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Travel Report of a 5-Day Watch Shopping Orgy

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Anonymous User
July 23, 2010 07:43PM
Aka the Western Caribbean tour of the Emerald Princess.

We departed Ft. Lauderdale, FL on the 18th, and our stops were Princess Cays, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Caymans and, as I type, we're 30 minutes from Cozumel, Mexico. Now, it didn't intentionally start as a WIS Orgy.. but that's sure what it turned into. And, yeah, it ends with my RMW Watch cherry gettin' popped. Eek! But let's not get ahead of ourselves! Wink So without further ado..

The first thing I learned is that you don't even have to disembark the ship to find a Fine Watch. No indeed! There's a shop on the 6th deck that can help.

Swatch group products are featured heavily, and the new Auto Chronos were prominently displayed.

Prices were in the $350 to $400 range, depending on model. Japan was well-represented, though Citizen was 3-to-1 over Seiko.

The top line here (at least to my mind) was..


Mind you, the store themselves seem to think it's . I am confused Certainly they push them harder than any other marque.

The Longines that tempted me most seriously was..

..this one. Ye olde Platinum Card was really a-itchin' terrible. Laughing However, I was determined to shop around first, and anyway this was way too far past the PMW limit for me to seriously consider it.. at the time, leastaways. Smile

Another brand that really attracted me was..

... They are on me 'short list' of Marques to own, and they've got some beautiful pieces (though my photos were crap).

Some familiar faces, too..

..I didn't even bother to check the price.

More Tags...

But OH! that F1 Ltd Edition!

Again, was represented o'er probably 3-to-1.

They wanted $240-something dollars US for a OM! Crazy! Loco!

And those s are startin' to wear me down! I am angry!

Bottom end here is .

I tell you, though, those the sure a temptin', too, and quite good value for money!

And, o' course, the star of the show,


Bugger! We're out o' here! Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off

The following day, I found the time to take some HWS of the two I brought to the dance with me.

The aged & weathered sign on the dock was a portent of things to come...

I stopped in the first spot I saw to enquire as to whom handled Omega. A modest establishment where ..

On the way, however, I happened by this establishment..

..and never got around to those s.

The salesman was a treat, and produced a battered copy of a '70s tome on JLC & proceeded to give an excellent overview of The Manufacture.

The watch, an all-Ti Master Compressor Navy Seals Ltd Edition (1500 pieces), was awesome beyond words. Drooling Perhaps the most impressive bracelet I've ever seen, it features on-the-fly micro-adjust similar to the PloProf, but on both sides of the butterfly clap, each with ~ 4mm of adjustment. Set to 'full out' the watch fit me perfectly.

When it came time to talk price, I told him about the PMWF (I'd already outed meself as a JLC fan of some repute, lusting over the JLC Mk XI the way I do. He was amazed that I even knew of the JLC version (IWC did make the majority, after all) and we got along famously after that. Smile

Ennyway, he dared me to guess his bottom line and.. well, I honestly doubted this watch could come in under $10K. So I guessed $9K. Long story short, he came in so far under PMW x10 that it was scary. Indeed, he finally mocked me on my fixation of the 'magic 10K point' as he called it, that he offered to throw in a stunning Reverso on bracelet for just over it. Eek!

Sure the watch was theoretically for Mis Pam. But, know what? 'twas the original 'full size' version from the roaring twenties.. I.e. a gents, if 'twere vintage. So I'm thinkin' "Hell, I'll wear that thing!" The bracelet, a sort of link-just-bigger-than a grains-of-rice, was a joy to behold. All ss HW, with a solid back Suitable For Engraving.

Now, one other thing you should know. A semi-formal objective of this trip was to find Miss Pam a Proper Wedding Ring. I.e. a whacking great .8 carat emerald-cut, with flanking .25 carat pears. She found this in Ocho Rios, and after I bought it for her, the woman was actually crying 'cause she wanted me to have that JLC. Even after I explained to her that the JLC Compressor equaled nearly three of her rings, she sobered up a bit. Then suggested going back and tryin' to swing a deal on the Reverso alone, except it's be mine wi' no pretense. In the end, though, prudence prevailed, and I decided to check out what Grand Caymans offered. And I'm glad I did...

