FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Why our latest content series is called ‘Don’t Feed the Hype’ FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Why our latest content series is called ‘Don’t Feed the Hype’

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Why our latest content series is called ‘Don’t Feed the Hype’

Zach Blass

Earlier this week I launched our “Don’t Feed the Hype” series, and so far we’ve received some great feedback about the initiative that proposes alternatives to the most unobtainable watches around. In the wake of last month’s events, we just felt it was time to put our money where our mouth is and attempt to provide some form of solution to a problem that many believe is plaguing our industry. The hype machine is a raging monster, so I don’t expect change to happen rapidly. But as I replied to one user on our Instagram page who felt the idea is hopeless, it’s better to try to do something than nothing at all, and if we can create a more diverse competitive set and generate further awareness towards other fabulous timepieces, well, I don’t see any harm in trying.

don't feed the hype

Now I want to be clear: any of the upcoming watches that I tackle in this series I am likely a big fan of myself. For example, if I were offered a Nautilus or a Daytona at retail and had the funds, you bet your ass I’m putting down my credit card. Ultimately, however, I don’t expect a call from the Patek salon anytime soon – and this is the case for the majority of buyers in the watch marketplace. So, full disclaimer: if you are one of the lucky individuals who are able to purchase such unobtanium watches then I am all for it. They really are phenomenal pieces.

don't feed the hype

But I also think that it’s a bit silly to expect everybody to queue up and wait for such an unlikely moment to arrive, and more often than not the premium of the secondhand market is not feasible for the average luxury watch buyer. That is why I decided to start the “Don’t Feed the Hype” series, where each week I will evaluate alternatives to notably hard-to-get watches. I am not particularly looking for dopplegangers, but alternatives that can, perhaps, provide the same essence through a balance of aesthetic and technical notes – watches that on their merits are truly comparable to the watch out of reach. As an example, I felt the perfect alternative to the Patek Philippe Nautilus was the Urban Jürgensen One because, sure, it is a stainless-steel watch with a blue dial and integrated bracelet, but more importantly because the lesser known watch is arguably aesthetically and technically superior.

don't feed the hype

As I have said before, hunting for quality alternatives requires a bit of strategy, knowledge, and cognizance of who you are as a collector or watch lover and what turns you on about watches. If you undergo a more informed hunt, the bright side of evaluating alternatives is that you may find something that doesn’t feel like a compromise – but rather a more intriguing opportunity. In addition, the most in-demand watches of the secondhand market are determined by an ecosystem that we all provide feedback into. So from our end, a great way to bring about change is to have our purchasing behaviours go against the grain and vote with our chequebooks in order to raise the status of newer and equally interesting candidates that have yet to get their due. My aim with this series is to merely be a guide for this research, to trigger curiosity, and further catalogue exploration by potential watch buyers.

Wishing you all a happy weekend,


Watch meme of the week: Scottish Watches & Ming madness


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A post shared by Scottish watches (@scottishwatches)

From the outset, let me just say that I am happy to see Ming watches addressing the hand mis-alignment issue on some of their new pieces. The brand, after receiving multiple instances of feedback highlighting the issue, notified their followers, and more importantly the buyers of the new Ming x Massena Lab limited editions, that they have recalled their watchmakers from summer break to deal with the problem. Inevitably, when a consumer receives a new watch a wristcheck ensues. So when owners and their followers noticed the hour hands of these watches were not properly lining up at each hour, an Instagram frenzy ensued. If you are a part of watch Instagram, or other watch social media, chances are that you caught this issue this week.

The key takeaway here for manufacturers, however, is that buyers are becoming more and more aware of elements of quality control and will notice any manufacturing mishaps in the watches they receive. We also live in an era where social media and watches are very intertwined, so it is better to take an extra moment to fully inspect and test products before they end up in the hands of buyers. It may mean a longer wait time, but it will save a lot of hassle and heartache. Nothing gets past watchfam anymore, so if there is an issue the internet will highlight it and the error will be spotlighted and spread like wildfire. What went wrong along the assembly line is unclear, whether it was the setting of the hands or a defect in the modified movements, but the answer is diplomacy. Customers need to diplomatically and calmly reach out for rectification and manufacturers should provide fast solutions to maintain the luxury experience.

Wrist shot of the week: thewatchdude2 nails the vibes of the Explorer II

don't feed the hype

If you’ve read my previous Friday Wind Down’s, you will likely be aware of my preferences for watch photography. While shooting and staging a watch off the wrist has become increasingly popular, and even scientifically proven to be more alluring to the average social media user, I personally like seeing watches where they belong: on the wrist. I enjoy shots that really contextualize watches in regard to how they are worn and what they were built for. In one of his latest posts, @thewatchdude2 really captures the mood of a Rolex Explorer II. The photograph, which I believe is of such quality Rolex could have used it in their marketing materials, sets the stage of an Explorer II wearer very well. In this image, I get a sense of nature, hiking, and lacing up for an adventure – a real sense of exploration.

Recommended viewing of the week: Former Feyenoord footballer Michiel Kramer sells his Rolex for his own safety

don't feed the hype

This week Fratello Watches founder Robert-Jan reported that footballer Michiel Kramer sold his Rolex “champions watch” for safety reasons, and how it is sad that an individual would feel forced to part with such a prized memento. Personalized for the 2017 Feyenoord team players, the Rolex Day-Date was specially customized to include the players initials on the dial as well as a special engraving on its caseback. It is unfortunate that the rise of so-called “rolexgangs” have prompted greater fear in owners, and that such objects have become like painting a target on your back. For the full story, head over to our friends at Fratello Watches for the detailed report – as well as to find out where to purchase the special watch, currently listed for € 51,010.

My favourite T+T coverage of the week

Don’t feed the hype: 3 alternatives to the Patek Philippe Nautilus

don't feed the hype

If you didn’t catch it, our new Don’t Feed the Hype series is a (small) effort to raise awareness towards comparable alternatives to many of the unobtanium watches in the marketplace. In our first post, we tackle three alternatives to the elusive Patek Philippe Nautilus – watches that are not simply doppelgängers but are comparable in essence and merit.

My love/hate relationship with the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch

don't feed the hype

If you’ve been collecting long enough, at one point or another, you’ve probably debated on whether or not you should purchase a Speedmaster. The watch has such a large following that it has almost become a rite of passage, a form of initiation into the world of luxury watches. Yet no matter how hard the pull, Ricardo has found himself on the fence, unable to decide if it’s the right watch for him. Click here to find out why…

VIDEO: The Zenith Chronomaster Original White is a faithful remake of a chronograph classic

Has the new Chronomaster Original from Zenith piqued your interest? Fergus goes hands-on with the beloved and revived chronograph, so for the full written and video review head over here to get better acquainted.