On my 18th B'day I bought myself a grey dialled Seiko automatic - it cost about £20. I acquired another just like it a couple of years later with a blue dial. They served me well until I went to grad school aged 25 and treated myself to a Seiko Chrono with gold accents and dancing hands that performed a cross-over ballet on reset and had a cool date cyclops. Someone at a wedding asked me if it was a Rolex. I dont think I'd ever knowingly seen a Rolex at that point. The dancing handed Seiko chrono didn't last long as I sold it to a pal to help fund an Omega Speedy Moonwatch (I got it discounted and paid £400 in 1991 - how times have changed!!!). That Speedy was part-ex'd for a beautiful Breitling Chronomat and over the next 27 years watches came and went. I stuck with Breitling a long time - and besides Chronomat, enjoyed my Colt Superocean, dressy Headwind, Navitimer, Seawolf. And then there were the Zeniths: 2 El Primeros (including a wonderful Rainbow Flyback) a Defy Diver, an Elite diver; and the macho Tag Super-Professional 1000 and elegant Longines Master, and definitive Rolex Deepsea and Tudor Chrono - most of these were flipped to fund another. Then earlier this year I bought my son a Turtle Pepsi PADI and was impressed by value and look. When I saw a black & gold accent version going half price I jumped. I was hooked. A more pricey Seiko Emperor Tuna and a beautiful 1968 6159 Reissue Seiko SLA025 were recently added. Maybe I'm having a midlife crisis but now the only watches I am really tempted by are the GShock Frogman and the Laco Dortmund. Weird? But what a great hobby - and what a wonderful thing the watch is. The Rolex was probably the best all round watch I have had and kept its value. The El Primero was most accurate and never lost a second. The Navitimer the most emotionally topsy-turvey - loving it one day, hating it the next. But after 35 yrs of watches, thousands of pounds spent, endless hours drooling in watch shop windows, I'm back wearing an automatic Seiko - and loving it.
"We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." TS Eliot