BACK in the 90’s a trend exploded where women started collecting miniature shoes. They were scaled quarter sized replicas of high heels and flats. Most that I saw appeared to be injection molded. They were sold along with tiered display shelves and seemed just the right thing for a stay-at-home wife to waste her husband’s money on.

At the time I remember thinking, “Why in the fuck do you want a replica shoe; why not just buy an actual pair of shoes and wear them?” It just made no goddamned sense to me.

Soon, they started appearing in dollar stores as grotesque and poorly executed caricatures of the original miniature shoes. Sound famiar?

As the Internet was in its AOL infancy, I don’t think there was a big collector market and so assume at some point these things got boxed up and put in the attic next to the glass blown French poodle vases and giant wooden forks and spoons.

Miniature furniture soon followed. And to be honest, this made a bit more sense to me as these were icons of mid-century modern designs; like the Eames lounge and Noguchi coffee table in 1/3 scale. At least these were specific, identifiable things. Are there really iconic shoes?

ENTER 2013 and the brilliant minds at Invicta Watch Company and their soon to launch line of miniature watches:

20130308-063434.jpg

Yep.

Miniature watches.

The model that they are based on is the “Venom” which has a bunch of snake cues. I’m sure these will look bitchin’ staged next to the “pure oriental” Ninja sword sets of a Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto that Watchgeeks long ago bought from the late night, infomercial-as-homeshopping channel Frost Cutlery dicks.

But these may be purely functional for some. Seeing that so many Invicta fans have such chunky wrists, they seem to weigh in well over 400 lbs. These would be perfect rings on such a ham hand. If they are going to have to cut the wall out of your bedroom to get you to the hospital, you should be swagged out.

These would also be a great first watch for an infant. One would look hard as hell on a chubby newborns wrist; complemented by an Italian horn charm necklace. And how goddamned cute would it be if daddy and baby had matching Venoms?

WHEN ShopNBC started carrying Ed Hardy watches, I thought the network buyers and brass couldn’t sink any lower with the cheesey, cornball Chinese made shit… they surprise me. They are now carrying Steinhausen! Yes, the originator of fake European provenance for completely Chinese mechanical watches now rubs elbows with the stable of ShopNBC brands like Invicta and Renato. Before Stuhrling Original, Akribos, and Riedenschild made up a European lineage to go with a logo slapped on a mass produced Millionsmart mechanical, Steinhausen pioneered it. Depending on the model, it was either billed as a replica of a watch that was made in in 1925 or 1929. When it’s a multi-function, it always was “the most expensive and rare model in the world at the time” – a total crock of shit. They usually had a full-page ad in National Geographic.

While my knowledge has been questioned by such esteemed experts as Jim “I only sell the watches” Skelton, I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.

MillionSmart

> Steinhausen

I urge you, the reader, to check out the MillionSmart product catalog, especially the pages and pages of ‘rare’ tourbillions’. Don’t fall for the lies.

IT has been a summer of scandal for the Invicta Watch Group following a winter of troubles.

The latest IWG problem for July is with the Invicta II Women’s Classique Boutique Quartz Diamond watch. The ‘diamond’ bit is as flawed as Diamond Jim!

Let’s start with the ShopNBC description:

“The round 316L stainless steel case comes in your choice of gold-tone, silver-tone and even two-tone if you can’t make up your mind. The gold-tone and silver-tone options display coordinating bezels while the two-tone option displays a silver-tone case with a gold-tone bezel. Twenty four beautiful diamond accents are set around the bezel.

The 316L stainless steel bracelet displays in the case coordinating color and the gold-tone is plated in 18K gold. The two-tone option appears in both gold-tone and silver-tone. Notice two diamond accented bracelet links located near the dial totaling an additional 18 diamond accents.”

UNFORTUNATLY for one consumer, the sad truth was revealed by a local jeweler where he took his wife’s newly acquired timepiece to replace a diamond that had fallen out, only to find out that the ‘diamonds’ are actually crystals! This scandal surfaced like the others; on the Watchgeeks website. CZ Jim Skelton quickly stepped in and locked the thread down.

Like the Swinese revelation, ShopNBC quickly moved to pull down videos that featured Shop and Invicta employees promoting the value of the pieces because of the diamonds. The diamonds being a major point of the sales presentation.

One is reminded of the ShopNBC/Renato scandal a few years ago where Renato diamond timepieces where sold with claims that the diamond quality was much higher than they actually were. This resulted in a timeout for the brand which has recently resurfaced on the number three network. When is Invicta going to get a time out? When are watchgeek/Invicta consumers going to stop buying this junk?

Some are claiming that they attempted to alert both the network and fellow TV brand watch collectors that the watch did not have diamonds; only to be rebuffed as any truth apparently is in the world of TV watch collecting. If this is truly the case, one wonders why the self described horological genius, who just so happens to rep diamonds in his internet forum handle, Jim Skelton didn’t pick up on this or how Michael “Grape Ape” Davis, Invicta’s Technical Brand Manager missed it? I mean these folks will tell you they are experts but oddly enough are only hosts and salesman whenever scandals break. Really, what’s the difference between this watch and the Waltham Crystal Kitty watch that the network has sold? About plus $80 for the Infauxta.

INVICTA made a pretty decent $100 watch back in the day. Then they attempted to market high-end pieces and have not faired well in doing so with countless issues and questions. Now they’ve somehow managed to not even make a good cheap watch anymore.

I unfortunately missed Jim Skelton’s live return to TV after a month of no-shows due to one ailment after another. It’s been speculated by some that he got a “time out” from the network brass and I have to say, TMJ aggravated by bread seems unbelievable. In his absence, a lot has changed for Invicta, Watchgeeks and ShopNBC with Invicta CEO Eyal Laylo admitted that his Swiss labeled watches are in fact Chinese and the faulty Speedway Elite Reserves with D-D debacle, still without a statement from Laylo.

