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Hypothetical Poll: Upgrade vs. Luxury Watch

Upgrade, or watch?

  • 1) Get an upgrade now, before "kidney" is part of the official asking price.

    Votes: 62 80.5%
  • 2) Watch, you'll feel luxe every time you realize you're running late - it'll literalize the concept

    Votes: 15 19.5%

  • Total voters
    77

Circe

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If you had 20K to play with,* what would you do with it? Let's assume a single piece, none of this practical "I'd buy an eternity band and put the rest towards the mortgage," or even "I'd get a deal here and a deal there and wind up with 20 awesome pieces."

I'm thinking I would hypothetically be torn between getting either an antique cushion in a Deco setting, or an east-west marquise in a chunky modern setting ... or a watch like my beloved Cartier Tank Americaine, or perhaps the Parmigiani Kalpa with the red face that y'all helped me track down (http://www.osterjewelers.com/shop/p_watch_Parmigiani_6399.php).

On the one hand, diamond prices are going up (and up and up!) so getting a big diamond now is ... well, "practical" isn't the right word, but it's looking like if one wants one, one should get one sooner rather than later. Or resign oneself to waiting until prices level out in a decade or so ....

On the other hand ... I haven't got a nice watch. I've got a sporty every-day quality watch (diving Tag), and a little dinky tiny antique rose gold tank watch that I need to order a new strap for, but no solid grown-up watch. But does a girl need a status watch? (Short answer: no. I know, I know!) There are so many fun fashion watches out there to play around with, whereas an upgrade is there for you to enjoy aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the time.

And on the third hand, with a baby due to arrive shortly after my anniversary in the fall, I'm trying to figure out which one I'd wear more in the five years to come ... a diamond ring in a nice bezel setting I could actually wear (as opposed to my beloved e-ring, which is a little prong-y for me to feel comfortable wearing around soft babyskin), or a fancy but still somehow practical watch.

Suggestions welcome! And by "suggestions," I mean, tell me what you think a gal could swing on that budget, which kinds of designs you'd champion, what your favorite fancy watch is and why, what you did with your jewelry once little kids were in the picture ... the works! No anecdote too personal, no tangent too left-field!

*This post is purely hypothetical, and has nothing to do with an upcoming five year anniversary. [whistles innocently]
 

Tacori E-ring

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I would get an upgrade but I am not a huge watch girl.
 

manderz

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I'm pretty brutal on watches. I forget to be careful when I wear them, and I wear them rather sporadically. I would rather invest that kind of money, if I had it, in one really great ring that I know I'd wear all the time. I'll be more likely to care for it properly, wear it more often, and just enjoy it more in general. Plus, watch maintenance puts me off for some reason. I know it's not much, or a huge deal, but I just can't see investing more than a few hundred dollars on a citizen because of how I've historically treated them.
 

Lula

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I voted luxury watch. Because, in my experience, most women wear very little bling on their hands -- practical settings or not -- when their children are young. And luxury watches -- true luxury watches, which means mechanical, with parts made in Switzerland, not Japan, and crafted in Switzerland, not Japan -- are increasing in value almost as rapidly as diamonds. But, be forewarned, 20 grand in the luxury watch market gets you a watch that is more "stealth wealth" (i.e., subtle) than blingy. However, that amount of money should buy you something that you'd be proud to hand down to your children. I don't have time right now to make some suggestions, but I expect DF will be around shortly...
 

kenny

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Diamond.


Your cellphone has the time.
 

TravelingGal

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I'd go for the rock. And this is coming from someone who has been into watches lately (I was just at a dinner with a ton of pricey JLC watches being passed around!)

When it comes to "status" watches, the real stuff impresses the men. When I went to this dinner, everyone assumed it was because of my husband! :rolleyes: But mostly the women have no clue.

