3 steps to improve your watch photography

 

If you enjoy taking pictures of your watches, these three steps will help you to get many beautiful pictures without spending extra money on expensive cameras. You more likely have a high-quality camera on your phone. The key for great photos is to have the right lighting, tripod, and lock the focus.

 

The best light for photography

 

You guessed right that the best light would be the natural light especially early in the first hours after sunrise as well as the first hour before sunset. If you take your watch to take pictures during those times, the light exposure will be much better than, if you wait for the sun to be right above your head. Especially, when you take pictures of watches with larger crystals, it gets much more challenging to get rid of the glare on the crystal.

 

Great way to take pictures by using the natural light is to place your watch right by the window. I do understand that some of the opportunities to set the watch right by the window might not be the best; however, sometimes, it does work very well. Test it to find out.

 

Another great location is to go outside and look on colorful background which will give different color contrast. That way, your pictures will have a unique color.

 

Tripod

 

The tripod is a piece of essential equipment to help you to let the camera take the best pictures as possible. Even if you think your arms are steady, the micro shakes will not allow you to make the best pictures. There are many tripods available, and you do not need an expensive one. Any tripod will do the job if they are good enough to hold your cellphone in one spot.

 

When you place the tripod close to your watch, make sure that you will test various angles, you are trying to shoot the watch. By placing the tripod to different places, you will be able to experiment which specific angle is the best for your style of watch photography.

 

Lock the Focus

 

Locking the focus on your camera is very important. You want to make sure that your camera is focusing on the specific part of the watch. In case you zoom in or out, you will still have the same spot focused on which is very important. 

 

Most of the smartphones do have the function to lock the focus, which stays at the main focus point. You should be using the feature a lot because it makes it much easier to take great pictures.

 

If you never took pictures of your watches before, you will realize, that it’s not as easy it looks. With the natural light, tripod and lock focus you should be able to improve the quality of your pictures very much. In the end, you will be the judge and I hope that you will be pleased with the way the pictures looked. 

 

The article was written by Honza Hroch, the founder of Value Your Watch Marketplace.

The holiday watch and a bit of a review! (Seiko Alpinist Content)!

The holiday watch, which watch to take on holiday.

A question that fills every wis type with dread when holiday time comes around! So many questions, how many do I take? What activities am I likely to be doing? If I take something expensive, am I at risk of having it swiped being in unfamiliar territory? If I take more than 2 watches, how secure is the hotel room safe going to be? So many questions, and a real dilemma for a watch collector when deciding what wrist wear to take on holiday.

Usually when I go way I take at least 3 pieces, a Casio G-Shock is always first on the list for obvious reasons. They can take a bashing and have no issues for any water activities being undertaken.

Next up I’ll usually decide on a Diver of some sort, not necessarily for the pool (most of my divers are vintage so don’t see the depths of the dish bowl, yet alone the swimming pool)! I also enjoy the tool watch style for knocking around in through the day.

I also tend to take something a bit smarter, almost ‘dressy’ if you like, for wearing in the evenings whilst eating at restaurants etc.

Now my watch hobby/addiction/obsession causes my long suffering wife no end of grief, and as this was going to be our first holiday abroad in quite some time, I didn’t want to spend valuable family holiday time changing watches daily throughout the holiday, so I made the decision that I was going to choose one watch to take, but the watch in question needed to be capable of all the criteria above that I would usually entrust to a trio of time pieces! This was going to be an important decision as it’s a very rare occasion indeed that I wear the same watch more than 2 days running, yet alone for a week!

So in short, I needed one watch that could handle the pool and any water activities we embarked on, something that wouldn’t look out of place in any eateries we attended and was tough enough to take the rigours of a holiday abroad with 3 young kids in tow.

So what did I choose?

Looking through my watch box there was an an obvious choice staring at me, the Seiko Alpinist SARB017.

This was a piece that I had managed to snag just as it was announced it was being discontinued and prices started to get silly.

My holiday watch choice, and with good reason

The Alpinist with its 200M water resistance, rugged build quality and strap versatility (come on now, you didn’t think I was going to take one watch without a selection of straps did you)? was the perfect holiday watch and handled everything I needed it to with aplomb.

The green sunburst dial was a joy to watch change hues in the Spanish sun, and the gold applied markers glistened beautifully, almost like liquid gold as they also soaked up the suns rays.

The stock leather strap doesn’t tend to get much love amongst owners, but I found it to be fine once it had been worn in a little, and it made for a good evening wear choice.

Alpinist on stock leather was my ‘dress watch’ option

Having a strap selection which contained options such as a nato, bracelet and military style canvas choices meant I could change up the look of the watch for the various day to day activities being undertaken.

Come on now, one watch without strap options would just be plain wrong, right?

Some more SARB017 shots, just because I can!

And the boring review stuff:

The Seiko Alpinist was originally released in 1961 to accompany the Japanese mountain men, or yamaotoko, on their expeditions to the peaks of the Japanese Alps. The Seiko Alpinist SARB017 features a distinguished design reminiscent of an old era of exploration

Measuring 39.5 millimeters in diameter and 12 millimeters thick, the watch’s polished stainless steel case comes with brushed lugs, giving it a two-toned aesthetic. The defining feature of the Alpinist is the sunburst dial in alpine green. It contrasts against the gold tone of the hands and hour indices, which alternate between even numerals and triangles. The watch comes with a sapphire crystal and a solid stainless steel caseback, which includes an engraving of the Alpinist logo.

Another notable feature is the internal rotating compass bezel, which is controlled by the crown at the 4 o’clock position. The watch is powered by a Seiko 6R15 23-jewel automatic movement that comes equipped with hacking and hand-winding capabilities and a 50-hour power reserve.

Specs

• SARB017

Seiko 6R15 diashock automatic movement

• Hand-winding compatible

• Hacking seconds

• 21,600 bph

• Case diameter: 39.5 mm

• Case thickness: 12 mm

• Lug width: 20 mm

• Lug-to-lug: 46.5 mm

• Sapphire crystal

• Date at 3 o’clock

• Rotating inner bezel

• LumiBrite hands and hour markers

• Screw-down crown

• Calf-leather strap

• Water resistance: 200 m

• Made in Japan

As usual, thank you for reading, and don’t forget to click here to join our private Facebook group.

More of a rant than a blogpost

 

I was chatting the other day to someone who I would describe as an acquaintance, rather than a work colleague or a friend. Lets call him Bill. He caught a glimpse of the watch that I happened to wearing that day (it was my Rolex GMT BLNR),

 

 

 

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The BLNR that Bill offended me about

and he said to me “blimey, you must be well lucky to be loaded enough to buy a watch like that”

 

Now, several things about this statement right royally pissed me off. Firstly, there’s a saying that I firmly believe in which is “The harder you work, the luckier you get” I have worked extremely hard my entire life to get to where I am now, from having 2 paper rounds as a school boy, to lying about my age when I was 15 so I could get a job working in a factory. For that entire summer holidays from school I was the one in our group of friends who actually had any money to do anything! From there, leaving school/college I then started working full time to make a career for my self and quite quickly became a branch manager of a national company at the age of 21, and then a few years later set up my own business which myself and my wife grafted at daily, and I mean literally blood, sweat and tears usually all at the same time!

So screw you Bill, luck has nothing to do with it.

The next thing that irked me about his statement was the bit about being ‘loaded’, now, I am pretty sure that most business people will tell that they actually had more disposable income when they were employed than they do now that they are self employed. This particular watch was one that I had coveted for quite a while, and those of you in the know will know that the BLNR, for quite a long time was almost impossible to get hold from an AD, sure you could pay a premium and get one from a grey dealer but that brings its own problems.

When I got the call to say that a BLNR had come in and it had my name on it I wasn’t ‘loaded’ enough as Bill put it to just go straight out and buy it. I had to quickly sell a few of my other watches and then do some juggling around with 0% interest credit cards to make up the shortfall. But, it was worth it, Rolex had a 10% price increase shortly after I bought the watch, so I’ve already made more money by buying the Rolex than I would have done if I had stuck the cash in a savings account.

So Screw you again Bill, being ‘loaded’ simply isn’t the case, being sensible is the word of the day here I think.

