WATCH ADVICE

WE AN­SWER ALL YOUR TIME­KEEP­ING QUES­TIONS.

GQ (Australia) - - GQ WATCH -

AM I RIGHT IN SAY­ING THAT WATCHES ARE FI­NALLY START­ING TO GET SMALLER? ZAC, VIA EMAIL

Gen­tle­man with lit­tle to prove have known for a long time that it’s not the size of a time­piece that counts, but the move­ment in­side. And, thank­fully, the brands at Basel­world have fi­nally caught on. “There was def­i­nitely a shift to­wards smaller cases,” Ni­cola An­dreatta, gen­eral man­ager of Swiss watches for Tiffany & Co., told GQ. The new Tu­dor ‘Black Bay 36’ picks up on the vin­tage in­spi­ra­tion sweep­ing the in­dus­try, its 36mm case fit­ting smartly un­der any cuff. If that’s still too big, drop a size to the No­mos ‘Tetra Neo­matik’ in a quirk­ily com­pact square case, mea­sur­ing just 33mm across.

I HAVE A VIN­TAGE OMEGA –IS IT TRUE THAT I’ LL BREAK THE WATCH BY CHANG­ING THE DATE LATE AT NIGHT? JAMIE, VIA EMAIL

You might not break your treasured time­piece im­me­di­ately, but late-night fid­dling won’t do your Omega any favours. “It’s im­por­tant to avoid chang­ing the date be­tween 8:30pm and 2:00am,” ac­cord­ing to our Omega in­sider. “As the date mech­a­nism is en­gaged dur­ing this pe­riod, man­u­ally al­ter­ing the date may cause dam­age to the move­ment.” Surely you have bet­ter things to be do­ing be­tween these hours any­way?

My watch is in need of a ser­vice. Where do I go to get a good one? CRAIG, VIA EMAIL

This is a sad tale, ac­tu­ally. Through teary eyes, we bring news that the in­de­pen­dent watch­maker is a dy­ing breed. The cul­prit? Ma­jor play­ers like Rolex and Cartier, which no longer sup­ply watch­mak­ers with parts, forc­ing cus­tomers to re­turn to of­fi­cial re­tail­ers for ser­vic­ing. They’re not alone – Omega also seems to be at­tempt­ing to make its bou­tiques a one-stop shop. To be fair, there’s a le­git­i­mate rea­son be­hind this. With in­creas­ingly com­pli­cated in-house move­ments, like Omega’s co-ax­ial es­cape­ment, only the most-qual­i­fied watch­mak­ers have the know-how to go any­where near it. The good news is that some pas­sion­ate in­de­pen­dents are cling­ing on by their fin­ger­nails, de­ter­mined to of­fer a more per­sonal, per­son­alised ser­vice. If you’re in, or near, a ma­jor cen­tre, find a watch­maker you trust and show them your watch. In most cases, they’ll be able to ser­vice it, and will point you in the right di­rec­tion if they lack the spe­cial­ist parts, tools or train­ing. Other­wise, it’s back to the main dealer, and send­ing your watch away for ser­vice.

I’ VE READ A LOT ABOUT THE SWISS WATCH IN­DUS­TRY SLUMP­ING.CAN I EVER EX­PECT A CHEAP ROLEX? ADAM, VIA EMAIL

It’s more of a slow patch, thanks to Brexit, fall­ing Chi­nese de­mand and shaky oil prices. Some an­a­lysts say there’ll be five per cent mark­downs on watches of more than $5000, but don’t ex­pect any huge sales in the near fu­ture. There’s a rea­son why watches are so ex­pen­sive. Pre­cious met­als, com­pli­cated mech­a­nisms and crafts­man­ship are what makes a fine wrist­watch a lux­ury item.

I’ M IN THE MAR­KET FOR A WATCH THAT I CAN WEAR EV­ERY­DAY–ONE THAT SUIT SA BUSY LIFE­STYLE. ANY SUG­GES­TIONS? MARK, VIA EMAIL

We’ll let your name­sake an­swer this one, Mark – none other than Mr Mark Bouris. He has this to say on the mat­ter: “I’m a fan of IWC. My ev­ery­day watch is the ‘Pi­lot’, with the big black face. And the rea­son for that is quite sim­ple – it keeps great time, has a leather strap, which I like, and has a big face on it which means I can al­ways read it with­out my glasses on. I also have a IWC ‘Por­tugieser’ [Classic Chrono­graph with blue dial] – I love the look of it, but for me that’s more of a dress watch.” We hope this advice, which lit­er­ally has your name on it, is what you were after. Stain­less steel ‘Pi­lot’s Au­to­matic Mark XVIII’ watch, $6100, by IWC.

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