Friday, June 26, 2020

There is a cure

This happens about once per year. And it happened last night. But I swear on George Daniels’ grave- it won't ever happen again.

The game is simple: a man in his late thirties calls to make an appointment. To a logical and very servile question "which watch is of interest?" he replies with a vague "I am not sure, what do you have in stock?" My assistant suggests a visit to our website where our entire (fairly modest) range of watches is listed in detail. Unfortunately, the caller refuses to take up the suggestion, determined to make an appointment to "discuss the matter in person" and inspect "whatever it is in stock".

Of course, in most cases that is not a problem, I am happy to help. But when that 'customer' arrives with a bunch of friends who are there to 'help', and when the crowd realizes that I am a small dealer who doesn't have any steel Daytonas, Hulks, or Batmans - or for that matter any watches on display - the buyer and his mates quickly become arrogant, agitated, and verbally abusive.

The mob is always of the same appearance: three white males, aged 30-40, wearing semi-designer clothes and Panerai, Hublot and Rolex watches. Big mouths, always in a pack, trying hard to insert their dominance, while faking disappointment.

Fruitless. Because trying to intimidate and frustrate a 57 year old, chubby, glasses-wearing watchmaker is as cowardly as it gets. It serves no purpose.

Over the decades I have had countless dealings with tens of thousands of men and women, of all ages, status and social backgrounds. From directors of multibillion dollar corporations, politicians, and bankers, to man who wears firearms for a living, and those who can settle any matter with one hit. With men of modest physique, but with great charm, a sense of humour and sense for fashion. Sophisticated alpha males. Great leaders. Decision makers. Tough men and women who work hard to make an honest living doing mundane jobs. Men of integrity and experts in their fields of activity - who all have one thing in common: a love for watches. And that dealing was and is always, without exception, based on mutual trust and mutual respect. Alpha males can achieve whatever they want (which is always a win-win outcome) without resorting to intimidation, abuse, aggression or cheating.

Men who gain pleasure by abusing the weak, who waste time, who get 'upset' over invisible scratches, men who are on a constant quest for perfection - while so painfully obviously imperfect themselves - who start the conversation with 'so what is your best deal' and who send 10 emails to complain about delayed shipping - all those men have one thing in common: they 'act' tough because they are impotent. And there is nothing more pathetic than three impotent, anonymous, ignorant men trying hard to intimidate a watchmaker.

The bad news is that joining a Rolex Forum or visiting local dealers and watchmakers ‘doing rounds’ will not solve the problem. However, the good news is that nowadays, erectile dysfunction can be treated with non-surgical methods. Yes, it may cost a Hublot or two, or even a Hulk, but if this is the price to be paid to sort out frustrations - it would be worth it, for sure.

Until then: take your frustrations elsewhere, visit by appointment only, and if you show up in a group of three or more – sorry, no entry.

Nicholas Hacko,
Master Watchmaker


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