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KB

By-Tor

34 posts in this topic

There has always been many facets that go into making up a rep forum, whether it be the Admin or his team members on the official front, the collectors for our supplies of goodies or the vast wealth of knowledge we glean from our members.

There is a category of member that I personally label as the giver’s, some of these are targets of previous interviews, however today I would like to interview a very special giver one who spends many hours of his time to give us first rate reviews, reviews that are so good they sell the watches.

Ken : Hello By-Tor and thank you for finding the time to speak to us today.

By-Tor : No problem Ken. It’s not like I get requests like this every year. I think we all have a small narcist living inside: who wouldn’t love to endlessly talk about themselves?

K : As usual my first question will be why By-Tor?

BT : As people can see from my forum avatar, I’m a big fan of the Canadian progressive rock band Rush. I first saw them at Madison Square Garden during my New York trip, 1994, and it was an experience I’ll never forget (both trip and the concert). I’ve seen them twice since that. Great musicianship combined with powerful and smart rock music. Like Grateful Dead back in their day, they have been extremely large live act for decades, without any hits or mainstream attention. Unlike most of today’s “artists” they never become corporate MTV whores. They did it their own way, without any compromises. Besides their music, I respect the attitude.

“By-Tor and the Snow Dog” is a Rush song from one of their old 70’S albums “Fly By Night”. That sounded like a cool nickname, so I chose it. I’ve used the same nick previously, in the local powerlifting forums I owned and administrated in the early 2000’s.

K : Ok we all know you are a big fan of Omega, can you please give us a little background on your love of omega’s and watches in general?

BT : I got my first automatic watch from my dad when I was very young. 6 or 7 I think. It was a Longines. My dad owns many nice genuine watches, and I have always admired his collection. Being a watch enthusiast is definitely a thing I have inherited from my old man. Reps are perfect and economic way of getting the “feel” of lots of fine watches. And we all need something to escape from the daily routines, work and the family. Some people poison their minds with soap operas and reality TV, I’d much rather photograph, discuss and write about watches.

Omega… I’m not sure why I like Omega so much. When we talk about Omega, we have to mention the main rival, Rolex, don’t we? I’m also a big fan of the classic Rolex sports line, but somehow I feel more comfortable wearing Omegas.

They’re more youthful, and Seamaster’s 42mm is a great size. The current Seamaster and Speedmaster models are pretty much perfect sports watches. And just look at all those new brilliant Omegas, the new Broad Arrows, anniversary Speedys, DeVilles and Planet Oceans, Co-Axial Tourbillons… and then look at the pathetic and impotent new Rolex releases, like YM 2, Cellini and all those pretty pink diamond Daytonas. It was different back in the 70’s and 80’s, but Omega is much more interesting mass produced luxury brand today.

That being said, classic Sub/SD, GMT and Explorer II are still among my all time favorites. They’re brilliant watches. It’s just the recent “over-blingy” and tasteless Rolex philosophy that I despise.

K : Did you ever make a conscious decision to look for some way to give back to your hobby or was it more a case of evolving into the role?

BT : I think it was more of the latter. I got really interested in photography at some point, and watches (like beautiful women) are very nice objects. Always when I receive a new rep, I try to research it: the history, previous models, etc. I’ve learned a lot about watches that way. Making the reviews is very big part of the excitement for me. Searching info about your new watch, comparing it to the gen, shooting photos, etc. is like reading a book or watching a good movie: fun.

But I don’t think my reviews are that special, really. It’s not that I’m a pro like Ziggy or anything. Anyone could do such writeups and take photos. I just enjoy it so much. Maybe it shows, and that’s why people consider them good? Anyway, I’m really happy that members find them enjoyable.

K : You have done very many wonderful reviews can you share with us which are your favourites and why?

BT : I’m quite happy of the Omega, Breitling and TAG Guides, because so many have found them useful. I think those guides are very good for new members who search for basic information. I received a lot of help with the Breitling Guide, and the contribution from the membership was amazing. Andreww especially. I think the TAG Aquaracer chrono review has my best photography so far… I got a couple of lucky shots there. But then I’m always trying to improve, get new ideas and learn new things from the fellow photo geeks. As people have stated many times, I agree that we have the best photographers of the whole watch community here.

K : I suppose the By-Tor collection should be one of the most viewed on our boards but for those yet to read all your reviews can you please re-cap on your collection to date and some of those that have come and gone.

BT : I try to keep my collection very small. I guess I’m practical and minimalist person, in a way. I just don’t want to own lots of nice watches that I never wear. I’ve owned about 35 reps, but now I only have 7 watches. I’ve never regretted of trading any of my (very nice) reps, except the black Explorer II, which I’m trying to relocate and buy again.

