TimeZone Beverly Hills, California Gathering – April 2002

SWIS Luncheon, Daily Grill, Beverly Hills

April 20, 2002

by Mike Disher


The Society of Watch Idiot Savants (SWIS), Los Angeles Chapter, met at the Daily Grill in Beverly Hills on Saturday, April 20. I counted 23 attendees, but people kept arriving throughout the afternoon, so my count may be low. This was almost the first “SRO” event. As people continued to arrive, it became clear that our table was too small. Fortunately a second large table was available, and everyone got a seat.

The festivities got under way at 11:30 a.m. The Daily Grill was kind enough to put us in a private room, perhaps to spare us the embarrassment of other patrons pointing and whispering, or maybe it was because we told them we’re into horology, and they weren’t sure what our entertainment might be. Either way, the room was perfect. Soon after the first attendees arrived, watch cases were opened and watch discussion commenced. Kohei Saito got the “Long Distance” award, traveling from Sausalito, Northern California, to attend. Kohei’s prize was to be asked several times during the day “Are you crazy?”

Over the course of the next few hours, the Daily Grill staff tried on several occasions to interest us in food, with little success. We were already feasting on Lange, Patek, Dubuis, Blancpain, IWC, Rolex, Omega, Ikepod, and many others, plus vintage and military treasures of many varieties. Food? That means less room on the table for watches! Beer, on the other hand, takes up very little room.

We finally got around to ordering about 2 p.m. Lunch was scheduled at begin at 12:30, but hey – how can you expect a group of WIS to keep track of the time with 150 watches in the room? This is similar to well documented “TZ Time Displacement Phenomenon”, whereby a person who is wearing a watch in perfect working order loses the ability to measure time as soon as they say the words “I’ll only be on TZ for five more minutes!”

We did eat eventually, and it was good – ’nuff said. (I once got yelled at for spending too much time on the food and wine in a TZ dinner report. Won’t repeat that mistake). After the repast, ThomasM gave a nice presentation on the SIHH, and your humble reporter made some barely coherent comments about the Basel Fair. I noted that “For something called a “Fair”, they didn’t have very many rides”. Then it was back to more watch talk.

But enough pixels wasted on text – here are some scans from the day. First, the people….

Above, the Big Table, before everyone had arrived. Going around the table, starting front left: Keith Downing (blue shirt), Jon Chernila, Ned Vaughn, Steve Gamble, Richard Coons, John Tishbi, David Polushkin, Steven Walker, Kohei Saito, Stuart Goodman, Garth Hirata, James Chen.


The Big Table, and everyone’s here! Starting front left (blue shirt), going down the table, then back up the other side, screen names in parentheses: Keith Downing, Jon Chernila, Elias (ee), Ned Vaughn (NV), Steve Gamble (SRG), John Tishibi, Richard Coons, Steven Walker, Christopher Kim (standing, dark shirt), David Polushkin, Stuart Goodman (SpuddyG), Garth Hirata, James Chen.

Background, far right, L to R: Chris Obichere (CIO) (back to camera), Sarah Yates, Andrew Ingram.  Apologies if I missed your name!


The two normal guys talk to Sarah. The rest of us discuss


Kohei photographs the back of Stuart’s head.


David Polushkin (foreground) admires a watch with Morris Shaw. Background right, Steven Walker asks Kohei how the picture of Stuart’s head came out.


And now, the stuff you really want to see…

The business side of a Lange Datograph.


The Datograph again. In the words of ®KNY, the watch so nice, I shot it twice.


An eclectic grouping: Minerva Heritage, Rolex Daytona, Ikepod Hemipod Chronograph, and a platinum IWC Mark XII.


Rolex Daytona, circa early 1970s.


Roger Dubuis MuchMore


A happy group.


Someone likes military styles and black dials.


And in the background, The Eagles played “Witchi Woman.” Sorry, couldn’t resist.


And now, the bad news – I did not get a shot of my meatloaf. Maybe next time.

Title shot: Ned Vaughn’s Minerva TimeZone LE II.

That’s it!