Archive | Newbie Advice

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How to buy a watch

Posted on 02 December 2008 by John Biggs

I’m just full of helpful hints this week. This one comes after seeing a comment on my other site, WristWatchReview about the BR02, a 1000M diver with a fairly striking design. I liked it when I saw it but at $4,800 I could probably pass. But did you know you could get it for a mere $168?

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How to polish a watch

Posted on 02 December 2008 by John Biggs

OK. I just suffered a fairly hair-raising situation with my new baby. Due to my own carelessness, I dinged the Jaeger a few times and wanted to polish them out. I got a few types of polish including one designed for delicate metals and tried to do it by hand. BAD IDEA. This created a fog of fine scratches that only I could really see but that drove me crazy nonetheless. So I tried Flitz by hand. More scratches. I was at wits end.
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PSA: Accuracy and Precision

Posted on 17 October 2008 by John Biggs

A pet peeve of mine – using the words accuracy and precision incorrectly, and failing to make a distinction between the two.

“degree of conformity of a measure to a standard or a true value”
accuracy. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved October 6, 2008, from

“the degree of refinement with which an operation is performed or a measurement stated”
precision. (2008). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
Retrieved October 6, 2008, from

In watches, accuracy is how well the watch keeps time and reflects the time according to an accepted standard. That is to say, how many seconds the watch gains or loses in a given period and how close it is to the Observatory clock. A Movado with no markings may be as accurate as an Omega with a similar movement, if they gain or lose time similarly (so many seconds a week, for example) and are set correctly.
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Great new blog: Tick Talk

Posted on 24 April 2008 by John Biggs

scaledcyclops.jpgSure, we can talk about watches all we want, but can we say we know how to remove a watch cyclops? Tick Talk is a blog by a certified watchmaker and he tells the story of Cyclopsi in real life.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who like a cyclops and those who don’t. I often see people on timezone wanting to know how to remove the cyclops from their watch. And then other people come into my shop and want me to put one on their watch. I have one customer who brings in every new watch he buys and has me install a cyclops.

Cyclops Removal [Tick Talk]

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Tip: Loose the Wife

Posted on 22 August 2007 by John Biggs

One man asks the ultimate question: How can I hide my watches from my wife?

My wife has made a deal with me that allows me to purchase a watch every two years, my last watch I purchased was only a few months ago. I have been wanting to buy Sinn U1, oh so bad . Good thing is that I control the finances, so as far as her finding out about the purchase I could keep that a secret, but here are the problems, since it is a Sinn, I would have to purchase it through an online AD, and when using a credit card they will ship to billing address, but even if I get it delivered to another address, how do I put it into my collection without her finding out since my collection, is pretty out in the open, and of course she would find out if I was wearing the watch in her presence. Sometimes I wish I was single, and didn’t have to worry about the significant other getting on my case about my watch obsession.

How to hide a new watch from your wife – [Watchuseek Watch Forums]

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What’s the Deal With Blued Screws

Posted on 21 February 2007 by John Biggs

Great thread on PMWF about blued screws. Some screws have the slot “silver” and the rest of the screw. Visit for the answer to the riddle.

What I expect is >>

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Airport Advice

Posted on 19 February 2007 by John Biggs

Good thread on WuS about airport watches.

Just a general question about airport security. How do you all handle the special watches you don’t want marred or scratched rolling around in those little plastic tubs? Maybe I’m just being a little ‘anal’ but i’ve seen some of those things come rolling down the exit side, with content flipping and flopping all over, or even worse, a 50 lb bag landing on top of it.

About Airport Screening [Watchuseek Watch Forums]

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What’s a NATO Strap?

Posted on 01 February 2007 by John Biggs


WuS has a great discussion of the NATO strap and it’s origins. NATO straps are traditionally nylon straps with a basic buckle and some have a “skunk stripe” down them for effect. These guys sell a few great ones.

The strap that collectors call “NATO” (not to be confused with the Rhino, Waterborne, or Maratec Zulu straps) is based upon the standard watch strap issued by the British Ministry of Defense (MOD). Called the “G10″ by members of the British military because of the form used to requisition the strap (and other items) from inventory, the reason it got its “NATO” name is because the strap has a NSN or NATO Stock Number which identifies this type of strap. Incidentally, the actual military spec strap comes in only one color (Admiralty Grey) and one width (20mm). The hardware specs have not changed (chrome plated brass), though at least some of the straps currently issued have stainless steel fittings. And there are actually TWO NATO stock numbers for the straps: Army/Navy (6645-99-124-2986) and RAF (6645-99-527-7059). …

History of the “NATO” Strap [Watchuseek Watch Forums]

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