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REVIEW: WatchPro tests Watch Gang’s subscription service and delights in the first timepiece we receive

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An occasional perk of editing WatchPro is that I get sent watches to review. The thrill of receiving a package the shape of a cube sparks anticipation of what’s inside, a feeling that never gets old. They call it the out of box experience — the pleasure of unwrapping and opening the packaging and getting the first look at a new object.

Thankfully, you do not need to go through the agonies of editing WatchPro to experience this thrill. Subscribers to Watch Gang, the world’s largest club for watch lovers, can get the same excitement every month.

Watch Gang is based in Los Angeles and is biggest in America right now. But it is expanding into other markets including the United Kingdom with its service that delivers new watches to its subscribing members on a monthly or quarterly basis.

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What’s more, the company uses its collective buying power to secure watches from a huge array of manufacturers at dramatically discounted prices. Its marketing says watches sent to members are typically worth five times more than they pay through their subscription fees.

Watches sent to members are not randomly selected in a way that might lead to disappointment, they are carefully matched to individuals’ tastes.

This is done through the online sign-up process where prospective members are shown a series of images of watches and asked to give each one a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. It is just like Tinder for timepieces and should ensure a preference for steel sports watches over Scandi-style minimalism is baked into what is called a style profile.

Next you are asked whether you would like to receive watches every month or every three months before moving on to decide whether to subscribe to the Original, Black or Platinum tier. If I choose the middle Black tier, I will be sent a new watch every month for a monthly subscription fee of $99. For that price, Watch Gang says the watches it sends will be worth up to $500 each.

The subscription is even cheaper if you pay a full year up front. The Black tier becomes $1099.99 per year, which works out at $91.66 per month.

The Original Tier subscription costs $29.99 per month and promises watches every month worth up to $150 each. The Platinum tier costs $299 per month, and the watches will be worth up to $1,500. The more you spend, the more you save.

Subscribers outside the United States should note that there is an additional handling fee for shipping watches overseas. In the case of the UK, this is an extra $19.82 per watch.

It takes just a few minutes to sign up, and then sit back and wait for your first watch to arrive.

In my case this was a dive watch, the Global Dive, from a brand called Nautis. It is a classically-styled diver with a substantial 46mm steel case and hefty steel bracelet. I’d given a thumbs-up to this style of watch in my Tinder-style voting, so it was a delight to receive a watch that was bang on the money.

 

 

Speaking of money, I had a quick search online for the watch and found it on the Nautis website for $325. Not bad for a $99 per month subscription.

The Global Dive family uses a Swiss-made Ronda GMT quartz movement. Mine came with a textured off-white dial (I gave white a thumbs-up), but if you prefer blue, green or black dials, the chances are Watch Gang would send you this version of the Nautis instead.

The white dial and steel case remind me a little of the current Rolex Explorer, another watch I adore, so it is uncanny how well Watch Gang understands my tastes.

Green markers on the unidirectional steel bezel and a striking orange GMT hand are interesting pops of colour. Placement of a date aperture at 4 o’clock, aligning with the watch’s screw down crown is another nice touch.

I doubt I will ever dive deeper than the bottom of a swimming pool wearing the watch, but if I did it would survive to 500m below water (I depth that would kill a human instantly).

At 46mm, the watch is a little large for me, and I will let Watch Gang know that I’d prefer something a little smaller, but it is a watch that can easily be worn to the office or the beach and I have not taken it off since it arrived.

All I need now is for my next watch to reach me from Watch Gang, and I cannot wait for that out of box experience.

You can sign up for Watch Gang here.

 

8 Comments

  1. I felt Completely ripped off by watchgang, spent $300 CDN for the 378 points needed to spin the wheel and the gave me a Precimax Retro Pro (PX14018) which is worth less than half the $300 spent, thank god I haven’t signed up for a subscription as I would want to be disappointed every month by the cheap watch being sent.