I’m up and watching the replay archived on shopnbc.com; only the first hour because the second is unavailable.

First, I find it odd that his lauded return was scheduled for 5 PM on a Thursday – hardly a time slot that the majority of the demographic are going to be around to see as most people are getting off work in the EST zone between the hours of 5 and 6.

The second strange thing is that he isn’t wearing his usual Guy Fieri castoffs – he is actually in a normal looking shirt and sport jacket and he was rocking the Sonny Crokett stubble ala Miami Vice circa 1986. He almost looked normal and his delivery is noticeably subdued. He made a few sexual innuendos but he managed to just rolls those out so as to not make them obvious; he didn’t dwell and he quickly moved on. I still think the guy is a scum fuck – it appears that he changed a sig file of a member of his forum to read “I like donkey seman” in Chinese, replacing the characters that the guy had used for “Swiss Made”. The fellow in question was a little more than ticked for being lied to about the provenance of the watches, being told that his Chinese watches were “all Swiss” ; he even went out of his way to defend Skelton on my blogs! For me the give away is Skeltblo’s response to the guy – “I guess humor is subjective” which is exactly the line he used on a knife forum that he was trolling during his first medical leave for the year.

As for Jim’s next three weeks, he’s only got 6 hours for the coming week. For the week ending 7/8, Temple is back with 6 hours to Skelton’s 5 hours.  And on the week ending 7/15 – they both have 9.

Will he appear on the schedule for July’s third week?

Laying Low

June 4, 2010

SOMETHING big is popping at ShopNBC. With talk of drinking the 12 pack in Shawn Wilsie’s trunk and Michael “Fuckin” Davis, Invicta Technical Brand Manager, mentioning big aquisitions, and Davis saying that the hosts had it “easy” unlike the people “answering the phones…”

I love the iPhone.

Probably under my wife and kids, parents aunts and uncles; ahead of Pretty Ricky the family cat, is the warmth iFeel to that device. I still use my original 16 Gig  Gen 1 phone around the house as my primary internet device. Taking it for a ride experientially similar to a cruise in a well-maintained but vigorously driven Galaxie 500. My love affair with the device and interface has never waned and I find it unlike any other thing I’ve ever owned – It completes me.

Yet I am writing this blog on a PC running XP and not an iPad or iMac and quite frankly, when glazed eyed zealots ramble at me, I look down at the ground and speed up my pace. I’m not one of these people who so love Apple to the point of spending several hundred dollars to destroy one on Youtube to make my point as well as become the new Chocolate Rain guy. But after browsing through the Gizmodo blog, I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

To me the real story is how Gizmodo is claiming to have come into possession of this phone. In the piece, How Apple Lost the Next iPhone, Jesus Diaz lays out the story, complete with a posed picture of the supposed loser and a screenshot detail of his Facebook picture and name. Really – you expect me to believe that this guy made repeated calls to and not one help desk no-it-all picked up on his call and procured the phone?

I now see reports that Gizmodo paid between five and ten large? More so they were paid as much by a marketing firm on behalf of Apple to blur the line between fact and fiction and generate hype ahead of the newest handsets launch; creating a buzz that seems authentic and not corporate.

Sorry guys – I’m calling bullshit.

I have a theory that the position of you head while sleeping, relative to NORTH, not magnetic but generalized, can affect you sleep patterns. I’m not certain if this can be deduced empirically or proven but having suddenly experiencing alien abduction dreams upon moving to a new apartment I began analyzing these dreams. The first thought was that it was some change in my physicality. We moved from a semi rural to a rural environment. There were no power lines but there was some type of transmitter – different locals saying different things. It had a 250 ft tall tower and didn’t have any microwave dishes. There wad a noticeable hum when you were within 15 ft of it.
It was about 100 yards away. I ruled it out. Awaking on the floor with a baby crying and my wife screaming ‘What happened!?” the answer occurred to me. The only other major change was our beds orientation. The sun used to rise on my left side, it now rose on my right. Worse yet, It rose on the side of the room that had a second story window that was blocked by both wall and roof. I swear, in the following months it felt like we lived in total darkness, all day long. Much different than when we staid, briefly with my mother.

The reason I place emphases on [alien abduction] is because my experience mirrors some of the skeptical explanation for alien abductions. The alternate media so closely resembles agenda pushing that it really seems no different than Fox News. You never see the videos of how the Pat Robertson’s of ufology ‘regress’ and reprogram people reporting alien abduction experiences; turning them into something much more vivid and detailed. Are these people knowingly doing this or is it unintentional? Back to the point: I remember seeing a video where a few people were all describing abductions, and each story was pretty mundane and uneventful. “There is a man in the room, he is signaling for me to leave with him…”

Well, my guy was flashing a light outside of the window. I sensed that there were others – outside with him; I remember the illumination outside in muted purples and greens.

This occurred over several nights – happening once in a week; twice the following week; a two day break and then every night for three. Every time it happened I would wake into the twilight state between deep, relaxed sleep and consciousness. The final day that it happened I was in a near awake state. My eyes were definitely open through the last 30 seconds of it. I actually managed to throw my self at the window with an out stretched arm, fist aimed at the perceived face; simultaneously seeing the images melt back into my head as what seemed like a brief notion*, and knocking everything off the table between me and the window and falling on the floor in the process.

I realized that this was only a dream. Upon recognizing this, I no longer had dreams remotely resembling these dreams. I also tried sleeping in different positions relative to the suns trajectory through the sky. I have found that I get my deepest, restful sleep while aiming my head North.