Hope people will pardon a rather lengthy intro (and it is long), as I hope to make a point and get to some cool photos eventually…
I’ve joined this site about 18 months ago and was immediately addicted. There was fun discourse, tons of cool photos and watches, and a really great community of watch enthusiasts, that included casual watch lovers such as myself, alongside people who really knew their stuff as far as watchmaking and the industry.
I was really impressed with quality of posts – from great insights on the industry, watch innovation and history by posters like Mleok and Rdenney, to great photo essays and service insights by Archer, to seemingly bottomless knowledge of Zenith by Hartmut Richter. Seeing unusual watches posted by members like Brajhomes was also a cool way to discover models out of the ordinary range. Heck, shortly after I joined, I posted a question about my grandfathers Poljot watch that had huge sentimental value but was in awful condition – a member of the F10 community – Ratfacedgit – has offered a complete overhaul service on it and returned to me a precious family heirloom looking amazing and functioning great. He did this for free, because he loved watches. Furthermore – he taught himself to service watches despite having learning disabilities, he was autodidactic (mechanical genius as far as I’m concerned) – a true watch Savant.
I never for a moment considered myself a WIS, but much more of a WL\WE (watch lover\enthusiast). So coming to WUS, I really enjoyed being able to learn about watches and interact with genuine watch experts and lovers.
Lately, I’m finding that threads with interesting (granted – interesting is subjective and depends on the reader) watch-related content disappear from page 1 of F2 within hours, usually never gathering more than 10 posts. Yet a discussion of one’s income or what watch would a Californian cowboy travelling to space alongside James Bond to fight Spectre affiliated aliens would wear – is a guaranteed 20+ page “discussion”.
It seems that the thread length (post quantity) is becoming inversely proportional to the usefulness of the content (post quality). In a recent inane thread complaining about inanity, Bradjhomes made a very good point:
Did anyone think "I'm tired of reading inane threads so I'll start one that is more interesting"? Or just sit back and complain?
Well, I want to take that challenge and try to post something that (I hope) may be interesting to members or useful to visitors. I thought about what I can post that may be useful – I’m no expert, have no watchmaking expertise, and don’t offer lifestyle\fashion advice. But the one area of watch industry I’m most passionate about is innovation, so why not write about that.
I love the miniature engineering and wearable art aspect of mechanical watches and I love the retro vibe and nostalgic emotional connection with obsolete technology and old-world tradecraft. But I also love how innovation can be applicable to what may seem like a rather obsolete and fully evolved industry. From manufacturing scalability, to modern material usage, to focus on power reserves, accuracy, illumination, shock and magnetism resistance and much more – innovation is present in watch industry and really cool things are being created daily. Hell, even something as seemingly simple as straps\clasps are being innovated on – quick-release systems, easy strap changes, easy micro-adjustments on bracelets – all are improving on watch ownership experience.
But these are not getting enough attention as 40+ page threads on “homages” and how many different ways can a same exact design be recreated on a cheap, are dominating the discussion.
So again, I’ll take Brads challenge and will try to post something I hope people will find interesting. I plan to post a series on innovation in the mechanical watch space – looking at various areas of innovation and how they are changing the industry and our perspective on watches.
My first post\thread on this to follow immediately after. Want to discuss a very simple thing – how watches tell time…If you have stayed with me thus far – thank you, and I hope you find what follows useful or at least briefly captivating.