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Always"watching"

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  1. Many thanks for all those who have taken the trouble to reply to a topic that I myself made little headway with and phrased rather badly. Muddy D gets my gratitude for really kicking off a chain of interesting answers, and thanks Will Fly for the cadent video. I think that the answer lies in a combination of what the various contributors and myself feel about this subject. Music is something so many of us enjoy that trying to decide what proportion of watch collectors are into music would not really be useful. Also, if you collect watches or are a collector of CD tracks or expert musician, there has to be a degree of obsessiveness in order to "succeed", and obsessiveness in a part of one's life is likely to carry over in to obsessiveness in another part. As a lifelong collector of all sorts of things, I fully admit to be obsessive, and that obsessiveness has carried over into other areas of my life, causing me considerable mental health problems. The art of life is to be able to constrain this trait so that it becomes beneficial to the learning and practise of useful skills. There is also the "mechanical" factor which leads to an interest in watches through having a brain that can understand and appreciate mechanics - and indeed, I would say that quite a few members of the Watch Forum are interested in cars, for example. In my case, I would never have thought I would ever have an interest in cars, and yet here I am, aged 59, with a real interest in classic and modern cars and engineering which began only two or three years ago. Now I wish I had pursued a science-based education with engineering at its core. Oh well. Regrets are a waste of time!
  2. Far too many replies for me to address them individually - from Roman numerals to the cat pest in the garden. I agree with many of the replies but I will pick out just the note from Muddy D who says that if you have a clear front and back to a watch, and you know what you are looking for, you can probably discern the crap from the decent. I hadn't thought of that. I suppose my main dislike of skeleton watch faces is that they can be difficult to read and some of them are just an excuse to "decorate" a watch when a more subtle decorative approach would be much nicer. Also, surely we all know what a watch movement looks like don't we? And there are now too many utterly crap skeleton watches out there for sale, where the skeleton design is clearly designed to "impress". That's my rant and I am sticking to it - but only for the time being. I'm sure I will soon fall for a really nice skeleton watch - perhaps one made in China?
  3. In reply to all the fascinating responses I would say the following. Firstly; I agree that the Hurricane has been sorely overlooked by its more glamorous cousin, the spitfire, and this is an injustice that needs to be redressed, and luckywatch has done that here on the Forum. Secondly; AAAh! Why did I forget the fantastic Mosquito, that wooden wonder which is now so rare and yet was so dashing in combat. Thanks for reminding me bridgeman and artistmike. Thirdly; The Vulcan is one of my all-time favourite aircraft though it doesn't exactly fit in with my question about World War Two fighters. Nevertheless, thanks apm101 for that georgeous pic, and thanks to Roger the Dodger for mentioning the sacrifice made by men like Douglas Bader and for his little slip-in note for the Vulcan. Fourthly; thanks to contributors who have given me ideas for other major allied fighters of World War Two. The Blenheim is an interesting one which I don't know all that much about, and I agree with apm101 about the looks of the Hawker Tempest. And finally thanks to JoT, who settles with me on the Mustang P51, although I am sure both of us are aware that planes have different strengths and weaknesses, so choosing just one is an impossible task, yet rewarding because it makes one think.
