Con artists make their living with it: the deep, burning human desire to get something fornothing. When dealing with a con artist, you usually end up with nothing for something,but few of us are willing to stop trying to get a deal, regardless of the odds stackedagainst us. It's in this spirit of hoping for a truly good deal that we'll look for thebest "cheap" high-endwatch on the market today.Setting the ground rules for a high-end watch

Before we can depart, we first must have a pretty good idea what a high-end watchactually is. According to some, no watch is truly high-end unless it features a perpetualcalendar equipped with a minute repeater and two cathedral gongs, not to mention beingpowered by a mechanical movement, with a tourbillion for that extra bit of accuracy. Andyou definitely cannot go without a sky chart on the back of the watch (how else would yoube able find your way home?) that should also display orbit and phases of the moon. If youinsist on all these criteria being met, then you’ll probably find the PatekPhilippe Sky Moon ref. 5002 the one (and only) bargain you are looking for.Unless you are running a Ponzi scheme, this might be a bit too ambitious even for manyhigh-end connoisseurs. Let's see if we can find a general consensus here. Of course thewatch should be mechanical. There are many high-end quartz models that most certainlydeserve out attention, but in this case we don’t want to run the risk of beingapproached by that shady character at the subway entrance -- “Hey man, didn’tyou buy that from me last week?" -- while pointing at your watch and showing his finecollection of Bolex watches inside his raincoat.A cheap watch with pedigree

Not just any mechanical watch movement will do; it has to be a “Manufacture.”This is French for “we made it ourselves.” Unlike aunt Wanda’s greenbean casserole, this is a good thing. It usually means that an old, gray-haired masterwatchmaker gets up every morning, takes his arthritis medicine, puts on his helmet anddrives his moped to a remodeled farm house where he spends his day bent over his bench towork on your movement.Speaking of the farmhouse, is very important that it'sthe very same farmhouse where the brand once started, preferably before the early 1900s.That adds pedigree to the brand, and everybody knows that nothing is truly high-endwithout a good, solid pedigree. This also means that the brand should have something toshow for it, because simply existing for a long period of time can hardly qualify aspedigree. Its history can only be one of two: either the company has a consistent outputof horological masterpieces, or they have deep valleys of tragic products followed bysky-high strokes of brilliance. Regarding the latter, as the old adage goes, everybodyloves a comeback kid! Never ever can they have a tradition of mediocrity, since there islittle human emotion in that, and it is still human emotion that sells the most high-endwristwatches and gives true pride of ownership.Bonus points: A family history

There are bonus points to earn when the firm still has the involvement of the foundingfamily. It takes exceptional, or lucky, breeding to provide a consistent line ofdescendents who are not only interested in watchmaking, but who are also of sound mindregarding business. To beat all these odds for decades is quite an accomplishment, and itadds to the pedigree and, by extension, adds to the status of the brand. However, sincethe odds of doing so are so slim, one can only credit bonus points for this, since wewould otherwise exclude the vast majority of potential winners of the title.Like with most things in life, watches tend to get cheaper when they are used. Ofcourse, you don’t want to refer to your watch over cocktails with friends as "used,"so that's why they invented the word “vintage”for it. This implies that you had the sense and good taste to purchase something from the“good old days” when everything was better, completely ignoring the fact thatit is basically a used, secondhand product, not so much different from that leisure suitat the thrift store. Another good thing about vintage watches is that some of them arequite rare so people actually pay more for them than a new one. Usually, these events arewidely published, so the fact that this doesn’t apply to the majority of watches isinformation that does not need to be shared voluntarily with anyone. Continue Reading ]More...[/url]