Timepiece Chronicle

In-depth, passionate and entertaining articles that explore the stories behind great watches

A risk worth taking: Two watches I bought on Ebay

A risk worth taking: Two watches I bought on Ebay

Ebay is often described as the the Wild West, a place where you can gain great fortune if you avoid the gunslingers and hit gold however I believe Ebay is more akin to beach combing. It's not glamorous or adventuring, it's less about blazing a path to the sunset and more about careful and deliberate searching. Wandering the same stretch of coastline with a metal detector is just like typing in your favorite searh terms every few days hoping for a new hit. Most of the time you get old tin cans and countless Poljot after Poljot after Poljot but once every blue moon you get something worth digging for. 

I've been looking for a summer watch for a while now and last week I won two lots, a Sears Diver with Day/Date and a time-only Bertmar with a military style dial. The Bertmar was actually bought on the spur of the moment browse in the closing moments of the auction. It's a great little watch that I can see myself struggling to keep off my wife's wrists in the coming weeks. The hands are in perfect condition and a wonderful even patina has formed on the arabic numerals. I haven't opened up the caseback yet but so far it hasn't dropped a second since I bought it. Power reserve is only about 30 hours but given that it's about 45 years old and has probably never seen a service I think that's fair enough.

Once the Sears watch had arrived I walked impatiently back from the post box, letters held under my arm whilst I awkwardly hacked at the packing tape with my keys. My apartment was only fifty feet away but I wanted to wear it now. Tossing the bubble wrap into the bin I stared at the watch and noticed for the first time the large scratch on the dial. "Probably should have picked up on that before bidding" I thought to myself however this was a fun cheap Summer watch that I was going to knock about anything so it didn't matter. 

Walking up the stairs I went to sent the watch and felt a crown that was far too loose to be good. Shit. The hands kind of moved, the day/date wheels flicked pathetically back and forward and then the crown and stem came apart from the watch. Double shit. Suddenly in the heat of the moment I was furious at being duped into paying for a broken watch. This was meant to have been my Summer watch, worn carefree by the pool that I could beat up and not feel bad about. Then my rage subsided...did I just read the description wrong?

Rushing upstairs I checked the lot and saw that in the description and the seller's notes. It did say the watch wasn't working. Triple shit. It's a perfect example of rushing into a purchase without checking everything first and I'm lucky that I spent so little on it. Ironically the spur of the moment purchase of the Bertmar turned out to be a winner. It's a tad small at 32mm but apart from a small mark above the hands it's in such perfect condition that I don't care. The black strap is a bit dull for my tastes so I'm purchasing a brightly colored regimental NATO soon to liven it up. 

I'm still on my bargain hunt on the shoreline of the 'bay. You might laugh at my metal detector and pile of rusted cans but one of these days I'm finding pirate treasure. Mark my words.

This Week in TIme: 21st to 27th May

This Week in TIme: 21st to 27th May

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