  4. Please note that this topic is about "The Henderson Group - Watchmakers and Watch Wholesalers", and not Henderson Group PLC, Global Investors. If you have ever been down to your local factory outlet shop, garden centre or charity shop or some other store, you will probably have noticed a floor stand or two, or a counter top display of cheap quartz watches. And when I say cheap, I am talking about prices between £5 and about £15. Generally, the range I have seen does not exceed £10 in price. The chances are that these cheap watches are the product of The Henderson Group of Companies, with over 300 employees worldwide. Watch brands from the Henderson Group include Slazenger, Predator, Cosmopolitan, pod, Citron and Citron International, Forever Friends, golddigga, mckenzie, NEON-T, Philip Mercier, Crosshatch, smart, Smith & Jones, Thomas Calvi, and Henderson Group's range of Union Jack themed watches. Another brand, not on the current website but almost certainly by Henderson is No Fear, and I also have a feeling that Constant watches might also be a Henderson Group product. Before touching on the watches, a little history of the Henderson Group is called for. The Henderson Group of Companies was established in 1976, It claims to have gained a good reputation for quality and value, and that every product is checked by an in-house quality control department. Retailing to the retail and leisure sectors and supported by a no-nonsense after sales service the Group is dedicated to "keeping Henderson at the leading edge of the international watch market." (Quote from the Henderson Group website) And now to the watches, which would no doubt be discounted by the more discerning public (and most collectors) as being unworthy of consideration. However, the Group is out there, selling watches, although I have to say that their main online sales venue - UK Watches Online - is a domain which is currently up for sale if that means anything. I would say that some Henderson Group watches are of reasonable design, but they are utterly let down by any discernible quality of manufacture, and I have to admit buying Citron watches just to use the spring bars and straps - which often seem to be better value than the watch itself. One of the worst offences committed by some of the watches is the use of fake subdials and chronograph buttons. Given the ultimate "tackiness" of these watches, I also have to admit that I have kept one Citron watch because it's design is quite unusual, so not all is black in the Henderson camp. Most watches by the Henderson Group are analogue but they also produce digital examples (with pod as the most common brand name for these digital watches). Before finishing this topic, I will just add a note about older Henderson Group watches, when Citron/Citron International seems to have been the main brand name of the watches - perhaps the only name in the early years of the group. Firstly, a look on e-bay reveals that Citron watches were sometimes jewelled mechanical products and I wonder how good these were. I would like to know from members who have any early Citron mechanical watches in their collections. And secondly, I did come across a Citron watch - an early Henderson quartz example - and I was surprised how well it was made compared to more recent Henderson products. The watch was analogue with day and date windows and inside the movement stated that it was made from Swiss parts; also the gold finish on the watch was noticeably better than one finds on current Citron watches. If I had a fiver, and was stuck in the wilderness without a watch, then I might, just might, purchase a Henderson Group watch from an isolated petrol station which happened to have a floor stand of cheap Citron watches.
  5. I saw a modern pocket watch marked "Rapport, est. 1898" and I wondered who made it and where, and is it likely to be of any quality. Could a member or two please enlighten me? Thanks.
  6. chris.ph, who made your "scuba dude" and how wide is it across? Interesting little array of watches - always nice to see pics, especially as I am still struggling to get pics posted on to the Forum myself
  7. I would be most grateful if I could get answers to the following two questions: 1) What is a "gold tone" finish on a watch. I understand gold plating and rolled gold but what about gold tone, and does it wear well or does it deteriorate quickly 2) Why are automatic watches, even quite expensive examples, now so thick and clumsy, whereas my vintage automatic watches are quite thin and more elegant. I looked at a few Bulova automatic watches today and found them to be really quite ugly in the hand, and they were priced in the £350 range. Surely, watch manufacturers would have followed the general trend towards miniaturisation rather than making their movements bigger. Or is it fashion making the case bigger while the movement is actually no bigger than before?
  8. In my humble opinion - although speaking as a graduate of International History many years ago - I feel that the only two wars where Britain was justifiably involved were the war against the Normans, including of course the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and the Second World War. In the case of this latter war, I have always had a bit of an interest in the fighters and bombers of the RAF and other countries. When considering the allied fighter planes I do find myself becoming a bit irritated by the constant trotting out by the media of the Spitfire as being the ultimate representative of British grit and success in the air, and I wondered what other planes Watch Forum members respect as much as the Spitfire, and what allied fighter do they consider the finest machine in the war. I myself have a bias towards a the North American Aviation Mustang P51, in its definitive form using rolls Royce derived Packard engines. What about you though?
