Here’s a look at the Top 10 ways to start a thread on a Japanese watch forum. Sure, there are lots of other ways to start threads, but the old salts that follow are gold. Feel free to use them — I know others will. Click on the picture above, or on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below, to see the Top 10 List.
10. I’m A Newbie
If you’ve never before posted on a certain Japanese watch forum, you can always announce that to the whole world. It’s particularly effective if you feign naiveté. Caution: you can only start a thread like this once per forum.
9. I’m A Lurker
A variation on the “I’m a newbie” theme. The difference is here you’re insinuating you’ve been reading up and have some knowledge, perhaps even expertise. It’s sort of like callers to talk radio shows who start by saying, “I’m a long-time listener, first-time caller.” Caution: you can only start a thread like this once per forum.
8. Should I buy watch “X” or “Y”?
Expanding on the theme of innocence, here an element of indecisiveness is added. This type of thread is bait to call out the opinionated. Like tire kicking, if you start a thread like this it doesn’t mean you have to buy the forum favorite. Caution: you should only start a thread like this once a year.
7. Should I buy a vintage model or a currently in-production one?
The implicit theme of this type of thread is “things were better in the past.” Because you can’t go down to the store and buy a vintage model, or readily order one online at a decent price, another theme is “I have one of these vintage watches and you don’t.” Caution: If you actually buy vintage models for daily wear you run the risk of becoming an eccentric, like a denim collector who only wears thousand-dollar Levis 501 jeans from the 1930s.
6. Which watch strap should I buy?
A variation on the “which watch should I buy” thread starter. Often replies focus on fabrics and colors. It’s sort of like women discussing which shoes best match which purse, or what color blouse brings out their eyes. Caution: don’t forget a large percentage of men are color blind.
5. I’ve Joined the Club!
What you’re trying to say here is, “I bought this model, now I’m special too.” It’s a variation on “I have a hard-to-get vintage model, and you don’t.” It’s a way to create an insiders’ group inside the group. The correct reply is “welcome to the club.” Or, post a picture of yours with the words “mine says hi.” Caution: remember the Groucho Marx joke, I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.
4. Is This Vendor Safe to Buy From?
You can start a thread like this if you really want to ask “should I buy x or y,” but have already started an “x/y” thread this year. Pretend you’re seeking advice about an obscure online watch vendor. Again, you never have to actually buy from the vendor, no matter what kind of feedback you get, but… Caution: if you don’t end up buying and doing a follow-up post, you may lose forum credibility.
3. The Off-Topic Thread
If you run out of things to say about Japanese watches, you can always start the infamous “off-topic thread.” For instance, you can start a thread like “where do you live?” or “what kind of car do you drive?” Variations include birthday greetings or posts about serious events in the news. You can even start a thread about, say, a German watch, on a Japanese watch forum, using this technique. It can be another form of the “I’m in the club” thread (I’m in the Porche club, etc.). Caution: trolls are hot for these threads and they always run the risk of igniting flame wars.
2. What Are You Wearing?
This is a classic. Anyone, from the newbie to the lurker to the opinionated to the old hand, can start one of these threads. The trick is to be the first person that day. Personal favorites are Rolex and Omega watches posted on Japanese watch forums (a variation of the off-topic thread), and pictures taken months or even years ago of watches worn “today.” Caution: you may have to get up at midnight to be the first to start this type of thread — if you live in Hawai’i, lots of luck!
1. Flavor of the Month
This is the No. 1 way to start a thread on a Japanese watch forum. Not to be confused with “a new model was just announced,” or “released” (which can actually be useful information). The Flavor of the Month thread has it all, incorporating themes above like “should I buy x or y?”, and “should I buy new or vintage?”, and “I’m in the club”, and “what are you wearing?”. Whomever starts the most threads like this, for a certain model, gets extra credit.
After a consensus is formed that a certain watch is especially desirable, and it unofficially becomes the current forum favorite, it’s always acceptable to push it until it goes out of fashion and is replaced by a new “flavor of the month.” This type thread is very popular with manufacturers and retailers. Back in the 1960s, this phenomena was perfected with the “It Girl” advertising campaigns. Caution: even though this is the No. 1 way to start a thread, the flavor of the month might not be to your taste — and, like any cliché-ridden thread, can take the smile off your face.