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Getting started with Watches
Watches do more than tell time. They have history; they have style. For some, watches are handed down from generation to generation – from father to son (like my Fossil). For others, they’re a gift to celebrate a moment, such as a graduation, birthday, or a marriage (like my search for the best watch under $100). Watches tell stories, and Watch Gang is trying to help everyone get their hands on watches they might not invest in otherwise.
I had a couple of watches growing up. I remember a Fossil my dad gave me for Christmas. In turn, I gave it to my son a few years ago. I also had a Casio digital watch. I received it as a gift from a friend’s mom who worked for the company. My first “real” watch was a Titanium Seiko with a black face; it cost me $400. To be honest, it kind of ruined other watches for me for a long time. It was so paper light that every other watch I wore felt like a brick. I went over 10 years before I bought another watch.
A Monthly Watch Club?
Fast forward 10+ years. I see an ad on Instagram for a monthly watch club that lets you keep the watch. During this time, I grew accustomed to not wearing a watch. My Seiko had taken a beating over the years. So, I did a little research and decided to give Watch Gang a shot.
What is Watch Gang?
Watch Gang’s home is in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 2016, Watch Gang’s goal is to put a Rolex in everyone’s hands to pass down through the ages. Understanding the sentimentality of watches and specific manufacturers, Watch Gang wants to introduce you to the brand that’ll make you go, “Ooh.” They want to give you something to wear that’ll look good on your wrist and something to cherish forever without breaking the bank.
Watch Gang’s Monthly Watch Club
After doing a quick survey to understand your style and what you want in a watch, Watch Gang offers three subscription levels to choose from. It’s important to note here that the survey doesn’t impact the watch you’ll be sent. In fact, my first watch was so far from any style I indicated that I liked that I had to dig into why I got it. It turns out that the survey is meant to gauge the overall style that users prefer and dictates what type of watches that Watchgang purchases.
So, if you’re dead set on sticking with a particular style of watch, Watchgang might not be for you. However, I highly recommend having an open mind to other styles. The watch I didn’t expect to receive ended up being one of my favorites (more on that later). Also, keep in mind that the tier you subscribe to has a big impact on the quality and value of the watch you’ll receive.
Original Tier: $49.99/month. Watches in the Original Tier are valued at up to $150 USD. Nautis, Adee Kaye, J. Brackett, and Oniss are some of the watches shipped in this tier.
Black Tier: $99.99/month. Watches in the Black Tier are valued at up to $500 USD. Seiko, Deep Blue, Melbourne, and Heritor are some of the watches shipped in this tier.
Platinum Tier: $299.99/month. Watches in the Platinum Tier are valued at up to $1500 USD. Mercer, Laco, Harbinger are some of the watches shipped in this tier.
It’s important to note that shipping and handling fees aren’t included in the pricing. These fees will vary by country, too. If you don’t like a particular watch, you can’t return or exchange it. Several Facebook groups and forums have popped up to help Watch Gang members trade watches with one another. There is an official Watchgang Facebook group that members can join to trade and sell watches. I ended up using this group once for a trade and another time for a purchase. I also bid on numerous auctions here or there to get watches that appeal to my style.
You can use Watch Gang’s unique Wheel of Watches to get particular watches. Many speculate the wheel also helps Watch Gang fine-tune what watches it sends to you, but they’ve neither confirmed nor denied that theory. You buy points to spin the wheel, and the watch you land on will ship to you. They guarantee you’ll receive a watch that matches the amount you spent to spin. This is only available to members.
One important thing to note about the wheels is that regardless of which tier you subscribe to; you can spin for watches that may be featured in higher or lower tiers. You can select from dozens of watches, add them to the wheel, and spin to win one. Every wheel spin includes a grail watch, like a Tag, Rolex, or Omega. During my time active in the Facebook group I saw numerous people win grail watches from the wheel.
Also, part of your subscription – no matter the tier – is that you’re entered to win a Seiko watch, a TAG Heuer timepiece, or a Rolex. Watch Gang does giveaways almost daily; they also host a Rolex giveaway every Friday for subscribers and Seiko Saturdays. Other than paying for a tier subscription, you don’t have to do anything to enter to win.
