Store Review, Bailey Banks and Biddle, Oakbrook, IL

Store Review: Bailey Banks and Biddle, Oakbrook, IL

Overview: Chain jewelery store

Brands sold/spotted:  TAG Heuer, Omega, Zenith, Breitling, many others.
Prices: Retail ($750 to $15000+)

Watch bands/bracelets sold there? No

Detailed Review:

I must say, if you are willing to part with a couple of grand or more, this is the place to stop.  They have just about the full line of Omega and many other brands.  The staff is very courteous and knowledgeable about watches.  Very little sales pressure from most.  I have tried on quite a few pieces there.  I don’t think I could part with the coin needed to buy one of these watches, but, they are darn nice to look at.  If you go there, be sure to check out the Breitlings, they are pretty darn sharp looking.  My personal favorites are the Omegas, particularly, the Speedmaster Pro, brown and the Railmaster. As for pricing, they can usually offer some discount and do have some decent closeout prices, well, relatively decent.
Five out of Five stars.
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Book Review, Practical Watch Repairing

Here is a new feature for this blog, a book review!

Title: Practical Watch Repairing

Author: Donald de Carle, Illustrated by: E.A.Ayres

ISBN:978-1-60239-357-8 © 2008

Don’t be fooled by the copyright date, this book was originally written in the mid 60’s.  That being said, it is probably the best written book on mechanical watch repair.  It was written with starting your own watch repair business in mind, but that’s ok.  He goes through every tool you will ever need and even how to make parts from scratch!  This may be shocking to owners of throw away watches, but a mechanical watch can ALWAYS be repaired. (The only limiting factor is cost.)  This book is written well, but if you are not fascinated by watches, it will bore you to tears.  If you are a watch lover, it is a great way to learn a lot about how watches work.  Hey, someday when passing through a flea market, you may even pick up a beaten watch to repair, this book will show you how.  It is extensively illustrated with line drawings.  An illiterate person can learn how to repair a watch, that is how many illustrations there are!  There are tons of tips and tricks.  I wonder how many watchmakers started out reading this book?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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Store Review, Macy’s, Oakbrook, IL

Store Review: Macy’s, Oakbrook, IL

Overview: Chain department store

Brands sold/spotted: Fossil, Nautica, TAG Heuer, Seiko, Citizen, many more.
Prices: Retail ($40 to $9000+)

Watch bands/bracelets sold there? No

Detailed Review:

This store has two watch sections, a fine watch and a fashion watch section.  The fashion watch section has a very wide selection and often has sales on most brands.  The sales staff is helpful and have a good knowledge of the product in their area.  Usually you never have to wait for help.  They have Fossil, Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger (Macy’s Exclusive), and many more.  There are quite a few automatics in the $100 range as well.  This section gets 4 out of 5 stars.

The fine watch section has just awful customer service.  You can rarely get anyone to help you.  When you do, they seem rushed and would rather be selling fine jewelry.  Virtually no knowledge of the product, which is not good you are shopping for a ‘timepiece’.  Pricing is underwhelming, unless they are having a closeout sale.  The problem with closeouts is you can’t return the item.  One out of Five stars.

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Store Review, Nordstrom, Oakbrook, IL

Store Review: Nordstrom, Oakbrook, IL

Overview: Chain department store

Brands sold/spotted: Zodiac, Baume and Mercier, Longiness, AK, et al.

Prices: Retail ($40 to $4000)

Watch bands/bracelets sold there? No

Detailed Review:

This store has one watch counter with a very wide range of price points.  Anything from $45 Anne Klein fashion watches to $2,400 Longiness are right along side each other.  It is kind of odd, actually.  Like having Timex next to Rolex.  The staff was pretty helpful, but not the most knowledgeable about watches.  The younger salespeople are more eye candy than helpful.  Prices are pretty much retail.  They do have Zodiac’s, which are pretty neat looking watches, if you like quartz.  3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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Interesting new Fossils

Got a flyer in the mail for Fossil and on the back cover they have some decent looking Speedmaster look-a-likes:
Basic Black:

fossil_black_speedmaster

And a neat green:

fossil_green
There is also a white one, but with white on white hands and dial, it is a little silly.  All three are $95, list.  It looks like a different movement on these watches, 60 minute chronograph with 1/20 second subdial.  I have not seen these in the store yet, but the styling looks very nice.  I like the hands, very simple stick hands for the hour and minute with a nice dot tipped second hand.  The bracelet looks very close to a Speedmaster/Omega style as well.  Ill be sure to check them out the next time I visit a Fossil store and report on the quality.

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