Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It helps to read the literature!

I came across this article published in 'Mumbai Mirror', (a popular tabloid here in Mumbai) and it saddens me when (educated but arrogant) people can't take some time off to learn some basics, but important, when it comes to buying something expensive :/

"If you have a grievance about your automatic watch failing to keep up,see if you're using it right.Claiming that his self-winding Rolex had gone kaput,octogenarian Dr K R Shetty sought a refund and compensation.
However,the South Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has dismissed his plaint,holding that such watches require regular usage to function well.
For Rs 9.41 lakh,Shetty had bought a Rolex Oyster perpetual daydate watch in September 2007,from a store in Kalaghoda.
The watch used to get automatically charged when worn on a human wrist due to movement of the arm.However,Shetty said the watch was malfunctioning,and returned it to the shop in February 2008.
The shop told Shetty the watch found to be perfectly fine.As the shop refused to refund him,Shetty lodged a complaint before the forum,stating the piece had a manufacturing defect.
The shop argued that the watch lacked power reserve due to poor wrist movement,and said they had even told Shetty to give some manual winds to the watch,which Shetty did not.
Ruling out any defect,Rolex informed Shetty that such watches were to be worn daily,for at least eight hours.
It has to be worn so that it shakes and swings so as to wind the coilspring to provide the energy for it to function well, the company said.
Dismissing Shetty's case,the forum noted last week,In this case,it appears the watch is not worn daily as Shetty claimed to be affluent enough to have more than one timepiece.
Holding that it is for Shetty to prove his claim with independent evidence when tests by the dealer and company prove that the watch was faultless,the forum noted,He has not produced evidence that despite regular use,the watch is malfunctioning. "

Hopefully, he'll pay more attention to the sales staff next time!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Does it make sense to buy it here?

The other day, an uncle of mine called up and asked me regarding an ad for a Rolex watch in one of the newspapers. He wanted to know the price and some info on the model. When I had a look, it was an ad for a Rolex Day-Date 118238 (with the President bracelet). Absolutely stunning!!
(pic not mine)

I had no idea of the exact price, so I called up an AD in the city. He quoted Rs. 1292000 ($28482) with the President bracelet and Rs. 1220800 ($26952) with the Oyster bracelet. I am always tempted to compare prices here and abroad, so I compared the Indian prices with the ones in the US and Europe, which are as follows:
US prices:
With President bracelet - $26400 ~ Rs. 1198032 (diff=Rs. 93968 or $2082)
With Oyster bracelet - $24950 ~ Rs. 1132330 (diff=Rs. 88470 or $2002)

European prices:
With President bracelet - € 20715 ~ Rs. 1231958 (diff=Rs. 60042)
With Oyster bracelet - € 19580 ~ Rs. 1164562 (diff=Rs. 56238)

I am aware that Europe has some extra taxes to be paid, but I think tourists can claim it back.

So looking at the above prices, its not just a difference of a few Rupees, its pretty significant. I can actually get return flight tickets (and maybe accommodation) to the above mentioned places and buy one there in the same amount. That way I get the watch and a short vacation too :p

I am not criticizing Rolex's pricing policies here. I am sure they have their reasons for it. However, if I had that kind of the cash to buy that watch, I think I'll consider the option of taking my short vacation :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Its here!!

Yup, the Pilot is finally here! My dad told me that the salesperson told him that the watch had been in the display case for a long time. He even did a quick service before selling it, although I am not too sure how good it was as the crown seems a bit stiff when trying to wind it. Click on the pics to enlarge.

The watch definitely looks like an earlier model as compared to the one my brother bought. The case seems a lil 'edgy' and old fashioned and its has an extra line of text on the dial which I quite like. The lume seems a lil crusty and the numbers actually have an orange glow to it although very faint. The hands have a green glow like the newer model. Another thing I like is that the second hand on my watch is red.
In the end, I'm glad to finally have a Pilot in my collection. The strap on it is soft, but like i said earlier, I think I'll get a NATO for it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Incoming....HMT Pilot!!

