Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post Reply
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
Posts: 3489
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm
Contact:

Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by Nuvolari » February 16th 2023, 10:56pm

You may recall a few weeks ago I went into Walnut Creek on a Saturday to visit my watchmaker, Tam Nguyen, of WatchZone in said city but they were closed.

I went back to Walnut Creek for a series of meetings for work on Tuesday. However, 10 hours earlier I made the arrogant mistake of sending a snarky-captioned picture to a friend showing some poor soul’s favorite discount tire brand, MUCHO MACHO. I mean, how could that not bring a smile to your face, though?

{“Dees tires? Si, dey are macho, my friend. Dey dun’t call dem vrray macho for nutheen!”}
00CCF97E-BDE9-43C7-92B0-1928202D6126.jpeg
Yeah, but… Karma? It’s true. She’s wonderful, unless she’s being a raging bitch which, Tuesday, she was.

I came out of the first meeting Tuesday morning and found my well-established brand of tire was only somewhat macho:
8DE1A5BF-1D48-43F3-846F-21E705303216.jpeg
AAA aired it up, I drove to a tire shop and found the razor-blade damage was not repairable. They offered to sell me a new one, but I have a replacement warranty through Tire Rack, so they re-juiced up the tire with very high air pressure to allow me to get back home and park it until Fed Ex brings out the replacement on Saturday or Monday.

So, today I again made it back to Walnut Creek in a different car, attended my rescheduled meetings, and finally made it over to Tam’s.

Time marches on, of course, and it occurred to me that I’ve been walking up to his shop door since 2007… My eclectic taste in watches has meandered all over the map in that period of more than 15 years.
BFCCE80D-E661-463A-B7CA-95DDA461FA7C.jpeg
It was like a home coming seeing Tam again - I hadn’t been to his shop since the pandemic was in full-mask, mostly locked-down craziness three years ago and even that was for a brief pick-up.

I asked about whether Saturday business had wound down and he said no, he just had to work less.

He then opened his shirt like you might expect Clark Kent would to reveal the giant “S”… but, in Tam’s case, he showed me a HUGE scar from his heart surgery!
720F23A4-4FC0-4FC9-873E-47908E856844.jpeg
About a year ago he has a massive heart attack at work and when his wife called 911 there just happened to be a helicopter at John Muir hospital, about a mile away which was able to get him to Stanford in time to save his life and install a new aorta and some related plumbing(!)

So, Tam is BACK, from the dead - literally. I was shocked to say the least and am feeling particularly mortal having learned earlier in the day of a dear friend beginning chemo for stage 3 lung cancer. But whaddya do? Nobody gets out alive, so might as well enjoy the ride…
A320237D-2254-4E7C-A64F-7933E624FF7B.jpeg
Tam had taken my two troubled watches behind the wall to open them up and see what’s going on.
D0D5725C-BAA1-4EC7-955B-0AED026EE0CC.jpeg

I feared the worst - but to distract my mind while the Watchmaker maked watches work, I took a few shots of his very old disused tools:
76E58D6D-3EFF-4D1F-B9EC-0302FD09A591.jpeg
The Oris had one of the pawls for the minute counter get stuck, so the chronograph quit displaying elapsed minutes. It may be indicative of me not wearing the watch enough and the oil settling… So, his adjustment will do the trick but there may be a time where it starts doing it again - and that will officially signify the need for a full COA service of the entire chronograph. That works for me, because it works now!
FE6DCF8D-2434-4C8B-85BF-0C466251423C.jpeg
16EFE16E-F70D-472C-B115-27BC18ED146D.jpeg
And, while it failed to keep accurate - or any - time after an uncomfortably harsh impact against the cold hard mean tile floor, it turns out the Longines had superb shock protection, but the mainspring got bound up which is why it wouldn’t tick. Tam handed it back working just fine.
4C2C09A3-5D03-48C5-A790-C3621F60A7CB.jpeg
I reached for my wallet - and he waived me off.

This Thing of Ours, as Conjurer has called it, needs more specialized talent like Tam but I’m grateful fate didn't reduce our talent pool.

As we move deeper into an ethic that is quick to replace but slow to repair movements I suspect people like Tam may go the way of the double cassette deck auto reverse boom box.

And that saddens me.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Nuvolari on February 16th 2023, 11:15pm, edited 1 time in total.
”Russian Warship - Go Fuck Yourself!”

Image
User avatar
conjurer
Owner
Posts: 34527
Joined: July 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by conjurer » February 17th 2023, 12:44am

Nuvolari wrote:
February 16th 2023, 10:56pm

{“Dees tires? Si, dey are macho, my friend. Dey dun’t call dem vrray macho for nutheen!”}

00CCF97E-BDE9-43C7-92B0-1928202D6126.jpeg
Hey, Mr. Lari, and you dissing Hoonday?

Image

Because if you are, I shall have to ask you to step outside!
User avatar
smellody (Online)
Owner
Posts: 10473
Joined: December 18th 2009, 11:00pm
Location: OR
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by smellody » February 17th 2023, 1:40am

conjurer wrote:
February 17th 2023, 12:44am
Nuvolari wrote:
February 16th 2023, 10:56pm

{“Dees tires? Si, dey are macho, my friend. Dey dun’t call dem vrray macho for nutheen!”}

00CCF97E-BDE9-43C7-92B0-1928202D6126.jpeg
Hey, Mr. Lari, and you dissing Hoonday?