You can use Watch Gang’s unique Wheel of Watches to get particular watches. Many speculate the wheel also helps Watch Gang fine-tune what watches it sends to you. They’ve neither confirmed nor denied that theory. You buy points to spin the wheel, and the watch you land on will ship to you. They guarantee you’ll receive a watch that matches the amount you spent to spin. This is only available to members.
One important thing to note about the wheel is that regardless of which tier you subscribe to you can spin for watches that may be featured in higher or lower tiers. You can select from dozens of watches, add them to the wheel, and spin to win one. Every wheel spin includes a grail watch, like a Tag, Rolex, or Omega. During my time active in the Facebook group I saw numerous people win grail watches from the wheel.
Also part of your subscription – no matter the tier – is that you’re entered to win a Seiko watch, a TAG, or a Rolex. Watch Gang does giveaways almost daily. They also host a Rolex giveaway every Friday for subscribers and Seiko giveaways on Saturdays. Other than paying for a tier subscription, you don’t have to do anything to enter to win.
Watch Gang Watches I Loved
I opted into the Original Tier to give Watch Gang a try. I also selected a quarterly delivery, instead of monthly. I didn’t think I wanted 12 watches in a year. I turned out to be wrong about that though.
Here are some of my favorite watches I received and some thoughts on them. Keep in mind that the MSRP for each watch doesn’t really indicate the true value. I found that every watch I received would have cost more to buy elsewhere but could be purchased for a lot less than the value assigned on Watch Gang.
Melbourne Hawthorn Chrono (Green)
Valued at about $340 USD, the Melbourne Hawthorn Chrono is an everyday watch. This particular Chrono came in green with a multi-layered dial and a rugged case. Its textured dial features stainless steel markers and uses a mecha-quartz chronograph movement. Its sapphire glass prevents most scratches, which is perfect for this “grab and go” style of watch.
I dress this watch up and down. It’s very versatile. It’s a solid piece that feels very sturdy and well made. I actually traded for this watch. To be honest, I don’t recall what watch I received initially, but I wasn’t happy with the color of the face. The Melbourne watch is still in my rotation and I wear it weekly. Currently, all colorways are sold out on the Melbourne site.
J. Brackett Verona (Grey)
Starting at around $195 USD, the J. Brackett Verona in grey is an everyman's watch. It uses Japanese quartz movement. With a brown leather strap, stainless steel case, and grey dial, the Verona has a classic look that pays homage to the Rolex Datejust.
The J. Brackett was the first watch I received as a subscription and was so far from the sporty style and metal bands I indicated in my style survey that I was not pleased. Despite my disappointment, I kept the grey face and wore it to a business conference that came shortly thereafter. I liked the look and feel so much that I traded a MINI brand watch I got when I bought my wife her MINI.
I ended up swapping the band out on one of the J. Bracketts in favor of a quick-release camel colored leather band. The swap changed the look of the watch so much, it’s become one of my favorites. I would have never picked and purchased this watch, but it changed my perspective on watch styles and really fueled my now obsession with timepieces.
Seiko 5 Green Dial Green Canvas
You can buy a Seiko 5 Green Dial Green Canvas watch all day long for about $80. Featuring a 7S26 automatic movement with more than 40 hours of power reserve, this gorgeous watch will make you a watch fan if you weren't already. It has a fixed, smooth stainless steel bezel and a green canvas band that can be swapped out if you're looking to tame the green. Hardlex crystal makes the face that much more resistant to scratches. No collectors watchbox should be without a feature caseback, like one on this automatic movement.
This was the first watch I received from Watch Gang, because when I completed my subscription sign up there was a special offer for a one-time purchase. If you couldn’t tell, I like green watches. Anyway, I couldn’t resist the bargain bin pricing. The Seiko has been my “beater” watch, the one I wear to work on the house or my cars. I bought a handful of NATO straps and switch the bands out regularly.
Watchgang Review Verdict
I didn’t intend to write a Watch Gang review when I subscribed, but my experience was good and felt the world should know why. I wasn’t a watch connoisseur when I started. Honestly, if you are, Watch Gang might not be for you. Watch Gang opened my eyes to the beauty of watches. I realized that a timepiece is about the only accessory a guy can wear daily. I've purchased over a dozen watches since my Watch Gang subscription, but I still wear my monthly subscription watches on a regular basis. If you're new to timepieces, aren't a connoisseur, and want to quickly expand your collection, Watch Gang is a great choice. Use our code below to save a massive 25% off any subscription tier.