I have enjoyed every single of my watches, and most of them have been documented somehow. Some people might think my taste in watches is rather boring and unimaginative, and I can’t really argue that. I basically wear only 40-43mm stainless steel sports watches.

There are lots of dress and gold watches I admire, and which I’d love to photograph and review, but owning and wearing those watches don’t necessarily interest me.

K : Seeing as you are a man who spends a lot of time closely scrutinizing our watches may I ask you for your opinion on today’s Super Reps, truly superior or just hype?

BT : No question about it… the reps have improved a lot, visually. The dealers always say that we are very small market. Maybe we only represent 25% of the factories’ overall sales, but there’s still a significant profit to make. When the members have gotten accustomed to a certain standard, the factories are “forced” to keep it up. Bad reps won’t sell here anymore, that’s gotta be one big reason for the improved visual quality.

There are lots of outstanding new replications, but not all “super” reps are anything that special. Sometimes members still get suckered into the hype a bit too easily. Almost all new models are advertised as “super”, “perfect” or “ultimate” these days, and it’s not always justified.

The makers often still make unforgivable mistakes, which could have been easily avoided (if they just accepted the free consultation from our membership). And I think some of those prices are just laughable. If someone wants to buy a $800 Hublot or BCE rep, go ahead if it makes you happy… but I think it’s just insane. In those price ranges they should be “super” mechanically as well. The QC still isn’t there… that being said, very few of my reps ever had ANY kind of mechanical/QC problems. Maybe 2 or 3 total.

K : Which watches does By-Tor await for and how long until you think we will see them?

BT : I’m trying to locate a certain model of Rolex Explorer II right now, and I have negotiations going on with fellow members. I have already reviewed the ExpII (twice), so I don’t have anything new coming right now. But just like all addicts, I’m always looking for something new.

K : If the factories were to contact you and grant you one fix on one watch what would you choose and why?

BT : Maybe make the 1:1 16610 Submariner, so we could finally forget that rather simple watch and move on. But I doubt they’ll ever do it. They always need to resell the “new and improved” wokky piece of sh*t to us.

K : Ok five minutes of fame….

K : Age?

BT : 35.

K : Favourite movie?

BT : There are so many. I like stupid comedies, stuff like “Ace Ventura” and “Dumb and Dumber” by Jim Carrey. Some Monty Pythons are cool too.

The original Star Wars trilogy was my favorite when I was a little kid. I guess many 30-something guys share that. But then George Lucas and his new trilogy completely ridiculed my childhood heroes with his braindead, computerized Muppet Show. Dementia is a serious disease, even among the film producers.

About “serious” movies, “Shawshank Redemption” was very good. It’s at least 10 years old, but I just watched that recently. Maybe a bit cheesy at times, but it had lots of emotion, friendships and humanity. Stuff that you rarely see in the modern movies. “Sixth Sense” is another good film that comes to mind. Those two titles have great storylines, which is often lacking from the new films. Sometimes I feel they just throw some kind of super-simple storyline into the mix, just to show all those “impressive” explosions and new "revolutionary" special effects. Yawn.

I also like the old Humphrey Bogart and Hitchcock films. They’re often quite simplistic and naive, but they remind me of good people and good times… the world that doesn’t exist anymore… something that my grandparents still represent. Most new movies have too much sick violence, sadism and perversions for my tastes.

K : Favourite book?

BT : Again, impossible to name just one. But I just read Albert Goldman’s “Elvis”. It was a bit unfair, but interesting (in a rude kind of way). I’ve read too many sugar-coated biographies, so this was a welcome change. When I was a kid, I read a lot of sci-fi books from writers like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, etc. They were good back then.

K : Beer or wine?

BT : Milk. Even though I haven’t competed in years, I still train 3-5 times a week, so I drink alcohol very rarely. And when I drink, I’ll take 80% vodka. We Scandinavians leave wine for the ladies. :D

K : Meat or fish?

BT : Both. Lots of them.

K : Do you hang your dunny roll under or over?

BT : This is obviously a trick question. Next.

K : Name three people past or present that you would love to share dinner with.

BT : I’d pick interesting musicians: Pete Townshend, Jaco Pastorious, Frank Zappa and the drummer of the Dave Matthews Band, Carter Beauford, he’s amazing. I used to play a bit myself, too. Or maybe Roger Waters… I’d ask him where he gets all his negativity from. Okay, that was five already.

K : Ok that’s a wrap, now just a couple of last questions. If you had $10,000 to buy one genuine watch, which watch would it be?

BT : Most of my favorite watches don’t cost that much. But in that price range it should be something exceptional: So how about AP Terminator… it’s a freak among watches.

