A few years ago, while I was in LA scouring the city for unique vintage timepieces, I came across a craft shop with a very distinct service that allowed customers to experience the wonders of customizing their own watches.
I was somewhat surprised by the service, but this was the time of ‘pimping’ everything, customization was a big trend and I was in La La land after all!
Fast-forward a few years, and here I am frequently giving advice to my customers on how to ‘pimp’ their watches to better reflect their taste, personality or state of mind.
So, let’s say you would like to give your watch an upgrade, what’s on the menu?
To begin with, you could start with a few subtle changes, like getting a new strap; changing the color of the dial or the crystal; replacing the bezel or the case.
The easiest way to a new look is to get a new strap (or even a few). A nice alligator leather strap is synonymous with luxury and would transform your piece instantly into a sophisticated dress watch; a rubber strap could give your watch a second life of urban adventures.
You could also look into replacing the bezel: a chrome bezel looks very slick, and so does a ceramic one.
How about on the inside... should you or should you not pop the case? It’s very tempting to have different watch elements replaced: add a couple of sharper cogs, perhaps a better grade of spring or two, some colored head screws... But it’s also tricky, as most manufacturers would consider such modifications a case of tempering, and you could jeopardize the value of your watch.
Final words of wisdom: when it comes to pimping your watch, exercise some self-control. If you have an expensive watch, make sure that any modifications performed can be easily reversed, otherwise you’ll end up with a Frankenwatch!
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