. I gave Expert Stylus a call and had a very interesting and open chat without any hard 'sell', most gratifying,...if the suspension on my cart is good (I suspect it is as the cart rides OK) then they can re-tip mine for 279 inc VAT and Delivery, or it may just need a clean. If the suspension is shot then there's nowt they can do and I'll need to seek an exchange unit which currently runs at 600 notes...ouch!

Anyhow I decided to take a look at the stylus along side a Goldring and a DL103R....here's the pics....

The goldring (actually a Reson Reca):

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/Goldring_portrait.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/Goldring_profile.jpg

The DL103r conical stylus:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DL103r_portrait.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DL103r_profile.jpg

Neither the Goldring or the 103 have had much use as you will tell by viewing my Kontra B ...

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/KB_dirt.jpg

I think I need to improve my hygiene :lolsign:

Front shot looks worse than it is:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/KB_portrait.jpg

Side shot not too bad:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/KB_profile.jpg

The pics don't show all the detail and look worse than it is but there are signs of wear and I think I'll take the plunge in a few months....the most disturbing this I noted is the stylus is not 100% square with the cartridge body...if you go back and look at the head on shot you can see is a little off to the left... [EDIT] ooops! no you can't as I cropped the pic!

Coils on the KB:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/KB_coils.jpg

Anyhow thought you might like seeing some close up shots...

Marco
15-01-2009, 16:19
Excellent stuff, Neil - and most interesting! Thanks for taking the time and effort posting those rather artistic pictures :)

Hey mate, if the Ortofon's gone somewhat 'tits-up', then now's as good a time as any to use that other excellent cartridge of yours (beginning with a 'D') and spend any money instead on partnering it properly :eyebrows:

;)

Marco.

Spectral Morn
15-01-2009, 16:25
HI NRG

WOW, how did you take those pictures ? Yes its scary when you can see a close up and thinks don't look true. Was it me did I do it, was it that cleaning brush/vibrator or is this a quality control issue ? Oh crap has it damaged my Vinyl !

Fantastic pictures, very illuminating. Your right about dirt. I recently put a 1997 circa S/H Ortofon 7500 on my TT. I have had it awhile as it came with the TT, a SME Model 20. I had thought it was shot and not worth trying . I had a look through a Magnifying glass and after cleaning it,it looked okay. I tried it and not only is it okay but it was brilliant :). Obviously it has a very finite life (being so old and having been used before I got it) so maybe it too can be retipped ? EXCELLENT.

Regards D S D L----Neil :)

Mike
15-01-2009, 16:39
Thanks for taking the time and effort posting those rather artictic pictures

The what? :scratch:

:lolsign:

Marco
15-01-2009, 16:44
HAHAHA... Typo! Now fixed :)

Marco.

Mike
15-01-2009, 16:44
;)

Beechwoods
15-01-2009, 17:23
Super pictures :) Thank you!

NRG
15-01-2009, 17:38
....Hey mate, if the Ortofon's gone somewhat 'tits-up', then now's as good a time as any to use that other excellent cartridge of yours (beginning with a 'D') and spend any money instead on partnering it properly :eyebrows:

;)

Marco.

Errrrrr....yes....I don't think so...I'm not going to bend my system to fit that old tractor! :lol:


WOW, how did you take those pictures ?

My other hobby is Watch collecting and watch making/servicing so I have a Jewlers Stereoscope for inspection and oiling of all those little itty bitty parts!

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/Watches/Tissot/Seastar/DSCF3934.jpg

Marco
15-01-2009, 18:05
Errrrrr....yes....I don't think so...I'm not going to bend my system to fit that old tractor!


LOL. Why own one then in the first place? You must have wasted money on it for a reason ;)

Marco.

blake
15-01-2009, 18:13
I'm new to the forum and can't seem to find your system listed (may be I'm just not looking in the right spots) and notwithstanding the tractor remarks on the Denon, if you have a low hours 103R kicking around you might want to consider this for 100 Euros:

http://www.theanalogdept.com/images/spp6_pics/Classifieds/Uwe%20Bodies/Bodies3-1.pdf


You'll need to do a little surgery as outlined here:

http://www.thomas-schick.com/Denon103.htm

and the cartridge will be significantly improved. Improved to the point that others have replaced cartridges like Shelter 901, Koetsu Rosewood and Benz Ebony L with it.