K : And finally, who has the best winter Olympians Sweden or Norway? :D

BT : Most winter sports is boring, like the ski jumping for example: 110 lbs anorectic girly-boys (who wear suits that make them look like condoms) fly a few seconds in the darkness, and nobody can really tell if they jumped 60 or 100 meters before the computer announces the results. :lol:

Hockey is the only winter sports I’m interested in. I don’t like this, but I gotta give it to the Swedes.

K : By-Tor thank you, not only for the interview but for your many wonderful reviews.

BT : It was a pleasure.

Ken

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You guys have provided some great reads. Ken, thanks for these insights into our prominent members. And By-Tor, keep the reviews coming - they're eagerly awaited in this household.

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@J & K

Thanks for a wonderful interview...

Enjoyed it much...

:thumbsupsmileyanim:

Double T

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Thanx both for the interview

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Thank you gentlemen for a great interview. By-tor your contributions are well known all across the globe to rep lovers everywhere.

Thank you friend!

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Another great interview. :D

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Nice to read. You missed to ask him about his Submariner-desease. Buying-selling-buying.

If I am correct... 2 tone, noob, noob-eta, noob eta, TWB ? ;)

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I've said it before Ken, fabulous job! And thanks By-Tor for a very interesting interview!

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Thanks to the both of you for another interesting read....

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Excellent guys, enjoyed that.

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Another great job by the "Bergmeister"!

Thanks KB, thanks J.

Offshore

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Great interview!

Yes, the Swedes are better in Icehockey... But us Norwegians are best in Curling! That is a sport for REAL men! :lol:

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excellent interview. good to know more about my favorite reviewer.

-bk

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it is alway great to read a bit more about the people behind the posts and reviews, i love reading these thanks both of you.

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Certainly one of the best features of this forum is the member interviews, and though I don't click on every one*, this one was an utter pleasure to read. Thanks to both gentlemen for the time and effort expended in this post!

My favourite paragraph. Well, it's hard to beat the philosophy and native wisdom behind this:

"BT : I think it was more of the latter. I got really interested in photography at some point, and watches (like beautiful women) are very nice objects. Always when I receive a new rep, I try to research it: the history, previous models, etc. I’ve learned a lot about watches that way. Making the reviews is very big part of the excitement for me. Searching info about your new watch, comparing it to the gen, shooting photos, etc. is like reading a book or watching a good movie: fun."

*I also never clicked on the "Post your Photo" thread. I have my own ideas of who people are, and I don't like to let daylight into the magic.

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Thanks for all your interest. I'm quite surprised so many of you guys replied. Appreciated!

This interview idea is very good, and it will be interesting to see who Ken chooses next. :)

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Thank you, ken for a spendid, candid interview; and thank you By-Tor for making our hobby that much more enjoyable and easier to comprehend thanks to your wonderful photgraphs and commentary. By-Tor, I think you really underestimate your importance to us in this hobby. We can TALK mechanics and such all day long, but in the end, it is the visual that provides the most input into making a decision about a particular watch. You know the feeling: you see a watch, and it just grabs you - or piques your interest at the very least. THEN we move on to movements and reliability. Or, we think about great movements and reliability and THEN look for something that catches the eye (or the heart). Persoanlly, I am a Daytona fan, anyone reading anything I have posted will testify to that. I was catching flak from several boards bantering about the piece and your Daytona review just opened up so many eyes. Your Tag review has the Aquaracer on my "short list", and your Breitling review clarified so much for me I now have several Breitlings to boot. No matter how and what the initial attractions may be, it is the visual that sells the watch. The fact that you couple that with good mechanical and factual info only helps. I am a film photog and have JUST come screaming and kicking to digital, and love your shots. Most folks may not know the creativity and expertise it takes to do what you do - especially with digital. And even if one did as well with film (I get 25-30 megapixels worth on film) there is no denying the ease of afterwork digital allows that film doesn't; but it takes a good trained person to do it as well as you do. I know some commercial photogs who would envy your work, keep it up, please.

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Usually I try not to post in one of my interviews once it's completed, except to try and get a few more responses.

However I would just like to say that the above reply by mag1119 is the kind of responses that makes it all worth it.

Ken

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I agree.

Big thanks for your words mag. Much appreciated!

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Great stuff...dang By-Tor....you saw Rush in '94.....man, I saw them 'bout 10 years earlier around the time of their "Moving Pictures" album....showing my age again...

True, they are definitely one of the best rock bands out there.

Thanks Ken

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Good call By-Tor with Carter Beauford!

I am a huge DMB fan and Carter never fails to bring the house down with a typical Carter Jam.

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