But do you know what really, really wound me up more than anything written above? 2 days earlier Bill had spotted me wearing my Casio Worldtime (sometimes affectionately known as the Casio Royale) this is one of my favourite watches by the way and it gets lots of wrist time, also, until recently they could be picked up brand new for £14.99! It really pisses me off now that when he saw me wearing it he didn’t say something like “gosh, you must be on the bones of your arse if you can only afford a cheap Casio watch mate”

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The legendary Casio Royale

 

 

So for the final time, screw you bill! For me watch collecting isn’t about spending lots of money on luxury brands, in fact most of my favourite watches are all in the sub £200 range, with half of these being in the sub £50 bracket. So Bill, if you are reading this then I am not lucky to own these watches, nor am I loaded. But what I am is incredibly lucky to be fit and well enough to enjoy wearing them.

 

The eternal struggle of the cash strapped WIS 

A third world problem I know, but I recently found myself in the situation where although I’m fortunate enough to have, in my opinion, a nice collection of timepieces, it wasn’t enough, I want more, I WANT ALL THE WATCHES!! Seriously though, I was at the stage where I hadn’t had a new arrival for some time, and didn’t have any disposable to drop onto a new watch purchase. I was craving that excited wait for the postman to arrive with my new toy, like a 5 year old waiting for Santa to come on Christmas Eve. That anxious opening of the parcel that’s just arrived, hoping that the watch has made it unscathed through the postal system, and then lives up to your expectations. But all those emotions would have to wait until I had some dollar to spend, or, god forbid, I did some watch trading rather than straight purchasing. Now I say it like this because I’m a bit of a hoarder. Once I’ve got something, I find it difficult to let it go again. Don’t ask me why, because I’m not entirely sure. I’ve got watches in the box that don’t get much wrist time at all, there’s even one that I replaced the battery in, put it back in the box, and it stayed in exactly the same place until the battery died again. But at this moment in time, my yearning for a new watch outweighed my unexplained desire not to let go of any of my ‘precious’!

Looking through my collection and trying to decide what was going to be moved on took a bit of time, all of these watches are in my possession either because I liked them, which is obviously why I bought them, or a few of them were gifted to me, so there’s an emotional attachment to them. In the end I decided that one of the two Seiko 7548s I had would soon be finding a new home. The 7548-7000, a JDM model with Kanji date wheel, is a bit rarer than the 7548-700B that was staying, but the keeper is more original (the departing watch had a double domed, AR coated crystal), and happens to be a birth year watch for me. 

The departing Seiko 7548-7000

With the outgoing watch decided, I posted it up in the sales/trades section of my watch forum of choice and sat back waiting for some offers to roll in. I could have just sold the watch for cold hard cash, but I ran the risk of spending this cash on something more sensible, like feeding and clothing the children, if I did this. Also, the watch came from this particular forum, so it’s nice for another member of this watch community to enjoy it, it’s also quite likely that by trading watches within this community, the time pieces involved are going to be good, honest and well looked after examples. 

After a few days I ended up up in a bit of a horological three way (snigger), I had a part trade, part cash offer for my outbound Seiko diver, and also, the opportunity presented itself to purchase a lovely little piece of Seiko quartz history, which happened to be as near as damn it the same price as the cash sum I was about to receive. I was glad that these two events happened at the same time, as it meant the cash was winging its way to pay for my interesting quartz purchase before it lined further the coffers of that guy George at Asda in exchange for Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig pyjamas. 

So without further ado, let’s get to the watches. Now, I like quartz, I like Seiko and I like dive watches, so receiving the following watches from the postman this week filled me with that new watch ‘buzz’ that I had been craving. 

Seiko 7A38-7190

In 1983, Seiko unveiled to the world the first ever quartz, analogue chronograph in the shape of the 7A28. This is a 15 jewel, fully adjustable quartz movement with no plastic parts to be found anywhere in the gear train. The movement can also be serviced and adjusted pretty much as you would with a mechanical watch, owing to its construction. The 7A38 that I’ve acquired here is different only to the 7A28 due to the addition of the day/date functions. This a small watch by my standards, about 36mm in diameter, but never has the phrase “great things come in small packages” been so apt as to describe this quartz beauty. The dial really is stunning and superbly detailed, depending on how you catch the light it turns from white, to silver and back again which is a delight to look at. The bracelet is also superb, nice flat mate finished bars that taper down to the simple, but solid and functional clasp with the ‘SQ’ (Seiko Quartz) emblem stamped onto it help to make this watch extremely comfortable (bordering on unnoticeable) to wear. 