As I said, I'm new to the forum so I apologise if this info has already been posted in earlier threads. But at the price if you've already got the 103R I would suggest to you that it's a no brainer.

Marco
15-01-2009, 18:27
You tell him, Blake!

From your first link, I agree with this wholeheartedly as it it's exactly what my experience has borne out and why I now use a DL-103SA:


They had found out that the weakest part of the otherwise phenomenal DL 103 was the thin plastic body.


That looks like a very sexy solution! Note the use of the words "otherwise phenomenal", too ;)

The vastly improved body shell is one of the reasons (it's not the only one) why the 'SA' version of the 103 raises the bar and takes performance to another level. I personally don't feel that 'nuding' alone is the full answer (and it looks horrible) - the shell should be replaced with something better damped and less resonant.

The key thing to remember about the 103 is that it's about as far away from 'plug & play' as you can get, and also that it's next to useless with 99% of modern tonearms - the Jelco SA-750D being the exception to the rule, and even that needs a much heavier headshell than the one supplied as standard.

Quite simply, completely different rules apply than is the norm these days with this classic gem, but if you apply them successfully then the sonic rewards are substantial.

Marco.

P.S I'll answer your post on the other thread later :)

NRG
15-01-2009, 19:37
...you might want to consider this for 100 Euros:

http://www.theanalogdept.com/images/spp6_pics/Classifieds/Uwe%20Bodies/Bodies3-1.pdf


You'll need to do a little surgery as outlined here:

http://www.thomas-schick.com/Denon103.htm

and the cartridge will be significantly improved. Improved to the point that others have replaced cartridges like Shelter 901, Koetsu Rosewood and Benz Ebony L with it.

As I said, I'm new to the forum so I apologise if this info has already been posted in earlier threads. But at the price if you've already got the 103R I would suggest to you that it's a no brainer.

Oh yes a lump of 2x4 wood on the end of my Hadcock :lolsign: Now that's gonna hurt....oooer missus :eyebrows:

There are reasons I use and love the KB..... the DL103 is one of them! :lol:


The key thing to remember about the 103 is that it's about as far away from 'plug & play' as you can get, and also that it's next to useless with 99% of modern tonearms - the Jelco SA-750D being the exception to the rule, and even that needs a much heavier headshell than the one supplied as standard.

Quite simply, completely different rules apply than is the norm these days with this classic gem, but if you apply them successfully then the sonic rewards are substantial.

Yep! :cool:

Marco
15-01-2009, 19:47
Why have you got one, though, Neil if you don't like it? :confused:

Marco.

NRG
15-01-2009, 19:50
It's my old review one...and it's not that I don't like it...it just needs so much other stuff and system change necessary to get it going that I stick to the KB...which I prefer the tone of anyway....

Marco
15-01-2009, 20:23
Ah, so it was a freebie or a 'cheapie'? The perks of reviewers, eh? :eyebrows: ;)

I understand exactly what you mean, though - I've been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt!

Btw, I was wondering how you got into doing reviews for HFW - do you have a journalistic background or how else did you get into it? I haven't seen you do many other reviews since. How did you get the job for reviewing the 103?

Just curious!

Marco.

blake
15-01-2009, 21:50
Oh yes a lump of 2x4 wood on the end of my Hadcock :lolsign: Now that's gonna hurt....oooer missus :eyebrows:

There are reasons I use and love the KB..... the DL103 is one of them! :lol:



Yep! :cool:

Alas, if I'd known you were working with a Hadcock:lol:, I would not have made the recommendation. Not a good match with the 103 derivatives.

blake
15-01-2009, 22:03
You tell him, Blake!

From your first link, I agree with this wholeheartedly as it it's exactly what my experience has borne out and why I now use a DL-103SA:



That looks like a very sexy solution! Note the use of the words "otherwise phenomenal", too ;)

The vastly improved body shell is one of the reasons (it's not the only one) why the 'SA' version of the 103 raises the bar and takes performance to another level. I personally don't feel that 'nuding' alone is the full answer (and it looks horrible) - the shell should be replaced with something better damped and less resonant.

The key thing to remember about the 103 is that it's about as far away from 'plug & play' as you can get, and also that it's next to useless with 99% of modern tonearms - the Jelco SA-750D being the exception to the rule, and even that needs a much heavier headshell than the one supplied as standard.

Quite simply, completely different rules apply than is the norm these days with this classic gem, but if you apply them successfully then the sonic rewards are substantial.

Marco.

