All my life, I have had a number of obsessions. Obsessions that I completely devoted myself to. Obsessions that eventually die after a short period.
Some of them were:
Stamps - I had stamps from all over the world, had a few stamp books. Could recognize stamps from a lot of countries.
Fish (keeping them) - My brother and I had two aquariums in our room. We bought books on the different kinds of fishes, what they eat, like/dislike and even how to breed them. We could recognize most of the fish that were available at pet stores in my city at that time in a hearbeat.
Art/Painting - I was always pretty decent at drawing and painting (or at least thats what people said), and there was this phase where I had books on all the famous great artists in the world. My favourite was Vincent van Gogh and I tried recreating a lot of his works. If you come visit me, you will see some of them still on the walls.
And then there were watches - but this time it felt different, it felt special...
My brother (Bio) actually got into it a bit before me. He wanted a new watch and did a bit of reading online before buying it, a blue Vostok Europe Gaz-14 Limousine.
He had never heard of it, but was intrigued and went ahead and ordered it. He read all about it and told me about its history, which honestly, didn't sound too interesting at that time. Then a few days later, I thought about buying a watch for myself as well. I was looking to spend some 'serious cash' as I thought I would keep that watch forever. By serious cash, I meant $400 USD. I did a bit of online searching and ended up ordering a Movado Museum. I loved its simplicity - yet elegant look. I still feel its one of the better looking watches out there and regret selling it in absolutely mint condition, but that watch changed the way I looked at watches forever.
No more did I believe the 'one watch is good enough for me' ideology. I was truly intrigued. I wanted to dive head first into this new world where a watch wasn't just a tool to tell the time. I learned the difference between quartz and mechanical. Why an 'automatic' was so named and why its a thing of some engineering marvel. I wanted to know everything about everything. I joined forums, not one, but three. I had some wonderful conversations with some wonderful people from all around the world. I was proud to be a WIS (Watch Idiot Savant). If that wasn't enough, my twin brother was proud WIS too, and we had endless discussions everyday. ETA and Miyota were terms used quite often in our conversations. At work people called us 'The Watchmen'. Anyone and everyone who wanted to even think about buying a watch, came to us for our opinions first.
Our collection grew steadily, at first, with a lot of quartz and affordables. We had a watch-box that people wanted to see when they came over, and always had one question - 'what do you do with so many watches?'
We started noticing and looking at people's wrist, hoping that if we spot a good watch, we might bump into another WIS, and actually did bump into a couple or so.
We had updates for each model for all of our favourite brands. We even started a blog, which received way more visitors than we ever expected. There was something interesting to share every month. We even completed a intermediate watch making course - all was good.
Now, there comes a time in every watch aficionado's life, when he has some cash to spare and thinks about 'refining' his collection. Affordables are great, but for me personally, I always wanted a high end watch. A company with a history and something thats 'Swiss Made', something that in itself was classic. My brother and I both decided to go for our 'grails' while we still could afford to spend some cash, and we did. He bough an Omega 'Great White' and I a Rolex Sub 14060M or No date, non COSC version. We were on top of the world and couldn't believe what we had managed to achieve.
Our collection grew even more!
Although I try my best to hide my Sub, especially at work, I won't lie, I admit that its nice when someone does appreciate the watch, as long as they don't ask me how much I paid for it (which does come up more often than not). I started flipping watched in order to refine my collection. My affordables were sold and I started buying the ones on my wish-list. I still have a couple of affordables, but the ones that I wear more now are:
Laco Pilot Type A 'Bremen' (ETA)
Orient Mako (Pepsi) - my beater
My wish-list was 'refined' too. It contained some really nice watches, all with a nice price tag of course, and thats when it all started to change...
As with any other human being, my wants were endless, but my bank balance wasn't. In fact, in India, you'd have to be at a pretty decent position to earn nearly enough to satisfy this hobby. As a VFX artist, its not easy at all to. My hopes started dropping. My brother and I decided to try out something with a couple of friends to earn some extra dough. Unfortunately that wasn't nearly as profitable as we had hoped and ended up taking a lot of our free time too. My hopes dropped even further and so did my interest eventually. Forum visit became less frequent, the gap between posts on my blog increased and soon it seemed that those things were a thing of past. Maybe this obsession wasn't different from any other. It was just a phase and I seemed to have moved on. I felt guilty about ignoring the blog I had cherished so much at one time, but ignored now. One thing neither my brother, nor I stopped doing was looking at people's wrists, but thats about it. I lost track of whats new in the world of watches and what was announced at Basel World.
We had moved on from the business with friends and started working on something a bit more serious and which seems much more feasible Its kept us pretty busy all last year and is still in the works. Last weekend,I had a meeting I was supposed to dress formally for. At my current job I am not required to dress formally, in fact its totally the opposite. So when I do get to wear a suit, I look forward to wearing a dress watch. Now my options were, as stated earlier, a Sub, a Pilot (Laco), or a beater (Mako). I would have normally gone for the Sub or the Laco, but this time I had a presentation to give, so I though maybe I should wear something a bit more 'dressy' (if thats a proper word). I remembered that last year, my dad had come to visit and left his vintage gold Omega with me. It has a brown strap, and I was already wearing a brown belt and shoes, so I thought, it would be perfect. I took it out of the box and put it on my wrist, when something happened. I just started at it for a while. It amazed me by its beauty, everything seemed to be rushing back, it made me smile.
That same night, I was out for a couple of drinks with my girlfriend, and I was talking about the Omega with her. I am not sure if I was boring her, but she always assures me she finds watches interesting (after being with me for a couple of years) and actually enjoys a conversation, even though she may not have a lot of knowledge about them. She then told me about a friend who we both know, and that he had recently purchased a Rolex Submariner with a 'blue dial and gold center links'. I instantly said, "Oh! You mean the...umm...that model...". I couldn't believe it! I just couldn't remember the model number, and of a company I read so much about. I had to look it up that instant online - it was the 16613. I felt a bit ashamed of myself for forgetting something that a year or two ago was like second nature to me. Today, I opened my blog and looked at it, what it was and whats it's become. I then logged into a forum to see whats up. I saw a lot of familiar sounding posts, saw introductions from new watch aficionados and remembered how I used to love going through all this every single day.
|(image taken from online)|
Its going to be a while before I get back to what I was, to what's the latest models and movements. I still can't promise frequent blog updates, but sure hope I can from time to time. I looked at my wish-list and do aim to get the next one on it - maybe not anytime soon, but some day. The thing I am glad about the most - this obsessions wasn't like the others, I knew it was special and it certainly is.