Magellan Watches

The case of the Magellan Blog case is a memorable one for a number of reasons. Not least because it is an international story not just of watches, the best watches, and the Swiss Watch business, but because it is a story of how contact can matter, and the power of a small company, obsessed with vintage watch product details, using just a blog and a smartphone app, to champion the mechanical watch and return it to its rightful place atop not just the Swiss watchmaking industry, but the world watchmaking industry. By championing the cause of the humble mechanical watch, the writer of the Magellan blog were at the same time able to shatter the myth of the quartz watch and to bestow a gift on the people of Switzerland, that of renewed pride in their country and the watches that for too long had been regarded as mere accessories. The case of the Magellan Blog is a story which gives not only the Swiss the opportunity to exclaim “I heart Switzerland”, a cry which can be heard to echo from every mountain throughout the land, but hopefully, one to warm the heart of any lover of the Swiss mechanical watch, and anyone they have contact with.

Of course, it is true to say that even prior to the Magellan Blog case, there were some who would say “I heart Swiss Watch”, or even “I heart Swiss”, but more often than not, these people were visitors, who undoubtedly wore a quartz watch, but were probably more concerned with their smartphone, and the accessories and latest app for it. “I heart Swiss Watch” had for anyone with a memory that was long enough, whether they were in the watchmaking business or not, a very hollow ring about it. In international terms, the power of the Swiss mechanical watch industry and all the business associated with it had seen nothing but decline for generations, on both a national and an international level. Quartz and the quartz watch had been to many the gift of the Gods of Time to the people of the world, in fact, the very best gift the Gods of Time had ever bestowed on the world and every international city within it. And so, in every international city across the world, from the best to all the rest, word began to spread, with word of mouth contact from person to person, of a watch so very simple and so very reliable that everyone could have one, a watch that made the company behind it or even product details superfluous such was the generic power of the magical quartz crystal that lay at its heart. Years then, before the invention of the blog, the smartphone, and even the ubiquitous smartphone accessory, the Quartz watch conquered the Swiss watch-making business. All those vintage machines in small vintage workshops with vintage men sitting at vintage desks making vintage watches were rendered obsolete overnight. The Swiss watch and the hundreds of small vintage business ideas that lay at its heart were dead.  The Quartz watch was best, and no-one could argue with that. Except, of course, there were a few, and this is long before the case of the Magellan Blog, or which perhaps gave the original impetus and power for it, that continued to mutter that they “Heart Swiss Watch”. This time though, the expression “I heart Swiss Watch” was for the Swiss Quartz Watch. These members of the Swiss watchmaking business imagined a future where a Swiss watch, however small to begin with, could once again conquer the international watchmaking business, offering a new gift to the world: not just a Quartz watch, which the international community had already proclaimed to be the best type of watch, but the best Quartz watch, best because it was Swiss. And so as time went by, that small Swiss watch business rose to become the one with more power than any other in the business of watchmaking and the Swiss Quarz watch was accepted as the best.

Some though, particularly in Switzerland, many of them the former employees of the small types of business that had once made mechanical Swiss watches, were not happy with this new world, the plastic world of the quartz watch, the smartphone, and all their mindless accessories. These were the people who had manned those vintage machines in those small vintage workshops, those vintage men who had once sat at all those vintage desks making vintage watches that had been rendered obsolete overnight with the coming not just of the quartz watch but even more worryingly, the coming of the Swiss quartz watch. These people, at that time, with the Swiss quartz watch in the ascendancy, where at least some of the power had returned, could never be heard to utter the words “I heart the Swiss quartz watch”.

Happily, one of these men, one of these forgotten men, once the age of the smartphone and the smartphone app and the idea of the blog had become accepted as one of the best ways of making contact and communicating, decided that he, Montre Magellan, would begin to write his own blog. Montre Magellan had a small shop, a very small business, with even fewer customers who would sometimes drop by with their broken, by then vintage mechanical watches. Some of these vintage watches had been given as a gift, from one lover to another, in days long gone, others a gift on a long yearned for retirement, a final accessory to take into the retirement of a long life’s work. Montre Magellan could hear the voices of these vintage watches talking to him down the years and decades. Although his shop and watch business was small, he knew all the product details of almost every mechanical watch that had ever been made, at least in Switzerland if not quite internationally. And so he began to make contact, he began to post vintage advertisements that he had collected over the decades on his personal blog of his favorites, a watch given as a gift here, another given as a gift there, mechanical watches that he was repairing, and all the product details of long-extinct Swiss watchmaking business outfits and their watches. And slowly, through the contact he made with others and the contact the readers of the personal blog he made from his small watch shop business made with others, a small miracle began to happen. When out in the town, he noticed it was no longer just the people with whom he had made contact with, but all kinds of people were now wearing t-shirts with the words “I heart the Swiss Mechanical Watch” emblazoned upon them. And for the first time in decades, especially after he deployed his “I heart the Swiss Mechanical Watch” smartphone app, it was not just the Swiss but international visitors, international readers of his blog and the men and women at the helm of the Swiss watchmaking industry, business and other leaders, who could once again be heard not just to mutter, but to proclaim from the rooftops, in a Tsunami of sound that was to echo from the rooftops all across Switzerland and beyond, “I heart the Swiss Mechanical Watch”. Montre Magellan, sure in the knowledge that only the best Swiss mechanical watches once again ruled with power over the watchmaking world, was a happy man.

I heart the Swiss Mechanical Watch!

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