Visiting Vilicich Watch and Clock
In the harbor town of San Pedro, California, there’s a little segment that stands almost as a period capsule in the midst of the hustle and polish of Greater Los Angeles. Blurring customer facing facades hang above aged old pawn shops and association meeting-houses, squeaking wooden bars bear the scratches of countless 16 ounces glasses, or more all stands the Warner Grand Theater-the Art Deco stupendous woman of an age when film was still high culture. Amidst all this stands a place that we as watch fans in the period of eBay and Watchuseek again and again overlook-a physical watch shop, and significantly more uncommon, a family business.
It was early in the early evening when I initially ventured into Vilicich Watch and Clock , and as I gazed into the displays holding back to meet with the proprietors, I should concede I wasn’t sure what to anticipate. Yet, as the proprietors enticed me into the back room, it quickly assumed the demeanor of being welcomed into the home of a long-lost friend.
Jerry is a simple man, a man of delicate laughter and a gentle mind. He reclined against his workbench like a larger than average cat, watching his more youthful sibling Patrick overview my Squale 10 Atmos Super through a loupe. “I’ve been doing this since I was seven years of age, and I’ve never seen one like this,” Patrick commented, however looking around the sides of the workshop I have a tough time believing him. A cabinet of pre-quartz electrics sat half-unlatched, with a balance wheel Seiko Elnix ticking ceaselessly. Among the photos of ongoing venture pieces is the most odd chronograph I’ve at any point seen, a 70’s TV-style case gone vertical, with a central chrono seconds and a large hour long subdial at 11. The actual timekeeping is done on one next to the other rotating dials at 9 and 3, and endorsed over all the lunacy is “El Recio”- Spanish for “The Fast”. This is the sort of where almost anything could come through the entryway, and they’d be ready.
When got some information about a portion of the more bizarre things that had come through the shop, Patrick smiled and started shuffling through his photos. A second later, he pulls out a shocker a gold Rolex 6085 with an unusual pictorial dial, portraying a moving lady close to a golden palm tree. “I got it from a person in India… [and] I don’t think it is, yet it very well may be one of one.” The man’s plan, at the time, was brilliant. At the point when the British relinquished their hold on India in 1947, the ruling class left behind all way of uncommon and exceptional pieces, some of which shrouded concealed in crumbling estates and back-alley jewelers for quite a long time. The purchaser, Patrick explained, made several excursions to these Indian sellers during the 1990s and eventually sold off the 6085 to this shop. The strange pictorial-dialed piece was eventually sold off to a client a choice he still laments. “I really should have taken that one to auction,” he pondered, “[It] could have gone crazy.”
When you’ve been around as long as Vilicich has, nonetheless, those sorts of things will undoubtedly occur. The shop has been doing business since 1947, when Jerry and Patrick’s father began function as a self employed entity inside a larger, more general shop on close by Pacific Avenue. At the time, there were six watchmakers on that road alone, a long ways from the specialized specialty work of today. “In a lot of ways, it’s a withering art,” Patrick muses sadly. “It can be something difficult to keep a family efficient this alive,” I advertised. “Is there an alternate arrangement of challenges?” Jerry turns and gives his sibling a sly look. Patrick restores his look, and the two laugh loud and profound. “In all genuineness, however, it’s a great relationship,” said Jerry. “I never attempt to let the sun go down on a coarse word.” It shows in the disposition of the place. Everybody from the counter staff to the man in the back corner slouched over a quartz development has the comfortable, broken-in familiarity of an old baseball glove. It’s a clean operation, yet a friendly one.
Jerry, notwithstanding, is a man of numerous interests. When he’s not working in the shop, he’s playing bass in a traveling band, recently backing up Dean Martin’s child on visit playing his father’s music. Indeed, even in front of an audience, however, Jerry’s eagerness is irresistible, and he shared several encounters where he’s talked watches with music makers and group. “Music people will in general be watch people,” he explains, and with a common interest in planning it’s clear to see why.
A few hours of inquiries, laughter, and trading stories later, nonetheless, the time had come to venture once more into the ultramodern surge of LA life and leave the little window into the past behind. The brief timeframe I spent there, however, certainly left an impact on me. It was a warm update that the old ways are not exactly dead, and the status quo, in some small places, are they way they still are.