A few months ago, I had helped a fellow WUS member obtain a black HMT Pilot and although Bio and I picked up 3 of them (thats all they had at the HMT showroom). At that point, I didn't think of keeping one for myself as I thought I'll come by another one easily, and besides, I could always wear Bio's if I wanted to. Soon the watch grew on me and I started calling and asking watch shops in my area if they had one on them, but none of them did. In fact one salesman even asked me if I could let him know when I do come across one.
Last week my dad called up from my hometown and told me that he came across one at a small watch shop! Needless to say I was ecstatic and I asked him to pick it up immediately. I also asked him to pick up a black Kohinoor, since its too tempting not to pick up just one.
He should be in Mumbai by today evening and I just can't wait to finally own a Pilot! Maybe I'll get a NATO or a Zulu strap for it. Pics will be posted soon!
It was just another slow day at work. I'm about to doze off in front of my monitor, when I get a call. It's my sister. She informs me that her 5 year wedding anniversary is around the corner and she needed my help to buy her husband a nice watch! Also, since most of the other married guys in their group had recently purchased/been gifted nice Swiss watches, she felt that her hubby, who is a doctor, needed to upgrade his watch too (he had a Giordano at the time). Needless to say, CF and I immediately offered her our help.
Here was what she wanted:
1) Recognised brand (no fashion watches)
2) Must be on a bracelet
3) Should be between Rs 25,000-30,000 ( $555-$666)
4) Should be "Swiss Made"

I wanted to suggest Hamilton, but since it's still not a known brand here, I suggested Rado and Tag (F1 series). After further discussion, we decided to go with Rado since it's been here for quite some time and is well known. Also, the F1 would've been slightly over her upper spending limit.
We agreed to meet at Inorbit Mall (a fairly well known Mall in Malad West) after CF and I were done from work.
After looking at a few Rado's we shortlisted a couple:
Rado original R12637113 (automatic)

Rado Coupole R22622712 (quartz)

Both were priced the same and although I was totally routing for the Original, we decided to go with the Coupole since the Original would've looked a little 'chunky' on her husband's smaller wrists. Also, it would be easier to wear under a shirt cuff.
Final price paid Rs 30,000 ($666), so she was quite pleased with the purchase. As for me. and CF...well, it was just another excuse to visit a watch shop, drool at the displays and try on a few watches :p
She plans on giving it to her husband today. I'm sure he's going to love it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally! A pricelist in Rupees!

I was lazily browsing around, when I decided to check the Ethos website. For those of you that don't know, Ethos is a large chain of watch stores in India, especially Swiss luxury watches.
They've re-vamped their website and now have a comprehensive price list of all the brands they carry. It's a pleasant surprise for watch lovers in India, who before this, had no potion but to call up the showroom to inquire about prices.
Here's the link to their website:
Have fun browsing!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ETA Modifications and Upgrades

I was browsing through the forums at Watchuseek when I came across this excellent and very informative post by a forum member ulackfocus (Dennis). As the title says, its regarding the modification/upgrades done to various ETA movements used by a lot of brands, even the big names and who really does all the work. I just had to share this.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Always nice to bump into another WIS

Its always nice to step out at night and unwind over a few drinks with friends after a busy day at work, and thats exactly what we did last week. Bio and I decided to meet up with a few friends and headed to this really nice rooftop lounge called 'Aer'. Its a beautiful place overlooking the southern part of the city.

I was telling Bio that so far, I had spotted 3 Rolex watches already - 2 Subs and a TT GMT Master II. Just then Bio told me that he thought that a friend of a friend was wearing an Omega. The bracelet definitely looked like an Omega, but I couldn't get a good look at the watch. Eventually Bio just asked him if it was a Speedmaster he had on and indeed it was!
Two mins into the conversation, we got to know that the guy was into watches and had a Rolex (didn't say the model), Chopard Mille Miglia, a Longines and a vintage Zenith (again, he didn't specify the models). Its always nice to see a nice watch in the wild and even better to talk to someone who is into them. He promised us he would wear his vintage Zenith the next time we meet. All in all, it was a nice night and we ended up staying there till it was time for the place to close for the night.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A lot of spotting lately

