I am a huge tech nerd.
But every now and again, I love to take a break by listening to some vinyl or simply reading a great book (I just read Ready Player One recently and highly recommend it!).
But here’s the deal – tech has crept in to every part of our life.
And it has become a bit invasive to say the least.
Take the smartwatch for instance…
…not only do they need constant attention (software updates, charging, etc.), but they can also be hugely distracting as they serve up worthless notifications, text messages, and a host of other annoyances.
Now, I am not saying they are all that bad as they can be great activity trackers, but sometimes, it’s just a bit too much…
…not to mention they kind of lack style.
But when you try to buck the smartwatch trend by going with a traditional wrist watch, the choices can be a bit overwhelming to say the least.
To prove this, I popped over to a large online retailer and searched “wrist watch for men”.
And over 70,000 results were returned!!!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to sift through 70,000 results to find the perfect one for me and the occasion that I plan on wearing it (casual, dress, etc.)…
…and I am willing to bet that you probably don’t have that much time to spend picking out a watch as well…
It’s this problem that Watch Gang is set out to fix.
But never have we taken a look at a watch subscription box service…
Now there is a lot to like about Watch Gang– and inevitably there were a few shortcomings as well (more on this in a minute).
So, let’s dig in and take a look at who they are, what they offer, and most importantly, a look at one of the watches we received.
Who Is Watch Gang
Now before anyone should buy from a company, its always important to do a bit of research.
With folks able to pop up a website in a matter of hours – you don’t want to get duped or scammed.
So, check this out:
To get the low down on any startup, we like to head over to Crunchbase– a database that contains all sorts of great info about a company.
When it comes to Watch Gang – this is what we were able to find out:
They were established in 2016, are based out of Los Angeles, and look like a fully bootstrapped company – kudos to them!
Details aside, when heading over to their site – you can see things are pretty straightforward– just the way we like it:
You can check out this short 30 second explainer video that perfectly encapsulates the Watch Gang offering:
For thewatch fans out there– we recommend checking out their Instagram page as well.
They share great pics of some of the watches they are featuring in their subscription box (also this is a great way to see the quality of the watches they have shipped in the past if you are still undecided about them).
Of course, if you want to learn more about Watch Gang – simply check out their About page and read a touching story about their roots.
Subscription Options Available For Watch Gang
Now the numbers:
Watch Gang offers 3 main subscription models:
- Original– $29/watch (get watches worth up to $150)
- Black– $99/watch (get watches worth up to $500)
- Platinum– $299/watch (get watches worth up to $1500)
Basically, how this works, is that Watch Gang will regularly reach out to companies and negotiate rates based on batch orders.
Therefore, if a watch typically retails for $500, they may negotiate a price down to $75 per watch – but then purchase 100 of them.
Therefore, when they turn around and send the watches to you – they largely pass on the savings and make a modest profit.
In fact, if you want to learn more about the process, check out their FAQ section – where they explicitly describe a bit more on how they work:
It’s a smart way to run a business, and even better for you as you don’t have to pay full retail for a watch (granted you lose the ability to choose the right one for you).
But like most subscription box services, this isn’t necessary revolutionary, but a great way for a man to expand a part of their wardrobe that they otherwise would never pay attention to.
Unboxing And Reviewing A Watch Gang Watch
Alright, enough about the company and the prices…
…let’s get into the good stuff!
The watch we received.
(note: this is based on our own style profile, the watch you receive will likely be much different)
First up the packaging:
This is pretty no frills.
Which is great, especially if you live in a building with a shared lobby or your packages are simply sitting on your doorstep as no one will suspect what could be inside.
Furthermore, Watch Gang simply leaves “WG” as the return address and tells the delivery company to hold on Sunday or Holiday delivery (otherwise a signature is requested):
Perfect, so your new watch doesn’t get swiped by a jealous neighbor.
Now to the inside…
…when opening the box, to be quite honest, it’s a bit lacking.
