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Hey Noob...or not so Noob...Read this Now!

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Toadtorrent    40

This article was written in 2008 & websites often vanish or move, so YOU may need to research some of the links --freddy333




So you're a Noob. Welcome aboard. You've just found yourself the coolest and most knowledgeable WATCH forum around. The members on this board are some of the saaviest watch afficianodos anywhere and are well versed in replica, gen, vintage and homage pieces, as well as gen and rep movements.

There are oustanding writers, photographers, watchmakers and modders as well as up and coming members who have spent hours and days contributing oustanding pieces of information in the form of topic posts, reviews, galleries, tutorials and you name whatever other kind of information you would want. The questions you have as a Noob have probably been asked before...many times before...so many times that the asking of the question AGAIN annoys many of the more senior members so much that the only response you'll get to your query is: USE THE SEARCH FEATURE, NOOB!

Many members on this board have helped me so much in the early stages of my rep journey asking for no more payment than to be a positive member of this board, that I felt I should put some effort into putting together a guide to help you enjoy and appreciate the rep world.

I'll tell you now...you should use the Search feature located at the top right of the forum screen. You may not IMMEDIATELY find exactly what you want, but the odds are what you want is buried in the various topics that get returned. Do yourself a favour and read seemingly loosely related posts, because you will find nuggets of information that you will find useful, that you probably never thought of asking.

Start by being general with your search (e.g. A7750) and then narrowing things down when you learn enough about the topic and need something very specific
(e.g. 0.17mm hands a7750).

Here's a step by step guide developed using the Search feature, and comprised of posts I have referred many Noobs to in answering their common questions:

STEP 1 - Learn the Talk

Don't know what we're talking about in the posts? Look here for definitions:
Abbreviation wiki

The Zigmeister's Glossary

If you want your questions answered without getting flamed, learn Forum Etiquette first:
Edge's Guide to Rep Forums Pt I

Then, learn the basics about reps:
Legality of Owning Replicas

Best Sub

Phoband's intro to collecting

If you've got time...
Awesome collection of watch info

STEP 2 - Start to Crawl

Which watch to buy?? Many people will tell you to pick the watch first...then the collector as some collectors can get things that others can't, although most can get the same merchandise as they all deal with the same factories. Read the brand forums...read the reviews and buying guides. By-Tor, Pugwash, Seadweller, Andreww, Chrgod, myself and a bunch of others have written lots of reviews of various pieces to help you find the best of the best.

Selecting a collector to buy from is a tricky choice. There is no "best" collector as it depends on many factors:

  • Where you are from - European buyers often pick European based collectors to avoid semi-frequent customs seizures
  • Price - price variances between collectors after incorporating shipping can vary ~$0 - $120 (more for the big ticket items)
  • Availability of a specific piece (some collectors have access to things others do not)
  • How much you value instant communication (within hours vs. within days)
  • Availability of certain modding being done out of the box
  • Your level of patience in dealing with the inevitable quality control (QC) issues that will arise

Where should you buy from?? Check the list below.
RWG Member Trade Section

RWG Recommended Collectors
NOTE: Dealer links can be found in the subsections in the Collectors area or HERE

RWG Want to Buy (WTB) Section

Which dealer or member is the best??
Trade Reviews (Including Reviews of Collectors)

If you need to ship to the EU...read this:
Problems Shipping Reps From China into the EU

If the collector/site you're interested is not listed below, use the Search feature to see if others have asked about the site already. Finding existing answers about a site/collector in question will yield you more info than asking a question that's been asked many times before.

Try various spellings of a site (e.g. watcheden, watcheden.com, www.watcheden.com) to make sure it hasn't been asked already. If you can't find info about the site/collector you are interested in, check below:

Ripoff List

If you still haven't found info on the site/collector you are interested...use common sense. Buy from them if you want, but don't cry to us if you lose your money and don't get a watch, or get a watch that's a piece of crap that you feel you paid too much for. We have recommended collectors listed above for a reason. They may be more expensive than what you can find out there...but these collectors have been around for awhile, members here have had positive experiences from these ones, they supply decent product, and they will not rip you off.

Don't forget to Search.

Which watch??? That's a matter of personal preference...but you could search for reviews...or go here:
Onzenuub's Rep Review Database

You might want to read reviews of the movements before picking which rep to buy...some movements make great looking watches but reps with ticking-time-bomb lifespan:
The Zigmeister's Movement Reviews

Francisco's New and Improved Seconds at 6 Review

Francisco's Seconds at 12 Review

STEP 3 - You've pulled the trigger...you're waiting to walk

You've made your first order...you're now sweating about if it will arrive...and EMS tracking...the wait...the drama...the horror...ooooh...the suspense.