  9. I was reading my latest issue of "Car Magazine" looking forward to the watch column where there is usually a small lineup of photos showing £1000+ watches, and my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. There, at the head of the column were three expensive watches plus a BUDGET TIMEX wristwatch costing less than £100. In fact, the article seemingly shows the Timex Originals mens watch with green nylon strap, model no. T2N651 rather than the Timex Weekender, but there isn't much difference in the price and some confusion between model names, since the boxed set of a watch and five different straps, including the green one, is called the Weekender, as stated in the article. Anyway, The Timex Originals shown in the magazine column, is now priced at just under £40 on Amazon and has 10 reviews - 8 five-star and 2 four-star. And the boxed set of a Weekender watch and four different coloured straps including the green one costs £63 on Amazon, and Car magazine concludes that this Timex set is a bargain - "with a smart quatz watch and five different straps for just £69.99." The article is actually about the use of so-called NATO fabric straps - majoring on their cheapness and the fact that they can prevent one from losing a watch if one of the spring bars on a conventional strap breaks. Of course, the column also mentions that even high-end watches are using NATO straps and three £1000+ watches sit alongside the Timex examples. The first is a Breitling Super Avenger Military priced at £5690, then comes a Bremont MBII at £3395, apparently an Aviator's watch developed with ejector-seat makers Martin-Baker, followed by a Glycine Airman Base 22 Mystery at £1460. I have to say that just the name of that third high-end watch would make me wary, even if I liked the watch aesthetically (which I don't) and accepted the article's claim that this Swiss aviator's watch has a long pedigree (which I am yet to research). Why would a watchmaker call itself "Glycine" which is a non-essential amino acid, used in the medical profession; also where is Base 22, and what is the "Mystery"? Apparently, if you are a bit short of £1000, you can buy "Glycine's Combat Sub with its sand-coloured strap" that "looks like it's flown in straight from Kandahar." This watch will set you back £795.
  10. As I develop my interest in watches, I find I go through little and not so little niggles about certain watches and watch trends. Some I feel are wholly justified, like putting fake chronograph buttons and stick-on subdial hands to make a watch look like something it isn't, and giving a watch a brand name on the face that is dangerously close to a genuinely decent brand of watches. In this last category, I came across a watch marked "Jacob Marc" instead of "Marc Jacobs". And of course, I detest outright fakes. There are other pet hates which one has - sometimes for a while and sometimes permanently - which irritate one even though they might perhaps not be so easily justifiable. For example, I had a pet dislike of multi-subdial watches, especially showy over-numbered chronographs showy chronograph watches, but thanks to Forum members I have now modified that dislike and I now am experiencing a liking for the plainer, more elegant chronograph watches - and even some of the more sporty models. I even like some watches where the multi-subdials are for calendar use (as long as no fake chronograph buttons appear on these calendar watches). And now to my current silly pet hate - skeleton watches where the movement is visible through the front and rear of the case. There has been a large influx of cheap Chinese watches with front and rear windows for the "joy" of being able to see through both sides of the watch, and even some more expensive watches have this feature. Not only could this be termed a "lazy" sort of design trick and one devised to give a certain unwarranted impressiveness to the watch, but it also provides an area of physical weakness in the watch case back which should, in my opinion, be as solid and waterproof as possible. And who sees the back of a watch when it is on anyway? This skeleton idea has even caught on with some quartz watches - absolutely mad. What is the point of revealing a simple quartz movement at the front of a watch, sometimes partially hidden by a false tracery to give the watch a mechanical look. The dial/face of a watch is a special place for the design of that model, and to remove a large central portion of it in favour of watching some cogs go round is a pity. And as for a glass on the case back of a watch, even on a pocket watch, is just one step too much. Please contradict me - with pictures if poss., or agree with me if I am not being too foolish about this.
