Although sometimes the search for a watch can be just as much fun as actuallybuying it, there s also something to be said for getting exactly what you want, whenyou want it, and not paying for anything you don t need. If you re the type who knowsexactly what he wants and is accustomed to getting it, you might consider buyinga custom watch from 121TIME.

121TIME allows customers to customize their own Swiss-made watches using theironline Design Studio. In a little over five minutes, I built myself a very niceChallenger Automatic with a stainless steel bracelet and bezel, black dial with Arabicnumerals, and sapphire crystal,all for $644. I have never owned a 121, so I can t vouch for their quality, butassuming they are well made, that s a fairly reasonable price for something custombuilt and Swiss.

Like my colleague Robert over at FratelloWatches, I recently received an email from 121TIME co-founderDaniel Morf letting me know that as of this month, 121TIME is offering ETA 2824-2automatic movements as an option for almost all their watches (it looks like theSpeedster is only available in quartz, but the Grand Central, Metropolitan, Challengerand Centurio are all available with automatic movements). Although I love high-techdigital watches, I believe a watch like the 121 is far more appealing as an automatic.Nice move, 121.

I really like the idea of customizing a watch, and I hope to see more of thistype of innovation in the future. I d love to be able to order a big dorky plasticdigital with just the features I want, and have the modes ordered how I want them,as well (which technically wouldn t be difficult it s just software). In fact,the TimexIronman Data Link does just that (though you configure it through yourPC rather than special ordering it even better), and sells for all of $90 retail.And Fossil recently launched the FossilWatch Bar where you can build your ownwatch, but you re not going to find automatic Swiss movements and sapphire crystals.One of my favorite fake breitling is my Rolex GMT Master II which I love everything aboutexcept the clasp which has these strange, cheap-looking imprints to make it looklike it s part of the bracelet. Whose idea was that? Clasps are clasps, and shouldn tlook like part of the bracelet! I would have loved to have ordered a custom Rolexwith a different clap, and I would have paid for the privilege.

121TIME doesn t let you customize everything about your watch, so if you don tlike the general look, no amount of customization is going to help. But I find thestyle of 121 watches to be such that a littlebit of personal touch goes a surprisingly long way.

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    June 2013