Friday, July 10, 2015


"Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power."
From The Usual Suspects

I want to start out by stating very clearly that what you are going to read in this post is, as best as I am able to assemble, at least one side of the story as it relates to the sudden demise and disappearance of the Bozeman Watch Co. and the apparent (as yet to be confirmed) disappearance of its owner.

Here are the basics of the situation as I understand them:

1.  The Bozeman Watch Co. is, as near as can be ascertained, shuttered.

2.  As best as can be understood this was realized as first one, then another of the Bozeman Watch Co. stores were closed without notice.

3.  All efforts to contact the owner of the company have (again, as far as I can understand) been for naught.

4.  All contact phone numbers listed for the Bozeman Watch Co. are either disconnected or switched off - nobody is answering.

5.  There are a fair number of customers who made deposits or full payments as pre-orders for a watch that appears will never see the light of day.

6.  The home phone number for the owner of the Bozeman Watch Co. has apparently also been disconnected.

So let's dig in a little deeper - with the help of members of the 4th Estate in Montana and Michigan:

From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:

The synopsis:
As of June 9th the folks in Bozeman, Montana came to realize that while the storefront of the Bozeman Watch Co. in Bozeman had been "vacated" since late March, it finally became clear that this was for realsies and the Bozeman Watch Co. would not be re-opening its doors.  It bears note that all of the signage for the store remained in place, but the store had been cleared out, leaving more than one customer, well, hosed.  And it also bears mentioning, at least per the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, there was no notice given - one day open, the next closed.

Now it would be bad enough if this was just a case buying a watch, the company folding, and you have no after sales support.  In reality, this has happened on more than one occasion with much mightier companies from the other side of the Atlantic.  But there is another "twist" to this tail.

The Bozeman Watch Co. had been soliciting, and accepting "pre-orders" for a watch that it seems now will never see the light of day.  More than one customer ponied up several thousands of dollars for a "pre-production" reservation for a Bozeman Watch Co. timepiece that would be produced in the "near future".  My understanding is that more than one customer (I do not have specifics and I do not wish to speculate) made fairly large payments to get a watch at a discounted price.  At least one customer made payment as far back as last autumn.  He came in regularly to get updates and was constantly told - "soon".  "Soon" now appears that it may be never.  As far as the Bozeman Daily Chronicle has been able to report, this customer has not be contacted or refunded by the Bozeman Watch Co.

Efforts to contact the owner of the Bozeman Watch Co. have come up empty, not unlike Keyser Söze, nothing but mystery, and people chasing shadows.

Well, it is one thing when  your "flagship" is closed up, but it didn't stop there.  Customers then tried to reach out to the Bozeman Watch Co. store in Michigan, only to find a similar story from the Detroit Free Press:

The synopsis:
As of June 15th it was reported that the Bozeman Watch Co. store in Birmingham, Michigan had closed without notice.  If there had been any further doubt, it was put to rest.

Watch companies come and go, and I know from experience that there will be no shortage of eager horological entrepreneurs ready to take their place at the wheel.  But the residue that lingers with the sudden closure of the Bozeman Watch Co. and the apparent disappearance of its owner is reminiscent of Alpha Omega.  While I don't suspect that the owner of the Bozeman Watch Co. has gathered his family to retreat to India to undergo special "medical treatment", it would be the RIGHT THING for him to address the situation and make some small effort to put things right if he is at all able to do so.

And in closing, I want to repeat - this is based on the information that is available and I encourage and welcome any reader out there to provide any additional information that might be available.  But as of right now, it does not look good.  As a watch fan, a lot of your love of watches and watch brands is based on trust.  But if this is another Keyser Söze instance -

"After that my guess is that you will never hear from him again."
From The Usual Suspects

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