I have this theory when it comes to watch collecting, and watch enthusiasm in general: no matter how focused your taste is in a particular type or genre of watch, part of you secretly wants to bust out and explore the polar opposite. I think this is a universal affliction of sorts. If you’re a vintage guy, every once in awhile you fantasize about going to a boutique and picking something up with the stickers still on, just once. Or, maybe you collect nothing but austere dress watches on fine leather straps. I bet that just once you’d like to own a tactical, sporty dive watch, walk around with it for a day or two, and just enjoy the fact that if you happened to be swept up by a tsunami at that very moment, even though you can’t swim, your watch would survive.
For me, this is the appeal of my bright red G-Shock GA-2100. See, when it comes to watches that I’m actually willing to throw down cold hard cash for, I tend more toward the conservative. Spare dials, classic designs, and diameters that wear easy. The contrarian watch I’ve always fantasized about? Well, it’s hard to admit this in watch nerd public, but an ultra modern (and ultra expensive) Royal Oak Offshore variant of some kind would be welcome on my wrist if one could be procured for me without the financial strain I’d feel if I, Zach Kazan, collector of the most modest means, walked into an AP boutique today.
What is it about the ROO? Well, for me, it has something to do with it’s unapologetic brashness as a statement watch. They get a lot of heat from enthusiasts because they rose to popularity with the endorsement of pop culture figures, athletes, rappers, and the like, representing something like a “real” Royal Oak but for less discerning, younger tastes.
But here’s the thing: I like rappers! And I like athletes and pop culture too, and I think it’s amazing and hysterical when I’m scrolling through Instagram and see Rick Ross wearing a white gold Royal Oak, or Pharrel wearing a Richard Mille, or whatever.