P.S I'll answer your post on the other thread later :)

Yes, I'm not convinced that nude (usually mounted to a brass plate) or even the Zu approach with an aluminum body is the way to go. I've been using 103R's in a couple of Uwe's bodies for a few years now, initially in one of his first generation ebony bodies and most recently in the newer version in Clavellin.

In reading between the lines about others experience with the Zu or a nuded 103/103R on a metal mounting plate I get the impression that those models probably do "detail" a bit better, but I'm not convinced that it's realistic detail as opposed to a more hi-fi-ish presentation akin to using hard metal footers or cones under a CD player. More detail in many cases, but in just as many cases a more etched/hyped presentation. It's all subjective, of course, but I've found that I just don't enjoy listening long term to that type of presentation.

The wood bodies do have slightly different character-I would say that the ebony is a little "rounder" than the Clavellin, but they are more alike than different when comparing both of those versions to the standard 103R in a plastic body. When you combine the heavier wood body (and its reasonance characteristics) with stainless mounting screws (as opposed to the lightweight aluminum sourced with the Denons) you also tend to push the mass up at the same time giving you a double whammy in terms of performance.

But, clearly, you have to have the right kind of arm.

DSJR
15-01-2009, 22:46
Does the Hadcock still need glueing back up after the slightest re-adjustment?

Oh, those were the days - NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Eve, Thorens with Hadcock to set up for Christmas. Didn't surface before five PM, by which time all the Christmas goodies had been eaten and drunk. I was NOT amused!

Ammonite Acoustics
17-01-2009, 15:56
I am in pretty much the same position as NRG, having a long-in-the-tooth Kontrapunkt B in a Technoarm on an old Kenwood KD-770D direct drive deck. So, today I ordered an Ortofon 2M Black from Alastair at Signals, hoping that it will have most of the delicacy of the KB, but maybe with more oomph. If anyone is interested, I'll post some impressions once it's settled in.

Marco
17-01-2009, 15:58
Please do. I would find that most interesting :)

Marco.

NRG
18-01-2009, 12:49
Alas, if I'd known you were working with a Hadcock:lol:, I would not have made the recommendation. Not a good match with the 103 derivatives.

Actually, it can be a pretty good home for a 103. The lossy nature of a unipivot bearing means the 103 can work well, extra mass is needed at the head shell like so many other arms but I found it to be a good home for the 103...where is does not work is in rigid modern arms with tight tolerance bearings.


Does the Hadcock still need glueing back up after the slightest re-adjustment?

Oh, those were the days - NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Eve, Thorens with Hadcock to set up for Christmas. Didn't surface before five PM, by which time all the Christmas goodies had been eaten and drunk. I was NOT amused!

LOL! yes it can be a right PIA and is a real test of endurance and ones patience but once you get to know its little quirks it's really not that bad... :scratch:


I am in pretty much the same position as NRG, having a long-in-the-tooth Kontrapunkt B in a Technoarm on an old Kenwood KD-770D direct drive deck. So, today I ordered an Ortofon 2M Black from Alastair at Signals, hoping that it will have most of the delicacy of the KB, but maybe with more oomph. If anyone is interested, I'll post some impressions once it's settled in.

Yesterday I swapped out the KB for a Rondo Bronze that was in service on another deck and well...in short the KB is shot...I'm not a huge fan of the Rondo a bit too matter of fact in it's presentation which always made me go back to the KB but now the KB sounds soft and lacking detail and depth in comparison...I think Expert Stylus will be getting my business pretty soon!

Marco
18-01-2009, 12:59
Hi Neal,

How's it going?

I would remind you of my earlier post #15 :)

Cheers.

Marco.

Ammonite Acoustics
18-01-2009, 14:22
...I think Expert Stylus will be getting my business pretty soon!

Hi Neal

I would be very interested in having my KB retipped, if it means giving it a new lease of life, so please report on how it goes with Expert Stylus for you.

Looking at your photograph of the KB cantilever, is that a crack in the ruby?

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/KB_profile.jpg

NRG
18-01-2009, 14:41
Just a hair / lint on the other side...I gave it a good clean and there's nothing there...

Ammonite Acoustics
23-01-2009, 20:30
The 2M Black arrived very quickly, thanks to Alastair at Signals, whose service is consistently impeccable. Setting up in the Technoarm was the proverbial piece of p$ss, helped by the fact that Ortofon must have designed the cartridge body shape to match a Rega headshell - if the cartridge is lined up neatly with the front of the headshell it gives almost perfect alignment. It's now running in, and first impressions are pretty much what I'd hoped for, the sound being refined yet vibrant. Time will tell, of course. A high output cartridge does require a certain amount of fiddling with the settings on my PS Audio GCPH phono amp, and I am able to follow PS Audio's recommendations to have the volume control on the GCPH set at about three quarters, which was not really possible with the Kontrapunkt B. Anyway, here's a picture:

http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s301/hugocass/Kenwood%20KD-770D/DSCF0361.jpg

Ammonite Acoustics
03-02-2009, 17:40
Neal

Have you done anything yet about having your KB retipped?

Cheers

Shuggie

NRG
03-02-2009, 20:44
No not yet, sorry if you where waiting for some feedback. Expert Stylus asked me to hold off until mid Feb as they where swamped with work...I'll give them a call tomorrow and see if they could take it earlier.

YNWaN
04-02-2009, 00:34
Fantastic pictures.

I've had my Troika done a few times now by Expert - always found them excellent (but slow).

NRG
12-05-2009, 21:25
Finally got the KB off to ESC and all is OK except for the stylus which is very worn...5 weeks to wait for its return!

Ammonite Acoustics
13-05-2009, 06:00
Finally got the KB off to ESC and all is OK except for the stylus which is very worn...5 weeks to wait for its return!

Do you know what the retip is costing? My KB must be due for a thorough check at least.

NRG
13-05-2009, 07:14
Inspection only: 25, Overhaul with re-tip: 280 inc inspection, VAT and delivery.

mgmmgm
08-06-2009, 17:26
i am out from LP..for almost 15 yrs.., i have a used Roksan X20.., wondering..which MC below GBP500...i can look into ?

thx..

NRG
24-07-2009, 13:30
Yippppeeeee!

My cartridge finally returned home!

The ESC paratrace stylus:

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/Paratrace_ESC_2.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/Paratrace_ESC.jpg

NRG
24-07-2009, 13:53
Also, ESC include some green cleaning 'compound' with the cartridge.....I took one look at it and said "I know exactly what that stuff is..."

It's 'Rodico' a putty like compound I use during watchmaking, it picks up lint grease and oils....also very good for holding small parts for inspection.....however....its not something I'd advise for cleaning stylus.

I know ESC are cautious about liquid cleaners softening the glues used to secure the stylus but Rodico has a tendency to leave deposits of it's self and oils/grease on the surfaces it touches....IE it cleans well but it's just as good as depositing the very same debris elsewhere...

Anyhow if anybody wants this stuff then its available from watch material warehouses or I can supply it if necessary.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/other/stylus/DSCF4440.jpg

Ammonite Acoustics
24-07-2009, 19:10
Hi Neal

Did ESC give the whole thing a good going over as well a re-tipping it? I reckon my old KB is a bit gummed up with dust and crap (possible incautious use of stylus cleaner fluid) - maybe I should just send it to them for a 25 inspection and take their advice on how to proceed. It sounds awfully dull against my 2M Black, so something's not right.

Mike
24-07-2009, 19:20
Hi Shuggie,

In the past, when I've sent cart's to EsCo, they clean it out as a matter of course. The usual 'tack' is, you send it off and they give it a good looking at and recommend whatever they think is needed. If everything is OK you just pay the 25. They'll usually give you a small 'menu' of prices for whatever services may be required. Good guys all round IMHO. :)

Cheers...

NRG
25-07-2009, 09:37
Hi Neal

Did ESC give the whole thing a good going over as well a re-tipping it? I reckon my old KB is a bit gummed up with dust and crap (possible incautious use of stylus cleaner fluid) - maybe I should just send it to them for a 25 inspection and take their advice on how to proceed. It sounds awfully dull against my 2M Black, so something's not right.

Yep, cleaned all the debris from the coils etc .....inspected, tested and they apparently even listen to it. As full a service as possible I think for a cartridge. Its come back with a covering letter saying the recommended tracking force is 1.8~2.0 grams which is down from the Ortofon 2.5g plus dire warnings about fluid cleaners..... which I'm not buying at the moment....

I also noticed a dull sound on mine which was the prod I needed to finally get it looked at. If they also find the suspension in knackered then all you'll loose is 25 quid and you will get the cart back....time for a trade in with Henley Designs ;)

Ammonite Acoustics
25-07-2009, 10:55
Have you had the chance to listen to it yet?

