Ahhhh the wife...
It started with a simple Citizen two tone...years ago.
Then it was a pretty non-descript Grenen.
As she watched me accumulate, she started to be a little more interested, and suddenly needed an automatic watch. The first for her was a really nice Clerc Ladies 9806.
Here comes Christmas. She and I have been looking for just the right vintage Rolex at just the right price for her; an Air King perhaps, midsize, silver dial. Nothing struck me just right (or her for that matter). So this was the situation the day before Christmas...
Grenon's of Newport... I've seen the banner for a bit now, and I knew I was going to be in the area. Called ahead and a woman named Betsy answers the phone. "Betsy, I have been looking for a watch for my wife, was hoping to go vintage, but the silver dial Ball Engineer II Ohio Ladies caught my eye. Do you have one?"
She stated no, but give me a chance to see if she could get one in on short notice. She said, "I'll call you right back." She did indeed call right back, she did indeed NOT have said watch, nor could she get it in...the OL was on back order. Damn. "Betsy, will you be open the day before Christmas, and do you have a few ladies watches I can look at." Absolutely, Betsy said, they have special holiday hours.
I waltz in, day before Christmas, met Betsy and Ray, and they patiently watch me browse the selections before I break down and tell them what I am looking for. Silver or champagne dial, nice guilloche work, automatic, mid-size, on a bracelet. Options abound, nothing was grabbing me, at which time Betsy says, "Let me show you something. It doesn't exactly match your requirements, but it is an automatic, has the dial work you are looking for, and is different."
She pulls out two Alexander Shorokhoff LA01s. The first, beautiful silver guilloche dial and rose gold (color) hands and numerals on one of the softest leather straps I've experienced.
The other, a beautiful champagne guilloche dial with a diamond bezel, stainless hands and numerals, and a similarly soft white leather strap.
They were 39mm, larger than what I was going for, but they were both beautiful pieces. If my wife were to step up in size, these would be the perfect watches to do it with. Betsy and Ray gave me the rundown on the company, the movement, etc. "The tan strap matches my wife's Coach bag, can you switch them out if need be?" Absolutely, no problem. "Does Alexander Shorokhoff have a stainless bracelet we can order later?" Yup. "Can I have someone else return it for me if need be?" No issues. "I need to mull it over, what time do you close?" 2pm; take your time. I walk out at 11am and head to grab other gifts.
1pm...alright, I'm going to pull the trigger. Dial up Betsy, "Betsy, I am on my way back, may be a bit late." No problem, we will be here for you. I get there as Ray gets everything ready for me, gives me the rundown on all the necessaries, and we get into follow-on watch talk. I do my usual Montblanc ramblings, he shows me some truly, REAL stunning pieces. Ray and Betsy told me to contact them if I had any issues, wished me good luck, I said Merry Christmas, and walked out with my wife's gift wrapped Alexander Shorokhoff LA01, stainless, silver guilloche, tan strap, no diamonds.
Christmas Day, SUCCESS! Wife loves it; I love it; no returns needed. I will follow-up with more photos, and a short review of the Shorokhoff, but until then, here are a couple snapshots Betsy and Ray let me take in the shop.
So, to all, HIGHLY recommend site sponsor Grenon's of Newport. Service was great, selection was fantastic, shop was beautiful, and Betsy and Ray were not only helpful and accommodating, but also very watch enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I will return for sure.
Thanks for reading!
Quotes are not exact. Apologies for any extra attachments.