A fair way off-topic, considering the low proportion of G-Shocks, but Ben asked for a group shot of my watches. I don't have a group shot, but here they are. And since they're mostly the pictures I post in the Friday thread anyway, I've added a little text.
I call it a Crusader 1148. It was put together, from various parts, by my moderator colleague 'Crusader'. The '11' comes from the watch to which it is an hommage, the IWC Mark XI (one of the most notable watches of the twentieth century). '48' comes from the dial, a Bill Yao 'Type 48', which references the date of the IWC original. I'll have this one all my life.
Wempe Zeitmeister. My 'posh' watch. Where other people might have an 'affordable' Omega or Rolex, I have a Wempe. Similar quality (albeit with an ETA movement, which is fine by me), but it has an understated elegance, it's my favoured size for a watch of this type (38mm), and I prefer it to the default choices from the usual luxury brands. And I kind of like the fact that it comes from Glashütte rather than Switzerland. Unfortunately, I've yet to take a picture that really captures it. This one's not going anywhere either.
Seiko SKX007. A no-nonsense modern classic that needs no introduction. This one has a domed sapphire crystal and came originally from Rob at monsterwatches.nl. The first owner only had it a week and the price was very tempting. My second 007. Hard to say how long this one will last - a good while, but not forever, probably.
Seiko SNZH55. Not in the signature yet and only owned for a few weeks. It's awaiting a 'Fifty-Five Fathoms' dial from the Seiko modding fraternity. A fun project, really, so unlikely to grow old with me.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, circa 1960. Previously owned by the most remarkable man I will ever know (holocaust survivor, partisan, RAF officer, mountaineer, concert-level pianist, engineer, wine expert, fount of wisdom). He rewarded himself with this watch when he 'made it' as Chief Engineer for a major international company. He died a few years ago, age 87, a week after being our guest in Krakow, where we have a second home. It's accurate to a second or two a day, but I'm planning a complete rebuild and restoration by Jaeger-LeCoultre - if I can afford it. Special.
Tissot Seastar, 1957. A product of late-night eBay browsing. I was looking for something else, but was captivated by this modest beauty. The smooth curves of the case are a particular delight, but all the style elements are 'right'. Too small for some at 35mm. It's a 'Singapore Special' but a good one. Possibly not a nailed-on certainty to go the distance if I feel the need to drop back to seven or eight watches, which I probably will at some point.
IWC Ref. 405, 1946. Spotted in the window of a cupboard-sized watchmaker's shop in Krakow. 'Near-enough perfect', given my taste in watches. The dial had been sensitively and expertly refinished by the watchmaker. IWC tell me that it was originally supplied to a dealer in Bratislava. More than any of my watches, this is the one that others want to have. Not for sale! Ever!
Rolex Air-King, 1970. I had never been that keen to acquire a Rolex, but then I looked at some vintage Air-Kings whilst waiting to collect a watch repair at my watchmakers. Within days I had this. To be honest, it doesn't delight me as much as the JLC and IWC (or the Wempe or Breitling quartz for that matter), and I can't help thinking about how much money I've got tied up in it. It came on leather and the bracelet is a (good quality) after-market replacement. Don't know about this one yet.
Breitling Colt. I can't think of a better 'quality' quartz. Thermo-compensated accuracy, fabulous build quality, a bit of presence. It was a 'grey market' purchase (but with AD stamped papers), and on top of that the dealer had made a significant error with the price, which they honoured. A serious and unrefusable bargain. I smile in wonder when I look in jewellers' windows and see the price that these are going for today. It's not big for a Breitling, and it's not shiny for a Breitling, which probably makes it the only Breitling that truly suits me. It's such an easy, practical and rewarding thing to own that I can't imagine being without it. Would I buy one at today's High Street price? Not on your life.
Zenith Quartz, 1970s. 'Now here's a novelty', I thought, when I saw it at a watch fair. New old stock, bags of retro appeal, pocket-money price, and a Zenith. In truth, it's a testament to the near-collapse of the Swiss watch industry in the 1970s. I don't know the precise year of manufacture, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the period that Zenith was owned by the American Zenith Radio Company, who decreed that quartz was the future. I wonder how it was, for Zenith's watchmakers, coming to work every day to assemble quartz watches? Anyway, they did it with time-honoured care, and the construction of this watch is very fine. My wife doesn't like it, and the bloke I was with at the watch fair had a kind of pitying look in his eyes when he saw that I was going to buy it. Me? I do like it, it makes me smile, and in its way it’s a significant watch - but yes, it is ultimately a novelty.
And now the G-Shocks.
G-2000. Everything a G-Shock should be. No more, no less. Not big, compared to recent models, but those are 'get in the way big' to me. I'll wear this until it breaks, and then I'll crack out the spare I have in a cupboard. Then I'll wear that one until it breaks, if I live that long.
GW-2500. A contender for 'World's Best Ana-Digi' and 'World's Best Travel Watch'. A longer countdown timer would be a bonus, but apart from that I can't think of a single thing that would improve it. Well, a screwback, maybe. The build quality is superb (respect, Thailand) - the engraved labels on the metal bezel are incredibly clean and precise. A serious watch by any measure, and a million miles from any notion of 'cheap plastic watch'. I guess Casio might come up with one I like even more, but until then...
GW-2310. Not terribly different from the G-2000 in overall appearance, but here the metal bits are only skin- deep - not that you'd necessarily know that if you didn't know your G-Shocks. And it's atomic-solar, of course, but that's a mixed blessing for me with 'classically' styled G-Shocks. It's my favourite of the current digital models. I don't really need it when I have two G-2000s, so it may give way to something else at some point.
Watches I quite fancy buying.
Junghans Max Bill. I've been nearly buying one of these for years. Unique, remarkable, gorgeous, and a piece of design history.
Stowa Partitio. I like Stowa and I admire Jörg Schauer. I've had an Airman and an Antea in the past, but the Partitio probably suits my developing taste better. Actually, I rather hope my taste has stopped developing - at 56, I'm getting too old for roller-coasters and switchbacks.
(With a little help from my clumsy fingers, my spellchecker just changed 'switchback' to 'saucy acid' - I'm too old for that too...)