Me first stop was the Rolex store, where I ignored the Flagship brand Wink and concentrated on the Tudors.

They handled Panerai here, too and, while I did ogle them..

..I didn't bother to try them, nor price them. Beautiful watches, both, but not quite what I was after. After graciously directing me to the Omega store, I set off on what should've been a 5-minute stroll, except I got waylaid at the Flagship Store, due to the sheer size of their watch department. I talked to a pleasant youth who confirmed my headings to the Omega Store, lamented not carrying the line himself and, when told that a Valjoux-derived 7750 Auto Chrono was also on the radar, his eyes lit up and he said "I've got just the thing!" and showed me several candidates, Mido and Edox among them. I scanned the rest of their impressive mid-tier selection (the usual Japanese brands, Certina, Festina, Movado, etc., I told gent that I might be back.

Another 3 minutes, and 'twas..

.. Heaven.

Just for you MOD-CENTRAL fans - check out the toolkit that comes wi' the 50th-Anniversary Moon Watch.

Almost as impressive as the watch itself!

I didn't ask the nice lady to get it out, once she quoted me the $28K street price. Eek! Crazy! Loco! Oops! Eek!

Mind you, there were plenty of options..

The least expensive chrono, a couple-of-years ago model, was $2,900. Frowning A 3-hand Coaxial Escapement began at ~ $4200. I did find a watch I liked, and after being assured that they had enough bracelet links (OEM was at least 3 links short for me), I almost said "I'll have the black-dialed Seamaster 300M diver, please". The price, at $1725, seemed A-OK for a BNiB watch from an AD with all documentation & kit. But, in the end, I had to admit that I just wasn't Loving It. I mean, the look and feel were (ghod help me Blushing) already familiar from me Alphas.

So I un-assed The Omega Store, and headed back to the 2nd place I'd stopped, Flagship Stores. And this may be a case of Buying The Store, 'cause I had a good vibe there. Or, perhaps 'twould be more properly a case of Buying The Salesman, since, while the young lady at #3 was stunning, she was also a bit snooty I am angry! and, worse, Not Particularly Knowledgeable. OTOH, the your man I'd spoken to at Flagship had impressed me, quite.

When I arrived back he was showing a watch, but I hailed him and said "That 7750 looks better now!" and he was obviously ready to please. I killed some time looking at The high end brand..

As well as more modest fare like Ball, Raymond Weil, et al.

We had a good long talk, young Jonathan Wendell and I, and turns out my gut feeling was right - a most savvy, passionate, and helpful chap. His pet watch is one I'd never heard of, Cuervo y Sabrinos:

Beautiful, but not quite what I was searching for. After being told that, while I liked the Valjoux-7750-powered Mido Ocean* diver I'd been shown earlier, watches with Whacking Great Rotating Bezels really weren't me cuppa, his eyes lit up again and, once again, he said "I've got just the thing!". And, Lordy, he was right. It's a happy day, a new watch arrived Clapping! WIS Honeymoon Finally, a watch that I immediately fell in love with. Yup, I plunked down about a Seiko's worth more than the PMW Limit for a watch. I fear I'll lose me membership in the Cheap Bastards Club! Eek!

Alas, the beautiful strap w/ deployant was too short by a mile. Sure, I whipped out me trusty Swiss Army Knife and swapped on the gray Standard Combat NATO from the Alpha. Laughing To my surprise, Jonathan was totally ignorant of NATO straps, and was amazed at the transformation.

So there ye have it! Me first True RMW.

I wonder, Can you I.D. it? Wink

..to be continued...



P.s. - sorry for not linking hi-res images as is my custom. I'm comin' at ye wi-fi in a cantina from Cozumel, and the connection ain't that hot. Took me 27 minutes to UL those images. More later!

Travel Report of a 5-Day Watch Shopping Orgy Image Attachments

Anonymous User1957July 23, 2010 07:43PM

Now THAT is a Travel Report Thumbs Up (n/t)

Reto211July 24, 2010 12:39PM

Thanks Boss! Blushing It was definitely an experience I will never forget.