Love this bracelet

For a 30 year old watch this piece really is in super condition and will certainly be getting plenty of wrist time. 

The next package that I tore into like my previously mentioned, inner child at Christmas contained this:

Seiko SKXA35

The Seiko SKXA35 is exactly what you would expect from a Seiko diver, really well built, nice wrist presence at around 43mm, great lume and legible dial. The fact that it’s bright yellow is a bonus! I’ve got an Orange monster and an Orange bullet in the collection so it’s nice to have something different. The yellow is very, well, yellow, but on the wrist it doesn’t seem to be to garish at all. Powered by the reliable and billet proof 7S26 movement this watch is currently keeping time to around 2spd which I’m very pleased with. 

On the wrist

The Oyster bracelet that it came on isn’t original Seiko but is very good quality, the nice surprise here was the ratcheting clasp that I imagine probably came from a MM300. I’ve not encountered one of these before and it’s nice to be able to adjust the bracelet quickly by a few mm when required. 

Seiko ratcheting clasp

Some people call this watch Bumble Bee, I think it looks more like a Minion!

So there we go, I conquered my hoarder tendencies and have got 2 great watches to show for it. The problem I have now though is I had forgotten how much I enjoy the new watch arrival process and am currently deciding if I can cope with letting another one go, watch this space (pun intended)!

The best worst watch I’ve ever purchased!

Ive always fancied getting myself a Vostok Scuba Dude, but for some reason or another I just never got round to actually buying one. I’ve lost count of how any times I’ve seen one on Instagram or on a watch forum and posted something along the lines of “Love these, must get myself one soon”, but I never actually did anything about it. I’ve had a few Russian watches before, some pieces from Poljot and a Komandirskie or two but the Scuba Dude just didn’t seem to happen.

After seeing a particularly nice Scuba Dude on Instagram I decided I should just bite the bullet and get myself one, after all, if it it arrived and I didn’t like it I could move it on again without too much hassle as they have quite a strong fan base. Also, to be honest, I thought I should get one as I felt like like a bit of a fraud after featuring a Scuba Dude in my last blog as being a great affordable watch  even though I’ve never owned one!

After posting a few unfruitful wanted to buy posts in my usual watch forums, someone pointed me in the direction of meranom.com where I duly decided on the version I wanted and placed my order. The watch came to a total of just over £50, this amount of money doesn’t really get you much these days. Almost a tank of fuel? A take away and some beers or a couple of bottles of wine to wash it down with? It certainly doesn’t seem enough to get you a 200m rated dive watch, with in House automatic movement and screw down crown, shipped to my door from Russia. My expectations weren’t very high, but non the less I was quite excited to be finally getting my hands on one, and the next three weeks felt more like months.

After spending quite a while stuck at Russian customs the postman eventually delivered my package which looked like this:


The plastic box looks like it’s straight out of the 70s!

The first thing I did when I opened the box was to remove the stock bracelet, I had heard that they weren’t very good, which turned out to be an understatement! I didn’t even bother to get a photo of it, it also had an odd smell, it reminded me of a metal workshop, the cooling liquid that gets poured on the metal in the lathe sort of smell. Nato strap now fitted (which was almost a problem as the watch has 18mm lugs and my strap collection is all 20mm and above, I was sure when I ordered it stated 20mm, I ended up pinching one of my 8 year old sons natos) I unscrewed the crown to set the time. The wobbly crown was also something I had read about being a ‘feature’ of this watch, protects the crown stem from damage if it gets knocked apparently, what I hadn’t read anywhere though is that the crown itself resembles, and feels the same quality as a beer bottle cap, just a bit smaller. With the crown unscrewed it took me a lot of turns to get the date wheel where I wanted it, ir would appear that there’s no quick set date function here, or if there is then it isn’t working. Pushing the crown back in to the point where the crown stem is engaged takes a bit of fiddling and part screwing and then unscrewing the crown again. Eventually it will engage and allow you to screw down the crown fully.


