Hat tip to Grégory Pons of BusinessMontres.com
[EDITED Feb 18, 2011] When it comes to diving watches, there is very little information publicly available regarding one of the most remarkable Swiss case makers of all times. Located in Bassecourt, in the heart of Swiss Jura mountains, Ervin Piquerez S.A. used to produce and supply watch cases for the cream of the crop in watchmaking (amongst which IWC or Jaeger leCoultre). The company was dissolved in Summer 1988, but in its glorious years it did developed unique case constructions that would increase in water-resistance as the pressure around would increase.
Foroderelojes.es, one of Spain’s most popular watch forum, recently gave birth to a unique project. With the collaboration of watchmaker Pedro Izquierdo, some forumers will design and get produced a limited series of PleAmaR watches with a case that resembles the “compressor” iteration found on the Longines Legend Diver.
Price will be targeted between EUR 450 and 500. There were initial plans to release 101 pieces only, but due to the success of the idea, the list has been extended to 200 pieces.
La verdad que el diseño es simple pero con caracter y hermoso. Sería de buen ver el que se publiquen más fotos de este proyecto. La verdad felicitaciones a quienes ha participado en dar vida a una pieza con tanto estilo.
Approximate translation of this comment for non-Spanish speakers:
«Truth is that design is simple, but has character and beauty. It would be nice to see more photos of this project. Congratulations to those who took part in giving life to a piece with such style.»
NOTE TO THE READER:
I launched WatchProjects.com because I was tired of the PR-approved stories of the Big brands. The purpose of this blog is to provide uncensored and constructive criticism of both mainstream and homebrew watch brands. I am not an accredited journalist, but I rely upon my university training in Art criticism to write my entries with a minimum of methodology.
Whenever I write a negative or positive criticism of a product or a brand, I try to produce the information that supports it. Should I write erroneous information, it is then my duty to rectify it and inform the reader, out of intellectual honesty.
Since February 2011, this comment thread received several imputs from user Man on Watch, an obvious detractor of the Pleamar project, which were followed by responses from supporters and detractors of the project.
I initially chose to publish Man on Watch‘s comments because after a cross-verification, more than half of their content was well-argumented and seemed to check. Further comments from users disagreeing with Man on Watch came in later, and I decided to publish them to give both parts a “right of response“.
With this comment thread growing in contributions, administrator of the Foroderelojes.se forum Mr. Rafael Sevilla eventually contacted me, asking to delete the (negative) comments about the project. That request poses several problems:
Watchproject is at the service of consumers first. Whenever I choose to write about a watch, I do so because it meets my own requirement and because I would like to the reader to give it a chance. When I first wrote about Pleamar, I recommended it to the reader. So if people are told to invest in a Pleamar watch, they should be provided with as much information as possible.
I offered to Mr. Sevilla a “right of response“, by which an entirely new blog entry would be dedicated to him. Mr. Sevilla turned down the offer, arguing that much ink has already flown.
From what I could grasp of the project, the developers and all participant were aware that the choice for the Pleamar case was similar to a Piquerez design extensively used in the 1960 and found amongst a dozen brands, of which Longines. By their own admission, the plan was to replicate the Piquerez case, so it makes it difficult to argue with Man on Watch‘s accusations. Furthermore, a lot of the renderings of the Pleamar are built on top of pictures of the Longines Legend Diver.
That being said, it is never made 100% clear to the customer that when they subscribe to the development of a forum watch, they actually agree to share the risk. The initial investments will likely be made with a substantial percentage of their deposit. Should the project meet difficulties, not all of the deposit can be refunded.
As of April 26th 2011, it seems that the Pleamar project is being postponed to an undetermined date.
Below are the 2 comments, one from each side of the debate, that I decided to leave:
Some remarks to this article and about the Pleamar project:
1 – The case of this watch is not a compressor type, but only an homage. In fact, they are yet speaking about how to make the crown system, because they can’t afford the cost of an authentic compressor type case.
2 – The ample choice of inspiration is just a Longines Legend Diver case (copied literally from the unit of a forum member, that had sent to China to be copied), and dial and hands from the IWC Aquatimer.
2 – foroderelojes.es is far from being the most popular watch forum in Spain. Relojes-especiales is three times greater than this (in users an posts). Hablemosderelojes.com has most than double traffic (in daily participation) than this, and there are other well known forums, as relojesparatodos.com with ten times more growing up rythm.
3 – Pedro Izquierdo is not a renowed watchmaker. He is known just because he has a watch forum, and he has self-denominated a watchmaker master. In fact, he is just a small watchmaker in Madrid, that not a long time ago repaired bicycles as a job.
4 – The Pleamar project is being constantly delayed because the Chinese producer of the parts are not giving the enough quality for this project. Some project members have left it, and have gone to other watch forum projects, such as El Buzo, from relojes-especiales.com. They will accumulate more than a year of delay if they become to finish the project before summer.
5 – Walter Sarubbo (the first comment person) is one of the project responsibles at foroderelojes.es, known there as waltonjones nickname.
I´m member of spanish forums “Relojes Especiales”, “Relojistas” and “Foro de Relojes”, where I´m moderator in diver secction, my nickname is Retina.
I was participating actively in the development of Pleamar I ‘m the author of many of the graphics, and I would like to clarify some things said here, certainly the Pleamar is being made in China like Zixen, Helson and so many boutiques brands, our philosophy was do a project with an affordable price, this watch is not a copy of Legend Diver, it is true that it shares the aspect and forms, like many others vintage divers, the Legend Diver vintage case was manufactured by Piquerez, Pleamar like the Longines Legend Diver are based on cases manufactured by Erwin Piquerez in fact say that Pleamar is a copy of Longines is a malicious lie, this affair is the result of the frustration of a group of forums members who left “Foro de Relojes” they wanted to obtain economic benefits from this project, from then they have tried to boycott our forum in many ways and this is a dirty attempt to discredit us.
The Pleamar project has not been postponed and the next July 16th, the watch will be officially presented at Pedro Izquierdo workhouse in Madrid.
As one of the 200 Pleamar’s owners I’m very proud of the final result of the project and I want to share with all of you a video presentation made with pictures of the definitive prototype. Enjoy it.
Thanks in advance.
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