top of page
  • Alvin

Spending Time in Paris & First Impressions...

See what I did there, it's genius you'll see why...welcome and thanks for checking out this post. It's been a while since I have been abroad, around 4 years 7 months since I left the UK. I suppose as I have been to Wales a few times, technically I have left the country, as I live in country of England, or Ingerrlund if you prefer. This is a long time for me, so I thought I would share. I was a gallivanter in the beforfore times, the pandemic grounded me but as you might know, I had loads to do, and I've done a lot of it. Ah Paris, my first love...

Paris clock

This is a bigass clock on the front of the Orsay Museum (Musee d'Orsay) which is cool. The museum used to be a train station which explains the clock(s), and Orleans is a town in the north of France, a bit historical trivia there for you, ah Paris!

Unfortunately, I didn't have much time in the city of light, but it was the first time I've done a few watch shops, and there are plenty more so I need to dedicate a trip to muchos horologicalness. Also, admittedly, my watch related photos are a bit weak, I was conscious of looking like a weird heist planning tourist, I just wanted to chill. Next time, I will go on full blog attack. I did make a purchase though, which is my first in-person watch purchase abroad, go me!


Paris Notre Dame

Notre Dame is almost fixed after that fire a few years ago, the scaffolding work is bonkers.


Other than walk 10km a day and eat a lot of delicious bread and pastries and pastas, I caught up with a friend - just starting his watch journey - who lives in Paris, son of a gun indeed! I have offered to consult for him, find him his perfect watches (yes there are many). He's not keen yet, but I'll win him over. Oh and the watch I bought, it wasn't a Cartier, Breguet or Pequignet, if only. It wasn't a Baltic, March-Lab or Yema, that would have been nice. Though I am happy with my purchase, see what it was below.


Royal Quartz by Galeries Lafayette - 11 Rue des Archives, 75004 Paris, France.


Royal Quartz watch shop Paris
Royal Quartz watch shop Paris

I did pop in here though I didn't buy anything. These little boutiques (offshoots of the big ass department stores - Galeries Lafayette) are well stocked with loads of different brands. Rolexes on show, the GMTs are lovely, but none for sale - obviously. The staff member I spoke to was very courteous and spoke English, possibly didn't believe the things I was telling him about my watches, but that's ok. I did see a few crackers, the Zenith Dely El Primero 21 (1/100th) in the flesh not as chunky as its 44mm suggests, the Bell&Ross Diver BR-03 92 that I really like, is actually a bit too large. They had a really good selection to be fair, and a few pre-owned pieces. I wish had the money to burn...


Img: Galeries Lafayette



Watchfinder & Co. - Printemps Haussmann, 64 Bd Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France.


And I wish I had even more money to burn here. No photos of this one as it was a concession inside the Printemps store. It was small but it had a fair few pre-owned watches, and I think you could snag a deal here. The exchange rate is favourable for UK peoples, though this is factored in for a global brand like WF&Co - I still think it's possible to save a bit.


I saw my first Vacheron Constantin Overseas, very nice, it was a steel one with blue face very solid and chunky though was only in fair condition, definitely needed a polish. The gold VC 222 is the only one to have though, oohwee. They had a few Rolexes, datejust and oyster perpetual, tempting, not really but also yes indeed. At times like these the language barrier is welcome, though the staff all probably speak English in places like this.


There is also a WF&Co 'by appointment' showroom at 28 Rue De La Baume, Paris, 75008 - very cool, next time for a bit of schmoozing.




G-Shock - 5 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, 75004 Paris, France.



Your standard, happy, shiny G-Shock experience here, they had the new pastel summer vibe GM-2100's which are pretty cool. I considered getting one for my nephew, then I changed my mind, I think his first mechanical or automatic watch is due, he's turning 16 this year, so that will be cool, he's already interested - come to the dark side.


In that second photo you can see a bag in the reflection, it's a Swatch I bought, but was it a Simpsons one, a Blancpain or an Omega?


Swatch - 17 Rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75004 Paris, France


In fact it was a bloody MoonSwatch, only two years late then. I just realised I didn't even go to one of the cafes I used to frequent, Wild and the Moon, that would have been clever and fitting to take a few shots - Wild and the Moonswatch - perfect collab, never mind, next time. Anyway, I have been to a few London Swatch shops over the last year, and they didn't have any. I was adamantly against buying one from eBay even though the prices have come down a bit. This place had all of the original ones, no gold ones or the new Snoopy ones, obviously. But I've seen them before and I know I wanted a black one, so I got the Mercury. I was actually surprised how much I liked it when I got it on the wrist, it's a great size and superb summer watch which everyone know already - just need a new strap. First impressions are real good. I paid EUR275 which is £238ish, the UK RRP is £240 I think, yes a deal!


I only took one watch with me, the ever reliable and awesome Longines Conquest GMT VHP, can't go wrong with it. To buy another watch was very bad of me, it wasn't really on the list but I did have it in mind when I booked the trip, it was to be my only allowance to go over the holiday budget. The 'Very Bad' text is from the book I'm reading, 'Very Bad People' by Patrick Alley - it's the inside story about the fight against corruption, I recommend if you're into geopolitics and international relations and crime and undercover reporting and corruption - which I am.


We mooched around the Saturday flea market in the Latin Quarter (you want line 7, get off at Censier-Dauberton) looking for that grail Rolex or Cartier find, but alas it wasn't to be. I did see a few old Chopards, Zeniths and Omegas, pretty cool but hard to tell how much they've been fiddled with, Frankensteined many are, I'm sure. I didn't take any photos as I felt it was a bit rude and vendors were right there, it feels a bit more personal than in a shop.



Just a bit more random Paris there for you. The Time & Tide link to a few more watch shops in Paris is in the footer, check it if you're heading that way. If not, you should but I would wait until after the Olympics are over, though there is some cool stuff to see, they are disrupting the flow and beauty of the old girl.


Three things to finish. The first I would like to start a go fund me page and raise around £100k (not greedy) so I can go watch shopping in Paris, just to the Bucherer store I reckon, I'll have a think about that. And second, I am crushing hard on Grand Seiko's right now, SBGJ201, and SBGJ255G (this one makes me swoooon), so much love, but I think I said before if I buy the perfect watch it might end this mad journey, ooohweee big words. Finally, I have recently become familiar with a French interior designer of old, more a legendary furniture designer, called Pierre Paulin. I wonder if you've come across this name in the horology space? I was familiar with it as an Aliexpress staple, but it never interested me until recently. I will leave it at that, and you can catch the next post to see what I'm on about!


Happy Horologizing!



Yours Parisianly,


Alvin



 

Time & Tide Paris


Grand Seiko x2

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page