Well, essential they are mainly for watchmakers – only. We all know how their tools look like and a lot of us got one like this from one of the watch companies, or simply bought one. AD´s have them as well on hand for their customers, to examine the piece of desire - or at least they should.
Nonetheless whenever I attended a GTG or any kind of watch lovers meeting, there have been several different versions on hand and none was close to be perfect – lots of pros and cons.
In January 2011 I attended a collector’s dinner hosted by a new independent brand. There have been mainly familiar faces to me and of course there have been some magnifiers on the table. One gentleman surprised me with something like a lens, something that looked really cool. In fact it was a (former) lens from Nikon which he had converted in to a magnifier. Not only it looked good, it was amazing to look through and to see the difference. The view was much wider than with a watchmaker’s loupe, but with the same kind of magnification.
Even better, I could place an order because the gentleman wanted to produce a small number of additional pieces. Of course I had to wait, at least until Basel and until his son did drink enough milk for the blue caps needed … but that´s another story
As promised I got mine in Basel, but one year later. Well, I was in good company. Most of the independent watchmakers (those we talk about these days) and several fellow collectors got theirs as well, delivered in Basel 2012.
It was not a bargain compared to what we are used to pay for regular loupes, but it was great for what it was and a huge improvement to everything I used before.
It was big and heavy, but who cares as long as it is the best you can get. So at the end we can call it solid.
The first batch was a great success and the demand for more was high. In fact it turned out to be a good idea, even for a start-up. The new product had to be even better and without any dependencies of finding lenses from the past on eBay or somewhere else – not to mention the difficulties to get the blue caps
Lots of research had to be done and to finance the project some serious commitment was needed.
In January 2013 I finally saw the new product, almost finished. What shall I say; the new one is even better. Yes it is, because it is smaller, the view seems brighter, safer (for the watches; lots of rubber all around) and less heavy – not to speak about the future options in the pipeline.
I was told to place my order online (for convenience) and to be honest; I almost forgot to do so. It was a busy time and whenever I needed a loupe I still had the first one on hand.
A few months later I finally placed my order and I decided to go for the simplest one, because it does the job and that´s all I want – in that case.
While waiting for my loupe I got a letter from the custom office. They wrote me that I have to pick up my parcel at their place. I hate to go there, because it costs always at least three hours before you get your parcel. After a long wait I was shown my parcel.
It looked quite big:
The custom officer asked me detailed questions about the content. I told him it´s a loupe. He was very skeptic, to say the least. He told me this must be a huge and very special one.
We started to open it, together.
Two boxes inside …
“This doesn´t look like a loupe, does it?!”
The next one didn´t look like a loupe either. ATTENTION! What does it mean?
The officer was quite sure that this is not a loupe … not at all.
Loupe System is written everywhere, but still no loupe. Lots of packages, boxes and accessories. I told him this is a tool for “watch nuts”. It is for passionate people who care about any tiny detail of a watch and I was able to show him a loupe, finally.
For sure he still thought I am crazy to spend such an amount of money on something like this, but he could only charge tax for a loupe. Nothing more, nothing less.
Back home I had to compare the old and the new one (see above).
Only one fits into the travel case …
… and of course it is the new one. Perfect!
For those travelling with up to four watches …
… it is nice to have one more option. Not sure if I will ever use the travel case (even when it seems super safe) for watches, but still it is nice. Boys and their toys, you know
As mentioned above the first one was very good, but the latest one is even better – especially when you don´t use it only at one place.
If you are in the market for an appropriate loupe for our hobby, this is the best I know. I guess I am not alone, because watchmakers, collectors, AD´s and even bigger brands placed their orders.
Passionate people can create outstanding products, once they are unhappy with the existing ones. Even when it only started as a hobby, it seems to be a success story. Congrats!