Not too long ago, whenever someone asked in a forum, the watches you've spotted in the wild, I replied with my usual spotting of fashion brands. I remember when I went to Singapore, I was blown away by the number of high end watches people were sporting and wondered if I could ever see that in India. Well, this past month has been pretty good! So far, Bio and I spotted an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, Rolex Sub 16610, Rolex TT GMT Master II, Rolex Airking, Omega Speedmaster and a few TAG Heuer F1s. Also, my Sub was spotted by another person while I was at liquor store. "That's a decent watch you have there", were his exact words just before he left, which unfortunately didn't give me enough time to have a look at his watch. Another WIS maybe?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Its been a while

Apologies to all the followers/visitors of this blog as its been a while since we last posted here, but its really been hectic for us with our work and all, but we'll try not to let that get in the way. The title however refers to my situation in the sense thats its been a long time since I bought a new watch for myself :(
When I bought my grail - the Sub, last year, I thought that with some determination, I could get my next grail ( the first watch that I truly fell in love with) - the TAG Heuer Carrera chrono.

I've always dreamed of owning this watch and promised myself that this will be the watch I buy next. Its been a while now and I don't see myself coming close to owning one in the near future. I'm really thinking of buying a couple of affordables to keep me going till then. I constantly find myself browsing the sales pages on different forums and almost pulling the trigger on few of them.

Currently I'm thinking of buying a couple of Vostok Komandirskie.
(image taken from
Maybe I can also get a few NATO straps and swap them every now and then.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Its back!!

Many years ago, an Italian guy had rented a small cottage that belonged to my grandfather. When the time came for him to go back to Italy, he ran short of cash to pay the rent for the past few months and asked my granddad if he'd accept his gold Omega (Cal. 320) watch instead. My grandfather initially declined telling him not to worry about the rent and to keep his watch, but the Italian requested him to take the watch as he didn't feel right about not paying, and eventually my grandfather had to accept it.
My grandfather then gave the watch to my dad, who wore it for a few year in college. It had then been sent in for servicing to a local watch maker (there was no Omega service centers here back then) who turned out to be not at all competent and messed up the movement. It stopped running and was put into a safe in the bank, forgotten over the years.
Last year, after me and Bio got into watches, my Dad remembered the watch and told us about it. We finally managed to persuade him to go back to our hometown and bring the watch to us so we could have a look at it. It was beautiful and didn't deserve to be lying unused in a safe.
I'm really pleased to say that Bio and I finally managed to get it serviced and cleaned up from a local watchmaker we discovered recently (Singapore Watch Repair). They have done a pretty neat job and brought life back into the vintage beauty. Since the original gold strap was now small for my dad's wrist, we replaced it with a dark brown leather band with a golden buckle.
My dad couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the watch - working again and back on his wrist after so many years. He had totally given up hope on it after that watchmaker ruined it. This is why you have to love mechanical watches!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So excited!!

My dad has a vintage Omega Cal. 320 which really needed to be repaired as some idiot watchmaker had screwed the movement a long time ago. We had first sent it to the Omega servicing center in the city but they just returned it saying they don't have the parts required to fix it.
Last week, I had come across an ad for a place called "Singapore Watch Company" in my city and they mentioned that they specialize in repairing/servicing old vintage watches. So Bio and I thought we'd give them a shot at fixing it. I just got a call from them saying that the watch is ready to be picked up. We are really hoping they have done a good job at it. We can't wait to surprise our dad!!
Keeping my fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Time to get a lil serious

Just enrolled for the Time Zone Watch School Level 1 course. This course features an introduction to watch repairing and covers the basics of disassemble and re-assembly of the movement. You can read more about it here. I'll post a review of the course once I've completed it. In the meantime, I've also ordered the book Practical Watch Repairing, which should be on its way to me.

Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Got a little dust under the crystal?

In that case, you need the right tools!
A fellow WIS had a little dust under the crystal of one of his HMT watches, and asked me if I knew anything about how to fix it.
I have opened a HMT watch before to clean the inside of the crystal, so I sort of know the process. Below is a crude step by step process on how I went about doing it.

Note 1: I am in no way an expert regarding this topic and I do this only with my cheaper, beater watches. So anyone trying this, should do so at their own risk
Note 2: I have a press fit tool to snap the case back shut, but I've been successful with just my bare hands in the past. However, while using your hands, be very careful not to put pressure on the crystal, rather than the case.

