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Always"watching"

"peridot" Is Mine, What About Yours

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A day or two ago, someone on the Forum asked me if my "Peridot" was also their "Peridot" - a jewellers and watch retailer in Newhaven, East Sussex, where I reside and spend a lot of time.

Newhaven is a sad town, now famed for having scrap yards, a new tarmac works, piles of aggregate next to river Ouse, and a brand new shiny metal incinerator, which is massive and can be seen from almost anywhere. Indeed, anything that needs to be dumped, including sewage, will be done so here, and it makes what was once a busy harbour and railway town with a busy fishing fleet and ferry an eyesore, with the last of the shops seemingly disappearing, including all the banks and what I would call "real" shops selling proper products that a healthy town would still have in abundance. We do still have an optician, health centre, and an NHS dental practice, a few cafes, a Post Office, and, thank goodness, a Library which is due to move soon into a better and larger building, and one supermarket - the coop - as well as three charity shops, estate agents, etc., This is is all within the central portion of the town which is completely surrounded by the traffic laden A 259, and most people do any real shopping they have out of town and in Seaford. All the time, there is gossip about which shop or service in the town is next for the chopping block.

There are then, glimmers of light in the darkness that we call planning and "plans for improvement" which forever come to nothing. One of these glimmers of light is Peridot, a jewellers and watch retailers near the Co-op in the centre of town. What is nice for me is that firstly, I can actually walk there (arhtritis and PMR allowing) as it is only a quarter of a mile from my house, and secondly, it is run by two very friendly sisters, one of whom looks after her very ill husband, who is currently in hospital I believe.

I really don't know how the sisters survive in such a town as Newhaven, but survive they do. The shop seems quite spacious and spartan as it is not full of stock, and what there is is in cabinets at the sides of the shop. They are currently not registered for VAT, and they are not generally open to discounts on purchases as they cannot really afford to give discounts - and I believe them when they say this. They offer the usual battery replacement and strap changing and altering services, and they stock a smallish range of watches by Limit, Sekonda, Royal London and Cannibal, plus the odd brand new watch of another make that happens to be available. They don't deal in precious metals, and they have no facility or relevant contact for the repair and renovation of watches. They do also have a stock of jewellery, which is mainly silver, and they sell a few clocks and other gifts.

For me, they are a godsend, as I collect Limit watches and they specialise in these perhaps a bit more than the other brands they sell. I have found these women to be honest and approachable, and one thing I have to mention about the leading lady of the shop (whose name I just cannot recall at this moment) is that she is the Goddess of lever-off casebacks. Her technique is flawless and at least twice, she has managed to lever off a watch for me that neither I nor a friend had a hope of getting off. She seems to approach the watch slowly and without any hurry in her movements as she slides the case tool and pushes at a very particular angle so that the case just pops open. It's amazing.

So now I hand the baton over to members of the Forum. I would like to know how near you are to your nearest watch retailer, and what services do you use there. Do you ever buy watches from them? and what watches do they sell? Are they overpriced or about right, and is the shop friendly or otherwise?

Looking forward to expanding this thread, so the experiences of other members would be very welcome :yes:

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The nearest town to me is Beccles, which is a very pleasant country town. There are a couple of small independent jewellers which sound a little like your local one, with the same sort of range. I have to confess that there is little there to excite me.

Norwich, being the East Anglian megalopolis, has most of the big jewellers and a few very good independents, stocking many of the big Swiss brands as well as the likes of Meistersinger and Bremont.

The big attraction for me however is a quartet of antique and vintage watch and clock shops. I have bought watches in all of them and I have been lucky to find some quality pieces at reasonable prices. Prices are well below equivalent watches in London.

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I've not found my 'Peridot' yet. There are a few of that kind of shop around, but none that sells the sort of watches that appeal to me. Also not found one that I would trust to do my repairs...

I live near London, and so have access to a while bunch of places. Only one I've spent time in is Austin Kaye. Good selection, overpriced, and quite snooty they seem to be. There's actually a pawn shop on Victoria Street that has some nice Rolexes, had a look at a couple of GMTs, very friendly lady. Bit pricey too!

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Can't remember the last time I visited a brick-and-mortar watch retailer. Most of my purchases and sales have been through internet sources be they professional vendors or (used) through U.S.-based forum members who frequent watch-sales forums. I do have minor repairs/adjustments done through an Oriental gentleman who has his shop next door to the bank I use. He specializes mainly in clock repairs (even devotes one day a week to house calls) but does work on watches too. One forum contact had his vintage Seiko serviced by him and said he was highly pleased with the results.

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