A few weekends ago, I attended a traveling watch show hosted by Watchbuys.com, an excellent North American distributor of several fine German watch brands.
I did not know what to expect since I had never been to a private watch show. I should mention that this was an invitation only event. One could not just walk in off the street due to the type of merchandise being shown. Guests had to sign up for the event to be on the list, and it was a very personalized experience.
I have a wild imagination so part of me was thinking that there was going to be a room of snooty folks judging everyone else there. I literally imagined a man looking like Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island sneering over his martini and saying to his face lifted harpy of a wife… “Look lovely, they allowed those uncouth ruffians in the door!” I should not have worried because the reality was 180 degrees opposite of at daydream nightmare. My buddy, Scott, and I were met with a sincere and friendly greeting by our hosts who attended to all the guests with warmth and knowledge. These guys have class!
We were led to a hotel room that had scores of watches from notable German brands including Sinn, Hanhart, Nomos Glashütte, Junghans and also some very exclusive hand made watches by very talented artisans like Stefan Kudoke. Each brand was in its own little nook of the suite. Above is the Sinn table that had probably 40 watches in all the important price levels and sub groups available.
The original main attraction for me was seeing the Sinn watches in person. I have long admired his authentic, no nonsense maker of excellent technologically advanced and rugged tool watches. They are everything that I like about watches and nothing that I don’t. I don’t recall seeing any cliche over dressy boardroom watches that I just don’t care about. Instead, I saw aviator, chronograph and diver watches. I was in watch Nirvana.
Another brand that attracted me was Hanhart. This brand has a diverse collection of very interesting designs. To me, Hanhart offered some specialty movements a bit off the beaten path. Our hosts showed us a mechanical flyback chronograph, a double register chronograph, and a mono-pusher. These are not your typical movements in watches so they got my attention.
Sometimes, the case backs are just as compelling as the dial.
Another brand that attracted me was Hanhart. This brand has a diverse collection of very interesting designs. Our hosts showed us a mechanical flyback chronograph, a double register chronograph, and a mono-pusher. These are not your typical mechanical movements in watches so they got my attention.
I also gravitated to the handmade watches because they are more like works of art on a miniature scale. My absolute favorite and one that I would gladly own if I had the means was the Kudoktopus watch in black gold with an engraved octopus on the dial.
I cannot tell you how amazing the workmanship was, but it was stunning. The octopus on the front event continued onto the back so it looked like the creature was embracing the pulsing balance wheel. Wow. I want it!
Another notable standout was the blue dial Junghans watch which was a new twist on an old style. It looked vintage except for the modern size and high-quality finish. Instead of a wearing a Rolex, I might be inclined to wear this unique statement. Why be like everyone else?
So, my final impression was this. Watchbuys.com is passionate about providing a personalized watch browsing experience without high-pressure sales talk. They were generous with their time, incredibly friendly and some of the best hosts one could want. If you ever get the chance to attend one of their events…. Don’t hesitate. It might be the best thing you do all weekend… To see more about what watchbuys.com has to offer, check them out online. You’ll be buying from the good guys.
I met a very friendly photographer named Ken Nichols there as well. I believe that he will be posting his photos on wristwatchreview.com so make sure to check him out. His other reviews are clever and can be seen here http://www.wristwatchreview.com/author/knichols/