Tales of Watch Retail 1

Prompted by @Omeganut 's thread about bad experience with ADs, I thought it'd be good to bring you all some perspective of what it's like to be the guy on the other side of the counter. I'll include some positive stories, but I'll be blunt here - bad customers left the most vivid memories. For what it's worth, I worked for an AD of Tissot, Certina, Rado, Longines, Atlantic, Epos and G-Shock. Sales were one thing, another was stuff like warranty repairs, replacing straps, adjusting bracelets, ordering accessories or watches themselves. 

For the first round of horror stories, let me tell you about...the filth on the watches.

People who brought their watches in for warranty repair or just servicing often left a really bad impression of how they treated their watches. I mean, most of us tend to almost baby our watches. These people haven't even bothered to clean them. There was this lady who wanted to replace the strap in her Certina. The model was introduced two years prior to that. It looked like it wasn't cleaned for at least five. I bet most of you have watched "Pulp Fiction," and remember the story of the gold watch hidden up where the sun don't shine. Yeah...this watch did look a lot like that's the way it was worn. When I detached the worn, stinky, filthy strap, I nearly puked. The watch was clogged with filth between the lugs. I'd swear there must have been some fecal matter in there as well. Asked the lady, "Pardon me, ma'am, but what have you been doing with this watch?"

"Oh, gardening," she said. Gardening, yeah. I bet it involved a lot of manure as natural fertilizer. I had to use a copious amount of disinfection liquid before I felt I had every trace of the watch off of my hands. Later on, I had a similar experience with an all-ceramic Rado, I think it was an Integral. There wasn't a single nook and cranny on it that wasn't chock-full of gunk.

Close by was a car mechanic's Tissot Couturier. His wife had it cleaned up a little bit, but the overload of grease was there. Old, dried-up grease. If only grease. Come on, how can you let a watch become this filthy? All instructions manuals have tips for cleaning your watch regularly. It doesn't hurt to read that.

So, dear readers, if you bring in a watch for repair/strap replacement/whatever... BOTHER TO CLEAN IT FIRST! It's really no fun handling a watch that looks like it has been stuck into a certain orifice. 

Sorry if you've read this while having lunch. Mr. Bloke, out. 

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Amazing.  Okay, who were the absolute worst customers?  Was it the watch nerds who just wanted to come in and take up all your time talking about lug widths?  Or, the un-decided's who would come in 20 times, flip-flopping between one watch or another?  

Not that I'm one of those people.  Not at all. 

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My eyes aren't what they used to be. It is sometimes only after I have taken and posted a photo that I realize that a watch needs a cleaning.  I now use my phone as a digital loupe to aid my near vision.

Just this week my daughter was making fun of me for cleaning a few watches. I don't dare clean them all at once so that they don't know how many I actually own.

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HotWatchChick69

Amazing.  Okay, who were the absolute worst customers?  Was it the watch nerds who just wanted to come in and take up all your time talking about lug widths?  Or, the un-decided's who would come in 20 times, flip-flopping between one watch or another?  

Not that I'm one of those people.  Not at all. 

Easy, I have a lot more stories to tell! Including the worst of them

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Maybe I should clean my watches haha

I never cleaned them, but they have definitely not gotten too dirty. I think I rotate them too often to ever be able to haha

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Hear, hear. My 4-year-old was watching me clean my Santos case and bracelet this morning. Teach'em young.

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I have , many times , used a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol to clean out the nasty that gathers between the links on steel bracelets.

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foghorn

I have , many times , used a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol to clean out the nasty that gathers between the links on steel bracelets.

I just use running water and my thumb. Might start using an extra-soft toothbrush to get between the links.

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The amount of wrist cheese I've had to clean off ebay buys doesn't bare thinking about.

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morganthedruid

The amount of wrist cheese I've had to clean off ebay buys doesn't bare thinking about.

Yikes-I have enough trouble with my own cheese!!

Another good reason to avoid the bay.

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I have seen Bloke's work in the past, and nobody gives better (and funnier) insider's views of watch retailing. Great stuff, and I hope this is the first of many here. 🎯

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I am not recommending this model or anything, just did a quick search, but for $8, there is no reason not to have your bracelets clean!

Make sure you remove them first, as the vibration is not great for the movement, even if you use the included plastic piece that often comes with these, to keep the watch head out of the solution.

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Looking forward to more tales from Bloke's retail experiences. 
 

As a RN, believe me when I say that it isn't just watches these folks don't clean before they wind up in need of help. Trust me. 

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I’m sure you have hundreds of stories MrBloke. Hope you’ll share more. 👍👍

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Water resistant watches often get cleaned with a soft toothbrush and soap in the shower.  Dress watches don't get the level of wear or filth so tends to be when the strap is changed