Friday, December 30, 2011

Where to buy Pre-Owned Rolex in Singapore.



14 Scotts Road (Far East Plaza) #02-35 Singapore 228213
Our business hours are as follow:
Mon - Thursday 12pm - 8pm
Friday - Saturday 12pm - 7pm
Sunday 12pm - 6pm
Person In Charge - Mr Russell Tan (+65 98522296)
Office No - +65 67325515

WATCH ARENA  www.watcharena.com.sg
290 Balestier Road
Singapore 329732
Tel: 6250 3773/3931, Fax: 62533240
Email : info@watcharena.com.sg

Jw Mechanical Time, www.jwwatch.com
1 Pickering St #01-02 Great Eastern Ctr S048659 T6536 0119

Peng Kwee Watches, www.2ndhandwatch.com
11 Collyer Quay. #01-03 The Arcade S049317 T6534 8401

Bronze Age, www.ebronzeage.com
133 New Bridge Rd #02-48 Chinatown Point S059413 T6536 2416

Koh Watches Enterprise,
101 Upper Cross St #02-63 People's Park Ctr S058357 T6535 3456

Passions Watch Pte Ltd, www.passions.com.sg
109 North Bridge Rd #02-20 Funan Digitalife Mall S179097 T6533 0030

Chuan Watch Enterprise, www.chuanwatch.com.sg
390 Victoria St #01-10 Golden Landmark S188061 T6291 9118

Precision Watch Enterprise, www.precisionwatch.com.sg
390 Victoria St #02-23 Golden Landmark S188061 T6297 0338

Exploriner, www.exploriner.com
100 Beach Rd #02-21 Shaw Towers S189702 T6292 5550

Monster Time Vintage Watches, www.monster-time.com
52 Taman Warna S276380 T6733 2324

Athena Jewels & Watches, www.athena.sg
Blk 303 Woodlands St 31 #01-171 Singapore 730303
Blk 507 Jurong West St 52 #01-154 Singapore 640507

Singapore summon/fines checking


Traffic summons checking...
http://www.spf.gov.sg/epc/

Parking fines checking...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to get rid of Annoying Babylon search engine.

First, click the wrench at Google Chrome (at the top right hand corner)
then click the "Options", select "Manage search engine..." and then paste "http://www.google.com" to Other search engines.

Voila...original Chrome back to normal...





If it works, pls drop me a comment...thanks.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Toyota Altis V-belt (Serpentine Belt)

Change my V-belt after about 50km usage since mid 2009.
Using an OEM manufacturer Bando, manufactured at Indonesia.

Price: $35.5
Labour: $25
Manufacturer: Bando
Model: 6PK1880
Part Number: 90916-T2003 (not sure is this part number or not).


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tableware Symbols



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Used car buyer's checklist


Used car buyer's checklist

Initially:
- Any "bad" records in a VIN history report?
- Any service records with mileage readings? Has the oil been changed regularly? Any major engine or transmission repairs? Last emission test?

Walk-around
Indications of possible problems:
- Does the car sit level or do any of the suspension springs appear sagging?
- Are the body lines not straight? Ripples? Misaligned panels?
- Does any part of the car appear to be repainted? Mismatched colors? Paint overspray? Different paint texture on different panels? Why? Accident? Corrosion?
- Does the driver's door have a free play in the hinges? Is it difficult to close?
- Are the gaps between the panels different on one side of the car compared to the other side?
- Does the car have many rusty spots?
- Is there a trailer hinge? Was the car used for towing
a heavy trailer?
- Any cracks, chips, scratches on the windshield?

Wheels and Tires:
- Are the tires of a reputable brand or a "no name" kind of product? Are all 4 tires the same?
- Any cuts, cracks or other damage? is the tire tread low? Irregular wear? Damage on the rims?
The suspension and chassis problems:
- Does the car look badly corroded underneath?
- If the vehicle has a frame, is it badly rusted? Does it appear repaired?

The interior:
- Any smell? Excessive perfume? Dampness?
- Is the driver seat or steering wheel worn excessively? Does it look like it was a rental or heavily used car?
- Any dampness under the carpet or in the trunk?
- Do all the electrical features work? Power locks, windows, mirrors, sunroof, wipers, remote control?
- Does the air conditioner blow really cold air?
- Do the heater and rear window defogger work?
- Do windows get foggy with the heater ON?
- Is the radio reception good?
- Does the CD player play disks
- Do you feel comfortable in the driver's seat? Space? Visibility? Mirrors, controls, steering?
- Is there a cruise control? ABS? Stability Control?
- Do all the seat belts work?
- Is the rear seat space sufficient?
- Does the vehicle have an additional ignition key(s), spare tire, jack and a wheel wrench?

Under the hood:
- Is there a burnt oil smell under the hood?
- Any leaks? Is the engine dirty or oily?
- Does the engine look sludged up under the oil cap?
Is the oil level low? Is the oil on the dipstick too dark?

- Does the engine oil on the dipstick have a "coffee with milk" color? (coolant mixed with oil)
- Is the transmission fluid on the dipstick too dark or dirty? Does the transmission fluid smell burnt?
- Is the coolant, brake fluid, steering fluid low?
- Are the battery terminals corroded?
- Any indication of poor quality repair work or lack of maintenance? (e.g. badly corroded battery terminals, very low oil level, etc.)
During a test drive:

Engine issues:
- Is the engine difficult to start? Is the idle rough?
- Any noises? Knocking, tapping, pinging, whistling, piston slap? Excessive shaking?

Vibrations?
- Any smoke? (slight water steam is OK)
- Any warning lights come on on the dash?
- Is the engine oil pressure too low at idle?
- Any hesitations, sputtering on acceleration?
- Does the engine have enough power? Is it smooth?

Automatic transmission issues
- Is the time between shifting from Park into Drive or from Park into Reverse and the moment the transmission kicks in too long? (Long engagement)
- Any noises, jerks, jolts? A clunk when shifting into Reverse?
- When driving, any delays, slipping, shudder or harsh shifting? Is the overdrive working?
- Does the transmission downshifts when accelerated?
- Is there a clunk or jolt when coming to a stop?

Manual transmission issues:
- Any noises while accelerating or decelerating in any gear?
- Any troubles or grinding when changing gears?
- Is it difficult to shift into Reverse?
- Is the clutch slipping? Any noises, vibrations when the clutch pedal is pressed or released?

4WD issues:
Do you notice binding in turns? Do all 4WD modes work? Driveline noises? Vibrations?

Suspension and steering issues:
- Does the steering have a notable free play?
- Any knocking, rattling, creaking noises when driving over bumps or on a rough road?
- Does the car bounce a lot when driving over bumps?
- Does the car pull aside? Is the steering wheel out of center? Does the vehicle feel unstable? On a rough road? On a highway? In turns?
- Any humming, growling noises? Vibrations?

Brakes issues:
- Does the brake pedal go down too low?
- Does the brake pedal fee too soft (spongy) or too hard?
- Any brake pedal pulsation or steering vibration during braking?
- Any noises during braking? Grinding, screeching, squeaking?
- Does the vehicle pull aside during braking?
- Does the vehicle brake well?

Courtersy of http://www.samarins.com/check/index.html

What would happen if your alternator belt broke off while driving or while parked, or was removed?

After the belt broke, it could have gone to many different places. it could have broken away and slipped under the car, harmlessly falling to the ground - that's the best case scenario. Sometimes they will wrap themselves around things like a whip.
It could get trapped under one of the pulleys and subsequently ground down. when this happens, you'll get a burnt rubber smell that goes with that.

After the belt breaks, you immediately stop losing the alternators ability to recharge the battery (along with power steering, air conditioning with a serpentine belt). When this happens, you only have the amount of power that the battery had in charge when the belt broke. So at that point the cars electrical system is running on battery power ALONE. If you continue to drive the car after wards the battery loses it's charge, so things like using the starter or turning on the radio with the volume up loudly has a tendency to drain the battery ALOT faster. and the car is still using the batteries power to run things like the engine computer and it's accessories.

As far as the Q regarding how long the battery will last : Who knows ? Mostly it depends on how much the battery was charged up at the time the belt broke. This can be a lot or a little and battery age will effect that as well.
A jump start will not recharge the battery. It will only provide enough power to get the car started, as if you were using the other cars battery for that moment. When you remove the cables after the jump, the original car (with the dying battery) is running on the dying cars battery AGAIN.

The moral of this story is that the dashboard light that came on (when the belt broke) should let you know that there's a problem with the engine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Strand Matthew Walker Knot

Simple pictures illustration of how to tie Two Strand Matthew Walker knot




Picture courtesy of Atwood Tools

Thursday, December 15, 2011

45 lessons life


Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.. It is the most requested column I've ever written."

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past, so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood... But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive every one everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Things you need to know about car servicing

Engine Oil
It is a lubricant for your engine and comes in 2 types: Synthetic and Non-synthetic. Synthetic oil usually can last for 10,000 km before you need to change. My chemical engineering friend told me once that it can actually last for additional 3,000 km before the oil quality drops drastically. Non-synthetic oil on the other hand can only last for 5,000 km before you need to change. My same chemical engineering warn me not to try my luck on this one, once hit 5,500km die die must change.

I have also tried the higher quality synthetic oil verses the normal grade one. The higher quality really does gives a smoother engine. But for economic drivers like me. Just the normal one will do the job.

Oil Filter
It is a filter that filters out dirt and rust particles from the engine oil. It has to be change whenever the engine oil is change. This is because the oil filter will usually be very dirty. I have used both original and compatible and find no difference.

