Welcome to the Blog!
Updated: May 18
Welcome to the Straps of Manhattan Blog! Unfortunately, as I write this the world is walking on eggshells trying to avoid the Coronavirus. My wife and I are self-isolating and trying our very best to stay inside. At first it sounded easy but now, over a month in, I’m getting restless and all I want to do is venture outside; and so I am trying to fill my days with fun filled tasks, challenges and jobs.
I recently decided that one of these challenges should be a blog. I thought it’d be a great place for everyone to get to know who’s behind the website, Instagram and Facebook pages. It’ll also stop me climbing the walls and crying at the window!
So, my name is Gary (but I prefer Gaz) and I am the owner of Straps of Manhattan. Since I can remember I have loved watches and watch collecting. Like many of you, I started buying watches as soon as I began making money. Granted, it was much easier when I was younger as my aspirations didn’t travel far beyond the offerings of Elizabeth Duke. I can still picture myself flicking through the Argos catalogue looking for that perfect Accurist diver…. We’ve all been there! As I got older however Elizabeth Duke quickly became Watches of Switzerland and the bottom end of New Bond Street where I can tell you, there aren’t any divers for £59.99!
In 2018 I was fortunate enough to get made redundant from a job I had spent 12 years in. I say fortunate because, while I didn’t realise it at the time, it was actually quite the dead-end number. Sure, it was easy but that’s all it was. I wasn’t being challenged, I wasn’t making good money and I didn’t particularly like Mondays… Or the other four days of the work week for that matter. It was just “a job”. Getting made redundant gave me a major kick up the arse and I realised that if I was going to work, I wanted to do something I enjoyed. Something challenging but something I actually cared about. So here I am!
Straps of Manhattan (SOM – easier to type) started just this year, officially opening in January 2020 with three fantastic NATO straps and, while that may not be a lot at the minute, we certainly have plans to grow our range! It is hard work but, thanks to one wrong mouse-click, we are up and running. That's is actually how I ended up here. I was working on an early version of this site trying to get it "perfect" when I accidentally pressed “Publish” instead of “Save” (100% true!).
Top tip. If you’re one of those people who waits for everything to be perfect before you start, publish your website when it’s half way there! Best mistake I ever made!
As of now (May 2020) things have slowed down due to Coronavirus. In all honesty, I think my timing could only have been worse if I had decided to do this during the financial crash of 2008! Nevertheless, I am staying positive! Hopefully this will be a story to tell down the road. And as I don’t like standing still, I thought I would use this time to start this blog. Additionally, I'd like SOM to be more than just an online store. I'm hoping I can add some value by talking about watches, collecting, the watch community and watch news.
So, what you can expect in the coming weeks, months and years (confidence level 10!) is a normal guys opinion on all things watches, watch collecting, the market and industry in general. All opinions will be my own and while you may agree with me on some things, you probably wont on others, but I think that's actually a good thing!
It’s also quite an exciting time to being doing this. The industry has seen a huge jump in development and more and more companies are pushing the boundaries in regards to the materials and technology they use. Additionally, Smartwatches have become massively popular, with Apple leading the way in sales of watches, more than whole Swiss watch industry combined.
This raises questions regarding the future of the traditional Swiss watch and watch industry as a whole. It all seems like a great place to jump in, share some opinions and encourage some discussion. Hopefully you agree and keep stopping by. I like the idea of breaking up some of your day (and mine) so I’ll add a new post every Friday, so just before you finish work you can grab an early start to your weekend with some watch talk!
Thanks for your time. Thanks for your support and I’ll see you in the next one!