October marks my third month trying out the monthly watch subscription service Watch Gang. As a refresher, the good folks at Watch Gang offer three subscription levels, Original ($29), Black ($99), and Premium ($299). I opted to go with the Black subscription, and for the price of $99, Watch Gang promises to send a timepiece each month that has a retail value of between $150 and $500.
My first month, I took advantage of a new customer discount, and the watch received, and Out of Order, Casanova, has been trading and selling on the Watch Gang Exchange (their buy and sell watch forum), for a little over $100, so I'd say I made out on the cost to value ratio of my subscription, based primarily on the new customer discount. The timepiece is selling for $400+ on the Out Of Order website. As far as my preferences, I had leather strap selected, sport as my category, and case diameter between 40mm - 45mm, so they definitely hit my preferences in month 1.
For month #2, the watch I received was the Motor-Time, Hornet Chronograph. I haven't paid attention to the trade / resale value of the Hornet on the Watch Gang Exchange, but the timepiece is currently listed for $285 on the Motor-Time website, so subscription price to value is a plus. Prior to the September subscriptions closing, I did change my strap preference to stainless steel, and the watch was delivered on a stainless steel bracelet, so that checked a box for the strap preference. Case size for the Hornet comes in at 48mm, so while it is a little larger than my preference setting of 40mm to 45mm, I'm partial to wearing watches North of 44mm; so the 48mm case diameter was perfectly fine with me, another winner for the month of September.
That brings us to the current month of October. Part of the magic of Watch Gang, is that many of the brands that they work with each month, are the lesser known micro brand watches. So it's a way of introducing subscribers to brands that they may not normally come into contact with, or consider buying. So, you can imagine my surprise, and the surprise of many other "gangsters", as those in the Watch Gang club are referred to, when my October subscription watch arrived, and is was a Casio, Tough Solar, G-Shock, oh the horror! Or at least that was the knee-jerk reaction by members of the exchange. So, why the fall-out and backlash against a rock-sold, well-respected brand?
Part of the disappointment espoused by forum members, with regards to the Casio G-Shock, was that Casio is no micro-brand, but a well-establish major brand. Issue number two, Black-Tier subscription members are told that automatic timepieces would be offered at that level, with some regularity. For me, at 3 months in, and three watches received, I have yet to receive an automatic, all have been quartz pieces. I personally have no issue with this, as grab-n-go timepieces are a necessity, in any collection.
The particular G-Shock being offered, has a verifiable retail value across various internet outlets, ranging between $180 and $220, so the subscription price to retail value ratio is positive once again. I switched my strap preference to rubber, and the strap on the G-Shock is like a polymer resin material. So while not stainless steel or leather, the strap received was slightly off my preference, but I guess the closest they had, of the vendor deals negotiated. At 48mm, the case diameter on the G-Shock is slight larger than my first preference, but once again, not a deal breaker, as I favor timepieces larger than 45mm. The only thing that initially gave me pause regarding possibly not keeping the timepiece, is that I already have two Casio timepieces that I don't wear often. At the end of the day, a trusty G-Shock will always have it's place within a watch collection, if only counting the days or months for it's time to shine.
So far, at the 3-month point, the Watch Gang subscription service is living up to their claims, and my expectations, so we'll see how they pull into the station next month, at the quarter poll?