NRG
25-07-2009, 11:19
Not yet, maybe this weekend sometime...

NRG
07-08-2009, 15:16
Having lived with my 'new' KB for a couple of weeks now and I can report that it sounds great. Aural memory can play tricks but I can't detect anything amiss and it sounds as clean and detailed as I recall it from new with very low surface noise, oodles of detail and really deep and clean bass....lovely.

DSJR
07-08-2009, 16:09
You commented that you're a watchmaker earlier? Does this mean you service good old watches, or do you "make" your own too (Spoken as an ex BHI associate who couldn't afford the 100pa this year...:()

When in retail, I had a chat with someone who dealt in "top end" watches. When I dared to mention "Rolex" he scoffed and compared them with audio's B&O. The mechanical watches he dealt with started at around 5K and went rapidly up in price from there... Another work colleague used to rave about IWC - often boring to look at but beautifully put together inside. Me? i can give you chapter and verse about Garrard, Perivale and Smiths/Enfield chime and strikers, but "real" horologists wouldn't entertain them 'cos they're mass-produced junk and far too common. The complex trains take too much time to fix considering their very modest worth and of course I've boxes of 'em...........

Back to stereo's - FAR more interesting :)

NRG
08-08-2009, 16:14
Watchmaking is a hobby. I've done the distance learning courses and know how to service and assemble a watch, I've built a few but I mainly service my collection and also perform work for friends and relatives. I've also got a family friend who's fully qualified to fall back on should the need arise! :lolsign:

Rolex make a fine watch but they are expensive and the aftersales service is either their way or the highway. Getting genuine spares is just about impossible and they have a habit of refusing to service some of their older watches much to the frustration of the owners. IWC's are superb, I'm luckily enough to own one, then there's A Lange and Sohne, Glashutte, Patek(!)....or more affordable and great value the likes of Stowa, Damasko, Sinn....there's loads to choose from and something for every budget!

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/Watches/IWC/IWC_1_800.jpg

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l82/_NRG_/Watches/IWC/IWC_5_800.jpg

Marco
08-08-2009, 16:26
I can see a new thread coming on... 'Showz yer timepiece!' :eyebrows:

Marco.

Joe
09-08-2009, 13:33
http://www.artofwatch.com/images/wt/MONDAINE/RAILWAYS_WATCH/94100m.jpg

REM
09-08-2009, 14:18
http://www.artofwatch.com/images/wt/MONDAINE/RAILWAYS_WATCH/94100m.jpg

Has it got a 'fingy for gettin stones out of 'orses 'ooves, I think we should be told:lol::lol:

Joe
09-08-2009, 14:21
Nah; I use the stylus off a Denon 103 for that.

Barry
09-08-2009, 14:45
http://www.artofwatch.com/images/wt/MONDAINE/RAILWAYS_WATCH/94100m.jpg

Cool!

Barry
09-08-2009, 14:52
.........

Rolex make a fine watch but they are expensive and the aftersales service is either their way or the highway. Getting genuine spares is just about impossible and they have a habit of refusing to service some of their older watches much to the frustration of the owners.
........


My Rolex is over 35 years old and I have never had problems with having it serviced, something I do every five years or so, despite the fact that the service now costs several times the original cost.

Regards

NRG
09-08-2009, 15:36
My Rolex is over 35 years old and I have never had problems with having it serviced, something I do every five years or so, despite the fact that the service now costs several times the original cost.

Regards

Serviced by the Rolex service center or by an independant because I can assure you Rolex service centers do not always service the older models.

hifi_dave
09-08-2009, 16:26
I bought my Rolex Submariner in 1970 for 84, I couldn't stretch to the one with date because that was 96 which was nearly a week's wages extra then.

My watch is overdue a service so I'll find out about service centres, though I had no trouble around 5 years ago.:scratch:

Mike
09-08-2009, 16:51
My Rolex cost ten euros on a beach in Ibizia and is about as real as the tooth fairy!

I don't think I'll bother having it serviced. :lol:

Barry
09-08-2009, 20:19
Serviced by the Rolex service center or by an independant because I can assure you Rolex service centers do not always service the older models.

Serviced by Rolex via the local dealer. Had no trouble five years ago, but from what you say will make enquiries. In these economically troubled times, a watch service is not my top priority but I will ask in the jewellers about the cost and availability of a service.

