LeoKal, on 14 March 2014 - 07:35 PM, said:
RJRJRJ, on 14 March 2014 - 04:52 PM, said:
LeoKal, on 14 March 2014 - 03:26 PM, said:
RJRJRJ, on 12 March 2014 - 11:04 PM, said:
LeoKal, on 12 March 2014 - 05:32 PM, said:
But the notion of paying thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands for a wrist watch is, in my opinion, pretty silly.
Are you also against expensive art, cars, clothing, electronics...?
Well art is a different question. Arguably the best art, the highest quality is the most expensive. The masters. And in my little world that is worth owning. Cars is fine because the best performing cars also are the most expensive. One of my best friends has a couple of Porches and they are terrific cars. And I own the best clothing I can afford simply because it looks better and lasts longer. Where the watch thing gets me is that the purpose of the watch is to keep time and inexpensive watches do that just as well as a Rolex. I understand that in the big city a fine watch is part of the culture in some circles. And if you are a professional or a successful businessman you are expected to have a fine watch and after all it is the only significant piece of jewelry a man typically wears. So I get why some do it and am fine with it and say it is silly only for myself. I am not a car person either. But I own some rare books that I have paid thousands for and some would say that is silly as well.
I get what you're saying, but a lot of people also put a different emphasis on what a nice watch means. I have a few cheap G-Shocks that I wear to get knocked around, and I love them for what they are. I like that they can get thrown across the room and still work. I set them once or twice per year and the time is pretty much spot on whenever I grab one. And I know that when it breaks one day, ill toss it in the garbage and go buy another one.
But then I like my nice watches for the opposite reasons. I like that theres a little engine in there working away. The engine relies on me to function. If I don't tend to it, it stops working. Hundreds of tiny little wheels and springs are all whizzing away in harmony just so that I can look down and see the time easily. Its a very complex way of doing something very simple. Sort of like a Rube Goldberg device--it might not be the most effective way to get the job done, but its fascinating all in itself. You look at a complication like a perpetual calendar, and you think about the fact that there is a little wheel in there who's only job is to rotate one single time every four years
--all so that the owner doesn't have to adjust his date for the leap year! Im telling you, crazy maybe, but fascinating nonetheless. I like that a nice watch can easily outlive me if I take good care of it. If I ever have kids, they might one day be looking down at the exact watch that I have on my arm now and appreciate it just as much as I currently do.
Enough waxing poetic for me, since the truth is that I just strap on any watch I choose for the day and be done with it, but that doesn't change the fact that these things are miniature mechanical marvels.
One of my earlier responses suggested just the same detail you provide here. I like old stuff, antiques, first editions, fountain pens, etc., etc. So for me the very embodiment of the engine and the wheels you speak of is a well tended Hamilton wind watch from the twenties or thirties. In their day they were easily as well made as the Swiss super stars today. And.........it was an American company that was superior at a critical time in our history. I can say the same about our fountain pens. For that reason I value them and have about a half dozen and rotate them from day to day. They are superior time pieces if you service them. And they are completely mechanical, like Breitling as I understand it.
My earlier post remarked about vintage watches. It's amazing how with all the technology and "improvements" of current times, it seems people lived better in times past. My Rolex, bought in 1978, cost about $300. Pretty much available to most American workers. Same thing with cars. My 78 Eldorado, (bought in year 2000) cost around $11,000 new, well within the means of an American factory worker, usually as the fellows last car to fulfill a part of the American dream.
I also love fountain pens. I have a couple high end Mont Blancs, but my favorite is a drugstore Parker Parkette that my Dad bought my uncle in 1940. (Remarkably, it still has the original ink sac.) A $10 pen/pencil set, my uncle carried it through out the Pacific in WW2. It found its way back to me when I was a boy. The Duofolds of the 1920's and 30's, which are coveted today, were roughly $5 pens back then.
I could go on and on. Now, only the well to do can buy a new Cadillac, Rolex or Parker Duofold. Or pay usury with credit card rates that now are considered good business.