Anonymous User344July 29, 2010 02:31AM

You are having the time of your life & thanks for sharing Clapping! Have fun Ricky Lee!!!!

Riddim Driven216July 24, 2010 02:21AM

Re: ..& the best to the Mrs for that nice new RING! Gif Attachments

Anonymous User178July 29, 2010 02:29AM

WOW!!!!!!!DroolingHow did you get out of there?????Laughing

Mark C.264July 24, 2010 12:26AM

Re: I would have to be dragged by the scruff. Gif Attachments

Anonymous User206July 29, 2010 02:24AM

Clapping! and Thank you! for all the time and effort this

Larry209July 24, 2010 12:22AM

My pleasure, I assure you! Smile

Anonymous User206July 29, 2010 02:18AM

What a flippin' great report, Ricky!! Thumbs Up For me, it's hard to resist anything with the word "Carrera" on it!

Nuvolari247July 23, 2010 11:47PM

Thank you! You'd have been in Hog Heaven then, without even leaving the boat. Gif Attachments

Anonymous User193July 29, 2010 02:16AM

Outstanding, just as is your custom! Google me the address to that Omega heaven! I can leave tonight! Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off

JohnnyT229July 23, 2010 10:30PM

With pleasure! Gif Attachments URL

Anonymous User199July 29, 2010 02:05AM

This is just the coolest!! Exactly the party I wanted to hear about!

jinxed221July 23, 2010 10:06PM

<<why is the nato on upside down>> I think it's easier to take off and put on with one hand... (n/t)

Nuvolari244July 23, 2010 11:44PM

Kinda sorta. I *do* find it easier to don and doff a strap rigged My Way.

Anonymous User199July 29, 2010 01:33AM

Come on Brad, you've been here longer than I, he always wears his NATOs upside down! (n/t)

DJM200July 23, 2010 11:34PM

I have no idea, but from what I CAN see, I like the looks of it. Smile

DJM207July 23, 2010 09:47PM

Re:GREAT story! Gif Attachments

Anonymous User201July 29, 2010 01:24AM

Holy moly that's a LOT of watches! I have no idea what the hell you got! Clapping! (n/t)

MCV230July 23, 2010 09:22PM

You have no idea! I looked at & tried on so many watches..

Anonymous User181July 29, 2010 12:45AM

Clapping!As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico...thanks for the tour!Drooling (n/t)

itschris228July 23, 2010 09:21PM

Thank you! Sir WotM. I'm gonna do it again some day, once I've saved enough nickels for that JLC. Laughing (n/t)

Anonymous User235July 29, 2010 12:42AM

Thank you! for all the pics Ricky Lee. That Ltd Speedy Pro uses a special coaxial movt. subjectsmiley0 (n/t)

Adam in NYC205July 23, 2010 09:03PM

Yup. I confess that I was not prepared.. Gif Attachments

Anonymous User251July 29, 2010 12:39AM

Not that I would know...

VoodooDance225July 29, 2010 12:48AM

Re: ..the Coaxial Escapement is the biggest/best contribution to movement tech in a long time.

Anonymous User202July 29, 2010 01:42AM

That is the question Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off (n/t)

VoodooDance198July 29, 2010 01:45AM

Well, that's quite a tour. laughing laughing Congrats, whatever it is. (n/t)

Anonymous User197July 23, 2010 08:45PM

Thanks Doc! Honestly, as much as I love this thing, I was expecting.. Gif Attachments

Anonymous User203July 29, 2010 12:30AM

Jealous! Cheers! (n/t)

VoodooDance213July 23, 2010 08:33PM

Well, the boat sails every week, same itinerary. Smile (n/t)

Anonymous User238July 29, 2010 12:24AM

Mm... Having money to take the trip and buy the watch are the problem Rolling on the floor laughing my a.. off (n/t)

VoodooDance220July 29, 2010 12:28AM

That can be a problem. Frowning But if you hit the jackpot, shoot me a PM. Not only..

Anonymous User196July 29, 2010 01:38AM

Cool... Next cruse I take... I'll hit you up for his name! (n/t)

VoodooDance199July 29, 2010 01:40AM


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