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  • RWG Crew
  • 19,109 posts
  • Joined 13-March 06
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Downunder waayy downunder

Posted 04 August 2007 - 12:16 AM


Welcome everyone to what I hope will be a regular fortnightly interview of all your favourite members.
This idea was raised to our Admin team by our very own Ubiquitous who felt it may generate some interest for new and old members alike.
Of course there is no better candidate to take the inaugural chair than Ubi himself, so without further ado let's get this show rolling'..

Ken : Hello Ubi and thanks not only for taking the time to speak to us today but also for the idea of these interviews as well..

Ubi : Thanks for taking the time out of your busy day for me Ken. Quite a pleasure!

Ken : So Ubiquitous by name, Ubiquitous by nature? Or does it just seem that way to your kids?

Ubi : Well Perhaps in some ways. I try to dabble in a little of everything, be it watches or whatever; mostly to stay well rounded when it comes to personal interests. Sometimes, however, I find that there just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with it all, so when I have a free moment, I tend to focus more on certain interests than others. Now Keeping up with the kids' I think they're the ubiquitous ones! I always have to keep my eye on them as they're all over everything, everywhere and all the time!

K : Everyone has a story to tell about how they found themselves in this little hobby of ours, what's the Ubi story?

U : It seems to me that everyone finds their way into this hobby for one reason or another, but the underlying theme always seems to be a love for watches, be it for the aesthetics, mechanicals and so forth. I myself have always had a fascination with time pieces in general, even from an early age, though I don't recall owning many watches when I was young. I don't think I purchased a nice watch for myself until I was in my early twenties; my first purchase was a TAG Kirium which was sold and then followed by the requisite Rolex Submariner Date 16610 (I suppose I did things a little backwards and started with gens first J ). I began frequenting the typical forums for Rolex, and one day, I came across something interesting in one of the trading forums- A genuine, near complete DateJust case kit from a reputible seller. I thought to myself 'this would be neat if I could put a watch together for my (then newborn) son!'. I showed the case kit to my wife and proposed the idea- I think she was a little skeptical on the idea of  'building' a watch (thinking the process of piecing such a watch together from parts to be more complicated than it sounds- to which she was, as usual correct), but she agreed that it would be a fun idea to someday give my son a watch that Dad built especially for him. So My search for a genuine 3135 movement to put into the case began and along the way, I discovered the world of relatively low cost ETA movements. This ultimately led me to RWG I, where a whole new world was unfolded before my eyes. Needless to say that my general interest with watches escalated beyond control, and I found myself amongst knowledgable, friendly and helpful members in the community, many of whom I have become great friends with! Anyways' Several reps and frankensteins later, I finally finished that old DateJust project (after much trial and error), and ended up giving that watch to my father instead, who I felt was a better fit for that style. My son will be the recipient of one of my other projects instead'

K : And would you like to share with us where you see our hobby heading?

U : Hmmmm. Great question! The way I tend to look at the direction this hobby is going is to look back at the last 4 or 5 years worth of replicas and reflect upon how far these facsimilies have come in just that short period of time alone. Replicas are getting better and better with new technology coupled with a thriving market motivating factories to not only duplicate high quality watches, but to also duplicate brands and models of watches that one might have never thought likely just a few years ago. The factories are producing and marketing for a much broader scale now- Good indication that the hobby is growing for the masses. Let's hope that QC issues and the sort can be tightened up!

K : Now what I am sure everyone wants me to ask about is your near famous twin Daytonas. Time taken, cost to complete and problems faced/solved through-out the projects would be on top of the list of questions, care to enlighten us?

U : The Daytonas have been a real exercise in patience for me, but very rewarding in the end. With the first Daytona, I happened to be at the right place at the right time and lucked my way into a genuine case set. I think I spent a year alone looking for the movement for that one, as I had very strict requisites for the project- The movement had to be a newer Zenith El Primero 400- 31 jewel and at least serviced. Patience paid off with a brand new in-the-package El Primero 400, direct from Ebel (Ebel used the El Primero 400 as their caliber 134), and was perfect for what I wanted! From that point, I added a gorgeous, NOS genuine 16520 tritium dial in white, genuine hands and put everything together. I built this one specifically for my son, but until I give it to him, I'll take on the arduous task of making sure it gets enough wrist time http://web.archive.org/web/20120530175419im_/http://image.rwg.cc/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif


The second Daytona went together much faster, however. For that project, I used an aftermarket case set, and an older 31j El Primero 400 (aka the Zenith PHC 3019), which was serviced, overhauled and brilliantly restored by none other than our very own ziggyzumba. I added a genuine black luminova 16520 dial and hands to finish it off.


As for cost' All in all, I'd say I have somewhere around $8k US into this pair, which is an aggregated figure between the two. It's a bit steep, but I look at it in two ways- I built these watches without cost in mind, as these projects are only a hobby for me, not an investment. Also, the final figure for the two is still significantly less than what a single genuine MKIV 16520 on the secondary market would cost. Given that these are so close to genuine, I'm pleased with the outcome. Plus, it's been a fun experience. I've helped a few others with their own El Primero Daytona projects, and I hope there are a few more out there who are willing to give it a try as well.





K : In a perfect world we would all still be on the old RWG but the situation we faced was far from perfect, so do you care to share your feelings on the new RWG, did we get it right or what can be improved?