Yeah yeah yeah...we've all been there...so has everyone else:
Lanikai's Excellent Post on Tracking Your Baby (applies mostly to CONUS...Canada is never an issue...other countries?? Use search.)

A not so untypical shipping story

Great play by play of waiting for a first order to arrive

Aaaaah...my watch was Handed Over to Customs

Aaaaah...I live in the EU and my watch was Handed Over to Customs...you may be screwed (contact your dealer for details on this scenario BEFORE ordering.

I spent $500 USD and all that got shipped to me was a !@#&'ing TOY!! RWG dealer Recommendations suck.

STEP 4 - You've got the watch...now what??

Congratulations!! You have yourself an amazing mechanical marvel...unless you bought a soul-less quartz cheapo (just kidding). Watches are delicate instruments and require careful handling and care.

How do I get the most out of my new watch? By reading:
The Zigmeister's Basics 101 - Getting the Most Out of Your New Watch

The Zigmeister's User Guide for the A7750

If you've never had an automatic watch, you're probably wondering why your watch doesn't keep running after 2 days:
My watch stops running...now what??

The Zigmeister's Mechanical Movement User Guide

The Zigmeister's 's Care and Feeding Of Mechanical Movements

Problems Accelerating Wear and Maintenance of A7750s

Does my watch suck? It's loud...not like the gen.
A7750 Power Reserve and Rotor Spinning Problems

Noisy Rotor and Grease/Oil

A7750 Spinning Rotor...is it a problem?

If my watch sucks, should I get it repaired?
Some say yes...some say no. If you got a cheapo $100 watch...likely the movement is a DG2813 that can be replaced for $12-$40 (for a DG4813) + labour at $50 for a movement swap. That's almost the cost of a new one. If you can do it yourself...it's definitely worth swapping. If you have a gen ETA movement...it should be able to be repaired by a rep friendly watchsmith and is worth doing so as the movement is very reliable.

If you got a nice spanky A7750, it can be costly to replace the watch and the movement...so repair may be worthwhile...but expensive as these are complex movements that require great skill to repair. The cost of servicing may be close to the cost of a new watch, but a proper servicing will give you years of RELIABLE service. Many people say unserviced, they still get years of life out of their A7750s.

The moral of the story for me is, if you want the watch to last for years, get it serviced. If you like the watch a lot...get it serviced. If it's fun but doesn't get a lot of wrist time, you like it, but you don't love it...sell it...and likely skip the servicing. If you will cry because the watch died prematurely...get it serviced.

You can try swapping out your movement:
Toad's Movement Swapping Guide - Redux

or get a Free Watch instead

My watch sort of sucks...I need it repaired:
Repair is always the problem with reps. Good watchmakers/watchsmiths are hard to find. Finding one that can work on the extremely complex 7750 (gen or rep) movement is even harder. Finding one that can work on an A7750 is the hardest.

Why should my new A7750 watch be serviced? It's new right?
Sure it is: Why service your A7750??

How should a mechanical watch be serviced?
Things to know about rep servicing

The Zigmeister's Post on the British Horological Info on How Watches SHOULD be Serviced

To find a rep friendly watchsmith or watchmaker try searching RWG. You can start by looking here:
Advanced Search and plugging in "watchsmith" or "watchmaker " in a Titles Only search.

Use The Zigmeister, where possible
but read this post first Who is The Zigmeister and where do I find him?

...or Thomson Highway in Europe

...Francisco seems to do amazing work as seen in Francisco's Forum Subsection

...or Domenico seems to be getting good reviews (though I've never used him) - Domenico

...or the phone book or shopping mall repair folks

My watch definitely sucks...I want to return it to China:
Play the rep game long enough (or if you're unlucky, even your first rep), and you'll get a dud. Maybe it's a movement, maybe the wrong watch, maybe a crooked crystal, crooked hour marker, etc). If yours is DOA or has some issues:

  • Search RWG to see if they are known issues
  • Search RWG to see what other people have done about the issues
  • If the issue is a warranty thing...contact your collector and seek resolution
  • If no resolution found with the vendor, complain about it hereonly AFTER you have attempted resolution so others can be informed of your experience
  • Ship it back to China for warranty repair/replacement

How do I return my watch to China?
Returning your watch to China

STEP 5 - You're walking now...how do you keep things running?

Odds are good if you bought a chrono, it has an A7750 movement:

What A7750 do I have or should I buy? There are so many versions...