Followed up by a bubble wrapped box:
Again, nothing Instagram worthy– so if you are a guy that loves the white glove service, you might be a bit disappointed.
But like mom always said, it’s what’s inside that counts…
…let’s take a look at this beauty:
We got our hands on a sweet watch from Out Of Order (Italian watch maker).
And a lift of the cover reveals the following:
Here’s a better look at it:
I LOVE IT.
Seriously, this is a brand that I normally wouldn’t check out for watches or a color scheme that I typically like to rely on (usually I am a plain stainless steel band kinda guy).
It’s a versatile watch that can work well with casual weekend wear or even dressed up a bit in a smart casual way.
Here’s another look at it on the wrist:
Now for the guys out there getting a watch for the first time – you will likely need to bring your watch to a jeweler for resizing as they will have several extra links in the band:
No big deal – having your watch resized usually costs around $5 – $10, and can be done in a few minutes.
And on the case back you can see the following:
While we want to share more about this watch with you – we have to remember that this is tailored to our taste (which it was spot on) and you will receive a different one when you sign up with Watch Gang.
With that in mind – let’s look at the specs of the watch:
- Movement:Miyota (Citizen) Japanese Quartz
- Water Resistance:10 ATM (100M / 330 FT) – ok for diving
- Band:Galvanized Steel (gives it that rugged worn look)
Sure, the die-hard watch fans might be looking for Sapphire glass or a different movement type – but for the $99 monthly subscription – we think this is a pretty good deal…
…which leads us to the next point.
Does Watch Gang Live Up To Their Word?
Now we couldn’t help it, but we had to look.
For a $99 subscription price and a promise of delivering a watch that retails up to $500 – we checked out the Out Of Order website and find this watch ourselves.
Here’s a look at the listing (pic taken October 2018):
That’s a total savings of $332.73.
Now, I know what you must be thinking…
…there has to be a catch, right?!
…and you would be 100% correct!
Here’s the sticky part of Watch Gang – the return policy.
What If You Don’t Like The Watch? Watch Gang Return Policy
Now with so much savings passed on to the subscriber, there inevitably has to be a catch or two.
When it comes to Watch Gang, it’s important to know that there are no returns:
None. Nadda. Nil.
So, if you could never see yourself wearing the watch that was sent to you, then tough luck…
…not really – here’s why:
Watch Gang has put some counter measures into place to help their customers out.
First up, their Facebook Group:
With over 28,000 members (that are also very active), they set up an area where you can buy, sell, and trade watches.
This creates a great (and private) marketplace of like-minded men looking to get their hands on a new watch, or perhaps unload one that isn’t to their liking.
Now if you are one that has abandoned Facebook altogether or perhaps you want to look at other platforms, we did take a look at eBay to see how much our watch could fetch.
Based on previously sold listings we found the following auctions:
An average profit of $49.
Not one single listing sold for under the price of the subscription box fee ($99).
This is a great way to make some extra beer money for the month if you really aren’t liking the watch you received.
With two great avenues to make a ‘return’ we think this is a pretty damn fair alternative and one that might put a few extra bucks in your back pocket at the end of the day.
A+ for this idea Watch Gang!
Going Through The Watch Gang Process
Now if you are ready to take the leap and try out Watch Gang – here’s a quick 3 and a half minute explainer video we put together to help answer any questions:
Final Thoughts On Watch Gang
For the value of the watches that come in the box each month, no matter what plan you select, Watch Gang is a sound choicefor those men looking to upgrade their style without having to know all the details behind selecting a watch.
Now sure, there might be some haters out there – but you get that with everything.
This service is designed not for the watch enthusiasts – but regular guys like you and me that just don’t have the time to follow the latest trends coming out of Baselworld.
For a flat monthly fee, we think Watch Gang offers a pretty sweet subscription service that helps out men.
If you want to learn more about Watch Gang – check out their site and give them a try.
We think you will be pretty happy with the results.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.