Watch Curmudgeon #2: So Many Watches, So Little Time


I have a feeling that many of you are going to identify with what I’m about to say. Very often I get extremely jealous of people who own one or two great watches and have no desire for more. They just strap one on in the morning and maybe admire it here and there when they check the time. That’s it. How utterly sane.

When I get dressed in the morning, I spend a couple of seconds choosing my clothing, while agonizing about which watch to wear. It’s a terrible decision. Drives me nuts. All my watches are special to me. Three minutes after putting on my Tutima, I long for my Louis Erard. So I change watches. Then I feel as though I’m cheating on another loved one: my Davosa. So I change again.

While savoring my morning coffee and bagel at a local diner, I spy a Submariner on a guy’s wrist. Looks great. Peaks out of his shirt cuff at a perfect angle. Oh no……now I wish I were wearing mine. But there’s no time to go home and change yet again. So I spend all day reminding myself of how much I adore my Submariner and that I should wear it more often. That evening, while slapping on the good old Roly, I glance at my Muhle. Hmmm…beautiful. So………….

To make matters even worse, I’m always dreaming of watches I don’t have. Every week there’s a new grail that I simply CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT. It burns a hole in my very existence. With all my strength, I bury it in my subconscious, coming up with a million reasons why I shouldn’t buy it. Even if it is a steal. Whether it’s a simple two-hander or a watch with a couple complications, I know it’ll further complicate my life.

About two years ago, I came up with what I thought was a “brilliant” solution. Having seen a gorgeous MeisterSinger one-hander that I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT, I decided to turn a provocative photo of it into wallpaper on my computer. Seeing it every day, I assumed, would make me sick of it. Right? Wrong. It only served to heighten the attraction. Needless to say, it’s now part of my collection. (Got it from, it’s a watchaholic’s worst nightmare.)

I also considered seeing a clinical chronologist, a hypnotist and even an exUHRsist. However, on a more serious note, at this point in my horological sufferings I would strongly advocate the establishment of a 24 hour hotline: a support system where detoxed watch addicts would help talk you down from making another purchase. It could certainly help those in a grail frenzy, just before they hit that nefarious PayPal button. Here’s some sample dialog from a potential crisis call:

(Ron is the hotline negotiator. Steve is in need.)

Ron: “Good evening. You’ve reached WatchOut. My name’s Ron. What’s your  name and immediate problem?”

Steve: “I’m Steve, and I’ll cut to the chase, Ron. I’m jittery, sweating profusely, mildly confused, hallucinating, but very focused on what I’m about to do.”

Ron: “And what would that be, Steve?”

Steve: “Against my will, I’m buying another watch.”

Ron: “And what watch would that be, Steve?”

Steve: “A Helson Blackbeard.”

Ron: “Sweet.”

Steve: “It’s all that’s been on my mind for the past few weeks. Even dream about it.”

Ron: “I hear yuh Stevey. Been eyeing that one myself. Domed bezel, thick domed sapphire crystal, Eta 2824. And at 42mm, it’s the perfect size.”

Steve: “Hey, you’re not helping me, buddy.”

Ron: “Sorry. I meant to ask you what you’re wearing now.”

Steve: “A Louis Erard Regulator.”

Ron: “Mmmmm. The real classic one? With the plain white dial and blued hands?”

Steve: “That’s the one.”

Ron: “What kind of a strap have you got it on?”

Steve: “Faux croc. But what can I………”

Ron: “Sorry. Let’s get down to business. Your strap reminded me of a solution for you.”

Steve: “Finally, some help.”

Ron: “Have you got a great watch tucked away somewhere that you haven’t worn in quite a while?”

Steve: “Yeah. An Omega Seamaster I got around twelve years ago. It’s in a drawer with my socks.”

Ron: “Well, visit, and get yourself a great new strap. Maybe one of their vintage leather styles. Usually, putting a new strap on a watch makes it seem like new. It could reignite that old flame you originally had for it.”

Steve: “Smart idea. But I can only picture that strap on the Blackbeard.”

Ron: “I hear yuh, man. I’m picturing that strap on my new Tourby Marine.”

Steve: “A new Tourby? I thought I was talking to a reformed addict.”

Ron: “You are. I got the Tourby for myself as a reward for going a whole three  months without buying a watch. I’m completely cured. Completely.”

Steve: “If you say so, Rono. But I still CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT the Blackbeard.

Ron: “How about this. Text me a photo of your regulator, and I might consider buying it from you. Then you could easily rationalize the Helson.”


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