Portero touts itself as a "Luxury Auctions" website. They offer more than just watches, also available is jewelry, art, housewares, and other items falling under a variety of luxury brands. My focus of course was on the watch side of things. Their big sell seems to be the fact that they independently verify the authenticity of each item, have a one year warranty, a 30 day return policy, and offer good customer services. Which basically means they are bound to charge high prices, and have live sales people. On eBay the sales people are the sellers themselves. The watch listings are meant to look like auctions, in the sense that they end, and you can technically bid on them. Perhaps this occurs occasionally. Here is the kicker though, these aren't really auctions, they simply try to emulate the auction experience by placing seemingly random numbers as the price; say ,761, rather than some rounded price. It is meant to look as though people are organically bidding on the items, but they are not. Exploration of "closed" auctions that ended with a buyer, reveal just one bidder. Meaning that there is no competition, just one person buying the items. You might think this a good thing, until you realize the prices, which are astronomical most of the time. Those "closed" auctions are mostly for items in the sub ,000 range. Meaning the people buying items there are not going after the ridiculously priced inventory they have. All they need are a couple of buyers paying the very high prices they charge for some items each month, and they are fine.
Certina watches aren't too common in the US, being mostly reserved as a low to mid-priced watch for more established watch markets. Regardless, Certina is a respectable brand, with a good level of quality for what you pay. The DS-1 takes you back to a time before digital watches when you needed to have high legibility analog watches, with a sporty flair. When you first digest the Certina DS-1, it is noticeably retro, but enjoys a good deal of refinement in it's handsome appearance. The operative word here being handsome. This watch will not win any design awards, but certainly has a place in the heart of those highly conservative watch wearers that we all know. For that relative or friend we have that simply cannot accept the idea of a watch that calls too much attention, but at the same time, we cannot bear to see them wearing a Casio or Timex for the rest of their lives. For those people, and the rest of us that was a genuinely "good looking" watch for simple occasions there is the Certina DS-1.
I will spare all the marketing hype and tell you what is important to know about the Meridiist. Tag Heuer decided it wanted a mobile phone. Finding success with other branded products such as eyeglasses, it felt the brand was strong enough to enter other markets. Vertu proved that at least someone was buying super expensive phones, and LVMH (Tag Heuer's parent company) felt that Tag Heuer was probably the best bet for the endeavor. About three years ago, Tag Heuer teamed with a company called Modelab, which helps companies build branded mobile phones. Tag Heuer could likely offer lots of input and engineering as to the materials and construction of the phone itself, but the actual electronics inside and software were things Tag Heuer has had no experience with. Better leave it to the experts.
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