Status (meaning recognizable) watches for women are more from jewelry houses, not watch houses, with the exception of maybe Rolex. Cartier makes nice watches, but isn't really a "status" watch in the watch world. And who cares about status anyway, right? ::)

But the thing for me is that many luxury watches for women are quartz. I don't see the value in that. 16K for the watch you posted with the red face? It's pretty, but it's quartz!

It's still a tough call for me. I'd want to buy something that makes sense for where I am in my life. Wearing a 20K watch makes no sense, HOWEVER, I'd fly under the radar with it a lot more than a 20K rock.
 

E B

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When you say upgrade, do you mean selling your current e-ring? Because I thought it was an antique? Or would this 'upgrade' be a RHR?
 

Circe

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E B|1309296242|2957305 said:
When you say upgrade, do you mean selling your current e-ring? Because I thought it was an antique? Or would this 'upgrade' be a RHR?
Oh, DEFINITELY a RHR - I'm way too sentimental to ever swap my e-ring. My husband was skeptical, and said, "So, if I offered you a 5-carat on the condition that you had to give yours up ...?" and the answer was a resounding NAY! But it would probably be the primary ring for the forseeable future - whatever I got would be set in a bezel and set low, to be as kid-friendly as possible.
 

Circe

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TravelingGal|1309293713|2957273 said:
I'd go for the rock. And this is coming from someone who has been into watches lately (I was just at a dinner with a ton of pricey JLC watches being passed around!)

When it comes to "status" watches, the real stuff impresses the men. When I went to this dinner, everyone assumed it was because of my husband! :rolleyes: But mostly the women have no clue.

Status (meaning recognizable) watches for women are more from jewelry houses, not watch houses, with the exception of maybe Rolex. Cartier makes nice watches, but isn't really a "status" watch in the watch world. And who cares about status anyway, right? ::)

But the thing for me is that many luxury watches for women are quartz. I don't see the value in that. 16K for the watch you posted with the red face? It's pretty, but it's quartz!

It's still a tough call for me. I'd want to buy something that makes sense for where I am in my life. Wearing a 20K watch makes no sense, HOWEVER, I'd fly under the radar with it a lot more than a 20K rock.
Huh! I know so little about watches that the quartz issue never even crossed my mind (obviously, I'd have to do some research in the intervening months if I went this route!), but that's a very good point. So I guess I will regretfully cross the Parmigiani off my list. Bah! It's so *pretty* ....
 

Circe

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kenny|1309291929|2957251 said:
Diamond.


Your cellphone has the time.
Hehehe. Point!
 

Circe

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Lula|1309291703|2957246 said:
I voted luxury watch. Because, in my experience, most women wear very little bling on their hands -- practical settings or not -- when their children are young. And luxury watches -- true luxury watches, which means mechanical, with parts made in Switzerland, not Japan, and crafted in Switzerland, not Japan -- are increasing in value almost as rapidly as diamonds. But, be forewarned, 20 grand in the luxury watch market gets you a watch that is more "stealth wealth" (i.e., subtle) than blingy. However, that amount of money should buy you something that you'd be proud to hand down to your children. I don't have time right now to make some suggestions, but I expect DF will be around shortly...

Ooo, I will look forward to your suggestions ....

I actually prefer the whole "stealth wealth" concept - when I look at some of the watches from the 70s with the diamond-cut bands and the diamond-encrusted faces, brrr. But I tend to be very particular about liking rectangular faces and metal bracelets, which are oddly hard to find - the Parmiagani and the various Cartier tanks are the only ones that have ever really stood out. Would love tips on other options!
 

Circe

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manderz|1309291567|2957241 said:
I'm pretty brutal on watches. I forget to be careful when I wear them, and I wear them rather sporadically. I would rather invest that kind of money, if I had it, in one really great ring that I know I'd wear all the time. I'll be more likely to care for it properly, wear it more often, and just enjoy it more in general. Plus, watch maintenance puts me off for some reason. I know it's not much, or a huge deal, but I just can't see investing more than a few hundred dollars on a citizen because of how I've historically treated them.
Another good point ... getting a battery changed at Cartier is, what, a couple of hundred bucks these days? Eventually, it all adds up ....
 

