Monday, 12 October 2015

Story by Kranz and Ziegler - Watch Charm Review

When I first heard the news that Story would be releasing their watch charms to the UK market I was really excited to turn my bracelet into a watch... it was 1 year later when I finally got my wish!

Photos really don't do this justice but I will try...

The charm is silver coloured high gloss polished steel with genuine shards of mother-of-pearl and with the bling of 12 Swarovski Crystals.

It has a hoop on the back in the same way as any other button charm, so you just slide and twist on to the bracelet.  As they are a snug fit twisting them on makes it easier - less friction and less chance of causing any damage to the bracelet, once on they stay put!  Just twist off when you decide to change your design again.

I've styled my watch a few different ways since I got it but I kept coming back to the watch and heart on my black lambskin below.

I only popped into the shop I bought it from randomly on the off chance whilst I was passing... they had 3 more designs in stock at the time.

Story do offer a much wider range than these four designs - you can click on the link at the top of the post for a much more detailed look at the ones that were released to the UK market last year; the first two in the photo above were part of a much more recent collection.

Sadly though my story doesn't have a happy ending... buyer beware!

My battery ran out and needed replacing, as they do!  As my normal watch battery had also run down I took both to a shop to buy some new batteries.

My battery was changed by the shop in both cases, but they were not impressed by the Story watch charm at all - as it was hard to get the back off, and almost impossible to put it back on again.  They showed me what they were talking about so I could see for myself... I had to agree with them on that score but told them to go ahead and change it anyway as I really liked the watch.  That was my mistake...

The design of the charm as a watch is, in my opinion, not great in terms of being able to change the battery, something that is fairly critical to owning a battery powered watch - my watch charm was in fact damaged when the back was eventually put back on - the face was cracked and it stopped working all together!

I took it back to the original shop I bought it from (well within the 12 months), as after talking to fellow Story fans I discovered I wasn't the only one who had been disappointed by the lack of a practical design - indeed others had returned theirs for a refund.

The original shop would not refund or issue a credit, as the battery had been changed by someone other than them, and they did not believe it was a bad design.  Story would not refund or credit but would repair it (at my cost) after I'd paid for the charm to be sent back - but couldn't say how much it would cost until they'd seen it in person.

So given that I don't think the design is up to par for using it as a watch in a practical sense, I've decided to sadly write off my £69 - and not spend any further money posting it back to Story to get a quote for repair as I do feel I would be throwing good money after bad.

Ironically the original shop I bought it from, and everywhere else I shop in person or online for Story are also dropping the line.  So although I could pick up another watch charm at a fraction of the price I paid originally - I'd still be left with nowhere to change the battery lest I void my warranty!

I've really debated writing this post at all as generally my jewellery brings me joy, and this whole episode has left me feeling both angry and upset in equal measure.  However having enthused so much about the watch charms on the blog, I feel I should at least share my experience and leave you to make up your own minds - hopefully my experience is in the minority!

I've never had any quality issues with any of my other Story charms, I love the brand to bits and I'm really sad that so many shops in the UK are dropping the line; I do think it's the best of it's kind for that type of bracelet and charms!

But my advice to anyone who has bought a watch charm would be:
Make sure you take it back to the original shop you bought it from
when the battery needs changing - just in case! 


  1. Hi Mars,

    I'm afraid I couldn't agree more. I was thrilled when Story started to do watches, and even more thrilled when a local department store started to sell them so I could see them IRL. I bought one, then realised that it wasn't working at all. The battery was clearly gone. I took it to my local jewellers who tried without success to get the back off and then on again. There was no paperwork, nothing to tell you what size or specification the battery was. My jeweller said it was the worst design he had seen in 40 years. He did manage to get it open after a lot of trying, but it wouldn't close again. (There was no battery in it by the way!) I did manage to get my money back from the store because I took it back straight away, I had only bought it a few days previously - but I have given up on the idea of Story watches, sadly. I'm afraid it is a serious design flaw. I'm like you and try and always say nice things, but in this case, I simply have to agree with you (in a nice way!!).

    Like you I also love the brand and really hope they will try and redo their watch designs so they work properly.