Spark Plugs

It is an electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of the engines. It ignites compressed fuels and creates combustion (power) of the car. Different car has different number of spark plugs and it usually comes in a set of 4. My Accord has 4 spark plugs while a Jazz has 8 spark plugs.

Different spark plugs have different life span. The more expensive and good one can last 40,000 while the normal ones can last 10,000 km to 20,000km. I have tried the original Honda spark plugs and the normal compatible ones before and I have not really felt the difference.

Auto Transmission Fluid(ATF)
It is a lubricant for the auto car gear box. This lubricant has to be change usually every 25,000 km to 30,000 km. It is also recommended to flush the gear box for every 50,000 km travel. Flushing is a process in which they use the ATF oil to clean the gear box. They will have this machine to circulate the ATF in the car. It first pump out 80% of the existing ATF and circulate new the ATF in the car. The machine will keep circulate the ATF and the dirt within the gear box will dissolve in the ATF. This process is usually repeated for 3 to 4 bottle of ATF before they put the new ATF.

In my case, my car needs 4 bottles (each 1 litre) if I just want to change the ATF, but if i were to flush the gear box, then I would need additional 4 bottles. The effect is flushing ATF is quite noticeable. I feel that my auto car is smoother when it is picking up and changing gear.

Power Steering Fluid
As the name suggest, this is a lubricant for the car's power steeling. If you feel that your steeling wheel is getting heavy while turning, it is time to change the power steering fluid. If i am not wrong, this needs to be change every 30,000km or so. And it is also recommended to flush it for every 50,000km.

The effect of change is also very noticeable as I find the my steeling wheel very light after I change it.

If for whatever reason that you hear funny noise when you turn your steeling wheel (not the noise from the tyres) Then this will probably means that there is insufficient power steering fluid or you need to change the fluid

Brake Pads & Brake Fluids
I have never change brake fluids before so I have no idea how it works. However, I have changed brake pads several times. Each set of brake pads come in 4 pieces, 2 pieces for each wheel. You know you need to change the brake pad when you hear noise when braking. This is an indication that the brake pad left about 20% of pad. Each set of brake pads usually last around 35,000km for me (It varies on driving habit, for some it can last up to 100,000km ).

I have tried both original and compatible brake pads on my car. The compatible one is more noisy upon braking even it is brand new. In term of braking distance, both original and compatible are comparable in my experience.

Tyre Rotation, Balancing and Wheel Alignment
The tyres on the braking wheel general wear out a lot faster, hence it is importing to rotate them every 10,000 km. By rotating the tyres, all 4 tyres will wear out evenly and you do not have to change the tyres so often. Each set of tyres usually last for 30,000km to 40,000km but I have a friend who drove the tyres for 60,000km before he changes his 4 tyres! I drove his Camry before he changes his tyres and the car is still quite ok.

It is also good to do your wheel alignment every 20,000 or 30,000 km. This is because if the wheel alignment is off, one side of your car tyre will wear off a lot faster. You know that your wheel alignment is off when you let go your steeling wheel on a straight road and the cars go to one side immediately.

Air Filter
It removes dust particular from the air that is going into the engine for combustion. The cleaner the air, the better the combustion. No hard rule of when to change. You just got to change it whenever it is dirty. One way to verify if the air filter is dirty is the take out the air filter and hit on the floor or wall. If there is a lot of carbon dropping out, then it's time to change the air filter.

Timing Belt or any other belts you see
If you see they wear out then it is time to change. No compromise on this one. This is because once the belt is torn, chances are that your car will not move and over heat very quickly. Once the engine over heats, then the repair bill will be huge and you only can get the tow truck to bring your car to the workshop.

Others
Change your wipers when it not working well.
Top up air-con gas if the air condition is not working well.
Ensure correct pressure on your tyres whenever you can.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

iRobot Roomba 555

After much consideration and much good feedback from fellow colleagues, finally I get myself a Roomba, the model 555 which is local model number that similar to 560 except the accessories in the box. This 555 does not have extra filter and comes with only 1 virtual wall unit.

Got this from an eBayer whose got lucky by winning it at a luckydraw, he is selling for $500 while the retail at $898.
Happy I got this model and its a hardworking machine which you can schedule it to vacuum your house when your are not at home so that when you get home, your floor is sparkling (almost) clean .

Its so smart that its even return to its homebase for recharge when finish vacuuming

Just let it run for the first time after > 16hours of charging and Voila!!! the floor is as clean as after mopping...

Edit: Warranty covered till: Oct 14, 2012



Monday, November 7, 2011

Michelin XM2

Well, just change my 2 years + Bridgestone AR10 after close to 50KM mileage.
I have to say I got a really good deal for RM225/pc XM2 after trade-in my old tyres.
Package incl. balancing, alignment, new valve and free 1st 10km tyre rotation.

My first impression is they are quiet but not fantastic (the car sound proofing plays a part too.), more responsive during cornering, better control too. Maybe due harder side wall construction.

Have not try the wet performance, think with that big & wide tyre grooves, the performance must be good, hope so...because Michelin has one of the best tyre compound in the industry.

Date: 5 Nov 2011
Car Mileage: 114200km
Size: 195/60R15
Thread wear: 400
Speed Rating: 88V
Dot date: 1911 ( ~May 2011)

Update: Surprisingly after the first 1000km break-in period, the tyre becomes even more quiet. Feel so much much more nimble too...



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh shit, bite by the earphone bugs...

After buying the Portapro, I am buying another on-ear ear-buds which was from China, Yuin PK3 from eBay for $46, ow waiting for it to arrive maybe in 2 weeks time.

Some said it is the most value for money earphone at this price range with great sound-stage and clarity, and enough of bass. So let's wait and see...how the sound quality and build quality.

The design is blatantly ordinary, its black and looks just like some old Sony ear-buds.

Here is the picture from Google.

Yuin PK3

Friday, October 21, 2011

Koss Portapro

After much web searching for a best affordable headphone.

Here it is, the venerable headphone from the 80s.
The fold-able, the portable, the KOSS PORTAPRO!!!
Also it is the Gold medal awarded by T3 Singapore 2009.

The first impression was..."Wow...this little headphone really pump out lots of bass...deep bass."
The sound just sweet, real sweet to listen to hip-hop or pop song. Some say it would sound even tighter after 200hrs of burn-in. Should you need to burn-in your unit, here a web that has every other noise, frequency sweeping for burn-in.

This pair cost $79.00 which got it from Stereo Electronics today. Almost double the price if purchase from eBay. However, because of the "lifetime warranty-no *question* asked" worth every penny.

Next, maybe a leatherette earpad for better sound isolation and less leakage.


Update: When I re-listen the iPod buds after 2 weeks of listening to Portapro with about 30hrs of burn-in, iPods buds really sound like crap... I was never realised that until today.
Waiting for the Yuin PK3 to arrive, hopefully on par with this Koss legendary headphone.
Also ordered a HD414 yellow earpad to kramer mods this portapro...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Altis adds on...or not to?

Stebel Magnum 2: $60 incl. installation
05 Altis Front strut bar : $140 incl installation

Northlink Building, E-Rev

Saturday, October 15, 2011

2012 BMW 1-series is angry bird's pig?

Now, where is the angry bird?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Samsung Nexus Prime

Something big is coming...?
The next Samsung Nexus Prime?

GSMArena just obtained the first live photo of the Samsung Nexus Prime.

According to GSMArena, the image confirms two important aspects of the Nexus Prime. First, the device has a Super AMOLED display of HD resolution - 720p on a 4.6-inch screen.

Second, the Nexus Prime does not seem to have any hardware keys, which is to be expected of Android Ice Cream Sandwich as the new OS is based on the tablet-centric Honeycomb platform that does not rely on hardware buttons for navigation the user interface.

If the image turns out to be real, the Samsung Nexus Prime will pose a grave threat to Apple's new iPhone (or iPhones).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Power Station in Singapore


6 Power stations in Singapore:
Tuas
Seraya
Senoko
Jurong
Lorong Halus
Pasir Panjang

Friday, September 2, 2011

Repair my Denon UD-M30

My 10 years old Denon UD-M30 laser lens head unit and the CD tray motor failed finally after many month of shaking when I need it to detect and play, remembering this is the first present from my wife who used her 1st month salary to buy which cost $499.

Was surfing the net for the pass few weeks for infor of where to have it repair and finally decided to try my luck at Sim Lim Tower, one nice uncle actually lender his help when i try to ask a shop owner where can I repair this unit. The fact that he is a hi-fi man (as he claims it). Straight away he told me it was due to the laser head unit EOL.

Had it change at HI-TEK, Level 3, Sim Lim Tower shop for considerably cheap. And now its good to go for another 10 years, YEAH!!!.

Here some pictures of the parts being replaced.
Denon using Sanyo laser head unit (PN: SF-P101N) with Mabuchi motor.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tyre wear possible symptoms

Camber
Camber is the angle of the wheel, measured in degrees, when viewed from the front of the vehicle. If the top of the wheel is leaning out from the center of the car, then the camber is positive ,if it's leaning in, then the camber is negative. If the camber is out of adjustment, it will cause tire wear on one side of the tire's tread. If the camber is too far negative, for instance, then the tire will wear on the inside of the tread. If the camber is different from side to side it can cause a pulling problem. The vehicle will pull to the side with the more positive camber. On many front-wheel-drive vehicles, camber is not adjustable. If the camber is out on these cars, it indicates that something is worn or bent, possibly from an accident and must be repaired or replaced.



