I started looking for a new watch a couple weeks ago on a trip home to see my parents. My gulf war 1 era stainless marathon navigator had recently refused to come back to life with a new battery, and even that quartz watch defibrillator thing wouldn't get it going. I had thrown it in the back of a drawer and resorted to getting out my cel phone, or just guessing what time it was. But now my dad was on me about not wearing a watch, and kept taunting me with his 1969 Omega Speedmaster. I needed a new watch. Started looking into putting an automatic movement in the Marathon.
"Hey, maybe I could get a Benrus Type 1. A real one from the seventies."
I'd left one in a boutique in Tokyo a couple years back and it had haunted me ever since. I started looking for one on ebay and find that there is a reproduction available. Auto movement too. Bonus. But I just couldn't get exited about it. Too dishonest. I kept looking. Discovered the Paradive. This is more like it. But it's $1400. $1000 more than the benrus repro, which is already more watch than anyone needs. I could probably find a vintage Benrus for not much more than a Paradive costs. But I kept coming back to it. Read more about Bill and MkII.
"Wow. These people are obsessed."
Then I find a NIB Paradive with acrylic bezel for $1k on the secondary market and pounce on it. Done. This is gonna be great. It's half what a decent Type 1 would cost. You can actually service it, and I wont feel like I'm walking around with one of the dead sea scrolls wrapped around my wrist.
But I keep reading about MkII. Start reading about the Kingston. Interesting. Too bad I missed it by like 2 years. I'm not really a Bond fan anyway. He's a terrible spy. Always telling people his real name before they've even asked him. Never mind.
But I kept looking at it. and comparing it to modern submariners. Maybe this thing is kind of special after all. Look at how it looks old and new all at once. Look at that bezel. Perfect symmetry. Maybe I do want one of these. Then ordering opened up for the last remaining few, and I resolved to get one. Then I went to get a cup of coffee, and a sandwich, and just like that the window was closed. Now I needed to have one. I went looking in the secondary market, and dropped close to twice what I was previously only considering paying for the exact same watch. And you know what? I still stole it.
My Paradive arrived yesterday, and it really is worth what it costs and more. The level of fit is crazy. I love it. It's perfect. I'll probably never wear the Kingston.
Today the Kingston came, and I have to say. When I first opened it, I was a little disappointed. It's so shiny and new. It seemed to lack the drama of the photos I'd seen online. Maybe I'll try it without the bracelet, on this retro-y NATO strap. Now we're getting somewhere.
Then I went outside. In the sun. OMG! It's perfect. The gilt glows like fire. I do not deserve this thing. This thing let's me have all the beauty of a Rolex without A: feeling like a sucker for dropping $4000 on a big stainless Swatch, and B: being one of those guys who wears a Rolex. To me the Rolex is like a new corvette. It doesn't matter how good a car it is. It makes you one of those guys.
but this thing is like a Morgan, or Caterham. Or one of those obsessively perfected Shelby Cobra reproductions that is probably a far better car than the original, because it's made of carbon fiber. It bridges time, without being a fake. I'm going to have to buy all new clothes to wear with this thing. I need a better haircut to wear this watch. I need to start really working out.
This is the perfect watch.