“I have got a disability and any stress, I just break down crying.”

A man who paid £5 for what he thought was an Apple Watch sold from the back of a lorry was left fuming when he realised it wasn’t genuine.

Ronald ‘Alan’ Dennis has been refused a refund for the watch, and even went to Trading Standards, but was still left disappointed… More here.

A bizarre story. My sympathies are not exactly flowing…

Tudor Black Bay GMT thoughts. Too good for me?

A grail watch that is so good it just doesn’t feel right

For many years I have wanted a Tudor Black Bay Heritage. It has always been the watch I look at and consider to be ‘the one’. I cannot explain why, but the cliche of ‘it needs to speak to you’ is 100% true in the case of watches and the invisible emotions that can make you love or hate a watch are completely real.

When I found myself in a position to finally get my grail I made some enquiries with regards to the red Heritage and was advised by my authorised deal that he had none. I was ready to check elsewhere, they are readily available, but he mentioned that he had just received a Black Bay GMT. That made me stop in my tracks.

You see, the GMT is not easy to find at all which is evidenced by this snippet taken from a watch forum discussing the availability in London last August-

So far:

John Lewis Oxford Street – Long Waiting List
Ernest Jones – Cheapside – 70 people waiting
Goldsmiths – Victoria – 200 people waiting
Watches of Switzerland – Regent St – 120 people waiting

Will update information as when I know more…

This has not changed much at all and to this day many people have been waiting for a long time to get their hands on one. So I asked him to keep it aside and I popped into the store the next day. £2,780 later it was mine.

A huge amount of money for a watch, but the picture is much bigger and far deeper when it comes to this particular watch. I shall try to explain why this amount of money makes perfect sense-

1/ It is a Tudor Black Bay. Try to buy a second-hand Black Bay and you will pay close to the original asking price so it is hard to lose money if you keep it in decent condition.

2/ The GMT is scarce and they are regularly changing hands for between £3,000 and £3,500 and in some cases even higher.

3/ The Rolex GMT Master II is £6,850. Yes, it is in some ways a very different watch, but in others the similarities are stark.

4/ It is an asset which holds its price in a way almost all other products fail to do. If troubling times come, I have +£2,500 to sell at any point. Potentially I will have a lot more once a few years have passed.

There was logically no reason to turn down the GMT even though when I sat in the jewellers with it on my wrist I was not overcome. It was not speaking to me as I expected it to.

I bought it anyway.

A strange thing happened over the next few days and especially so on the first wear. I was paranoid of getting any scratch or mark on it, presumably because of points 2 and 3 above, and so I was being extra careful with resting my arm on the desk etc. It took 30 minutes for me to pull out a second watch from my bag and replace this one in a safe place so that it did not gain any mark.

What was more strange, however, was how I felt wearing a watch that is worth approximately £3,000. It felt overwhelming in a small way. I didn’t feel like someone who should be wearing such an expensive watch. It’s not me and I simply did not feel worthy because it felt so out of place on my arm.

I am not a Rolex guy. Never have been and I never will be. There are many reasons for this; the designs feel as though they have been put together for other people to see and not for the wearer to enjoy. The Submariner is wonderful, but now so generic that everyone who gets into watches owns one. When people reach a certain financial position in life that they want to stamp they buy a Rolex. They don’t look for something different, they go for a Rolex because it is the safe choice.

The Pepsi icon. Rotary has tried to copy it, but failed in a big way. As have many other brands..

For all of the greatness of Rolex, and there is much, the designs feel as though they are aimed at people at least a generation ahead of me and maybe more. Look at the GMT Master II and compare it to the Black Bay GMT- the Master II comes over as far too decorative whereas the Bay feels somehow younger and cooler.

Anyway, I digress. I wore the Black Bay GMT the next day and it managed to get more wrist time than in the previous 24 hours, and the sense of ‘not good enough to wear it’ started to dissipate. But then another feeling clouded my thoughts. The red and blue bezel, which is made up of two perfectly matched subtle colours, pops in the subtlest of ways. It is not noticeable most of the time, but now and again I appreciate the colour scheme used on GMT. The white snowflake hands work perfectly with the grey(?) dial and the GMT hand of course makes sense in red. However, the sense of silver, red and blue all together can come over as too cautious. It is hard to put into words, but it is perfectly possible that I am truly smitten with the Black Bay Heritage and the gold hands and markers. It will sound silly to those of you who don’t have an interest in watches, but when you see something that fits the way you are, it is hard to move to the opposite.

The lack of a date window on the Heritage helps a lot as does the full red bezel and the gold of course, and it is these little things that make it feel special to me. It makes it feel just more special than the GMT. I cannot of course criticise the GMT for this because it is a true tool watch with a brilliantly intuitive movement and it makes no apologies for that. It should be perfect for me because it ticks every box, but the Heritage feels just a little more perfect.

Overall though I am left with the feeling that a £3,000 watch is too much for me. Do I not feel worthy to wear an expensive watch? Does it feel like a risk carrying something like this with me every day? I don’t know, but it makes me feel uncomfortable and somewhat guilty deep down. It feels arrogant and unnecessary which is bizarre because I have always wanted a watch like this. My iPhone cost £1,000 and I don’t have any guilt about carrying that around so why is a watch a problem?

