This afternoon, I drove up to a quaint little suburb (of Detroit) called Birmingham. Great little upscale community, and the shops there are fitting of the status of one of the ritzier areas surrounding a large metropolitan area. As always, there were lot's of attractive women going about their business shopping and such (gotta love going through this type of area, pretty women just seem to be standard fare ).
My first surprise of the day came as I fed quarters to the parking meter. There was an older Bluesman sitting in a chair on the sidewalk, guitar case open, as he played and sang the Blues. Being a blues fan, I was tempted to hang out and listen, but I had other plans (tell ya' what though, I've heard the best. and this guy was damn good!!). Tossing some coin into the case, I headed accross the street and entered a little shop called "Back In Time". I was greeted by a smiling face from behind the counter. A customer was on a cell phone, admiring and boasting of his new watch (nope, not a Doxa, though I didn't actually catch what it was).
I inquirred if they had the Doxa's on display yet (the obvious orange display case was not yet there). They directed me to where they'd temporarily placed some, in a case with some (very nice) pre-owned watches.
I got a few surprises. First, spotting a Military Sharkhunter (was also wearing mine which the sales rep spotted right away), I was surprised to see it was NOT a COSC version. Neither was the 750T Pro next to it. Looking great in the case (along with a couple of pristine Omega Moon Watches, a Sea Dweller, a Submariner, a Rolex GMT and a Breitling Montbrillant). The high end stuff had absolutely nothing on the Doxa's! (Excepting the HRV, which of course is coming).
I also got my first look in person at a GMT Pro, and I gotta tell you, the great pics here simply don't do it justice. It is a phenomenal looking watch! But the ones I came to see were the 1000T. And yes, as speculated, those the owner had told me he had that I might not be aware of were indeed the 1000T COSC helmeted version. The case held a COSC Pro and COSC Sharkhunter (both with helmet) and standard 1000T models of the Caribbean and Divingstar flavor.
I should confess when I first saw the helmet logo on the 1000T here on the forum, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for something a bit more, or maybe more colorful. The large pics here may simply have thrown me, but I must say in person it is a simply outstanding look!
I also was unsure about the 1000T itself, thinking it too small in comparison to my beloved 750T's. But I was totally wrong. In fact, with the chunky height of the 1000T, the slightly smaller dial and the slightly wider (in relation to dial size) shoulders of the case, make this thing aesthetically balanced and extremely pleasing to the eye. And even though I am going to get a 5000T, I am now jonesing for a 1000T as well. What's worse, even though I can get the returning customer discount on the 1000T online, I cannot do this on the COSC version, which it will surely have to be.
What have I done? Why'd I go there today?? Because they were displaying new Doxa's. In a store. Doxa's I'd never seen before!
Back to conversing with the sales rep (I'd missed the owner I spoke to on the phone), this guy was no typical mall wank either. He obviously shared his employers love of watches, showed me a case filled with examples of their restoration work (all old Hamilton's, some really cool ones... nicer than the one I will be dropping off for an estimate next week). He showed me a couple other watches also, but his interest was clearly also on the Doxa's, and he certainly had some brand knowledge. He showed me a magazine article on Doxa, highlighting various new and vintage models. We discussed the 5000T and the 2 register T Graph (He'd thought he had a pic of it, but what he pulled out were the magazine's two shots of vintage SUB 200's). I stated what a shame it was they weren't able to reproduce the large triangle sweep second hand, and stated it was an issue with the movement. He nodded, saying it was probably too heavy. Obviously knows a thing or two about watches . I showed him the two vintage hands and the difference. He's looking forward to seeing the new model as much as we are.
Aside from the high end pre-owned watches I mention above, they are also an AD with displays for Glycine, Bell and Ross, Fortis and Hamilton. Those were the ones that caught my eye (the Sport Watches) but there were a half dozen or more other brands.
In all, Doxa's first venture into this area is IMHO a fantastic choice. They've found a place that is much more than just a watch store. it is a haven for and of watch enthusiasts, with skilled personnel who can repair and restore virtually any brand. The shop simply oozes the horological passion we as hobbyists normally possess that is often lacking in the shops we go into.
These people get it .