U : I think that the feel and community of the new RWG is very comfortable. The discussion and pace is excellent as are the members and administration team. It's a very relaxed and casual atmosphere; a place where friends can discuss and debate some of their favorite topics, be it watches or otherwise. As I've said before- I've met many great friends on both RWG I and II- We have some very prolific, intelligent individuals here, and it shows in day to day activity. The success of this forum is directly related to the individuals who participate; in my opinion, it's one of the best forums out there- Rep or gen.

K : Ok Ubi now I would like to run you through what I call the 5 minutes of fame, I will shoot quick questions at you and where possible you will give me short precise answers.  Up to it?

U : Sure

K : When did you buy your 1st rep?

U : My first 'good' rep was from river- Purchased sometime in '04. Prior to that, I'd get those really bad Canal St. reps from friends and family as souveneirs from time to time.

K : What was it?

U : A 1st generation Panerai PAM022 'Lefty' (Destro). Panerai fever was relatively still in it's infancy, and I wanted to see what the big deal was with these huge watches without having to part with a larg sum of cash to do it. Oddly enough- I discovered river and Eddie a very short time prior to discovering RWG. Between finding these guys, and researching my DateJust project I feel that joining RWG was inevitable.

K : How many have you in your current collection?

U : I'm currently at 12 or 13 watches. The number tends to flux as I'm constantly evaluating the contents of my collection to keep it as streamlined to my tastes as possible. My school of thought is 'quality over quantity'; I'd rather have fewer high quality pieces in my collection than large volume. As it is, I find it hard to regularly wear what I have already! I have a difficult time deciding what to wear some mornings.

K : How many have you bought & sold over your time?

U : I honestly don't recall. I've purchased a good number of reps (and gens) just to use for parts alone, and after a while, it's hard to separate and distinguish how many pieces were purchased over time. I can honestly say that very few of the reps that I've purchased were to wear out of the box, though I have picked up a good number to give to friends and the sort.

K : What is the ratio of good/bad as far as faulty watches received?

U : This is somewhat hard to determine as well, since a lot of the watches I've purchased get dismantled right away after receiving. I'm sure I've had my fair share of lemons, though I'd never know it since I end up replacing a good majority of the rep parts anyways. But to be fair, I've seen a number of problems and faults with genuine watches as well. I think in terms of how many times I've been disappointed in what I've received- I'd have to say that there have been a handful of times that's happened. It's definitely part of the learning curve and anymore, I tend to be a little more careful in what I buy, though it doesn't always mitigate the risk of receiving something that wasn't up to expectation.

K : What is your view on the current SUPER REPS and their prices?

U : I think if they get the QC and small problems right, they'd be fantastic. The small flaws and problems keep them from being ULTIMATE reps, in my opinion, though with a mass produced counterfeit good, I'd imagine that it's difficult to instill the importance of QC. I must say, however that the high priced, high quality reps aren't exactly a new concept. There have been reps that fall into this category of price before the Super Rep game, and in some cases, of higher quality as well. Case in point would be the 2893 based Panerai GMT's (PAM029 and 063). Those were priced towards the upper end of the scale, approaching the cost of some of the lower priced gens out there, but were of great value, and an excellent basis to make a near exact watch with a few small upgrades and modifications. I would consider high priced watches in this category to be the Honpo era. And then of course, you have the MBK/MBW's' Maybe not 100% perfect in aesthetics, but with some work, the outcome can be a phenominal piece of art. So' I feel that Super Reps are along the same line' Just a different label.

K : Favourite watch?

U : Favorite reps that I own would be my MBK Patek Nautilus and Royal Oak Jumbos. I'd say the pair of Daytonas, but I don't technically own them (they belong to my kids). I'm a visual kind of guy, and so I tend to use/abuse pictures as much as possible to get my point across; it's not uncommon to see me post pics of my favorites over and over, and I am sure that my favorites come as no big surprise to anyone http://web.archive.org/web/20120530175419im_/http://image.rwg.cc/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif As for favorite gens that I don't own http://web.archive.org/web/20120530175419im_/http://image.rwg.cc/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif - There's far too many to list. But contrary to popular belief, Rolex isn't anywhere on the short list.

K : Favourite strap?

U : I usually wear my watches on metal bracelets, but I do have the odd PAM here and there. I'd have to say that my favorite strap is my Dirk 'PAV' style strap with PVD sewn in Pre-V buckle.

K : Favourite Dealer ?

U : It's been a long while since I've purchased anything' I am not sure that it's fair to say that I have a current favorite. Suffice it to say, however, I have had a number of pleasurable experiences with many of the dealers out there in the past; several of which I will gladly do business with again!

K : Favourite Admin team member? http://web.archive.org/web/20120530175419im_/http://image.rwg.cc/public/style_emoticons/default/whistling.gif

U : Hmmm' Hard to say. I think you all do a great job. You guys step in and moderate where you need to, but otherwise the forum is pretty relaxed and the administration of the forum seems to be more or less transparent (which is great in my opinion). From my perspective, the moderators are more active in participating with the membership than anything. To put it all into contrast, I've seen some forums that seem to be largely overmoderated, and people are sometimes not always treated with the highest of dignity. Not exactly the best atmosphere, and frankly not much fun either. Participation and contribution levels are typically quite low (no surprise there), and so the activity and traffic moves accordingly. In my opinion, there has to be a fine balance, and I think the RWG team does a good job in maintaining this balance.

And there goes the buzzer.

K : Ubiquitous thank you for your time

U : A pleasure


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