Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bargains galore on the streets of Moscow

Unbelievable. Simply incredible. I hate to brag, but I just picked up a 100% genuine Emporio Armani watch in a Moscow subway - for £15. Can you believe it? Fifteen tiny pounds, genuine Armani. Take a look:

100% genuine elegance
Now I know exactly what you're thinking. Haven't surveys shown that up to a third of consumer goods in Moscow are fake? How do I know my watch isn't as fake as Nicole Kidman's new face? Well maybe you missed it, but this timepiece says Emporio Armani on the clock face. In tiny writing. And it has the little salami-sliced-eagle Armani motif. Do you seriously mean to tell me that can be faked?
So genuine it almost hurts your eyes
Also, there's a sliced eagle logo on the buckle. Actually stamped into the metal. Now I don't care how good your factory is, that's tough to fake.
Look at my pale, shiny wrist. And the Armani logo.
And the amazing design decisions which have gone into this stylish timepiece all scream 'genuine Armani'. For a start, check out the 100% leather strap - which has been treated with some kind of space-age material that makes it feel almost exactly like plastic:

Space-age plastinated leather
Which is an awesome idea when you think about it. All the elegance of leather, with all the lightness and waterproofness of plastic.

Then there's the body of the watch itself. It looks like solid steel, but it's much, much lighter. Almost as if someone took a plastic watch body, and gave it a thin, shiny veneer. Again, I can only assume this is a proprietary Armani material - some sort of 'metalastic', if you will.

Metalastic fantastic
Finally, to differentiate their watch from the sea of boring Rolexes, Tag Heurs and so on, Armani have taken a truly brave decision with this watch - they've decided not to make it waterproof. At all. Seriously - despite the plastinated leather, and the metalastic body, this thing is as waterproof as a muffin. Wear it into the shower, and condensation droplets appear instantly inside the watch-face. And remain there for hours afterwards.

But that's what Armani want to happen. Because what stylish, elegant gentleman wears his watch into the shower? Or allows his watch to get wet, in the rain, when walking around a Russian city in Autumn? Not an Armani gentleman. Look at their brand ambassador, Cristiano Ronaldo. Does this look like a man who allows his watch to get wet?
No rain on me
He isn't even wearing a shirt. If he went our on a rainy Moscow afternoon, he'd get pneumonia within minutes.

So I say thank-you Armani, and thank-you tiny-dodgy-Moscow-watch-kiosk - for allowing me to share in the elegance of Armani products, at a fraction of the usual price.

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