Its been an interesting few weeks since the last Blog post. I didn't think I'd get back to Scotland so soon but I managed to make it over to Glasgow for a couple of days last week. Following on from meeting Rikki and Dave from Scottish Watches (They have the worlds no.1 watch podcast and I have to say I love listening to them and checking their video content out on YouTube too) at the Global RedBar event in Edinburgh I kept in touch and spoke about the Retro-Bot. They have the worlds no.1 watch podcast and I have to say I love listening to them and checking their video content out on YouTube too. The guys really wanted to see it in person to get an idea of what it was like and to see if it was as amazing as I was saying it was. After some back and forth emails and text messages as well as a couple of phone calls we managed to set aside some time to meet. when we were discussing a location we decided on Rikki's home town of Glasgow as I'd never been there before and had already been to Edinburgh twice before. Once we decided on dates we worked on a plan to film and record an interview. The ever resourceful and creative mind of Rikki went into overdrive and he mentioned doing some guerrilla style filming at the Riverside Museum of Transport. Its a pretty cool looking museum, designed by Zaha Hadid .Dates were set, flights booked and a plan was put in motion.
I was supposed to fly in to Glasgow on Wednesday, spend Thursday with Rikki and then fly home late on Friday. Or at least that was the plan. Then he called and needed to reschedule for the Friday. Luckily I had a late flight and would have enough time to record the podcast before my flight. But this left me with some time to kill before Friday. Another opportunity came to mind based on a whisky tasting event at the RedBar meetup. During one of the event days Dave organised a whisky and watch event which I attended with a friend of mine. I was there for moral support as opposed to the whisky, I've been tee total for years.
While we were at this talk we struck up some conversations with the other people at our table. One gentleman had a fantastic navy dialled Czapek chronograph. I had to try it on and take some pictures. After the talk he gave me his business card. Simon Porter of James Porter and Sons Jewellers in Glasgow. At the time I said thanks and thought that would be the last I saw of him. Cut to a few weeks later and I'm scheduled to be in Glasgow so I took the opportunity to reach out and see if he was available for me to demonstrate the Retro-Bot. Luckily he was able to seat aside some free time on the Wednesday evening.
When I landed in Glasgow I checked in to my hotel and then went out to find James Porter and Sons store. They are located in a fantastic arcade on one of the main shopping streets in Glasgow called the Argyll Arcade. If you get to Glasgow please check it out. They have a fantastic selection of watches (many of them not available to see in person in Ireland unfortunately). I had a great conversation with Simon and the rest of his staff and thankfully they really liked the Retro-Bot. One of the sales guys kept staring at it and taking pictures. He said he really wanted one. Which is great feedback. As I was getting ready to leave Simon suggested putting the Retro-Bot in to their store window for the day until I needed it back for the Scottish Watches Podcast. This was a first for me and I was delighted with the offer. I left the Retro-Bot in their capable hands and then left to explore Glasgow.
The best way to get an idea of the layout of a city is by going on the open top bus tours. So I booked that and took a trip around Glasgow taking in the sights. I spent some time in Kelvin Grove Museum and also took a look at the Riverside Museum to see what it was like before I met Rikki. I absolutely love the sandstone architecture of the buildings. The red, amber and honey tones in the stone work is fantastic and warm. After being a tourist for the day I went back to see how the Retro-Bot looked in the store and to collect it for Friday. I have to say it looked stunning in the window and according to the sales guys it got a very positive reaction with several people taking pictures of it as they passed. Its a shame it was only there for a day.
Finally Friday arrived and I went to meet Rikki. I've never been interviewed before or had the opportunity to be filmed for YouTube so everything was completely new to me. I arrived early and waited for the museum to open and for Rikki to arrive. When Rikki and Gavin arrived we went for a quick look around the museum to see if there was anywhere that we might be able to secretly set everything up and film the episode before we get asked to leave. Luckily we found a nice seating area that was quiet enough for us to do what we needed to.
After a quick coffee and some nice conversations about the watches we were wearing (I had my Zenith Chronomaster El Primero and the Boldr Voyager limited edition for breast cancer- a charity close to my heart and Rikki had the fantastic new Christopher Ward Moonphase with Aventurine Dial , Gavin had a cool Fossil Mickey Mouse watch that takes design cues from Gerald Genta) we set up our "studio" and began to film/record. About 3 minutes in to the interview we had to stop because a family sat down beside us and began to have a picnic.
We waited until they finished up and then started from the beginning. I think the little break allowed me to get my nerves under control and to figure out what to say during the interview. We were very lucky that the staff didn't disturb us or eject us from the museum while we filmed. Our only issue was trying to keep the wobbling table still while we talked. You can check the video out here and the podcast here
After the interview I went to the airport and went home with a big smile on my face. I'd enjoyed myself, met new people, secured a few more customers on the VIP pre launch and made my first steps towards fame with podcasting and YouTube stardom soon to follow. I cant wait for the next adventure.