– The Covid Era has been a wild and very scary time for all of us. We all had a lot of time in isolation and were forced to find (hopefully) creative ways to use this time. It may be a surprise (even to me) but I have spent dozens of hours (and probably over 100) over the past 8 months learning about watches. Horology is fascinating. Before radio, and telegraphs, and photography — watches existed as a form of personal technology. I consider myself one who is approaching a certain level of expertise on watches under $1000. I don’t consider this a business proposition yet. However, there are numerous online watch sellers, people that buy and sell vintage watches, and so on. Watch sales are up. Can I convert knowledge to profit? We’ll see.
So I just wanted to share a couple of findings and tutorials in this introductory installment:
–Tick, Tick, Tick vs. Sweep: Does your watch tick once per second advancing to the next marker? If so, you have a battery powered quartz watch. If your watch has a sweeping motion of the second hand, then you have a mechanical watch. It may be fully automatic, solely hand wound, or a combination of both. However, there are more modern quartz technologies that mimic the sweep. These watches have a “meca quartz” movement and provide 4 micro-ticks per second.
–Timex – Comeback Kid: Our own Waterbury, CT (Middlebury now) based Timex has experienced a major resurgence over the past 3 years to the delight of all watch fans especially those looking for nice but affordable pieces. They brought back the Marlin hand-wound 34 mm 1960’s watch that your dad (or maybe you) even had. Let’s face it – our eyes aren’t getting any better so they now have a beautiful 40 mm Marlin as well. Timex also re-issued their popular Q watches, sporting a 1970’s design with a battery you can change yourself. There are a lot of good feelings around Timex right now. You can check out their latest at Timex.com
–Micro Brands: One trend that you may not be aware of over the past 10 to 15 years is the growing prevalence and success of micro watch brands. Remember when Samuel Adams took off the late 1980s? Some would say they led the micro-brewery revolution. The same thing is happening with watches. Micro watch brands are started by passionate people. There are many of these outfits in the US and elsewhere. They choose quality components and then assemble the watches here or possibly outside the country. Watches from Micro brands typically range from the $100’s to $600’s depending on whether you are getting a quartz or mechanical. A great bang for your buck.
– Watches help us tell time, perform certain functions, and also appreciate the gift of time we are given on this earth. What are your watch stories? I would like to hear them. Is there a watch you got for a special occasion? A watch you once had but lost? Do you have any old 1960’s / 1970’s Timex watches laying around? I’ll be quiet now and let you share. 🙂 Feel free to send me a picture of your timepiece. It would make my day.
I may be a broken clock — but I am right twice a day. LOL!
Learning About New (to me) Old Technologies During the Pandemic
I will never own a Rolex, or a Tudor, or an Omega. However, I was given a Seiko — made in Japan — watch for my big birthday last month that was roughly $160. It sparked an intense period of learning for me. I became fascinated in these tools for our wrists that are able to keep time and produce 21,000 + vibrations per hour WITHOUT a battery. I am referring to watches with a mechanical movement, whether they be automatic, hand wound or both. (Of course, there are wonderful quartz watches out there with batteries too.) Over the past 6 weeks, I think I have become quite knowledgeable on the sub-$500 watch market. There are awesome watches you can get out there for under $300 and in some cases under $200 as well. I haven’t found a way to incorporate this newfound love into my business as some kind of formal proposition, but I would definitely be willing to discuss this arena with you informally by e-mail or perhaps at the back end of an appointment.
Some insights I would be able to share with you include… There are many fine watches out there with Japanese movements. It is possible to get affordable Swiss made watches. I can help you understand the difference between a grey market watch and one from an authorized seller. (My Seiko came from a grey market store in NYC that also has an authorized division as well.) Sometimes the right strap can make all the difference on a watch, especially a nylon “NATO” strap. I don’t think we should think of watches by traditional gender distinctions. A lot of so-called ladies watches are very stylish but not functional. Why can’t a lady wear a nice man’s watch? Of course she can! There are so many possibilities if we think outside the watch box. There are a lot of garbage watches coming out of China, but I can let you know about the one Chinese made watch that “watch people” really admire.
Watch Out For Google Search Results
Over the past couple years, I have seen some clients come up with bad luck on Google search results. It often starts with Googling for a phone number for customer service for a particular company. While Google has improved this type of searching and can often provide you with an obvious and legitimate number, you have to deal with paid search listings. I have tried to install ad blockers for all of you on your browsers and shown you how to turn that ad blocker on and off. However, if you do not have an ad blocker installed you are going to see at least 3 search results from Google that are ads. They should be clearly identified. However, you may not notice what you are looking at. Please be careful. Unfortunately, scam companies have been buying up key word ads from Google. So that when you search for XYZ bank customer service or Frontier customer service (for example), those first few results may not be what you are looking for. You will have to scroll beyond the sponsored listings to truly find what you want. Goggler beware!