A place to show and talk about watches

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Falling In and Out of Love



It was a typical Tuesday morning at work. Around 10:30 that morning, I decided to take a break and buy a cup of coffee somewhere in downtown. Working in the cold and unforgiving world of binary code had already taken a toll.

 After purchasing my coffee, I started my walk back to the office. The downtown area, while small, offers a variety of small privately owned shops and restaurants. Do you need a new vacuum bag, or have a pair of shoes to repair, or perhaps want to check the latest vinyl releases while you wait for your Vietnamese food order to be ready? No problem, everything can be done within the same street block.

I happened to be walking by one of these shops when I saw her for the first time. The appeal was immediate. I could not contain myself from staring at this embodiment of beauty. The symmetry of her face, the curves of her body, and her casual but still sophisticated demeanor was captivating. The only thing I was not sure of due to the distance between us was how old she was; I could only hope she was of a suitable age.

Oh yes, inside a discrete wooden display cabinet, I saw what looked like a 1950’s or 1960’s Omega Seamaster. The watch featured a silver dial, dauphin hands, 3-9-12 numerals, stainless steel case, and a seconds subdial at 6.

I asked the store attendant to provide more information; however, he said that it was better for me to come back in a couple of days, the actual seller would be on site and able to answer my specific questions. For a couple days, I kept thinking about this watch.



Two days later, I was ready to go. I had previously looked at similar watches online for reference and emailed the seller to confirm that he would be at the store. I met Jim on Thursday afternoon, and he kindly answered my questions, opened the case, and handed me the watch for closer examination. As soon as I flipped the watch over to inspect the back cover, I sensed the unmistakable and satisfying action of a bumper movement. The typical Omega case with its curved lugs looked like it had never been polished, the crown and crystal look original, and with the exception of the hour hand, the whole dial was in pristine condition considering it was a vintage piece. Without much negotiation, I purchased the watch and thanked Jim for his time and patience.
    
For the next few days, I confirmed that this watch used a caliber 342 bumper movement and that it was manufactured around 1950. The watch looked good on my wrist, and without doubt, deserved to be part of my regular rotation.


We can, without much risk of being wrong, presume that the primary reason we find enjoyment in spending significant amounts of time and money on material things such as wristwatches is the emotional (that is correct, like in feelings) fulfillment that these objects bring to our lives. We voluntarily migrate from independence to interdependence in the pursuit of emotional reward.

I believe that falling in love (or transitioning from independence to interdependence) with a watch as experienced by most new collectors may be divided in three stages:

  1. Attraction: You spot a watch that captures your imagination. You find the dial, materials, style, movement, or complications attractive. You stimulate your natural desire for information
  2. Acceptance: You purchase the watch. You share with others your experience finding and obtaining your watch, and the factors that make this particular piece special. You continue to enjoy the entertainment and immediate pleasure of getting to know your new watch.
  3. Fulfillment: You recognize that the watch belongs in your collection, and it becomes important part of your rotation. And for all practical purposes, it meets your needs.

This dynamic relationship with your new watch may from time to time slightly shift toward independence or dependence. However, dependence is a less desirable state. In this state is where you cannot imagine ever separating from it. You are sure that in the terrible event where you might need to sell every piece in your collection but one, this watch is the keeper.

Sadly, after some time you may well start falling out of love. All of the sudden, your watch doesn’t meet all your needs, resulting in either:

  1.  Resignation: You must keep the watch, because you would lose a lot of money otherwise. You keep it around, because things could change and you may like it again, or you are afraid people may realize that you are a compulsive buyer.
  2.  Separation: You give the watch away, or sell it even if that means taking a loss. You take responsibility for a poor decision, or blame the blogger, YouTube commentator, or magazine writer who made you believe that you two were meant to be together.
Why do we fall out of love? Perhaps because for the most part, our evaluation of an object (or person) is significantly influenced by its beauty, or by what we read or hear others say about it. And it is not until we really get to experience the watch that we find out if it is really what we want; how it makes us feel.

It is impossible to test drive every watch that we might find interesting, but perhaps we can reduce the risk of making a bad decision by getting to know ourselves better, identifying what we really want from a watch, and then looking for those pieces that match our criteria. Now, how do we find out how a watch will make us feel in the long run? Well, that is the hard part I’m afraid.

I apologize for perhaps reminding you of a costly and uncomfortable breakup. Conversely, if I reminded you of a happy first time encounter that resulted in a long term relationship, you are welcome.
 
Right, what happened to the 1950 Omega Seamaster? I wish our story had a happy ending; however, this is not a Jude Deveraux historical romance novel. Sadly, our relationship ended in separation. But, I am sure she is helping somebody else feel fulfilled.