Circe

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Tacori E-ring|1309291460|2957240 said:
I would get an upgrade but I am not a huge watch girl.
Historically, I haven't been either - guess part of me thinks/thought it was time to switch things up!
 

Lula

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This is a link to a site that breaks down the watches into luxury brackets by brand. It gives basic information about what goes in to making a watch at each bracket, and how well they hold their value at resale.
http://www.chronocentric.com/watches/brands.shtml

Whatever you do, don't spend 20 grand on a quartz-powered watch! Parmigiani (the brand that makes the watch with the red face) is listed as a true luxury watch maker, but I'd ask them if they make the design you like in a mechanical version. Mechanical watches no longer have to be wound every day (though many vintage models do) and many people invest in "watch-winder" gizmos. I like vintage watches because I actually like winding my watches :)

ETA: Just saw your reply to my first post. I'll look at some sites and see what I can find that fits your style preferences. If you are willing to consider the resale/estate market, you can save a lot of money. And, yes, part of the fun of wearing luxury watch brands is that they are a definite "under-the-radar" accessory. I agree with TGal, most high-end watch fans tend to be men. There are very few women on the watch-nut boards. Have you spent any time on timezone? http://www.timezone.com/
(groan -- pun not intended!).
 

rainwood

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I voted upgrade but only because I wouldn't spend the full $20,000 on a watch, and I already have my dream watches which are a classic Cartier Tank in sterling which they don't make any more and a stainless Cartier Tank Francaise. I've loved Cartier watches forever, and was able to buy both of these used and for good prices (yes, they are real - I did my homework so I know what to look for). I love having them on my wrist!

I would spend $20,000 on a diamond, but I'm not sure which one. Something square - maybe a square H&A or an AVC.
 

Amber St. Clare

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I'd go for an upgrade. Three stone emerald cut set in platinum.

My watch is the 50th anniversary I Love Lucy watch and I'm fine with it.
 

rainwood

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It used to be true that you could only change the battery on a Cartier watch at Cartier. Ever since they settled the class action, you can do it through anyone who has the special tool. I got the battery changed at a jewelry store last time.
 

MichelleCarmen

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I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of any jewelry on my wrist so for sure I'd spend the $20K on a diamond. What does $20K buy these days? I'm not into big diamonds, so if I had to spend it all on ONE piece, I'd probably buy a 1 ct tiffany vs. a 2 ct from somewhere else. Simply matter of comfort level.
 

iheartscience

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Definitely the bling! I have a nice vintage Rolex that is currently getting a tune up and I actually don't miss it that much. I let it sit in my jewelry box for several months before I even took it to get fixed. I don't see myself ever springing for another expensive watch unless it's for my husband. I should add that I got a ridiculously good deal on the Rolex (cuckoo former boss was good for something after all! :cheeky:) so obviously am not into dropping a ton of $ on watches!

As for the bling-PLEASE OH PLEASE get a big marquise and bezel it E/W in an Etienne Perret setting! I looooooove this one: http://etienneperret.com/gallery/engagement-rings/haloringscollection-wht-800 and I'm also a fan of this one: http://etienneperret.com/gallery/engagement-rings/pear-tulip-yellowgold-wht-800, obviously with a marquise.

I love antique stones, too, but your current e-ring is already pretty antique-y so I would mix it up!
 

TravelingGal

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TravelingGal

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Dancing Fire|1309304104|2957401 said:
Sorry for the threadjack, but DF that is THE watch I just swooned over. Someone had it on timezone and posted a pic. It's the perfect size too. I found all the elements (diamond markers, moonphase, sweeping seconds) in the Zenith I ended up choosing - plus it's an automatic, but there is just no contest in terms of elegance.
 

