I have read a few threads in recent days that have made me reflect on what I value, what I look for, what's important and what the purpose of a watch is to me. I want to start by saying, I don't have the exquisite knowledge that many here do, but I am learning from you all. Interestingly, the more I learn, the more I understand what I appreciate, which means that in my endeavours I seem to be moving off on a tangent in some areas of my collection.
Briefly, I got a swatch when I was 7. It was my first "real" watch. I wanted a digital watch like all the kids were getting in the early 80's. It wasn't long before I appreciated my swatch over the robot numbered wrists of all others. This stuck with me right through school, living in a beachside suburb of sydney meant that surfing is a major part of our lives, so I would churn through the swatch scuba's (while mates all sported G-Shocks) all the way till I left Uni and got a "real" job. Then I slipped into the corporate world and fashion watches. I went from the being different and enjoying individuality of the brightest, weirdest swatch I could find to picking a stainless looking fashion watch. My passion got buried, until recently. Strangely enough, it was the HATE of a watch that I was wearing that re-sparked it. 18 months ago I took the family to Fiji for a holiday and wore a timex ironman. Why? Well, I only operate on the work phone, so this was getting switched off for the week, it could handle 2 time zones being digi-analog, its 200m water resistant, so I could swim and snorkel without a problem, indiglo for beside the bed and alarm.
BUT; I hated looking at it, I hated wearing it.
I wondered into the boutique at the resort and spotted the Tag F1's. Wow, 3 things, I was attracted to the brand, the beauty but sportiness, but the pricetag, ouch. The wife spotted me in there, came in, and said, "If you want one, just get it." This simple comment changed my thoughts that watches didn't need to be $200 or less, it was ok to spend a decent amount of money on something that made you happy and would last for a long time (unlike the swatch disposable way which I completely appreciate). But I didn't buy one, why, because almost every second person I work with wears a TAG. Where's the originality, the difference, the statement, the beauty in that.
So simply, I got home and my research started. I allowed myself something "extravagant" and aimed for a limited-edition citizen AT chrono, which didn't come through, so found a citizen signature chrono instead.
The lust started for something, I didn't know what, and after a while, I found it. Omega Seamaster PO 8500. Here's where my philosophy came through.
My wrist is just shy of 7". After reading many posts, I thought the 42 was a done deal, I tried them on and in my eyes I could only take the 45.5. What's worse (for many of you), this is my suit watch! How could you (I hear you scream)!! The proportions seemed to work better to my eye.
I have become fascinated with the craftsmanship of watches, but probably for different reasons then most. I look for something slight different, interesting to the eye. I am going to offend many here, but watches to me are a piece of jewellery, but with great purpose. That purpose might be history, family relevance, craftsmanship, a symbol of passion for fine things, a complete status symbol, or a form of rebellion against materialism (believe it or not) by owning something so small and unique that 1 person may have taken years to create to which no one notices.
My watch philosophy means that I am looking for incredible lines, something that is different to the norm (not your standard diver/dress/aviation/driver),something that will catch people's eye, but they wont know why. (interestingly enough my PO8500 has never gotten a second look from anyone). Things like offerings from MB&F, Uwerk and ressence intrigue me, but the prices are just out of my league.
These are almost a piece of architecture, amazing design with incredible engines under the bonnet. But what has really caught my eye and I tend to gravitate to now are also brilliant looking pieces with (in my mind) decent engines that will last for many years.
The citizen eco-drive eyes:
The Seven Friday
Don't get me wrong, 1 year later, my PO8500 still feels like I got it yesterday. It was my grail and is a keeper.
I apologise in that I completely appreciate the effort and the beauty of a six figure offering from patek, or Roger W Smith, but they are something that would sit in my watch box, to which I would admire but never wear, not due to cost, but just that there would be something else I would want to.
I want a watch box that people notice, something that is different, something that IS a fashion accessory but with purpose, that has meaning, intrigue.
So that's mine, what's yours.