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$10 Cruise Ship Watch January 23, 2011

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Uncategorized.
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When you take a cruise, you are often lured into expensive things your logical, rational mind avoids in your normal life. Let’s face it, $450 on “spa treatments” is not on the typical middle-class American’s dance card on a regular basis.

Conversely, there are some deals that are too tempting to ignore…like my $10 Terner watch and my wife’s $10 sparkly black clutch. The words “cheap” and “Made In China” today are lumped together like “cheap” and “Made In Japan” were when I was ten years old. What was true then is true today…in general.

For example, back then,the Yamaha and Honda motorcycles were considered good quality while the Toyota, Datsun and Honda cars weren’t held in quite that esteem. Today, the Chinese aren’t ready to export anything significant like motorcycles or cars (after all, like the Russians, they are Communists – no matter what the slogans du jour say). But, unlike the Russians today or Japanese back in the day, they have advanced in electronics to the point that it is difficult to buy anything other than Chinese made products with recognizable American and Japanese brands slapped on them!

My point is, while I still equate Chinese-made with cheap, it’s not entirely accurate. Full disclosure: I have boycotted Chinese products for decades, not because I despise the Chinese people, but because our government allowed the flood of Chinese imports into the USA that virtually killed the textile, paper and steel industries, to name just the three that I think of constantly. So, I buy nothing made in China unless totally unavoidable. Electronics is quickly sliding into that category. (Also, I don’t buy Citgo or any gasoline from Venezuela due to Hugo Chaviz and his policies, not his people)

Back to the $10 watch and the glittery clutch. China is famous for knock-offs. Yes, those Rolexes that aren’t genuine, or those Coach bags that look very close to real, that is all Chinese innovation at work. What does this have to do with my $10 watch? Everything.

“How so?” You may ask. The watch is attractive to me because it has a large face and what appears to be pearl inlay. Of course, I know it’s not real pearl. But it is a simple, chrome-encased watch. And, at first glance it appears to state (around the 30-minute mark) “Calvin Klein Swiss Mode” and on the pearl inlay “Singapore Mov’t” (for movement). However, upon close examination under bright light it clearly states “Colvinklein SwissMode” which means, even to the casual observer like me, that the watch is of substantially less value than it appears (probably even less than the $10 I paid). As I come to find out “Singapore Mov’t” is also a meaningless phrase, if somehow impressive when not investigated. I have seen it on knock-offs of, say, Seiko, as “Mov’t Singapore”.

This is not a particularly surprising revelation to you as it was not to me. Yet, why purchase it if it is an obvious fake? Granting credence to someone’s skill in stealing a design and copying it, even at $10, doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. It’s not…but price is a compelling feature coupled with a tempting venue (“What’s another $10 on a cruise? It’s vacation, right?”).

I know there’s serious business going on out there. I have seen trade shows for manufacturers ban any kind of cameras when there is real equipment being displayed. Why? Well, one reason is the Chinese would come over and take photos and build their own knock-off equipment (I know this happened with printing, papermaking and corrugating equipment).

Sure, there are other competitive reasons to ban cameras from such trade shows. But you must admit that if the Chinese somehow re-invent a machine from photos and produce it for sale inside their nation or to others who freely trade with them, without the CSA or UL listings or other safety measures,well, that’s beyond selling me a cheap knock-off watch for $10 on an innocuous cruise ship in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

So, today I am the owner of my first Chinese knock-off watch. My Seiko, Swiss Army, Armitron and Timex are all authentic. But, this little chrome and faux pearl beauty is the handiwork of an ignoble craftsman, a legitimate thief, someone to be loathed, not heralded. And, yet, I like it and…doggoneit…it was $10 on the cruise ship. Give me a break!



1. Rapid Gigabitz - February 3, 2011

i cognate it $10 Cruise Ship Watch « imaginative thinker or writer at the brim now im your rss reader

2. kimberly - February 21, 2011

as if!

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