I was in Jakarta last week after not having travelled there in almost 2 years. Of all the ASEAN countries, I still think that Indonesia is Asia’s ‘best kept secret’. From a cultural and people perspective I have always enjoyed my time in Indonesia. Perhaps the only thing I would complain about would be the traffic!
I can’t quite remember how I found out about Batu Tulis 5 – 6 years ago. I think I asked a friend where I could buy old watches and he brought me there. Batu Tulis or Batu Ceper as I think it is sometimes called is a few streets behind the famous Sari Bundo Nasi Padang Restaurant. It is on a street where there are many car dealers and once you reach the end of the street you will see a row of no less than 10 shops selling used watches. (Almost as good as Dong Khoi Street in District 1, Saigon a decade ago).
On my first visit, I bought an early 70’s OMEGA Seamaster and 5 early Tag Heuer F1 watches. I got the OMEGA serviced in Vietnam and gave it to my father-in-law who still has the watch and I sold 3 of the 5 Tag Heuer’s to pay for all 6 watches. Quite a good deal.
Over the last few years, the shops have really cleaned up their acts. Some of them used to sell fakes and try to pass them off as real but on my visit last week, the shops selling fakes clearly told you what you were buying and the guys with the real deal were quite open and friendly and I could have spent hours talking to them.
Prices are much, much lower than anywhere else I have been and if I still sold watches in ebay, I would have picked up some good bargains.
You will not find the variety you get in Hong Kong but they did have some tempting offers. For example an October 2011, BNIB Panerai 000 for $4250.00. There were also heaps of Rolexes (of course) at good prices.