Adam recently invited me to visit Bijouterie Dominic in Little Italy, Montreal. I was vaguely aware of this store. I had walked past it several times and I knew they sold some big brands. I had noticed it on several trips to the coffee shops and Formula 1 store in the area. But I never realized there was an amazing story behind this store.
And to make that long story short, Marco Cantiani and his family have been running this store for decades. Marco, like his father, is a trained watchmaker and works on mechanical watches himself. Marco greeted us as we entered the store and before we could even discuss WatchPaper, we were trying on an Omega Dark Side of the Moon and “playing” with its high-end chronograph movement.
You see, when watch guys are surrounded by fantastic watches, it is hard to do anything BUT salivate over the fine mechanical wonders. Too much enthusiasm! Let’s focus on this — enthusiasm. Adam and I picked the worst possible day to visit the store because it was way too busy. It was one customer after another. Some were buying jewelry for a gift. Some were buying an expensive watch for a gift. And some were looking for their own next timepiece. Although we were unable to have a long conversation with Marco, we got to witness him in action. Marco gives the same time and attention to EVERY customer in his store. Whether it’s a mom buying a necklace for her daughter’s graduation, a businessman shopping for the latest Omega or an old lady bringing his watch for a battery change, Marco takes the time to speak with everybody. And you really want to chat watches with Marco!
While we hung out and waited, Marco showed us some of his own family’s antique pocket watches. My favorite was a Longines pocket watch that Marco’s great grandfather used when working on the railroad in Italy. This was one of the highlights of our visit — handling watches from another century and experiencing watchmaking history, hands-on. I mean, you don’t get this every day!
I was excited to see a beautiful display case dedicated to MeisterSinger. I had never actually seen one live before! As Marco was busy helping customers, he opened up the MeisterSinger display and let us go nuts. These are German-made watches with Swiss (ETA) movements. I was impressed by the gorgeous fit and finish of these pieces and their superb cases. The prices are excellent. Now, you don’t expect TimeCaptain to visit a serious watch store and not bring home a souvenir, do you? Stay tuned for another blog! (To read TimeCaptain’s hands-on review of his MeisterSinger No.1, click here.)
In a way, it’s too bad that we couldn’t sit down with Marco for a long talk about watches. But in a way, it was fantastic because we got to observe a day in the life of Bijouterie Dominic. What I enjoyed most was discovering another serious watch guy in my own city. As I have said many times before, buying a timepiece is an experience. I was shopping for a Breitling recently and trying on the Breitling pieces at the shopping mall. The sales lady proudly explained that I could bring in my automatic Breitling any time for a battery change. Is this the experience you want? Instead, you can drop by Bijouterie Dominic and discuss all the different Omega movements. Now, is that the experience you want?
I’m quite happy to discover this little gem in my own backyard. Bijouterie Dominic is really cool inside — it’s modern and pretty chic. They have quite a selection of timepieces, and their staff would love to help you choose the right timepiece for you or your loved one. Go and check them out and perhaps you’ll find your next piece. As always, the fun is in the search…
Address: 6810 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2S 3C7
Phone: (514) 274-8015