aBtW Hearts BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds

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BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds upside down

In his “review” of the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds, ablogtowatch.com‘s Ariel Adams reveals that you have to join his website’s “community”  and gain their collective approval to buy the watch. Really? FOAD. But I’m getting ahead of myself. . . [All product pics courtesy ablogtowatch.com]

Mr. Adams starts his prevaricating paean to perceived perfection with a general statement about the timepiece’s target demographic:

The BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection is a beautiful product collection that takes an exciting timepiece design for men and now renders in a form that women can also enjoy.

I think Mr. Adams got that upside down backwards. I submit that the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds is a women’s watch that SOME men can enjoy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but a man who wears this watch has to be in touch with his feminine side. Either that or change the strap, apparently.

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds on woman's wrist

Yes, it has a mother-of-pearl dial, frosted movement surfaces, and diamonds set around the bezel. These are all things I happen to like in watches, but they are often paired with feminine designs. Replace the matte alligator-style leather strap with something a bit more masculine, and I think I’d rock this watch.

Mr. Adams could put the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds on a two-inch wide black leather strap studded with chrome spikes and it still wouldn’t be masculine. And if the watch is so male-friendly, why does the the PR image show the watch on a woman’s [cat scratched] wrist? I mean, I think it’s a woman’s wrist . . .

Never mind. The BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds’ masculinity deficit is only the beginning of the end for mucho macho enthusiasts, assuming they’re not sleeping with a Chinese spy.

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamond movement

BA111OD Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 watches get a bit too much flack for containing Chinese movements. Even though the Swiss-founded and -operated company is entirely transparent about this, they are getting a bit of heat from it.

I can understand the sentiment, but the complaints miss the point. There aren’t any non-Chinese movements that operate like this for this price point. The movements are each individually tested and regulated for quality and performance, and the watches that contain them are not overpriced given the overall quality of the case and its components.

So non-Chinese movements are more expensive? Who knew? Prospective buyers should rest easy; Mr. Adams assures us that the rest of the watch is of a higher quality than its Chinese-made guts. Never mind the 147hp engine; the Hyundai Veloster has alloy wheels! Respect!

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds sideways

“The point of the movements is to offer an additional level of spectacle to an automatic-winding, time-only watch. The movements are actually decorated using hand-operated machinery, and they are respectably accurate. I’m the first person to complain when a watch has a movement in it that insults the price point. That simply isn’t the situation here.

BA111OD wanted wearers to enjoy the visual spectacle of mechanical watch movements in an affordably priced product and have them be designed and engineered by Swiss watchmaking talent. That they are produced of Asian components is not much different from the vast majority of BA111OD’s more expensive competitors in Switzerland.

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection

One might find less expensive watches with what appear to be versions of this same movement, but none of those watches will have the dial, case, and overall quality experience here. The value of watches is really more than just movement-deep.

Wow. What a long-winded way of saying the same thing again: the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds has a cheap Chinese movement in a bejeweled case for a “value-laden” package. Fabulous.

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamond diamonds!

A major point of the Chapter 2 collection is to show the value-laden beauty of lab-grown diamonds. The bezels have nearly 0.7 carats of round-cut VS to VVS diamonds on them — while a more basic model has polished steel bezels with two diamond stones set into the movement.

Lab-grown diamonds are less expensive than natural diamonds, but not that much cheaper. They are chemically identical to traditional diamonds and because they are engineered; they are typically produced to be very clear and without color.”

Is this a watch review or a lesson in gemology? Is Adams paying himself by the word? Lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than natural diamonds, but not that much cheaper. Thanks for that incredibly valuable information.

Ba1110D Chapter 2 Diamonds side

This particular model has a “frosted” movement surface finishing along with other parts that are given more traditional polishes, such as perlage. Frosted finishing involves a light hammering/chiseling technique that creates small organically patterned facets that reflect light.

Frosted movement surfaces are GRrrrreat! They better be. Only 25 percent of the BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds Collection’s face is dedicated to telling the time. The rest is bedazzled Rube Goldbergian eye candy for men AND women. Or is it for women and men?

Godfather-ft

One of the most interesting things I learned about the first year or so of BA111OD’s business was how many of its customers came from in and around “the watchmaking valley” in Switzerland. Something like 70% of the customers were more or less watch industry natives. That tells me that people who are the most hostile to outside product competition, and who are the most ardent supporters of Swiss Made value, still find these products acceptable enough to buy them en masse.

Local Swiss villagers are customers for this watch? Is that supposed to make the watch more appealing? Or is it a case of the Swiss abiding by Don Corleone’s motto “Never go against the family”?

The rest of us aren’t beholden to the Swiss Godfather. Nor are we moved by Mr. Adams’ masterpiece of a compelling pitchery: customers “find these products ACCEPTABLE ENOUGH.” Talk about damned by faint praise. But here’s the real damnation . . .

BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds exclusivity

BA111OD is the new brand that also represents a new sales concept — one that will take some time for the timepiece buyer community to absorb . . . What irks some consumers is that you can’t just go to an online store and buy a BA111OD watch. Instead, you need to join an online community and request (or be granted) permission from a previous product owner in order to buy one.

BA1110D community authentication

Irks? Sure. Let’s call it that. I’m “irked” at the idea of jumping through social media hoops to qualify to buy an $670 watch. Vetted by people I don’t know, using criteria I don’t know. As the entry page to this cluster-you-know-what points out, the “aBlogtoWatch Community . . . can also pass on to you the right to acquire our watches.”

The right to acquire? Hello? Did I wake up in Communist China this morning?

I know: Patek Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet pick and choose customers for their high-demand watches – “rewarding” regular or VIP supplicants with the “right” to buy a stainless steel Nautilus, Daytona or Royal Oak. Which is exactly why I’d never buy one.

Anyway, we’re not talking about a stainless steel Nautilus, Daytona or Royal Oak. We’re talking about a tacky timepiece with a cheap Chinese movement. As I said at the outset, FOAD. Especially as aspiring owners have to “learn” how to buy one. 

BA111OD community collection

“There is a slight learning curve to purchasing one, but that isn’t really a big deal. I think the good value and good looks are worth it.”

There’s a learning curve to figuring out how to run all the functions on a five-button G-SHOCK. I’m in.  But a “learning curve” to PURCHASE one? The only intellectual skill I had to master: how to draw my wallet from my pocket.

We’ve given HoDinkee plenty of stick for their co-productions. Whatever else you can say about them – and we’ve said a lot – they stick within a skinny jeans definition of what’s aesthetically acceptable. The BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds looks like it was liberated from the Las Vegas Hilton gift shop during Liberace’s reign. And it’s hard to buy. Which raises the all-important question: why bother? Why indeed.

4 COMMENTS

  1. How is one to pronounce BΛ111OD? The A appears to be a Greek Lambda. Is the O really a 0? I suspect there is some nerd joke involving binary numbers or something.
    Nope, googled and found that Thomas Baillod likes making his name look funny, like a preteen boy.

    So this is the digital version of a Tupperware party? Are there benefits to getting in early, like is this a multi-layer marketing thing?

    That’s a really ungirly crown and crown placement, by which I mean it doesn’t fit with the rest of the watch.

  2. I love the line: “The BA111OD Chapter 2 Diamonds looks like it was liberated from the Las Vegas Hilton gift shop during Liberace’s reign.”

    This is my new favourite watch site.

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