Toe-In

The toe measurement is the difference in the distance between the front of the tires and the back of the tires. It is measured in fractions of an inch in the US and is usually set close to zero which means that the wheels are parallel with each other. Toe-in means that the fronts of the tires are closer to each other than the rears. Toe-out is just the opposite. An incorrect toe-in will cause rapid tire wear to both tires equally. This type of tire wear is called a saw-tooth wear pattern as shown in this illustration.

If the sharp edges of the tread sections are pointing to the center of the car, then there is too much toe-in. If they are pointed to the outside of the car then there is too much toe-out. Toe is always adjustable on the front wheels and on some cars, is also adjustable for the rear wheels.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tire Wear & Whell Alignment


In its most basic form, a wheel alignment consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. The purpose of these adjustments is maximum tire life and a vehicle that

tracks straight and true when driving along a straight and level road.

Wheel alignment is very important to ensuring your tires do not wear prematurely. A proper alignment also means less wear and tear on steering/suspension components. When a vehicles alignment is out of manufacturer recommended specification, it can cause the vehicle to drift/float or pull in different directions. This can pro

ve to be unsafe for you and the vehicle. Improper wheel alignment creates excessive friction on the road surface leading to uneven tire wear and unnecessary stress on steering/suspension components. This excessive drag will also reduce fuel economy.

Additional notes: Some vehicles are not equiped from the factory with the necessary hardware to make all the required alignment adjustments. In these instances, modified bolts and/or eccentric bolt kits/spacers need to be installed before proper adjustments can be made. See illustration above:

Some repair shops will not take the extra time needed to install these kits and therefore will not perform all the required adjustments, resulting in improper alignment & premature tire wear. Do not be fooled by the "Advertised Low-price Alignment" of most tire shops & chain stores. If they are not informing you of any additional adjustments, ask to see a printout of the vehicle specifications & current adjustments. Service kits usually require additional labor to install them and the cost of each kit varies per vehicle. One of our service professionals will be able to answer all of your questions at the time of your appointment.

Nut King Salted Peanuts Nutrition Facts

The best peanuts I tasted so far, try one and you will fall in love with it....

Below are the nutrition facts:
Calories 88 Sodium 0 mg
Total Fat 6 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 3 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 4 g
Cholesterol 0 mg Vitamin A 0%
Calcium 0% Vitamin C 0%
Iron 0%

Will upload pictures when I take a snap of it...
Edit: Updated with pictures...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bridgestone AR10



General Information

Technical Details

BrandBridgestone
Sub BrandTuranza
Tread PatternAR10
Country of OriginThailand
TypeTubeless
ConstructionRadial
Position
Sidewall FinishBlack Sidewall
Primary UseTouring
Product Code75787
Load Index / Speed Rating91V
Ply Rating
Overall Diameter627 mm
Overall Width207 mm
Static Loaded Radius284 mm
Revolutions / km533
Rolling Circumference
Measured Rim Width06.00 in
Permitted Rim Width(s)05.50-07.50 in
Tread Depth7.9 mm
Weight10.1 kg
Cubic Mass.064 m3

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A FATHER'S RULES FOR FINDING FULFILLMENT


Be courteous, be punctual, always say please and thank you, and be sure to hold your knife and fork properly. Others take their cue on how to treat you from your manners.

Be kind, considerate and compassionate when others are in trouble, even if you have problems of your own. Others will admire your selflessness and will help you in due course.

Show moral courage. Do what is right, even if that makes you unpopular. I always thought it important to be able to look at myself in the shaving mirror every morning and not feel guilt or remorse. I depart this world with a pretty clear conscience.

Learn from your mistakes. You will make plenty so use them as a learning tool. If you keep making the same mistake or run into a problem, you’re doing something wrong.

Show humility. Stand your ground but pause to reflect on what the other side are saying, and back off when you know you are wrong. Never worry about losing face. That only happens when you are pig-headed.

Avoid disparaging someone to a third party; it is only you who will look bad. If you have a problem with someone, tell them face to face.

Hold fire! If someone crosses you, don’t react immediately. Once you say something it can never be taken back, and most people deserve a second chance.

Have fun. If this involves taking risks, so be it. If you get caught, hold your hands up.

Give to charity and help those who are less fortunate than yourselves: it’s easy and so rewarding.

Always look on the upside! The glass is half full, never half empty. Every adversity has a silver lining if you seek it out.

Make it your instinct always to say ‘yes’. Look for reasons to do something, not reasons to say no. Your friends will cherish you for that.

Be canny: you will get more of what you want if you can give someone more of what they desire. Compromise can be king.

Always accept a party invitation. You may not want to go, but they want you there. Show them courtesy and respect.

Never ever let a friend down. I would bury bodies for my friends, if they asked me to . . . which is why I have chosen them carefully.

Always tip for good service. It shows respect. But never reward poor service. Poor service is insulting.

Always treat those you meet as your social equal, whether they are above or below your station in life. For those above you, show due deference, but don’t be a sycophant.

Always respect age, as age equals wisdom.

Be prepared to put the interests of your sibling first.

Be proud of who you are and where you come from, but open your mind to other cultures and languages. When you begin to travel (as I hope you will), you’ll learn that your place in the world is both vital and insignificant. Don’t get too big for your breeches.

Be ambitious, but not nakedly so. Be prepared to back your assertions with craftsmanship and hard work.

Live every day to its full: do something that makes you smile or laugh, and avoid procrastination.

Give of your best at school. Some teachers forget that pupils need incentives. So if your teacher doesn’t give you one, devise your own.

Always pay the most you can afford. Never skimp on hotels, clothing, shoes, make-up or jewellery. But always look for a deal. You get what you pay for.

Never give up! My two little soldiers have no dad, but you are brave, big-hearted, fit and strong. You are also loved by an immensely kind and supportive team of family and friends. You make your own good fortune, my children, so battle on.

Never feel sorry for yourself, or at least don’t do it for long. Crying doesn’t make things better.

Look after your body and it will look after you.

Learn a language, or at least try. Never engage a person abroad in conversation without first greeting them in their own language; by all means ask if they speak English!

And finally, cherish your mother, and take very good care of her.

I love you both with all my heart.


Daddy x

*A great message from a father: Extracted from http://sg.yahoo.matchmove.com/news/article/a-fathers-message-from-beyond-the-grave

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rolex


品牌起源于孤儿的奋斗

正如一切伟大的事业,今日看来辉煌异常的劳力士其实也源起于一个平凡人并不看好的起点。然而,就在历史机缘的关键时刻,一个兼具远见和智慧的创始人 hans wilsdorf 抓住了时代的真实脉动,凭借着无限的毅力和坚持,终于一步一脚印地逐渐拓展事业的版图,开创造出了有史以来最叫人艳羡、兼具神秘传说和工艺成就的巨擘王朝。而 hans wilsdorf 这样的人格特质,其实和他成长的经历不无关系。1881 年 3 月 22 日出生于德国南部巴伐利亚库伦巴赫 (kulmbach) 的他,十二岁时父母亲就不幸双双亡故。在亲戚的的安排下,年纪小小的他就远到瑞士的一所寄宿学校开始他的求学过程。不幸的遭遇并没有在他的人生投下无法挥去的阴影,相反地,他成长为一个开朗而热情的青年,在寄宿学校里也结识了不少要好的朋友。毕业后,一位在寄宿学校结识的好友热情地向他邀约:「既然已经完成学业了,您应该来加入我们,我们出口手表到全世界」。于是,当年年仅 19 岁的 hans wilsdorf 带着初出茅庐的憧憬,以及在珍珠进口商担任学徒的经历,只身来到瑞士北部的制表重镇拉夏德芳 (la chaux de fonds),进到朋友家族的钟表进出口代理商公司工作,专门负责英文文书处理的工作。

很有生意头脑的 hans wilsdorf 在钟表贸易的范畴里如鱼得水,也因此很快确定了自己在钟表界发展的决心。有鸿鹄大志的他终于在 24 岁的那年单飞,创立属于自己的事业。1905 年,hans wilsdorf 和姐夫 alfred davis 一起在伦敦成立了 wilsdorf & davis 手表贸易公司,并和创立于 1900 年的 aegler 机芯厂签约合作。由于 aegler 公司的营运部门位于瑞士的比恩 (bienne), wilsdorf 遂于 1908 年在瑞士的la chaux de fonds注册,并正式登记了「rolex劳力士」这个当今钟表界最响亮的金字招牌。之后,劳力士又于 1912 年在伦敦注册,并将公司的总部设于此地,直到 1919 年再度迁往瑞士日内瓦 。关于「rolex 劳力士」这个堪称品牌命名经典的灵感来源,很多人也感到相当有兴趣,甚至认为对劳力士日后的全球发展功不可没,毕竟其他瑞士大厂的名字对世界其他国家而言,可说大多是饶舌嚼口,难以记颂。的确也是,hans wilsdorf 当年选择rolex 这个品牌名字的原则就是希望它短而有力、让人容易记住。而且在世界主要语音拼法下,它的发音一致铿锵有声,这对加速品牌的接受度和流广性也相当有助益。

超越当代的独到眼光

1900 年代初期,当 hans wilsdorf 刚到瑞士拉夏德芳工作的时候,当时「手表」才刚刚发明,自限于已经长期大量投资在怀表制造设备的经济压力,加上并尚未看出手表便利易携、日后即将席卷全球的潜力,各大制表厂商心态上依旧只将「手表」视为一种女性的装饰用品,无法登大雅之堂,成为受男性顾客青睐的主流,因此也不曾费心研究。另一方面,当时制表技术尚有局限,传统制表厂并不看好能发展出够小、够坚固、够精准的机芯来装置在手表之内。更何况怀表基本上被安置在环境稳定的口袋里,而佩戴腕表的人类手部,其活动量和随之而来的震动,以及多变环境里的湿气和无孔不入的灰尘,对当时防水和密封性能上在萌芽初期的制表技术的确构成难以跨越的障碍,也让手表的稳定性和准确度顶多只称得上差强人意,无法吸引当代人士关爱的眼神。

