SILIcium Wars

Silicium seems to be the next big thing in mechanical watch making. Patek has opened fire first, and with other minor manufacturers theirs seemed to be the most talked about development this year at the fairs. Reporters and enthusiasts cheer the new silicium parts as the answer to many age-old problems. I, for one, will remain skeptical. Having been one of the victims of the Compact Disc hype in the 80's I will be cautious this time. Remember "Cold Fission" and the prospect of having a pocket-size/no-cost power plant in your home? Yes, I was one of those that thoroughly believed that CDs where the best possible audio quality and the good old vinyl was simply inferior and doomed (true about the second statement but not the first, far from it actually). I then went off to discard and give away my precious yet antiquated collection of Vinyl LPs and plunged into the CD. Big mistake, a mistake I regret to this day since the CD is to the Vinyl record what MP3 is to the CD. It is only recently that the CD is starting to sound like a vinyl (it has taken the industry almost 20 years to make CDs sound like vinyl), at a tremendous cost though. I certainly missed my vinyl collection for many years.

Undoubtedly these first watches will have an enormous collectors value, yet this whole new hype is just too familiar. In any case, until these new developments are introduced in the manufacturing of regular production models they are simply inconsequential. Limited Editions are not something that can be regarded as a major change. Now, if you tell me that "FROM NOW ON" silicium (provided it works) will be added as standard in all movements, that means more accessible models at moderate prices, than I would join the cheer and spread the hype. Until them, please don't waist my time.

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