Moving onto the bezel, I’m not really sure exactly what purpose this actually serves, there are no numbers on the bezel to easily read elapsed minutes, just some black painted dots spaced out at 5/10 etc up to 35 minutes, and red dots from 40 to 55, and a slightly larger red dot at 12. The bezel doesn’t click like most of my dive watches do either, it just turns (roughly I must add) bidirectionaly.

So there we have it, the reasons above are why the Scuba Dude could qualify as the worst watch I have purchased to date, but all of these things also perversely add to the overall charm of this watch,and make it the very best worst watch I have purchased to date.

Leaving the above points aside, this watch is just a really cool thing, the little Scuba Dude on the dial brings a smile to face every time I look at him, in fact when I’m checking the time I tend to give Scuba Dude a glance first, just to make sure he’s ok!

The dial is a lovely hue of green which sort of reminds me of the ocean, a nice touch on a dive watch. The domed crystal is a joy to look through to see the sword shaped minutes hand and the arrow tipped hours hand. These are lume filled, as is the lolly pop on the red seconds hand. The lume, whilst not very long lasting, is decent enough.


This watch on a nato is just so wearable, at 39mm diameter and with 18mm lugs it’s so comfortable and fits nicely on my wrist. The time keeping after a 2 days is working out at around +30s per day, as a new watch this may well get better as the watch beds in, but I wouldn’t be at all bothered if it didn’t, I’m not going to lose any sleep at this rate for a watch in this price bracket.

I’m going on holiday very soon and I usually end up taking 2 watches with me, one for knocking around in and wearing in the pool, and another that’s more suitable for wearing in the evening when out for dinner, but do you know what? The Scuba Dude is more than capable and suitable for both of these roles. 200m of water resistance is more than apt, even for the deep end of the swimming pool, and I am actually really looking forward forward to wearing this out for dinner in the evenings.

So for £50, which is less than dinner is going to cost to feed my family of 5 on our holiday, I’ve got a really cool, really fun, versatile watch which may have flaws as I have pointed out, but flaws that add to the character and personality of the thing.

If you are sitting on the fence about getting a Scuba Dude then it’s time to jump off and get one, I’m glad I finally did, and it won’t be long until I get another!

As usual, thanks for reading, please click here if you would like to join our small but growing group of watch enthusiasts over on Facebook.

Watch Collecting Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive-Part 1

When I tell people that I collect/buy/sell watches as a bit of a hobby, I usually get greeted with a response along the lines of “ooh, I bet that’s an expensive past time”, well yes, it can be. If you were only interested in Rolex and Patek Philippe watches then the hobby is very likely to become very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. When I first got started in my watch career I didn’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on watches, but I still had lots of fun at the lower end of the market. A decent watch really doesn’t have to cost the earth and I have compiled a small list of 10 pieces that can all be had for under £100.00 (one of them is even under £10.00)!

Now, no real scientific thought process went into this, I just spent a little time on some well known auction sites and retailers websites and found some watches in this price bracket that I would be happy to own, and in most cases have actually owned at some point.

Casio:

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The first contender is the mighty Casio F-91W, this can be had for less than £10.00, (I found it for £8.99 to be exact). This is certainly a no frill watch but if you just need something to tell the time, be accurate and reasonably robust then this is really all you will ever need.

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The next offering from Casio is this ‘divers style’ watch. I have emphasised the ‘divers style’ bit as I wouldn’t attempt any actual diving in it (apart from maybe some desk diving) but this watch looks pretty cool, has a 100m water resistance and is yours for less than £15.00!

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For £24.99 you can have this, which is again quite a funky looking thing that also has 100m water resistance, but this time with moon and tide graphs thrown in.

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I found this G-Shock for £69.99, but I am quite sure that it can be found cheaper with a little bit of effort put in! It may be an entry level G-Shock but this stealthy and rugged ana-digi (analogue and digital) display watch with 200m water resistance will be virtually indestructible.