热爱旅行和运动的 hans wilsdorf 不但具有商人的灵活头脑,更具有超越当代人士深远而精确的眼光。wilsdorf 认定未来的时计主流必然属于方便携带和阅读的手表,即便当时手表的制造技术的确存在困难重重的技术瓶颈,wilsdorf & davis 和后来的劳力士公司始终极尽全力、专注于发展制造手表的完美技术。尽管表界对于到底是谁制造出第一只手表的争执始终无解,但如果说到真正最早将「手表」视为一种新概念和趋势来发展的表厂,那可非劳力士莫属。他超越当代的独到眼光很快就得到回报,一次世界大战给人类带来浩劫,却也成手表普及的最佳推手。前线的战士需要能够方便阅读的准确时计来同步校时,精确进行军事行动。对背负着重装备、身着厚重的制服和大衣的士兵来说,手表拥有怀表所无法比拟的先天优势,劳力士很快成为英国最重要的手表供应商之一。

精准是衡量手表品质的唯一标准

wilsdorf 从不自限于发明手表的既有成就,劳力士初成立的前十年,wilsdorf 展现了他在手表制造上的最重要坚持:对精准度近乎苛求的无止境追求。他希望制造一只可以精准可靠地计时,伴随人类进行所有活动的手表。wilsdof不但针对防水和防尘性能进行研究和改进,更在公司内聘雇专家对所有机芯和组装完成的手表进行一系列的测试,手表出厂前必须先经过公司的严苛试验。1914 年 7 月 15 日,英国知名的 kew 天文台 (kew observatory) 在严苛的 45 小时评比测试后(包括将手表放置在冰箱、室温和烤箱内测试),破天荒地颁发 a 级天文台证书给一只送审的小型仕女款式劳力士表手表,这是此一天文台在评比手表精准度多年后从未颁发过的最高评价。劳力士的精确度不但得到了专家的认证,也因而获得全世界的注目。劳力士的质量自此成了精确腕表的代名词,劳力士手表在欧洲和美国的身价也顿时倍增。而这样的成功也让日后的劳力士更确定了要将绝大部分生产的腕表送天文台认证的策略,直到今日,劳力士获得天文台认证的手表数量早已遥遥领先其他竞争对手,稳居世界首位。

第一只防水表的诞生

1926 年,劳力士在防水性能的研究上取得最重要的突破,发明了一种具有双重锁入式防水龙头的所谓蚝式防水手表并正式注册。所谓蚝式手表,是因为其旋入式防水背盖的灵感来源仿造自牡蛎的结构而来,据称 wilsdorf 在一次晚宴中费尽了力气也无法打开一只紧闭的牡蛎,因而发明了这各改变手表历史的表壳结构。为了将自己发明推上世界的舞台,wilsdorf 再度想出了一个前所未闻的宣传手法,再度向世人证明了他独到的经营手法和眼光。

wilsdorf 注意到有一位名叫 mercedes gleitze 的英国著名游泳女将,即将挑战单人横渡英吉利海峡。他致赠给 mercedes gleitze 一只劳力士新发名的蚝式防水手表,并派遣了采访和摄影记者全程纪录她创纪录的整趟挑战过程。1927 年 10 月 7 日,mercedes gleitze 完成创举,骄傲地从海水中浮现到水面上的那一刻来临,她手腕上戴的劳力士蚝式防水表伴随着泡在海水中整整 15 个小时一刻钟,不但丝毫无损,而且准确依旧,当场也令各地媒体同声惊讶。此事在当时的英国《每日邮报》头版新闻中,被誉为「制表技术最伟大的胜利」、「创造了一直认为难以实现的奇迹」,「一只击败所有计时器天敌的完美手表:防水、防湿、防热、防冷、防震又防尘」。从那以后,劳力士蚝式防水表在世界上流行起来,也奠定了劳力士公司在手表防水技术的领先地位。而劳力士这场和体育探险活动结合的宣传造势活动,也被誉为本世纪最成功的天才行销手法。

第一只自动上炼手表

自动上链机械表的概念在 1930 年代开始萌芽发展起来,劳力士再度敏锐地抓住了时机。当其他表厂还在是做实验性的自动上链机构时,劳力士已经能将其研发多年的技术应用量产,成功地在 1931 年、抢先其他对手推出劳力士蚝式自动上炼表。劳力士的双向上炼陀 (auto rotor system) 能极有效率的将人手的动力传达到发条上,被公认为当时自动表中最精确可靠的技术,而今日世上的绝大多数自动表其实都已接纳采用劳力士的此一技术。这样创新、实用和领先的产品,背后意涵的其实正是劳力士自创立以来向来秉持稳扎稳打的步伐,但却不怯于创新突破,而劳力士的今日的品牌资本正是这样近百年努力,一点一滴的累积起来的。

1945 年,劳力士公司获得了第五万只手表的天文台证书认证。同一年,劳力士首创了世界上第一只可以用放大视窗自动显示日期的蚝式自动日历表 datejust。1956 年,劳力士发表 day-date 表款,在表面上增设第二个放大星期视窗自动显示星期,赢得引领时尚的美誉。直到今日,劳力士 day-date 星期日历手表已经有 26 种不同的语言显示。

强悍可靠的功能表

近数十年来劳力士的表款外型和款式改变并不太大,批评者因此抨击他们墨守成规、安于现状,但其实这关系到劳力士自创立以来就坚定不移的制表哲学,劳力士向来自豪于「追求精准」和「讲究实用」这两个标竿准则。这样的坚持的信念不但促使了劳力士一直专注于改良手表的强悍结构和计时性能的可靠度,hans wilsdorf 更在他 1960 年过世之前,就将自己在劳力士的股份捐出成立基金会来确定自己的理念在他身后会被忠实地奉守着。他精心挑选的继任者 andré heiniger 也的确信守着劳力士的创业理念。并向前迈开大步,陆续发展出了explorer、submariner、gmt master 和 daytona 等今日已成为经典的多种「运动表」款,引领了今日我们习以为常的所谓「特殊功能表」(utility watch)的时代潮流。

在后 hans wilsdorf 时代的几十年里,即便经历石英和电子计时技术的冲击,劳力士始终固守着机械计时的领域发展。劳力士手表伴随着人类的脚步,也不断向更高、更远、更深、更严苛的环境探索,并且一在地向世人展现劳力士坚悍的造表技术。劳力士手表曾伴随 jacques piccard 潜到地球上最深的海沟,也记录了 sir edmund hillary 和 tenzing norgay 登顶圣母峰的光荣时刻。劳力士手表经历过极圈的严寒、撒哈拉沙漠的酷热和外太空无重力状态的种种考验,却始终精准计时不负无数冒险家的信赖。劳力士参与了人类飞行突破音速障碍的创纪录飞行任务,也曾被战斗机在 22,000 英尺处弹跳出去,依旧行走如常。更多的劳力士手表更屡屡在空难、船难和竞速快艇赛撞船意外中熬过灾难的重创,展现比人类肉体强韧百倍的坚固品质,带给世人无比的讶异与赞叹。而民间所记录到的一些轶事,比官方正式记录的辉煌毫不逊色,比如:一个英国人误将自己的蚝士表丢进了全自动洗衣机中,经过一连串热水洗涤、润湿和脱水和烘干的过程后;一个从事跳伞运动的澳洲人在还离地八百尺处,不幸将手表掉了出去。一个不小心的美国加州妇女,将自己丈夫的蚝力士手表错放到近五百度的烤箱内。而这些误入险境的劳力士手表竟然脱险后依旧能完美地运行着,让知到的人无不瞠目结舌、讶异于劳力士的强悍坚固。 

所以,尽管劳力士现行的各表款间的变化不大,甚少推出一些称得上是天马行空款式的作品。然而,即便消费者可能无法从外观的造型和性能一眼看出劳力士在精准度和实用性上循序渐进的不断改良,但看看劳力士经过时代焠炼所沿用下来的无数经典设计,如蚝式表壳、宾士型指针 (mercedes)、两地时间显示、防水性能、氦气排放阀和单向可旋转式计时外圈设计等,即便以今日的制表水准来看都是经典的世纪钜作。不知有不少品牌争相仿效、推出所谓的「致敬之作」(hommage)。这些劳力士运动表款长青的设计元素,即便历经数十年也不觉落伍,足以印证劳力士这个经典而长青的品牌在少变的面相后,持续了数十年不断改进品质的努力。劳力士这样内敛反求诸己的制表态度,正是印证了西谚里 the less is more 的极简设计理念。

劳力士所发展出来的所谓特殊运动功能表款,包括 explorer、submariner、gmt master 和 daytona 等都拥有一连串灵感、人物和事件相互交错的传奇故事流传着,直到今日更早已成为劳力士神话里的最迷人传说。所以,了解劳力士这些隐身在传神佳作表款背后、画龙点睛一般的故事和价值,可以说是了解当代劳力士运动表真正品牌价值的最佳途径,且让我们在下文中一一介绍。