The Zigmeister's User Guide for the7750 Movement

Care and Feeding of A7750 Chronos - Setting the Date

The Zigmeister's Explanation of why handwinding your A7750 is bad

This watch is great. Can I take it swimming? Read here for water resistance testing:
Reps and Waterproofness

Pugwash's Water Resistance Testing Post

Greasing Gaskets and 4' Pressure Testing

What is Water Resistance?

Water Resistance Testing

Home Brew Pressure Tester

STEP 6 - Walking to running

Ok...you love your watch but want it just that little bit more accurate. What can you do?
How To Adjust Timing or Beat

Can anyone do mods on my watch?
The Zigmeister's Post on Questions to Ask a Modder

I want to take it to the next level and put a real Swiss Valjoux 7750 movement in my chrono...just like the gen?
Swapping Swiss Rotors with Asian on 7750s

Takashi's A7750 to Swiss Tutorial

Ajoesmith's A7750 to Swiss Tutorial

How do I do STUFF to my watch?
Francisco's Amazing Tutorial Section

RWG Knowledge Base

You want improved AR?
Chieftang AR. The King of AR!!

You want lume?
Do a search on "The Watchmeister" (pass through parameter links don't work anymore)

NOTE: The Watchmeister is not a full-time watchsmith so his client list is essentially sort-of closed. What does this mean?? Read:
Who is The Watchmeister and where do I find him?

Everest Watchworks

STEP 7 - Take a rest...you've come far grasshopper...you can now leave the Mountain

You're enjoying your watch...now put back into the community that helped you so much. Post some pics...write a review...encourage other Noobs...etc
Pugwash's Guide on How to Post Pics

...start working on your own watches
RWG Links to Where to Buy Tools

RWG Watch Repair and Upgrade Section

Practice and memorize everything here:
The Zigmeister's Technical Info Subsection

The Zigmeister's Watchmaking Resource Centre


STEP 8 - Be thankful for this amazing resource

The information I've provided above is gold. I know you will find it useful. I've saved you months of time searching...and have helped you get up and
running quickly and relatively painlessly. The info presented here is by no means comprehensive as the forum has TONNES more to offer.


The info above is worth far more than a stack of watch mags, books, etc...so Upgrade Your Membership and stop being a freeloader.

If you're so broke you can't afford the small amount to be a Supporter...maybe you shouldn't be buying watches. wink.gif

If you can't afford to support the forum financially...support it through content, buy raffle tickets, post topics, reviews, news...interesting stuff...and

Upgrade your membership and support the forum

Don't Forget the Upgrade is a Subscription

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Stephane    117

I didn't read it all and follow all links but god what a work !!! :Jumpy:

Congrats Toad...I'm going to explore it in depth for sure. :shock: It's going to take a while!

Thanks so much.



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Stephane    117
:tu: Excellent work, S. Stickied! :D

And moved to Introduction/Rules/Support. :thumbsupsmileyanim:


Edit to say: I'm sure you will find some more stuff to update it in the next ten years S. ;)

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Wow, what an incredible post :1a: :1a: :1a:

It's posts like this that not only make my jaw drop, (given the stupendous amount of thought and effort that must go into producing a post of this quality), but also make me recognise how lucky I was to find this place - best forum, bar none!

It's also quite humbling.... :wub:.......I really need to get my act together and give something back to this community......I'll resolve to start posting some of what I've bought, and learned, over the past year or so.

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Toadtorrent    40
This is so great; now whenever a noob asks a popular question, we can just link them here!! Very cool.

That was my intent. I was keeping a list of links I was including to all the Noob posts I saw and thought this would be easier for me...so easier for everyone. Hah! :D

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Chino    0

Toadie, you simply rock. :clap: Thanks very much for the time and effort, they are really bringing to fruition some of the most useful and rich posts around.

This one should become a very looooong thanking thread.

If you're relatively new to rep watches and are not reading this, please do. This is a new MUST read to every rep world newcomer. DO IT! :D

thanks again and again, Toad.


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offshore    28

I think at some stage, I may have suggested to Toad, that all we look for is contributions to the forum.

This work repays any small acts of generosity many times over!

Just brilliant Toad, go to the top of the class.

It also shows our new members, to what heights they can aspire, after their induction.



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vlydog    262

This is just another reason why RWG is the best watch forum on the planet. There are so many resources here at our disposal and gads of informed people who are willing to share.

A generous post; Bravo!

This one is going to get starred.

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hambone    110

This is a most impressive tutorial. Even old timers can get some pointers from this post. Well done sir!

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beefy6969    0

What a posting Toadtorrent! Definitely sticky material.

All the other forums are going to be jealous that they dont have a "noob guide"!

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