TAMPA — A local jeweler selling one of 25 Ulysse Nardin watches inspired by the Game of Thrones said it wouldn't last long on the shelf.
And it didn't.
A Tampa watch collector and Game of Thrones fan snapped up the $10,500 watch after reading a story about it in Thursday's Tampa Bay Times.
"I saw the watch and was immediately attracted to it," said Bill Hoffman, director of human resources for a local financial services company. "It's a nice watch, and I'm a fan of Ulysse Nardin. I like the design."
Hoffman started watching the HBO show a few years ago and liked it so much that he read all of the books, the basis of the TV series. When he saw that Old Northeast Jewelers had one of the limited-edition Game of Thrones watches, he called store owner Jeffrey Hess and bought it.
The watch has a black face, black rubber strap and red number pointers symbolizing all the blood spilled in the medieval fantasy drama. Called the Night's Watch, the timepiece was inspired by a Game of Thrones military order dressed in black that guards an ice fortress protecting the Seven Kingdoms from the dangers of the north.
The watch went on display about 10 days ago at Old Northeast Jewelers' store at International Plaza and quickly gained attention among Game of Thrones fans and watch collectors. No. 15 in the series, it has Game of Thrones etched on the sapphire crystal back and the band says, "I am the sword in the darkness."
Hoffman, who identified his age as "in his 60s," said he plans to keep the watch as a collectible rather than wear it on his wrist.
"I don't think I'll wear it too much," he said. "I'm just going to appreciate it and enjoy the fact that it's an exclusive watch."
He'll also let it appreciate in value. If kept in pristine condition, the watch's worth could increase significantly, especially if the TV series concludes on a high note.
As of Friday, only two of the watches remain for sale. They can be found at the Ulysse Nardin boutique stores at the Town Center at Boca Raton and the Aventura Mall outside Miami. The watches were distributed to stores worldwide starting May 9.
Susan Thurston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 225-3110.