Thursday, September 24, 2020

YouTube - and what we have learned so far


One thing is certain - no more videos featuring customers' watches.

As strange as it sounds, for some, watching their watch being pulled apart could be an emotional issue. It's like watching your favourite pet on the surgical table. 

The real issue is that the vast majority of viewers don't really understand the nature of the repair or servicing process. Some 'manoeuvres' are just not pretty to watch. If you are a vegetarian, you may find a video of an abattoir somehow disturbing. For example: a common complaint is that I don't use finger cots. I do - but during assembly only. While cots prevent fingerprints on metal, the side-effect is enormous desensitisation of the fingers. When manipulating extremely fine parts with very fine tools, there is no other option but to take them off. George Daniels had monster fingers - and never used finger cots in his entire life. Daniels was the most famous restorer of Breguet pocket watches. There is a reason why he worked 'naked' and most likely, an average watch forum follower who thrives on perpetuated myths and stereotypes, won't get it. 

"Why are you using such and such cleaning solution or lubricant?" is another commonly asked question. Yes, I am reluctant to provide more details. For two reasons: some are just my trade secrets, while others are too complex to apply by a novice watchmaker or enthusiast. What is shown in the video is a tiny snapshot of a more elaborate 'behind the scenes' process, so what you see is not necessary what you get. Chemistry is tricky. 

But the final reason why customers' watches won't be shown any more is this: watch owners simply can't take public criticism. Take for example a recent restoration video - which by the way has been watched over 100,000 times and received hundreds of comments. Most comments are praises for a fantastic restoration job but there are some viewers who were 'not happy' with the way the owner took care of the watch in the past. "If this was my watch I would look better after it!". Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. Others directly blamed the owner for the watch being neglected and left in a rather poor condition. For reasons only known to him, the watch owner felt compelled to respond, and unfortunately, in a rather undiplomatic manner - by calling other viewers names and using very inappropriate language. Then hell broke loose, and I watched the drama unfold in real time, at 11pm. One moment I was praised (by the owner) for a fantastic job - only to be called names hours later - for no fault of mine. As they say - you can't please them all. 

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