I was curious to see when everyone's fascination and love of watches (and in some cases also clocks) began?
I was probably four when I really began to like watches and clocks for what they were. My great grandfather was a salesman and watchsmith/clock repairman in Little Rock Arkansas. I can remember visiting their house and there were watches and clocks EVERYWHERE. At this point I began to "like" watches and clocks. I got a little older and got a watch, a cheap one, I don't even remember the brand. I remember it was digital and I didn't like it, I wanted the analog dials. So for Christmas one year I got a watch with dial face. I don't even remember the brand. But there was also something that bothered me about it.
As the quartz movement ticked the second hand never lined up with the hash marks. That really bothered me from the ripe old age of about 9. The next year for Christmas I got a mechanical pocket watch. Not knowing a whole lot about these things at that point, I kept it for awhile and eventually it quit running (I think I over wound it).
Two years later (by this time i was about 12) I was given a Timex by my aunt. Just a fairly cheap quartz watch, but I liked it. Two years after that the band broke and I decided to take it apart. Needless to say it never kept time again. Finally, one day walking through the mall (age 14 now) I saw a Seiko I liked. Then I saw the price, $170...
That was a lot of money for a guy who grew up poor. As poor as we were, my grandparents were NOT poor. My grandma allowed me to work at her business cleaning and moving carpets and rugs for a week to earn some money. I was not able to earn 170 dollars...at 3 or 4 dollars an hour and being in school I did not have a lot of time. So we went back to JC Penny a couple weeks later and I bought yet another Timex. The man at the counter didn't even take any links out of the band. But I wore this watch for three years. In the meantime I got a real job but that income was used to build savings for college and buy a car. There were things about this watch that I did not like. Again the second hand was never properly aligned with the hash marks and there was a lot of play in the hands when setting the time.
My senior year of high school, my GF at the time bought me a Fossil for my birthday. Relatively good looking watch, but like most Fossil's it proved to be a major POS. It lasted a whopping 18 months before kicking the bucket.
Then my GF in college (now my wife) bought me another Fossil for my birthday. Again, a pretty good looking piece (albeit cheap looking compared with Seiko or Tissot etc). This lasted all of about two years before it killed over. I bought another Fossil immediately following to see me through school and it also took a dive in about twelve months time.
2005...FINALLY Graduation from University of Oklahoma and a good job lined up and getting married...
I told my soon to be wife on our Honeymoon I was going to buy a nice watch on Oahu (by nice I meant Seiko or Citizen). There was a Kinetic Auto Relay I had my eye on. 375 bucks for a watch was big money for me based on my past (growing up poor) and I was stoked. Needless to say I received that watch on our wedding night from my wife :D
I was soooo pumped it was ridiculous. I promptly put it on and showed it to everyone who would take a look. This watch is still functioning perfectly five years (almost 6) later and it has been used and abused and keeps right on keeping on. But I knew it was only a matter of time until I picked up a mechanical and started to build my collection.
I've always been into engineering and small details. I've read bits about watches for years, taken the cheapies apart from a pretty young age. I knew fairly quickly after graduation I from OU I would want to slowly build a collection and eventually get into mechanicals.
Last year in Maui, I picked up a Tissot LeLocle at a great price it's a chrono with the 7750, my first higher quality mechanical piece (higher quality comparitively speaking, I realize its no Omega or Rolex). I love that watch and this year I picked up a Hamilton Khaki Officer Auto Chrono, also 7750 powered. Each time we come to Hawai'i I will snag a new watch...perhaps a one or two in between trips as well.
I've had an interest and love for watches almost my entire life...thought i would share :)