I like to consider myself a thoughtful, clued-in person. I try also to be respectful and appreciative of the viewpoints of others. I can point to numerous examples where the input from friends or a well-written review changed my opinion about a certain watch. But there are some pervasive things in the watch world that are just irritating. Here in no particular order are my top ten pet peeves having to do with watches, watch collecting, and watch culture. Got some of your own? Feel free to leave them in the comments below! :)
10. Wrist shots that just so happen, completely incidentally of course, to also include your feet or shoes in the background.
Please, I really don't care how hip, or expensive, or unexpected, or vividly colored your shoes are. Even worse is your bare feet. And let's be honest -- it's not a natural pose. You have to make a special effort to get your feet in your wrist shot. I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone who likes and appreciates both style and shoes. And I recognize that the shoe gene often travels on the same chromosome as the watch gene. But can we all just agree that what we want to see is your watch, and not your shoes?
9. Articles Advising on What x Watches I Should Buy With y Dollars.
I have nothing against dispensing advice or expressing opinions (I do it all the time, obviously). But if you just start with a budget and want to buy watches to consume it, you're just buying watches to have watches. This feels like, "Welcome to the hobby, Mr. Hipster. You just bought your authenticity." And the smaller the value of x and the larger the value of y, the worse this is. It trivializes the process of owning and accumulating a collection of anything, and assimilating the knowledge that comes along with the experience. For my friends who ask for my advice in getting started I offer this: Start with a Seiko or Hamilton and wear it for a year. If you get it by then, you'll probably still keep the Seiko even if you buy something fancier next time. Note that I am not talking about articles that take the general form of "Best [insert x watch style here] for Around y Dollars," which is a useful and helpful thing.
8. The term "over engineered" used to describe certain tool watches.
I most often see this term used in reviews of watches from Sinn and Damasko. Ironically, I think most reviewers mean it as a compliment, but it comes across as dis'ing the watch in question. The term they really want is just "engineered." For example, "This watch has been engineered to withstand pressure to a water depth of 1,000 meters." Or, "Due to proprietary engineering technology, the case of this watch will resist scratches indefinitely." If that's the watch's purpose as intended by its designer, why is it over engineered when the watch meets this purpose? The question of whether or not any of us needs a 1,000 m dive watch in a scratch-proof case is a different discussion altogether. Having made this decision, don't go calling your new watch "over engineered."
Perhaps you yourself are not an engineer, in which case I suggest you ask yourself these questions when pondering the use of this term. Is the Mackinac Bridge over engineered because it crosses the often treacherous Mackinac Straits and was designed to last 1,000 years? When you're driving across it would you rather the designer had ignored the worst wind loads and extreme temperature changes the upper Great Lakes can present? Was the Space Shuttle over engineered because it was designed to go into orbit and then be landed like an airplane? How about the highest mpg car in the world? How about the pocket-sized super computer you may be reading this on? You get the point. A product designed to do a certain thing is not over engineered because it is able to do that certain thing.
7. Period-set movies that get their contemporary watches all wrong.
Take for example the recent summer blockbuster Wonder Woman, a movie I otherwise loved. It's set during WWI, and the male hero has a recurring thing with his watch. They went to the trouble to make the watch a 50-ish mm pocket watch held in some kind of leather wristlet, which I appreciated. So far so good, but then they ruined it by showing a closeup where the bloody thing is ticking like a quartz watch.
6. Irritating For Sale post language.
Let's start with "up for grabs." Your watch is not up for grabs, it's for sale. This phrase implies that you can just be the lucky or most aggressive winner of a toss up. Like when a bride throws her bouquet. When you walk into Target to buy toilet paper, do you feel like the toilet paper is up for grabs? It's not, it's just for sale and you can buy it if you have enough money.
Moving on to replies to FS posts, I find "What's your best price?" rude and irritating. It implies that I have priced the watch unrealistically or unfairly. My standard reply to this question is always, "What's your best offer?"
5. Watch shots posed grossly out of context.
You know the type I'm talking about. Your 5,000 m diver draped on your newborn's wrist. Your beautiful new GMT hanging on a tree branch. Not that every watch shot has to be a wrist shot, or not somehow posed with props. Go ahead and let's see that B-Uhr next to your favorite WWII-era model airplane. Not my style, but at least the context is right.
4. "Deployment" buckles.
Google dictionary gives these two definitions for the word deployment.
1. the movement of troops or equipment to a place or position for military action.
2. the action of bringing resources into effect.
The word you want is "deployant." I suspect this error crept into watch jargon as a result of autocorrect, but it's worth learning the difference. By the way, please don't ask me to build you a deployant strap. I don't appreciate them and don't like making them. Referring to it as a deployment strap would just make it worse. ;-)
3. Non-hacking movements and non-quickset dates.
I know, I know, there are a lot of really cool, really classic movements that don't hack or have quickset dates. Omega 1861, Zenith El Primero, Nomos Beta, to name a few. But this is my list of pet peeves and I get to include whatever I want. So there.
2. Complaining about a watch's size before you've tried it on.
It's fine to have some guidelines and to know your own tastes, but the vitriol I see on watch forums and other social media directed at watches that are bigger than x mm has really gotten out of hand. Think it's too big? Don't buy it. There is more to the way a watch looks, fits, and feels on your wrist than just one number can possibly describe or predict. Please don't ruin it for the rest of us who are interested in polite discussion about a new watch that just happens to be 1 or 2 or however many millimeters bigger than your self-imposed Maximum Limit of Watch Case Size Perfection.
1. Watch blogs that use sloppy grammar.
I said above that my pet peeves were in no particular order, but I may have lied. My all-time Watch World Pet Peeve is poorly proofread watch blog posts. Everybody makes mistakes once in a while and typos slip in undetected. And heaven knows the English language is full of booby traps and pitfalls for non-English majors. That's just reality, and that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about watch reviews that contain multiple mistakes, typos, and misspelled words in every single paragraph. If your blog is just a blog and you're not selling products or advertisements on your site, then I think you have a defense. Likewise if the language you're writing in is not your mother tongue. But the (so-called) blogs that are making (paid) reviews of watches and selling their own merchandise should clue in and get a proofreader. It's irritating to read something so error-ridden and unprofessionally written, and causes me to discount the information the blogger purports to be expert in. There, I've said it.
I welcome your own pet peeves or comments. Thanks for reading my blog!