Last Saturday, I set out on a day-long, watch-themed tour of NYC with close friends, local collectors, and few TWA readers. We stopped at various boutiques, a few vintage watch shops, and a particular booth on 47th street.
That morning, I grabbed a casual breakfast with a buddy of mine who happens to be a huge fan and collector of vintage Rolex and Patek. It was a rare occasion that numerous watches did not accompany him; instead, he sported just two watches: A pair of rare, incredibly mint Patek Philippe reference 96s. The first was steel, the second yellow gold. To say the least, our conversation lasted far longer than expected, to the point where we were running an hour late for our rendezvous with the rest of the group.
One hour later...we finally arrived at the "meeting spot," a.k.a. Barney's. While we thought about which boutique to check out first, in the interim, a bunch of us pulled out thirty or so of our own watches. Within minutes, our makeshift GTG was quieted as Barney's security started glaring in our direction. In other words, it was time to roll up the watch rolls.
Naturally, since we were on the Upper East Side, everyone wanted to go to Lange. I had been by Lange's new boutique just two days prior, but how could I resist seeing that black-dial 200th Anniversary 1815 again?
FPJourne was the next stop on our horological adventure. There, we got our hands on some pieces that were beyond cool.
But once our tranquil visit to Francois Paul Journe's New York HQ came to a close, a spring bar popped out of a friend's red 1680. Immediately, we all walked over to Tourneau to see if they could resolve the spring bar issue before it turned into, god forbid, a missing end piece issue. Unfortunately, the people at Tourneau were totally unaware of what a spring bar was; therefore, we knew it was time to take a trip to Wempe.
As we entered Wempe, we were greeted with the warmest of welcomes. And despite our need for just one spring bar and one minute with a spring bar tool, Wempe's knowledgable and gracious staff brought out a tray of sparkling water and white chocolate truffles (I did need some sugar, LOL). For a few minutes, we browsed the showcases and, unexpectedly (in a good way), one of the guys in our group purchased a Nomos right on the spot! With the spring bar changed, and a beautiful Nomos in hand, we thanked Wempe once again and set off into the snow!
Towards the end of the day, the group split up due to blizzard-like weather conditions. A few of us still made it to 47th street, where we hung out with John Buckley. To give you a sense of just how freaking cool this dude is, there's an actual Rolex dial named after him. It's called the "Buckley" dial. John showed us some out-of-this-world dials, watches (of course), and other fun Rolex-associated novelties. We also met up with my friend Carl who works alongside John and specializes in vintage Rolex.
We then went to Ed Faber's shop, the Aaron Faber Gallery, to get a glimpse of his vast selection of collectible and important vintage watches. By the time we got to see Ed's amazing Pateks, my camera ran out of battery:(
If you would like to be a participant in future TWA NYC Watch Tours (Next One Is In Spring 2015), please send an email to email@example.com.