Apropos the quotation that Rolex is the horological equivalent of B&O, I assume this was made as both are well known aspirational marques. No doubt someone with money to spend on an expensive watch would be likely to buy a Rolex rather than say a Vacheron Consantin, Augemars Piguet or Patek Phillipe.

Incidentially I heard that Rolex have increased prices well in excess of inflation, as they want to increase the cachet of the marque - something that Leica have tried to do, to their detriment, in my opinion.

Regards

NRG
09-08-2009, 22:46
Well I don't know about Rolex being the equivalent of B&O....somehow I think that's an injustice to the quality and technical advances in horology that Rolex has brought to the world but....... :smoking:

Yes, they may have used to represent something aspirational back in the day but latterly they are more associated with celebrities and premiership footballers and bling more than anything else......heck they even sponsor Wimbledon dont you know....anybody with discerning taste and knowledge would seek out a Patek, if they could afford it, or a Glashutte Original or a A Langne and Sohne, Audermans Piguet, etc etc... :) or any other high end brand other than Rolex...

The Swiss watchmaking industry had a record year in 2008 but it's facing severe market issues at the moment and it is interesting that the likes of Rolex and Omega have continued to increase prices....only time (!) will tell if this is a good move or not....

Barry
10-08-2009, 07:47
Well I don't know about Rolex being the equivalent of B&O....somehow I think that's an injustice to the quality and technical advances in horology that Rolex has brought to the world but....... :smoking:

Yes, they may have used to represent something aspirational back in the day but latterly they are more associated with celebrities and premiership footballers and bling more than anything else......heck they even sponsor Wimbledon don't you know....anybody with discerning taste and knowledge would seek out a Patek, if they could afford it, or a Glashutte Original or a A Langne and Sohne, Audermans Piguet, etc etc... :) or any other high end brand other than Rolex...


Yes, that was my point precisely. A Rolex is an 'easy' choice for someone with plenty of money rather than other watch brands, just as in the '80s all the yuppies working in the City went out and bought Porsches. My Rolex was bought as a 21st birthday present by my parents and has great sentimental value for me.

It's interesting that Rolex, Omega and Cartier are the only fakes you see in Bangkok, Cairo etc., rather than others.

Mike Reed
10-08-2009, 14:15
I can see a new thread coming on... 'Showz yer timepiece!' :eyebrows:

Marco.

Followed, after the interval, with 'Show us yer codpiece' It would surely be Bard.

DSJR
10-08-2009, 16:58
Well I don't know about Rolex being the equivalent of B&O....somehow I think that's an injustice to the quality and technical advances in horology that Rolex has brought to the world but....... :smoking:

Yes, they may have used to represent something aspirational back in the day but latterly they are more associated with celebrities and premiership footballers and bling more than anything else......heck they even sponsor Wimbledon dont you know....anybody with discerning taste and knowledge would seek out a Patek, if they could afford it, or a Glashutte Original or a A Langne and Sohne, Audermans Piguet, etc etc... :) or any other high end brand other than Rolex...

The Swiss watchmaking industry had a record year in 2008 but it's facing severe market issues at the moment and it is interesting that the likes of Rolex and Omega have continued to increase prices....only time (!) will tell if this is a good move or not....

I've only ever been on the fringes of this, but the BHI mags I received until recently were full of some beautiful hand made watches - beautiful inside and out - which may just justify a 10K price tag on fine engineering alone (audio internal bits are so ridiculously cheap these days), but I still think that in a depressed market, cachet and a price tag to suit, goes a long way...

Regarding Rolex, I heard that they would only supply spares for authorised dealers only who'd been on the expensive training courses, thereby putting non-dealer but excellent watch craftsmen out in the cold regarding Rolex spares.

Anyone with a decent watch or clock wanting expert service should go on the BHI website and find a local trained craftsman. Some of the antiquarian horologists are antiquarians themselves and won't look at mass-produced 20th Century clocks (Granny's old Enfield chimer), although others have suggested that 150 - 200 for a strip-down, pivot polish and bushing if necessary and careful rebuild and set-up will guarantee a classic of the future with sentimental value now. i won't go on any more as it becomes boring to experts and even more boring to clock - haters...:lolsign:



Still, all you idler drive fiends of the Garrard variety should try to get a good Garrard chiming clock as the clock division came out of Garrard's spring manufacturing facility and the chiming movements are built like brick out-houses, even though they run and run and run and run until the finer pivots dry out and wear... Got a few and they're great...