Clear or not so clear!

So, Clarity – What’s all that about?  Well it’s about the number of watches you bought over the years, not over the counter, but over the Internet.  The models that seemed, on screen, so clear to read with their high contrast hands to dial looks, only to find out later that the hands were silver/chrome and taken very cleverly by the photographer.  That other watch with the gold coloured hands against the gold dial and when you turned on the lights in the house, the hands disappeared into the background.  Then there are the ones with those little sub dials that in the picture seem so clear, but in reality the reflections and their real actual color makes them so difficult to even see, let alone read.

Airforce inspired? The Invicta 1514l Force Collection.

Airforce inspired? The Invicta 1514l Force Collection.

The reason I bring this here as a post is that a friend the other day, who buys as many new watches as food (sorry, talk about calling the kettle black!) complained to me that so many of his watches ended up in his drawer, never to be worn again.  He said he couldn’t pin it down, the reason that is, but just fancied something new.  Intrigued I asked to see the old watches and after looking at them for a bit, realized that what was missing from virtually all of them was – yes – you guessed it – clarity!  I don’t think I’d seen such a collective heap of models with the worst hand/dial contrast ratio in the one place at the one time!  And some of them, and I checked, looked pretty dire even on the online clever photographic adverts.

Here is one that’s still around I believe – the Invicta 1514l Force Collection Gents Chronograph.  Now I don’t know about you but I for one struggle to see the time on this, as the hands are just about merged into the background.  Inspired from the Airforce it may be, but they forgot the basics – you have to read the thing!  He did point out to me another thing he initially thought was great, but once in his hands not so – and that was the fact the crown and pushers are on the left side of the watch.  Now he’s right handed as are around 85% of the world’s population and he wear his watch on his left hand so operating anything was difficult to say the least.  So yes he should have thought of that and not one of his greatest purchases.
Now OK a left handed guy with exceptional eyesight might think this is a beauty and I can only congratulate him.  But let’s be honest – for clarity – it really could be better!

Tommy Bahama TB1074 Pilot

Tommy Bahama TB1074 Pilot

And here is another one I struggle with, as again the hands which are also part skeletal are in a colour that just doesn’t do it for me and I really struggle to read clearly.  It is also quite a “busy” dial with all the tacho rings and so on around the perimeter.  So another model he wore for a few days and consigned to that bottom drawer.

However this problem is not the sole preserve of my friend as I spotted the other day this expensive and quite rare Chopard Jackie Ickx Limited Edition 24 hr Chronograph totaliser model.

Chopard Jackie Ickx Limited Edition - not the most legible per $

Chopard Jackie Ickx Limited Edition – not the most legible per $

The silvered hands against the white/silver dial background really compromise legibility, though I note that Chopard allegedly promise that in poor light its analogue display readout will be perfect thanks to the Super Luminova coated hands and hour indices!  Well that’s just great – a night time only watch!

I’ve heard everything now!

As I said to my watch buying nut of a friend, not to worry as he’s in good company and at least he doesn’t spend that kind of money each time.  Anyway he’s trawling around in my watch cabinet at the moment and has already selected a few that seem to appeal to him.  However – and I’ve locked the door at this point – he’s not getting his hands on any of ’em!

But seriously this is an important point to bear in mind, re’ the images on the internet.  If they have those 360º images of the real watch, that of course is preferable to just the art enhanced images, but if you can actually see the watch in real life – then so much the better.
Also read the descriptions (if accurate – another bugbear I have) and if it says “gold coloured hands” and they’re shown black because the photographer has used best contrast angles, then think about it.  They’re not black are they!  And if the indices or numerals are described as silvered or chromed highlights etc – again think carefully about just what you are looking at.  These may be difficult to read in daylight and may have reflections.

Otherwise you’ll join that happy band (I think my friend is a founder member) of guys who have a bottom drawer full of these nice looking, but ultimately poorly designed watches.  You will also probably see one or two even in your own circle – you know, you ask your friend the time and who’s now squinting at his watch . . . . . .

You could of course have a sneak peek first at his watch and then ask him the time on purpose.   😉

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