Welcome to the new and improved, 2017 version of The Time Bum! As you might have noticed, there have been a few changes around here. I've been meaning to freshen up the site for awhile now. I was never crazy about the generic Google Blogger Dynamic Views layout, but it was easy and it worked so I kept it. Then it stopped working. A freak glitch forced me to abandon the Dynamic Views template I had been using for the past couple of years and revert back to plain vanilla. Yuck. The Dynamic was getting a bit stale, but the original Simple template was about a decade out of date. It was time to move on.
So I finally got off my duff (actually, I kept it firmly planted in front of the computer) and found the Crystal template by pipdig, a quality, off-the-shelf theme that looked good and could be operated by a someone who was essentially HTML illiterate. If you visited the site this weekend, you probably saw me messing around with the formatting and I'm still trying to work out the Archive tab. Yes, I know a professional would have staged it off-line and rolled out a finished product but given my meager amount of time and talent I'm afraid this is as good as it gets. Patchy roll-out aside, I'm pleased with the results. I think the new site is more modern, easier to navigate, and highly readable. I hope you like it too. I still have some tweaking to do and a ton of cleanup on the older posts, but that is going to take a while. In the meantime, if you have issues or discover the site is a glitchy mess, please let me know what problem you encountered and what device and software you were using so I can try to straighten it out.
With the fresh look, I thought I'd announce some other developments. In celebration of my facelift, I am officially releasing myself from the $1,000 price cap on the watches I review. In practice, this was like the Pirate Code, which is to say more of guideline than a rule. I've already featured watches that were well over that limit, like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Bremont Solo, and Huguenin Observer, so this should hardly come as a shock. Now don't worry, it's not like I'll abandon my quest for affordable timepieces and start filling these pages with Rolex and Patek Philippe (although if anyone at any of the high-end watchmakers wants to a feature, contact me and I'll be all over it). That cheapness thing I do isn't a schtick, it's a way of life. I just want to cast a wider net. I'm still very much a fan of microbrands, I love a good bargain, and I will always seek watches that punch above their weight, but there is some mighty cool stuff north of that $1,000 price point, and I see no reason not to review them here.
You may have noticed that I have already abandoned the "Pro/Con/Sum" section at the end of the reviews. I stole this from Car Magazine. They used to have an irreverent monthly round up of every car offered for sale in the UK called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." (One of my favorites was for the 1985 Subaru XT: "For: Distinctive, Against: But so is wearing a fez.") My observations weren't nearly nearly as clever as theirs and it was starting to feel forced. Likewise, the coveted Time Bum Seal of Approval is no more. These gimmicks were nice for a while, but they were gimmicks nonetheless. Best to move on.
Finally, I have disabled the comments section. It's not that I don't care what you think, I really do! I'm just tired of weeding out spam links. A very small percentage of readers comment, and the longest exchanges were the most juvenile. It's just not worth it. Still, I want your feedback, and if you send me an email, I will be happy to respond. Did I get something wrong? Do you disagree with my opinion? Do you have a question or idea? Please let me know.
So there we have it: a new year, a fresh look, and a wider range of content. I hope you enjoy it. ◆