  11. My Goodness!!!!! John (if I may call Johnbaz that), you are a shade worse than me - perhaps. I love your collections, although I think guns might be a bit extreme for me. Mind you, I do like pocket knives and some fixed bladed examples. I have to say that in my time I have made collections of, it seems, almost everything under the "Sun, Moon and Stars" (yes, for a while, I even collected perfumes and had a small fridge to keep the rarer ones from degrading). That collecting idea proved to be a bit mad. I have collected Georgian, Victorian, and more modern glass and ceramics, as well as metal ware, corkscrews, model cars as well as books on cars, and various asssorted bits and pieces of art, ethnic woodwork and treen. What worries me is that I have recently acquired a pre-owned Squier Stratocaster - please don't let this turn in to a room full of guitars. I promise I won't follow you, John, down that road as my friend and carer, Kristina, refuses to allow me to collect such objects - too large you see, like old cars. And AVO, I wish I had your problem. I find it difficult NOT to find something interesting when I go to any sort of market or fair. It is just as well that my financial budgetary constraints and agoraphobic tendencies keep me away from larger and more distant fairs and boot sales, otherwise my collecting madness might become critical. :nuke:
  12. Dear Mel Congrats to your youngest grand-daughter and good luck to her musical future. My youngest sister did a music degree some years ago at Birmingham University, in order to pursue a career as an opera singer. Like ballroom dancing, the singing world is ultra competitve, and she has found it only possible to pursue her singing on a semi-professional basis, currently working full-time as a teacher, bringing up a family, and helping my 90 year old Dad. She has a fantastic husband who himself is teaching while also doing a PhD. Anyway back to you and your "Dynasty of Dance" - where I am sure modesty is underplaying the role you and your wife have played. Fantastic. :D
  13. Thanks JoT for your response. I was actually looking for the right way to phrase the question I wanted to ask about watch collectors and music and you have put it perfectly. I wish I had phrased it in more simple terms. As for your note about Forum members who prefer not to disclose any personal in formation at all, I bow to your obvious experience with other forums. I do appreciate that people are wary about disclosing personal information about themselves, and if I was involved in certain other social networks, I would no doubt be more circumspect than I am here, where I feel a certain kinship with those members who tend to contribute and post topics and replies. I still feel that the number of members who post no replies or topics seems quite high, but again, I respect your answer and have no wish to criticize others who may or may not still be members of the Watch Forum. I just enjoy having as many active members as possible!!
  14. Absolutely fantastic to see so many photographs of different chronographs. Some I like, some I don't, but who cares - that is the joy of the Forum. To Wlliam_Wilson and Mutley - I must confess that even I am falling under the spell of chronograph madness :shocking: , although as yet, I only have about five or six of these and I insist on keeping this psychological subdial fever under control.
  15. The question that I wanted to ask in this topic is the following: Are there proportionately more people heavily into music who also collect watches than musical types in the general public who don't collect watches? I had a hunch that there might be some relationship psychologically between the cadence of music and dance and the rhythm of clocks and watches, including chimes and the ticking of mechanical movements as well as the visual aspect of hands on watches which have a ticking motion. My interest in this topic was aroused also by the fact that I know a couple of Watch Forum members who are actively engaged in musical pursuits, and also the progress of a running watch is very similar to a running mechanical metronome, where there is both an auditory clicking and a visual vertical lever going from side to side, like a pendulum. Anyway, my pursuit of this topic was sadly dashed by something which I do find a bit disturbing as an active member of the Forum. That is the huge number of members who give none of their other interests in their profile and who actually never post topics or replies on the Forum. I am not quite sure why some of these members are members at all, as they can surely browse most of the Forum without having to become members. For me, the more active members there are the better, especially when those members feel they can give some more personal information about their other interests and activities. It is both interesting and enlivening to have responses and topics from different members, with different points of view and coming from different backgrounds. Anyway, that is my humble view, and I am sad that I cannot really pursue this topic, even if it proved to be a dead end. That is why research is so interesting into everything - conclusions that contradict an idea are just as useful as those which support a hypothesis.
