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Boulevard Magazine

Wanna Buy A Watch


Over the course of three decades, the West Hollywood institution Wanna Buy A Watch? has been on quite the journey. Since its storied move from the funkier, rock ‘n’ roll end of Melrose Ave. of the 1980’s and ’90s to the posh environs of Melrose West in 2006, WBAW? has evolved into the ultimate go-to-spot for the most beautiful, classic and distinctive watches and antique jewelry.


This unique blend of watch and jewelry salon and gallery is a celebration of owner Dr. Ken Jacobs keen sense of great design and style. The space itself is elegant and cozy; the perfect ambiance in which to sell these striking works of fashion.

“In crafting a warm, rich and beautiful space, with invaluable guidance from talented interior designer, June R. Scott, we have created an environment where our customers feel comfortable and welcome,” Jacob says. “Our new showroom feels very intimate, like someone’s home in the Hamptons, rather than a commercial place of business.” The store’s dark wood showcases are filled not just with watches and jewelry, but other cool vintage objects such as Murano glass block aquariums, Amphora Campina pottery, antique scales and porcelain mermaids, that lend character and texture to the environment. Customers frequently report the pleasure of an unexpected discovery—not expected in a typical watch store!

And indeed, spending time in Wanna Buy a Watch? is an experience unlike any other. “We deal in temptation,” says Jacobs, expounding on how shoppers will never be pressured into purchases. On the contrary, the stunning pieces on display will sell themselves. The staff here is personable and knowledgeable—if you’re considering one of the vintage rings then you must speak with Christine. She’s adored by everyone and will make your visit that much more special.

As for the merchandise itself, every watch and every piece of jewelry furthers the elegance and classic feel associated with this store. Wanna Buy a Watch? carries an array of distinctive pieces at a wide range of prices. But no matter the price, each item is held to a high standard of beauty and condition. And while the store heavily favors Rolexes as a brand, one doesn’t have to break the bank to get a distinctive vintage or contemporary preowned timepiece of good taste, good design and unsurpassed quality.

Speaking of which, what trends are particularly “timely” in the world of watches? According to Jacobs, there’s a gold rush happening at the shop right now. Yellow and rose gold watches either on gold bracelets, or on straps, are back in a big way for both men and women. For men, the exaggeratedly oversized watch will soon run its course, with a return to substantial but less extreme models such as the 36mm Rolex Datejust, or the 40mm Submariner. Another trend in watches is customizing the face color on a stainless steel Rolex. WBAW? has a massive palette of colors from which buyers can choose their favorite hue. It’s a great way to make your classy Rolex fun and fashionable.

Another trend for women is the solid gold man’s bracelet watch from the ’60s and ’70s. Jacobs calls these often inherited watches the “Grandfather watch.” These models from makers such as Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet are too small and simple for men’s tastes, but when shortened to fit a woman’s wrist, these elegant watches become fashionable retro bracelets, that happen to tell good time!
What else is new? Having fun with your watchstrap! WBAW? stocks a huge collection of very popular distressed leather straps for the perfect vintage feel, as well as a vast selection of colorful NATO style one piece straps that can be switched out at the wearer’s whim. There are countless fabulous colors and patterns—it’s a fun and creative way that can transform the entire personality of a watch. As Jacobs brings the fashion message home, “…like a pair of shoes, or a belt, or a purse, the strap should never be just an afterthought!”
And as the holiday season draws near, and couples start planning their weddings for 2014, Wanna Buy A Watch? holds a definite charm as the perfect, stress-free place to find platinum and gold vintage rings, watches and accessories for any season of giving to others or oneself. Whether you have something in particular in mind or are looking for that distinctive piece that calls out to you, you will be sure to find some joy this holiday season at WBAW?.
Happy holidays from the Wanna Buy a Watch? family to yours.

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