Lula

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DF -- nice watch, but Circe wants square/rectangular shape with a bracelet band ;-)

Circe -- here are a few watches I found doing a quick search on the secondary market sites. If you want a tank style watch with a bracelet, that will be a little harder to find. Many high-end makers stick with the same style for decades, which is why the Cartier tank and the Mueller tourneau-shaped case with its distinctive face are so recognizable. But it also means that you'll tend to see the same round face/leather band combo in a lot of these high-end brands (see DF's avatar LOL).

The first one is way under budget, but if you want a Cartier, this one is mechanical..

http://www.bostonprivatejewelers.com/item.asp?itemid=875
Good price on a Cartier Tank Francaise -- I'd ask them about authenticity, and if it's had parts replaced, etc.

The second watch down on this page is the one I'd get with your budget (with enough left over for maintenance, which this puppy will require). You could replace the band with a bracelet style -- I have seen vintage tank style watches with bracelet bands.

http://www.finertimes.com/asp/watch...de=1)AND(Man_Code='88')&TypeCode=1&ManCode=88

A Vacheron from the site DF posted
http://www.timeimports.com/designer...-Eagle-Chronograph-49145-339a-9058-88p167.htm

A JLC Reverso -- a classic, instantly recognizable by watch lovers. Also available in more $$$ Gold and...platinum.
http://www.timeimports.com/designer...e-Ladies-Reverso-Florale-2648140-1058p310.htm

A Patek, a bit over budget, but gorgeous, and looks like you wouldn't have to baby it:
http://www.timeimports.com/designer...pe-Mens-Gondolo-Art-Deco-5024-1G-410p2668.htm

The ladies' version in yellow gold:
http://www.timeimports.com/designer...llow-Gold-Lady-s-Gondolo-4824-1J-410p2630.htm ETA: Scratch this one - it's quartz -- thought the price was too good to be true!

Hmmm, this is interesting...this site (I have no idea if it has a good reputation) has the watch you like listed as an "automatic" (mechanical). I wonder if they are referring to quartz as automatic? Anyway, it is worth inquiring at your local Parmigiani dealer about whether the style you like (Kalpa Donna) is available with a mechanical (non-quartz) movement.
http://www.luxurybazaar.com/items/itemid_4639_Kalpa_Donna_Steel_PF01032802.html

More later as I find them...
 

zoebartlett

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Between the upgrade and a watch, I'd get the upgrade. I don't wear a watch, but I wear my ring nearly all the time.
 

E B

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Circe|1309296737|2957315 said:
E B|1309296242|2957305 said:
When you say upgrade, do you mean selling your current e-ring? Because I thought it was an antique? Or would this 'upgrade' be a RHR?
Oh, DEFINITELY a RHR - I'm way too sentimental to ever swap my e-ring. My husband was skeptical, and said, "So, if I offered you a 5-carat on the condition that you had to give yours up ...?" and the answer was a resounding NAY! But it would probably be the primary ring for the forseeable future - whatever I got would be set in a bezel and set low, to be as kid-friendly as possible.
I understand. And this would change my answer IF I could put the full $20k toward one piece....but I couldn't. I'd try for both. :cheeky:

I don't know anything about this vendor, but it has the Parmigiani for (possibly less than?) half the price of the site you listed it for. Wonder which is the 'correct' retail price.

http://www.finestwatches.com/parmigiani-fleurier-kalpa-donna-12864.html
 

VapidLapid

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Neither


If I had 20k to buy a diamond Id buy a sapphire or spinel or jadeite of significance

If I had 20k to buy a sapphire or spinel or jadeite of significance, I'd buy a suite of spinels or tsavorites and melee for a parure

If I had 20k to buy a watch I'd still have $19,900 after buying the watch
 

Mrsacornblue

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For $20K, I could get both. :tongue:

My dream watch is a basic Rolex with a blue face...no diamonds or anything.

I'd have about $13K to put toward a REALLY nice RHR.
 

Autumnovember

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While I love luxury watches, I would definitely pick the upgrade over the watch....if you were on a watch forum though, I'm sure they would push you towards the watch!
 
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