Question for the masses - am I overthinking my “grail”?

May 04, 2021,11:18 AM

Hello! Wanted to throw a question out here and get your feedback. I’ve posted in the past that I was ready to buy my grail watch, an ALS Lange 1. Funny thing is I sold my GMT Pepsi and a couple of other watches, was ready to buy it, and then decided to do some more research. This is of course a good thing given the size of the purchase, but a couple of sleeper candidates have now come into the fold…And now I’m undecided. I’ll end up buying what I love the most, but was curious to hear the thoughts from those with experiences with the three candidate watches. A little background:

I am a moderate-level watch collector, owning an Omega Speedmaster, another Rolex GMT, IWC Pilot and a few other timepieces within that range (mostly sport). In June I am planning on making my next purchase, a much bigger one than I’ve ever made, for a dress watch that isn’t “simple”, has horological significance and history and I find really interesting and pleasing to the eye. I am specifically looking at the Breguet La Tradition, Vacheron American 1921, and of course the Lange 1 (all very cool watches which I love, at least seeing them online).

I’ve noticed on this blog and elsewhere the ALS seems to get more love than the Vacheron, and the Vacheron seemingly
more so than the Breguet, at least in general observation. Not sure why that is.

For those with experiences with any of these three, how have they treated you? Are they durable and hold up over time? I’m not a believer in having a “safe Queen” and plan to wear mine regularly. Have you ever decided to go for the “grail” only to think about other options before doing it? Any thoughts or opinions please I welcome as it’ll help me though my decision making process. You all are the best!

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That’s why it’s a grail watch

 By: Jurry : May 4th, 2021-11:29
The endless deliberations, research, reading reviews, comparing specs, visits to the AD, discuss it on the forum etc etc. It’s all part of that unique process during which a watch comes to live and turns into one’s personal grail watch. I can’t remember o... 

You are not supposed to buy your grail ;-)

 By: VinnieD : May 4th, 2021-11:33
If you do, you risk nurturing a desire for another grail. For me, a grail is something out of one's range.

Interesting thought.

 By: cpbmd : May 4th, 2021-11:50
In my mind it’s the pursuit of the grail watch that keeps horological fire burning. If you attain that grail watch early on then you may be less motivated by And your passion might diminish. Alternatively, human nature Is that you always want something mo... 

A few thoughts...

 By: CR : May 4th, 2021-13:00
Don't think about this as an irreversible, forced-choice decision. If you buy just about any watch preowned, for a fair price, then you can always sell it without getting hurt too much (compared to buying it new) and get something else. If you're thinking... 

They're all nice watches. Buy what appeals to you most.

 By: quattro98 : May 4th, 2021-15:11
I don't have a Lange, but have pieces from VC and Breguet. I'm familiar with all of them. All of these are great watches, but the Lange 1, Historiques American 1921, and Breguet Tradition are very different from each other. The appearance, functions, size... 

Those are all top choices. I think when making such a purchase the question is which one will give you most pleasure in the long term.

 By: als1678 : May 4th, 2021-15:30
Lange 1 is iconic, finishing is great etc. Rationally it should be the number one choice. But I think it is hard not to compare with other Lange offerings - don't you really want a datograph, or a perpetual even if they are out of reach? Also my personal ... 

I was going to say that the uniqueness of the 1921 might be a negative factor, insofar as can it be a daily watch or will one tire of the design.

 By: Jay (Eire) : May 5th, 2021-01:45
No question it’s a unique piece, I find it very appealing too. But as a secondary piece. The La Tradition given its traditional case may work better day to day. It’s also a watch I love and I would say far more interesting than either the VC or AL&S. Over... 

Try on all three in person. Then you would know.

 By: pongster : May 5th, 2021-06:23
Better if side by side. There might be a dealer where all three are available. Here, the local AD for all three brands is the same. So it’s feasible.


 By: JV_Zag : May 10th, 2021-19:23
Well that settles that…😍 ...