I was in Minneapolis a few weeks back listening to a speaker at a gemology event. I had some spare time before the event started so I took a stroll through downtown. I ended up in the US Bank Plaza (nice building) on a quest to look at some jewelry or watches, or whatever else I could find to play with while I was there.
On the second level of the building I walked into Midwest Diamond & Watch Company and was met by owner, Craig Zaligson. He was very polite and knowledgeable, and I was unaware that he was the owner until much later. He took me on a tour of the store and told me about some exciting changes coming up for them, including building a suite into the store for more relaxed and private viewing. The store was neat clean and well displayed with plenty of eye candy for us watch aficionados.
The brands that I picked out right away were; Astron and the Grand Seiko lines, Hamilton, and Graham of London, all in their respective segments of the store. In a large area toward the back of the store was a beautiful display for Ulysse Nardin and a nice comfortable table and chairs in front of it. Craig and I sat down there and discussed watches, sports, and cars over a glass of sparkling water, and later a glass of 12 year old Macallan scotch. While I was there I tried on one of my favorites, The Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer, I’ve blogged about it here.
I also spent some quality time with the gorgeous Ulysee Nardin Freak 28,800 VH in 18 karat rose gold. It was an amazingly well done, and fun piece to work with. I suppose it had better be with a price reaching nearly $75,000. It incorporates the carousel tourbillion into the hands to show the time, and it sets with the aid of a lever on the dial side of the watch and a twist of the bezel. It is a UN200 (13 3/4”, 28,800vph) in-house movement manually wound by turning the case back with your fingers or a supplied wrench type tool. It is housed in 44.5mm 18k rose gold case with blue dial sapphire crystals on obverse and reverse attached to a matching crocodile strap.
Rounding out my trip, Craig showed me a few of the estate pieces they had in the store as well as their vast offering of watch winders from the likes of Buben & Zorweg, Underwood, and Scatola del Tempo. Also I saw some of my favorite tourbillion cufflinks by TF Est. 1968. He also mentioned the exciting news that they are picking up FP Journe and celebrating with an in store event. A guy could really kill some serious time in this store.
All in all it was a great trip, I got to visit with some old friends and reconnect, I was able to see an interesting speaker in my field, and take in some nice scenery. So, for my next trip there I know where I will be stopping again, Midwest Diamond and Watch Company, because Craig and his team sure know how to be swell.
(images courtesy of Seiko, Midwest Diamond & Watch, TF est1968, and Me)
- Ulysse Nardin Launches Night’s Watch for Game of Thrones (watchalyzer.com)
- -❶-Ulysse Nardin El Toro Men’s Rose Gold Automatic Perpetual Calendar Watch 326-00 (robinsongreg13.wordpress.com)