Image

Because if you are, I shall have to ask you to step outside!
Itz hi-und-dai
   Image
User avatar
codguy
ASSHAT
Posts: 9436
Joined: June 9th 2011, 10:00pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by codguy » February 17th 2023, 7:41am

Nuvolari wrote:
February 16th 2023, 10:56pm
I came out of the first meeting Tuesday morning and found my well-established brand of tire was only somewhat macho
AAA aired it up, I drove to a tire shop and found the razor-blade damage was not repairable.
Wow, I've had flats via nails, screws and once a part of sumbodys aerial antenna but never picked up a razor blade. Is it common to pick up razor blades off bay area streets ???

Nice post about Tam, gawd only knows what the cost of mechanical watch service will be when the watchmaker pool becomes really scarce.


Cecil:
The gentleman I use to see was a watch repairer at a local Ben Bridge -----------turns out Rolex goobled him up and he is now working at their service facility somewhere in Texas. I no-longer have a smith I trust to work on anything other than three handers and that shop is over a 2 hour drive for me. :(
.



Image






.
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
Posts: 3489
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by Nuvolari » February 17th 2023, 11:44am

conjurer wrote:
February 17th 2023, 12:44am
Nuvolari wrote:
February 16th 2023, 10:56pm

{“Dees tires? Si, dey are macho, my friend. Dey dun’t call dem vrray macho for nutheen!”}

00CCF97E-BDE9-43C7-92B0-1928202D6126.jpeg
Hey, Mr. Lari, and you dissing Hoonday?

Image

Because if you are, I shall have to ask you to step outside!
No, no, no my good man - only people who choose their tyres like their California reds: “…it had such a cute name!”
”Russian Warship - Go Fuck Yourself!”

Image
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
Posts: 3489
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by Nuvolari » February 17th 2023, 11:53am

Datsun240Z71 wrote:
February 17th 2023, 4:27am
Mucho Macho. LOL!

The tires are endorsed by Randy Pobst. Never heard of COSMO before.

https://www.cosmotires.com/tires/muchomacho

Great post regarding Tam. Not many of his skillset left.
Randy’s a cool guy - we used to see him around at Lemons, which I noticed he understandably doesn’t reference in his bio.

Well… I mean, I remember when nobody had heard of Kumho. We gravitated toward them because they supported motor sports and had a race tire that was 80% as good as the go-to BFG competition tire, at 60% of the price. 50% of the price of my favorites: Hoosiers.

And now they’re legit…. So, who knows. Maybe these Kremer Tyres are the future! But it feels like it should be introduced by Bill Murray.
D2546F97-80DF-4CC6-B1B3-A982CF311148.jpeg
35DB7577-9D3C-497C-A882-2402182EF341.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
”Russian Warship - Go Fuck Yourself!”

Image
User avatar
conjurer
Owner
Posts: 34527
Joined: July 13th 2010, 10:00pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by conjurer » February 17th 2023, 11:58am

Nuvolari wrote:
February 17th 2023, 11:44am
conjurer wrote:
February 17th 2023, 12:44am
Nuvolari wrote:
February 16th 2023, 10:56pm

{“Dees tires? Si, dey are macho, my friend. Dey dun’t call dem vrray macho for nutheen!”}

00CCF97E-BDE9-43C7-92B0-1928202D6126.jpeg
Hey, Mr. Lari, and you dissing Hoonday?

Image

Because if you are, I shall have to ask you to step outside!
No, no, no my good man - only people who choose their tyres like their California reds: “…it had such a cute name!”
:Thumbsup:
User avatar
Nuvolari
Watchlord WIS
Posts: 3489
Joined: August 7th 2014, 5:53pm
Contact:

Re: Life Is Precious - And So Is A Good Watchmaker! [Word Salad]

Post by Nuvolari » February 18th 2023, 11:13am

That’s a good call, Mark.

Instead of hoarding him as a personal resource, I should be sharing his skills with the group:
0265ED42-E28B-45D9-837F-D7FF2CFB5239.jpeg
My personal thumbs up testimonials apply across more brands and individual watches than most of the public will actually handle and I have learned much along the way from Tam’s broad knowledge of all things horological… But, you know, after glancing through the more ‘amusing’ Yelp reviews {negative} it should be noted he’s not a fucking robot.

https://m.yelp.com/biz/watch-zone-walnut-creek

This specific assessment, though, is one I find particularly intriguing:
6FB04785-2C7A-4750-8D4C-FC7542FE7239.jpeg
And, sure, his wife, Christine, can sometimes be a bit abrasive in her very direct approach but that’s business, man. She’s the strong woman behind the good man - and she has a great rack - so, deal with it!

What I’m curious to better understand is, what - four years ago - would constitute a vintage 1980’s “ultra high end” watch in the range of your estimated “$60,000” value… which, requiring a battery change, is clearly quartz-driven?

How strange that the very confident John S. didn’t brandish the manufacture name so we can better understand the depth of his extreme sophistication… 🤔
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
”Russian Warship - Go Fuck Yourself!”

Image
Post Reply

Return to “General Watch talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests