Old folk at lunch

Friday, June 27, 2014

Watches


I stopped wearing a watch as soon as I got my first mobile phone.  Why wear a watch when I could just look at my phone to get the time?  A few years ago, however, I got a phone that made you press two buttons to get the time.  That was a little bit pesky but I put up with it.

About a month or two ago I saw a story in the papers about a Swiss guy who had set up in Australia making "Australian" watches.  They looked like the fancy Swiss ones that cost you thousands. So I looked into it and found that they cost $800.  I thought that sounded like fun and was about to buy one when Ann pointed out to me that they had the "12" on the dial where "2" should normally be.  Something to do with yachting, I gather.  So I scrapped that idea and looked at what else was on the web.

I found, rather to my surprise, that there were tens of thousands of watches that you could buy.  I did actually find a couple that I liked but both were out of stock.  So trash that idea.  Anne was a bit disappointed as she wanted to buy me a watch as a thank-you for buying the Axminster in her sitting room.

So a couple of weeks ago, were were ambling past the Indian jewellers in the Buranda shopping centre when we noticed a large display of watches.  I saw one I liked so Ann bought it for me.  It cost $35.  It had a good expandable band on it, was very plain looking and seemed to keep good time so I was rather pleased with it.  I was told it had a Japanese movement in it.  Since Switzerland and Japan are the two big makers of watches that sounded good.

But after a week it stopped!  So I took it back and the proprietor -- a tall dignified Indian man -- put a new battery in it. That only lasted a couple of days when it stopped again.  So I took  it back for a refund.  The lady behind the counter would not give me one.  She said her policy was to send it for repair. That suited me not at all as the thing was obviously junk.  So I persisted but she would not budge.  I even tried my stentorian voice on her but she still would not budge -- though it made her cringe.  I have a very loud voice when I want to... not up to Michael Darby's standard but getting there.

Anyway, when I got home I sat down and emailed the shopping centre management about her -- pointing out that the jeweller was breaking the Trade Practices Act by not giving me a refund for defective goods.  And I suspect that broke the logjam.  They would have advised her that her lease agreement with them obliged her to stay within the law.

So a couple of days later I went in again at a time when the bloke was due to be there.  He was a lamb and agreed to give me the money back.  So I took Ann and her credit card back a few days ago and the debit was reversed with no fuss.

But I had got a bit energized about watches by this stage so got out an old watch that Joe had given me years ago when I asked if he had any spare watches.  It is rather fancy looking but all it does is tell the time. So I got a battery put in it and it works fine so far.  It is an "Eternity" brand, which I had never heard of.

I had become rather interested in watch brands by that time, however, so I looked up "Eternity" watches on the net.  I was surprised that there was no web page for that brand.  The only place that seemed to have a big range of them was a NZ supermarket called "The Warehouse".  They were selling them for around $NZ12.00 each!  So I eventually looked at the back of the watch and it tells me that it is from China with a Japanese movement in it.

So I am rather amused and pleased after all that.  My watch accords with my usual policy of getting value for money.  It's also one of a number of occasions over the years when I have walked into a shop with money to spend in my pocket but have walked out again with my money still in my pocket because the retailer was not on the ball.  This time there were LOTS of retailers who were not on the ball.  Anne will have to find something else to buy me.

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