  16. Fantastic replies and straight to the point. Many thanks. :)
  17. My interest in the marketing of watches in Eastbourne was piqued by the move to that metropolis in November last year of Chatfields, a family run jewellery shop which had been trading in Seaford since 1947, and I have been on friendly terms with the three generations of proprietors since the 1970's. This move away from my immediate locality of Chatfields to Eastbourne was one factor in my finally successful attempt to go to Eastbourne again after many years of being psychologically "barred" from the town. Doing research on the internet and looking around the central part of Eastbourne town centre after Christmas to find out what's what, I have discovered a fascinating marketing war and all the retail outlets described here are within easy walking distance of each other - extraordinary. Firstly, and to get them out of the way quickly, we have the usual suspects, Argos and H. Samuel, well-known watch retailers and both in prime positions on the main drag, whose watch ranges are pretty well-known. There is also Debenhams, which has a reasonable range of watches in the low to middle price range, including its own designer Jasper Conran watches, and other fashion stores which do some watches such as River Island and Next. Then we come to the really interesting battle of the Sussex-based jewellery and watch retailers, which has now gained a renewed vigour with the arrival of Chatfields. Chatfields have been very astute in their strategy in two ways. Firstly, they have placed themselves in Cornfield Road - in the same road essentially as the most upmarket and traditional looking Eastbourne jewellers, W. Bruford Ltd. - and yet their showroom position is are only just off the main shopping street, catching a greater footfall of the general public than Brufords. In addition, Chatfields are soon to establish an online arm to their business (which currently includes one other shop, in uckfield) that is going to challenge mightily the also clever strategy of Brufords, which has been to initiate online and retail sales of watches from a sub-branded retailer called "Inspired", and the Inspired watch showroom is within the covered Arndale Centre, also just off the main shopping street and full of mid-range designer clothes stores, etc.. Now to the products. As one would expect, W. Brufords' old shop in Cornfield Road, where one feels one is taking a step up, and back in time somewhat, the watches tend to be what I would term high-end brands. They are official stockists of Rolex, and also sell watches by Breitling, Zenith, Omega, Longines, Tag Heuer, Tissot, GC Watches and Michael Kors. Chatfields will obviously compete somewhat with the W Brufords shop, but much more relevant is the battle coming between Chatfields new and very smart showroom and the also smart showroom of Brufords' sub-brand and the online competition between Inspired and Chatfields. I have looked around both showrooms and I have to say that, as yet, Inspired offers a greater range of products and because it only sells watches, it has the edge where customers are specifically looking for a new watch. Cleverly, Inspired has another shop in the Arndale Centre, selling only jewellery. Chatfields sells fewer brands - Accurist, French Connection, Rotary, Dreyfuss & Co., and Marea, but one gets the feeling that the firm is making strides to increase their range of watches and do something slightly "different" if they can. The Inspired showroom had a very nice display of Mondaine watches in a cabinet as I walked in, and the shop is modern and has a great selection of watches on display. By far the majority of models on sale by Inspired online are by Casio, Citizen, Seiko, Bering, Bulova and Lorus. Other brands are DKNY, Ice Watches, Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Juicy Couture, Karen Millen, Moshi Monsters, Skagen, Police, Superdry, Thomas Sabo, Tikkers, Timberland, Michael Kors, and Daniel Wellington. As a further note on what Inspired sells, most of the watches fall into the less than £200 range, and there was even an open rack of cheaper Swatch fashion watches in the shop. I have covered a number of watch retailers within the main Eastbourne shopping area. Enough, enough! you might think, but no, there are other contenders in the field, one of which, Ernest Jones, has a small and very nice showroom within the covered Arndale. This company sells watches from the middle range right up to high-end prestige watches, but in the Eastbourne branch, the brands sold are Project D, Michael Kors, Rotary, Seiko, Citizen, Tissot, Emporio Armani and DKNY. Then there is another, more traditional style jewellery shop. When I knew it, the name above the shop was Charlwood's, who were established in 1883 - the oldest established jewellers in Eastbourne - but the name and firm is now