  2. Lets be clear about Watch Gang. Its an incredible money making business and sheer genius. Where else does a Company collect between $29-$300 per month in advance then go shopping for Watches which are mostly unknown or more affectionately called “Micro Brands”. We are not talking about Beer that costs $7 a Glass and isn’t worth $2 depending on your taste. As a Mystery Watch Gang Member I have been part of their Platinum $300 Subscription. There is no way on Gods Green Earth that these $300 Watches are worth “Up to $1500″…..the key word being “UP TO”. Thats a Classic Marketing Tactic. Careful research into some of the Brands yields Websites selling the Watches for a very high and unrealistic MSRP. However when you do dig into the Internet you will find these same watches available for far less…..so the valuation of these watches is diminished substantially. Now thats not to say if you like Watches and want a Surprise arriving each and every month (for which you pay dearly especially if you are in Canada after duties and taxes) this is not for you…..it is. On the other hand if you are trying to become a “Collector” of No Name Limited Edition Watches then I wish you the best of luck. In 10 or 15 Years if these Companies are still around is yet to be seen especially with new Brands popping up on Crowd Funding sites (which incidentally many of the Watch Gang Brands started) . The other more interesting and brilliant aspect of Watch Gang is their Wheel of Watches which I find fun and an experience. The Wheel of Watches allows you to select from different Tiers of Watches and populate your Wheel. You purchase points in various amounts which give you access to different levels of watches. I selected 900 points which cost me $385. You pick three watches from one Group, then another two from another and so on. Then you Spin The Wheel and hope that your favourite comes up. In my case I paid $385 for a $1000 MTM Patriot Special Ops Watch which I have been wanting for quite a few years. These NEVER go on sale so this was a fantastic deal. So as an experience Watch Gang is very interesting. It caters to different budgets ranging from $29 to $300 for Original, Black $99, Platinum $299. Sure I could spend $1200 and get one really good watch or I could spend $1200 with Watch Gang over the course of one year and get 12 Watches. The best part of the Watch Gang is their Exchange Page on Facebook where you can swap, sell and discuss your Watch Gang Watch acquisitions. IF you are a “Collector” of Watches or just like to swap them out on your wrist every day then Watch Gang cannot be Beat. Just be wary of the costs if you are having them shipped outside of the U.S.

  3. I feel ripped-off. Good luck also finding how to do simple things like access you account or more importantly get your subscription cancelled. I had also to take the unwanted step of cancelling my Credit card because I couldn’t cancel my subscription after 3 separate attempts by email to the email address Watchgang say will get you unsubscribed. It does not by the way in my experience just a series of return questions on what you wish to change subscription to. Dont go near them. Robert McGuigan

  4. I had a different experience with Watchgang. My first spun netted a Tier 7 Ball Engineer III Endurance. A beautiful and limited edition watch. I was shocked frankly since it cost me $700 CAD. Being that my current winder was full. I then successfully pulled off a wolf 3 unit winder, which runs about $800 US. Everywhere I searched. Again $700 CAD. Insofar as microbrands, that is simply nonsense. The movement, case, crystal and the overall look to the beholder is what determines a nice watch. Not the brand. That is just snobbery. I can buy a watch for under $2,000 that will put a Rolex to shame. So the idea that microbrands may not be around at some point in the future is only important to watch sellers and not true collectors. In closing, if you want to go to the wheel, you simply need to be happy with all of your selections based on the criteria you set for yourself and spin away.

  5. I recently joined the Watch Gang. I joined on the Black tier, quarterly. When I signed up, I got 100 free points. I took those points to the watch wheel, did a spin on the 100 point wheel and ended up with an $885.00 Reign Bhutan. My first subscription watch, the April watch, was also a pleasant surprise. For my $99 Black Tier fee, I scored a Jerome Lemars Seurat Blanc worth $495.00. Both watches arrived on the same day with fairly quick shipping even during the COVID19 thing. 2 watches. $99 quarterly fee. Total retail of the first two watches: $1380.00. I’d say that is a pretty good start. We shall see if it stays that way or not.

  6. I’m not a watch guy at all and WatchGang charged my account $500 yesterday out of the blue. I didn’t even know who they were and googled them to find out. Yeah it’s not WatchGang it’s more like WatchThieves. I’ll be getting my $500 back of course from the bank but that’s not the point. I wouldn’t do business with these crooks even if I was into watches. Go pound sand WatchAssholes!

  7. Was thinking about getting Watchgang subscription at the highest tier with the 25% off code I got – magna25 – if anybody is interested. I know you can join Facebook groups and what-not to trade watches you don’t want. Has anybody had success with this? Is the time and effort in trading a watch you don’t want worth the sub price even with a discount?

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder