Brian Masich is the man behind Jewels on Ninth: a man with a serious love for watches. He was introduced to the Jewellery business from an early age as his parents owned several jewellery stores in the Lower Mainland. Brian’s speciality was watches as he learned how to clean, repair and care for all types of timepieces. Now after purchasing and running—along with his wife Heather—his own Jewellery store for over 20 years his love of traditional watches with mechanical movements are as strong as ever. While Quartz run watches are more accurate, the galley backs and continuous motion of automatic watches have always interested him.
Brian shares his experience with watches with the community that trusts him with their tickers. He personally cleans and repairs timepieces of all kinds now at Jewels on Ninth. Do you have a sticky mechanical watch lying around your house? Bring it into Brian—he loves to make an old beauty work like new.
What are your favourite watches to work on?
Seiko watches have been an amazing product for 50 years. Sometimes it blows my mind to see someone bring in a watch that they've had for 30 years and they haven’t had any work done on it except battery replacements. Seiko’s quality has stayed so good for so long. Sometimes we’ll get one in and Dave (The Jewels on Ninth Goldsmith and repair technician) and I will look at each other and say “Do you think this one will run?” We crack it open, lubricate the gaskets stick a battery in it and away it goes. You can tell it has never had service on it because any past servicing has been inscribed on the case back on the watch in little micro instruments.
What is the one thing that watch owners can do to extend the life of their watch?
Absolutely, 100% get your battery changed by someone who knows what they are doing. Ask the repair shop if lubricating the gaskets is included in the battery change. The watch repair professionals at Jewels on Ninth always blow out your watch with a little lens cleaner and lubricate all the gaskets. The most important thing for the longevity of your watch is to have the battery changed by someone who is experienced and knows what they are doing.
What is one of your favourite vintage watches that you’ve seen come into your repair shop owner the years?
My favourite brand of old watches is the Omega. There were many given in our area as retirement presents by Cominco (Local mine that has since been shut down). When the older miners bring their Omega watches into the store I let them know that it might be a $200-300 repair bill. But when they find out their watches are worth $2,500 to $3,000 they say “really!?” They often have no idea the real value of their classic timepiece. I clean and repair anywhere from 14 to 20 of these classic Omega watches a year.
What watch are you wearing right now?
A Vitronox Swiss Army Almnach with a galley back that shows off the mechanical movement. I really like this one because it was designed for helicopter pilots in the Swiss Army. You might say I’m a little obsessed with the Swiss Army automatics because I currently own six of them.