W. E. Clark & Son who were established in 1819 and who have another branch in Lewes, the County town. W. E Clark, who are also online, sell watches by Michel Herbelin, Citizen, Pulsar, Rotary, Bering, Frederique Constant, Raymond Weil and Swatch, and their price range goes from £38 for a cheap Swatch to over £3000. I suspect that Brufords main shop in Cornfield Road would be their main competitor in Eastbourne. Finally (thank Goodness) there is another Sussex based jewellers called "Gold Arts" who in my antique dealing days were basically pawnbrokers, specialising in gold jewellery. Today, they are an upmarket jeweller and retailer of watches, selling new and pre-owned examples. The Eastbourne branch is in a very good position but is a very small shop and not really a showroom of any type. This Sussex based firm has three branches, and the Eastbourne shop only sells jewellery and pre-owned watches, including a lovely old Omega Seamaster which was, I felt, priced at about double what it was worth. I wonder how the arrival and expansion of Chatfields will alter the balance and marketing grid of watch retailers in central Eastbourne. Certainly, Eastbourne is a great place for watch browsers like myself, although I am not sure whether the variety and number of watch retailers really means that bargains are easily available. My feeling is that buying from an Eastbourne showroom or jewellers' shop is unlikely to produce a real bargain, and I figure that this is partly because major online retailers like Amazon are swallowing up the bargains and spitting them out to customers. Buying a watch from a shop is a different experience to buying online and one that I enjoy, especially if I know the jeweller personally. For a start, you can handle the watch you might buy and talk about it, which is an important aspect of buying a watch. But what about Argos, where you can at least handle the watch prior to buying it? I find the Argos experience is one without pleasure. The service is impersonal and you are not talking to someone who knows or even cares about the watches the company sells. This leads me to say that the watches I have purchased in Eastbourne were from shops and in person, but I do admit that they were all at rock bottom sale prices, and I think this says a lot. Also, I would say that Eastbourne retailers major on the middle range of watches, although high-end models are also catered for. I must also say that the latest watch I have bought is a new Limit design which I really like. They make a number of different versions of this watch including black and white faced examples. Mine can be seen on Amazon, called the Limit Pilot Beige Dial Leather Strap Gents Watch 5490 (ASIN: B00ESIW1UM), and it came from a friendly jewellery shop, whose proprietors I know, within my safe zone of five miles. And I got it cheaper than Amazon are selling it! :lol:
  18. Thanks Folks. As I said, I shall not be buying a watch from this Argos catalogue and the only watch I have ever bought from them was a very durable sale-price Pulsar quartz for my carer, Kristina, who had become fed-up with watches that she couldn't read without glasses. That kept her going but was a bit boring in design and when its time was up she used a similarly large-faced black-numbered watch, only a Timex. This Christmas, after rejecting my admittedly cheap stocking-filler of a rectangular cased watch with a slightly smaller face she is happy with my choice of, yes, you've guessed it, a really nice Limit watch, in Swiss Railway style - black stainless steel case, white face with black bar markers, black hands and red sweep, and black leather strap. Job done - until the next time. By the way, I do buy Kris more expensive gifts as well! The St. Moritz page in the Argos catalogue would seem to be a bit of a scam, since the watches are not Swiss-made and the company has no "Swiss" heritage or pedigree. As for Rotary, they went down in my estimation some time ago, when I first came across their cheap range of automatic watches and looked into the company more closely. So, can you get a bargain from Argos?? At a pinch, I would say yes, but there are so-called bargains to be had everywhere these days so I am really not so sure I need to ever go rooting in the Argos catalogue for watches again. Thank Goodness for that. Just a final note to artistmike: what is all this fuss about Invicta. Their watches seem to be just too cheap on Amazon from the RRP and most of them are dead ugly. Also, I have read many mixed messages about the quality of Invicta's watches. The company is no longer Swiss and has its eye firmly focused on the lower end of the market these days. However, I bow to your (and other like-minded members') judgement that some of them are good watches. My only experience of handling one was not pleasant - it was just a big ugly hunk of metal in a bright yellow box.