I don’t know why it is, but I suspect that I will end up wearing a £300 Seiko again and will continue to ‘look up’ to watches like the Black Bay GMT. Something about not being able to attain an object makes it seem more special to me than when I have it on my wrist, and it is kind of a disappointing feeling.

If you have no such worries, however, get this watch. It is wonderful and probably the best value watch on the market today when compared to its peers.

Wena Pro by Sony

Turn your favourite watch into a smart watch, all of the latest smart features are incorporated into the smart wena strap, giving you the perfect balance of style and convenience. Leave your bulky wallet behind thank to the contactless payment system built into the wristband. Get notifications on smartphone calls, apps and texts, all with an optional vibration mode. Monitoring your health has never been easier. Just wear your Wena wrist pro and check steps walked, calories burned, track sleep and more from a dedicated application.

Wena wrist Pro combines the beauty of analogue timepieces with the convenience of technology. Add your favourite watch face to the wena pro to create a personalised smartwatch that’s literally like no other or choose a face from the extensive wena lineup. The wena wrist pro smart strap is compatible with 18mm, 20mm and 22mm watch faces so you can truly make it your own… More here.

A good idea and I’m pleased to see a real company like Sony trying this approach. My main concern would be the quality of the fitness tracking, but time will tell.

The iPhone push

I explained that my device was randomly shutting down and wouldn’t come back on for several hours. As soon as I finished the explanation, the greeter said, “Have you considered upgrading to a new iPhone recently?”

I was holding my iPhone XS Max in my hand, but the Apple store employee clearly must have thought it was an iPhone X. I responded by saying, “There’s an iPhone newer than the iPhone XS Max?” and she quickly laughed and tried to play it off… More here.

I think many of us have been seeing this trend growing for some time.

The EvoType case. Hmmm…

We’ll save a final verdict on typing with this keyboard for a full review once the EvoType actually launches for the Pixel 3 XL, but right now I can’t say much good about the experience. It doesn’t feel quite as natural as typing on your smartphone, and some of the layout decisions make it slightly hard for me to adjust. I’d say I can type at about 2/3 the speed on this keyboard as I would be able to on the phone’s display… More here.

So, it is not as good as typing on the phone screen, the screen that is right above the flat keyboard that costs $59. Gimmick is the word that comes to mind here.

Snowy Tokyo

Tokyo is getting some cold weather right now, including a rare bit of snow. So it seems timely to introduce the photography of Yusuke Komatsu, who recently published a self-explanatory series of photographs titled Snow in Tokyo… More here.

Great atmosphere in these shots.

We got through the war and we’ll get through this

A MAN born more than three decades after the Second World War is acting like he flew Spitfires against the Luftwaffe.

Martin Bishop, 41, from Lincoln, has declared that ‘we got through the war, and we will get through Brexit’ despite being minus-38 years-old when Hitler invaded Poland… More here.

Heard so many people use the war as an example of why we will be fine after Brexit. The difference is that we had no choice but to go to war, Brexit is a choice.

In answer to the first question — “What do we mean by ‘leaving the EU’?” — the book suggests options including “becoming a European Economic Area member like Norway.” That position is now anathema to Brexiteers, whose views have hardened on what leaving means as negotiations have continued… More here.

As Brexit gets closer the views of those who led the ‘criminal’ campaign get more hardline as do those who support them.

A controversial ferry contract awarded to a company with no ships as part of no-deal Brexit plans has been scrapped, the government has said. Ministers had faced criticism for the £13.8m deal with Seaborne Freight, which the BBC found had never run a ferry service. The Department for Transport said it decided to axe the deal after the company’s Irish backer pulled out… More here.

Incompetence or dodgy deal, or both?

As we get closer to Brexit day, the whole thing gets sillier. I have still not heard one fact based argument that shows how Brexit could be positive for the UK. I simply hear people saying things like ‘It will all be fine’ and ‘You have nothing to worry about’ without a shred of evidence to back up the belief.

It’s no different to climate change deniers. They don’t believe scientists and conclude that they are somehow being paid to come up with all of the evidence they have (yes, evidence). They are happy, however, to simply ‘know’ that it is not true because they have sat in a chair for a long time and listened to the likes of Trump and the Daily Mail.

Seriously, parts of our population have completely lost their minds. They have become ignorant to the truth and are instead choosing to believe what those in right-wing circles tell them without any evidence at all. They are quite happy, however, to dismiss ‘evidence’ if it does not fit their world view, their very narrow minded world view.

These are the people who follow others, those you work with who have no opinions and who just settle for an easy life. These are the people who only think about themselves and who could not give a damn about the next generation. They know the risks involved here, but are too insular and selfish to care. It’s driving me crazy and I suspect it has only just begun.

As a final thought, I’m not sure who has handled Brexit more deceptively, but I suspect that Jeremy Corbyn is the worst Brexiteer of all.