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Possibly the only watch you will ever,ever need is this GW-M5610 G-Shock. This shaped G-Shock is a classic in its own right just as the Omega Speedmaster or Rolex Sub is. This watch boasts tough solar (powered by light), Multi band 6 atomic time keeping and 200m water resistance. For £99.99 this has got to be one of the most feature packed watches available in most price brackets, let alone under £100.00.

Citizen:

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I found these Citizen watches priced at £79.99 and £95.00 respectavley. Both powered with Eco-Drive movements these watches will be well built, both have day/date windows and both sport military style dials which I think just look really cool. I usually find that Citizen have some decent lume going on too.

Vostok:

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Available for less than £60.00 brand new and including delivery is the ubiquitous Vostok Scuba dude. These watches are super cool, boast automatic movements and rotating divers bezel, and did I mention that they are really cool?  Seriously though, these watches won’t win any  timekeeping performance awards but for this sort of money I don’t anyone is going to expect COSC accuracy.

Seiko:

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Last but certainly not least are these Seiko watches for your consideration. I make no secret that Seiko is my favourite watch brand. Everything they produce is made entirely in house, they even grow their own quartz crystals! The above Seiko 5 will have a pretty basic, but entirely reliable automatic movement, sweet military styling and even a display case back. For £59.99 from a well known online retailer this is a watch that will give years of service with little or no maintenance.

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Next up and last in my list of 10 watches for under £100.00 is this Seiko SNE109P1. These probably retail for just under £200.00 when new but I found this on an online auction house, at time of writing it currently sits at £80.00 with only a few hours left. I love Seiko divers and am quite partial to the orange variety and I may well try and win this one. Being Seiko you just know that the build quality is going to be great, the lume will shine like a torch and with it being solar powered quartz no real need to worry too much about maintenance or timekeeping!

So there we go, all of these watches can be had for less than £100.00, but if you were to spend a bit of time looking around online, and not just a few minutes like I have, there will be plenty more to choose from in this price bracket. If you are looking on the well known auction site that we all know and love, a word of warning. use some common sense and make sure you know what you are looking at before you buy, and always ‘buy the seller’ first. The site is full of ‘Franken’ wtaches-watches that have been cobbled together with old or even non genuine bits and Seiko is probably the brand that has most often been lashed together by unscrupulous sellers looking to turn a quick profit.

There are plenty of forums online that are full of knowledgable members, who in my experience are more than happy to pass on their knowledge to another member, especially if its going to help them avoid buying a lemon! These forums also usually have sales sections which can be a great place to buy and sell watches in any price bracket, but be aware that most forums will have a minimum amount of time you must be registered, and a minimum post count before you can access the sales part of the site. This is done to protect all members of the site and to stop people using and abusing the sales sections which are often used without charge to the seller. Join the forum first, and get involved with the community, trust me, you will learn a lot more about watches this way and will discover brands that you didn’t even know existed!

A tale of customer service and why I bought my first ‘expensive’ watch out of spite!

So, the time had come. I was at the stage in my watch career that had seen me dabble in the cheaper end of the watch buying spectrum. I had owned some fashion watches, some cheap, but often remarkable value for money  russian mechanical watches, i.e, Vostok/Poljot and the like. A few Seikos had come and gone, I had even had the privilege of buying a brand spanking new Seiko from the laminated book of dreams that is the Argos catalogue!

I was ready, I had a small amount of disposable income burning a hole and wanted to blow it all on my first expensive watch. Now at this point expensive to me meant more than the £100 or so the Seiko from Argos had cost me, but certainly less than £1000.

In my nearest shopping centre there are only really 3 places you can go to buy a watch. I am not going to mention any company names here but if I was to compare these stores to something like tyres, one of the stores is your budget brand, the other very much a mid range sort of outfit and then there’s the premium tyre place. The Michelin, Pirelli or Bridgestone fitted on a high performance Porsche or BMW type of out fit. From here on in, i will refer to this store as ‘the one’.

The budget store wasnt really going to cut it for me, sure they have one or two pieces in there that may have suited, but I wanted my first ‘expensive’ watch purchase to be a bit special,maybe a coffee thrown in whilst i tried on some watches sort of thing.