    1. I was like you, couldn't believe my luck when I found them in a shop, was quite giddy! To make the story even sadder I'd used money I'd been given for my birthday and christmas to buy it as a present from my family :(

      I'm so disappointed and would have rather "lost" my own money, than losing the gift money. It's left me feeling quite flat hence I wasn't sure I was going to write about it. But then I thought about how much I've promoted and enthused about the watch charms and decided I wasn't being fair if I didn't write about it to say what happened - also if anyone else has one and hasn't changed the battery yet at least they have the opportunity to go back to their original shop, well sort of... providing they didn't buy it online which is what I was going to do originally... In hindsight I might have been better off as I think a lot of the online stores I buy from probably have better customer service. When it happened I thought at least I bought it in person from a shop and it is one I can get to... famous last words!

      So sorry you've had the same experience but I am glad you were able to return it and get your money back.

      Mars xx

  2. You've made my day writing this. My sister in law had exactly the same issue with her story charm and exactly the same reaction when she tried to get a refund. They basically accused her of causing deliberate damage in order to get another one. She sent it back only to receive a reply saying basically 'what do you want us to do about it, you broke it'. Really disappointing for a reputable company

    1. Hi Kate, to be honest I'm quite shocked that two people have had the same experience, I was hoping I was the odd one out!

      Really sorry to hear about the reaction your sister in law had as well. Why would anyone think she'd cause deliberate damage to get a replacement one?! That just doesn't make sense!

      My mother of pearl face broke (the inside one not the glass covering), I was really shocked as I didn't expect that from just putting the back back on - the original shop implied that the design was fine, they hadn't experienced any other such problems, implied they'd sold several and changed those batteries with no problems for customers (which I'm not sure I believe this at all) and it was down to me for getting someone else to change the battery!! It's a watch not a washing machine, changing a battery is a normal function...

      My communication with Story has been via the original shop and their Story rep, perhaps I should try direct when I go and pick my watch charm back up as I left it with them whilst they made enquiries.

      I love the brand in general, I own quite a bit of Story jewellery and haven't had a problem with quality previously, in fact I've just bought some more bracelets, although not from the shop I bought my watch charm from I hasten to add!!

      Mars xx

  3. Wow, that is quite surprising given how well other companies handle customer service. :( I can't imagine that you are the only one having an issue (and given comments, you aren't!). It looks great, but very sad that is how they are handling the issue.

    1. Looks wise the watch is divine, it really is a stunning time piece, when I went the Trollbeads Cambridge spring launch we were having the quite the chat about my lovely watch and Story Jewellery and basically how much I adore Danish jewellery / jewellery designers in general, what a great job they do.

      Normally I tend to buy quite cheap fashion watches and wear them until they fall apart, this was my very first, pay more than £30 pounds watch. At this point I think I might go back to my lifelong habit of buying cheap watches...

      I shall enjoy my new bracelets I'm sure when they arrive but I certainly won't be shopping with the original shop ever again, a bittersweet note to end it on as many years ago we bought my husband's wedding ring from there when we decided to get married, I used to live around the corner at the time and we only popped in for a browse but they sold really cool jewellery! Well they still do in fact, I'm just not keen on their customer service!

      Mars xx

  4. Ack so sorry for your bad experience. I have been foolish on my end, and popped off the back of a watch of mine to change a battery and couldn't pop it back on, so asked my hubby thinking he would be stronger and would do it easier. Alas, he wasn't thinking and put it in a vise and cracked the face. I learnt my lesson, about taking my watch to the shop.

    In your case, I'm horrified at their customer service. It wasn't as if you did a home job like me, but had taken it to a shop to get the battery changed. The watch is lovely, but awfully expensive for an item to be worn only for the life of a battery.


    1. Thank you, and it's much appreciated...

      Apparently my mistake was I didn't get the battery changed at the original shop... to be honest it never occured to me to do that as they are not local to where I live now and changing a battery is normally such a straight forward experience in any jewellers...

      Obviously with hindsight I truly wished I had, as either it would have gone okay and I would have my lovely working watch... or it wouldn't have and I'd have hoped they would honour my guarantee.

      It's an incredibly expensive watch given how long I've had use of it... let's just say I'm not sure there was a new battery in it - but better than Amanda who didn't even get a battery to start with!

      The watch is lovely, although at this rate when I get it back I might have to take it apart and at least get some use from the new battery that's in it (that can go in my other cheap fashion watch when that runs out) and perhaps I can stick the CZ in some beads!! Or ask my glassy friends if I can use mother of pearl shards in anything ;)

      Mars xx


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