Most helpful critical review
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Amazon should correct the description or face more returns!
on June 23, 2011
When reviewing a merchandise from Amazon, buyers often resort to criticizing the service (usually provided by market place merchants, not Amazon itself) and are frequently and promptly reminded by other reviewers to concentrate on the product, not circumstances under which they obtained it.
With this review, I again want to emphasize that the check-out process, communication and promptness of delivery of this watch by Amazon has been stellar as always. The company's performance in this regard worked like a 'swiss clock'. Its attention to what was being sold and how, on the other hand, didn't.
Once I held this 'timepiece' in my hand, I first and foremost realized that its crystal was NOT made of synthetic sapphire. As a test, albeit not the most reliable, one can knock the crystal with a nail: if the sound produced is like what one would expect to emanate from a solid rock, it's most likely sapphire. If the sound is more like quiet clinging from glass, the crystal's most likely made of mineral glass - a much cheaper and not desirable substitute. Those who know their watches also know all too well that sapphire is the most expensive part of a stainless steel Swiss quartz watch, once all the markup and pretentious hype is taken out. It's important to the product's reliability and integrity. Further, no one has to pay an exorbitant sum to own such a watch. Many, including some Wenger, Victorinox, Zodiac, and some Tissot watches can easily be found priced under $300.
Researching the web, including Wenger's own site, revealed that the crystal of this watch is only 'sapphire-coated'. I shouldn't have to explain the difference.
My second close examination found the watch bracelet made out of thin stamped stainless steel sheets, thus making the links hollow and taking away that subjective but wanted 'substantiality', or heft, in good watches. When handled, the 70489 Alpine - especially its bracelet - feels and sounds made of tin.
Why then did I ever purchase it, one might ask? Look at the Amazon's page for this product, read through Product Specifications, and see for yourself what's stated there. Listed fifth from the top, it says 'Dial window material type: synthetic-sapphire'. So, it's only $119 with free s/h for a Swiss made, sapphire-crystalled watch with solid stainless steel body and bracelet - after all, the Amazon's description never explicitly stated otherwise, and no one could have thought genuine Swiss-made watches are made of cheap, stamped sheet metal - thus an excellent deal, and good looking too! How can one go wrong!
It's currently on it's way back to Amazon, of course...
So, with this very review, I give Amazon (Wenger should be ashamed as it is for giving this 'timepiece' - well, it's a piece of something for sure - a MSRP of $200) ZERO stars for such a beguiling description. Who looses here? Amazon, for I sent the product back for a full refund, and I'd hope anyone with self-respect and common sense did as well.
On a side note, somewhat irrelevant to the purpose of this review, Wenger seems to have forgotten what the Swiss watch industry stands for in this day and age. No, their watches are NOT more reliable than Japanese- or even Chinese-made ones. Those frequently keep accurate time better. The construction, the materials, the aesthetics of a Swiss timepiece matter the most. Such watch must have some jewel-like properties to its quality, and that quality must be very good overall. It's having the back held by screws (the more, the merrier) and not of the push-in type, screw-in crown for better water resistance. The bracelet can be made of rubber and still be a very good one; however, if stainless steel's involved, it has to be nicely finished, 316L steel used throughout, including on the solid links. Or the watch could be made of ceramics, tungsten, and other high-quality, high-tech materials. And it's always welcome to have a synthetic sapphire crystal, even if that does push up the price.
Wenger, if you forgo all the above, where does that leave you and your products that's so different a place in the minds of consumers from where all that Chinese-made garbage is?