Watch the Watches

In a world of fast paced glitz and glamour, making a fashion statement becomes an indomitable task. Be it with the new pair of Ray Bans or a spit of flaring red on your converse, your wardrobe and accessories demand priggishness to the heights. If there’s one item on your checklist that is equally stylish, stuffs you with pompousness and is undoubtedly useful, it’s got to be your watch. Strapped around the wrist with a kick of attitude, watches are the ultimate flaunt de élan in the crowd.

More Flash for Less Cash
Unfortunately, watches that actually survive underwater diving and are genuinely heat resistant cost a mini fortune. Of course, on such occasions, it really becomes a debate whether it’s feasible to sell your kidney to tell time with style; but we would rather not go into that argument. If you want to keep it cheap yet appear high-ticket, this article is your Bible.

A pretty Rado or Rolex can be bought at prices less than Taka 1000 if you know the right bargains. They look exactly like the real Rado or Rolex, only less shiny and less durable. The metal feels light and it’s probably going to stop working after a while. However, they still appear pretty neat and if attitude comes with a smaller price tag; it’s a dandy reason to grab it. Fake ‘brand’ watches can be bought within a range of 350 to 1200 taka in a range of designs and colours. Nobody will know the difference unless they are wearing the exact same brand bought of the exact same design purchased from the exact same shop. If you happen to venture into New Market, almost all fake ‘brand’ watches will be available below 600 taka.

Besides sporting rip-off brand names, these watches also have their own names. Variations of Quartz include Wurtz and Qarts, next to Phillip and Fust Track. These are found in virtually every mushroom headed mall in your area and have a similar price tag. Bigger malls prefer charging 550 taka unnecessarily (just because they have a shop in a bigger place) for each watch, but accurate bargaining can bring the price down to as low as 350 taka.

The Fashion Scene
On a personal note, the female counterpart amongst the two reporters behind this mayhem is a big fan of big, black dials and leather straps. Fortunately for her, that’s near to what’s ‘in’ these days. Call your shots for a huge leather strap teamed with small clock faces (or vice verse). With the recent free-spirited cosmopolitan vibe, these watches are ubiquitous and flaunt no particular brand. Local dealers have taken the liberty to label these ‘in-things’ Bulgy Bags, a name that can be reshuffled to form Ugly Hags, which we believe is a more suitable claim.
If you’re too upbeat to dance to leather straps, opt for bands made out of jeans-type material with nifty graffiti drawn all over. Take a stroll down the alleys of Bashundhara City and New Market. Although BC takes pride in selling these between 700 to 800 taka, New Market makes customers happier with prices as low as 450 bucks. Bulgy Bags are direct results of hip Bollywood releases and casual parties.
“I think it’s more masculine and uncommon than regular chain watches,” says 23 year old Azad while twisting his wrist in strange manners to show off his Ugly Hag.

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The Big Buy
However, if you’re seriously into watches and don’t want to settle for a makeshift prototype, make sure you’re carrying a thick wallet and have very generous parents.
“Although finding a good bargain is easier, it’s also calls for a compromise in quality. It stops working in a short while, the colour wears off and you eventually realize it wasn’t worth the flashing after all,” concludes Saleem, a 19-year old who claims to have the largest collection of bargain watches in town.

For the many who love watches and cannot virtually afford the real deal even when they sell their kidneys, Fast Track is the newest toys in the city. Insanely popular in India and now hitting the teen team in Bangladesh, Fast Track watches have it all. Sporty, trendy, versatile and yet, sophisticated with durability, it’s no common surprise that the brand has stolen hearts already. Available at prices between 1200 to 5000 taka, these watches sometimes surface at Almas Super Shop and Priyo.

If you can afford 5000 bucks to tell time, gather up your cash and scoop a gorgeous Swatch. Swatch watches are known for their superior quality and is a big buy worth the price tag. Notwithstanding, prying around can also yield lower priced Swatches, but unfortunately we couldn’t find anything below 3 grand. Time Zone has a few Swatch watches on display and can be a prime spot to hit on.

However, if you’re in for the traditional elegance on your wrist, Citizen and Quartz watches should be your picks. The originals can start with a price of 1000 bucks and raise pretty high; although if bargained properly, can be carried home at an expense below 3000 bucks.

If nothing we’ve ranted about is within your budget bracket, we suggest you get a plastic watch with a plastic like strap around it. Otherwise, feel free to paint a watch on your wrist and watch the watch. You can always put your head up and claim that your superiority has stopped time on your fingertips. Meanwhile, for the rest of us who don’t want to call it a day without the best buy, hop around and look for what suits you the best. It’s not just a timepiece, but a bit of glamour tied around your personality.

By: Sabhanaz Rashid Diya and Osama Rahman
Photos: Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Published in Rising Stars in November 2008

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