I apologise, in advance, to any experienced watchmakers/repairers in advance, if I'm doing it incorrectly and would love to have any advice from them, on how to do it right.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


The other day, I paid a visit to a watch shop for picking up few watches I had ordered for. This place was bustling with customers and I started browsing the watches on display while waiting to be attended to. They had all the fashion brands on display as usual and of course Titan and Timex. Bio and I always dream of owning a nice watch shop one day where we could service,repair and sell good brands and meet other watch enthusiast. However, the customers here were nothing like that at all.
There was one guy who had a badly worn out strap with one of the keepers missing (which he substituted with a rubber band). I think he had a Fossil watch on and wanted to get the strap replaced. The guy behind the counter told him that it would cost him around Rs.1800 (~$40) to get a new original one, which seemed to be too much for him. He instead chooses to keep the strap as it is with the rubber band as a keeper and walks out. Now, I'm thinking, why couldn't he just replace it with another cheaper strap. You get pretty decent ones for Rs.250-350 ($6-8) and besides, its an old Fossil, its not like he plans to sell it in the future and is worried that the absence of the original strap will drastically lower the sale price.

Then there was this guy, who again had a Fossil with the crown missing. The guy behind the counter tells him that the price to replace it would be around Rs.850 ($18). Again, this is too much for the guy to justify and he asks for a cheaper alternative. "Well, if you want, I can just stick something on it to cover the hole (where the crown was), but you won't be able to change the time or the date. It will cost you just Rs.350 ($7-8)." This guy started thinking and I thought, surely he'll get the crown replaced, but no, he preferred to just let the watch be how it was (with the crown missing) and left. Oh! Did, I mention its monsoon here and rains everyday! Maybe he'll be back soon wondering why his watch has stopped working.

Another lady wanted to have pics of herself on a few watches to probably give away as gifts!

Then the worst kind, a guy asking for fake watches, in his case, fake Rolex Daytonas and Submariners. He also proudly claimed that his dad wears a fake Rolex and gifts them to his friends.

Now if these are the kind of customers I can expect to visit my watch shop, I'm not sure I'm too keen on the idea anymore!

Monday, July 19, 2010

New sales corner

We now have a new 'Sales Section' here at IWB where we'll be selling mostly HMTs and some of our pre-owned watches. Feel free to take a look. Link is on the right!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Incoming Poljot Strela

When I came back to work from lunch, I was informed by the security guard that a parcel was waiting for me. My Strela had made it's way from Germany to my office, in Mumbai, in just 5 days! Fantastic time, considering the shipping was free!

Here are some un-boxing pics:

Well packaged :)

It came with a stock black leather strap, but the quality wasn't to my liking, so I swapped it with a brown one from my old Lorus.
This Strela was a re-issue of the watch worn by Alexei Leonov during the first ever space walk on 18th March, 1965. It has the proven Poljot 3133 caliber, which replaced the old 3017 caliber, present on the original watch.
As you can see, this is a limited edition series, with mine being no 93/500 :)
The quality of the dial took me by surprise. I've heard stories of poor quality control on Poljot watches, but I have to say, the dial seems really well built. The case is 38mm across, which is the perfect dress watch size for me.

The literature that came with it mentioned that the accuracy is about -10 to +20 sec a day, but I'll only be able to comment on that once it's spend some time on the wrist.
It's sad that Poljot is no longer manufacturing watches, but there are still plenty of new old stocks out there to keep watch enthusiasts like me happy.
For more info on Poljot, here's a link to their wiki page.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dissapointing trip in quest for some HMT watches

A fellow member on a watch forum wondered if I could help him find three HMT watches - a black Kohinoor, a white Sona and a white 'art deco' Janta. The Sona wasn't a problem as I already have a BNIB lying around, so I thought I'll visit a small watch shop from where I've purchased a couple of HMTs before. Its normally the smaller shops that stock HMT watches as the others don't bother stocking anything below the usual Titan, Citizen and other quartz ones.
I got there and the guy instantly recognized me. I asked him for the watches and he started looking for them. He had a few HMTs lying around and I was expecting the Kohinoor to be available easily, but there was none to be found. At least he assured me that he would definitely manage to get me one in a day or two, however he mentioned that the prices have gone up for these manual HMTs by about Rs.80-90 ($2 USD). I'm not sure if he was really being honest or just trying to pull a fast one at me. Regardless, I told him to get one for me and left to check out a few other shops nearby.

I checked out 5 more shops, but none of them had any HMTs. They all told me that the company no longer makes these manual watches and besides, not many people buy them. This was the second time I was told this. Most people really don't care for these mechanical movements anymore and just go for quartz which means bad news for the company and us watch lovers. Its sad knowing that it isn't going to be very long before they completely disappear from the shelves.

So unfortunately, I couldn't find what I was looking for, but I did see a few el cheapo TAG Heuer, Rolex knock offs or some might call them homages (as the names were different).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pyrolume got spotted

This is a first - I was stopped at a red light, when I heard a voice say "Excuse me!". I didn't react much until I heard another 'Excuse me!'. I looked at the vehicle besides me and there were two girls in there -
Girls (together) - Wow!! Which watch is that??
Me - Pyrolume
Girls - What??
Me - Pyrolume - P-Y-R-O-L-U-M-E
Girls - WOW!! So Cool!!!
Girls - Where can we get one??
Me - Search for it on Ebay
Girls - Can we find it in Google search??
Me - Sure!
Girls - Thank you so much!
Me - Cheers! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

From Russia with love! (on the way)

Well, it's being sent via Germany, but I'm sure you get the drift :p
It's been quite a while since I got a new watch, and even though I promised myself to hold out until I save up for a grail, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. You'll know why when I get it!
(thanks to Russ from Russ/Russian Watches for all the info on it!)
I'm so excited!! (Just hope they aren't any hassles with the customs department)

Hello Google 2

Woohoo!!! We are finally on the top! Just a few days ago me and Bio were wondering how long it would be before we can see this blog as the first result in Google search for "India watch blog'. Never realized the day would come so soon!! :D

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Singapore trip pics

I was just flicking through some old threads of mine when I came across one about our trip to Singapore from November last year. I also got my grail (the Sub) from there :)
Singapore was awesome and I was blown away by the number of watch shops I saw. Most of them have Pateks, VC and AP. And the women!!......well, I'll have to start a new thread about that

This was taken at the Mumbai Airport. It was a nice surprise to see this there
I love the crowns on them. Its the first time I've seen them on clock.

The first thing I did when I arrived in Singapore was get my Sub. A quick wrist shot:

My Sub alongside Bio's Seamaster GMT
On the way to a RSC to get it authenticated - People crossing the street
Here it is, The BIG ROLEX building
This was a really cool place. It had a glass wall through which you could see the staff working on/checking your Rolex . I wasn't sure if they allowed cameras inside so I sneaked this shot
The Hour Glass - they have lots of them over there and you can find a lot of top brands in there

First time I ever saw a PP in person!
The TAG Heuer Carrera Singapore Special Edition
A Raymond Weil Clock outside a mall
Bio checking the time
It was time to leave. We were at the Singapore airport when I spotted this -
That made my trip complete

Hope you guys like the small WIS tour of Singapore from my camera lense.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Great animated video showing how a watch works

I was helping a fellow member on WUS by trying to find an animated video showing how a 7750 movement works, when I stumbled upon this. Its video showing how a simple automatic watch works. Its beautifully animated and explained. I founded in one of my subscribed channels on Youtube. For those who are interested, the channel is called HouseOfRam and its got a lot of nice watch related videos.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A sad day for the watch world

A legend in the world of Horology, Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek passed away last night (28th June 2010). Here is the Press Release from the Swatch Group:

Press Release

Biel/Bienne, 28 June 2010 - With deep sadness and regret we inform you that Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman and Delegate of the Board of Directors of The Swatch Group Ltd. unexpectedly passed away today due to heart failure during work at his beloved Swatch Group.

Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek's greatest merit was his enormous contribution to the saving of the Swiss watch industry and the foundation and the commercial development of the Swatch Group. Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek's extraordinary vision enabled him to realize and ensure the sustainability of a strong watchmaking enterprise with high Swiss added value. He is rightly recognized as a leading entrepreneur in this country.

With the right personnel decisions, Mr. Nicolas G. Hayek also ensured that his ideas and beliefs will live on and that continuity is guaranteed in regard of shareholders, Board of Directors and the Group Management Board.


Our prayers are with his family and friends.