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A "grail" it is


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So I've had discussions on here about the idea of a grail and what it is or is supposed to be. Everyone has their valid points, regardless, for me it's a very clear definition, and Merriam Webster agrees...

"The object of an extended or difficult quest"

So, with that in mind, how many grails do you have?

Edited by JayDeep
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Just the one for me currently, the Tudor Black Bay GMT. 

I have bought more expensive watches subsequently but that watch was one I wanted for a long time and i was a step change in my collection when I finally got it. 

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None of my current on near future watches could really be considered that hard to get hold of.

If I ever see a Polerouter Sub with green bezel at a UK auction then that may bring true grail status, but I suspect it'll never fall within my price bracket if it does.

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26 minutes ago, Kamakazie! said:

None of my current on near future watches could really be considered that hard to get hold of.

I've always applied this sentiment to myself in terms of reach rather than the availability in the market. 

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Two real "grails" in the sense of being hard to find.

I felt I should try to understand the general predilection for "divers", but could bring myself to like only two  --  the FF Bathyscaphe by Blancpain and the Sport Evo Pano from GO (which some regard as the "dressiest" divers). The former was available new, but unfortunately I liked the latter a bit better (mainly the date implementation) and it was no longer in production. I contacted the ever-helpful people at GO to ask whether they had any NOS lying around, but was disappointed. Not wanting to turn to Chrono24 or Chronext, I began watching the forums  --  and got lucky about four months later. I picked up a late (2012) model, with box and papers, and with both bracelet and sailcloth strap, at a most respectable price.

My second experience was similar. Deciding I wanted a moon-phase piece and, with the help of the esteemed members of this forum, whittled my preferences down to just the CW and Zenith Elite offerings. Both were available new, and again my slight preference was for the latter (in-house movement). Unfortunately though, Zenith had changed the model, and the "mark 2" (available) seemed to me less interesting that the "mark 1"  --  you guessed it: no longer available. One or two ADs claimed to have NOS, but I didn't like their prices or (oddly for a "stock" item) their delivery times. So, back to the forums. This time it took only a couple of months for me to get a nice example with B&P and two straps. Again, at a very sensible price.

 

 

00-DSC02212.JPG

20181210a-1000.JPG

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7 hours ago, JayDeep said:

So I've had discussions on here about the idea of a grail and what it is or is supposed to be. Everyone has their valid points, regardless, for me it's a very clear definition, and Merriam Webster agrees...

"The object of an extended or difficult quest"

So, with that in mind, how many grails do you have?

I agree with your description, but it is subjective to the individual collector and money usually is the reason, not just the rarity and condition.  Having said that I have have a few that were Grails for me, all vintage and all Zeniths.

This Defy took me about 3years to find, unpolished, original Gay Ferres ladder bracelet, with diver extension also with date stamp (very hard to find) Cal 2552PC only 15k made dates the 4th quarter of 1969

20191115_1202224574087591806198998-scale

The dial on this Zenith Pilot is quite rough but original not many survived because any moisture caused the radium dials to react.
Also the calibre is a Blancpain also early 1945 with drilled lugs, quite rare.

Pilot-1.jpg

20170312_070925.jpg

And my third is another Zenith Pilot from the early 1950's manual wind 126 cal with 80 micron Gold Cap. Very rare in this condition.

IMG_4096-1.jpg

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By the strictest terms of that definition, none.

I do think, however, that by general consensus, and within the purlieu of the watch enthusiast, the term tends to be applied to any watch that has been the object of desire for some time, and has perhaps been regarded at some point as unrealistic to obtain.

And anyway, I am Sir Percival and my Grail Quest is accomplishèd.

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18 minutes ago, AVO said:

I am Sir Percival and my Grail Quest is accomplishèd.

And lo! Sir Percival return to his king and said un to thee...

"Sire, after my long quest, I have returned with the grail so that you may use it to heal our land"

The wise king Arthur looked upon the galant knight and replied "my arse you have. Patek's supposed to have only one 'T' in it, stop mucking around on Ali-Express"

{Wagner soundtrack fades in}  

Edited by antjrice
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2 hours ago, yokel said:

Two real "grails" in the sense of being hard to find.

I felt I should try to understand the general predilection for "divers", but could bring myself to like only two  --  the FF Bathyscaphe by Blancpain and the Sport Evo Pano from GO (which some regard as the "dressiest" divers). The former was available new, but unfortunately I liked the latter a bit better (mainly the date implementation) and it was no longer in production. I contacted the ever-helpful people at GO to ask whether they had any NOS lying around, but was disappointed. Not wanting to turn to Chrono24 or Chronext, I began watching the forums  --  and got lucky about four months later. I picked up a late (2012) model, with box and papers, and with both bracelet and sailcloth strap, at a most respectable price.

My second experience was similar. Deciding I wanted a moon-phase piece and, with the help of the esteemed members of this forum, whittled my preferences down to just the CW and Zenith Elite offerings. Both were available new, and again my slight preference was for the latter (in-house movement). Unfortunately though, Zenith had changed the model, and the "mark 2" (available) seemed to me less interesting that the "mark 1"  --  you guessed it: no longer available. One or two ADs claimed to have NOS, but I didn't like their prices or (oddly for a "stock" item) their delivery times. So, back to the forums. This time it took only a couple of months for me to get a nice example with B&P and two straps. Again, at a very sensible price.

 

 

00-DSC02212.JPG

20181210a-1000.JPG

Love the glashutte and they even provided an ink well in the box. Quill at the ready!!

