Watch Shopping in San Francisco

Watch Talk

San Francisco Watch

Over the last three weeks, I have been in the process of moving from Washington D.C. to San Francisco. Although I’ve been very busy with housing, hotels, commuting, working, and coordinating my relocation, I’m never too busy to do a little watch shopping.

Watch Shopping in San Francisco

I picked up a Tissot T-Touch primarily for the compass function to help me get oriented in the city. I’ve been to San Francisco dozens of times, but I’ve always taken cabs, so now I’m having to adjust to finding my own way. I have a terrible sense of direction, but fortunately, the T-Touch has a pretty good one. I wrote a very thorough review of the Tissot T-Touch a few months ago, but I wasn’t able to keep the watch I reviewed, so I ordered a new one with a black rubber strap. I typically go for watches with stainless steel or titanium bracelets, but the black rubber strap and the black dial of the T-Touch make a great combination.

I stayed in a hotel right on Union Square (the historic Westin St. Francis, for those of you familiar with the area) for about a week while I waited for my household goods to arrive, and I found a little watch store nearby that had a Seiko Sportura SLQ017 in the window. The SLQ017 is a limited edition Kinetic chronograph which is one of the most unusual and striking chronographs I’ve ever seen. Seiko only made 1,500 of them, and only 400 of those made their way to the US, so I was thrilled to come across one in person. I visited the SLQ017 a few times during my stay on Union Square, tried it on a few times, and even started negotiating on the price, but in the end, in the spirit of trying to control moving costs, I ended up not buying it. I hope I don’t regret it, but I probably will.

I found a Tourneau watch store in a mall on Market Street that had a decent selection of Rolexes, among other brands. In the used watch case was an 8-year-old white-dial Rolex Daytona for almost $14,000. I learned that the movements in the older Daytonas were actually made by the Swiss watchmaker Zenith which surprised me because Rolex is known for making their own movements (the newer Daytonas have Rolex movements). It was an extremely beautiful watch, though overpriced. New Daytonas go for about $7,000, but they are in such high demand that when retailers are not bound by Rolex’s pricing policies (as in the case of used watches), they often can’t help
but partake in a little price gouging. I asked the manager about putting my name on a waiting list for a new stainless steel Daytona, but I was told in a very snobby tone that only customers with excellent purchase histories could be put on the list (meaning customers who had bought Rolexes for Tourneau before). Apparently, Daytonas are in such high demand that poor slobs like me aren’t even allowed to wait for them. Maybe if I’d been wearing something more respectable than jeans and a t-shirt, and if I’d bothered to shave sometime that week, I would have gotten different results.

So what am I wearing on this particular rainy San Francisco Saturday morning? None other than a Casio Atomic Solar G-Shock. I’m about to head over to a friend’s place to help him paint his new house, and an inexpensive but tough plastic G-Shock is the perfect watch for the occasion.

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