Monday, June 9, 2008

Wenger Commando Chronograph Blue Dial

I'm not certain of the model number of the watch I'm wearing today. If this page has an accurate photo, then I suppose it is a 70728. I probably have the paperwork somewhere but the number's not listed on the watch and it's not important enough to go searching for it. In fact, I've talked about it too much already. I'm pretty sure I bought this in 1999, but I'm certain I bought it from Value America. For those of you who didn't have the pleasure of purchasing from Value America, and maybe don't even know who they were, let me set the scene: It was 1999, "e-commerce" was a buzzword and the "Dot-com Boom" was, well, booming. E-tailers were falling over each other to offer better deals to make sales, profits be damned! Value America was at the forefront of this with their "Value Dollars" program, which awarded Visa cardholders a 50% discount on items up to $200. This was supposed to be limited to one offer per customer, but just about everybody knew it was actually one offer per email address, and we know how difficult those are to come across. Anyway, thanks to Value America this watch cost me something under $100 (maybe 1/4 of MSRP since their regular prices also included a discount) and I have a similar one that cost a couple dollars less. It was really the only watch I wore from 1999 until probably 2004 and it looks it. It's not in terrible shape, but the band links have worn and loosened up a little and it has some scuffs and scratches on the case, band and crystal. The batteries seem to last about 3 years and I've replaced it twice. It's a decent size, about 39mm across without the crown (42mm with) and 13mm thick. The tachymeter track outside the dial is fairly thin so the dial itself is quite large and legible. It has a solid ETA Swiss quartz movement that consistently keeps good time and the chronograph hands also move quickly back to zero on reset. My only complaints about this watch are minor. First, like a number of my watches it has developed a slight haze on the inside of the crystal and should really be disassembled and cleaned (and the last time I had it open it wasn't immediately obvious how to remove the stem and crown.) Second, while the hands are aligned well to the dial, the tachymeter ring is off ever so slightly. I'm sure I could take care of both fairly easily after removing the movement, or I'll take it to my watchmaker and have him do it next time I have him doing something more substantial. Neither problem bothers me enough to make a special trip.

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