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Taken over 45 years to acquire 3 of mine (I'm fussy)...

'HARWOOD'

R0CQ1du.jpg

7pq4PZu.jpg

JB/ATO 'ROLLS' auto (AKA wig-wag)

AS573KD.jpg

Au7fKrL.jpg

L6y8Sgg.jpg

'AUTORIST'

21J0D4i.jpg

3OYaHUR.jpg

 

There are a couple of other timepieces I'm actively hunting for but strongly suspect they will remain elusive ?

However, will continue to accumulate (no cure yet) additional bits of ol' tat & modern bits of fluff!

:biggrin:

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4 hours ago, yokel said:

Unfortunately though, Zenith had changed the model, and the "mark 2" (available) seemed to me less interesting that the "mark 1"  --  you guessed it: no longer available.

 

If anyone is curious as to why I preferred the older model, see below . . . . . . (courtesy of Chrono24!)

 

Captain1vsCaptain2.JPG

Edited by yokel
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43 minutes ago, yokel said:

If anyone is curious as to why I preferred the older model, see below . . . . . . (courtesy of Chrono24!)

 

Captain1vsCaptain2.JPG

It's like when you see "new improved recipe" on your favourite brand of ketchup, it's seldom anything of the sort.

 

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Being a bit "Bauhaus" i prefer the simpler one of the Moonphase Zenith's but then being a bit Bauhaus i wouldn't have a moonphase at all , less is generally more in my world! but thankfully were all different.

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1 hour ago, yokel said:

If anyone is curious as to why I preferred the older model, see below . . . . . . (courtesy of Chrono24!)

"mark 1"  --  you guessed it: no longer available.

 

 

Captain1vsCaptain2.JPG

I would have to disagree I prefer the mk2 :)

@yokelEverything is available, you just have to be patient. Maybe another Grail :laugh:

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3 minutes ago, martinzx said:

I would have to disagree I prefer the mk2 :)

@yokelEverything is available, you just have to be patient. Maybe another Grail :laugh:

Martin

I'm afraid "instant gratification" is the sense in which I use the word available. If it isn't possible to walk into an AD with a credit card, and out with the watch, I think of it as unavailable.

You and Alan are paragons of patience :thumbsup:

With regard to the two Zenith versions, the Mark Two looks like a cost saving measure to me.

 

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2 minutes ago, yokel said:

Martin

I'm afraid "instant gratification" is the sense in which I use the word available. If it isn't possible to walk into an AD with a credit card, and out with the watch, I think of it as unavailable.

You and Alan are paragons of patience :thumbsup:

With regard to the two Zenith versions, the Mark Two looks like a cost saving measure to me.

 

Your version is the one I prefer, I think I got mixed up :swoon:

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Posted (edited)

I've definitely got some watches that I call grails which I'm sure most others might be puzzled by.

For instance my Alpina Yacht timer. Alpina itself isn't exactly what I consider a grail worthy brand, however the Yacht Timer piece for me absolutely was, but not in the strict sense that specifically the Alpina version was. I first fell in love with a friend's TNG regatta timer. I began to look into them, found all the cool vintage Memosail and Heuer, etc. I really liked them all because it was the function I lusted for, not the watches themselves. At the time I was making enough I could've saved for one for a few months, but I was young and savings was for old people. So I never got one. Flash forward 15 years and I see one on eBay, a Memosail, while searching for something else completely. Still not a huge vintage fan at that time I decided to look at options. I had $2k burning a whole in my pocket and I stumbled across the newer version by Alpina. It wasn't like any of the others with those traditional bubbles at the top. It was very much like the Memosail, but new. It sang to me and I couldn't resist! I consider this piece a grail.

Similarly my Anonimo. 20 years ago when I started to get into watches the very first brand I fell in love with, but couldn't possibly afford at the time, was Anonimo. They just didn't look anything like everything else. Italian brand with that cool and unique crown at 6 o'clock. Loved their busy dials too! They were literally my first grail, outside the obvious Rolex submariner from when I was in primary school. Now 20 years later, after forgetting completely about them, again shopping for something else, I come across one. They've changed though, become more traditional, the crown now at 12 o'clock too, but still, a grail since day one as far as I'm concerned. I didn't think twice! Found a gorgeous blue dial and jumped at the chance. Another grail achieved!

I've got stories like this for the majority of my watches, and, frankly, I consider the majority of my watches as grails in similar regards.

Edited by JayDeep
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I'd have to say I have four "grails". For me it's not the availability nor the financial reach, it is whether I should spend the money. I have a large (too many) watches & I never sell or trade. Do I really want it? The answer is usually YES. I do find it a good thing now and again to pass & enjoy what I have. I have given up on using the word "grail" because their is always another in my sights. 

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I have 2.

One is my Edox Classe Royale quartz, I was bought this for my 40th birthday as it was a watch I had lusted after for some time, however, when it arrived the date function was gubbed, sent it back and never saw one again, until last year, I found one in Holland and went into a lengthy negotiation and succeeded in securing it.

 

41oN0E3MmtL._SL500_.jpg.526103222558ccd05d0fce3c057dd64d.jpg

The next was the Heuer Monaco, which I could never justify spending that amount of money on a watch and once again 'erself surprised me with one a few Christmases back, we'd had a ***** year and we both came out unscathed and she knew I had coveted this watch since I was a kid.

KD11118.jpg

2015 Cal 211P

There are 2 left on my hitlist, the white Rolex Explorer2 GMT and a Longines Master (not decided which).

 

 

Edited by Biker
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