  19. In our local Italian restaurant, when the main course is served, one of the proprietors or staff comes to the table with a giant pepper mill at a slanting level and asks if we would like some pepper on the food. I have been told that this is a frequent habit in Italian restaurants and a Spanish lady advised me that Italians like black pepper sprinkled on their main course while the Spanish generally prefer not to engage in the habit. This Italian proclivity might explain my purchase of a lovely second-hand individual pocket pepper grinder, made in Italy, with a vertically ribbed lacquered brass casing around the steel grinding elements so that the object looks for all the world like an expensive gold-plated Art Deco lipstick. And this little "emergency" pepper grinder even comes in a small black leather case, perhaps to prevent stray bits of pepper from getting into one's handbag or pocket. Well, what do you think of that? Do Italians carry round individual pocket peppers? - you might have to pick a few peppery pockets to prove it either way.
  20. My question: Is it true that by pulling out the crown of analogue quartz watch when running, the watch stops and further wear on the movement is prevented? I have heard that when pulling out the crown on some analogue watches, there is still movement and wear within the movement, in the form of a resistance to the hands going round.
  21. NO, don't worry, I'm not going to write a review of the whole Spring/Summer 2014 Argos catalogue. I am just going to give you my take on the watches section, good, bad, and worrying. Firstly, the highpoints, and there aren't many, certainly not for the more highbrow collectors who like their watches high-end and mechanical. As for the lower and middle ranges (in my terms that is) there is more on offer, starting with quite a good selection of Citizen eco-drive watches - unfortunately to the extent that Seiko watches are almost pushed out of the equation. The main brands featured in the catalogue that I have time for, apart from Citizen, are Rotary, Accurist, Casio, Sekonda, Lorus, Timex and Limit. Other possibly decent middle-range brands in the catalogue are French Connection, Versus and Penguin (whoever they are). There are also a few cheaper brands who I have an affection towards, such as Ben Sherman (who began in Brighton, near where I live), Firetrap, Bench, Oasis and Kahuna. The rest of the watch brands, such as Constant, Spirit, and Identity, leave me cold. And now to the lowpoints, which begin with the awful selection of Limit watches shown in the catalogue. This selection just fails to do any justice to one of my favourite low-end brands, and that annoys me intensely - but please note that this is a personal gripe as many collectors would consider Limit watches as cheap crap. The Sekonda range also seems to be missing some of its more subtle chronographs. The second and more serious lowpoint concerns Rotary, and in particular their mechanical watches shown in the catalogue, which range in price from £80 (the nicest in the range - and yet wrongly identified in the page as being quartz) to a whopping £300 (for one of the most gruesome watches I have seen in a long time). It is this latter, ludicrously expensive watch that I need to describe here, although members with appropriate smart phones can apparently scan the page for more information. This watch has a Gold PVD casing and a ten-sided (yes, ten-sided) face and bezel (an impossible shape to carry off well). The face is black with a circular central "opening" to show the movement, and the main number markers and hands are horribly block-shaped, with the hands given a white and gold treatment. The back of the case, also gold plated has a transparent centre for "viewing" and the strap is brown leather. This watch is obviously meant to be the highlight of the Rotary section but is just awful - so let's swiftly move on to the other Rotary mechanical watches, one of which has a rectangular face, again not the best shape for a skeleton movement. Luckily, we are saved by more approachable quartz Rotary watches and chronographs, one of which seems a good buy at £60. Having discussed the "highpoints" and lowpoints of the catalogue, I come to something which bothers me - indeed, I smell a rat. A brand featured in the catalogue which I have so far not mentioned is "St Moritz" - a name I had not come across before. Because this company claims to have been established in Switzerland in 1895 (where have I heard that date before for a company having been established), where all the watches shown in the catalogue claim to have been made, I looked up the name in the Wikipedia list of Swiss watch makers. The name wasn't there. I then did a bit more research on the internet and oddly, Argos seems to be the only retail outlet for these watches. As for the company website, www.stmoritzwatches.co.uk, there is an optimistic choice to click entitled "Read the St Moritz Story" and yet on clicking this one finds no story at all - no history or pedigree or any real information about the brand. What I find even more odd is that there is already a St Moritz brand watch corporation in Canada, producing watches under the St. Moritz and Momentum brand names. These watches are not Swiss, and make no claims that the company is Swiss. What is going on? I will sign off now on this catalogue - and I conclude by saying that I won't be buying anything from it myself.
