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(Originally Posted 20 September 2007 - 09:20 PM, and recovered from a questionable internet backup.  Let's see if we can massage this baby back into life!)



We all often defer to the Administrators, Moderators and yes even the dealers of our boards simply because they hold a position other than regular member, yet speaking as one who fits two of those categories I can tell you that we are just regular guys trying to do the best for our chosen forum/s.


What interests me more is the regular members who have risen to a point that commands respect through their input and actions over time, board Statesmen if you will, Neo was one, D.L.Gates was another and yes Omni is one too.  So it made sense to interview him and see what makes him tick.




Ken ; Welcome Omni and thank you for taking the time to speak to us today.

Omni ; Thank you or ‘Mahalo’ as we say here in Hawaii.  

K ; Omnipotent, is this how employees and family members see you? As if I was to classify you I would use words more in line with wise and generous.

O ;  Hmmmn, Neo, D.L.Gates no longer post and I’m absent a lot now, seems to be an elder statesmen affliction?   Omni is short for the name Omniquest, one of my companies so named because we couldn’t figure out where the business would take us or wind up, thus ‘all’ quests were possible.   There is no relation to being ‘Omnipotent’ which I leave to a higher being.  I am honored by your words to describe me, ‘last’, ‘true’, ‘wise’, ‘statesman’, that’s a lot to aspire to, however, I still feel somewhat non-deserving to be interviewed this early-on as others have different opinions of Omni and there are certainly quite a few elder board Statesmen here just as deserving.  I know, member Offshore has been on the boards much longer than I but I’m sure you’ll get around to us all in time.  Lastly, ‘generous’ is guilty from a sense of Noblesse Oblige as it has become known in modern culture.

K ; I was recently chatting (PM) with friends about the history of our boards and for a lot of us, and certainly a lot of the new members out there the early days are a bit sketchy, would you like to give us a quick history lesson.

O ; Its been described in many ways shorter & better by others already, we all have different memories and opinions of what has transpired, but, if ‘elder’ means being on the rep. Boards only since June 2004, and not because of my physical age, then history for me starts then, earlier historical description I leave to the older members at TRC where I started looking and found out about RWG.  

I was member no. 100 in RWG1 and had an interest in just applying my cyber knowledge about scam Internet websites after having been scammed by one.  Seems the junkmail onslaught in 2004 had just started heating up, especially for replica watches, and as the junkmail volume increased thereafter, so did the number of people finding the rep. forums out of necessity.  RWG1 grew very fast, overtaking TRC in volume quickly within the 1st year (Not necessarily in great content, just volume - useless and useful), the dealers obviously followed and it became a large house.  It was fun, friendly, off-the-wall, turbulent, firehouse, helpful and full of knowledgeable input, all at once.  I often posted my best-appreciated work at that time when drunk if that is any indication.  Enthusiasm for RWG1 was what sunk the ship with the ill-fated RWG Collaboration One watch project where all that could go wrong went wrong.  (Murphy’s Law, Finagle’s Law, Sod’s Law, whatever your persuasion, look it up).  The disappearance of the Admin. at this juncture brought worry, incrimination and divided loyalties.  The majority wanted to make sure RWG survived so RWG.cc was born from very great intentions.  However, as in life, you can’t satisfy everyone and other forums appeared from different cliques of former members, thus what was once a U.N. of repaholics is now split up into different forums.  A few year ago you could have all the knowledge accumulated on just 2 rep. forums, now you have to search 5, but that’s progress in the information age, the more information out there, the better knowledge, even if you have more searching for it.  If you peruse all the forums and imagine slamming all of them together at once you can get the feel of the controlled compressed chaos that was once RWG1.  In truth, it is good that there are different forums for different minded individuals, or different parts of ones personality, as everyone should feel comfortable conversing, which wasn’t always the case in RWG1.  On the bad side, it does encourage a ‘them vs. us competition’ mentality when really it should be just about everyone helping one another find the best rep. watches.  RWG.cc has done a superb job in continuing this watchdog process in a fair and safe manner.
K ; And what brought Omni to this hobby, a lifelong obsession or a latter life love?

O ; Good, I can now step down from the history podium.  As I just turned 60, and I’ve only been into mechanical watches since 2004, very late in life love is the answer.  I only had nice quartz or the latest digital gizmo watches prior and it was gift and purchase, never collect.  An electronic gizmo gadget freak from day one had led me into forming a computer sales company in Silicon Valley as early as 1977, before PC & Apples, thus fast electronics was all I could appreciate until life slowed down. (Smell the roses but sniff fast).

K ; I believe you only collect genuine now, did you ever have a large rep collection or was it mainly select pieces?

O ;  To preface humbly: Had it not been for the replica purchases, the requested opinions of replica collectors in the forums, the experts, (Yes, TTK is an expert), and my fast assimilation into the replica world, I would still be buying quartz watches without the appreciation of general horology.  I’ve met many members, who like myself, have moved on to genuines but were born from replicas.  

Never a large collection, since my professed ‘gift & purchase’ mentality still is in play, (some of you have my gifts) I can say I’ve only had up to 8 watches at a time, however, I did go through 30 purchases in the first two years.  There really wasn’t one brand that I concentrated on; I would try out some to see if I’d like a real one.  I still buy a lot of replicas for friends and family since I’m now known as the go-to-guy to find them something accurate.  Thus I keep immersed in the replica world.

K ; Care to share what your gen collection consists of these days?

