Frustrated with limited AD's
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  1. #1
    Member TNWatchNerd's Avatar
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    Frustrated with limited AD's

    I have been interested in watches for quite a while but have only been purchasing for a short time. I generally save for a period of time in order to purchase, but the problem is only the usual suspects are available in my city. Omega, Rolex, Tag etc. thankfully I have a Ball AD here so I am able to get my hands on these before purchase. However my interests have spread to other manufacturers, Bremont, JLC, so on and so forth. I have a hard time taking the plunge without seeing these more expensive pieces in person. I know I will have to travel to do this but many of you purchase online. How do you all get over this? I'm sure the quality would be there, but what about size, feal etc?

  2. #2
    Member Monocrom's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    Quote Originally Posted by TNWatchNerd View Post
    ... How do you all get over this?
    Honestly, I don't.

    I got lucky when I decided to purchase my Orient black Mako online. My very next watch was a Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro diver. Heavier than expected (229g. on the stock leather strap), and it wore much taller than its 13mm spec. Truth is, I knew the instant I strapped it on that it was all wrong for my wrist. Knew I'd end up selling it, and I did. Thing is, I love everything else about that watch and highly recommend it to others. (Just as long as they can deal with the weight and height of it.)

    That Christopher Ward caused me to come up with a new personal rule regarding watches:

    Never buy any watch without first trying it on.

    Yes, that does eliminate the micro brands completely. But on a personal note, other than Christopher Ward, none of the others has any model that truly gets me excited.

    You just have to bite the bullet, set aside a day, drive to the nearest AD (call ahead first so you know they'll have the model in stock that you want), and try the watch on. Specs. are one thing but there is zero substitute for "feel." Some watches just wear bigger or smaller than their specs. Some, quite a bit bigger or smaller. Then there's the biggest deal-breaker for me; weight. Height being a close 2nd. No substitute at all for putting a watch on your wrist and letting your wrist give you the thumbs up or thumbs down.
    samanator likes this.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity here and there. Not the other way around." ~ John Cleese.

  3. #3
    Member Markbigd's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Honestly, I don't.

    I got lucky when I decided to purchase my Orient black Mako online. My very next watch was a Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro diver. Heavier than expected (229g. on the stock leather strap), and it wore much taller than its 13mm spec. Truth is, I knew the instant I strapped it on that it was all wrong for my wrist. Knew I'd end up selling it, and I did. Thing is, I love everything else about that watch and highly recommend it to others. (Just as long as they can deal with the weight and height of it.)

    That Christopher Ward caused me to come up with a new personal rule regarding watches:

    Never buy any watch without first trying it on.

    Yes, that does eliminate the micro brands completely. But on a personal note, other than Christopher Ward, none of the others has any model that truly gets me excited.

    You just have to bite the bullet, set aside a day, drive to the nearest AD (call ahead first so you know they'll have the model in stock that you want), and try the watch on. Specs. are one thing but there is zero substitute for "feel." Some watches just wear bigger or smaller than their specs. Some, quite a bit bigger or smaller. Then there's the biggest deal-breaker for me; weight. Height being a close 2nd. No substitute at all for putting a watch on your wrist and letting your wrist give you the thumbs up or thumbs down.
    Amen brother.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    Perhaps a little vacation to NYC.
    TNWatchNerd likes this.

  6. #5
    Member mleok's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    The most expensive watch I purchased sight unseen was my Baume and Mercier Hampton Annual Calendar, which I paid $2K for. The price was so ridiculously discounted from the $5.5K MSRP that it seems a worthwhile risk. But in general, I like to try out a watch before a major purchase. At the very least, I would like to try a similar model, perhaps a similar case size, or a variant with a different dial color or case material, before making a purchase.

    Some watches, in particular the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reversos, are quite unforgiving in their sizing due to unusual aspect ratios and flat casebacks, so those absolutely need to be tried on.
    Last edited by mleok; June 26th, 2013 at 09:09.


    Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119J; Vacheron Constantin Overseas; Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Duo; Rolex Submariner 114060; Omega Seamaster 300; Montblanc Heritage Dual Time; Tudor Black Bay, Black Bay GMT.

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  7. #6
    Member Watermark's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    I like to try on and it saved me a bundle after realizing how little I like Glashuttes on.

    I bought my Lange without trying. It's the same size as 2 others that I have. It was easy.


    The brands like Hamilton. Longines and that group are all way bigger in person than they appear. I'd recommend always trying those brands on and they should be easier with tons of AD's.

  8. #7
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    Don't feel bad, b/c our high end watch shop is our local Costco.
    TNWatchNerd likes this.

  9. #8
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    Lots of research, looking at photos, reading reviews, and utilizing return policies can work. I did not try on any of the watches I own prior to buying, and I suspect I won't for mant of my future acquisitions.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  10. #9
    Member little big feather's Avatar
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    I know exactly what the op is up against....I have to drive 60 miles to see any kind of "real"watch..
    I traveled 300+ miles with money in hand to buy a JLC and was totally disappointed with the watch.
    I'm so glad I looked b/4 that purchase! Everything else has been on the net and I too have made some
    costly mistakes.
    TNWatchNerd likes this.

  11. #10
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    Re: Frustrated with limited AD's

    One thing I've found helpful is YouTube. I've found videos of almost every watch I looked for, and you get a better idea of what a watch is like rather than just looking at pictures. Other than that, if you order a watch without first seeing it in person, make sure it has a good return policy.

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