Christmas is apparently hurtling toward us and once more we must brace ourselves and draw upon our deepest reserves of tolerance and good humour to navigate our way through the festive battlefield. Whatever you do, don't panic. I'm here to help and as an experienced operator I'm happy to share my native guile and cunning thus ensuring that we all survive December intact financially, morally and spiritually. Let's start with luxury gifts.
Obviously, the post Brexit decline in Sterling has provided the luxury goods industry with a reasonable excuse to raise prices. Unfortunately, some have raised them by unreasonable levels. Not withstanding that many will still throw themselves into the jaws of penury by shopping in Bond Street and good luck to them. Some of you might be considering buying a nice fountain pen for a loved one, friend or significant other. Here's a tip, unless you are into finger painting, avoid Mont Blanc. I have a Mont Blanc fountain pen. A very nice Mont Blanc fountain pen in fact. Unfortunately, it has a rudimentary design flaw. Every time I use it I get ink on my hands which is bloody irritating. So I don't use it. Instead, I bought a £15 Lamy fountain pen which is immaculate. I liked it so much I bought another two so I've always got one to hand. The Mont Blanc is x40 the cost of the Lamy. I'll leave you to ponder.
My experience of so called precision engineering out of Switzerland hasn't been a roaring success. My shiny IWC chronograph, (you know the ones, supposed to make you look like you jump into a fast jet cockpit in your spare time as a test pilot for Red Bull), stopped working after two years. At the cost of a small mortgage I shipped it back for repair and in the time it takes to pay off a small mortgage it eventually found it's way back to me. Then the second-hand fell off. I put it in a drawer where it has spent the last ten years and it can stay there for another ten.
All is not lost for the Swiss though. Here's a little widget which is well engineered, indispensable to any household and won't break the bank. She'll love you if you buy her one of these, some Rubis splinter tweezers with an 8x magnifying glass, (Make-up artist Bobbi Brown described them as the Ferrari of tweezers and they're great for modelling and small appliance repairs). Perhaps I should use them to attempt a home repair on the watch. How difficult can it be?