Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Spirit of Ireland Watch, from the Bradford Exchange

I have a penchant for thrashy mags such as Full House, That's Life, Real People and all the rest.  They act as warning for what is actually out there. Forearmed and all that.

Take the back page of the current issue of Full House, with its tacky ad designed to appeal to headbanger, Erin go Bragh, Irish patriots.  Now, I've oft puzzled at the concept of patriotism in general, but to be an Irish patriot in the current climate takes a particularly finely honed, uncritical, stupidity.

The Bradford Exchange, with a PO box in Stoke on Trent, is wise to such weaknesses. It offers an Irish patriot's watch that features:

  • A 22 carat gold-plated Celtic cross on the face
  • Irish national flag depicted in a chronograph dial
  • Irish harp and pivotal dates in Irish history engraved on the reverse
  • "Sworn to be free" etched on the side of the watch
  • "Ireland forever" alongside its Gaelic translation "Erin go Bragh" on the small dials
The ad then goes on to quote the opening lines of our godawful national anthem, written originally in English but hastily tranlated into Gaelic by Dev's men  for added authenticity:

"Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland; Some have come from a land beyond the wave.  Sworn to be free, No more our ancient sire land Shall shelter the despot or the slave".

Stirring stuff, I'm sure you will agree.

Those marketing folk at Bradford Exchange have done their reasearch, it seems.


Anonymous said...

Bradford Exchange are a ‘nifty’ company and they will have done their homework regarding sales and profits. This vulgar watch steeped in tastelessness should contain following axiom engraved in Gaelic “There is one fecking eejit born every minute”.


The Gombeen Man said...

"This vulgar watch steeped in tastelessness..."

Yes, DBMG... that sums it up perfectly - it's bloody awful. It would be interesting to see how many units they shift.

Ella said...

Hi GM, What exquisite craft(wo)manship! The Bradford exchange really do have their finger on the pulse and know what the homesick Paddy really wants and needs. Those watches would look very tasteful on the wrists of your many Irish fans who clearly miss the emerald isle and pop in to you regularly to make comments!!!!

russell said...

Trust me,Irish Americans go absolutely batshit for this kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

THATS IT GM all my fully loaded 28ct rolexes are going to the pawnshop as you know ihave one for each day some have aircon i have refreshed my visa and will be ordering a 40 gallon drum of these bradford paddy precious time pieces i got so excited and puffed with pride when i first saw this i wet myself iwill presenting all my plastic paddy friends here in beverly hills and our tanned paddy president with a piece for his trip to the auldsod he is always asking the time eventhough he has a fulltime job poor barack cant afford a watch unlike bifffffo or bbbberttie who are unemployed and on twice baracks salary, what a great little country ,btw did you notice the bradford paddies are not as tanned as the lads from the south side of chigago strange that must be all the rain overthere cheers BH

Anonymous said...

Russell is correct in that sales are aimed at the American market. They only make 4999 of each item and will only allow one sale per household. On their website you can see that they make items that appeal to sentiment and nostalgia. The items are actually very well made. On the Bradford Exchange website Spirit of Ireland Men’s Chronograph is priced at £129.95.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Ella. True enough... but you wonder if they should differentiate between "homesick" and just "sick"? I plump for the later my friend.

@ Russell. I trust you entirely....

@ Mr BH. You're a tonic... sad memories of my teenage stereo being pawned without my knowing. Jasus hold onto those Rolexes.

@ Anon. Yes, I'm sure BE have a very good business plan, fair play to them.

Anonymous said...

Gombean man, I know you’re not going to probably let my post stand but I am speaking my mind and its free speech so you might not give me the Irish approval.... but I will give it a go anyway...

Gombean man, what is your point in this site and the things you highlight about Irish people and Ireland? You can write about Irish people and Ireland all day long with its faults, the things Irish people do and don’t do. And how things are ran and not ran in this land. You can whinge and talk about the Irish and this country till the cows come home and its not going to change anything.

You go on about the symptoms of the disease instead of the disease if you know what I am saying

Ireland’s problems are genetics and the sooner the better you drill that into your head the better. When you accept it’s a genetic deficiency it’s much easier and not as annoying. The Irish are not the smartest breeding stock in Europe and when I comes to native European races the Irish Celts come dead last. Even their first cousins the Scots are more capable and smarter. When it comes to the races of the world blacks come dead last. Science has proven that some races are just not as intelligent, but we don’t need science to tell us that.... all you have to do is look around!

Some races are just not capable of having a functional, organised or advanced civilisation........ Some races are not even capable of having a civilisation at all! Look at Africa and how dysfunctional black America is! Why do you think they are 3rd world countries with backward and primitive cultures around the world gombean man?

And don’t tell me its other peoples fault as you know yourself Ireland’s problems is nobodies fault but their own. They are more than one gombean nation and some gombean nations are far worse than others. They are gombean nations so bad around the world that make Ireland look normal!

How to sort Ireland’s problems is eugenics. Pay Irish woman to have children from fitter European breeding stock like English, Germans, Dutch, Italians est. and breed out that dubious old Irish native Celt. The Introduced genetic material from other fitter native European stock is much needed.... its being crying out for it for a long time now!

Funding, a Test Tube full of Germanic European sperm is the answer to all Irelands problems. Not winging about the way Ireland is and the Irish are. Pay Irish woman to have children from Germanics.... it would work out expensive but it would pay itself off for ever and ever in the next generation....

The Gombeen Man said...


I don't expect my blog will change things, but I do it anyway. I enjoy it.

As for genetics and "race", you should bear in mind that the Irish are not a homogenous race. The earliest inhabitants were Brittonic, then there were Celts, Vikings (placenames such as Skerries, Waterford and Wexford derive from Old Norse), Normans, Anglo-Saxons and others. We are, on these islands all mongrels to some extent - but mongrels are generally healthier.

A recent study on the west coast of Ireland (it was on RTE, I can't remember what it was called) concluded that DNA tests of many people there matched with northern Spain and the Basque Country.

The idea of an "Irish race" was a construct of nation-building of the emerging Irish elite of the late 19th Century. So I have to conclude that the problems stem from other sources.

As far as Africa goes, your contention is akin to saying poor people are poor because they are stupid. Sure, some are - but some rich people are stupid too and inherited all their wealth and status. Others are poor because they have no opportunity and the system is stacked against them. Is Barack Obama unintelligent?

Even in colonial terms, the Portuguese were a major colonial power and are now bailout material, like us. Have they suddenly become stupid as a "race"?

I don't know the answers, but I beg to differ with yours...

Gregg Cummings said...

Okay all,

then show me a watch that makes an Irish American (me) who never been to Ireland, feel pride in our heritage? If you know of one show me, if not shut your stinking mouthes.

danny said...

I dont suppose the shops that are made to look like they are functioning in Ireland sell this watch? Or maybe the watch is just a ploy to monetize the insurmountable debt that they have accumulated like us Micks here in the U.S.? We all may be singing our own national anthems once again when we barter knick knacks like these for a loaf of bread in the next few years. 'The times(no pun) they are a changin'