  22. I want to especially thank MuddyD here for his kind and generous words about my contributions to the Forum in his post of 9 January - somehow, I missed his post first time round. I must say that the Watch Forum has repaid me handsomely, in the wonderful pictures and posts from members, which I read and look at with much interest. The friendliness and humour of the Forum is also much appreciated by me, and as far as my research and writing on the Forum is concerned, I do my best, and because it is part of my past history, I am so pleased that the Watch Forum has enabled me to once again buzz with ideas for posts and write them down.
  23. I never expected this much response to my question about chronographs - nor so many really nice pics to look at. I absolutely love lewjamben's Poljot Strela and the white-faced Christopher Ward models shown by lewjamben and AVO are also very nice. William, what were you thinking of when you decided to be brave enough to display that horrible Invicta chronograph? Luckily for you, there are a few other horrors illustrated by other members (in my modest opinion, of course) including that over-numbered gold and black Breitling posted by Simons194. As a final note to AVO, I would like to know the maker of the lovely two-subdial chrono you illustrate in your post of 6 January. I also see (from ed335) that one of my favourite makes, Omega, clearly managed to cope with the seventies style of watch without going over the top in terms of colour combination and complexity. Thanks to everyone.
  24. What about watches that run counter-clockwise, with the number markers in reverse order to what is "normal". I have seen a number of quartz examples, some by Le Chat, and I don't know if this makes a difference to lefty of righty watch-wearers.
  25. Thanks for your reply, artistmike. I was unaware that Rotary are still members of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. One could be a bit cynical about this and say that it is a marketing ploy, but I won't because I know that Rotary Watches do have a tradition of Swiss-made watches. You say that Sekonda were never a British company and for some reason you inadvertently repeat what I actually said in my original post about the Russian-made re-badged watches that were sold as Sekondas by the Soviets and then by Sekonda in Britain, as if I had left that out in my introduction to Sekonda. I disagree that Sekonda were never a British company since they were incorporated here in 1966 and are based here in Leicestershire, as a subsidiary of Time Products (UK) Ltd.. Never in my topic post did I indicate that Sekonda had any sort of Swiss pedigree, but I don't see that as a problem when collecting watches. So many companies have their watches made in China that if we gave up altogether on any watch with a Chinese or Asian-made part, we might as well give up collecting. Unless of course we are all wealthy and can afford to collect only wholly Swiss-made mechanical watches. I agree that I did not read Jeremy Fisher's mention of Swatch watches as he might have intended it - i.e. taking into account the different watch brands within the group, including Tissot. What I would say is that I was comparing watches within the same sort of price band for collectors and I find that Swatch watches have a number of key problems. One thing about them is that their straps and glasses don't wear well, and unfortunately, many straps are unique to the watch. I have just rescued a Swatch watch from the bin because of its condition, and I managed to save it courtesy of a red plastic Casio watch buckle and strap retainer, some glue to repair the coloured film which had peeled away from the strap, and a good deal of polishing to remove scratches from the soft glass. Remember collectors, that even if a Swatch comes with an ordinary leather strap it can't be replaced at your local jewellers and will have to be ordered online. Also, you won't usually find Swatch watch batteries in your cheap pack of watch batteries. Many thanks artistmike for your note about Tonji movements - I will look into them. I am aware that China has its own horological history and that we should not "slag off" all Chinese watches as being rubbish. However, please be aware that I was talking about Sekonda as a collectible brand, with its brother company Limit. These are priced at a level where budget-limited hunters can function.
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