As I was putting on a watch, I must have let go for a split second while moving my right hand to the tang buckle. Next thing I know, the watch drops to the ground--and is dead. It had cost me about $1,200 to buy.
The next day, I took it to a repair shop, and I got a call today (a week later) with an estimate for the repair. Or... is it still a "repair" if, as the repair shop guy said it, the watch needs and will get "a complete movement service?" It sounds like an overhaul to me. Which, incidentally, will cost me $720. It took less than a second for the $720 accident to happen. I briefly thought about "alternatives" but realized I had none. If I don't repair the watch, then its value is zero.
But this story has a happy twist: I had an insurance policy on the watch. I've filed a claim and they wanted me to attach the estimate, so I asked the repair shop to provide it. The policy cost me $25 a year, and if I'm looking at the silver lining here, well, that watch was going to need an overhaul service anyway, right? Better that the insurance pays for it.
Here are some lessons learned.
1) INSURE YOUR WATCH. I'm well aware that any insurance policy (unless the insurer has a ...... actuary) works against your interest, because the cost of the policy is the risk plus insurer's profit. But at a certain price point, you're buying peace of mind.
2) Deployant buckles. This accident has turned me off tang buckles, because it would have been avoided completely if I had deployant buckles instead. In addition to helping your strap last longer, I think a deployant buckle will reduce the probability of a drop. In a tang buckle, the watch goes from "an object resting on your wrist; hope you have a good grip on it with the other hand!" to "tight bracelet." With a deployant buckle, the watch goes from "a very loose bracelet" to "tight bracelet." Less likely to drop it that way; even if your other hand misses it, it will hang on your wrist rather than falling to the ground.
3) Be discerning about where you put on your watch. From now on I'm going to be sitting down. That way, even if I drop it, it will fall a few inches, not a few feet.