Yobokies!

At some point in any man's life he is bound to lust after a watch that he can't afford, just like all men are bound to eventually fall in love or have a run in with the law. This is simply a fact of existence. Sometimes the lusted after watch is a month away. Sometimes a year or two. And sometimes, an entire lifetime. Those of us with an attraction to the finer things are, ultimately, at the mercy of the finer things.

In my case, it was all about a Rolex Submariner. The most classic of dive watches had popped up on my radar and it had refused to leave. I, like many people who read about guy-related-lifestyle-related-clothing-related things on the internet, had been wearing a field style watch for quite some time and, while it did the job, I was suddenly enamored with an alternative. And, oh yeah, spoiler alert, a Rolex was out of the question despite my prestigious young blogging hundredaire status. The hunt was on to satiate my dive watch hunger without becoming the most balling homeless man of all time (a dubious distinction at best), or, even worse, the stereotypical blogger coming live from his parent's basement (a terrible distinction at best).

I crossed my fingers, attached a picture of the watch I wore in my dreams that closely resembled the plot to Blank Check and reached out.

Doing a little research on dive watches instantly points one to Seiko, the classic Japanese watch company known for their quality and reliability. I was into it, but at the same time was still in the process of cataloging all my options like a true dork. It was around this time that a watch obsessed friend starting sending me pictures of the custom watches he had been adding to his already impressive collection. He didn't say too much about their origin, but he didn't have to thanks to the fact that they were fucking awesome. It was all very intriguing to a guy who didn't know too much about the technicality of things, but knew a fine looking timepiece when he saw one. Apparently, there was a guy living in China who had mastered the art of the Seiko modification. He called himself Yobokies, which is "Seiko Boy" backwards and, admittedly, a pretty terrible name.

I didn't get much, if any, backstory on Harold Ng, thanks to a website that's nothing more than a photo dump of some finished pieces and watch parts. I crossed my fingers, attached a picture of the watch I wore in my dreams that closely resembled the plot to Blank Check and reached out. Over the course of the next two days Harold worked with me over email to get my custom Seiko as close to perfect as he could. There were a ton of option and lots of stuff I didn't understand at first, but Harold was patient and made the whole thing about as easy as ordering a sandwich at Subway.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't one day aspire to owning the real thing because you absolutely should.

A little while, and $230, later my watch arrived. It was everything I had expected and one of those rare cases where something your order sight unseen is actually better in person - the solid weight and movement of a good ol' Seiko tricked out with a black military face (sans branding), a "M-Benz" hour hand and a cyclops magnifier over the date. It wasn't a Rolex (though many people seem to think it is), but it was my dive watch and it's been that way for over a year now.

If you find yourself in a similar spot of wanting to upgrade, but with budgetary constraints killing your buzz, I highly recommend hitting up Harold. I'm not saying that you shouldn't one day aspire to owning the real thing because you absolutely should. You know that "at some point in any man's life he is bound to lust after a watch that he can't afford" bit of nonsense I opened up with? Well, the second part of that statement is that at some point, usually later, and often much later, in a man's life he should buy that watch. Until then, shoot Harold an email and see if he can hold you over.

Email Harold Ng at yobokies@yahoo.com.hk

Images courtesy of Yobokies and Justin Chung

  • Allen

    Hey, Can you post\Send me a pic of your final watch?????? Thinking about hitting this guy up! Thanks!

    • lawrences

      A pic of it is in the gallery above.

  • Johnny Xmas

    Anyone else get a malware warning from Chrome when trying to go to yobokies?