For this edition of Out of Office, the team writes about what they wore when they were literally on vacation over the course of the recent winter holiday season. The idea was simple: pick a watch, wear it over the break, and chronicle your experience with it. What kinds of winter adventures did our editors get up to? Would any of them even leave the house? Find out below, and come back later this week for part II.
This holiday season, I purposefully spent a decent amount of my time on my couch, chilling. Decompressing from a very intense but exciting year here at Worn & Wound. I won’t regale you with what watches I wore as I caught up on Andor (excellent, btw) and a slew of mediocre horror movies. Rather, I’ll talk about the one watch I took on a short trip to Montreal the week before Christmas.
One of the things I enjoy about traveling, as demented as this might sound, is the challenge of only having one watch. Yes, these days, I don’t even take a watch roll. Whatever watch I leave my apartment with is the watch I’ll wear for the duration. Why? Well, it’s a good opportunity to “bond” with a watch. Forge some memories around a hopefully fun trip that can be triggered by looking at the watch as some later date. It also makes me think about which watch from my collection is best suited for the trip.
Admittedly, I’m not the most adventurous person, so my trips tend to involve walking a lot, sightseeing, a mix of casual and upscale dining, some/many drinks, taking photos, a little shopping, museums, etc… That said, I like my watch to be more prepared than I. This has led my defacto traveling watch to be the Tudor Black Bay Pro. In fact, it’s the main reason I got it. With the closed borders of the pandemic peeling away entirely over the last year or so, the idea of travel became a reality again, and I wanted a watch that could handle anything that might come up.
Getting quickly tossed in a bag or basket at the airport is no concern for the rugged steel build. The dial is legible day and night thanks to molded lume blocks that glow so damn well. It’s a chronometer with 72-hours of power reserve, so accuracy is guaranteed. It’s water resistant to 200m, so getting caught in the snow and rain doesn’t matter at all. Of course, it can track multiple time zones, though that didn’t come up on this trip. But most importantly, and I’m not kidding, is the bracelet with T-fit clasp that can be easily adjusted through the day.
My trip to Montreal was very much a “let’s just get out of town for a few days” type of jaunt. Neither I nor my girlfriend had been there, so a few days of exploring sounded perfect. And by exploring, I mean a mix of walking and eating. Yes, this trip revolved around meals, and Montreal did not disappoint. Poutine isn’t just a thing, it’s a way of life, apparently, and one that I found very attractive.
We had poutine twice, first at a nice little bistro by our hotel which featured some slow-cooked lamb, and then at a Montreal institution, Schwartz’s Deli. About a 40-minute walk from our hotel, the mix of smoked meat perfected over decades with diner-style brown gravy, chunky cheese curds, and unfussy fries, paired with black cherry sodas, and a matching smoked meat sandwich was worth making the whole trip over again.
This calorie-bomb breakfast/lunch combination gave us the energy we needed to climb to the top of a snow-covered Mount Royal park. Not much of a test for the Black Bay Pro, but dare I say the watch felt equally at home in a densely packed though humble in style deli, sharing a table with strangers as we consumed too much meat, as on a steady, snowy incline in sub-freezing weather. Of course, this is one of the many times the T-fit came in handy. Salty smoked meat met a wrist swelling under a down coat under moderate strain. Millimeters of comfort were added, and I knew my choice for wrist accompaniment was well-considered.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the trip as it played out in a similar fashion. Montreal bagels were tried, an exceptional and odd meal was had at Pied de Cochon that included “duck in a can”. Many miles were walked including in the Mile End area, which led us to a great little menswear shop called Clark Street Mercantile which had a stellar vintage Nivada Artic on display. Many cocktails were sipped, as was onion soup. Great Basquiat and Diane Arbus exhibits were visited to keep us out of the worst of the weather. A blizzard was flown through.
All the while, the Tudor Black Bay Pro maintained a steady beat, keeping us on time for our reservations and inevitably-delayed flights. Wrist fluctuations were no trouble, thankfully. Needless to say, I look forward to my next trip, and will likely select the same watch as my horological companion.