I headed towards ‘the one’, as I peered through the window, as I have done thousands of times before, something stopped me from going in. This wasnt the sort of place that someone like me spends their hard earned. The assistants I could see through the window, looking past all the lovely shinyness of the watches and jewelery on display, were all wearing expensive suits, and all had Rolex on the wrist, whilst little old me, who grew up on a council estate, was stood outside wearing my Argos special watch, and whilst sometimes my work calls for a shirt and tie, when I head to the shops my usual attire is trainers, scruffy jeans and a hoody. Not the sort of dress code people who buy from ‘the one’ adhere to.

Feeling suitably scruffy and inadequate I strolled  around the corner to the mid range place. I didn’t even need to go in-store. I saw the watch I wanted sat right there in the window. It was a Hamilton of some variety, the exact model eludes me now, lots, and i mean lots of watches have come and gone since, but there it was, and I wanted it.

I walked through the doors and proceeded to have a look at some of the other watches on display whilst waiting to be acknowledged by an assistant. The shop wasnt overly busy but everyone seemed to be already dealing with a customer, but no problem, I’ll make eye contact with someone and they will be right with me. Eye contact was made with one of the girls in the store, but the “Hello Sir, be right with you” that I was expecting wasnt forthcoming. Ok, fair enough, maybe she’s had a bad day, plus it was around lunchtime so maybe I thought,  she was due a break and didn’t want to commit to dealing with another customer. As I headed out of the shop, planning to go and get myself something to eat and have a think about what I was doing (at this time i had never spent this much money on myself before, certainly not on something that would be considered as a luxury item, and not a car etc), on the way out another assistant brushed past me to take whatever it was her customer had requested to look at, again even though we made physical contact, not just eye contact, I didnt get acknowledged.

Now having fed and watered myself, I headed back to the shop, determined to walk out wearing my newly acquired timepiece. I walked through the door again to find a sales assistant, not only that, I found a sales assistant completey  free of customers, not on the phone and ready to sell me a watch. I made the usual eye contact with her and she stood up, walked towards me and said something like “hello madam, how can i help you today”, now I’m confused, I might have been in my scruffies but at no point did i head into town dressed as a member of the opposite sex! Whilst I am still processing this in my head, the assistant headed straight towards me, made a side step and continued to greet the lady that had walked just after i did. By this point I am mad, not just normal mad but spitting nails and foaming at the mouth mad. It was quite obvious to me that the assistant had clocked myself and the older, better dressed lady that had also walked in and made up her mind that said well dressed lady was likely to have more disposable income than me and therefore more likely to give her a decent sale. What i wanted to do at this point was to start screaming and shouting and demanding to see the manager to convey my level of anger, but i didn’t, I’m far too British and polite for that, so i simply turned around, and walked out.

Still a little bit shocked about what had just happened, and still determined to leave town wearing a new watch i walked straight back to ‘the one’, I didn’t care that my trainers were 5 years old, or that the torn bottoms of my jeans were slightly darker than the rest of them due to having soaked up the contents of the puddles I had been traipsing through all day. I was going to walk in, grab a sales assistant, force them to sell me a watch and then go back to where i had made my previous attempt at spending some money and maybe dance a little jig outside whilst flashing my new watch at them with the receipt shouting something like “look what you’ve missed out on, this’ll teach you not to serve me”!

I hadn’t even stepped fully through the door of ‘the one’ when the assistant was already up from behind his desk and making a bee line for me with his hand out ready to shake mine. After the hand shake and ascertaining that I was here to buy a watch I was quickly sat down and offered a coffee.This is exactly how i wanted my first purchase to go. The store in question didn’t stock Hamilton watches but no matter, I had spotted a couple of pieces that were in my price range on the countless times I had walked past and gawked at them through the window. The difference between how i was treated at ‘the one’ and how I was treated around the corner was literally worlds apart. I reckon I could have walked in wearing nothing more than a leotard and maybe a fig leave covering my manhood and I would have been treated the same way. No assumptions were made about how much disposable income I had but this place made me feel like I was there to spend a good few thousand pounds, not just a few hundred, they were really that good.

