WE ANSWER ALL YOUR TIMEKEEPING QUESTIONS.
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.