Watches have always been a favorite distraction of mine. I thoroughly enjoy the detail and aesthetic of the portable timepieces, and have recently begun to learn more about the history behind many of the brands and designs as well. Initially, however it was all about a clean, sophisticated, contemporary look for me.
Having somewhat small and “effeminate” wrists (according to my wife) I tend to steer clear of the overly large chunky pieces and originally found myself admiring the ultra-thin, Danish-made Skagen watches. I added a couple of these to my watch box and continue to enjoy them to this day. My tiny wrists are grateful!
But Skagen was just a gateway to bigger, better (?) and more expensive watches. With their signature museum watches, Movado has always had the super clean, un-cluttered aesthetic that I was drawn to early on. I sprang a few hundred bucks for my first Movado 83G11891 and then dropped the largest wad of cash I had ever spent on a watch on a Movado Elrio 84H114610 to the tune of about $800=$900.
To me, at the time, these seemed like pretty significant investments. Living as a single guy with a pretty good job my future in watch collecting was just gaining steam …
… then the real estate market crashed in 2008, bringing down the global investment industry built on top of it. After having just purchased new a home with my girlfriend (my wife today) and our two daughters, I lost my job and was left unemployed and over $75,000 underwater in my mortgage. While I have since found new employment, the reduced income and additional kids (two more daughters for a total of four!!) left me with very few resources to invest in hobbies or personal interests.
Needless to say, shortly after the market went tits up, purchasing serious timepieces became a distant memory. With the exception of a small number of $15 Batman watches from WalMart (yeah … I’m a Batman fan too) I dropped out of the watch scene entirely until the spring of 2016.
It was April 2016 that I discovered the addictively inexpensive world of Chinese watches. Supposedly I could get very nice looking watches for under $10 … no … under $5 dollars?!! Holy cow!! Sign me up!!
I spent an entire evening and the wee hours of the next morning culling through the hundreds of cheap watches on each of the 78 watch pages of the Gearbest.com site. By the time the sun had risen I had purchased six new watches and favorited over 80 others I just HAD to have!! For under $40 USD!! Like a crack habit, the bug had taken hold and drove me to a similar ritual on the even more extensive AliExpress web site! In less than 9 weeks I had ordered, received and added nearly 20 new watches to what was now a collection, for less than $80 USD!!
My foray into the world of low priced, Chinese watches inspired me to spin up this site where I could share my experiences and information I have collected and learned and hopefully encourage visitors to share their knowledge and experiences as well. Besides, there is much I have left to learn as I continue to immerse myself more deeply into affordable watch nirvana!!
Keep in mind that I am not an authority in the watch industry, a watch maker or would even be considered a proper aficionado. I am just an everyday guy with very little money who appreciates, perhaps superficially, the beauty, history and function of personal timepieces.
It is my hope that you might find the information contained here in this site helpful as you look into Chinese watches as an affordable alternative to more expensive timepieces, or perhaps a jumping off point into a passion of your own.
Enjoy … and most of all … have a good TIME!