Coffee drank and a few watches tried on and discussed with the assistant, who turned out to be the manager, I had made my choice, it was a few hundred pounds more than the Hamilton i was expecting to buy, and a bit more than i really wanted to spend, but I was still angry about what had happened around the corner and the experience I was having here was so good that this didn’t matter one bit. I was so wrapped up in the experiance that i didn’t even once think about haggling on the price, the watch was now sized and on my wrist and that was where it was staying!

The watch I ended up buying is probably a brand that most people end up buying as their first ‘expensive’ watch and their first foray into the world of higher end timepieces, it was a Tag Heuer Formula 1.

Thats right, i paid full retail price for a Tag F1, a quartz Tag F1 at that!

But more than that, what i also ended up with that day was the start of a relationship with ‘the one’,now I am quite a loyal guy and if I had received even slightly above average customer service around the corner they would have a customer for life. But by not judging a book by its cover, and looking past my scruffy choice of clothes for the day ‘the one’ has since seen my business many more times. When I was ready to make the next step up into proper watch territory, guess who got my business? When the wife wanted a decent watch, guess where I bought it for her? Gifts of jewelery at christmas and birthdays, all came from the one. Ever since my wife and I first got together, I always said that when she turned 30, and if I could afford it, I would buy her a big ass diamond ring. Well when she hit the big 30 as it happened, i could afford it and she got her diamond ring. I know I am not this stores biggest spending customer, far from it in fact, but the difference is that every time I go in there they make me feel like  am, and that for me is customer service at its very best.

So after purchasing the Tag did I go back and dance that little Jig outside the mid range place like I wanted too? No, I didn’t, as much as I wanted to I simply voted with my feet and vowed never to go back there again.

*Disclaimer: A short while ago the opportunity presented itself to me to buy something from the mid range place that i really wanted at quite a substantial discount. Such was my angst about how I was treated their last time I almost didn’t go through with it but I eventually decided that the discount was so big it was like sticking two fingers up at them so I went through with it and can report that whilst the customer service seems to have improved, they have still got some way to go to be ‘the one’ for me.

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Welcome to our blog

I thought I would use my first blog to provide you with some ramblings about why watches and watch collecting has become so all consuming for me.

Why do I love watches?

Well I could start off by saying something like “I really dig watches because I find the fusion of engineering and art and craftsmanship utterly fascinating” but that’s not what this site is all about.

As a typical man, I dont posses any jewellery other than my wedding ring, not like the wife who could sprout several extra heads and pairs of arms and still not be able to wear all of her necklaces/bracelets bangles and earings! So a watch, for me, is first and foremost a piece of jewelery.

The primary function of any watch is obviously to tell time, but how its how it tells the time that really fascinates me. Wether its a watch with a quartz movement or a mechanical/automatic watch, just the fact that on my wrist i basically have a little machine, with lots of little parts inside pulsing, ticking spinning and beating away just pleases me.

After this I suppose it’s the sheer diversity of watches, in both function and form that gets the old juices flowing. A simple three hander watch can be a lovely thing to look at, but then a watch with a really busy dial and some complications thrown in can also be pleasing on the eye if done well.

Function wise, I can use a watch to measure speed, distance or temperature.I can use a watch to tell me what phase the moon is in or for navigation. I can have a watch that has a case designed to withstand pressure at several hundred meters uinderwater.I can also have a watch that lets me read my emails with out having to take my phone out of my pocket or be near a computer. On the whole though, and probably like most people who aren’t MI5 spies or professional divers, i tend to use my watch to make sure im not late for picking up the kids from school and to time my cooking!

 

What floats my boat then?

I have a particular soft spot for Seiko watches so you can probably expect to see lots of them on this site. I also love dive watches and lume, which is just as well because these are the 2 things that in my opinion, Seiko excel at.

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Awesome lume from a Seiko ‘PADI’

 

I am also particularly fond of nato straps, switching a watch from its leather strap or bracelet to a nato can really change the appearance of a watch, and as I have said previously, I do not believe there are many watches that don’t look good on a bond style nato.

Chronographs are also a favourite of mine, you know, because the little hands spin around really fast! That and they help to make sure I’m not burning the kids fish fingers. Seriously though, there’s just something about a decent looking chronograph that I love, which probably stems from my love of motor sports.