O ; It’s kinda paltry since I’m a beginner in a sense.  I’m just starting, but watch out. (Pun intended): Pannie 104, Glycine Airman 7, Mont Blanc Platinum Reveil, GP Rose Gold Vintage Dress, Skeleton Asian ‘flying duck’ Tourbi, and some quartz standbys, a Yes Zulu 4.0 and Luminox Pro Diver (the beater).   I’m quite eclectic in my tastes.  The big purchases are planned for 2008 when I retire and my companies dissolve some sizeable assets, then it’s the ‘jetmid’ type watches as a reward for myself, including a Patek that I covet.

So for those that don’t know the ‘jetmid’ history legend in RWG1 of who he is or was, his infamous poorly delivered post came to jokingly symbolize for us the ultimate in braggadocio and young brainless arrogance irregardless if he was telling the truth or not (regarding a supposed ownership of a $50,000 Patek).  Be careful what you wish for if you crave attention, you might get your fame & attention in ways never imagined!  

K ; Omni a while back you shared some interesting view points in a thread about the HBB, may I ask you for your opinion on these new super reps, the cost factor and where you see our hobby heading?

O ; The super reps are a new concept coming out of the factories.  Since a few dealers were known for taking stock replicas, modifying for closer genuine accuracy and reselling at a much higher markup, then it makes sense to just have the factory manufacturer do the same from the onset.  It seemed like impossibility all these years but now it is finally happening.  There is also a concept I use in my type of business management, its call ‘economy of scale’ or simply put, spreading the cost over a larger area/inventory.  As these super-reps become more numerous, the price may come down after saturation.  This will only happen if they keep churning out the same models, but if they are limited runs, then the price will stay high because of scarcity, supply vs. demand.  A lot of rep. collectors hate this, but in the history of a lot of the purchasers before some of them found the forums, they were willing to pay even higher prices from the scam websites and did willingly.  Now that they can buy a super accurate rep. from a ‘trusted’ source, the price seems like a good deal.  Yes its higher than what we all know its worth, but its really about how many people are willing to pay what they are willing to pay to get what they want.  It’s no different for purchasing genuines.  What is ludicrous to some is a bargain for others.  The hobby will die for many with dissatisfaction of the new cost factor and they will move to collecting genuines; but the rep. hobby will continue on for others that still see a bargain in a replica as opposed to a genuine.  When the prices reach an altitude that sales level off for the manufacturer, a choice will have to be made; stop the production of the model and churn out a new one, or continue and lower the price.  It will be interesting to see how that pans out since a lot of money was spent gearing up for the productions.

Also as a footnote to your question, member Ubiquitous had asked if I would be buying a gen. HBB after trying out the super-rep.  Not likely, having held a couple of genuines on my wrist at ADs I personally feel that it doesn’t warrant the genuine price it’s commanding for a rather ‘trendy-now’ watch.  There are so many superior genuines you could purchase for the same price, Breguet, A. Lange & Sohne, Rolex, Omega, etc.  However, the rep. was worth the price for its accuracy on the dial side.  

K ; Ok 5 minutes of fame … Age?

O ;  I think I stated my geezerhood earlier at 60.

K ; Favourite book?

O ;  I don’t read books, just book reviews and periodicals.

K ; Favourite Movie?

O ;  Casablanca

K ; Beer or wine?

O ; I have no favorite beverage except everything alcohol, I run the gamut (whiskeys are going by the wayside);  Beer: Guinness,  Wine: Far Niente Cabernet,  Vodka: Hanger One, Ultimat, Belvedere, Crater Lake (co-admin Twotone might know of it), Pink, in that order,  Tequila: Cuervo La Familia, Rum: 10 Cane, Gin: Tanqueray Malacca and Hendricks.

K ; Meat or Fish?

O ;  Both with a passion but less portions because of age.  Also interestingly, I like a lot of bizarre foods and will try just about anything.

K ; Which three people ( history and current) would you like to share dinner with?

O ;  Why does this question remind me of James Lipton doing the Benard Pivot interview questions on the television program Inside The Actors Studio? (Bravo Channel in the USA) Anyways: Jesus, Muhammad and Robin Williams.

K ; And speaking of dinner, Favourite Food?

O ; Italian anything.  

K ; Ok that’s a wrap, just a couple of more longer questions. It is easy to forget that we all have lives away from these boards, so can you please tell us what is important in the normal life of Omni?

O ;  So you needed more philosophical musings, eh?  It’s family, family, family.  Those of you that came easily into it, ‘The grass is not greener on the other side’ so forget your midlife crisis nihilism, you’d be a stupid sod.  A professed serial monogamist, I’d been through two marriages and finally found success with my previously thrice-divorced wife at the age of 40.  We just celebrated 20 years and one son together, we share ‘his, hers and ours’ children and grandchildren and I love them all.  I reiterate, whether you believe in an afterlife or are a pragmatist who believes this life is all there is, you will live on in the memories you leave behind, so leave good ones to the ones you love and the mankind around you.  If that’s not important then you suck as an interactive human being.  Karma, it will haunt you to no end in one form or another, no matter how hard you try to dispel it.

K ; And finally, life in a tropical paradise?

O ;  It’s something I never would have wished upon myself when I was younger, I was too exploratory in all ways to be in one place with fast paced exciting cities and resorts around the world as an early draw.  After 29 years here I no longer miss the seasons or the 8 months of snow of ski resorts.  Life now is slow paced, attitudes relaxed, scenery beautiful, green and lush, air pure, water pure, spirituality can be embraced with nature and oneself.  (Is this why retirees move to warmer climes or suburbs?)  As a member friend Ryyannon who wants to move to Bali can relate, it’s like a bong hit of the ‘70s without having to actually inhale.  You are on permanent unwind.  But to that end, we travel a lot too and this tropical island is much appreciated as home base.

K ; Omni thanks for your time it has been a rare pleasure.

O ;  My humble thanks again that you think I’m interesting.  Aloha (look it up if you don’t know the meaning).

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