传奇的魔力:劳力士经典运动表款

劳力士探险家一号 rolex explorer i

rolex explorer i 一向是劳力士最热门、最富吸引力的表款之一,黑色面盘和3-6-9 阿拉伯数目字时刻刻度赋予了 explorer i 兼具典雅和运动的迷人气息。社会名流、影视红星的热爱,萤光幕前、流行杂志与钟表杂志的大幅报导,更让 explorer i 在港、台、日变成时尚的宠儿。引发这潮流的始作俑者之中,最为人津津乐道的大概是日剧「恋爱世代」 (love generation) 里的木村拓哉。因为「恋爱世代」的大受欢迎,该剧中不时出现的那只水晶苹果以及木村拓哉在剧中所戴的 explorer i ref. 14270 等相关商品,也都因而连带被炒热 。

撇开追星族的狂热,explorer i 本身其实就是十分吸引人的手表,除了手表本身的工艺成就,explorer i 兼具运动与优雅气息的外表背后,不但充满了动人心弦的历史典故,也隐含了扑朔迷离的曲折情节,一如其他的劳力士运动表一样。虽然今日 explorer i 的最新表款 ref. 114270 或是前一代的 14270 的面貌,已经和当年伴随风流人物完成惊人事迹的 explorer 有了相当的不同,最明显的是典型的原本的 3-6-9 夜光数字点钟刻度已经被金属刻度取代,表壳设计、机芯和镜面玻璃等等也都有了改变,但是一脉相承的神采却丝毫没有消减。

在一般表迷既定的观念里,explorer (i) 是劳力士特别为了喜玛拉雅山 (himalayan) 圣母峰 (everest) 的攀登探险行动所设计的手表。这只手表在 1953 年5月29日伴随了纽西兰人 edmund hillary 和尼泊尔雪巴 sherpa tenzing norgay 等人组成的英国探险队,完成人类登顶的历史创举。这样的故事固然传奇无比、引人入胜,但却和「真正的事实」有些差距。首先,劳力士公司的确自 1933 年就开始赞助喜玛拉雅山的探险活动 (himalayan expedition),其后的圣母峰探险活动 (everest expedition) 里,劳力士也一直都是官方的赞助单位,每一支探险队 rolex 都赞助有腕表配备。然而,劳力士并非唯一的赞助商,据信 edmund hillary 登上圣母峰顶时所佩戴的,便是另一个赞助商英国表厂 smith 的腕表。不过 tenzing norgay 佩戴的确实是「explorer」,1988 年 7 月 19 日,这只手表在伦敦苏富比 sotheby's 拍卖,目前则被收藏在日内瓦的劳力士博物馆 (rolex museum in geneva)。至于 explorer 是不是第一只登顶圣母峰的手表呢?这一个问题恐怕永远不会有答案,因为 hillary 和 norgay 两人一直坚持不肯透露谁是第一个踏上峰顶,一贯坚持登顶是「一组的两人」一同完成的。

其次,观察 tenzing norgay 所佩戴上圣母峰的这只 「explorer」手表,它的确具有 explorer 典型黑色面盘和 3-6-9 夜光数字点钟刻度,虽然指针并非我们熟悉的 skelette (mercedes) 指针 (后续的少数 ref. 6350 才出现),而是纯粹的夜光直针,中心式秒针上的圆形夜光点则较今日的款式来得大一点。值得注意的是这只 「explorer」 面盘上标记的文字是 「precision」 字样,而非「explorer」。此外,根据苏富比的纪录,这只手表的表底鑉是泡泡背 (bubble back) 式。根据这些特点推断,这只手表应该是 ref. 6350 的表款。当时的劳力士有在表背底鑉的内面刻印制造日期的习惯,tenzing norgay的这只 ref. 6350 内的制造日期是 iv 53,意思就是在 1953 年 4 月制造,可见在 hillary 和 norgay 登顶壮举之前,劳力士尚未正式命名 ref. 6350 为 explorer,虽然劳力士在 1953 年 1 月 26 日便已在日内瓦注册了 explorer 的商标,但是 explorer 的正式定名却是在 hillary 和 norgay 的圣母峰登顶行动之后,1953 年登顶后生产的一些 ref. 6350 才开始加注上 「explorer」 的表款名称。至于 explorer i 终于发展成一个固定样式的经典之作,更是 rolex 经过一段时期的摸索后,才终于得以完成。

无论如何,ref. 6350 explorer 的确是劳力士专门为探险家 (explorer) 的需要所制造的性能表款。ref. 6350 explorer 具有高可读性面盘设计,其表壳也经过特别的强化,并且可以依需求使用特制的润滑油,让这只手表在 -20° c 到+40° c之间运作都不会因黏性改变而影响准确度,所以无论是在 hillary 和 norgay 登顶圣母峰之前和之后,很多探险队就都依赖ref. 6350 为其计时配备。explorer (i) 最具特色的面盘其实并非全新创意,其 12 点钟的大三角形标记在 1930 及 40 年代、具有阿拉伯和罗马数字面盘的一些 rolex 表款就已经被广泛使用,而 3-6-9 阿拉伯数字和长条状 (bar) 点钟刻度则在早期的椅垫式蚝式表款 (cushion oyster) 就已运用。然而,这些已出现过的元素以一种独一无二的姿态结合呈现,就造就了 explorer 鲜明澄澈、无法错认的经典形象。

根据 the best of time. rolex wristwatches: an unauthorized history 一书的作者 james m. dowling 对早期 explorer 表款的研究显示,rolex 一开始显然并不确定 explorer 表款的市场潜力,因此劳力士也将 explorer 注册商标式的面盘或是 explorer 的名称,放在一些其他的表款之上。「air king explorer」 就是当中最有名的例子,所谓的 「air king explorer」 指的是有一些 ref. 5500 的 air king 表款,但是面盘采用「explorer」的3-6-9 夜光黑色面盘,不过其面盘上标记的是 precision,而非 superlative chronometer officially certified。另一个例子则是所谓的 dress explorers,指的是有一些 oyster perpetual 表款采用金属时刻刻度和指针的非「explorer」式面盘设计,但却在表盘上铭记有 explorer 字样,包括有日期显示的 ref. 5700 (又被称为 explorer date) 和无日期显示的 ref. 5504。这一类今日被视为稀有而珍贵的别款 explorer,大都生产于 50及 60 年代,最早还可追溯到 1953 年的 ref. 6298,直到后来劳力士的 explorer 热卖,这些表款才完全停产。

explorer ref. 6350 大约只在 1953 年生产了一年左右,随即在同年由 ref. 6150接手。大部分的 explorer ref. 6350 的黑色面盘都标记有 officially certified chronometer 字样,面盘更具有独特的 honeycomb 饰纹。ref. 6150 与 ref. 6350 同样采用 a296 机芯,但表壳比 ref. 6150 的加大了 2 mm,而且都是 precision 样式。 ref. 6150于 1959 年停产,并由 ref. 6610 接替。ref. 6610 和 ref. 6150 两者的外观几乎一模一样,不过 ref. 6610 由于改用了新型 caliber 1310 机芯,表背盖也由原来的 bubble back 变平了。所有这些早期的 explorer 都是不锈钢制,而面盘上所有的印刷字体、rolex logo 和分钟刻度则都采用别致的金黄颜色。

ref. 6610 生产了五年后,explorer ref. 1016 于 1963 年接替上场。ref.1016是目前所有 explorer 中上线最久、也最著名的表款,直到 1989 年才又交棒给 ref. 14270。explorer ref. 1016 和 ref. 6610 的外形也几乎一模一样,机芯则改用 caliber 1560,防水深度也由 50 公尺提高到 100 公尺。在漫长的 26 年生产过程中,explorer ref. 1016 也有过小改款。第一代 ref. 1016 在 1975 年改款,改配由 caliber 1560 改良而成具有停秒性能 (hack) 的 caliber 1570 机芯,而蚝式表带也改用实心不锈钢制表节制作。

1989 年,大多数表迷熟悉的 ref. 14270 在惊讶中上市,除了 explorer 的名字和 benz 指针依旧不变外,ref. 14270 的内在和美学观几乎都和 ref. 1016 完全不同:机芯改用较高震频的 caliber 3000、镜面改用蓝宝石水晶玻璃、表壳重新设计,面盘更做了大幅改变,原本全印刷式的夜光时刻刻度,包括点钟刻度、12 点钟的三角形标志以及 3-6-9 夜光阿拉伯数字,都更改成先用 k 金属围出边框再加上 tritium 夜光涂装设计。这样的改变固然让 14270 的样式增添了典雅现代的感觉,但是 ref. 1016 纯粹质朴的运动探险风格,其实也很叫众多表迷无法忘怀,加上数量渐少,因此近些年 ref. 1016 的价钱水涨船高,目前的市价几乎一般比全新的 14270 还贵上一倍以上。

2001 年 explorer i 再度小改款:114270 上场接替 14270,改用 caliber 3130 机芯。无论是古董explorer ref. 6350、 1016、前一代的 14270 或是目前的 explorer 114270,劳力士 explorer i 一直是一只外型与性能再简单不过的手表,不锈钢外壳与炼带,自动上炼机芯,黑色 369 字盘…………乍看之下,实在毫不起眼。但可能正因为「简单即是最美」的道理,explorer i 似乎越经过仔细端详和品味,就越能散发出无比的吸引力。更奇妙的是 explorer i 不但吸引了男性表友的热爱,即便是女性消费者,也常被它的现代感和运动休闲风格所吸引。很多表迷对explorer i 的低复杂度,却能成就出超高售价和惊人抢购热潮感到难以理解,但 (对一只手表的) 爱恋何必需要有什么合理的理由?或者日剧恋爱世代 (love generation) 里的那句台词 :「人的一生里,总会有一段时间,是什么事情也不想的,除了恋爱之外。在那样的日子里,是属于恋爱的时间。就只要恋爱,就够了。」

正好是解释这种现象的最恰当说法。无论爱恋 explorer i 的理由是什么,是喜欢它的美丽造型、坚固品质、动人历史,还是只是因为偶像的崇拜,或者一句 「在那样的日子里,是属于 explorer 手表的时间。就只要 explorer 手表,就够了」就是最好的理由了。

劳力士探险家二号 rolex explorer ii

劳力士的探险家二号手表 explorer ii 在台湾可说是和 explorer i 及 submariner 并称最畅销的 rolex 运动表款,而 explorer ii 则是三者中最晚上市,历史最短的表款。一般相信 explorer ii 的初次现身是 1971 年,当时的型号是 1655。1655 基本上是将当时的 gmt master ref. 1675 小改款所衍生出来的新款型。explorer ii ref. 1655 将 gmt master 的 24 小时印刷式可旋转表圈改成固定镂刻式表圈,使用的机芯和 gmt master 一样是 calibre 1575。

劳力士声称 explorer ii 是专为洞穴探险家 (speleologist、cave explorer) 之类的运动冒险人士所设计的,因为他们深入黑暗不见天日的洞穴后,很快地就会丧失方位及时间感,感觉不出是白天和黑夜,当然也分不清楚正确时间是早上四点或下午四点。加上洞穴探险不免碰撞周遭的岩石,可旋转式表圈 24 小时相对显得较不可靠,因此改用固定式表圈理论上是基于安全性的考量。姑不论洞穴探险家是否真的会丧失时间感,或是 rolex 新添表款的实际动机为何,explorer ii ref. 1655 在早年推出的时候,并未引起销售的热潮,倒是受到经常必须注意的时区变换的专业人士、如飞行员和航管人员等的爱用。

explorer ii ref. 1655 除了表圈与 gmt master i 明显不同外,最大的差别当然在于指针形式的不同,它采用的时针和分针不同于gmt master 的 benz 时针和尖剑形分针,而独特的橘色或红色 24 小时显示指针,更是和传奇的 milgauss ref. 1019 的闪电形秒针一样,是独一无二、不与其他 rolex 表款共用的特殊款式。explorer ii ref. 1655 只有前三年所生产的款式是配备橘黄色指针 (orange hand),以后就都改为红色指针 (red hand),因此一般而言,橘黄色指针 explorer ii 1655 的稀有性和价格都高于红色指针款式。

另一个关于 explorer ii 1655、向来为表迷津津乐道和争论的,便是所谓 explorer ii steve mcqueen 的传说。有人认为 (或者说是已经变成惯例或是俗称) 已过世的美国性格动作巨星史蒂芬麦昆 steve mcqueen 是 explorer ii 1655 的爱用者,他在电影中也佩戴 explorer ii 1655上镜入影。因为 steve mcqueen 深受欧美观众喜爱,爱屋及乌的结果,这样的流传广为人知,所以 explorer ii 1655 就又被昵称为 explorer ii steve mcqueen。

然而这样的说法遭到不少的质疑,因为 explorer ii ref. 1655 自1970年代初期开始生产制造,并于1985年停产;然而史帝夫麦昆在1980年因肺癌去世之前的70年代早期几年中,只拍了少数几部电影。其中,唯一可以清楚看出他在电影镜头中所戴手表的是rolex的,是1980年发行的 the hunter 一片。此片中唯一可看到手表的几个远镜头里,他所戴的表从表圈、表面和表带的特征来看,更像是 submariner 而非 explorer ii。不过, steve mcqueen 毕竟过世太早,不比 paul newman 还来得及现身说法,戴着 daytona paul newman 亮相,为他的慈善基金会募款。不过,就像没有人介意牛郎织女其实只是两颗恒星一样的道理,传说既有其迷离误解的成分增添其故事性,伴随性格巨星深植人心的印象与概念,其真实性便显得无关紧要了。steve mcqueen 和 explorer ii 1655 之间的故事会继续流传,这一点倒是可以相当确定的。

几乎是跟随着 gmt master 改款为 gmt-master ii ref. 16700 一样,1986 年劳力士推出新款 explorer ii ref. 16570,镜面改用蓝宝石水晶玻璃,时针、分针和24 小时显示指针都改成和 gmt master ii 一样,机芯也改成一样可以让 24 小时显示指针可前后快拨、不干扰时针分秒针运作的 caliber 3185 机芯。至于 explorer ii ref. 16570 的表圈则和旧款一样,依旧是固定式不可旋转,采用黑色镂刻式 24 小时数字,和 gmt master ii 不同。不过,有很少数初改款的 explorer ii 16570 镂刻的是红色数字,相当希罕。另一个较稀有的表款是只在 1985 年后生产了两年、早已停产的explorer ii ref. 16550 cream/ivory dial,这款奶油面 (象牙面) explorer ii 具有与现行黑色和白色面盘的 explorer ii 不同的独特面盘色调,据称其好处是无论在白天或黑夜,都能清楚看清时间,不受强度光线不同的干扰。

explorer ii 自诞生以来就像是 gmt master 的衍生表款,然而其今日的受欢迎程度却显然青出于蓝,固然其性能考量或外形美学可能有优于 gmt master 之处,但是 explorer 探险家令人遐想的命名,前身表款 explorer 1655 持续蔓延的的独特魅力,以及和 steve mcqueen 之间的朦胧传说,才更是让 explorer ii 更加发烧的原因吧?毕竟光是想像自己一戴上表就变成探险家或是电影巨星的感觉,着实就让人无法抗拒呢!

劳力士的水上运动表款

rolex submariner潜航者型

在前文中我们已经提过自从百年前手表问世以来,水分 (water)、灰尘 (dust)、磁力 (magnetism) 和震动 (shock) 就是手表的四大敌人,rolex的创办人hans wilsdorf看出防水手表的潜力,持续不懈地改善表壳的精密度、表面水晶镜片的密合度和表冠系统,来改善手表的防水性能。1927 年,mercedes gleitzes 女士佩戴 rolex的 oyster 游泳横渡英伦海峡,劳力士一夕成名。耐用、准确和防水的运动表形象和劳力士一起深刻烙印在一般民众的心中。劳力士在制造出了世界第一只防水表后,对潜水表方面的开发,也一直不遗余力。然而,今日我们所谓的「潜水表」真正进入一般人的生活其实一直要到 1954 年,rolex 推出了其革命性的 submariner ref. 6204 才算大功告成。

1956 年劳力士又推出现在被称为 james bond submariner 的 ref. 6538,防水可达 200公尺 (660英尺)。当时正值战后民间洋溢炽热的运动和探险风气,加上传媒无远弗届的推波助燃,潜水及运动表的风气,至此可为已经锐不可挡。1960 年,劳力士曾制作数只实验用的潜水表款 (deep sea specials),外挂在美国海军潜舰 trieste 号上,并潜入世界最深之马里安那海沟 (mariana trench) 达 10,908 公尺,自此奠定了劳力士在潜水表中的领先地位。1971 年劳力士开发出具备排氦气阀,并防水 610公尺 (2000 英尺) 的 sea-dweller。隔年初在法国马赛海域就由 m. patrice chemin 与 m. robert gauret 在氦氧混合气环境下配戴此一表款潜入海中水深 2000 英尺处(约 600 公尺),且连续 18 天,并成为正式的世界纪录。

submariner james bond

一般认为电影中的手表引起广泛的注意,甚至于日后形成一股电影与手表行销结合的潮流,一系列007电影里,英俊潇洒的詹姆士庞德 james bond 从容地妙用手腕上手表解决性命交关的危机,可谓地位厥伟。轻巧随身的手表成为情报员的武器,无论从真实性或戏剧张力来看,都好像再自然不过。其实007情报员的原作者 ian fleming 在其 1963 年小说「女皇密使」 (on her majesty's secret service、1969 年拍成电影)中曾清楚描述到 james bond 利用 rolex oyster perpetual 做为巧妙的随身秘密武器。而在 007 情报员的萤幕作品中,手表果然也一再出现担纲庞德忠实的助手。您一定知道现任的 007 情报员 (die another day 由皮尔斯布洛斯南 pierce brosnan 饰演) 在电影中戴的是欧米茄omega 的 seamaster; 那么,您知道在 ian fleming 还没在小说中载明 007的手表品牌类型前,萤光幕上第一次现身的007情报员手表是哪一只呢?答案是:rolex submariner。

为什么会是 rolex submariner?先离题谈一点历史。今年是 2005 年,您可能知道纽西兰登山家艾德蒙‧希拉瑞 edmund hillary 和雪巴丹增诺杰 tenzing norgay 在距今正好五十二年前的 1953 年,第一次登顶圣母峰。不过您大概不知道:在人类登上圣母峰顶之后数个月, 父子档探险家 auguste and jean piccard 也潜达深 3,150 公尺的海底,缔造新的世界纪录。随着 piccard 父子缔造世界纪录的同时,表界也诞生了一个巨星 rolex submariner,因为当年才刚由劳力士研发出来的 submariner 就负载在 piccard 父子的潜水艇 trieste 外潜达 600 公尺深,并随着媒体的大肆报导一炮而红,劳力士并于隔年的basel 表展正式发表 submariner (当然是民用版!防水 200米)。1954 年 10 月 21 日,cbs播出五十分钟长的黑白电视影片「赌城谍血」 casino royale (barry nelson 饰演),这可说是 007 情报员的第一次现身萤光幕,戴的正是前一年才问世就大出风头的 rolex submariner,因此弃 oyster pepetual 而戴 submariner, 无论是就宣传的效果或现实的切合度来看,都颇为顺理成章。

其实 james bond 之所以佩戴潜水表 submariner 可能还有另一个原因:庞德在原著中的身分背景是英国皇家海军 british royal navy 的 commander,有趣的是,007 的原作者 ian fleming 本人就是英国皇家海军的军官,二次世界大战期间还在情报单位工作呢!而现实世界里,英国皇家海军的确也在经过一系列测试的严酷汰选后,采用了 submariner 为其用表,公开发行的即是 submariner 的 ref. a/6538。随后,法国、加拿大和澳大利亚的海军也陆续跟进采用。

第一只 007 使用的 submariner (型号 6204),后来被特别称为 submariner james bond (如果扩大定义的范围,也包括之后一系列续集电影中007所佩戴的其他型号 submariner),和今日的 submariner 差异不小:它没有表冠护肩 (crown guards or shoulders),表冠、表圈和指针的样子也很不相同。隔年submariner改版后,才出现其标志性的 benz 指针以及表圈上的 0 到 15 的分钟刻度。之后几年,submariner 陆续发行了5 504、 6538、 5508 和 6200 等型号。

1962 年,007 情报员的第一部电影「第七号情报员」 中,sean connery 史恩康纳莱佩戴的依旧是 submariner (ref. 6538 or 5508?)。据说rolex不愿奉送一只 submariner 给史恩康纳莱佩戴,导演 albert broccoli 只好将原本自己使用、已换装 nato 表带的 submariner 给 sean connery 使用。因为此一典故的关系,今天的也有表迷特别将自己 submariner 的原厂金属表戴换成 nato 布制表带。之后,一连数部 007 电影续集包括 1963 年的「第七号情报员续集」 (from russia with love) 、1964 年的金手指 (goldfinger) 和 1965 年的霹雳弹 (thunderball), 甚至 1969 年的「女皇密使」 (on her majesty's secret service )一片中 (与原著的 rolex oyster pepetual 不同), 007 戴的也都是 submariner。

1995 年 pierce brosnan 成为新一任电影男主角,在「黄金眼 goldeneye」 一片中,欧米茄 omega 赞助新片预算抢走劳力士的生意,英俊潇洒的庞德也更新了配备,换上了 omega seamaster professional。自此,一方面是人们的记忆总是短暂、一方面是表厂也大力行销的关系,omega seamaster 已取代劳力士的 submariner 就此变成一般人心中的庞德手表。而配合 2002 年的谁与争锋 “die another day” 的上市公演, 欧米茄还特别推出一款限量 seamaster james bond。

无论如何,rolex 在1968 年再度推出首支具备日期显示的 submariner ref.1680,搭载微型史特拉螺丝的时间调整方式,堪称兼具优越耐久性与澳人精准度的手表。而1970年前后制造的款式,其面盘上的 submeriner 标记为红色字样,被行家昵称为 red submariner「 红水鬼」,极具收藏价值。1978 年,劳力士发表了防水性大幅由 200 米提升到 300 米的 submariner ref.16800。除了日期改为可快调之外,原表款的双向可旋转表圈也改为更安全的单向防逆转表圈,是一款同时追求潜水员方便使用、专业需求和安全可靠性能的佳作。

现行的 rolex submariner ref. 16610 是在 1989 年开始推出的,其表款的更新主要展现在机芯和机壳细微处的改进,比如说将旧款 caliber 3035 的单桥式基簧承座改为双桥形式的新款 caliber 3135、表带与表壳接合材质的进化和在伸缩部位的铁片上加装垫片等,这也展现了劳力士向来重视一般消费者看不到的技术面,更胜于外表面相修饰的传统。

seadweller 海使型

1971 年开发完成的 sea-dweller ref.1665 装配了 caliber 1570 机芯,和 submariner 最大的差别当然是它搭配了劳力士所研发的突破性技术:氦气排出阀,防水性能也达到 610 公尺。氦气排放阀门的发明对潜水表的发展而言,是一个很重要的里程碑。一般的潜水活动(又可称为水肺潜水),潜水者沉潜至水面下活动所背负的压缩空气成分与自然空气相同,其中有 1/5 的氧气,和 4/5 的氮气 (n2)。气瓶中的氮气,在高压下氮分子会融入神经细胞而造成不同程度的麻醉性。大约停留于水中 30 公尺的压力一个小时后,人体就会开始产生所谓「氮醉」的麻痹现象。但若使用纯氧潜水在 30 公尺水深的压力下,停留一个小时以上时,也会引发人类脑部的氧中毒。所以当潜水者在深海中需要停留相当长的时间时,就必须以氦气取代氮气,依适当的比例使用氦-氧混合气体潜水,称之为氦氧潜水。然而氦分子的体积非常小,甚至小于水分子好几倍,所以在使用氦-氧混合气体的环境时,即便水分不渗入表中,氦气也有可能在外界的高压下进入手表内。这种情形,即使是防水性再强的专业潜水用表,也都无法避免。特别在使用「转移舱─母舱」(ptc─ddc) 的饱和潜水作业(潜水舱机械潜水)时,氦气侵入手表的机率更高。在深海中,氦气因外界高压进入表壳内,此气体流动的过程,会使得表内压力相同于外界高压。相反的,一旦潜水人员上升,将形成表壳内部压力大于外界。1966 年日本就曾发生潜水人员在 350 公尺行深海机械潜水作业,并配带 300 公尺防水潜水表时,因上升过程的压力变化,而使表壳爆开。自此,各品牌潜水表的开发,才开始重视排除氦气的重要性。

1971年劳力士领先全球,最先开发出具备排氦气阀,并防水 610 公尺(2000 英尺)的 sea-dweller。当表壳内气压力大于外侧时,会自动将阀门顶开,而排出气体,同时又能保持防水性。而为了深海压力的考量,sea-dweller 并未采取和 submariner 一样的日期放大窗。同样在 80 年代后才登场的 ref.16660,采用和 submariner ref.16800 同样的 caliber 3035 机芯,镜面则改换为蓝宝石水晶玻璃,而防水性能也进化到 1220 公尺,而可旋转表圈部分更加装了弹簧以防止意外逆向旋转。在劳力士针对潜水表性能和可靠性所进行的无止境追求里,sea-dweller 可以说是达到完全专业,集合制表工艺的大全,堪称潜水表的终极之作。

劳力士 yacht-master 游艇名士型

1992 年面市的 yacht master 是劳力士针对游艇运动推出的另一系列运动表款,现行的 ref.16622 又称为 yacht-master rolesium,由于其表圈和面盘都采用白金材质制成,呈现简洁高贵的气质,搭配出游艇运动的贵族气息,可说是最贵气的劳力士运动表。yacht-master ref.16622 的面盘配置,无论是宾士指针、柱状和圆点的时刻标记和日期放大镜都和 explorer ii 16570 一样,不同的是,为了顾及驾驶游艇时的易辨识性和可操作性,它配备了具备大型立体阿拉伯数字的双向计时表圈。此外,除了表准尺寸的男装表款外,yacht-master 还生产有中型和小型的女装表款,因此相当适合选为男女对表的形式选购之用。

劳力士rolex gmt-master ii 格林威治型 ii

1954 年的 basel 表展,无论对劳力士公司或是世界表坛来说都是个值得志念的时刻。这一年,劳力士公司在表展上一举展示了专为运动家设计的 explorer、潜水员的 submariner 以及一般消费者的 turn-0-graph,一举将功能表 (utility watch) 的观念转化为真正的具体形象,并引领了整个表界的风骚趋势。这项成就固然是劳力士全体员工共同努力的成果,但当年劳力士的公共关系主管、本身就是多项运动热爱者的 rene-paul jeanneret 其实也在概念的成型和塑造上贡献良多。也正由于劳力士在功能表的设计和制造上明显领先,吸引了当时全球最大的航空公司泛美航空( pan-am) 的高度兴趣,希望能设计出一款专为他们穿梭各个时区之间的机师所设计的实用手表。泛美航空和 rene-paul jeanneret 接洽后,两家各自在市场上称霸的公司相互合作,结果促成了同样著名的 gmt master。

泛美航空方面派出了本身也是二次世界空战英雄的著名机长 frederick libby 来提供技术上的咨询,而 jeanneret 则构思了在表圈上加上一个可旋转的二十四小时表圈,并在面盘上多加一个指针来指示第二地时间的构想。技术上,劳力士选用了编号 6202、搭载 1030 机芯 的 turn-o-graph 来作为改装的根据,加上24小时指示的齿轮和新的日期盘后,一只编号 1065 的全新机芯诞生了。除了标有二十四小时标记的塑胶双色可旋转第二时区外圈外,编号 6542 的第一代 gmt master 外表和 turn-o-graph 及 submariner 相当近似,也同样尚未配有表冠护肩(crown protecting shoulders)。不过,值得注意的是:ref. 6542的第一代 gmt master 是第一只搭配有日期窗放大镜( cyclops) 的 rolex 表款。1956 年,gmt master 的第二时区外圈则由塑胶材质改换成日后沿用的金属材质。gmt master 成为泛美航空的官方指定时计,公司配发一只 gmt master 给每一位高阶主管、机师和领航员。

1960 年起,gmt master 改款为 ref.1675,并开始搭配有表冠护肩,面盘上的 gmt 指针也变大许多,和现行的表款已经相当类似。ref.1675 的面盘上也印计着现行表款所采行的 superlative chronometer officially certified 记号,和 ref.6542 的officially certified chronometer 不同,主要是采用的是 caliber 1565,此一机芯配备 micro stella 无卡度游丝 (free spRUNg balance),准确度更加精进许多。ref.1675 不但受到泛美航空以及其他为数更多的民用飞机机师的喜爱,在一般消费者群中更大受欢迎,畅销近二十年,可说是劳力士最畅销的表款之一。

gmt master 不但深受民航界的信赖,军方也给予了高度评价,许多战斗飞行员也纷纷佩戴。nasa 在 1940 和 50 年代开始了一连串向飞行速度和高度的试验和挑战,终于在1967 年由 north american x15 试验机创下了 4,534 mph (7,269 kph) 或是 6.72 马赫的世界纪录,今日依旧无人能破。x15 的创纪录驾驶 pete knight 配戴的便是g mt master,他赞赏 gmt master 在离地 45,000 英尺的高空上, 承受激烈的操作和 3.5 g以上的离心力,却依旧运作正常而且维持着天文台表的精准水准。pete knight 选择佩戴 gmt master 的理由并非无迹可寻:他所隶属的艾德华空军基地 (edwards air force base) 向来英雄辈出,在 1947 年驾驶 bell x-1 飞机打破音速障碍 (sound barrier) 的 chuck yeager 所配戴的就是已经陪他一起在二次世界大战中争战多年的劳力士的 oyster 手表。

1976 年 gmt 再度改良,推出具备停秒性能的改良款;1980 年,gmt master 改款为 ref. 16750,增加了日期快调功能。之后, gmt master 再度改款为 ref.16700,镜面也进化为蓝宝石水晶玻璃。1983 年,劳力士推出全新进化、编号 ref. 16710 的现行版款式 gmt master ii,搭配具备 gmt 时针可以独立运作、整点快调性能的 calibre 3085 机芯,由于二十四小时表圈和 gmt 指针均可双向旋转,让 gmt master 具备显示三地时间的进化性能。而由 gmt master 这样坚持经典设计,但不断循序渐进、与时进化的持续改良过程不难发现,正是这样的制表文化让劳力士维持了不坠的品牌价值和消费者恒久的热爱。

劳力士迪通拿计时码表 rolex cosmograph daytona

paul newman 的手表

劳力士于 1937 年开始推出其计时码表系列,采用的是 valjoux 机芯,不过在当时以及接下来的数十年间,并未引起太大的注意,销售成绩也仅平平而已。1960 年,劳力士将其计时码表大改款并重新命名为 cosmograph 蚝式宇宙型计时表 (ref. 6239,采用 valjoux 72 机芯),其外观上的最大差异是将其时速计 (tachymeter) 直接刻印在表圈 (bezel) 最外围,而非在传统的表盘 (dial) 上。由于 cosmograph 集合了现代专业运动手表的各种性能,包括蚝式防水设计,一体成形机械机芯计时,蚝式折叠扣表带,以及可以即时知道平均圈速 (average lap speed) 的表圈设计,因此迅速在赛车选手间大受欢迎,劳力士便以美国佛罗里达州的赛车胜地 daytona beach 为此表命名为 cosmograph daytona。另有一较为可信的说法是 daytnoa 得名的由来,来自另一段典故:当劳力士装配出 cosmograph 蚝式宇宙型计时表后,正适逢美国 doyona 赛车赛事开幕,劳力士将 cosmograph 计时码表送选竞争做大会的指定计时仪器,一举获选,劳力士厂商遂将此系列命名为 daytona 手表。

rolex cosmograph daytona 早期的款式都具有现今被称为 exotic dial 的特殊表盘颜色:白色表盘底色配上黑色小三针表圈 (registers),或黑色表盘配上白色小三针表圈,而小三针表圈内的刻度则标示有方形标记。其他不同于近代 oyster perpetual cosmograph daytona 后继表款的特色还包括:机芯为手上炼 (1988 年的 ref. 16520,采用的是 zenith 的 el primero 自动上炼机芯)、 表壳为非典型蚝式不锈钢 (stainless steel non-oyster cases)、计时按钮为非旋锁式 (non-screw-down pushers,后期的 6263 与 6265 则已采用 screw down pushers),表冠也非后续表款的triplock 表冠。具有这些特色的 daytona 即是后来特别被昵称为 paul newman 的表款,身价与收藏价值都远不同于其他样式的后续表款 (因此,有人坚称唯有 ref. 6239 和 ref. 6241 才是正统 daytona paul newman!)。

具有 exotic dial 的 daytona 之所以特别被昵称为 daytona paul newman 的原因,至今仍是众说纷纭。最浪漫且广为流传的说法是 paul newman 保罗纽曼于 1969 年的赛车电影 winning 中所佩戴的就是 rolex daytona (paul newman) 。而 "the best of time: rolex wristwatches" 一书的作者 dowling 及 hess 则认为: paul newman 在电影中戴的并非 daytona, 而 paul newman daytona 的称号应该归因于 "winning" 的一张电影海报中 paul newman 戴着 daytona,先是引起义大利影迷的注意与抢购,进而引发全球表迷的热潮。直到今日,无论是当时的电影或海报,早已经过很多表迷多方的检视,然而答案仍莫衷一是。

有趣的是,保罗纽曼则从未在正式场合中承认或否认这些流言,毕竟传说仍旧是保留一分神秘与争议会更具吸引力,这一点保罗纽曼可一点都不失巨星的魅力。无论如何,可以确定的一点是 paul newman 的确深爱 rolex daytona,也在无数的场合佩戴 daytona,这一点可不是虚拟的 james bond 与 submariner 做得到的。

电影和明星固然的确有助于塑造出一只手表的独特魅力,rolex 的 submariner james bond 因为电影中的主角佩戴而声名大噪,引发收集热潮,daytona paul new 也是鲜明的例子,探索这些例子背后的故事,本身就是一种乐趣,也有助于表迷们对 rolex 乃至于其他厂牌手表的行销和运动、明星结合的趋势有一些浅略的了解。然而别忘了,这样成功行销的背后必备的是另一个更重要的前提,那就是手表的本身也必须具备一定的水准与收藏价值,君不见其他 bond 也带过的电子表今日又有什么人记起与关心呢?而世上明星何其之多,又有几多能创造出如 paul newman 和 rolex daytona 一般相辅相成的佳话呢?

话题回到 cosmograph daytona 手表本身来。即便是劳力士早已具备自制机芯的能力,1988 年改款推出的 daytona ref.16520 却采用了zenith 所生产、业界著名的 el primero 计时码表机芯。而为了求得更稳定精准的计时表现,劳力士特地将原本振频达每小时 36,000 次的 el primero 机芯调整降频为 28,800 次。而日后市场的销售状况和专家的评鉴也的确证明了劳力士对好几芯的眼光和独到的调校功力,ref.16520 极端畅销。尤其是九零年代之后,运动表大行其风,劳力士最富运动风和速度感的 daytona 16520 更成为其中的当红炸子鸡,在市场上兴起一股市不可挡的抢购浪潮。甚至在 2000 年,劳力士发表新改款、采用自制 caliber 4130 的后继表款 ref.116520 后,依旧持续为表迷热切搜罗,甚至连带造成新表款 ref.116520 一表难求的盛况(尤其是不锈钢款式),这也是新旧款劳力士相互拉抬的特殊现象。

光环的背后

看完这么一大段,我想你现在应该比较可以想像为什么有人肯花十万元买一只劳力士手表的理由了吧!那理由其实就深藏在每一只劳力士手表背后的时空故事里。注视每一只劳力士表,缅怀过去的传奇故事,即使无幸在历史里躬逢其盛,却有机会在当下的每一刻亲身体验。凝视着手腕上的劳力士表,除了体验时间的奥妙,怀想着这小小时间机器的诞生和未来,更可以触动着人和人之间信任的情愫,而其实这正是一般人不曾注意到劳力士品牌成功的基石。

想像一下在劳力士的日内瓦总部,穿着雪白工作服的劳力士制表技师运用最先进的工具机,几近静默地以旋刻机和线锯雕刻每一个机芯的零件。每一个零件的尖角都经过打磨圆化,抛光到几乎可以散发出光芒。即便消费者看不到背盖下机芯里的这一切心血,劳力士依旧近乎仪式性地将每一个步骤做到尽善尽美。每一只劳力士手表在通过劳力士自身的验证前,必须经过两百位以上的技师各尽其责、通力合作才能完成。专研劳力士的收藏家 james dowling 曾说过劳力士的手表基本上都是 over-engineered 的产品,劳力士所坚持的品质标准其实远比消费者所期待和需要的来得高出许多。倒不是劳力士喜欢乱砸钱,而是这就是他们要求完美的制造方式。

事实上,每一只劳力士手表在离开日内瓦前,它们还须通过一连串高科技仪器设下的测试障碍,才能通过劳力士的品质控管。每一个面盘、表圈和上链陀都必须通过括痕、灰尘以及其他外观上的任何小瑕疵的再三检测。表面上的时针和分针最终的装配位置,更以显微镜检视,反覆不畏辛苦地调整到完全正确的位置。另外,检测室里还有加压舱严苛地测试每一款劳力士手表的防水性能,只有通过所有必要测验的手表才能标记上劳力士的封印。而这正是戴上劳力士表的独特情愫,你深深知道它是一群人用他们一生锻炼出来的精湛手艺,以坚持专注得近似偏执的态度锻造出来的,他们珍视你手上的腕表一如你自己。

这就是劳力士手表的秘密,它像我们手腕上的小小时空机器,举手之间让我们在转瞬之间就能遁隐到过去的时空里。在那个时代,没有靠电流脉冲驱动的晶片,世界在手工锻造的齿轮间依序运行。无关魔力,只要我们聆赏、感触、信任和期待,时时刻刻都能感受。

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